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,
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.
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