Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blog Tour Stop: Dawn Judd

I’m pleased to welcome Dawn Judd to the blog today.  She’s stopping by on her blog tour and has graciously offered to answer a few questions.  Welcome Dawn. 

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.  How long did it take you to finish that manuscript?
My first book took over a year to write.  It was originally supposed to be a story for my daughters, so I didn’t have any clear-cut plan for it.  At one point I almost stopped writing it.  Even after I finished it, I wasn’t thinking about publishing it.  A friend encouraged me to look into it.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents or publishers?
No, I have not.  When I first self-published it, I was still thinking it was just for my daughters and their friends.  I wasn’t real serious about getting the book out there.  Somehow I wound up in the 2009 ABNA contest, and that’s what got me excited about really doing something with it.  Of course, at the time, I couldn’t because I was obligated to give Penguin the first choice until the contest was over.  During the course of the contest, I did a lot of reading up on traditional vs. indie and came to the conclusion that I really wanted to be an indie author.  It'’ a choice I do not regret at all.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
At first, some of the authors participating in the ABNA contest convinced me to give it a try.  Once I did it, I realized that was where I would find success.  It’s cost effective, becoming more popular with readers, and I’ve outsold my paperbacks 4 to 1.

Did you design your cover art?  If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information? How involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I designed the first cover, which I loved.  But eventually decided that as pretty as it was, it didn’t really give the reader any idea of what the book was about.  I went to Ronnell Porter, who does such wonderful work, to see if he had a better idea and he had my design back to me in a matter of minutes.  (Having just read my book the week before, the design was already in the works before I even asked)  The new cover fits the story perfectly.  The old cover had sentimental value, though, so it is still part of the book and can be found on the back cover.  Ronnell’s site:

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
It is not something you can do on your own.  It takes teamwork to be successful.  I learned early on that other authors are not competition, but instead allies.  I also learned that while it is a lot of work that seems to never end, it is also the most satisfying work I’ve ever done.  At the end of the day, I feel like I did something important. 

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
They are available to order through Barnes & Noble.  I’ve yet to make the ebooks available there, but am working on it.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I try to use whatever is available.  (I’ll admit, I’m horrible with Twitter)  I have blogs, websites, and fan pages through facebook and myspace.  I run the Breakout Books page as well as the review board that’s tied to it.  I think exposure is key to being successful, so I try to be seen as much as possible.
Reining In Facebook Page:

What’s next for you?
I have a few projects in the works.  Of course there is the 3rd book in the Network series.  I am also planning on writing a short story for the Red Adept contest.  I am currently working on a series with a group of authors.  We’re hoping to have the entire set completed by April.  Altogether, I have about six books I hope to complete by the end of 2011.  It’s a very ambitious goal considering my first two books each took over a year to complete.
Breakout Books Reviews: