Laura Tisdall: ‘If I only wrote when I felt “inspired”, I would probably never have finished’

28 November 2015

From The Guardian:

Mario: what was your inspiration for Echoes?

I’m a big fan of ‘spy-fi’ TV shows like Alias and Fringe and with Echoes I wanted to try and write a novel with that kind of exciting and hi-tech – but also emotional – feel to it. A lot of the specifics then came out of the main character of Mallory; someone who’s very intelligent and powerful when she’s online, but who struggles in other ways day to day. The dichotomy between people’s on and offline personas can be profound and much of what Echoes came to be about was the question of who the real you actually is.

. . . .

Muzna: have you used any real life experiences in your book?

Not in terms of specific events – I’ve never done any computer hacking for starters! Following on from the previous question, I think what I’d say on this, though, is that a lot of character creation can come out of personal experiences. That’s not to say each character is based entirely on you or people you know, but just that there are often facets of their personalities that are informed by things you’ve been through or seen in your life.

. . . .

Mario: how many people did you ask to publish your book?

With publishing today, you generally go through an agent as opposed to asking publishers directly yourself. Publishers just get sent so many manuscripts to look at that they often don’t have time to read them all and so prioritise ones coming from a known source that they trust. In this way, agents can often be like the gatekeepers to getting published. I had two different manuscripts submitted to various publishers by an agent, but although both got close, unfortunately neither was ultimately picked up. It was after that that I made the decision to self-publish Echoes.

. . . .

Devante: what authors inspired you when you were young?

Like a lot of people, my answer to this is definitely JK Rowling. I read Harry Potter when I was ten and I was absolutely captivated by it. I remember reading it compulsively for hours on end and I’d never done that with a book before. It also opened the door for me into other literature and media in the fantasy and science fiction genres, which remain two of my favourite.

Ayca: was there someone that inspired you to become a author? If yes, who and why?

I’m not sure there’s a specific person who inspired me to become an author, but I’d say there are lots of people who made me fall in love with stories in general – which in turn made me want to try and create my own. This could be a very long list, but along with JK Rowling, some of the others I’d mention would be Philip Pullman, Trudi Canavan (The Black Magician trilogy), Frank Herbert (Dune) and Suzanne Collins. TV and movie writers like Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and JJ Abrams (Alias and Fringe) have also been a huge influence on me. In terms of why I’d say they all created story worlds that felt real and characters I cared about deeply.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

Here’s a link to Laura Tisdall’s books. If you like what an author has written, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.


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Romance finally breaks The Post’s ‘No Self-Published Books’ rule

25 November 2015

From The Washington Post:

It was bound to happen sooner or later: For the first time ever, a self-published book appears on one of The Washington Post’s best-of-the-year lists.

The distinction — bestowed on Alisha Rai’s erotic novel “Serving Pleasure” — marks a small but telling milestone. Long scorned as the “vanity press,” self-publishing now draws hundreds-of-thousands of hopeful authors. The vast majority of the books sell very few copies, but each year produces another rockstar — a EL James or a Hugh Howey — whose stratospheric success fuels more dreams and brings more legitimacy to the platform.

. . . .

“Serving Pleasure” appears on The Post’s list of the year’s best romance fiction, one of several genre lists in Book World’s Best Books of 2015 package. Rai, who works as a lawyer by day, released “Serving Pleasure” through CreateSpace, Amazon’s independent publishing platform. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Our romance reviewer, Sarah MacLean, didn’t think she was doing anything particularly radical by including a self-published book.

“You asked me to choose the five best romances of the year, and I did,” she tells me. “ ‘Serving Pleasure’ is an excellent example of the best of romance.” And MacLean isn’t surprised that the romance genre is the first one to break Book World’s “No Self-Published” rule. For her, it’s just another example of the genre’s progressive and disruptive vitality.

Link to the rest at The Washington Post

Do-it-yourself publishing: New success story for authors

23 November 2015

From The Times of India:

Blogger Rasana At reya’s first novel Tell ‘A Thousand Lies’ was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize in 2012. The response to Atreya’s foray into published writing was tremendous. She lacked up sales in India and the UK, drew a swathe of positive reviews on platforms like Goodreads and Atreya is now out with her second book.

Then there’s Sri Vishwa nath, who’s authored nine books, with readers in the US UK and India, and Viji Vardarajan who has written a string of cookbooks on South Indian cuisine. The three authors share at least one thing n common: their books have all been self-published, in the e-book format on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing KDP) platform. It’s among several avenues available today for authors who want to self-publish their books, and among the most popular.

