Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with A.S. Fenichel, Author of 'A Lady's Virtue' @asfenichel #bookpublishing


A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.
A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.
Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of The Forever Brides series, the Everton Domestic Society series, and more. With several books currently contracted, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of edgy romance for years to come.
Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the Southern Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, puttering in her garden and spoiling her fussy cat. 
Website Link: http://asfenichel.com
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/asfenichel
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel
 
Click below to sign up for her newsletter!

BOOK BLURB:
Can a broken engagement ignite the spark of true love?

Sylvia Dowder had almost made it to the altar when her fiancĂ© unexpectedly became a viscount, and dropped her like a stale crumpet to make a more “suitable” match. Though Sylvia’s heart has been crushed, her spirit has not. She puts her wits and social savvy to use as a secret gossip columnist—and as the Everton Domestic Society’s party planner to the ton. Luckily, she’s not in danger of ever falling for an aristocrat again…

Especially not one like Anthony Braighton, Earl of Grafton. Raised in America, Anthony sees no reason to marry when he can enjoy all the perks of being an eligible earl. Determined to convince his family he doesn’t need a wife, he hires Sylvia to act as hostess and decorator for upcoming parties. Yet Sylvia is as adept at captivating his interest as she is at beautifying his home. And despite this Everton lady’s aversion to titled men, some attractions can’t be denied—and love rarely does go where it’s told . . .

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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?
A.S.: I became an author because I had stories in my head. I wrote the for years and years, seventeen to be exact, getting rejection after rejection. I hoped one day I would hone my skills enough and connect with an editor who loved my stories as much as I did. Eventually that happened. J
I love to write empowered women regardless of the time period the book is set in. It’s easy to write an ass kicking woman in modern day, but Regency times demanded women be meek. Or did they? Even Jane Austen wrote about women with minds of their own and the ability to make their own decisions. She herself did as much. I created the Everton Domestic Society so that my ladies would have a safety net where they could become the magnificent women they’d been written to be.
Is this your first book?
A.S.: No. A Lady’s Virtue is my nineteenth published book.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
A.S.: I’m traditionally published with Kensington Books in their Lyrical Press line. Kensington is a mid-sized publisher. Not as big as the big 5 but quite substantial.
I prefer traditional publishing because it gives me more time for writing and editing. I’m not fond of the work required for self-publishing, though I admire writers who do it all and do it well.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
A.S.: As I mentioned earlier, I attempted to get a book deal for seventeen years before I succeeded in 2011. I have had some success, though not great as of yet. It can be a very humbling industry. Very few people are overnight successes and roadblocks are plentiful. I always ask myself during the dark times, “If you knew right now that you would never publish another word, would you still write.” As long as the answer is “yes” I’ll keep at it.
I enjoy writing for Kensington. They are like family to me and have done much for my career. I signed with an agent last year and have high hopes that together we will push my career to the next level.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
A.S.: If being an author is what you want, never give up and grow a thick skin. You will need it.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
A.S.: I don’t think one way or another is better. It’s a personal choice, a matter of finances and control of your work. I trust my publisher and am happy to hand over that side of the business to them. Each author must make this determination for themselves.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
A.S.: Don’t give up, hone your craft and find a group of like-minded writers to support you.


Book Publishing Advice from Kevin C. Alston, Author of The 'Real' American Diet


Born & raised in the small town of Mullins, SC, by God-fearing parents who instilled religion into his life at an early age, he's had an insatiable appetite for knowledge since birth. God blessed him with a keen, analytical mind, & an almost feverish desire to help others. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, married to the love of his life, with five wonderful kids, & a deep passion that still burns within him to help the less fortunate, through whatever means necessary.  The correlation between what we eat & the epidemic-like rise in diseases of today has the author on an impassioned mission to get to the bottom of what he thinks is a big conspiracy by our government & Big Business.

His latest book is The ‘Real’ American Diet.



About the Book:

This book is a culmination of the author's life, but mainly the past 10 years, where personal tragedies have led him to discover more about the correlation with food, nutrition & the diseases of today, & how it affects us all. 

This program is an experiment of sorts, with the author using himself as the guinea pig, with positive results having been discovered, & hopefully, in time, even bigger positive results yet to come. 

