Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Author of 'A Christmas Kindness'

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author, and editor. A 2005 graduate of Long Ridge Writers Group, Cheryl began her career focusing on article writing. She specializes in time management and organization, but has also written about everyday life in the 1800s, gardening, parenting, and women’s health issues. In 2008, she changed her focus to fiction writing for children. Her first picture book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP). Cheryl has two other books under contract with GAP.
Cheryl also writes under the name of C. C. Gevry. The first chapter reader, A Christmas Kindness, was released by 4RV Publishing in 2012, with a digital version following in 2013.
Ms. Malandrinos has edited numerous manuscripts in a variety of genres and ghostwritten a Christian chapter book. Cheryl has been a panelist at the WriteAngles Conference that takes place each fall at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, and offers writing workshops in her local school district. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger. Cheryl lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.

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 A Christmas Kindness?

Cheryl: I’m a huge Christmas fanatic. I love everything about the season: decorating, baking, entertaining, etc. But the most important aspect of the holiday is giving to others. It’s something I try to teach my girls every day. With A Christmas Kindness, I hope to get across the message that even though it’s wonderful to receive a gift, it’s just as thrilling to give something special to someone else.

Is this your first book?

Cheryl: No. My first book, Little Shepherd, was released in 2010. A Christmas Kindness is my second book, written under my pen name, C.C. Gevry as a printed book and under my actual name in a digital version. Eventually, the printed version will be reformatted and released under my actual name too. (The story of the pen name is a long and boring one.)

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

Cheryl: I pitched A Christmas Kindness to a small independent publisher during an online writers conference. Both my books have been released by small independent publishers, and I enjoy working with them. I feel I have more control over the final product, while I also have the ability to work with editors and artists with years of experience.

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

Cheryl: Though I have been writing since I was a teenager, it wasn’t a career choice until after I became a stay-at-home mom. I signed up for the “Breaking into Print” program from Long Ridge Writers Group and focused on article writing. I wrote for Writer2Writer, an online magazine dedicated to helping writers generate income from their writing for several years. I also blogged for many years to create an online presence for myself before my books came out.

I’m not the most disciplined writer, which definitely impedes my progress. A major reason for that is I feel my first job is mother and wife. My writing must come after that.

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

Cheryl: I’m excited about the world of publishing. There are so many more avenues for writers than there used to be. I never really considered self-publishing in the beginning, but I’m not adverse to it now. I could see myself becoming a hybrid author who releases books in a multitude of ways.

Patience and perseverance are traits all writers need regardless of how they decide to publish. It’s also good to know when you should depend on others for help. Editors, cover artists, and critique partners can make a huge difference.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Cheryl:  I feel every author has to decide what will work for her. Each person has their own idea of what success looks like.

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

Cheryl: Keep writing and continue learning all you can about your craft. A great book is the first step to publication. 

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