Widely prevalent in the US and Europe, self-publishing has steadily begun making inroads in India. Bestselling authors like Amish Tripathi had opted to selfpublish. After over a dozen publishing houses rejected ‘The Immortals of Meluha’, Tripathi decided to take on the task himself.

The book was such a hit online that publishers reached out to Tripathi soon after, resulting in a hefty contract with Westland India for his Shiva trilogy .

. . . .

What’s lent a further boost to the trend is the rising popularity of e-book platforms. A fifth of the top 100 books on Amazon on an average are the ones published using KDP, say representatives. The fact that publishing takes place within minutes, putting the book on Kindle stores worldwide within 48 hours, and the high royalties have had several first-time authors sign up for the platform.

Link to the rest at The Times of India

Alan Moore Advises New Writers to Self-Publish Because Big Publishers Suck

20 November 2015

From i09:

At an anti-library closure protest, local magician and comics legend Alan Moore had some surprising words for those who hope to break into the wide world of published writing.

With his wild-man Merlin’s beard and distinct Northampton tones, Moore’s speaking style is oddly comforting as he holds forth. “If you write every day, you are a writer,” the co-creator of Watchmen, From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (to name my favorite Moore works) tells the crowd.

Some of his advice is pretty standard: write every day, be self-critical, don’t worry about money when composing. But Moore also breaks out of the old adages and is frank about the publishing world as he perceives it, pointing out that many of the “famous, well-known” authors out there “have nothing to do with writing,” casting shade on popular works like Dan Brown’s and calling the industry a “mess.” So what’s a hungry writer to do? Self-publish, sayeth the wizard.

. . . .

“Publishing today is a complete mess. I know brilliant authors who can’t get their books published,” Moore says, explaining that many publishing houses are afraid of taking risks on fiction. Moore’s solution? “Publish yourself. Don’t rely upon other people.”

Link to the rest at i09 and thanks to Mark for the tip.

Nebraska writers get word out at author fair

18 November 2015

From The Columbus (Nebraska) Telegram:

The world of self-publishing has grown alongside the growth of e-books and social media, and Nebraska authors are riding the wave of new opportunities.

A dozen Nebraska authors attended Columbus Public Library’s author fair Saturday toting their wares, almost all of which were independently or self-published.

Adult and young adult librarian Rachelle McPhillips said library personnel had been approached about purchasing books or holding readings and signings by a litany of local, self-published authors. In order to accommodate those requests, they decided to hold the author fair, giving several authors the opportunity to meet the public and publicize their work.

“We wanted to say yes to everyone, but we can’t,” said McPhillips. “But we can say yes to everyone this way.”

Columbus author Matthew Moseman was invited to participate last year because he asked about doing a book event for his most recent book, and he decided to attend again this year. Moseman has published five novels, and is planning to publish the first in a three-part series in the spring of 2016.

. . . .

Sharon Raimondo, also of Columbus, was at the fair to promote her first book. Her novel is a blending of stories from the lives of her grandparents and uncles, so she brought along family photographs to show curious readers. She also brought along novels written by her brother and uncle.

“We have a writing problem (in our family) I’m told,” Raimondo said.

Bellevue’s Helen Fouraker said she told a former boyfriend about her book idea, and he said he didn’t think other people would want to read it. Now, she is promoting the book at events like the local author fair. Fouraker’s novel is also self-published.

. . . .

Miller said that while “it’s not necessarily easier to take on everything,” she’s grateful she can support herself with her writing.

Link to the rest at The Columbus Telegram

Five Years

17 November 2015

From author Marie Force:

On this day five years ago, I did something that changed my life profoundly. It changed the lives of my family as well as several of my closest friends and family members. Five years ago today, I self-published a book for the first time.

My path to self-publishing was bumpy and full of potholes. I finished my first book, Treading Water, in 2005 and went on to write five other books that didn’t sell to publishers. I finally sold the seventh book I wrote, Line of Scrimmage, in 2007 to a small publisher, and when it was released in 2008—the same month as the economy tanked—nothing much came of it.

I sold two other books to that first publisher and continued to try to sell my other unsold books with no luck. In early 2010, I sold Fatal Affair to Carina Press, beginning my ongoing successful relationship with Harlequin for the Fatal series. However, my contemporary romances remained homeless.

