Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who's Your Blog Editor? Carol Denbow 2009 Interview on Conversations with Writers

One of my online friends, Ambrose Musiyiwa, recently interviewed me for Conversations with Writers. I would like to share the interview with you.

Carol Denbow 2009 Interview on Conversations with Writers.

*When did you start writing?
Carol Denbow: My writing career began only five years back in 2004. I was a late bloomer!

*How, why and when did decide you wanted to be a published writer?
Carol Denbow: It was never a dream of mine as it is for most writers. I had started up and operated a small business, and after slamming into so many walls along the way, I saw a need for a simplified small business start-up book. Voila! Are You Ready to be Your Own Boss? was finished just two years following my retirement.

*How would you describe the writing you are doing?
Carol Denbow: After publishing my first two business-related books, the one I previously mentioned (self-published), as well as one more, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff (traditionally published), my loving hubby convinced me to write a book about my publishing experience. A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story has been my biggest success. So the journey has begun and nowadays I write specifically about and for this industry.

*Who is your target audience and what motivated you to start writing for this audience?
Carol Denbow:
My most recent books are clearly directed at want-to-be and established published authors. It’s time consuming to write a book. Unfortunately, with all that investment comes the frustration of choosing the right publishing method and ultimately selling books. Many authors dream is to be the next Rowling or King. With the book market flooded with new authors and books, it’s a sad reality that the average book sells less than 200 copies. I think new writers need an advantage to compete; I try to get that edge for them through my books.

*What are your main concerns as a writer and how do you deal with these concerns?
Carol Denbow:
My concerns are the same as most others—how to sell my books. I spend at minimum two hours a day researching, learning, and promoting my books.

*How have your personal experiences influenced the direction of your writing?
Carol Denbow:
I think the reason I have pursued writing for authorship is directly related to the emails I get from other writers in need of advice and guidance. At one point, I would receive ten emails per day from want-to-be’s with a book already written and no idea of where to go from there. I do always write back and try to help, but if I can’t, I’ve always tried to direct my online associates to where they could find the answers they needed.

*How many books have you written so far? What are the titles, who published them and when?
Carol Denbow:
With the exception of one of my books, I have self-published all through my own publishing house, Plain & Simple Books, LLC. My books include:
Are You Ready to be Your Own Boss? (2006) P & S Books, LLC
Stress Relief for the Working Stiff (2008) P.A., Inc.
A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story (2008) P & S Books, LLC
The Writer In You (2008) P & S Books, LLC (a free e-book co-written)
How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour (2008) e-book, P & S Books, LLC
100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free, (or really cheap), (2009) e-book, P & S Books, LLC

*Do you write every day? How does each session start? How, where and why does it end?
Carol Denbow:
I write when I have a couple hours to spare without interruption. That’s sometimes hard to find. I once decided to try my hand at fiction. I took three days and drove up to a secluded beach to write. I finished 10,000 words to an awesome murder mystery. Unfortunately, I haven’t picked up the pen on that book since. I still hope to finish it someday—when I have the time!

*How long did it take you to write your latest book? Where and when was it published?
Carol Denbow:
My latest book, 100 Ways to Market Your Book for Free (or really cheap) was written while I was in Hawaii for one month. I had collected my notes and references so it was just about putting the whole book together.

*Is this book self-published, and what advantages and/or disadvantages will this present? How are you dealing with these?
Carol Denbow:
I prefer self-publishing. Of course when I refer to self-publishing, I am referring to the entire process. For instance, I do not publish POD. I write them, hire an editor, cover artist, and sometimes (depending on the difficulty of the lay-out) a designer. I have my books printed by a wonderful online company and stowed in my office closet available for sale. Advantage to this? My profit on a book is higher and the quality of my books is much better than any POD book I’ve seen. So I can still keep my cover price low and sell lots of books. Disadvantages? Only one I recall, and that was my first book; I simply printed too many copies in order to save money—didn’t work!

*What will your next book be about?
Carol Denbow:
Who knows for sure—maybe none. When I see a need, I am drawn to fulfill it. So it’s a waiting game for me as a writer. But I’ll get back to you on that the next time I feel inspired!

*What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Carol Denbow:
Oh, I am so proud of all the writers I have been blessed to meet and help get their books published. I have a great Website with links to all kinds of book and writing related Websites and Blogs to help writers network and get their projects moving forward. The Website is at if viewers are interested in taking a peek.

For more great interviews with writers, visit Ambrose Musiyiwa's Blog at

Carol Denbow books are available through


Hector Macdonald said...

All aspiring writers are very welcome to contribute to, where you can add information, images, video, music and links to illustrate and explore your favorite books.

Best entries to the $3,000 Tournament will also be offered contract work.

Tara McClendon said...

Thanks for the interview. It's nice to see someone's take on self-publishing.

Anonymous said...

Great interview-- I only disagree with the POD comment.

I LOVE POD. LOVE it!! Your investment risk is almost zero, and there's no chance of damaged inventory. Every order goes straight from the POD printer to the buyer. Perfect.

I tried carrying inventory my first year, and I just hated it. I am never going to do any major order fullfillmen again, thank God.

And the technology and the quality has improved. I would never print offset books again... And if I do have to purchase inventory for some reason, with POD, I pay about $2.75 per copy for a full-color cover and a 200 page interior. I think that's pretty reasonable.

Jill said...

Great interview. I like the point made about knowing your target audience. I think writers need to keep in mind who it is they are writing for and what will appeal to them.

I am also interested in the POD self-publishing comments. Sel-publishing seems to be gaining more and more momentum as the world of books and publishing and Kindle and so on continue to change.

Thanks, Jill
"Blood and Groom" is now in stores!

Sheila Deeth said...

I was interested in your comment about POD. I guess I tried to avoid the "business" end of things, using POD and buying copies to sell locally at bazaars. But I wish I'd had a more realistic idea of how many I could sell that way.

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Katherine Jenkins said...

I am working on a book called Lessons from the Monk I Married and am still wondering if I should go the agent/editor or self publishing route. Would love to hear more.

Carol said...

To Katherine,
Often the choice is not up to you. If this is your first book, it can be very difficult to get anyones attention at all (agents, publishers. etc.). Use the search box at the top of the page to look for more information about both options (and read the comments from other writers).
Good luck with your book!

Gutsy Living said...

Thanks for the interview. You have so much information to help aspiring writers in all of your posts. I finally understand what the numbers mean representing the printing of the book.