Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Interview with Annie Rachel Cole

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
In Guardian of Atlantis, sixteen-year-old Raven Weir has a somewhat normal life until she receives a mysterious necklace everyone is willing to kill her to get because it contains the key codes to Atlantis. Now she finds she’s the only one standing between Atlantis and those who want to use the power hidden there to take over the world. And Zeus is at the head of that line. On top of worrying about social acceptance at school, Raven has to get control of her growing powers before she harms someone, deal with the alpha Hellhound at school who is attracted to her while members of his pack are trying to kill her, and come to terms with the fact she’s adopted and her biological parents are Medusa and Poseidon.

I just put out a collection of short ghost stories, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
For years I’ve queried agents with little to no luck. I’ve gotten a few requests for partials and a full manuscript request once, but all were rejected.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I don’t belong to a critique group, but I have several readers who give me feedback and suggestions.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
The numerous rejections are one of the things that pushed me toward self-publication. You can only hear “It’s a good story, but…” so many times.  A few months ago, I literally stumbled across Joe Konrath’s blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. As a result of these events, I made the decision to become an Indie Author and take control of my own writing career.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I’ve learned there are people who will cheer for you and then there are those who will try to cut you down. You have to have a tough skin and be optimistic. Book sells aren’t going to immediately happen. You have to build your audience base and that takes time and a lot of hard work.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Guardian of Atlantis is available in ebook and paperback at Barnes and Noble and in paperback at the CreateSpace estore. My newest book, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales is also available in ebook at Barnes and Noble and in paperback at the CreateSpace estore.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Web Page:
I also have an author’s webpage at Amazon and am a member of Goodreads.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I’m used to juggling my writing time with my day job as a public school teacher. Now that I’ve thrown in marketing, it will be an interesting mix. I know it will be a challenge to balance everything, but then things worth doing tend to be difficult. If it’s easy, why do it?

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Don’t give up on your dream. Study your craft. Start a blog and write to begin building an audience. And remember, as much as you enjoy the creative process of writing, publishing what you write is a job.

What’s next for you?
I’m writing the second novel in the Children of Atlantis series. The story picks up just a few weeks after Guardian of Atlantis ends. My goal is to have this book out around the beginning of the new year, and I have an idea for the third book. I’m also working on outlining a trilogy called Fire and Ice. The outline for the first book is almost complete. This trilogy is about a girl who discovers who and what she really is as she learns the truth about fairytales and the Fae. I also have an outline ready for a book about a boy and the problems he has with zombies when one of his ideas goes from bad to really bad.

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