One of my favorite quotes is that luck is the convergence of preparation and opportunity. I was prepared, and over the summer of 2010, my luck was about to change, but not in the way I had expected. One of the big New York publishers was interested in True North, the story of an unlucky-in-love super model who finds true love on a two-week vacation and then has to choose between him and her high-powered career. I had an in-house advocate who’d read the book years earlier while working for a different publisher, and True North was on track for acquisition.

Until it was rejected.

I’ll never forget the reason my agent said the publisher gave for rejecting True North: “No one wants to read about a super model.” Those became the nine words that changed my life.

. . . .

I remember going to lunch with my author friend Jessica in early November 2010 and telling her I was thinking about self-publishing True North. She asked the burning question about what might happen if I did because I had two books coming from two different traditional publishers after the first of the year. I didn’t know what would happen.

I asked my agent what she thought might happen. She didn’t know either, but she was very encouraging of my plan to self-publish True North, which is one of many reasons she’s still my agent in 2015. In 2010, non-compete clauses in publishing contracts did not specifically address self-publishing. At that time, I knew of no one who was self-publishing while also under contract to traditional publishers. Maybe those authors were out there, but I didn’t know of them.

. . . .

I self-published True North via Kindle Direct Publishing five years ago today, on November 17, 2010, and The Fall on December 18, 2010. Because I was truly concerned about publisher retribution, I didn’t say a word about them on social media or in my newsletter. True North sold 51 copies in November. In December, I sold 849 copies of both books, still without saying a word about either book to readers. Because Kindle Direct Publishing pays sixty days after the end of a month, none of that new revenue counted for 2010. I ended the year with a grand total of $2500 in book earnings, which was the advance for my third book with the original publisher. Fifteen percent of $2500 went to my agent who’d more than earned it. I’d tell people who thought I was getting rich in publishing that I was actually a low four-figure thousandaire.

The New Year dawned with the publication of Fatal Justice on Jan. 3, and more than 2,000 January sales of my two self-published books, neither of which I’d mentioned yet to readers. On February 1, my first publisher put one of my earlier books on sale for free for a week, and the numbers for all my books exploded. That month I sold 6,000 copies of the two self-published books I still hadn’t marketed in any way.

Fueled by excitement over how my experiment had unfolded thus far, I got busy preparing more of those unsold manuscripts for self-publication. I released The Wreck in March 2011—the first month I sold more than 10,000 self-published books, which I was now actively marketing. The first three Gansett Island books—Maid for Love, Fool for Love and Ready for Love, were self-published in April, May and June of 2011. Between April and July of 2011, I sold 80,000 copies of my self-published books.

. . . .

I had another incredible year in 2012 with the publication of four more of my Gansett Island books and the fourth Treading Water book that readers asked me to write, while continuing to work with Carina on the Fatal Series. I sold the first two books in the Green Mountain series to Berkley Publishing in the summer of 2012, and sold 650,000 self-published books that year.

. . . .

Five years. Twenty-six self-published titles. More than 3 million self-published books sold. Thank God True North was rejected! Funny, isn’t it, that something so devastating at the time could turn out to be one of the great blessings of my life. The lesson learned here is that sometimes no means yes to something so much better than you ever could’ve imagined. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and the last five years will have been the sweetest dream. I’ll still be working at my old job—a great job that I loved but it wasn’t THIS job—my friends will still be working elsewhere and I’ll still be wishing and hoping for the life I have now. As far as I can tell, I’m wide awake, and it wasn’t a dream. It was a dream come true.

Incidentally, more than 77,000 people have wanted to read about a super model, and True North has a new dedication: To the editor who famously said “No one wants to read about a super model,” thank you, thank you, thank you. A million times over, thank you. And about that Gansett Island series rejected by every publisher in the romance business… It has sold 2.2 million ebooks since Maid for Love debuted in 2011, with book 14, Celebration After Dark, coming December 1 and no end in sight for the series.

Link to the rest at Marie Force Blog

Here’s a link to Marie Force’s books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.

PG sends congratulations to Marie. He loves hearing indie author success stories.

Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? You’re Not Alone: Tips from an Indie Author

17 November 2015

From Publishers Weekly:

Beth Revis, author of the bestselling YA sci-fi trilogy Across the Universe (Penguin), recently self-published a companion volume titled The Body Electric. Publishers Weekly called the book “addictive,” adding that “Revis gives a masterly blend of worlds familiar and new.” While Revis is happy with her publisher and has no intentions of abandoning Penguin, she felt that in terms of self-publishing, The Body Electric was “the right book at the right time.” She says the book was finished and ready to go, but “didn’t fit in with Penguin’s next catalog.” And since it was loosely connected to the Across the Universe series “it only made sense to get it out to my fans as quickly as possible before moving on to new books and new worlds.”

