Category Archives: Self Publishing Author

Famed Author and Freelance Writer: Sibylla Nash

A New Jersey native, Sibylla has written hundreds of articles that have appeared in a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites including Vibe, Essence, The Chicago Tribune and on Launch.com.  She is the author of Baby Modeling & Beyond: From The Stroller To The Red Carpet – a how to guide for parents, a novel, DreamCity, and she co-authored The Fan Survival Guide: 50 Ways To Meet Your Favorite Celebrity.

As a freelance writer, she has written about subjects ranging from entertainment to parenting issues to topical matters.  As an entertainment writer, she has interviewed celebrities such as Academy Award winning actors Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Academy Award nominee Will Smith; comedians/actors Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx and Kim Coles; CEO/film director Chris Stokes; and actress Constance Marie. (…see more about the author below)

Take advantage of the current promotions on Sibylla’s books:  Bumped is $.99 and  Baby Modeling & Beyond: From the Stroller to the Red Carpet is $4.99.

Thank you for joining us, Sibylla,

Sibylla Nash image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Sibylla:  I started self-publishing back in the 90s. My first book was a guide book for independent filmmakers. I chose to self-publish that particular book because I had access to that market (and used direct mail to reach them) and the information I had was timely in terms of deadlines for contests and grants.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Sibylla:  To date I have published four titles, one was co-written under a pen name – DreamCity, Little Black Book of Filmmaking (out of print), Fan Survival Guide: 50 Ways to Meet Your Favorite Celebrity, and Bumped.

Sibylla Nash cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Sibylla:  I read somewhere that marketing your book is like a marathon and that is certainly the case! I haven’t found a magic bullet. It takes a consistent effort across all platforms, your blog, social media, other blogs, advertising. You can’t create a buzz through just one channel. I’ll tweet about my books daily because your tweet has such a short shelf life. I did the Amazon free promotion and it was ok but didn’t give me the great bump in sales I was hoping for but I heard that if you have a series, you are more likely to see an increase in sales with the free promotion than stand alone books.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Sibylla: I love reading Galley Cat on Mediabistro.com, PW Daily (Publisher’s Weekly), Where Writer’s Win (writerswin.com), doing giveaways on Goodreads has been great, there are also a bunch of promo sites (free and low cost) that promote ebooks to their lists (Galley Cat has a list of them).  Also, in terms of finding editors and graphic artists, I’ve had pretty good luck on sites like guru.com.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Sibylla:  Continuing to write! It’s so easy to get caught up in the marketing end of things and not continue to produce new work. I’m so far behind on my sequel to Bumped, it’s not even funny. Oh and the second hardest thing, self-promotion in the real world (vs. online). Some people are great at it, me? Not so much. If you self-publish though, it’s part and parcel of the game, you have to let people know about your book(s).

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Sibylla:  Keep writing, keep reading and keep learning. The marketing aspect is always evolving thanks to technology, you’ll want to stay on top of things as well as see what works for others. Most importantly though (after you’ve written that fabulous best-seller of course!) make sure you do research about the best vehicle for YOU in order to get your book out into the world. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, everything you need to know about being traditionally published or independently published, there’s a blog, conference, Yahoo or Facebook group about it somewhere. So do your due diligence before you put your work out there [steps down from soapbox]. 

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism, Sibylla has also worked in the entertainment industry at film production companies as well as for major talent agencies.  She lends this experience to give authenticity to the pages of her debut novel DreamCity.

DreamCity entices readers to delve into the intimate musings of Adrianna Whittaker’s personal diary. It pulls you into the Hollywood drama of drugs, betrayal, relationship dilemmas and growing pains that Adrianna experiences as she comes of age.

“I’ve been keeping a journal most of my life,” says Sibylla. “So I guess it’s only natural that my first novel would be written in a diary format.” A big believer in journaling, she facilitates a workshop, “Journaling Your Way to Success.”

Sibylla balances her writing life with the varied demands of parenthood.  Many of her experiences as a single mother raising her daughter Kortney weaves its way into her work. She was recognized by the WB11 News as an Unsung Hero for her parenting newsletter, In The Corner.

Sibylla currently lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on several other fiction and non-fiction projects.  Sibylla and Kortney have appeared on TLC’s Ballroom Bootcamp and recently filmed a Rice Krispies commercial.

