Alice Sabo

Alice Sabo chose self-publishing for the speed and creative control it offers.  Read why she chose the Kindle Select Program and why authors shouldn’t rush to publish.

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

Asher Blaine was an actor with significant star power before destroying his career with drugs. After years of cycling through rehab and relapse, he finally had his epiphany and chose sobriety. While carefully piecing together the ravaged scraps of his life in a quiet suburb of LA he is arrested for murder.  The victim, his ex-business manager, was shot with a re-fitted prop gun from one of his movies.  A coincidence proves his innocence, but subsequent violence casts doubts.  Asher realizes he must mend all his burnt bridges a lot sooner than he’d planned.  When he turns to the people he trusted most, he discovers he must convince them not only of his sobriety, but of his determination to stay that way.

A series of calamities raises the stakes and he uncovers a stunning lie from his past. He must track down a man he thought long dead: a man who’s been planning Asher’s death for years.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I have always been a do-it-yourself kind of person.  When I started writing seriously, I intended to go the traditional route.  Self-publishing was considered vanity press back then.  But little by little praise of self-publishing crept into the writing advice blogs I frequent.  I was reading a lot of agents’ blogs and it was getting ridiculous trying to sort out what was allowed and how to approach them.  Then you were at their mercy of when they might respond and if they would require rewrites and if they would approach certain publishers.  When I got to the final edit of my mystery novel I started looking into self-publishing an e-book.  I found Smashwords and was impressed with the distribution channels.  I started with an illustrated flash, to learn all the ropes.

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

I had queried about a dozen agents for my first novel, a science fiction doorstop with a cast of a thousand.  They all turned me down and I totally understand why.  It wasn’t ready.  It’s in rewrite now.  When White Lies was ready to go, it just made more sense to do it myself.

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Sylvia Ramsey

Sylvia Ramsey is a 17-year bladder cancer survivor who uses her experience to both shape her writing and advance cancer awareness.  She offers multiple ideas for marketing and compares the indie and traditional routes.

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

This one is for the new book, Traveling a Rocky Road With Love, Faith and Guts:

Let me share with you what a couple of reviewers said after reading the book.  The first was Dr. Aman Kay: “Taking the rocky road with Sylvia is a joyful challenge.  It takes the reader through the most common and uncommon hardships, but at the conclusion of this delightful journey, the reader feels more joy and satisfaction: Love, faith, and incredible guts turn the rocky road into an assuring path that all of us so humanly desire.  This book is so uniquely universal in every essential aspect that I enthusiastically recommend it to all readers regardless of their age, gender, and race.”

The second reviewer sent me an email saying, “I just read the book, wow!”

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?  Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

I am a cancer survivor of 17+ years.  I have been writing for years.  I have had by-lines, feature articles, short stories and poetry published since I was about nine years old.  I was reading at an open mic, and the editor of a small publishing house liked my poetry.  My first book, Pulse Points of a Woman’s World, was thus published.  Because I had been working for several years to establish a foundation for bladder cancer, I was giving all my proceeds from my royalties toward this endeavor.  After a couple of years, the publisher decided to return the publishing rights to me because of what I was doing with my royalties.  That was when I decided to become my own publisher of my books.  The latest book being Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts.

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

It doesn’t seem much different than using a traditional publisher.  Regardless of the route you go, you must still do you own marketing (unless you have lots of money to hire a publicist).  That holds true both ways as well.

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Edina Jackson

Edina Jackson is an author and businesswoman who wrote her first children’s novel after being inspired by her newborn son.  She offers a variety of marketing strategies that don’t cost much money.

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

Dusty the Ditsy Dog is a fun, vibrant, easy to read book for the under fives.  It does not just tell a story, it has a message behind it.  The message is that if you put your mind to it, you can change the world.  It is a is fun book with a positive message.  Your child will enjoy getting to know Dusty and his friends in the fictional setting of Mistytown.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Going down the route of forcing your book down a publisher’s throat did not appeal to me.  With e-books, and other book formats, the publishing industry has taken a hit. They are not publishing books like they used to.  I decided to publish my book without the help of a large publishing house because I wanted to retain the authenticity of the story.  I decided to go with a small publishing company called BrightSpark Publishing.  I published in association with BrightSpark and my own company Intrigue Media Group.  I feel like I have more creative control, and I am able to decide how I want my book to be marketed.

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

Like I said, my publishing deal was a collaborative one.  So, it was a combination of indie and traditional.

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

So far it has been an interesting experience.

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Katie Epstein

Katie Epstein found confidence in indie publishing and has learned the industry quickly.  Read about her experiences with traditional publishers and why self-publishing is a better fit.

