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.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Book Publishing Secrets with Philip Cioffari, Author of 'The Bronx Kill'

Book Title: THE BRONX KILL
Genre:  Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: Livingston 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?
Philip: I’ve been writing since the age of nine, so writing has been a part of my entire life. My first stories were either mysteries, baseball stories, or cowboy stories. I wrote this particular book, THE BRONX KILL, because it was a story that had been haunting me for several years. I grew up in the Bronx, and as a result feel an intimate connection to its people and places. They live inside me even to this day and, like most of us writers, I had a need to get down on paper what it was like living there, how I came to see the world by way of its people and streets, its alleys and its tenements. This particular book centers around a drowning incident when a group of friends challenge each other to swim the East River from the Bronx to Queens. One of them dies and another one’s body is never found. The three surviving friends meet again five years later and must confront an obsessive NYPD detective who believes they are responsible for his younger brother’s drowning.    
Is this your first book?
Philip: No, it’s actually my fifth book. My first, a collection of short stories called A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, won the Tartt Fiction Prize, and then I went on to write three novels: CATHOLIC BOYS; JESUSVILLE; and DARK ROAD, DEAD END.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Philip: I chose to go with an Independent small press, Livingston. They published my collection of stories, have been very supportive and professional, and so I have stayed with them with each successive book.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Philip: I began publishing short stories in literary and commercial magazines. I did this for many years. I also published some poetry, and had several plays produced. I think the novel is the form I’ve always aspired to. And so, now, I’m quite content writing in this form. One of the difficulties in my journey was that it took me six years to get my first story published. And before I won the story collection contest and began publishing in book form, I wrote at least five or six novels which never saw the light of day. So the road to publication was a long one, though worth the effort.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Philip: One important lesson I learned was perseverance is necessary. You have to discipline yourself to keep at it, if writing is something you have to do. If your work is rejected, it doesn’t necessarily means it’s inferior. It may be you haven’t found the right market yet. But always work on improving. Another thing: traditional publishers are not the only option. You may get more attention and support from smaller venues.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Philip: Yes. Most definitely. There are many good small and independent publishers out there.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Philip: Explore all your options for publication. Traditional, big-time publishers are only one of your options. And always: stay true to your vision. Hang in there. Writing is a life-time commitment.



Monday, March 20, 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.