Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors. All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise. Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews. Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.
My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly. Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.
My first author is PJ Cowan. I chose PJ first for many reasons. She is one of my longest standing clients to date. An amazing Grandma who has made all her stories come to life for her grandchildren and great-grand children. PJ has 33 titles published with us. She also pays for these books to be printed and then gives them away to shelters so the children there can have something special to read and share. That’s pretty cool!
Here we go. Come on down, PJ.
Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?
PJ: I love writing; I have great-grandchildren I had never met, so I decided to write for them.
RARA: What titles have you published to date?
PJ: PJ’s Bedtime stories, Corner Cupboard, The Giant Question, Giggle-Grump-Gurgle, I am-It, What do you Feed an Imaginary Dragon, Michael O’Brien and The Magic Hat, The Adventures of Neddy and Teddy Fairy, Penelope Pilkington Had a Dream, Popcorn and Wild Nightmares…there are actually 23 more titles but for the sake of space…
RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?
PJ: I market through my web site which is directly connected to www.mirasmartshop.com. My books are also listed for sale on Amazon. My best results for sales has been getting out there, arranging book signings and meeting the folks who may be interested buying my books.
RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?
PJ: “How To” books were pretty scarce back then. I got advice through a successful fellow author. I started with www.mikemotz.com while looking for illustrators and found Mira Digital Publishing when I was ready to go to print
RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?
PJ: Finding a decent site. When I first started out, the only self publishing sites were Vanity press and sites like Lulu. Vanity press was a joke. They wanted $10,000 to publish one book, and they retained the copyrights. Lulu was better, but the printing was expensive and they retained the rights for a period of time. Then, one day I answered a mailer from Mira Digital Publishing, and was, and five years later still am, thrilled with the results.
RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?
PJ: That is no brainer. Find an up to date “How To” book and a reputable self-publishing site. One that will charge you a fair price for their services, advise and guide you through the process. One that will help protect your copyright, and give you a product you can be proud of.
Author Bio: My writing is inspired by two things, Family and experience. My mother wrote poetry. After she died, a collection of poetry and two short stories were found in a notebook. I thought at the time it was a shame she had never been published.
I made up stories for my kids when they were little and my oldest son Mike encouraged me to write them down. After mom died, I decided that now was the time to do that.
I had great grandchildren whom I had not met, and decided to write for them. Thus, Pricilla Jean, PJ to my friends, began “writing them down.