Cassondra Windwalker

IMG_0363Cassondra Windwalker is experienced with both traditional and self-publishing.  Find out which one she prefers and why you should be careful with book contests.

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

Bury The Lead is a dark psychological thriller exploring the nature of truth and the power of love. It’s the story of a small-town newspaper editor who frames himself for the murder of his missing girlfriend. I was inspired to write it by the precarious position of the press in modern society.

2. How have your sales been?

The book just came out in September, so of course reporting isn’t back yet. But it’s been placed in local and national chains and is available in e-book and paperback across all online retailers.

3. You’ve had experience with both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which one do you prefer, and why?

I prefer traditional because the amazing support of a strong publishing company allows me more time to focus on what I love – writing – rather than spending all my time editing and formatting and designing and marketing and promoting.

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Janice Nye

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Janice Nye began in traditional publishing but moved to self-publishing.  Find out why she prefers the latter and how she uses social media to promote her work.

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

User Hostile is the book nearest completion. It started as a short story about 30 years ago. There were a lot of things having to do with computers then which were described as “user friendly,” which were about as “user friendly” as a crocodile with a toothache. The story began with the main character arguing with a computer. It woke her up to a room that was cold and dark, when it should have been bright and warm. The story is what happened next.

Originally it was a short story, about 7,000 words, but I returned to it last year and thought I would post it on my blog in parts. While doing this, I edited the story and it grew. At the moment I am working on the cover.

2. How have your sales been?

I’ve had a few, but not enough to give up the day job.

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

I have gone down the route of self-publishing because I realized that I like to be in control of every aspect of the book. The thought that someone might go through my book and start telling me to change things isn’t one that I like. Self-publishing means that you make all the decisions. Of course it means that there isn’t anyone to tell you when you have made a stupid mistake.

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L. Salt

48423891_2216658588547692_5358765205557870592_nL. Salt has used social media to build her audience.  Learn why she prefers a small traditional publisher over self-publishing.

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

My latest book is Legacy of the Iron Eagle. It’s a thriller/mystery novella with some elements of history and suspense. The main character, Philip Rutkowski, son of a Polish immigrant, “enjoys” all the benefits of big city life: a boring, routine office job; the everyday long commute; a massive mortgage; and rare nights out with a few friends. Everything changes for Philip when his colleague and best friend, David Zilberschlag, gives him a vintage mirror to help decorate his new apartment. The mirror belonged to David’s deceased granddad, a Holocaust survivor, who believed that the mirror hides dark secrets from the past. When Philip continues to see visions of a German SS officer in the mirror who tries to talk to him, he decides to look for answers.

I love World War II history. This dramatic period still leaves more questions than answers for historians and researchers, and continues to tease the imaginations of authors and writers with its theories and conspiracies. This is my second novella dedicated to this subject.

2. How have your sales been?

I think it’s a bit too early to talk about great sales. Both of my solo works were published less than a year ago, so I believe I need more time to build an audience of loyal readers and followers.

3. You’ve gone with a small traditional publisher. What made you choose this over self-publishing?

For such an inexperienced author like me, it was a better option. My publishers do all the hard work such as editing, proofreading, formatting, promotion, graphics/trailers, etc. I feel more comfortable working with the professionals who are always ready to give advice, share experience, and provide guidance. That way I can focus on more creative things like writing itself.

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J.S. Frankel

the auctioneer best pic!J.S. Frankel has enjoyed positive results with traditional publishing. He talks about that here and offers practical advice for using social media.

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

My latest novel is a YA Fantasy, entitled The Auctioneer. Essentially, it’s a story about a young man, forced by circumstances, to work very far away – in another galaxy. At first, he does what he does for the money. But when he finds out people and planets are being sold, he changes his way of thinking. It’s also a bit of a smackdown to some people in the rich, “I’m entitled” generation.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales? Sales? What are those? Seriously, the marketing of my novels is probably the most challenging aspect of writing. I love writing, but getting the word out and getting people to take a chance on my work is hard.

