My first book is buried at the bottom of a bookshelf in my office. A few have seen it but there it will stay. My debut novel, Born of Blood, was a blast to write but a wall of negative feedback almost derailed its journey to publication. After some soul searching, I pushed through my edits and submitted it to publishers. The rest, as they say, is history.
Did you query agents and traditional publishers? How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract?
I submitted my first novel to a number of publishers and agents. As you can guess, I received rejections from all of them. To be honest, I deserved to be rejected. I submitted Born of Blood to three publishers and all three requested full manuscripts. Two of the three offered me a contract.
What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
I first met Lea Schizas a few years ago during her annual online writing conference. Shortly after she started MuseItUp Publishing and made a massive splash by winning a number of awards during the first year. I knew of her hard work, dedication, and passion for writing and authors. This is what influenced me to sign with MuseItUp. Once there I saw firsthand Lea’s drive and desire to succeed as a publisher. This matches perfectly with my desire and drive to succeed as an author.
Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will publish directly for Kindle?
Yes, Born of Blood and the sequel are under contract with MuseItUp. I have submitted a third novel of which I am waiting to hear back on. Since MuseItUp is a small publisher they release all books as eBooks first. Many are later published in paperback depending on eBook sales.
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I believe I was very involved in the process. The process started when I completed a form outlining my vision and thoughts for the cover. Once the cover artist started on my cover I was in regular contact with updates. I also provided feedback after the first draft was completed. Granted the final decision belongs to the cover artist but my opinions were included and accounted for.
What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner publicity for your book(s)?
I started a blog, The New Author, five years ago while researching and learning the craft of writing; soon after I joined Twitter (@thenewauthor) and Facebook. I am also on Goodreads. Once I signed my contract I developed my website (www.sb-knight.com) and Facebook Fanpage. Basically I started building my author platform five years ago with my blog and continued from there.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Born of Blood is available on Amazon, Amazon.co.uk, Bookstrand.com, and the MuseItUp Bookstore. It is scheduled to be added to other stores in the near future.
What is the best advice you can offer new authors?
Make goals, have a direction, and drive hard toward them. When you are presented with an obstacle push through it but make sure you stay true to who you are as a writer.
What’s next for you?
I have the pleasure of working with some of the best editors in the business as I start the editing process on the sequel to Born of Blood. I can’t wait to get going. After that I will be working on the cover and hopefully signing a contract for my third novel. I plan to start writing my fourth this fall. I know, that is a long time away but I have enough to keep me busy until then. Trust me, I’ll be more than ready to get to it by that time.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I worked very hard to get two more novels under my belt before the heavy promoting for Born of Blood started. I have one and waiting to hear about the other. That eases the pressure a little as I get my feet under me. It is still difficult which makes time management critical. To add to the schedule I am one of those with a full time job too. The magic two words to remember here…time management!