Revis had been following the self-publishing trend for a while, so when it came time for her to jump in herself, she already had a stockpile of information. However, Revis admits there were a few snags in the editorial process and thinks that if she had educated herself a little more, she would have been able to handle the book’s interior design. In the end, Revis was surprised and encouraged by how much she enjoyed self-publishing her book—particularly having total control over the product from cover to design to marketing.

. . . .

“Keep in mind that there is no one right way to publish. Everyone has a different idea and different advice, but your path is your path alone. Really, you can spend nothing or thousands on self-publishing, and finding what’s right for you is the key—there’s no one set dollar amount that equals a good book.”

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Salem area authors share work, publishing advice

16 November 2015

From The Salem (Oregon) Statesman Journal:

For many authors looking to get their work published, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The process can be intimidating and complex. Local authors at this year’s Authorama at Salem Public Library were eager to share not only their work, but also their advice on how to get published.

“With all of the digital tools nowadays, I would just do it yourself,” said T. R. Monroe.

Monroe self-published his book, “Starting Point,” and it is also available electronically, which he believes is another way ambitious writers can make their work available.

He recently moved to Salem from Washington state with his wife. His novel is about a society in all people on the planet “were driven, purposeful and necessary” and concerned with the welfare of others, according to the book’s prelude.

Monroe donated 100 percent of his book sales from the day to the library, when it was only required that authors give 10 percent.

“I realized after I wrote it that it’s not about the money; it’s about telling the story,” Monroe said.

Authorama was inspired four years ago through the numerous program requests that librarian Ann Scheppke received from local authors.

“I get lots of requests from local authors that want programs at the library to promote their work,” Scheppke said. “Now we have one coordinated event where everyone can get together and network with others.”

Scheppke said she had about 150 authors sign up for the Authorama showcase this year, but she was only able to select 45 due to the constraints of the library’s main foyer area.

Link to the rest at Salem Statesman Journal

After Lawsuit Dismissal, Author Solutions Looks Forward

14 November 2015

From Publishers Weekly:

Andrew Phillips officially took over as president and CEO of Author Solutions (AS) on July 1, 2013, just a few weeks after the company was hit by a lawsuit brought by three authors charging AS with fraud. Although Phillips said the lawsuit was not a major distraction during his first two years at the helm of AS, he is nonetheless happy to be able to focus entirely on growing the company’s business, following the dismissal of the original lawsuit and a related case in September.

The self-publishing industry has changed a great deal since the go-go years when AS was created in the merger of AuthorHouse and iUniverse in 2007. The company was bought by Pearson in July 2012 and became part of Penguin Random House when Penguin and Random House merged a year later.

Phillips said AS estimates that the self-publishing market will grow at about a 15%–20% clip going forward, and though that may not be as fast as years past, it still gives the company lots of opportunities to expand the business. AS has worked with more than 200,000 authors, helping them publish more than 250,000 titles. In Phillips’s view, since self-publishing became a major part of the publishing industry, the market has divided into two camps—supported self-publishing services like AS, and what Phillips terms do-it-yourself companies that provide authors the tools to create and publish a book but little support. According to Phillips, in today’s crowded self-publishing market, AS’s greatest value lies in offering authors a range of services, including cover design, editing, and marketing and publicity. Author Solutions’ marketing offerings were at the heart of the lawsuits, but Phillips said the company has increased its efforts to ensure that authors understand what they are signing up for. “We work with all our authors to set realistic expectations,” Phillips said in an interview at PW’s offices. “And we deliver the services we promise.”

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Paul Bernardo publishes violent e-book on Amazon

13 November 2015

From CBC News:

Serial killer Paul Bernardo has self-published a violence-filled e-book on Amazon from prison, according to a Global News report.

Descriptions of A MAD World Order posted on Amazon describe it as a 631-page fictional thriller featuring references to the Illuminati and multiple violent characters, including Mexican drug cartel members and Russian militants.

CBC News has attempted to contact Amazon as well as Bernardo’s lawyer, Tony Bryant, for comment, but neither immediately responded.

But Bryant told Global News in an email: “I am advised that Mr. Bernardo has written a book.”

. . . .

Bernardo, now 50, was sentenced in 1995 to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for raping and killing 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French in St. Catharines, Ont. — crimes he committed with his then wife, Karla Homolka.

Link to the rest at CBC News

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