3. You’ve gone the traditional publishing route. Why did you choose this, and what has been your experience?

I started writing seriously only about six years ago. At that time, I knew very little about self-publishing, and my sister suggested that I try e-book publishers to start with. My experiences, outside of sales, have been good. My covers are well done, my publishers do put the word out, and I have worked with some excellent editors who’ve willingly taught me what they know. All in all, it’s been positive.

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M.L. Ruscsak

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M.L. Ruscsak has had experience with self- and traditional publishing.  Find out how she found her fit with a small press publisher.

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

Secrets, Lies and Betrayal is the third installment in the “Lite and Darke” Series. After writing the second book in the series it became obvious that there were things that needed to be explained further to tie both books together. So instead of doing a full-length book that might have been able to do so, I opted to write four short stories spanning over several years.

2. How have your sales been?

As the book just came out it’s doing about the same as the others did upon release.

3. You’ve had experience with both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which do you prefer, and why?

I started as a self-published author and wanted the feeling of belonging to a community. So I began my journey to find the right publishing house for me. Now that I am with Wild Dreams Publishing I could not be happier. I have found that sense of “family” but still have the option of doing what I feel is right without the publisher telling me which direction to take.

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Susanne Matthews

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Susanne Matthews has had negative experiences with traditional publishers, but has learned valuable lessons along the way. She shares them here in this detailed interview.

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

My most recent release is Murder & Mistletoe. It’s a Christmas-themed romantic suspense set today, that deals with reuniting two branches of a family separated after the American Civil War—the rich Kaynes of Georgia and the middle-class Kaynes of Northern New York. Not everyone in the family is happy with the idea of sharing their current riches, as well as missing pirate treasure hidden somewhere in the house. One member of the family determines to get rid of the newest Kayne while another falls in love with her and vows to keep her safe despite the attempts on her life.

I decided to write the story after I got my DNA results back last summer. There were things I knew would be there since I had a fairly complete family tree, but there were also a few surprises. Among these were the fact that some members of my family, Acadians, were deported to Louisiana by the British in the mid-eighteenth century, meaning I may have some American family I don’t even know exists. How would they feel about having a French-Canadian cousin?

2. How have your sales been?

Disappointing is the best way to put it, but I have had a few thousand pages read through Kindle Unlimited, and the few reviews I have are positive.

3. You’ve used both self-publishing and traditional publishing.  What are some of the pros and cons of both?

This is a hard question to answer because I believe I got into the writing game at its most
unstable time in modern history. On the pro side: to this day, a traditional publisher, especially a well-known and well-respected one, brings a sense of legitimacy to your writing in the eyes of a large number of people. To many, even in this digital society, you aren’t a real writer unless you publish paperback or hardcover books, available in bookstores.

Traditional publishers take a lot of the grunt work out of publishing, but unless they are a big house, they don’t put your books in brick and mortar stores either. They do provide the editor, the cover artist, and look after the format for the cover release. They may send out copies to reviewers and look into some marketing for the book, but on the con side, they may not see the story the way you do, and they have the last word on edits and covers. A so-so cover can ruin a book’s chances at attracting readers, something a new writer has to do better than an old established one. Some publishers may provide you with paperback and ARC copies for promotion, but many don’t.

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Jerry Knaak

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Jerry Knaak stays busy not only writing, but building a community around his work. Read about the numerous marketing and promotion methods he uses.

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

My latest book is called The Dark Terror, the third in a probable trilogy. My 12-year-old son came up with the title. It tells the continuing story of Elizabeth Danae Rubis, a newly-minted vampire who has been terrorizing the San Francisco Bay Area as she adjusts to her new existence.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales can always be better. As a new author I am constantly seeking ways to grow my audience.

3. You began your writing career later in life than many authors. Talk a little about this.

I have been writing professionally for 25 years or so, but mostly in sports. I started a blog almost six years ago. Writing isn’t new to me. I was the editor of my high school newspaper; I wrote for the cruise book when I was in the Navy; and I became a journalist and sports writer. I tried my hand at a few short stories but they have been lost to the wind. Vampires have always intrigued me and I fell in love with the genre at an early age. I always figured that if I ever wrote a novel, it would be about vampires.