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Author Rick Brambrink: a Victorian Lover and Publisher

Rick Brambrink started his self-publishing career in 2010 and already has seven books with more on the way.  He has a passion for touring Victorian style homes and meeting with the owners.  Rick is currently the president of the James J. Hill Society and will be holding a presentation at the Princeton Depot on November 13.

Another event coming up is ‘The Titanic’s of the Great Lakes’.  It is about the two passenger ships that James J. Hill had on the great lakes. There will be one model ship on display along with all of the photos and blue prints of the ships.  James built two passenger ships that sailed only on the great lakes, North West and North Land. They were sister ships and they were the largest and fastest ships on the great lakes at the time they were built and many years later.  Please comment if interested in more info on event.

Let’s welcome Rick Brambrink,

Rick Brambrink image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Rick:  I decided to publish because I think that it is important to record history. The first book that we published was in architectural style. We wanted to record historic fences and gates of historic mansions. Then we went into coloring books but also kept that on the historic side. Recording history is very important no matter what form it is in.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Rick:  Grand Fences and Gates of the James J. Hill House, Summit Avenue Coloring Book, Cathedral of Saint Paul Coloring Book, Glensheen  the Historic Congdon Estate Coloring Book, Minnesota North Shore Coloring Book, Twin Cities Coloring Book and Summit Avenue Mansions. 

Rick Brambrink cover 2Rick Brambrink cover 4Rick Brambrink cover 5

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Rick:  We do books on locations that have a good customer base. We make sure that before we do a book that they are willing to sell it. I have a good relationship with all of my customers so that they are willing to keep selling them.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Rick: I know that having a good website is very useful. But I have did not research publishing books before I got into the business. My business partner already had some background experience with publishing a book, I just had to be the front guy and make things happen. I have not read any books on publishing.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Rick:  Getting the word out on a new book.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Rick:  Don’t think that all you have to do is publish a book and watch the money roll in, you have to work long and hard at it to get your book to sell. You have to stay in contact with the book stores at all times and make sure they don’t run out of your book. It’s not easy.

 

Check out my previous author interviews and blogs on prelaunch marketing, cover/manuscript setup and working with a printer.  If you are not following, just click the follow button on the right hand side to be emailed when new blogs are posted.   If you would like to be included in the author interview series and get some (free) book exposure – just email me at jill@mirabooksmart.com

As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback. If you have a blog topic you want me to cover – send it over.

…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

 

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Author Mark Tierno: Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Mark lives in his home town of Monrovia California, the recipient of degrees in Physics and Math, and a lifelong reader of fantasy and SciFi.  The son of loving middle class parents, he spent 25 years of his life caring for them and watching his Dad’s health deteriorate from Parkinson’s Disease.  It was during this time that he discovered his talent for, and love of, writing stories.   The result was joy brought to the Tierno household as well as an epic that spans 13 novels.

“A world beyond time… an adventure beyond imagining.”

Let’s welcome Mark Tierno,

MarkTierno image

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Mark:  Well, my old publisher who shall remain nameless (cough_PublishAmerica-cough) simply did not look out, or care for, its authors.  Their idea of marketing was to nickel and dime their own authors instead of trying to sell to the general public.  Since 100% of the work of marketing, selling, and distribution was left up to the authors, then why not publish it myself and get 100% of the profits.  After all it IS my hard work and creativity.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Mark:  “Maldene” is my big fantasy epic, with the first novel out as a two-volume set due to sheer size and my lack of notoriety.  It is a story of epic fantasy that also blends in some Sci-Fi in future novels in the series.  Seeing as how it’s a 13-novel series, I really need to get this first book selling first before I bring out the others.

