Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Thriller Author Darden North

Genre: Fiction/Thriller
Publisher: WordCrafts Press
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 enjoy putting pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) and with this novel began to explore the five ways to die.
Is this your first book? 
     No, “The Five Manners of Death” is my fifth novel.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
     Small Press. “The Five Manners of Death” was accepted by WordCrafts Press, a small press that offered publication in both hardcover print and trade paperback as well as online digital. When my query was accepted, I quickly recognized that editor Mike Parker saw the potential of this unique story and possessed publication vision and experience.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
     My first three novels were self-published and successful in their own right in that about 17,000 copies collectively were sold. I then wanted a partner in this journey and reopened the process of querying agents and publishers.  My fourth novel, “Wiggle Room,” was published by Sartoris Literary Group.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
     No matter how large or small the publisher—whether traditional, indie, small press, or the self-publishing route—every author must bravely market themselves and their own work. There is no place for ignorance in learning the value of social media, and there is plenty of room for humility.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
     As long as the author is willing to engage with readers and book promoters and sellers, both online and face-to-face—including bricks and mortar bookstores—there is room for success for any author in any genre.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
     Expectations low … Serenity high.




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BOOK PUBLISHING SECRETS WITH DANIEL A. BLUM



Daniel A. Blum grew up in New York, attended Brandeis University and currently lives outside of Boston with his family. His first novel Lisa33 was published by Viking in 2003. He has been featured in Poets and Writers magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and most recently, interviewed in Psychology Today.

Daniel writes a humor blog, The Rotting Post, that has developed a loyal following.

His latest release is the literary novel, The Feet Say Run.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

At the age of eighty-five, Hans Jaeger finds himself a castaway among a group of survivors on a deserted island.  What is my particular crime?  he asks.   Why have I been chosen  for this fate?  And
so he begins his extraordinary chronicle.

It would be an understatement to say he has lived a full life.  He has grown up in Nazi Germany and falls in love with Jewish girl.  He fights for the Germans on two continents, watches the Reich collapse spectacularly into occupation and starvation, and marries his former governess.  After the war he goes on wildflower expeditions in the Alps, finds solace among prostitutes while his wife lay in a coma, and marries a Brazilian chambermaid in order to receive a kidney from her. 

By turns sardonic and tragic and surreal, Hans’s story is the story of all of the insanity, irony and horror of the modern world itself.  

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



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?
Sure.
I’ve certainly always been a daydreamer, and I think as I got older that translated naturally into wanting to write.  Also, my entire family besides myself are either psychiatrists (father and brother) or psychologists (mother and sister), so it feels like I had little choice but to either go mad or turn a little bit thoughtful and introspective. 

But there is also a craft and that took some time to acquire.  My early writing efforts have thankfully been lost to the ravages of time. 

As to how I chose this particular book,  had grown increasingly interested in the idea of literary fiction that also made for a gripping page-turner.  And I had this idea of telling a big, epic tale of human tragedy - of cruelty and compassion and blindess and brilliance - through a single, long life.  Gradually, my narrator, a German who had fought for the Nazis, began to take shape.  I honestly never had a moment where I decided, “I am going to write another novel.”  I just began poking around.  And then I was in too deep, immersed, and the only way out was forward – to borrow a military metaphor.    

Is this your first book?
The Feet Say Run is my second novel.  My previous novel, Lisa33 was an avante-garde sex comedy set on the internet.  I had received a large advance for it, but in the end the publishing experience was quite disastrous.  I wanted to get as far away from it as possible.  A harrowing war story set in Nazi Germany was surely about as far from an internet sex farce as one could get. 

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
This was published through a small press, Gabriel’s Horn. 
For years after my miserable experience with Viking and my first novel, I ceased writing fiction entirely and even reading it.  When The Feet Say Run was completed, I had few connections left in the publishing world.  But I had posted a few poems to a public website, and my publisher had read an admired them there.  She emailed me and asked what else I wrote, I sent her the manuscript, and she wanted it.  So that was that.  It was an easy decision. 

In a way I feel I am one of the few writer to be “discovered” twice, as Gabriel’s Horn was surprised to learn I’d already had a novel out with major publisher. 

