Nicholas A. White

Clemson University student Nicholas A. White stays plenty busy with classes and university life, but has recently added self-publishing to his resume.  Learn more about his novel, Forever in Carolina, and the multifaceted approach to marketing he is taking.

1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

Jason Wyatt vowed that he would fulfill his deceased brother’s collegiate-football dreams.  Despite a growing number of injuries, he is willing to risk anything, even his health, to uphold that promise.  With recruiting underway and a football future imminent, he meets Riley, a green-eyed beauty, with a haunting and unforgettable past and an overprotective father.

Jason tries to balance young love with football, and as he nears high school graduation, he is confronted with a new set of life-altering obstacles to both.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

Since I am still a student and my schedule isn’t too flexible, I decided that the self-publishing route would be the easiest and most efficient way to get this book out there.

3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?

No, this is my first book.

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C.N. Bring

C.N. Bring writes in the military suspense genre and has stuck to her own style of writing despite pressure from traditional publishers.  Learn why she’s skeptical of Facebook as a marketing tool and why word of mouth is so important to promoting your book.

1. Give me the elevator pitch for your book in five to ten sentences.

Commander Celia Kelly is a perceptive Naval intelligence officer rebuilding her life after the tragic death of her husband.  The suspicious suicide of a fellow officer has Celia questioning the mission she’s been assigned.

With the help of a one of a kind secretary, a by-the-book assistant, and a Navy SEAL, Kelly discovers she’s been set up.  Digging relentlessly, nothing is as it seems.  Someone is after twenty million dollars that disappeared when Kelly’s husband died and now that someone is after her.

2. Why did you become an Indie writer?

I was almost published traditionally, but I was asked to change the story too much.  The series is not a romance, but instead a military mystery, suspense.  The traditional publisher wanted to add a formula romance to the story. Though I wasn’t opposed to changes that might enhance the story, I was against losing my original audience. Truthfully, romance isn’t really my thing.  To be successful, we all have to find our own voice unlike anyone else’s. The hardest part about the business is they (publishers) want a safe sell.  They want a familiar story with a new voice.  It’s the publishing catch-22.  So I started to explore indie publishing.

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Diane Schochet

When Diane Schochet befriended another writer who in turn started her own publishing company, she was able to publish her book and see her literary dreams realized.  Diane talks about her book, the specific marketing tools she uses, and a tip that worked for her son’s book as well.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book.

Cog Stone Dreams is about Dessa and her mystical, magical, humorous love story.  It is about the bow and arrow murder she witnesses, 9,000 years of history she encounters in her dreams, and includes Jewish themes and the perfection, degradation and restoration of wetlands in California.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I’m not an indie writer.  A couple of years ago, I took an online advanced UCLA novel writing class.  A classmate liked my writing.  I liked hers.  We met and became friends.  Then in 2011 she informed me that she was becoming a publisher.  Her deceased aunt, Carol Fenner, had left her literary collection to my friend.  Carol, who had won Newberry awards, a Coretta Scott King award and two other awards, had one book that hadn’t been published.  My classmate decided to publish her book, my Cog Stone Dreams book, and some books that she had written, and opened Red Phoenix Books.

Doctor Claudia Alexander, my publisher at Red Phoenix Books, is a scientist.  She says my genre is environmental fiction.  But I’m not a scientist so I say my book is Jewish magical realism.  (Think Isaac Bashevis Singer.  I’m aiming high.)  However, the environment may be a better selling point.  The story is mostly set on Southern California wetlands.  Amazon.com puts books about wetlands in their Lakes and Ponds category.  Today the Kindle Edition of Cog Stone Dreams is the number 17 bestselling and the number 1 best rated in the Lakes and Pond category.  It has been among the top three Lakes and Ponds book for three months now.

3. Have you been traditionally published?

Yes.  Non-fiction articles in magazines.

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Rozsa Gaston

Rozsa Gaston approaches her writing with energy and a love for life.  She has also invested time in a unique marketing technique involving bookmarks and reverse psychology, and she shares some of her ideas here.

1. Tell me briefly about your books – what are they about and what motivated you to write them?

They’re about self-discovery and self-acceptance.  Paris Adieu, my latest book, has two themes: 1) how to be comfortable in your own skin and 2) how to fake it till you make it.  Paris Adieu’s heroine, Ava Fodor, is clueless about both at the start of the book.  By the end, she’s figured out a thing or two – thanks to the insights living in Paris has given her.  Ava studies French women, French food, French attitude – while French men study her.  By the end of Paris Adieu, she’s more or less transformed herself into the woman she wants to be.  And if she hasn’t entirely, at least she’s learned how to fake it till she makes it.  But where to take her act?  Back to New York, of course, where Ava grasps that her newfound sense of self will work for her in a way it never will if she stays in Paris.  After all, she’s not French.  What she is, is fabulous.  I’m still working on both themes.

2. How have your sales been?

Slouching toward fabulous, darling.  Why do you think I’m doing this interview?

3. Have you sought a traditional publisher?

I have and will continue to seek one.  In the meantime, I want to spend my time writing books, and sharing with like-minded people in cyberspace – which means all over the world – instead of sending out query letters that never get a response.  No interaction dulls my interest.

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