Sunday, August 7, 2022

Book Publishing Secrets with Jeanette Baker #books #bookpublishing

Jeanette Baker is the award-winning author of twenty paranormal, historical and contemporary novels, most of them set in the lush countryside of Southwest Ireland where she lives with her husband and writes during the “Seasons of Silence,” the autumn and winter months. Her ancestors, the O’Flahertys, hail from the counties of Kerry and Galway. She takes great pride in the prayer posted by the English over the ancient city gates, “From the wrath of the O’Flahertys, may the good Lord deliver us.”

Jeanette spent many years teaching 6th grade in a small school nestled under a canopy of Eucalyptus trees where the children consistently surprised her with their wisdom, their hopefulness and their enthusiasm for great stories. Currently, she enjoys the company of her own grown children and her precious grandchildren.

Jeanette graduated from the University of California at Irvine and holds a Master’s Degree in Education.

She is the Rita award-winning author of NELL.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Birthright.

You can visit her website at www.JeanetteBaker.com  or connect with her on Facebook.



Two women on a course to confront the past, one to expose its secrets, the other to bury them. 

Claire Williams travels halfway across the globe from Southern California to Ireland to find the mother who gave her up and the questions that need answering. Norah O’Connor is equally determined to avoid revisiting the most shameful time of her life and the devastating decisions she was forced to make.

Claire’s presence fifty years later is the engine for the confrontations to come when neighbors Norah has known forever recognize Claire’s resemblance to a younger sister. Norah must face the man who fathered both her daughters, and decide to either hold the secrets that continue to embitter her or release them for the shame that will surely mark her.

“Jeanette Baker’s award winning novels have earned her a place in the paranormal genre beside giants such as Barbara Erskine and Kristin Hannah. Now she brings her unique writing style and compelling characters to the stage of contemporary Ireland, sharing a world as alluring as its secrets are opaque.”
Lauren Royal, New York Times and USA Bestselling Author.

“Gorgeously descriptive and unforgettably moving, Baker’s novel is a wondrous journey of the heart.” 

—Candi Sary, author of Magdalena 

Birthright will find a welcome place in any library strong in stories of mother/daughter relationships, Irish culture, and the special conundrums faced by adult children who seek answers to the decisions their birth parents made.”

Diane Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Information

Release Date: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Top Reads Publishing LLC

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1970107296; 254 pages; $16.99; eBook $4.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HJjpzA 

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3tTpSlU 

πŸ“™ 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?

Jeanette: I’ve always loved to read and to write stories. Every summer my parents would take us on a road trip from California to Boston, MA to visit our relatives. Those were days without air-conditioning and all vinyl seats that would stick to our legs and backs. I’ll never forget driving to Oklahoma which has to be the hottest most humid state in America. My respite would be to look out the window and create a story in my mind. Those stories saved me on our heated trips but they also served another purpose. I was actually quite good at story-telling and my grades in English, creative writing and history were outstanding. My mother was quite concerned about my lack of interest in chemistry and biology because those were real subjects according to her. However, she was incredibly proud when my first book was accepted for publication.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Jeanette: This is my twentieth book.


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

Jeanette: Another author recommended hybrid publishing, and that’s when I found Top Reads Publishing—an indie, boutique hybrid publisher.

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

Jeanette:  I started out writing paranormals, time-travel type novels with Pocket Books. Then, after a while, I wanted to branch out. I began writing Irish contemporaries and American contemporaries for Mira Books. Large publishing houses were going out of business at the time, so I took a breather and tried self-publishing. I’m not well-versed in promotion, so that didn’t work for me. That’s when I was introduced to Teri Rider at Top Reads, and here I am.

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

Jeanette: Publishing is not for everyone. Authors who are readers first have a much better chance of success in publishing their novels than those who aren’t. It’s important for those contemplating publishing as a career to read books in the genres they would like to write. Computer aptitude is also essential.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Jeanette: Yes.


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

Jeanette: Attend conferences, read genres of interest, keep your day job, and join writing groups.



