Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Interview With Author & Publishing Expert Stacey Cochran

Today on A Book Inside, we are featuring an interview with author Stacey Cochran. Stacey is the author of Claws, The Colorado Sequence, Amber Page and the Legend of the Coral Stone, The Kiribati Test, and The Band. But his books are not only what he is well known for. He also teaches writing at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina and is the editor of the Website How to Publish a Book at I think it’s important to hear from Stacy and I’m glad you as a writer are taking the time to read this information. So let’s get started by getting to know a little about Stacy.

Carol Denbow: Stacey, can you tell us how you began your writing career?

Stacey Cochran: Carol, you’re very kind. Thanks so much for your interest. And thank you for your enthusiasm and generosity in helping so many of us as writers.

My writing career began in high school. From 1989-1992, I worked as a projectionist at a movie theater. A few things happened during that time: 1) I learned that filmmaking was a profitable industry and I saw firsthand how much we value and enjoy a well-told story, and 2) I learned about dialogue, character development, and story pacing. In college, I pursued a degree in Creative Writing because I wanted to learn how to tell a story well. I published my first short stories in college, and after graduating I began writing novels. That was around 2001-2002, and I’ve been writing fulltime since then.

Carol Denbow: For some reason I feel as if my writing in this interview is being critiqued as I continue along with my questions for you (LOL)! How long have you taught writing classes?

Stacey Cochran: Ha, ha! The truth is I don’t place too much emphasis on grammar, unless it’s a serious issue for a student. I’m blessed to be teaching at NC State University, where our students tend to be in the top 10-20% coming out of their high schools. I’ve been teaching writing since I was in grad school myself in 1999. So about ten years now.

Carol Denbow: Why did you start How to Publish a Book?

Stacey Cochran: I started because I saw a need for information on the subject. It’s a Holy Grail for hundreds of us. Much of what frustrates aspiring writers is the lack of accessibility on the part of agents, editors, and publishers. People have books, and they want to know how to publish them. Too, I started the site because when I did bookstore and library events on the topic of literary agents or book publishing many people attended. The website became a hub for all the video interviews I did with agents, editors, and writers, and because of the nature of the Internet, became accessible around the world. My goal was to learn about the process of publishing and to help others achieve their goals to publish.

Carol Denbow: In my book, A Book Inside, How to Write Publish, and Sell Your Story I talk about the different publishing options for writers and the pros and cons of each method. With so few writers able to profit from their writing, what is in your opinion the most cost-effective way to publish a book?

Stacey Cochran: Well, the best way is to get an agent who sells your book to Random House, Simon & Schuster, or Harper for a million dollar advance. You seem to be asking though, what is the best way to self-publish? If a writer decides to self-publish his/her book, hundreds of options lie ahead. has a “ProPlan” where the per-unit cost of a 225-page Trade Paperback is about three and a half dollars. This is 40% of the cost of the exact same book printed through and about the same cost per-unit as Lightning Source. But, LS charges about 300 bucks upfront, and you have to buy a block of ISBNs. Other companies like AuthorHouse and iUniverse have many different rates and options, but I’ve not met one single author who used them and was terrifically happy.

So my opinion is that the best self-publishing option is to use to get a Trade Paperback. Also, you can make an Amazon Kindle version of your book available straight through Amazon. Additionally, I do an online audiobook version of my books through, which costs nothing as well. My last book on had over 50,000 total downloads. If you’re tech savvy, I’d encourage you to check them out.

Carol Denbow: I searched through your Website and found there were many benefits for writers. What would you say is the best information a writer can gain from visiting your Website?

Stacey Cochran: The best info is probably the interviews with actual agents and editors. Once I learned that these folks were real people with real tastes, hang-ups, issues, and ambitions, I stopped viewing them as some sort of nebulous group that I could never seem to penetrate. People in publishing are just like people in every other profession; they’re real people driven by the motivation to succeed and make a profit for their companies.

Carol Denbow: Well I do hope our viewers will visit your site and find some useful guidance there. Let’s talk about you books, in particular, CLAWS. Is this your most recent release?

Stacey Cochran: Yes, CLAWS is the most recent. Publication date was May 15, 2009.

Carol Denbow: Are there any more books inside Stacey Cochran?

Stacey Cochran: I’m afraid so.

Carol Denbow: Well Stacey, this certainly is all good information for our blogs visitors. Can you please let our viewers know where your books can be found and remind them of your Website address?

Stacey Cochran: Carol, thanks so much for all that you do. You are generous and selfless, and I hope you know how much we appreciate you.

You can buy a paperback version of CLAWS at for $10.99 or a Kindle version for less than two dollars. When you do read it, please write a review at Amazon. That would be a big help to me.

Here’s the link:

Thanks so much, Carol. And thanks, everyone, for reading.

Carol Denbow: Thank you Stacy for all this great publishing information and for sharing your new book with us. Visitors, please leave any questions or comments you have for Stacy below and thanks for dropping by!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks for the webside, Stacy! I also live in NC and teach seminars on book promotion & publishing at the community colleges. I will definitely add your site to my list of resources!

L. Diane Wolfe

Stacey Cochran said...

Thanks, Diane.

Elisa said...

It's fun to see you on the other side of the interviewing table, Stacey. I'm having a lot of fun following you on this blog tour. Keep at it!

Stacey Cochran said...

Thanks, Elisa. Just found out yesterday, I'll be doing my first UK interview this Sunday for a podcast audio show PeopleTalk! I'm stoked!

(and trying to keep my head above water:)

Elisa said...

Awesome!! Congratulations!