Between our government & Big Business, we, the people, are already involved in an experiment.  It's like a big laboratory.  With all of the harmful toxins that are allowed in our air, food, &  water, diseases are at epidemic-like levels, & the author, for one, would like to know if there is more to this than is being told to us. It speaks volumes when other nations refuse to accept grains & meats from us, or at least it does to the author. 

Most of the ailments we suffer from today emanate from our guts, & our poor diets keep the sickness-wheels turning, costing each of us millions of dollars, a whole lot of heartache, pain, & suffering.  It's time to make a change, & that change started with the author's experiment on himself.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Is this your first book?
This is my first book, but I don't believe that it will be my last. I decided to write this book after my 'other' daughter passed away at the hands of Cancer. She fought a tough battle, & that was my first time actually seeing the struggle personally. My mom & dad both died of cancer, but I wasn't present to 'see' the struggle. My daughter didn't deserve a death like that, so I was compelled from that day that I had to do something
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method? 
With this book, I chose traditional, mainly because I had no clue as to how to write a book, even less of a clue on how to get it published
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
I'd been writing poems since 2000. This particular book was written mainly to combat cancer, of which I'd seen countless loved ones, friends, & coworkers succumb to. After my 'other' daughter fought & lost her battle with cancer twice, I'd had enough. The pieces that I'd been putting together over the years finally came together after I read Dr. Joel Furhman's 'Eat to Live'. I don't know enough about other options to express my opinions on the cons, but the pros are that you pick the publishing company that gives you the best deal, sort of like with your cell phone, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T. Whoever has the best deal for you.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
There's a lot of publishing companies out there to choose from. Take your time & pick the one who best suits your needs. Remember, you don't have to let one do the entire process. One might be better at publishing, & yet another might be better at marketing. You decide. You don't have to stay with one, per se
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Yes. I'd recommend the route that I took. Now that I know of other ways to market, it makes it even better now.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
If you are an aspiring author, get started. Start writing. You can get the publisher after you've completed writing. But you definitely need to get started. Why wait? Tomorrow isn't promised to any of us.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with #Scifi #Fantasy Author David H. Reiss @davidhreiss


While growing up, David H. Reiss was that weird kid with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He was the table-top role-playing game geek, the comic-book nerd, the story-teller and dreamer. 

Fortunately, he hasn't changed much.

David is a software engineer by trade and a long-time sci-fi and fantasy devotee by passion, and he lives in Silicon Valley with his partner of twenty-six years. Until recently, he also shared his life with a disturbingly spoiled cat named Freya.

(Farewell, little huntress. You were loved. You are missed.)

David's first book, Fid's Crusade, has just recently been published; this was his first novel-length project, but it certainly won't be his last—he's having far too much fun!





About the Book:

Title: FID’S CRUSADE
Author: David H. Reiss
Publisher: Atian Press
Pages: 365
Genre: Scifi/Contemporary Fantasy

BOOK BLURB:
Consumed by grief, rage, and self-loathing, a brilliant inventor rebuilt himself to take on a new identity: the powered-armor-wearing supervillain, Doctor Fid. For twenty violent years, Fid has continued his quest to punish heroes who he considers to be unworthy of their accolades, and the Doctor has left a long trail of blood and misery in his wake. After a personal tragedy, however, Doctor Fid investigates a crime and uncovers a conspiracy so terrible that even he is taken aback.

Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, the veteran supervillain must risk everything to save the world that he once sought to terrorize. Every battle takes its toll…but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option.

In the end, it may take a villain to save the entire Earth from those entrusted with the Earth’s protection.

Praise:

"Fid's Crusade by David H. Reiss is one of the most refreshing and lively takes on the superhero genre I've seen in years. His title character's crusade is colorful, compelling, and takes wonderfully unexpected turns, and the novel delivers an impressive emotional punch (to go along with the super-powered ones). It stands easily alongside other character-driven superhero novels like Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, Carrie Vaughn's After the Golden Age, and Paul Tobin's Prepare to Die!." - Hugo award-winning author Tim Pratt

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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?

