Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Sure. My latest book is The Feast, and it's part of a series of parables written in fiction. Book one is entitled, Conquering Your Goliaths, and begins the journey of Ms. Virginia Bean, and her struggle to overcome after a job loss. Through the power of the five stones; listening, trust, optimism, tenacity and constancy, Virginia is able to overcome her Goliath. In book two, The Feast, Virginia has an even larger obstacle to overcome.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
The first time around I went the traditional route. However, I quickly found that I had little to no control over the book's cover or price. Though I had a great editor, I found that I wanted a more hands-on experience when it came to publishing a book. A few years later, after selling a few copies of my first book, A River of Stones, my brother bought the rights back for me and I began the fascinating journey of self-publishing. Today I'm the owner of Idea Creations Press. I assist other writers to self-publish.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
My writing process usually includes getting up early, writing on my blog, answering emails and then getting down to writing and/or marketing. I find that a strict balance between the two yields the best results, both in sales and sanity.
I use both music and silence, depending on my mood and the mood of the book I'm working on.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I love this question. I really am a "by the seat of my pants" author, but that doesn't mean I don't outline some. With a brief outline I can get started on my book. If I spend too much time on an outline, I never get to my book and am burnt out even before I've begun.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I'm going to make mistakes. I'm going to have to re-vamp. I'm going to learn something. It takes guts to keep going, but in keeping going the sales will come. Connections with writers and readers is important, so is going out on a limb when it comes to marketing. Don't do what everyone else does; try something different and stand out from the crowd!
Writing a book and sending it out to the public isn't easy, no matter the avenue you decide on. I'm glad I ultimately chose self-publishing, because it's given me the freedom to plan and implement my work.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I do all sorts of marketing. Reviews. Interviews. Social Media. YouTube. Book Trailers. Post cards. Book signings. Craft shows. I finally had to get it all organized and put everything into a binder. But it was still a mess, so, yes, I wrote a book. It's called Marketing Your Book on a Budget, and it's updated every year.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Always. But I usually know where I'm at. If I'm feeling overwhelmed with marketing it's usually because it's time to write, and vice versa.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Just go for it. Get all the experience you can writing. Get a good editor. And just write it. Don't dream about it. Just do it.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love to take long walks and long vacations whenever I can. I also enjoy photography and decorating.
What’s next for you?
Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2014. Expect some exciting new stuff come January!