Thursday, June 18, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with Rie Sheridan Rose @riesheridanrose #books #bookpublishing

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2, and Killing It Softly Vols. 1 and 2. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. These were mostly written in conjunction with Marc Gunn, and can be found on “Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits” and “Pirates vs. Dragons” for the most part–with a few scattered exceptions.

Her favorite work to date is The Conn-Mann Chronicles Steampunk series with five books released so far: The Marvelous Mechanical Man, The Nearly Notorious Nun, The Incredibly Irritating Irishman, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, and The Elderly Earl’s Estate.
Rie lives in Texas with her wonderful husband and several spoiled cat-children.


Website:  and
The Marvelous Mechanical Man is the first book in a Steampunk series featuring the adventures of Josephine Mann, an independent woman in need of a way to pay her rent. She meets Professor Alistair Conn, in need of a lab assistant, and a partnership is created that proves exciting adventure
for both of them.

Alistair’s prize invention is an automaton standing nine feet tall. There’s a bit of a problem though…he can’t quite figure out how to make it move. Jo just might be of help there. Then again, they might not get a chance to find out, as the marvelous mechanical man goes missing.

Jo and Alistair find themselves in the middle of a whirlwind of kidnapping, catnapping, and cross-country chases that involve airships, trains, and a prototype steam car. With a little help from their friends, Herbert Lattimer and Winifred Bond, plots are foiled, inventions are perfected, and a good time is had by all.


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?
Rie: I don’t think there was ever any question in my mind that I would eventually be an author.  From the time I knew what writing was, I wanted to do it. And share it with as many people as possible. I know I was writing poetry by the third grade. Writing this book was mostly a dare for National Novel Writing Month. My writing partner suggested I do it—I think he was supposed to do one as well. I finished mine. I’m still waiting for his.
Is this your first book?
Rie: No. By the time I wrote The Marvelous Mechanical Man, I had at least four other novels in print—one of them completely re-written and re-packaged to become a brand-new book basically—several poetry chapbooks and a short story collection. This one WAS, however, the first time I actually managed to write a sequel. There are now five books in the series, and a spin-off on the way.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Rie: Originally, it was published by a small press in Texas. I chose this route because the publisher was a friend who asked to see the book and was very supportive from the beginning. She did a lot to make the first edition a success—including commissioning the gorgeous cover.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Rie: I think the biggest problem I had with the first edition was that the publisher is probably more of a micro press. She does excellent work, and is one of the best editors I know, but she has a stable of dozens of authors. There was no way she could devote the same resources and time to my book as I could. That’s just the reality of every press. Even the traditional presses don’t offer every author the budget of say Stephen King. As an independent author, I can try as many crazy ideas as I can pay for. And I’ve come up with some doozies. The other problem with small presses is that it is hard to maintain one. I’ve outlived probably a dozen including my first and second publishers back in 2000 when I started.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Rie: I think the main thing I’ve learned from my publishing journey is be flexible, and don’t take anything for granted. Publishers come and go, and even if you are with one of the traditional houses you can be dropped in a minute if your sales start to fall. It isn’t always a matter of talent, either. It is sometimes a matter of luck. Knowing the right people; being in the right place at the right time; making a successful pitch. You never know what might be the piece that catapults you forward to the next level of the journey. One thing I’ve always tried to remember—never burn a bridge. Don’t badmouth other people along the way, or it might come back to haunt you later.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Rie: I wouldn’t have self-published any of my novels if they hadn’t been published by someone else first...until I got to Book Three of my series, that is and stepped into uncharted waters—but by then there is a bit of a following. Otherwise, I look for the validation that someone else is willing to put resources into the project. I never wanted to publish my own work just because it was the only way it would ever be done. Does that make sense? Except poetry. Poetry is hard to find a publisher for. ;)
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Rie: Never quit learning. Read books about writing and apply what works for you. Research if you are writing about a place or time you didn’t live through, or just having a character do something you don’t know how to do yourself. Get feedback—don’t release a child into the world without having several trusted beta readers to tell you what doesn’t work. Revise your first draft. Almost no one is perfect out of the gate. Besides, revision is where the fun starts. Now you know where you are going, you can polish the story till it shines. (This works for any form—short, long, poetry...all of them.)

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