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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Should I Write My Life Story?

Nearly 81 percent of people say they have a book inside them. It’s in their hearts, minds, and soul; but unfortunately, it never seems to develop in pen. Most of these people feel their life story or an event in their life is worthy of becoming a book—and they may be right.

Why then don’t we write our special and unique story? Are we afraid of failure? Do we feel we just don’t have the time? Whatever the reason, we can overcome it. So what if it does take you five years to complete your manuscript? And what is failure anyway? If you sit down and spend one hour a week writing what’s been festering in your heart for years, would you consider that failure? I would define it as true commitment, a healthy outlet, and an expression of your being; far from failure.

Writing doesn’t have to be a full-time job; in fact, it shouldn’t feel like a job at all. Set aside an hour a week to write. You have a story to tell and there is sure to be someone who would be interested in reading it. Even if you never publish your story or make it available to the public, writing it will be an accomplishment to be proud of.

If you don’t want to write an entire book, then write bits and pieces in a journal. Journaling is considered one of the best remedies for stress. The reason being, you are removing yourself from your normal stressful environment by retreating to a quiet space to write. Also, you are able to express in your journal the feelings you aren’t comfortable expressing aloud.

Whether you have a book inside, need to release your thoughts, or just feel the need to write about something on your mind, write it. It’s healthy, it provides quiet time, and it’s free—so why not try it.