Mark Tierno cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Mark:  Right now I’ve been looking into Social Media Marketing through Facebook.  It’s the cheapest alternative that I can currently find, doesn’t require a really big marketing firm, and is something I can do while still at home working on my next story.  As far as results, it’s still too early to tell yet.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Mark:  Definitely!  LinkedIn is a great treasure trove of contacts just waiting to help you out.  I have seen people on there where I’m thinking, “Hey, I’ve seen the movie this guy wrote!” It’s where I got into contact with a couple of helpful people as well as a group of other authors that I am currently working on a set of stories with.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Mark:  Letting the world know that you exist, finding out what to do after putting your own label on your book, and interacting more with the real world.  A lot of us writers aren’t really on great terms with the real world.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Mark:  Don’t give up!  Some people may tell you that you only have a one in a million chance of making it as an author, but you have a ZERO chance if you give up.  If writing is your passion, if you start to go through withdrawals if you’ve been away from the keyboard for too long, and if you have some stories that you REALLY need to get out, then just keep on trying.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark lives in his home town of Monrovia California, the recipient of degrees in Physics and Math, and a lifelong reader of fantasy and SciFi.  The son of loving middle class parents, while Mark had a good enough childhood that allowed him to develop both intellectually and creatively, in the middle of High School his father developed Parkinson’s Disease. What followed was 25 years of watching his Dad and the family finances get worse and worse, helping out his mother with his Dad while finishing up his MS in Physics. A lifelong reader of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, when added tragedy, in the form of his grandpa’s old house burning to the ground, struck, the resulting insurance money eased off the collective burden enough to allow Mark to start writing a series of books that he had been developing in his head for the previous 15 years.

The result was some joy brought into the Tierno household to offset the bleak circumstances that an ailing father can bring. Caring for his father up through his death became a full-time job, but even so he was able to pen an amazing series of books that have few- if any- equals. This creative effort became the light in the darkness, bringing back some hope and joy and turning the house back into a home.

His father never lived to see it published, but his mother lived long enough to see it first published and a chapter or two read in a library before a small audience. Now his goal is to see his life’s work bring pleasure to the world outside his own.

In total, Maldene spans 13 novels, 5.2 million words, 250 characters, many worlds and dimensions, thousands of years, and is a unique blend of both Fantasy and Science fiction, coupled with skillful prose and realistic characterizations that put it head and shoulders above everything else out today. You will get lost in a story that will have you wondering if- somewhere out there- the world of Maldene just might exist.  Maldene is the first book in a series that will redefine the word Epic.

 

 

 

 

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Conquering the Beast: Part 1

amazon--621x414

Amazon is the most wonderful place on Earth – or is it?  We all know that if you want to get book exposure then you need to have your book on Amazon.  The only problem is they take a hefty 55% when they sell your book.  They have the leverage to take a high dollar because of who they are and what they can offer a seller.  So I have decided if they are going to take 55% then I am going to make them work for it.  There are some basics to setting up an account but you can go further and figure out all the little tricks to get exposed faster and by more people.   This blog will review setting up the accounts.   The next blog, part 2, will go further into what you can do within the accounts.  Be sure and click the follow button on the top right so you are alerted to when the next blog is posted.

First you have to open an Amazon Advantage account.   Once you review the page on ‘What is Advantage’ and like what you see – sign up for the account.  This is your login screen once you have created an account (click on screen images for larger view) :

image 1

I was surprised at how ‘business like’ the site is but then I thought – this is for all sorts of sellers and some people have multiple products, items, pricing, etc so it is built to host a wide range.  There are a lot of tools for inventory control and analytics.  I would recommend just reviewing the site and click through some tabs.  I always feel a bit overwhelmed when starting a new program because there are a lot of features.

When you first sign up, you will need to add your book information and photos.  Just go under the Items tab and ‘Add an Item’.  You will then have to go through the steps and fill out the book info.  Then upload your images.  When uploading your book images, be sure and review how to properly name the images and the image size.  I actually went through this a couple of times because I didn’t pay attention to the labeling system they want used.  Once you submit then they go through a review right there and you quickly see if it was rejected or accepted.

Now that you have an item for sale, Amazon will send you a PO (Purchase Order).  This is usually for just 1 book to make the product ‘in stock’.    You will see a tab for ‘Orders’ so click there and select ‘Purchase Orders’.  Here is a screenshot:

image 2

You have to click on the little box to open the PO and then confirm it.  The PO will give you the basics of how many books to send and the address to send them to.  You then print the shipping label and packing slip (for inside the box).  Here is a screen shot of the PO I received:

image 3

So my thought is – I pay to print the book, they take 55% and now I have to pay at least $2.53/book (media mail – up to 9 business days) for Amazon to receive it.  Well, that’s not cool because I am now in the hole and will lose money on this book.  So I found a ‘stock up feature’ in their help section.  The help section is surprisingly helpful, btw.   You can go to Help/Orders/Stock Up Request and send them an email.  Just let them know it is for a promotion or launch of the book.  They need a reason to allow you to send more books.  Personally, I requested to send 10 books and they accepted within 2-3 business days.  They sent me a new PO for 10 books.

