Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jennifer Peterson Daly, the "Average Author?"

Since the majority of our visitors here are writers and want-to-be authors, I thought I would interview the “average” published author right here on this Blog to see exactly how the book publishing experience unrolls for the majority of us.

My guest will be Jennifer P. Daly, author of Black Hole: A Novel. Jennifer,
who is affectionately called “Jenna,” published her first book last year. Black Hole: A Novel is a romance fiction book of 400 pages.

Jenna, please don’t take the “average” comment in negative form. None of us here are Rowlings or Kings, although some of our books may qualify. In fact, I’ve heard already from Black Hole readers that they had a hard time “putting your book down.” That’s a big compliment on your writing skills and storytelling. Many wonderful and talented authors have difficulty getting their books picked up by the traditional publishers. Did you attempt to submit your manuscript to any traditional publishing houses? If so, what was your response, if any?

“Not a lick of offense taken. I’m frankly delighted by the feedback I am getting so far and talking to people like you and readers and authors alike is part of the learning curve. I’m happy to say this has been a fantastic experience so far.

When I was writing the book, I originally intended to have one copy self published for myself. I wanted a tangible, bound book that I could hold in my hand and say, “I did this;” perhaps as a small legacy to my two boys? Not sure. After friends read the book chapters in progress, I started getting feedback about how I should do “something more” with it. Intrigued, I started fishing around for publishing houses. I also had a few contacts who had gothic romances published. The negativity I got (“you will never get it read,” “you’ll have to send out 100 manuscripts and it will take years”) astounded me. I am the kind of person that says “don’t tell me it can’t be done.” That was when I just decided to go in the back door and self publish, buy a few copies, and viral market them. I keep thinking it only takes one person, the right person, who knows where this novel fits, to guide it more than I can. I think the fact that I wrote it from June of 2007 to June of 2008 and things in the book actually started happening to me after I wrote it (around Oct of 2008), make it a bit of an enigma.”

It’s common to receive the standard form letter or even no response at all from the big traditional houses. Writers just can’t take offense to that. We need to let those hits bounce off us and make us more aggressive towards our goal. So where did you look for publishing assistance? How was your experience with that?

“I talked to an acquaintance, who as I stated, had gothic novels published. Unfortunately, she was more negative than I anticipated. After that, I started looking around the internet. I chose Createspace.com to self publish because of their marketing connection to Amazon.com and the ability I had to custom design my book cover in Photoshop.”

Can you make any money from the sales of your books this way?

“I think I can. Patience is the quality I most lack in. But I see it as timing. The novel will fall into the right hands when it is supposed to. All I can do is expose it the best way I know how. My corporate background is in marketing so I am trying everything from Twitter to Facebook, to leaving it on planes. I think every Southwest flight attendant from here to San Diego has a copy at this point!"

Overall, are you happy with the outcome of your physical book and your experience with the publisher?

“I designed the cover myself, as I do graphic design full time. I was very pleased with the quality of the bound piece, and have had a ton of compliments over its look. No regrets over my choice. I have them lined up to publish my next two releases.”

So this is actually the first day of your virtual book tour for Black Hole: A Novel. I’m excited to follow your tour and learn more about this book I’ve heard so much about.

Here is a list of Jenna’s tour stops this week:
June 24 – Blogging Authors at http://www.bloggingauthors.com/blogging_authors/2009/6/24/in-her-own-words.html
June 25 – Bookland Heights at http://booklandheights.blogspot.com/2009/06/bookland-heights-proudly-welcomes-jp.html
June 26 – Plot Dog Press at http://plotdog.com/2009/06/25/introducing-jp-daly-and-her-novel-black-hole/
June 27 – Romance at Heart Magazine at http://romanceatheart.com/interview/jpdaly.html
June 28 – Bird Book Dog at http://www.bookbirddog.blogspot.com/

In case viewers are unfamiliar with a virtual tour, Jenna will have a posting each of the next 5 days at the Websites and Blogs listed above. Mark you calendars or stop back here to click on the next stop when that day arrives. I think you’ll all enjoy this tour. Jenna is a talented writer and her book stands alone.

If you would like to see more about Jenna right now, click on her Website at http://www.dalybookstore.com.

Thanks Jenna for sharing your experience with us. We certainly look forward to your next work.


Elisa said...

Good luck with your book, Jenna! I'm a self-published author as well, and I love your attitude. I agree with defying the negativity that says it can't be done. There's no such thing!

Jenna said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement! My sons laugh when I "go in the window" as they call it. I was trying to fix a software issue on my laptop the other day, and the usual approach was not working. My ten year old said "Are you going in the window again?"

I'm an example for them. And one thing I seem to have learned, at the tender age of 45, is negativity breeds and attracts negativity. And being around negative people can be draining. Happily the opposite is also true! See good things, appreciate good things, and watch them multiply!

Chelle Cordero said...

This is a very encouraging article for all of "us" authors ;>

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wise to select a self-published author as "average" - since last year POD/digitally printed books surpased offset, obviously that is the "average" author these days!

If you go at it with the right purpose, realistic goals, and book industry knowledge, you can be successful.

L. Diane Wolfe

Sheila Deeth said...

Thanks. This was a great interview. Good luck with the book and the tour Jenna, and thanks for sharing your experience.

Jenna said...

Everyone's been welcoming! So far, a great experience. Thanks Shelia!

Andrea M. Kulman said...

Great interview!

author 101 said...

Thanks to all who stopped by to meet Jenna and see her tour. Don't forget to follow her for the next few days and read more interesting posts.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Wonderful interview! :)