Monday, February 7, 2011

Interview with Dana Taylor

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.  How long did it take you to finish that manuscript?
While I’d been writing in various formats (magazines, scripts), it took being fired as my husband’s legal secretary to finally sit down and start a novel in 2001.  His contentious clients had driven me a little crazy. Writing Ain’t Love Grand? was marvelous therapy and took me about four months.

Did you query agents and traditional publishers?  How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract?
I reviewed the traditional publishers guidelines and realized Ain’t Love Grand? did not fit in any of their boxes.  On a whim, I sent it to a small press (Echelon Press) and it was put under contract on my first marketing attempt.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
Creative freedom and independence.  I’ve been waiting ten years for e-books to finally take off.  I don’t want to write variations on the same book over and over.  I’ve got my out-of-the box romances and my “mystical” books that touch on areas of healing and spirituality. Amazon allows “Indie” authors to publish without consideration to what is “hot” or what will make the most money for a big corporation.

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’ve lately been employing Jaana Baker Photography ( I trust her visual, creative instincts better than mine, so I just give her the gist of the book and let her have at it. The lovely cover she recently came up with for Ever-Flowing Streams: Adventures in Prayer, my next release, came to her in a dream.  The colors are very “high vibration,” though I doubt she knew that.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
That the learning curve never ends!  There’s always another publishing system to conquer, another marketing tool to explore.  It’s really very exciting and utterly daunting.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner publicity for your book(s)?
All of the above, though the blogging is hit-and-miss.  Someone said “Blogging is publishing your first draft.” Ouch! Kindleboards and EbookGab are a couple of popular writing forums. I send out regular newsletters through Constant Contact and utilize AuthorsDen, Bookbuzzr and Scribd.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
I’ve got Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance and Shiny Green Shoes” up at Smashwords.  My paperbacks Ain’t Love Grand? and That Devil Moon are out of print, but still floating around at e-bay and used book stores (and in my closet!)

What is the best advice you can offer new authors?
Don’t rush to publish.  Go through at least five editors, which can be friends and other writers. Make your book the very best it can be.

What’s next for you?
Ever-Flowing Streams: Adventures in Prayer has been in the works for three years.  It’s a combination of memoir and guide to practical prayer. I’ve been involved in alternative medicine and energy healing for many years.  Streams comes out of that experience.