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

The Arranged Marriage is a romantic adventure set on the mythical Isle of Centurias.  It follows the story of Princess Rohesia who is fuming when she finds out her father has arranged her to marry the illegitimate son of a neighboring king, revoking the promise that she could choose her own husband.  Upon attempting to flee the island to seek freedom, Rohesia doesn’t expect to be saved by the very man she is running from, Sir Ison Mondar of Dondayas.  As they unite in their marriage, Ison and Rohesia have to find a way to work together to rid the island of a rebel group who is becoming more daring each day in its attacks.  They must learn to take a chance not only on their union, but on each other as the
fate of Centurias rests in their very hands.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

When you have finally put the last edit on your manuscript, there is a need for other people to read your story and share in the character’s experiences.  It can be frustrating waiting for that one letter that will take you to the next level via the traditional route, and indie publishing gives you the opportunity to put yourself out there to dedicated readers who will give you a true critique.

3. Have you been traditionally published?

I have only sent my manuscript off to a dozen publishers, because I put too much of myself into the process and took all rejections personally.  No matter what people tell you about it all being part of becoming published, it can still hit you hard if you let it, and unfortunately I let it.  Through this learning curve I have realized that no one will take you seriously as a writer if you don’t take yourself seriously first, and to do that you have to have confidence in your capability.  Going through the indie publishing route has given me my confidence, so I can try the traditional publishing route again in the future as I learn more about the industry.

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Kate O’Mara

When Kate O’Mara realized that the book she was looking for didn’t exist, she decided to write it herself.  Read about her outreach efforts and her upcoming projects.

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

Inspiration: Write Every Day is a motivational book for writers and people who want to write.  Formatted to the calendar, each page/day offers quotes from famous authors, thoughts about writing, affirmation/motivation statements and writing prompts.  The book allows for ample annotation.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Originally, I just wanted to buy this book.  I searched book stores and then inquired with publishers and was told that there wasn’t anything like it.  They didn’t feel there was an audience.  However, when I spoke with other writers and my mentor, everyone was very excited about the project.

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

I’ve been published in print (magazines and newspapers) and online for many years with a byline and as a ghostwriter.  Some time ago, my first book, Elijah’s Dilemma, was contracted; but within a year the publisher went out of business.  It became a legal mess with regard to the rights.  Since that time, the industry has been downsizing.  My understanding is that it is not likely a traditional publishing house will pick up a writer without some unique quality, i.e. audience, already in place.

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

Self-publishing has been wonderful and intense.  There are many skills needed to publish a book.  Thankfully, I have some great friends who helped and supported this project through the process.

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Ron D. Voigts

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

In Penelope and The Movie Star, Marvel Movies comes to Penelope’s school to shoot a motion picture against the backdrop of the old Windorf Hotel that now houses the school.  She sneaks onto the set and watches a scene being filmed. Famous actors Priscilla Young and Clarence Dodd star in the movie and Penelope gets to see them up close.  Regrettably, she also sees a spotlight fall on the director and kill him.  Penelope claims she had her eyes shut when it happened, but the police think she may remember something.  Unfortunately for her, the killer also thinks she may recall something.

A Penelope mystery story (there are two others) can be enjoyed by tweens and adults alike.  The stories are laced with humor while presenting a whodunit that will leave you guessing until the end.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I had two books with an agent for a number of years.  While she got close calls, she never landed a publisher.  I believed in my work and, by mutual agreement, I withdrew the books.  I have no regrets.  Before, I waited for the big break, wondering if I it would ever come.  As an indie writer, I can hardly wait to publish the next book.

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

I had a few short stories with a literary magazine many years ago. The Penelope mystery series are my first books published.

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

It’s great!  Self-publishing is a lot more fun than waiting around for a publisher.  And look at all the people who have self-published and later found a traditional publisher.  The experience gained cannot be matched.

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Mike Maher

Mike Maher crafts fiction from his own real life experiences with The Colour Party – A Novel, about a young Irish-American political activist.  Mike discusses why the self-publishing route was a much better fit for his book.

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

My first book, The Colour Party – A Novel, is not limited to one genre.  It’s an autobiographical novel set mostly in Dublin and New Orleans a few years ago.  It has the Northern Irish war as a backdrop.  And it shows an average young American who goes there planning to write a book but ends up being drawn into the conflict.  Nick Marr, the protagonist, also travels back to America on some risky business.  The bulk of the story is taken from real life.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I always dabbled in writing.  One reason I quit college and traveled around getting involved in things I saw was to have something to write about!  But the war that I thought would last five years tops dragged on much longer.  By that time I lost interest in commercial writing.  I just wanted to write a sort of memoir for my family.  But Amazon’s CreateSpace seemed too good to pass up.  Since self-publishing last August I’ve gotten positive feedback.  So I decided to try reaching out to more readers.

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

No, I have not been published before.  Some parts of my story were too controversial.  So I never was ready to go public, and didn’t have the time anyway.

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

My experience with self-publishing has been quite positive.

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