In my earliest childhood memories, I was already a writer; I’ve been fascinated with reading and storytelling for my entire life. As such…becoming an author wasn’t much of a stretch. Writing this particular book, on the other hand, was a strange mix of luck, inspiration and stubbornness.
I’d been working on a different novel and run into a road block. After beating my head against that metaphorical wall for a while, I decided to start a new project just to clear my mind. Given that superhero stories are ubiquitous these days, I decided to write a piece of superheroic prose…with a twist. Fid’s Crusade was originally intended to a short story, a nonlinear stream-of-consciousness deep-dive into the mind of a supervillain, informed by the works of Faulkner and Vonnegut—a literary take on a popular genre that focused on the perspective of a traditional antagonist.
The first draft was well-written but painfully dry, so I tore it apart and started over in a slightly different style. And then tore that one up and started again. At some point, I realized that I’d come up with an entire novel’s worth of story that I wanted to tell from these characters’ perspectives.

Is this your first book?

Fid’s Crusade was my first finished novel, yes. I’ve since made quick work of a sequel and am currently putting the finishing touches on a third in the series.

As I mentioned earlier…I’ve been writing for all of my life. I’ve probably penned
hundreds of short stories, but I’d always had trouble with longer works. Sometimes, I think that the real reason that I was able to finish Fid’s Crusade (and now feel confident in my ability to write further novels) is that I stumbled across software to help me outline my plots. I think that every writer is different and that the software package that works for me may not work for other writers…but I do highly recommend that writers experiment to find a tool that helps them put their visions to paper.

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

I had begun the process of querying agents with the intent to publish this book traditionally, but in the end decided that being published in time for my grandmother’s one-hundredth birthday was more important…so I made the leap to self-publish. I’ve never regretted that choice. The book was dedicated to her and I was able to give her a signed copy as a present.

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

The main ‘pro’ of self-publishing is that there are fewer gatekeepers who must be appeased in order for your work to be published. You don’t need to find a literary agent who happens to be a good emotional and professional fit for your career ambitions, and you don’t need to wait for that agent to find a publisher who shares your vision.

The main ‘con’ of self-publishing is that there are fewer gatekeepers. Literary agents and publishers provide useful services in making sure that your book is ready for release and that it is ready to be marketed to the correct audience. If you self-publish, you need to learn all of those skills on your own.
(Hint: It’s not easy. I’ve found some wonderful online communities that can provide useful advice, but…in the end, all the work falls upon the self-publisher’s shoulders.)

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

First and foremost, I’ve learned the importance of developing a marketing plan well before one hits the ‘publish’ button. That’s a place where I failed, honestly…I didn’t have a platform, I didn’t have a strategy in mind, I didn’t even have a firm idea as to who my prospective audience was or how to reach them.
If ever I successfully build a time-machine, my first act will be to leap back to a few months before I released Fid’s Crusade and punch my younger, more innocent self in the nose.
Actually, there are several points in my life that would probably have been improved by nose-punches. If I ever show up to a sci-fi con looking like I’ve spent a lifetime working as a substitute punching-bag at a heavyweight boxing gym, you all know why.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Yes, and no. For one thing, I still believe that the traditional publishing model provides a tremendously valuable service. For another…If you’re the sort of author who wants to focus upon your writing and nothing but your writing, then self-publishing is not the path for you.

But if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn all the completely-not-writing-oriented skills necessary to successfully negotiate to get a professional cover created, to have your work professionally edited, to market and advertise and promote your work…I do genuinely believe that self-publishing can be a very rewarding path.
(Note: If you take the time to learn those skills BEFORE you start self-publishing, you will be far happier in the long run.)

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

Read a lot and write a lot. There is no substitute for experience.
Also…don’t get discouraged. If your first story isn’t as perfect as you would have liked, feel free to close the file and start another one. And another. And another.
You’ll get there.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with Randy Overbeck, Author of 'Blood on the Chesapeake'



Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Ghost Story
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
INTERVIEW:
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?
Randy: I have always been a writer, though not in a creative vein until the last decade or so. In my work life as a teacher and school leader, I was tasked with a great many writing assignments—lesson plans, assessments, newsletters, long range plans, newspaper articles, grant applications, just to name a few. I found I enjoyed these tasks and, based on feedback and performance reviews, was quite good at them. So I decided I’d like to try my hand at writing what I wanted to write, rather than only for work. I began writing fiction, using the people I worked with as inspiration for my characters and what I saw happen in the real world as a jumping off point for my narratives. My novels were born, though not until after a good many fits and starts.
Is this your first book?
Randy: Definitely not. I have two complete novels “in the drawer.” Neither is good enough for publishing, at least yet. I also have one novel published, Leave No Child Behind, a thriller about a terrorist takeover of a high school in the Midwest and the teacher who stands up to the intruders. It was published by another small press, Heroic Teacher Press, and won the 2011 Silver Award for Thriller of the Year from ReadersFavorite.com and I’m quite proud of it. I’m hoping Blood on the Chesapeake does even better.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Randy: I decided to go again with a small press, The Wild Rose Press. Like most authors, I had hoped to land a strong agent, who in turn could land a contract for the book (or in this case the series) with a major publisher. I did my research and worked the process for about a year. Several agents expressed interest and requested full manuscripts to review, but none ended up making the commitment. I received several emails with “I really like the book, but I’m not in love with it.” So I also did my research on small presses and submitted to a few who I thought might have an interest. Three responded positively and I decided to go with The Wild Rose Press.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Randy: I’ll be happy to share my experience this far—no copies have been sold yet—and, of course, My earlier experience with the small press on my first novel had been quite positive. In deciding for Blood, I had read a number of good reports on TWRP before I submitted to them and had talked to other authors who had been published by TWRP. They had a good reputation in the field, especially with emerging authors, and, for the most part, my experience has borne that out. They have been easy to work with and have been respectful and positive in our interactions. I’ve been especially impressed with the quickness of their responses in communication. In working with other small presses and agents, it was not unusual to wait weeks and even months for a reply, but TWRP has been quick from the first contact. This attention to my numerous questions and queries has been immediate and polite. I’ve even had conversations with the president and the head of marketing. Of course, I get very little support on the promotion and marketing of my novel, but I pretty much expected that. Successful authors at major firms have shared with me that even they receive very little support in marketing any more. So I went out and found a great marketing consultant and hired her to assist my efforts. So far, it’s been good. Stay tuned and ask me in a year. Of course, it goes without mentioning that you have less control over such things as print, cover art, audio versions, etc, when you sign with a publishing company than if you go alone. It’s been a fair trade off in my mind.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Randy: I learned how critically important it is that your manuscript is in the best possible shape it is. Of course, I mean free from errors, typos, misspellings, etc. But it should also be the best from point of view of language, characters, dialogue and plot. Second, authors need to go into publishing recognizing that, in today’s crowded literary landscape, they have to work hard to promote and get there book out there, in order to have any chance at any reader success. One thing I’ve learned from the numerous writing conferences I’ve attended is that there are MANY published authors whose work is quite good and who get barely a notice. (Of course, there are also many writers whose work out there is not very good as well.) The point is that you, as an author, need to get comfortable with working even harder after the novel is published, than you had to do to get it published in the first place.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Randy: Overall, yes. I have friends and colleagues who have gone the self-publishing route and have been quite happy and sometimes successful using that venue. But I’ve been very pleased with my two trips through the publishing world via small press. Overall, TWRP has been easy to work with and their reps have listened to my concerns, even though I didn’t always get the answer I wanted. If an author’s works fit their criteria, I’d suggest they explore this avenue to see if it’s right for them.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Randy: Many writers say that writing is a solitary act, just you and the computer. While I can’t argue with that, I need to add that my writing would never have risen above the minimum without help from outside. I’ve participated in several really good writing conferences—Killer Nashville, Midwest Writers’ Conference, Sluethfest—and have found these experiences invaluable for “priming the pump” and getting me to think beyond my boundaries. Not to mention all the connections I’ve made with fellow writers. But I have found the greatest asset to my writing has been my regular participation in a really great writing group. These fellow writers have been both kind and cruel to my words and my writing has grown as a result.