You have now officially put your book for sale on Amazon.  That wasn’t so bad now was it?

…Wait, we are not quite done…

AUTHOR CENTRAL

Amazon realizes that many authors are selling their books and they have created a separate site for Authors to share their info, reach more readers and get author help.   This is not part of the Amazon Advantage account you were just setting up.  This is different.  You can join here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/.   Once you join, your home screen will look like this:

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First, go in and update your author central profile.   If I had a dollar for every profile I have setup while promoting my book, I would be rich from that and not book sales…anyway….This is like any other profile where you can add info about yourself such as:

  1. Bibliography, Photos and Video
  2. Blog, Twitter, Facebook feeds
  3. Any upcoming events

Then go and add your book.  Just click on ‘Book’ tab and add more books.  You want to make sure that all the books that you have with Amazon are added to this page.  Your Author Central profile is then linked to your Amazon book sales page like this:

image 5

You can sign up for the ‘Look Inside the Book’ feature through Author Central.  There are certain obvious rules like owning the work and having a valid ISBN#.   There are directions to signup under the Help tab.  I thought this part was strange but you have to send an email to insidethebook-submission@amazon.com.  First they have to accept your request which can take 2-3 business days.  Then they will send you an email with upload instructions and ANOTHER site to log into.  There are instructions on how to send your file so review carefully.  Once I uploaded, I received a Submission ID# but that was it.  It said successful so I just waited and waited….until finally 9 business days later it appeared online.  I was surprised to see things take so long because it is Amazon – I assumed it would be automatic.  I guess they have to review all materials first before making them live.  And it is a bit comforting to know there are actual people behind the site and all the emails.

So now you have an Amazon account setup and an Author Central account.  All we have to do is sell books!

Next up is Conquering the Beast: Part 2.  Be sure and click the follow button at the top right and you will be alerted with each new post.  As always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback. If you have a blog topic you want me to cover – send it over.

…and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.

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Author Mary Young: Retired Kindergarten Teacher self-publishes 3 books.

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.  It is interesting to read the varying responses from each unique author.

Mary Young is a retired Kindergarten and Special Education Teacher. She enjoys volunteering at elementary schools where she can share her stories and encourage children to become writers. She lives with her musician husband Rusty Young of the band POCO and their dog named Zog. Mary finds much of the inspiration for her stories through nature and the surroundings of their log cabin which overlooks a river deep within the Mark Twain National Forest in rural Missouri.

Welcome Mary Young,

Mary Young pic

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Mary:  I chose to publish my children’s books mainly because it’s fun! Also, it opens doors for my team of illustrators who share in the profit from book sales. I have another ten stories still waiting to be illustrated and make their way from my computer to printed books and then into the hands of children. Actually, as a retired Kindergarten and Special Education Teacher, my style seems to lend itself to books that entertain the adult reader as well as the children listening to the story. When a child says, “Read it again!”. I think it’s important that the reader enjoys the story too.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Mary:  I recently launched my own self-publishing company this past spring 2013, so to date I only have two books in print. My first title is ‘DREW DROP’ about a water droplet’s adventures through the water cycle. I have since written a sequel titled ‘SARA SNOWFLAKE’. The other book in print is titled   ‘ZOG THE DOG’ – it’s the rescue story of how we found our dog. My third children’s book which is ready for the printer, is titled ‘BIG SHOT’ it’s a bully story, but I used fish instead of kids.

Mary Young cover 1Mary Young cover 2Mary Young cover 3

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Mary:  Currently, I am marketing my books through my own website: www.puckyhuddlebooks.com and my books are also available on my husband’s band website: www.poconut.org . I’m in charge of merchandising for my husband’s band ‘POCO’ and many of his fans are friends and grandparents, so they are my biggest customers so far! In addition, I am hoping to have good results by scheduling readings through school librarians where I will visit schools and donate a book to their library. The students bring home a special bookmark which has the ordering information.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Mary:  Before I made the decision to begin my own publishing company, I researched dozens of self-publishing websites. I purchased and read several ‘how to’ books including ‘The Fine Print of Self-Publishing’ by Mark Levine. What I found was — there are many options right at our fingertips. With the internet and social networking, authors like myself can learn to pick up these tools and build our own success with the books we write.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Mary:  Definitely, the most challenging issue for me has been preparing files to be PDF ready for printing. The good news is; with the right programs and a little practice, I can learn how to do this myself. However, if formatting files would be a deterrent for aspiring authors, it’s good to know that nearly all printing companies including Mirabooksmart offer this service for a fee.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Mary:  The best suggestion I can share with aspiring authors is the same advice I follow, and that is to ‘Write What You Know’. It’s the stories that just flow from your own imagination or life experiences that write themselves. It’s like a new song that just comes to a musician. There’s nothing like the feeling of smiling while all alone in front of your keyboard and whispering to yourself, “This is really good!”

