Monday, March 25, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with #Paranormal #Romance #Author M.D. Fryson @madelyn_fryson #bookpublishing

I am a wife and mom to three boys. I am an animal lover especially horses that I used to ride, train and show. Someday will do once more!

Favorite books are anything astrology, self help, motivation, romance and humor.

I love chocolate, coffee, my family (not in that order), and the beach.

I like to garden, hike, jog, swim and travel. My oldest two boys tell me I am weird as they laugh and I’ll take that as a good thing. I am told I am witty and sarcastic and I believe that comes out in my writing. 

The third installment to this series comes out September, 2019 and I am nearly finished with the last book to the series that comes out in 2020.

Website Link:      

Twitter Link: @madelyn_fryson

About the Book:

Author: M.D. Fryson
Publisher: AMF Publishing
Pages: 408
Genre: Paranormal Romance

MERIDIAN’S curse has left her in a state all her own of amnesia. She is on Earth lost and afraid with only fragments to piece together her mysterious circumstance. The curse has taken the unimaginable from her, but that is just scratching the surface. The Black Widow curse will reveal itself through the demon’s riddle, the Coven and the Fairy Nymphs.

A trip back to
Salem is just what the psychic ordered, but treachery lurks with an ex coven member who calls on demons. The demon realm offers more riddles than answers, but a stroke of luck from the high demon court, brings in a sophisticated demon, Lahash who has grown tired of the games. 

The curse hides
Meridian's identity and her memory will unlock the Universal secret of her twin soul to find her way home. As Meridian finds Aiden so do the impacts of her curse and what it could do to their budding relationship. 

Meridian’s soul and fate are in the cross hairs, while the odds rise between the demons, witches and the fairies. 

Finally having found Aiden, the Fairy Queen comes through to send aid to
Meridian, but she still doubts herself and contemplates running away from it all. Who is Meridian's twin soul? Will she go back to Etheria or will the curse reign down on Meridian?
Find out in this dark and twisted paranormal romance. 


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?
M.D.: I always said I would write a book, but I had not really ever decided what I would write.  It seems the market is really flooded these days, so I decided instead of writing what everyone else was writing, or write to please every reader, I decided that writing something I just enjoyed writing was my goal. 
So I weaved in elements of the paranormal that I am interested in, threw in some character traits inspired by real people in my life and added some magic and there it was. 
The true story I wasn’t ready to write, may never be, so I thought writing something fictional, sprinkled with some reality would work.
Is this your first book?
M.D.: No, this is the second book I have published.  It is the second one in the series.  I have written two others that I will publish soon and I have started a fifth novel.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
M.D.:I am an indie writer.  My knowledge of publishing was certainly antiquated.  My father wrote a non-fiction book back when I was a child.   He had a type writer and a dictionary.  Being dyslexic, he had an editor/helper come to the house and work with him every so often.  He submitted his  manuscript off to Random House.  At the time the market was flooded with books with his story line and it was a stretch.  The letter said it was a great story, but because he didn’t complete the entire story to them in their time frame, they passed.

