Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Publishing Secrets with Christine Amsden, Author of 'Kaitlin's Tale'

Book Title: Kaitlin's Tale
Genre: urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Publisher: Twilight Times Books

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?

Author: I didn't have a choice about writing this book after I wrote the Cassie Scot series. See, Kaitlin was a sidekick. A secondary character. Cassie's best friend. That's it. Or at least, that was supposed to be it. But as I got to know her she became too big to be a footnote in someone else's story.

Is this your first book?

Author: Not even close! This is my 8th book. My first book, Touch of Fate, was published in 2006. The Immortality Virus came out in 2011. Then the four books in the Cassie Scot series plus the first spin-off, Madison's Song, came out in a whirlwind between 2013 and 2015.

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

Author: Small press. Twilight Times Books has been my publisher from the beginning, and we've developed a good working relationship.

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

Author: As I said, I've been with a small press from the start and at times it feels like the best of both worlds. At other times, the worst.

On the upside I am traditionally published, my book is available in print and ebook through the major distributors, I have been reviewed by reputable sources, and my publisher takes care of the printing and packaging process. Unlike with big presses, I get a lot of personal attention and I get to keep a much bigger percentage of my royalties. I also have ebooks available at a reasonable price (something major booksellers are still not willing/able to do). Plus, my old titles are still in print. (Big presses sometimes give you a few months then stop printing/distributing your titles even though the rights haven't reverted back to you.)

On the downside, I don't always fit neatly into either “traditional” or “indie” categories. When it comes to marketing, though, I usually look at indie advice because I put in that kind of work. Getting books in stores is something I have to do door to door, and some doors are closed to me.

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

Author: Work hard. Try your best. But know that sometimes books sell, and sometimes they don't, and you usually won't know why. You can either obsess about that (and I do) or get back to writing (which I eventually do).

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Author: Yes, as long as you're careful and know what you're getting into. The small press world in particular is full of disreputable publishers and upstarts. Do your homework. Find out who's legit and who's not. Predators and Editors is a good resource.

For the record, Twilight Times Books has been around since 1998 and has a lot of respect. I recommend them, but again with your eyes open: You'll have to work hard.

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

Author: Write because you love it. Don't get into this to make money, because you probably won't. You can dream, but if you're not drawn to writing in and of itself you'll never survive the journey.