 

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Author Interview: Ghost Hunter Tells All

Just in time for Halloween – I have the pleasure of introducing Dan Terry, ‘Spookstalker’.   Dan has had a passion for ghost hunting since 1979.  He wrote articles in Haunted Times Magazine and has since written four books on haunted places: Beyond the Shadows, Missouri Shadows, Hermann Shadows, and River Shadows.

If you are in the MO area, check out his two lectures – one in Pacific, Mo. at the library on the 23rd at 6:30, and one on the 30th in Owensville, Mo. also at 6:30.  Only 2 more lectures of the season, don’t miss it!

Dan Terry Photo

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Dan:  I had a publisher for the first three books.  The relationship was good, and the publisher treated me well. Over time, though, we had some creational differences. The publisher was a former small town newspaper editor, so we also disagreed on the subject of being offensive.  She was against it, as someone may not buy the book. I, on the other hand, believed that The Da Vinci Code would not have been as big a hit if the Church had not argued against it.  We even once discussed use of the word “Mandrake” because she was afraid the term would upset parents because the plant is shaped like a male sex organ.  I had to convince her it was used liberally in the Harry Potter series!

When she developed cancer, she wanted out of publishing to concentrate on healing. At that time, she offered to help me find a new publisher, but having seen how much money we were missing out on, my wife and I decided to try it ourselves. The first book we did ourselves she worked for a flat fee to lay out and proofread. After that, I had a High School English teacher proofread them.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Dan:  Spookstalker Press has three titles, one true crime “Nothing Ever Happens in New Haven”, is about small town police. The other two are ghost related, “River Shadows” about ghosts in river towns, and “Too Ornery To Die”, about ghosts of criminals.

Missouri-Shadows-Book-cover-002Too Ornery to DieBeyond the Shadows

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Dan:  I’ve used a lot of social media, along with word of mouth and ghost lectures all over the mid-west, which also included name recognition. Radio interviews also help. Getting the books distributed and strategically placed in the book stores during the October ghost season helps as well. All books but the last one is now available through Barnes and Noble.  But the best sales come from the lecture circuit, which I attribute to my ability to talk well and share the excitement, including the use of a PowerPoint presentation.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Dan:  I haven’t really used any books or websites, but instead go to professionals and ask their advice. And, most importantly, listen to them. In some of my first magazine articles, a good friend would read them and mark them up, splashing red ink on the paper like he had sacrificed a chicken over the desk! But when he explained where I was getting too wordy, or over explaining something that wasn’t really relevant to the story, I understood and complied.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Dan:  Distribution is the biggest problem, as small book stores will not go with someone new very often. I have sent notes and copies explaining that I would personally deliver the books, but yet never heard anything back.  Getting the idea of the layout from my mind to the graphic designer is also been a problem. I can say that the publishing company I use has the best designers for covers I’ve ever seen, and they always make an attractive, attention-getting cover for me. That also helps with sales.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Dan:  READ!  I have met authors who say they don’t read others work because they don’t want to be influenced or some nonsense. I say read anything, be critical, but learn from other folks styles. I have been lucky that other authors will speak with me, and give me advice. They’ve helped me turn a phrase, or write in a way that keeps people turning the pages.  A new author in the next town, who I met at a “meet local authors” day at a local library, calls just to ask questions about police or ghost hunting for his second novel.  I have asked his advice on other matters.  I have read his book, and enjoy his style.  I based my true crime book on a mix of styles from Mickey Spillane to James Ellroy.  Their style caught my attention, and I used a similar style for my cop book. The ghost books are first person with a lot of history, but written in an action-adventure style over a documentary style.  I have read newspapers from the mid-1800’s, when they had to use words and allegories because they didn’t have TV.  Those men could WRITE!  They capture your attention in a way today’s sanitized, homogenized, Formica styled “don’t offend anyone” newspapers can’t. You Were There! And that’s the style I use, where other ghost hunters write more like a documentary.  Very “Just the Facts, Ma’am.”   I want to place the reader at my elbow, seeing things, hearing things just as I did.  So my advice to new writers is to Read and to Write.  Find a style you like and make it your own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Terry is a native Missourian, a Coast Guard veteran, and he has been a police officer for 26 years.