I started the first book in 2011 but set it aside after some negative feedback. I really didn’t know what I was doing. In January 2016, I picked it back up again, rewrote it from the first person perspective and it took off. After complaining that I always felt like I was late to the dance (on trends, literature, music, etc.), my best friend told me: “Because you’re worried about what time the dance started.”

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Michael Stephen Daigle

IMG_7092.JPGMichael Stephen Daigle has had experience with both traditional and self-publishing.  He suggests a variety of in-person marketing techniques and explains which ones work best.

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

My last completed book is The Red Hand, book four in the Frank Nagler Mystery series. The title comes from the mark that the killer leaves at the scenes of his crimes. It is a prequel, set roughly twenty years before the The Swamps of Jersey, the first book in the series. It establishes themes that appear in all the other books, and defines the important relationship in Detective Frank Nagler’s life: with his wife, Martha. It also defines the Charlie Adams murder story that filters through the other books and the political crime scheme that is a constant.

I wrote The Red Hand to clarify those elements, especially as I plan the fifth book in
the series as a book-end to the entire story. Readers also wanted to read the Charlie Adams story. It should be available in the spring of 2019.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales are not as brisk as I would like, but I’ve learned not to panic about it. The marketplace is changing and I need to be flexible in my approach. Some of it is networking and some of it is determining how much I’m willing to spend to market the book.

3. You’ve used both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which one do you prefer and why?

I self-published a short-story collection and a single short story, but pulled hem back. I was getting a lot of free looks but few sales. I also wanted to rework the collection. I have a small independent publisher who is enthusiastic about my books and has offered more support than I could have imagined. The choice reduced my costs, and frankly, got me published.

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K.M. Riley

kelly_origK.M. Riley prefers the support offered by traditional publishers.  But she knows marketing and networking are still essential, and she shares some of her methods.

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

Fever Rising is an action-packed dystopian where society has been divided into castes, and the genetically modified fighters are leading a revolution to overthrow the government that owns them.

I was motivated to write Fever Rising when I was working overseas. I had a lot of free time and the inspiration just hit me.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales are decent online. It takes a lot of work trying to promote oneself and make a name for the book. I’ve had more success at local Barnes & Nobles signings where I’ve sold out more than once. There I get a chance to talk to interested readers and answer any questions they might have.

3. You’ve had experience with both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which do you prefer, and why?

I’ve had experience with both, but I still prefer a traditional publisher. As I’ve stated below, they’re there to help the author succeed, taking a lot of pressure involved in producing the book off the author’s shoulders.

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Raymond Bolton

TriadEBookCover.jpgRaymond Bolton has been both self-published and traditionally published, and prefers the latter.  Find out why, along with the role that word count and a solid manuscript play in publishing.

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

My latest novel, Triad, an epic fantasy, is the final book in a trilogy. It was released by WordFire Press on December 3, 2018. By fantasy, I’m not talking about magic or sorcery. All of the books I write have to do with the paranormal and, in this series, my protagonists are anything but superheroes. Instead, they are ordinary people caught up in adverse circumstances with one unique talent available with which to thwart a nefarious warlord and his armies. In Thought Gazer, the protagonist is a telepath. Foretellers involves a prescient mother and daughter. They come together in the third in the series with a young man who is telekinetic. It has always struck me as odd that the physically handicapped rarely appear in books of this nature, since they are ubiquitous in ours, so I made Triad’s protagonist paraplegic.

2. How have your sales been?

Since I am now traditionally published, I’m not privy to all of the details. All I can tell you is that my royalty checks keep getting larger and my books are, without exception, rated at 4.5 stars or better all across the internet. An interesting side note: WordFire Press informed me that last year 75% of the sales of my debut novel, Awakening, came from China. I find that oddly amusing since, aside from its Spanish translation, it’s only available in English.

3. You’ve had experience with both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which do you prefer and why?

I have to go with traditional publishing. Although self-publishing helped me establish a readership, having been acquired by WordFire, publisher of the Dune and Star Wars series, has given me credibility.

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