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Wow.  I would love to write a book on this, to be honest.  But let me say a few more words about my experience in the “mainstream” world. 
I certainly had my share of rejection letters.  In fact, in no time at all, I had accumulated a stack that covered the entire spectrum of conceivable reasons for turning down a manuscript – up to and including (this is true), that my writing was, somehow, “too sophisticated.”
What does one say to that?  “How dare you!  My writing is NOT sophisticated AT ALL!”    
I went through novels and agents and eventually sent off my manuscript for Lisa33, a post-modern sex comedy set entirely on the internet.  I soon got a call back from Bill Clegg, who was then already a big name in literary representation, and who was eager to represent it.  He not only succeeded in selling it, but managed to get a bidding war going.   Viking was the highest bidder, and the book sold for six figures – one of the largest sums that year for any unpublished writer.  I quite literally jumped for joy, thought I was living my dream. 
Yet from that moment on, pretty much everything that could go wrong did.  My book was immediately caught up in politics at Viking.  While my editor loved it, her boss evidently hated it to an almost equal degree, and wondered why Molly had spent so much to acquire it.  The publication date got pushed out.  The printing, the publicity, weren’t going to be that large after all.
Meanwhile my super-agent, Bill Clegg, gradually grew more and more remote and eventually flat-out disappeared.  Nobody knew what had happened to him.   And then Viking pushed the publication date back again.  And then a third time.
It did finally come out, with no publicity whatever, and quickly vanished into obscurity. As did I.  The beacon of fame swept right over me, illuminated me for a few delirious seconds, and then moved on.  The ultimate irony was when my agent – who had once assured me I was going to be famous, published his own memoir and landed on the front page of the New York Times.  I read the review from my cubicle, back at my day job. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
I’ve gotten a huge amount of perspective.  I had dreamed of The Algonquin Club, fascinating repartee with brilliant intellectuals, parties among the literati.  Of course, it was all an illusion.  My friends are the same friends I have always had and cared about.  My family is still first in my life.  Most of all what I learned is this:  if you don’t love the process of writing, you shouldn’t be doing it, because the reward, even when you supposedly “make it” is really a fleeting bit of fool’s gold.
I am so proud of my new novel.  It is really miles better, deeper, more intense, than the one I got the big advance for.  And my expectations are so much more grounded.  I just want people to try it and enjoy it. 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
I would definitely recommend a supportive small press like I found.  This is been a fun, interesting, stimulating experience.  If there are financial rewards at some point, so much the better, but I am not depending on them. 
Breaking in to the “mainstream” world is even harder now.  The industry is a mess.  I see the rise of indie and small presses as a natural consequence, with a lot of positives, similar to the rise of indie filmmaking and smaller music labels.  It allows for more options for the consumer, but also makes it hard for consumers to know what to choose.  Which is where reviewers and bloggers have their own role. 
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
My advice is more about the writing than about the publishing. 
First, forget everything anyone has “taught” you about writing.  Nobody knows.  There is no assembly manual.   There is not carefully marked trail.  You must find your own way through the wilderness.  Second, be sure you truly love writing, and not merely the idea of writing.  Third, please forget, “write what you know”!  Worst advice ever.   Write the   book that, as a reader, you would most want to read. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Children's Author Anne K. Edwards

Name: Anne K. Edwards
Book Title: Changing Places
Genre: Children's
Website:  www.AnneKEdwards.com   