He began ghost hunting shortly after getting his license to drive in 1979, inspired by the TV adventures of Carl Kolchack in the early 70s television show Kolchack: The Night Stalker. Once he joined the service, it became quickly apparent that he had to hide his interest in the paranormal and continued hiding it as he became a police officer in 1986.  While he continued to read and even look into the subject, including taking tours of reportedly haunted places, Dan did not resume his own hunting until TV’s “Ghost Hunters” brought the subject into the mainstream.

After learning the new methods from Greg Myers of the Missouri Paranormal Task Force, then called Missouri Paranormal Research, he took the name “Spookstalker” and began investigating haunted places once again. After writing a newspaper article on the subject, he was convinced to write books on the topic. He wrote articles in Haunted Times Magazine and has since written four books on haunted places: Beyond the Shadows, Missouri Shadows, Hermann Shadows, and River Shadows. In addition, Dan has written one book in the true crime genre, Nothing Ever Happens in New Haven.

He is currently working on a novel about an incident involving the murder of soldiers which took place during the Civil War in the local area. He makes his home with his wife Sherri in New Haven, Missouri.

 

 

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Word on the Street with Rosemary Van Deuren

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.  It is interesting to read the varying responses from each unique author.

Tell us about it, Rosemary Van Deuren,

rosemary_van_deuren_bio_int

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Rosemary:  Because I hoped there was an audience out there for the story I wanted to tell.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Rosemary:  My young adult fantasy novel, Basajaun. I began with a short, print-on-demand experimental run, to gauge reader response. When the response was positive, I fortified the book as much as possible and went back to press for an offset-printing edition — a more fully-realized version of the book.

Rosemary Van Deuren book cover

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Rosemary:  Positive words from legitimate, established review outlets are helpful. Grassroots marketing dictates that, on average, people need to hear about your book from around seven or eight different sources before they’ll make the jump to purchase or pursue your work. Word-of-mouth is the most elusive, yet the best marketing you can get. Low-risk merchandising can also help pique the curiosity of potential readers. It’s understandably difficult for anyone to commit to buy a novel by an unestablished author, so attractive, creative tie-in merch sold alongside your book helps supplement interest in the early stages.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Rosemary:  The AbsoluteWrite.com “Water Cooler” forum is a good resource. Whoever writes the tips and how-to’s on AgentQuery.com does an excellent job.  Learning to edit your own work is a huge asset, and Stephen King’s On Writing book offers some great examples of how writers can become better self-editors. Also, pretty much everything on author Philip Pullman’s Q & A archive is pure gold: http://www.philip-pullman.com/q_a.asp

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Rosemary:  Letting go of control. When you self-publish you become accustomed to doing everything yourself. It’s important to know when you need to step back and hire-out for the tasks that you, yourself, are not equipped to fulfill. For me, that meant hiring two amazing people — my editor Shawna Gore, and my cover painter Bernadette Carstensen.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Rosemary:  You have to want it enough to push yourself forward, because nobody else can do that for you. Even when you are fortunate enough to have loving, meaningful support around you, you are ultimately creating your work in a vacuum, alone. You have to be okay with that, especially in the face of rejection letters and long hours of isolation in front of a manuscript. You have to keep writing. Because the more you write, the more you prove to the world — and more importantly, to yourself — that you are not going to give up.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosemary Van Deuren was the arts and entertainment interviewer for idlermag.com when the website chosen by the Writer’s Guild of America West for The Hotlist: A Guide to the Web’s Most Cutting Edge New Media Content. She has interviewed author Peter S. Beagle, artist and author Wayne Barlowe, actors Neil Jackson and Mark Indelicato, and many more.

She was also the press release writer for Quarry Bridge, an art show featuring the works of film concept artist and effects art director TyRuben Ellingson, and environmental ceramicist Stephen Plantenberg. Van Deuren is author of the young adult fantasy, Basajaun. In spring of 2013, she signed with Mariposa Press for the American edition of Basajaun to be marketed and sold in France.

Basajaun can be purchased on Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Basajaun-Rosemary-Van-Deuren/dp/0985852100

 

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