Monday, August 15, 2011

Interview with Melody Scott

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
Auraria Dead is a real estate mystery/romantic/cozy with a twist.  It involves gold mines, Cherokee Indians, crazy relatives and a bit of romance.   When two realtors go to see a property they want to sell and fall into a gold mine shaft, they find a skeleton wearing an ex-husband’s coat.  To put her mind at rest, the protagonist tries to contact her ex, but a little child answers the phone.  Meanwhile, the man she’s involved with seems to be using her, she’s trying to make a buck and her real estate partner is undermining their deal.  Her cousin won’t keep her clothes on and her father isn’t who she’s thought he was for almost forty years.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I’ve been writing books for 16 years.  I stopped counting submissions to agents and publishers after sixty-eight of them either didn’t answer at all or sent pre-printed rejections.  Eventually two actually said they wanted the book, but then went out of business before printing.

Do you belong to a critique group?
Have they helped improve your writing? I’ve been with five critique groups to date.  The perfect crit group for me would be all mystery writers because of pacing and genre specific situations. However, any help with writing is very beneficial.  Crit groups catch glaring errors you should have caught yourself.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
Mine is not self published, I lucked out and finally attracted a small publisher at a mystery seminar.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I think editing is critical.  However, I paid an editor to review another of my manuscripts and was not happy when the voice was lost.  My publisher did my most critical editing.  And this was after I had edited it for years!  I don’t think you can do it yourself.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
 Barnes and Noble and on request from any bookstore.  I have several on consignment with small bookstores.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)? 
I am on facebook but am not happy with the results for my book.  Mostly I think bookclubs are my best marketing tool.   so far signings haven’t been much of a draw.  I am a realtor so since my book has a lot of real estate in it, I hope to establish a market with realtors soon.  It’s only been published for six weeks.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Definitely.  It’s hard to do both at the same time and keeps focus scattered.  But I’m beginning to schedule better.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I’d say any new author needs to belong to many groups that they’ll be able to market to when the time comes.  The wider the base, the more potential for sales.  Relationships go a long way with marketing, and people love to know an author.

What’s next for you?
My books are intended as a series, so I’ll keep writing them.  I’m not sure how I will publish next time.  I don’t like the idea of only an ebook because so many people in my target audience still like paper.  And people love personal autographs.  However, it may not be possible to keep or attract a paper publisher.  So we’ll see what happens.

Author Bio:
Melody Scott was born in San Diego, and graduated from Cal Poly in Pomona, California, After marrying and moving to Cumming, Georgia, she became enamored of the land and obtained her Georgia Real Estate license in 1978.  Buying and selling, moving and investing became a way of life until she was drawn to write novels about the land, the history of which still holds a mystique for her.

Today she belongs to the Board of Realtors, Chamber of Commerce, two writing groups, a book club, Sisters In Crime, and Southeastern Mystery Writers of America.