Find out more on Amazon
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?
Anne: I didn’t really decide to be an author. I write because I must. There is no peace until I settle at the keyboard and begin. It is that part of the mind that never ceases to produce new ideas, stories that I simply must tell. Changing Places is one such tale. I had several other books published in different genres before the idea for this story took hold of my imagination. It proved irresistible and I felt I had to tell the tale of a cat and a snake that met one summer day. My cat loved to roll around on the cement floor of our front porch and he rolled off the edge to land on a sunning blacksnake. I knew I shouldn’t laugh as each raced away in a different direction, but it was a bit of funny business that kept me giggling for days as the idea for a story formed.  
Is this your first book?
Anne:  No, but it is only my second venture into writing for children.  My first was about a little boy who outsmarted a hungry dragon.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Anne:  I’ve had the good luck to be published by a very successful small press called Twilight Times Books in the traditional format.  However, they don’t publish the type of children’s books I write.  Instead of spending time looking for a publisher that does put out this genre, I chose to try self-publishing. There were other reasons for this decision as well, such as the shortness of the books. If you look into submission guidelines of children’s publishers, you will find a certain length is desired and to reach that number of words, I’d have to pad the story with unnecessary sentences and I do think it would not improve the story. Often, there is a demand for breaking a book into chapters and the length of time used in telling the story makes that an unrealistic requirement.  The action only lasts a little while and the padding to make it longer would ruin the pacing.  I enjoyed writing the story in its short form and believe children would also prefer it this way.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Anne:  Having published other books after searching for an agent and/or the print houses as a new writer and learning the sad truth that most new writers do not find success in that way, I decided not to waste the time in repeating that process.  I admit, I did look into a few Internet small presses that accept children’s book submissions, but their requirements were not compatible with what I write.  I do not mean their requirements are a bad thing, not at all. But my writing style of a short story showed me that I did not write to meet their specifications and I had no desire or intention to try rewriting to meet them. As someone I admire once said about a book, it is what it is, and that was what helped me decide to try the self-publishing route. I was extremely fortunate to have a dear friend who got me moving in the right direction and making the final decision on how to publish when I procrastinated. She guided me all the way on my first and second children’s books, told me what steps to follow in getting the book ready to post. Because I am a big chicken when it comes to new technology, she had a lot of hard work to do. I hope she reads this and knows how much she is appreciated.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Anne:  Since being a writer is a continuous learning journey, I can truthfully say that I learned how much more I have to learn.  My ignorance of the changing publishing scene and technology is abysmal. I’m like a first grader trying to learn to read and understand Shakespeare’s plays. Coming from the days when writing was done on a manual typewriter into the days of computers, I have some real problems with understanding the lack of instructions in most phases of usage on the social media sites. I’ve learned that joining some promotion groups and advertising on many websites that claim to promote one’s book is also a waste of promo funds.  The writer seeking publication must be aware of how much they will be able to spend on promotion. There are too many places willing to take your precious cash and give nothing in return.  In the end, I find the old ways are most productive while searching out new sites that are recommended by other writers I know.  It is a process that also takes a lot of time.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Anne:  Absolutely.  It is another chance to learn about one’s writing and one’s willingness to tackle the experience of new technology, even if you fail the first hundred times.  You will learn to separate the good from the bad and how things work. But bear in mind this is a constantly changing workplace so we must be willing to change with it. The more we learn, the better a writer we will become.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Anne:  Don’t give up. The temptation to quit is always present when we run into a problem that seems insurmountable, but it isn’t.  Consider it like a plot that needs reworking and try to look at your work with a different viewpoint.  Don’t spend years and years rewriting the same book.  Finish that first book if you haven’t.  Don’t keep rewriting those first chapters to make them prefect.  There is no such thing as a perfect book.  Join a writers group. Find like minds on the social media if your ego needs bolstering. Don’t continue to bask in the limelight of family’s and friends’ compliments, ask people in that writers group to read your work and keep moving forward on the story.

About the book:
Changing Places is a humorous story about a cat and a snake whose meeting was accidental and leads each into an adventure that does not turn out the way they though it would. The idea came from the day my cat rolled off the porch onto a basking blacksnake. They both fled the scene in different directions, and gave me the idea of what if they stopped to talk about their meeting.  The book is available in ebook form at Amazon Kindle.
Find out more on Amazon 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Bruce Forciea, author of Alan 2



Bruce Forciea is known for taking complex scientific concepts and making them easy to understand through engaging stories and simple explanations. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author and author of several books on healing and biology, along with science fiction thriller novels. His fiction writing draws on a diverse and eclectic background that includes touring and performing with a professional show, designing digital circuits, treating thousands of patients, and teaching. His stories include complex plots with unexpected twists and turns, quirky characters, and a reality very similar to our own. Dr. Forciea lives in Wisconsin and loves writing during the solitude of the long Northern winters. 

