Hi, everyone! It’s Friday! YAY!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, here are the answers to the publishing questions that you asked! Thanks again to all who stopped by to comment! You supplied me with a couple days of great blog material!
Does it matter if your book is traditionally vs. self vs. hybrid published?
In a perfect world, I’d say no. I’ve read independently published books that were infinitely better than some traditionally published books. Then again, I’ve read independent books that were incredibly low-quality. Even if the story was decent, the editing may have been poor, or the formatting sloppy, and unfortunately, that makes a huge impact when reading. Having a great story and being able to write well is only half of what publishing is really about. When you go the traditional route, a big company takes care of all of that for you. When you independently publish, it’s all on you. That was my main goal in publishing Cemetery Tours. I wanted people to read it and think that it had come from a big publishing house. That means professional cover, studying traditionally published books and their formatting, ISBN, PCN, bar codes, etc…
Did you try traditional publishing before you went the independent route?
I did for about a month. I queried a handful of agents, but after being rejected and/or never hearing back from them, I decided to go the independent route.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t try very hard with traditional publishing, but I’ll also be the first to admit I am not a patient person. I believed in my book and I wanted to get it out there. I figured I could either waste months waiting around for something I was not guaranteed, or I could take matters into my own hands and publish my book the way I thought it deserved to be published, with care. Independently publishing also means I own all the rights to my book. It is mine and mine alone. I love my book. I think it’s a good story with great characters and I am proud to be able to say that I wrote it. That’s something I never thought I would achieve, since I used to keep all my art and writings strictly to myself. I would willingly share Cemetery Tours and it’s sequel with the world, though, and in the end, I think that’s what makes independent publishing so worthwhile, because it truly is a labor of love.
Is there a special meaning behind the name of your company, Wind Trail Publishing?
Not a special meaning, per se, but I was very careful and deliberate when coming up with the name. I wanted it to be something that I would be willing to stick with for the rest of my life, since I do plan on this being a lifelong career and not just a passing fancy. I also wanted something that reflected my location (Texas) and something I held near and dear to my heart. I ultimately decided on Wind Trail because of my experience working as a camp counselor. I love hiking trails, I love wind in my hair, I love being outside. I value freedom very highly, and I never feel freer than when I am out in nature. I’m also proud to be able to say I designed the compass logo for my company. I sketched it out, at least. Ben, my graphic designer, put it into the computer since I’m like, the least tech savvy person ever and I have no idea how to do that.
What was your publishing experience like?
In a word, intimidating. I had a few people offer me guidance and words of wisdom, but for the most part, I learned most of the stuff on my own, probably because I’m not a very good listener. I don’t know why, but people talk and I just don’t understand what they’re trying to tell me. It’s a lot easier for me to read and learn for myself than to have another person guide me. I’m a very visual learner. There is also a lot of decision making involved, and that’s something that no one can guide you on, because you have to make the best decision for you and your book and what you want to accomplish. Now, looking back, it all seemed like a lot and it seemed like everyone was trying to tell me different things and oh my gosh, I’ll never get it all done and get published, but when you simplify the process, take out all the advice that other people offer you, and just do what you know you need to do to get your book out there, it’s really not that bad.
Essentially, you need…
A cover, both front and back.
ISBN (go to https://www.myidentifiers.com for ISBN and Bar Codes. My advice? Buy ISBN in bulk. I own 10 and it’s a great investment)
PCN (go to http://www.loc.gov/publish/pcn/ for everything you could possibly want to know)
What do you do to promote books other than Twitter and Facebook?
Oh, book promotion, you glorious pain the butt. To be honest, my book has only been out since September, and although it’s done fairly well, I still can’t quit my day job and move to Fiji. Twitter and Facebook are great tools, but honestly, I think I’ve found the most success here on my blog. It’s a great way to connect with readers and fellow authors. Review swaps are also fantastic! You get a new book and an honest review for yours. Right now, I’m working on getting my book into libraries and independent book stores, but that means investing a lot of time and money into copies of the book while at the same time preparing my new book for publication, which is a task in and of itself. GoodReads is one of my absolute favorite websites for book promotion and for meeting new people. It’s like Pinterest for books. Pinterest is also a great promotional tool.
(GoodReads/Shameless self promotion: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18470430-cemetery-tours)
I’ve read about the importance of newsletters, but I’ve yet to figure out how to really accomplish that. Reviews are so, so, so important, I can’t even begin to describe it. My goal is for Cemetery Tours to have 50 reviews by the time the sequel is released in June, and I only need 14 more, so I think I can make it happen. I hope I can, anyway! There are several website, also, that offer promotional services for a fee, but let’s be honest here, some of us have student loans to pay off and if we can save a buck and do it ourselves, then that’s what we’re going to do.
I hope this has been somewhat helpful and enlightening! Thank you all for your questions and if you have any more, please don’t hesitate to ask! I’ll always try to answer to the best of my ability! Have a great weekend!