Book Publishing Secrets with Palmer Pickering #books #bookpublishing

Palmer Pickering has been writing fiction since she was eight. She received her BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University, with concentrations in Religion and Race Relations.

She currently works in Silicon Valley in the gaming industry and high tech. In addition, Palmer holds a certificate in Chinese Acupressure, is a certified solar panel installer, and studied Tibetan Buddhism with the 14th Dalai Lama.

She lives and writes in the magical redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.

Her latest book is the scifi fantasy for adults, Moon Deeds: Star Children Saga Book One.

You can visit her website at www.MythologyPress.com or connect with her on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest.




“The path to power is cloaked in shadows, so if you avoid all the shadows, you’ll never learn anything.”

It’s 2090: the last outpost of freedom is the moon, the best defense against technology is magic, and the only hope for humankind rests in the hands of the Star Children.

Twins Cassidy and Torr must save Earth from a ruthless enemy at a time when the only force more powerful than alien technology is magic. Moon Deeds launches the siblings’ journey across the galaxy, where they must learn their power as the Star Children, claim their shamanic heritage, and battle dark forces that threaten humankind.

The Star Children Saga follows Cassidy and Torr as they slowly awaken to their destiny as the twin Star Children, born every millennium to reconnect with the source of all life. They come to discover the sheer enormity of their task: to find our ancestors on a lost planet across the galaxy and save humanity from a spiraling descent into darkness. The powers they must wield to accomplish this task are truly frightening and put at risk everything they love.

Come along with twenty-year-old twins Cassidy and Torr, who inherited deeds to land parcels on the moon. They want to use their moon deeds to get off Earth and escape a brutal dictatorship. But first they must unlock their shaman powers.

A rollicking yet poignant adventure in the not too distant future, when we have colonized the moon and nearly lost Earth to a dictatorship. Only the shamans remain free, plus the lucky ones who escaped to the moon.

Join the adventure! An addictive space opera, science-fantasy series.

“This is a marvelous book. The characters are compelling, complex, and emotional. The future described is neither all evil nor all good, and it’s described so realistically that I can still feel the moon dust in my nose and expect to see large packing containers around every corner. The text is delightfully written with none of the bad grammar that makes picky people like me wince even in an otherwise great story. Alas, this is just the first book of the series, and it appears I’ll have to wait a whole year for the next one. I really need to know *now* what happens next!” – Garden Reader

“I was totally captivated by this story. It is set just far enough into our future that I could see it all unfold. This tale has it all, mystery, magic, aliens, war, family, friendship and love. The authors ability to paint landscapes with words is amazing! I can not wait for book two to come out. I must know the fate of the Star Children!” – VR

“Anything dealing with the moon is almost immediately mystical and magical. Throw in a heart racing adventure and characters that will leave a mark on your heart and you have a masterpiece!” – Taylor Johnson (Educator, Netgalley)

“I found this novel to be as much a psychological thriller as it is a science fiction adventure, and the draw-in happens almost instantly. This is unquestionably one of the best books I’ve read this year and Pickering has roped in an entire family as new fans. I’d give Moon Deeds a whole bucket of stars if I could.” – Asher Syed (Readers’ Favorite)

“There is so much to love about this book, from its complex and intricately woven plot filled with tension, strife, and discovery, to the personal attachment you begin to build with the characters due to finely executed character building, engaging personalities, and difficulties in both moral dilemmas and situations. The pace is perfect to build tension, and I loved the length of this book.” – K.J. Simmill (Readers’ Favorite)

Book Information

Release Date: May 25, 2019

Publisher: Mythology Press

Soft Cover: ISBN: ‎ 978-1732568808; 598 pages; $21.99; E-Book, $.99; Audiobook, FREE.

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt13Js_M-P4

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uKWq2o

Barnes & Noble:  https://bit.ly/3rQteFx

πŸ“™ 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?