So, when I set out to publish, I sent off my manuscript.  I had no idea you have to have an entire social media following, an email list and accolades to go with your submission.  So, after several rejections from agents or no answer at all, I began the research for self publishing.  I wrote in a cave and that was all I did.  Being a mother of three and was working at the time, I didn’t have time for all the other internet driven activities that we are inundated with today.  Still don’t, I just make the time which in my world I have very little of.
Looking back, I am glad that I went this route.  First, I like being in charge of my own work.  I like being able to take care of the majority.  I have a friend who was traditionally published and he still had to go and pay for most of his marketing and PR.  He and I both agreed, why would you want to do all that, not make much off your work and have no rights to it.  I think the answer for me anyway is pretty straight forward. He went on to self publish later.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
M.D. :  Well the cons of publishing are pretty much the same for most authors who self publish.  It is a lot of work to take on to write, find editors, cover artists, get your book registered with Nielsen, upload, send samples, get ARCs out, have a marketing plan and mostly the dollars to do it all. 
The pros, is like I said.  The control over my work. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
M.D.:  Start promoting early on social media and have a goodreads page for sure.  Find a good editor.  I can tell you, I have had my share of terrible editors.  I hope this last one I have found will be the one I keep for the rest of my work. It is exhausting to find one, the right one. 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
M.D.:  I think it depends on the person.  I have a business degree and it happens to be in marketing.  I am business minded and I believe that if an author has an entrepreneurial spirit, self publishing can be very rewarding.  If you like being involved in every aspect, you love getting involved in the cover art, marketing, building your own website etc., then those authors would love it. 
If you are not business minded, do not like the details, or if the author doesn’t want to be involved in cost/revenue side of it, then it maybe better for that writer to continue to try and find an agent who will represent them and allow a publisher to do all that work.  It is a lot of work, that is why the publishing companies take the cut they do.  A lot of work and cost involved in editing, marketing etc.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
M.D.:  Do not give up on your dreams or allow a rejection letter to get you down.  To me getting a rejection letter was just another day.  An author has to keep in mind, it is a business and just like any business, publishing companies are in the business of profits.  So, if a certain type of book has been over done and the market is soft, well publishers won’t want it, and then agents to, have to love your work and if they are good, agents will know the market as well.  So, acquiring an agent is a double hurdle to me.  They have to love your work and they have to know that your book has a chance in the market.  
I can’t speak for the size of press that would be ideal.  Fellow author friend was published by a company that went out of business, but for me, if I set out to let a publishing company take my work and the reigns, will I say go big or go home. Try for the bigger publishing companies. But that is me. 
I think there is are many writers out there who more than likely have amazing work that gets rejected.  Wrong time, wrong agent, wrong publisher etc. 
Just keep going, do what feels right to you, write what you love and work to better your craft, however that may be.  I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and maybe reasons we don’t understand at the time.  It maybe that something better is coming down the road!  I am no one special, no one who feels my advice in publishing is going to carve a new path. I am just one of the many little fish swimming in a huge lake!  Hope what little I had to offer helps, and if not, I appreciate the time to share!  Best of luck to everyone! 

Win Black Widow Curse & The Coven signed copy, coffee mug, book bling, $25 Starbucks Gift Card! 

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Friday, March 1, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with Literary Author Dwaine Rieves


