Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blog Tour Stop: Donna Burgess

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
“Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale” the story of Susan Archer, a jaded cop with a haunted past. After being shot in the line of duty, she is rescued by Devin, a “deathwalker,” which is a type of vampire. The story unfolds when Devin’s old nemesis, a former Nazi-turned vampire-hunter named Kasper, shows up to even the score.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did. I received some great feedback and a couple of near-misses. So, I knew I was on the right track. But, after about eight months of querying and waiting, I decided to go the indie route.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t, but I have taken some creative writing courses at a local university—mostly to meet other writers in my area. Sharing definitely helps improve my writing. Aside from that, I was with for a while. Highly recommended, but I just don’t have the time lately.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
J.A. Konrath’s blog, mainly. Then I began to read more and more success stories. I’ve run my own little indie publisher, Naked Snake Press, for about ten years, but had rarely published my own work. Now that the stigma of self-publishing has vanished, I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I just hired Lynn O’Dell to proof “Darklands.” I just wish I had done this before the initial release of the book. I’ll definitely be using an editor before any future releases.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Hire an editor!  Also, I have also discovered how awesome and encouraging the indie community is.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
I also use Pubit! From Barnes and Noble, Fictionwise, Smashwords and Omnilit.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I’m currently doing a blog tour. Other than that, I tweet a little, post links at Facebook and visit various forums and messageboards from time to time.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
At first, I did. But now that I am satisfied that the book is selling pretty well, I am devoting more time to getting that next novel out. I think a body of work is just as, if not more, important as constant promotion.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Write a good book, mainly. Get it proofed. Try to design an interesting cover. And keep in mind that nothing is set in stone with self-publishing, especially with e-books. Tweaking the cover, the description, keywords, etc. helps, also. Set a reasonable price.

What’s next for you?
I just wish I had more hours in the day to write! I am currently working on a vampire/end of the world novel. Plus, I am outlining a young adult dark comedy involving zombies. I am also thinking of doing a non-fiction project.