Palmer: I always wrote stories, ever since I was a young child. I love reading, and being an author was always my life’s goal. With Moon Deeds, I decided to write in the genre I most like to read, which is speculative fiction.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Palmer: Moon Deeds is my first published book. I recently released its sequel, Light Fighters. They are the first books of the Star Children Saga, a series which will be several books long. I completed another book before Moon Deeds, but haven’t done the work to publish it. 

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

Palmer:  I self-published under my Indie imprint, Mythology Press. I decided to self-publish after many years of unsuccessfully courting agents and the traditional publishers. I have a professional background in publishing, so I understand the process, and finally just decided to do it myself. 

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

Palmer: The pros of self-publishing are many, especially now, and especially in genre fiction, where half of all books sold are now self-published. 

The self-publishing industry has evolved drastically in the past ten years, offering tools and communities that rival those of traditional publishers. By that I mean, authors can now desktop publish on a normal computer, no longer relying on typesetters. They can print-on-demand, avoiding the costly investment of a large print run. They can publish ebooks. Many companies and organizations support self-published authors now, from desktop publishing tools, to distribution networks, to publicists, to bloggers (like yourself), to competitions. 

A biggest advantage to self-publishing is the control you have over the creative process and all aspects of publishing. No one dictates what content to write or cut, what the page count must be, what cover art to use, or when and how to publish your work.

On the other hand, the biggest advantages of traditional publishers are their professional editorial teams, the quality controls built into their process, their brand name, and immediate access to the big conventions and awards. Traditional publishers do large print runs, resulting in lower prices than print-on-demand. Most important of all, in my opinion, they have the ability to get printed books in brick-and-mortar bookstores, something that is nearly impossible to do for indies, aside from consignment at small bookstores. Unless you’ve already established a huge following as an indie, most bookstores simply don’t want to give up shelf space or take the risk of carrying a book that might not sell, even if you distribute via one of the big distributors and accept returns.

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

Palmer: I’ve been at this for a few years now, and a recent revelation is the importance of community. There is a large network of authors, reviewers, bloggers, and avid readers who participate in online book clubs, blogs, Discord channels, Facebook groups, Twitter, Reddit, etc. I recommend joining some of these and developing relationships. Do author swaps, where you read each other’s books and support each with feedback and reviews. Do buddy reads. Engage in discussions about other books. Volunteer at conventions. Sign up to speak on panels. Be a part of the community.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Palmer: Yes, I definitely would. I’ve found self-publishing to be immensely gratifying. It sounds clichΓ©, but it’s really all about the journey—enjoying the process of writing and editing, working with editors and artists, and supporting others on their journey.


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

Palmer: For aspiring writers, you must write. Don’t think about it, or plan, or wish, just sit down and put words on paper. Every day if you can. The stories don’t have to be good, just start with anything that you find fun to write. Writing is a craft and takes a ton of practice. 

For aspiring authors (those who have finished stories but haven’t published), I recommend first hiring editors, or swapping editing and beta reading with others. (Side note: For novels, I recommend that your book is actually finished before you start querying. For unknown fiction authors, it’s very rare to get a book deal on spec.) Give the finished work to beta readers and then talk to them about their impressions, to make sure what you intended to convey actually worked. Then, when you are confident that your work is ready, try to find an agent for a couple of years (yes, years), and in that time also submit your manuscript to those who accept unsolicited works, since they often sit in a slush pile for a while. After that, if you are proud of your work and have received positive feedback from others, then try self-publishing. While all that is going on, write your next book!


Sunday, June 26, 2022

Book Publishing Secrets with Lisa King #books #bookpublishing

Lisa King is a Canadian fiction author and researcher whose work on veteran mental health has been published in numerous academic journals. She holds degrees in psychology and neuroscience, both from Western University. Aside from writing, she enjoys family outings, ample coffee, and unapologetic napping. She lives in London, Ontario with her husband, daughter, and wonky-eyed cat.

Her latest book is the adult science fiction/psychological thriller, Blue Haven.

You can vist her website at www.AuthorLisaKing.com or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.



Welcome to Blue Haven, the world’s most lucrative condo corporation—so exclusive that only five lucky residents live in this lush, tropical paradise, housed in a top-secret location.

Among them is twenty-five-year-old Aloe Malone, an introvert and former waitress who traded bussing tables for lengthy sleep-ins, ocean dips, Michelin-star restaurants, spectacular sunsets, and unlikely new friends—all thanks to a spurious lottery win.

Life’s good.

Damn good.

That is, until Aloe discovers a journal.

Seemingly left by a past resident named Eloise whose entries are both sad and evoking, Aloe quickly suspects there’s more to Blue Haven than meets the eye.

Her suspicions are confirmed when visions arise, gruesome hallucinations she can’t understand, followed by a strange yet familiar man lurking in places he shouldn’t. Something’s wrong. Or maybe it’s all in her head. Regardless, she vows to uncover the truth.

Except someone wants to keep her quiet, and it’s the last person she ever suspected.

Blue Haven is a science-fiction thriller that explores what innovation can achieve—and destroy—despite the best intentions. King’s imaginative world building and use of moral ambiguity make this page-turning novel a thought-provoking thrill that’s impossible to put down.

Book Information

Release Date: May 31, 2022

Publisher:  The Story Plant

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1611883206; 336 pages; $26.95; E-Book, $7.49

Book Trailer https://youtu.be/DgnqxcZLRcg

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3LVsZB0

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3waPpHv  

Indigo: https://bit.ly/3MWRayO

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781611883206

Book Depository: https://bit.ly/3kNK4kk

πŸ“™ 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?

Lisa: Thanks for having me! I don’t think becoming an author was ever something I thoughtfully considered; more so, I’ve always loved to write, and penning a novel seemed like an enjoyable challenge. I gave it a whirl (and have kept whirling, years later).  

Interestingly, Blue Haven was the first book I ever attempted, some thirteen-years back—which went terribly, and so began a decade-long hiatus that only recently ended when I decided to finally finish what I started, for good. 

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Lisa: Blue Haven is my second published novel. My first book, Vanishing Hour, came out in 2020, just in time for a worldwide pandemic. 


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

Lisa: My publishing house, The Story Plant, is a small-press shop. It was my literary agent (Travis Pennington at The Knight Agency) who guided me here initially. I like the intimacy of small-press, the increased autonomy, and the philosophy of The Story Plant specifically: their dedication to authors and interest in developing new voices. Founding editor, Lou Aronica, is also an author himself, so I feel like he really gets it.  

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

Lisa: My journey to publication definitely wasn’t overnight. I wrote a few unfinished manuscripts in my early twenties (Blue Haven being one), then completed a full manuscript by the time I was twenty-five, which remained unagented after a handful of queries (before I realized querying was usually more than just, you know, a few attempts). I started writing Vanishing Hour in my late twenties, finished it by thirty, and got extremely lucky with Travis during my first round of querying. Still, we worked on pitching and editing Vanishing Hour for years before it found a home at The Story Plant. 

The biggest con, in my opinion, is time. Everything takes time, and that’s something I didn’t realize as an aspiring author. If you want to pursue traditional publishing, there’s the monumental task of actually writing the book, then comes finding an agent, subbing with editors, selling the book, and many rounds of editing before it’s published. Each of these steps can be extraordinarily time consuming. That said, I’ve learned so much over the past decade about writing and myself, and I’m not sure if any of that can be properly rushed. 

Biggest pro? I’m doing something that I love. 

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

Lisa: For me personally, patience and perseverance. Determination will get you where you want to go, it just might take a little (or a lot) longer than you think. To quote Dory from Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”  

What I’ve learned about the publishing industry as a whole, is that it’s hard. I mean, you’re walking into a ruthless and rejection-forward space … voluntarily. But there are more opportunities now for aspiring authors than ever before—especially with the number of indie options and small-press houses that accept manuscripts without representation.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Lisa: Yes, definitely!


