Ethan Jones

Ethan Jones took some time away from his busy writing schedule to discuss his action-adventure series and why he chose the indie writing path.  Learn why book giveaways work for him and why indie authors have to invest so much of their own time and effort to make their projects a success.

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

Arctic Wargame is the first book in Justin Hall series.  Justin has been demoted because of a botched rescue operation in Libya, which was not his fault.  Now he’s a desk jockey.  Eager to return to field work, he volunteers for a reconnaissance mission, when two foreign icebreakers appear in Canadian Arctic waters.  His team discovers a weapons stash, along with a plan that threatens Canada’s security.  At the same time, the team falls under attack by one of their own and is stranded helpless in the Arctic.  It is now a race against time for Justin and his team to save themselves and their country.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I shopped my two novels, Arctic Wargame and Tripoli’s Target to agents and publishers over the course of 2009-2011.  I received some great feedback.  A few agents asked for a partial manuscript and two or three for a full.  But no one was willing to make an offer or sign a contract.  In the meantime, I kept writing.

I had not considered self-publishing because it seemed like a lot of work and I had truly hoped an agency or a publisher would pick up my works.  Upon the suggestion of a good friend, I dusted off my first novel, Arctic Wargame.  I found three great beta readers, all published writers, and we took a new stab at my gibberish.  Then I worked with two great editors and proofreaders, to create the best possible work.  After formatting it professionally, Arctic Wargame finally saw the light of publishing through Amazon.

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Diana Nixon

Belarusian author Diana Nixon has realized numerous benefits with self-publishing and has begun her own fantasy book series.  Learn more about the sites she uses to promote her work and the one thing any author needs to ensure quality writing.

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

The name of the book is Love lines.  It’s the first book of a fantasy series under the same title.  It shows the inner world of supernatural beings, their talents and powers.  Love lines is a story about beautiful love and true friendship. It’s a book for all ages with some humor and complicated relationship.

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

I’m a self-published author and I’ve never published my books traditionally.  Before publishing my first book I read a lot of blogs discussing the advantages and the disadvantages of self-publishing.  The control over the process was the main thing that made me choose self-publishing.  I can create covers I like, I don’t have to make changes about the book which I wouldn’t like, and I can choose marketing techniques I’m sure will be successful.  And finally, I want to be sure I have done everything possible and maybe even impossible to promote and sell my book, as sometimes the authors are not satisfied with the same work most publisher do.  I know how I want things to be done and I’m sure no one else can do them better than I do.

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Robert Szeles

Robert Szeles wears many hats, including music producer, graphic designer – and, of course, author.  Robert discusses the hard work that goes into self-publishing and offers bountiful advice for the new writer just starting out.

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

When a monogamous guy and a polyamorous gal are brought together by two of the least respected gods of Los Angeles, Love and Romance, they find themselves on the bumpy five-lane freeway to love, contending with a vengeful ex-girlfriend, a dominatrix boss, an irresistible TV star, an egomaniacal TV producer, Hollywood backstabbing, and the greatest obstacles of all: themselves!  A sexy romantic comedy set in Los Angeles, where even gods are only as good as their last gig.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

The state of the publishing industry is in tumult and I thought I had a better chance at publishing myself.  Then if I have some success, I can always approach the major industry later with a successful track record, if that seems worth doing.

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

I have had a couple short stories published.  I haven’t pursued traditional publishing beyond that for the above reasons.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

Liked?  It’s hard.  I imagine any kind of publishing is hard.  There are things that are wonderful, like the freedom and creative control, and there are things that are terrible, like the long work hours, lack of budget and lack of support from a company and its resources.  I can’t say I’ve liked it.  I like being a writer and author.  The publishing part is necessary if I want to be read, which I do.  But some of it is fun, like creating the book covers, which I do myself because I’m a professional graphic designer.  And my book trailer turned out fabulously, but it was two months of purgatory.

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Lorraine Fico-White, editor

I’ve personally known Lorraine Fico-White for a while now, and serve with her on the board of directors of the Charlotte Writers’ Club.  A professional editor, she discusses the role editors play in the writing process and how indies can make their books the best they can be.

1. Tell me about the editing services you provide.

I am a certified editor providing editing and proofreading services to authors.  Authors contact me before they self-publish or send out query letters.  I provide a free sample edit of the author’s work, evaluating the level of editing required and identifying ways to improve the manuscript’s marketability.  I also assist authors in developing personal bios and summaries for the book cover, creating discussion questions, and critiquing query letters and synopses.

2. What’s the difference between editing and proofreading?

Proofreading identifies grammar, punctuation, spelling, and typographical errors as well as formatting inconsistencies.  Basic copyediting includes proofreading in addition to ensuring content continuity, correct and effective word usage, and clarity of concepts.

Heavier editing includes basic copyediting tasks plus analyzing character and plot development, narrative flow, shifts in point of view, and organizational structure.

3. What role should the editor play in the writing process?

An editor assists the writer in making the book the best it can possibly be.  A great working relationship between an author and editor is critical to the success of a book.  A good editor will not change a writer’s voice, style or story. Instead, the editor offers a fresh, experienced perspective and respects the author’s work.  All edits must be approved by the author.

4. For each editing project you take on, what is your overriding goal?  In other words, what do you have in mind each time you look at a new manuscript or other writing?

My goal is to help authors achieve their goals.  Whenever I review a manuscript, I am always looking for ways to improve its marketability.  Errors and inconsistencies distract a reader, and the book could lose credibility.  If a reader loses interest, he/she will not recommend the book to friends and will not purchase subsequent books by the same author.

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