Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
This book is the story of a little girl who through a childhood full of struggles, hardships and pain had a dream. That dream was to someday become a hairdresser. Follow her as she trades her dollies in for the real thing. This is the diary of a hairdresser who had a calling and a great memory. It is filled with stories of pain, sadness, gossip, angst, triumph, challenge and most of all, humor. This is more than just an ordinary book of hairdressing stories. There are times I will jog our memory and lessons to be learned. You will read things about hairdressing you may have never imagined. You might even look at your hairdresser in a whole new light after reading this book. Come sit in my virtual chair and enjoy the ride.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
No I didn't go that route. I did have the opportunity to use two self, vanity publishers but decided after further investigation not to. I do have a query letter ready but have not used it.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
I decided to use Amazon for financial and time reasons. Most of my family had gadgets to download from the internet to read and used Amazon to do that. Also I didn't want to wait years to try to find a traditional publisher. I had read so many stories of great authors being rejected time and time again. I felt I had a story everyone should read and I wanted it available for that reason.
What is your writing process?
My book is about me so there was not much preparing to do. Other than making sure the dates and places were correct. I just wrote my experiences from memory. It was amazing how things flooded back to me as I started typing. Some things I had thought I had forgotten.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
One of the problems with being a first time author is not knowing what you must do or to what extent. I had my book edited 5 times and was sure it was perfect. I was out of school and working by the time I was sixteen I had no reason to worry about grammar or punctuation. So I had others do that portion for me.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I have learned to edit, edit and edit again. That there are many wonderful people out there in the writing world that are willing to share their talents, advice and help. That the only way to get your book known is to market yourself. I have over my 67 years sold a lot of home based products and was exceptional at it but selling myself was a lot harder. It is worth all the trouble and work though. I was under the impression that if you told people you self published they would shy away from your book I have found the opposite is true. They shy away from the vanity published authors at least that is my finding.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My books are also available at LULU.com. and Facebook e book store.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I would tell these new authors that they must be willing to market. I make business cards, bookmarks, posters, and do book signings. I go to the local book stores and ask to have my books featured in their store. As a matter of fact I talk to everyone who will listen. I am lucky I have a book that everyone no matter who they are can relate to. There are several salons that carry my book as well. With a title 'A Hairdresser's Diary' you can see why.
I would tell new authors that the experience is amazing and well worth the time and effort.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I am also a self-taught artist. I taught myself to paint as a way to deal with daily chronic pain. I also am a poet and have a book 'Versify' on Amazon
What’s next for you?
I am now writing the sequel to 'A Hairdresser's Diary'. It is amazing how many people I know are asking if they will be in this book . I am honored to have them ask.