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

Lisa: Don’t give up! And you will want to, at some point (see “ruthless and rejection-forward space,” above). There’s a reason you started writing: you enjoy it, and you have something to say. Focus on the why behind the words—get swept into a story, learn something, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Because if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point?


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Book Publishing Secrets with Cheryl Carpinello #books #bookpublishing

Cheryl Carpinello taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. Her success with readers aged 8-16 led her to reach out to the youngest of readers and those readers just starting out. Revising stories she had written for her own children, she created Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales for ages 4-7.  Her four grandchildren’s conversations created the stories in Book 3 of this series.

Visit her on Twitter and Facebook.



Grandma and Grandpa’s Tales books 1-3 encourage early readers with fun stories incorporating difference aspects of nature. Book 1, Wild Creatures In My Neighborhood and What if I Went to the Circus, explores the wildlife around neighborhoods and introduces decision-making. Book 2Singers of Songs and The Not Too Stubborn Humpback, explores a common, but not so common insect, and lets readers see that being stubborn isn’t always good. Book 3Vampires in the Backyard and A Fish Tale, introduces readers to an extended metaphor and lets them decide if the fish story is real.

πŸ“™ 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?

Cheryl: As a teacher, my work with readers, reluctant readers, and non-readers at the high school level fueled my interest in writing stories for elementary/middle school students (ages 8/9-15) in hopes of catching the reluctant readers and non-readers early in their schooling. My vehicles for these stories are Arthurian Legend and the Ancient Worlds. My high school students loved these, even those who didn’t like to read. However, I realized that there were important age groups that I was not reaching, mainly preschoolers and beginning readers.

Finding some short stories I had written many years earlier, I decided to turn these into picture books for a new series: Grandma’s Tales. Now this series has expanded into three books containing two stories each. Each of the books also come with either a Grandma or Grandpa on the cover.

πŸ“™ Is this your first book?

Cheryl: No. In addition to this series, I have my Guinevere Trilogy (Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend; Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend; and Guinevere: The Legend) and the stand alone The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table). These are all set in the days of King Arthur. My ancient Egyptian tales are the time travel adventure Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhamen Speaks. I have a new series coming out in June 2022, which features Rosa (Sphinx) and her cousin Jerome. The first book in the Feathers of the Phoenix series is The Atlantean Horse. This series will meld the ancient/modern worlds in a race to find the five feathers of the Phoenix to raise Atlantis.


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

Cheryl: I’m an Indie Author, but I publish with Silver Quill Publishing out of England. Silver Quill is an author consortium consisting of 12 authors from England and Europe. I’m the only one from the US. I’ve also published through a small press in Canada. The traditional publishing route was 1-2 years from acceptance to print. Too long for my goals of reaching young readers.


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

Cheryl: An Indie author from the from the beginning (2009), I thrive in this environment. My writing goal of getting books into the hands of beginning/young readers remains the same. Traditional publishing, when I first started, took 1-2 years for a book to be available to the public. I didn’t want to wait that long. My first few years saw potential readers questioning whether I was self-published. Now with many popular traditionally-published authors choosing to publish their books via the Indie author platform, the public perception has changed to be more positive.

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

Cheryl: Over my 13 years as an Indie author, I’ve seen several significant changes. As I mentioned above, many first-time authors are choosing the self-publishing route as their road map to print. Out of these authors, an overwhelming number have chosen to take their writing to a higher level by spending the time and money to have their books done right.

πŸ“™Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Cheryl: Being an Indie author is not for the faint-hearted. Indies take great pride not only in their writing, but also in the presentation of that writing. True Indie authors spend a lot of their money on editing, layout, covers, and publishing to make sure their books are professionally presented. Covers typically run from $300 USD to $899 USD. Editing and layout can often run from $250 USD to $500 USD.


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

Cheryl: My advice to aspiring authors is not to get bogged down on any one book. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to tell a story. Close down that critical side of your brain, let your creative side tell the story, and enjoy what you’re doing.