Genre: Literary fiction
Publisher: Leapfolio, a joint venture of Tupelo 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 began writing Shirtless Men Drink Free about twelve years ago.  The novel began as an exercise (challenge is probably a more realistic word!) in writing a long narrative that had poetry as its backbone.  Had I know it would have taken twelve years, I’m not sure I would have signed on with the cast of characters.  But the adventure is done, and I believe the novel accomplishes what the colorful, poetic folks in 2004 Atlanta would have wanted—a story of their lives and after-lives on the record.  I tell people the book is about “souls and the bodies that won’t let them go,” a summary that largely reflects the lyrical bent of the novel.  More precisely, the novel explores how the death of our parents impact our seemingly fully-developed adult lives.
Is this your first book?
This is my first novel.  I have a collection, When the Eye Forms, that won the 2005 Tupelo Press Prize in Poetry.  I was delighted when Leapfolio, a joint venture of Tupelo Press, volunteered to help make Shirtless Men Drink Free a tangible book—both in print and ebook format.  The folks at Tupelo Press have a solid track record in gorgeous book production, so I jumped at the chance to have their expertise in crafting the novel’s presentation to the world. 
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Leapfolio is a form of a hybrid press—a creature I had never heard of until Jeffrey Levine at Tupelo Press introduced me to the model. In this paradigm, the press and the author invest time, sweat and finances into the book’s production.  I particularly like the model because Leapfolio allowed me to make the final sign-off on all aspects of the book’s production.  I have a friend who recently had a novel published by a large, traditional publisher, and I was surprised to hear of how little control the author had over the book’s presentation.  Perhaps I’m a control freak!  But after working twelve years on a novel, I sure wanted the final presentation to align with story itself.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
What a story to tell!  At the completion of the novel’s final working draft, I queried over 200 agents.  The vast majority never responded.  Probably a dozen responded, and six requested the full manuscript.  The feedback I received from these six agents was consistent—“Dwaine, the writing is great and the story compelling; but it will be hard to sell this work.  The market is so tough now, unless you have a connection, a track record or fit clearly into a market niche, the big houses are just not going to take you on.  This work is just too creative, too edgy. Sorry.”
Indeed, one well-known agent called to apologize for not being able to take on the novel because: “You just can’t write like this initially.  You have to have a track record of more accessible, popular novels.  Then, you might be able to go experimental with a traditional publisher.”
I have heard many versions of “sorry.”  Being a poet, I guess I’m used to rejection.  Too, I knew Shirtless Men Drink Free, would never be an “easy sell.”  It wasn’t supposed to be “easy.”  The novel makes no apology for its soul, which is not an easy commodity for the market.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
I’ve learned that the artist’s journey is a difficult one and one the artist must anticipate, if not welcome.  Perhaps a challenge the artist can’t live without.  I’m very pleased with the difficulty of this process—it has made the work and me better. 
In terms of producing another novel, I really like the hybrid model because it can leave the artist in control, the artwork becoming what it is supposed to be—all the time with an expert advisor looking over your shoulder. 
My experience in the world of book publicity/marketing/traditional big-box book selling is not favorable.  It reminds me of car marketing—heavy on hype and conveyor belt assembly.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Yes, indeed.  I think a hybrid-printing model, where the author works with a well-experienced production team, can be a very satisfying experience for an author, especially an author whose work may not so readily fit into the typical commercial genres.  I have no experience with solely self-publishing or traditional, big-box publishing, so I’m at a loss to make firsthand comparisons.  I have heard much about the traditional publishing route—and what I’ve heard and read is not so favorable, at least in terms of cultivating the soul of the author and her art.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
I think it is important to allow yourself the great freedom of expression, by which I mean freedom in genre and the soul’s laboratory.  For example, that expression could take the form of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, film, photography, music—the list of creative arts is obviously endless.  Sometimes I think the soul craves, above all, expression—realization.   
So my advice is first to discover what inspires you, what drives you—and then step behind that steering wheel of inspiration.  And persevere.  Above all, persevere!  Look for editors, readers, critics, supporters, detractors—anyone who you think can help.  Even if it hurts.  Even if they hurt.  After all, without hurt there would be no need for art itself.

About the book:
In Shirtless Men Drink Free, Doctor Jane Beekman has seen her dying mother’s soul, a vision above the bed—a soul struggling with a decision, some undone task, something in this world too noble to leave.  The question that lingers—why?—prompts a shift in the doctor’s priorities.  In this election year, Jane must do what her mother, an aspiring social activist, would have done. Soon, Jane is embroiled in the world of Georgia politics, working to make sure her dynamic younger brother-in-law Jackson Beekman is elected the next governor, regardless of what the soul of the candidate’s dead father or that of his living brother—Jane’s husband—might want done. 

Indeed, it is a mother’s persistence and a father’s legacy that will ultimately turn one Beekman brother against the other, launching a struggle with moral consequences that may extend far beyond Georgia. Set amidst 2004’s polarizing election fears—immigrants and job take-overs, terrorists in waiting, homosexuals and outsider agendas—Shirtless Men Drink Free makes vivid the human soul’s struggle in a world bedeviled by desire and the fears that leave us all asking—Why?

Engaging, beautifully written and resplendent with realism, Shirtless Men Drink Free is a standout debut destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.  A meticulously crafted tale that showcases an outstanding new voice in Southern fiction, Shirtless Men Drink Free has garnered high advance praise:

“This is brilliant and rare work, as attentive to an absorbing plot as it is to a poetic, chiseled cadence."—Paul Lisicky, award-winning author of The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship

“These characters are all too real. Rieves, as Faulkner, McMurtry and Larry Brown, writes people and story that will worm, burrow into you.  Change you even.” Adam Van Winkle, Founder and Editor, Cowboy Jamboree

“Vividly sensuous, this novel is full of textures, sounds and smells.  Rieves tells a terrific story with the sensitivity of a poet.” —Margaret Meyers, author of Swimming in the Congo

Published by Tupelo Press joint venture partner Leapfolio, Shirtless Men Drink Free will be published in trade paper (ISBN: 978-1-946507-04-4, 326 pages, $16.95) and eBook editions.  The novel will be available where fine books are sold, with an arrival on January 22, 2019.