Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets: Interview with Indra Sena, author of 'Closet Full of Coke'

You can visit Indra Sena’s website at Indra is currently working on her second memoir. It covers two years in her twenties, where she joined the Rainbow Family and traveled the US and abroad.

Her latest book is the memoir, Closet Full of Coke.

About the Book

Narrated by the teenage girl who lived it, Closet Full of Coke tells the true story of how a New York suburban fifteen-year-old girl’s savvy and wit helps turn the small-time drug business of Armando, a Colombian drug dealer, into a multi-million-dollar cocaine operation that puts them on the DEA’s Wanted List.

This intimate diary gives readers a fast-paced glimpse of the couple’s speedy rise to riches, and their inevitable descent.

These wannabe drug lords of the 1980s New York-to-Florida drug scene end their story only three years later with an untimely death, betrayal, and revenge.

Here is a true account of drug dealers whose obsession with money, power, sex, and glamour drives them to a lifestyle of deceit and recklessness, ending in tragedies that destroy lives forever.

Book Publishing Insider Interview

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book? 

I'd planned to write it for nearly 25 years, since shortly after the events in my book took place. I was startled at how much they resembled the plot of a fiction novel. It was really strange, it seemed like life was imitating art.It took me decades to begin writing it because I needed a lot of distance for perspective.

Is this your first book? 


With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method? 

I self published in order to have creative control. I used Amazon’s company, CreateSpace. You keep more profits on Amazon and you can keep the cost very low. I wanted my book to be super-affordable.

 Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons? 

The cons are that all publishing companies hand you off to untrained staff or foreign tech support. You need to be a control freak to really get things done correctly. And when they say it takes weeks, know that it will take months. The top pro is that in this modern world, anyone can publish a book, almost for free. However it still needs to be high quality in order to sell and/or be read.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole? 

Well, I learned a lot about the near endless details that go into creating a book. Things I never knew or wanted to know, like the names of fonts and even when they were invented and why, etc. The minutia is intense but since I’m a serious book lover I mostly liked it. The industry? They are looking for a Hollywood ending and they are not into taking chances with unknown authors or outside-the-box books. They want proven formulas. I can’t totally blame them, though, paper book production is very expensive yet sales go down everyday due to ebooks.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors? 

Maybe. You have to decide if you want to wear all the hats or hire hats to fulfill every job in the publishing house. It is a large order and much of the work is tedious. I spent over a year with my book in production after I wrote it. It was tons of work.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors? 

My advice is to be a writer first. You have to be in love with words, with language, and with the craft of writing. Study all the time. While you’re reading notice what the writer is doing. While watching television pay attention to the dialogue, in scripted shows it is all created by writers. Practice writing every chance you get, even with email.

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