//////////////
About the book:
Wilshire, Maryland seems like the perfect shore town on the Chesapeake Bay—quiet, scenic, charming—and promises Darrell Henshaw a new start in life and a second chance at love. That is, until he learns the town hides an ugly secret. A thirty-year-old murder in the high school. And a frightening ghost stalking his new office. Burned by an earlier encounter with the spirit world—with the OCD scars to prove it—he does NOT want to get involved. But when the desperate ghost hounds him, Darrell concedes. Assisted by his new love, he follows a trail that leads to the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and even the Klu Klux Klan. Then, when two locals who try to help are murdered, Darrell is forced to decide if he’s willing to risk his life—and the life of the woman he loves—to expose the killers of a young man he never knew.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Book Publishing Secrets with Victoria Landis



Name: Victoria Landis
Book Title: JORDAN
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: BookPainter Press
Find out more on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HWMs5R
Website: www.VictoriaLandis.com  
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?
Victoria: The idea for JORDAN came a few years ago, but its real genesis was when I was little. I fantasized about being able to heal people by touch. Then I thought about today’s viral social media world and how fast things could get crazy if the word got out that someone could do that.
Is this your first book?
Victoria: No. It’s the fourth published one, and I have two additional early novels in ‘a drawer’, never to be seen.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Victoria: It’s Indie published, although I created the BookPainter Press label for it. JORDAN had two New York agents very interested in it, but both ultimately turned it down, because it doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. It’s part thriller, part paranormal, part magical realism. They said they didn’t know how to sell it. Then I had an editor at one of the big five publishers read it. She loved it! And wanted it. But she was downsized shortly after reading it. I tried again with the traditional route, but no one else thought they could market/sell it.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Victoria: I began trying to get traditionally published right as the big publishers were all acquiring other entities. Agents at conferences were saying they got 400 queries a week & they couldn’t keep up. From 2008-2011, my first novel, Blinke It Away, was requested in its entirety by more than a dozen agents. I did politely follow up about six months after sending it each time, but none of them ever got around to reading it. I never even got rejection notices.
It was disheartening, to say the least. I knew the book was good, and I was tired of beating my head against the wall, so I decided to Indie publish it. One of my MWA friends had done so and was making decent money with his.
The industry has changed so much and continues to do so rapidly. I’d love to have one traditionally published, so I’m working on one that is a pure historical thriller—no category problems. But, it will depend on what’s happening in the publishing world when that one’s finished. Watching friends who are traditionally published with smaller imprints that go under is no fun at all. These days, being traditionally published isn’t always a good thing. The mid-list authors have to do just as much work—and spend as much—promoting as I do. So, we’ll see.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Victoria: That who you know makes a huge difference, as it does with any other industry. But that only takes you so far. If the book isn’t good, it doesn’t matter who you know, because the readers won’t recommend it. Word of mouth is everything. If you do have a good book, however, knowing influential people in the industry could make all the difference.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Victoria: Yes, if. If you’ve sent the book through a tough critique group. If you’ve edited and polished it multiple times. If you’ve listened when people who are more experienced point out flaws. If you’re willing to spend the money and time it takes to do it right & present yourself professionally.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Victoria: It isn’t easy. It always takes much longer than you think it will. Write the best book you can. Edit, rewrite, and repeat. Get your ego out of the way, it’ll be your biggest Achille’s heel if you don’t. What your mother or spouse or child or hairdresser tell you about the book doesn’t count. Find other writers/a critique group that will (nicely) tell you the truth. And listen to them.
All this sounds pessimistic, I know, but it really isn’t. The end result is worth it. There is nothing better than having a complete stranger tell you they loved your book and couldn’t put it down.
Thank you so much for having me here!

//////////////
About the book:
When Petra Simmons and her brother, Andy, help a seemingly homeless young woman, it immediately changes their lives forever. Within days, it’s clear the woman, Jordan Crissman, possesses an amazing ability—perhaps the most miraculous ability of all.

They realize in the current world of viral social media, they must be careful.  How best to employ the miracle without causing havoc? They plot a strategy.

Despite their plans, word gets out too fast, and the world comes running—invading and overwhelming South Florida—along with serious danger.

Television talking TV heads pontificate. Pundits opine. Some claim she’s a messiah. Others insist she’s the devil. Massive crowds gather, demanding to see Jordan.  Everyone wants her.  There seems to be nowhere to hide.  Horrible rumors take hold.  Protest groups march and riot. Mass hysteria reigns.

And people are dying.