Coral McCallum

Coral McCallum has worked hard to develop her indie author brand. Read more about the importance of social media and which marketing methods don’t work well.

1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

It’s been about eighteen months since we last spoke. Back then I was working on book four in the Silver Lake series. Now, I’m just about to finish the first draft of book five, the final book in the series, Long Shadows. It’s due to be released early in 2021.

I decided five was more than enough volumes in the one series. As an indie author, it is
getting harder and harder to promote each book. Unless the reader is already invested in the characters, it’s tough trying to get someone on board by books four and five. I also wanted the story to still feel fresh and not just be repeating the same patterns. While Long Shadows will be the last in the Silver Lake series, it won’t be the last my readers hear from the characters….well, some of them.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales are still low volume. However, they are still ticking over and I’m still getting some royalties on a monthly basis.

3. You’ve chosen self-publishing.  How have you liked it so far?  Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.

I publish via KDP through Amazon and honestly can’t complain. You see folks online criticizing it but I’ve had no issues. I was somewhat concerned when they merged Create Space into KDP, but so far so good. I love their templates especially for cover layout. That’s probably the most frustrating part of the process as the assessment criteria seems a little inconsistent at times. One day it will accept the lay out then you change a couple of words on the back cover and the next day it rejects the whole lot! Continue reading

Ken La Salle

Ken La Salle is active on a variety of artistic fronts, and his book, Climbing Maya, premiers today from Solstice Publishing.  Ken recounts his journey to self-publishing, recommends some vendors he’s used, and points out which methods you should avoid in your marketing.

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

Climbing Maya asks the question: “What is success?” and doesn’t let go until it has the answer.  Is it fame?  Is it family?  Do the old answers of career and money really hold up?  How can we have one word for something that means so many things?  How is it the dictionary gets it wrong?  When I lost my job, I looked to one friend taking care of his dying wife and another friend killing himself with alcohol, and decided to find the answer.  Climbing Maya weaves my search for an answer in the storyline of what happened to my friends and myself as we came to terms with this pivotal question.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I certainly did not become an indie writer out of any choice.  As a matter of fact, I’ve always pushed marketability and accessibility in my work.  I thought those two goals would help me find the mainstream.  As it turned out, however, they had little to do with it.

When I first conceived of Climbing Maya, of writing a book about success, I was unemployed and trying to think of ways I might be able to sell my writing.  I sat with my wife one night and said, “I could write a horror novel or I could write a philosophical memoir on success.”  You know, I wanted to give her clear choices.  Not surprisingly, my wife who is an incredible supporter and friend said, “Write what you want to write.”  So, I wrote Climbing Maya.  I later went back and wrote the horror novel, a zombie book called Wormfood Island.

Wormfood Island was picked up by Northern Frights Publishing, a small publisher out of Canada that is run by one of the best guys around.  Unfortunately, Northern Frights had to exist in a rotten economy and Wormfood Island did not come to pass, which hurt a great deal because I thought the horror novel would be the most marketable.  Around this time, I had a lot of my writer friends tell me I should be self-publishing.  You know, get on the digital bandwagon.  While I felt (and still feel) that mass exposure through a larger venue is the way to go, I knew there was some work that I could release myself, work that might have been too far from the mainstream for some and other work that I hadn’t considered approaching a publisher with, such as my compilations.

In the same month that Northern Frights had to back away from Wormfood Island, I got word from the woman who is now my agent about how much she loved Climbing Maya Climbing Maya is now being published by Solstice Publishing.

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Linda Mitchell

Linda Mitchell brings history to life with her collection of Depression-era notes that give a glimpse into the everyday lives of ordinary Americans. She discusses marketing for her niche genre and offers numerous suggestions for getting your work out there.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

“Dear Miss Schneider, Please Excuse Walter…”  takes you on a journey using a variety of notes, written during the Great Depression years of 1937-1940, as stepping stones.  It was during those years in Newport, KY, that third grade teacher Miss Schneider began collecting the written excuses the mothers of her students sent in as to why their children were absent from school.

These humble, heartfelt and often humorous notes, which give us a glimpse into the lives of these families, have been cloistered in a scrapbook for over 70 years.  Enjoy, as well, the history of Miss Schneider’s life, as pages of photos and memorabilia guide you through the years.

It was a lifetime ago.  Their story has been waiting to be told.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

My book started out as a personal project to preserve the aged and deteriorating notes in my mother’s scrapbook.  I wanted to create a keepsake for my children and grandchildren.  But as it evolved, I knew that it was becoming something that others would enjoy.  So the “project” actually motivated me to become an indie writer.

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

No. This is my first experience publishing.  I felt my book had a specific and perhaps a limited niche.  And because it was about my family I wanted to have complete control of it.

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Kathi Holmes

After Kathi Holmes was paralyzed, she turned her recovery experience into an inspirational story, I Stand With Courage: One Woman’s Journey to Conquer Paralysis.  Kathi explains how instead of relying heavily on social media, she reached out first to local venues.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

Was it a miracle, God-given determination, or both, that lifted Kathi from the paralysis that blindsided her, confining her to a wheelchair?

No one wants to face such a life-changing health crisis, but Kathi takes us on her journey of creating a new life with a disability.  With a husband also hospitalized, she is alone in her battle.  A rehab center becomes her home while she searches for strength of body—and mind.

See how acceptance, determination, courage, and faith can overcome the challenges of everyday life.

Reading about her progress, you realize she is just like you—an ordinary person who accepts and achieves the challenge to accomplish extraordinary feats, inspiring us by her power of faith and determination.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Family, friends and acquaintances told me how my determination was motivating to them.  I wanted to share a story of inspiration and hope to others facing live challenges.

3. You have not been traditionally published.  Why?

I chose self-publishing because I could publish quicker than by submitting my manuscript to traditional publishers.  Also, traditional publishers have cut back on marketing and much would be left up to me either way.  Self-publishing has a much better image and is no longer considered second rate.

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