Website & Social Links:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book:

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems
(IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco. 

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2's Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is 'Plan B' something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?
Watch the trailer at YouTube!

Purchase Information:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher


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 became an author about 12 years ago when I wrote my first non-fiction book. I always have a number of ideas rumbling around in my grey matter and once I developed the technical skills for writing I was able to get some of them down on paper. 
Is this your first book?
Alan 2 is my 8th book. I’ve written some non-fiction books, 2 novels and an anthology of science fiction short stories.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Alan 2 was published by Open Books, a small press. I have been with a medium-sized press and have self-published a couple of books as well. Open Books was the first to respond to my queries and I thought they had a good marketing plan.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Sure, I could do a seminar on this topic since I’ve been with traditional publishers and have experience self-publishing. I had another book published by Open Books, The X-Cure, and my contract gave them the right of first refusal for Alan 2. They decided to publish Alan 2 as well.
For The X-Cure, I started by contacting agents, then mid-sized to smaller publishers who accepted submissions. Open Books was the first publisher to respond to my query.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
 First of all, the industry has changed dramatically since my first book 10 years ago. It has become astronomically competitive since then.
One lesson I learned was to develop a social media platform and grow this as much as possible before submitting to publishers. Another, is to spend some time each week promoting your book, either through your platform, website or by scheduling personal appearances.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
I think it depends on the book. Authors have been successful with publishers and by self-publishing. For example, a non-fiction book that targets a niche may do well via self-publishing.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
That would be to get something published and become an author versus an aspiring author. I think a good way to learn about writing and publishing is by writing and publishing. This could be through self-publishing or by working with a publisher. The important thing is to get a project done and learn from it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Margaret Fenton, Author of 'Little Girl Gone'

Book Title:  Little Girl Gone
Genre: amateur sleuth mystery
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?
Margaret:  This is the sequel to my first mystery, Little Lamb Lost, which was published by Oceanview Publishing in 2009. 
Is this your first book?
Margaret: No.  My first book is Little Lamb Lost.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Margaret:  My first novel was published by Oceanview Publishing in 2009.  They have since decided to publish exclusively thrillers.  They wanted Little Girl Gone to be more a thriller, but I just couldn’t make that happen.  So they passed.  After much deliberation, I decided to self-publish through CreateSpace and Amazon.  It was a difficult decision and I miss having a team.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Margaret:  I got my contract with Oceanview when I attended Killer Nashville.  in 2007.  I highly recommend that conference for yet to be published authors (YTBP authors).  For a bit of extra money, you could talk to either an agent or a publisher.  I chose the agent.  Went to my meeting, sat down and gave her my mostly rehearsed pitch for Little Lamb Lost.  She hated it.  I don’t mean a little.  She HATED it in capital letters, and essentially said she didn’t understand why anyone would want to publish that.

     
    So I went to the bar and ordered myself a large, extra large really, gin and tonic.  I was halfway through with it and a bit buzzed when my friend Don Bruns approached me and asked if I’d talked to Oceanview Publishing.  I explained what happened with the agent, and he said he was going to get the rep from Oceanview.  She came over, and I pitched, pretty sloppily.  She wanted to see it and about two months later I had a contract with Oceanview.  So my secret to getting published?  Gin.  Lots of gin.  By the way, Little Lamb Lost is an Amazon bestseller.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Margaret:  I would encourage everyone to try to find a publisher for your first book.  That really helps get your name out there so if you get dropped (which happens a lot) at least you have a book out there with a publisher behind it.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Margaret:  I’ve been told we are referred to as “hybrid authors”.  I kind of like that name.  Having a publisher is nice, but being self-pubbed is okay too.  If you go self-pubbed, I would definitely recommend a publicist. They are experts at getting your book out there.  They are expensive but worth it.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Margaret:  Write.  It’s fun to fantasize about having a book out there and being an author, but unless you have a finished, good product it will never happen.  Find a good writer’s group and have other people you trust read your stuff.  That’s terrifying but the most helpful.  Talk to published authors and go to conferences.  But write, that’s the most important thing.