Authors of the Books We Read II
Interviews with self-published authors about the challenges of publishing in today’s market
Author Luna Charles in her own words…
I am a self-published author, Certified Life Coach and the Director of Hardcastle Enterprises Corp., a business I created to help people realize their full potential. My first novel Men Are Not The Problem is a heartfelt story of overcoming adversity and finding the love within which can heal all wounds. The success and theme behind this novel inspired me to write Love, Laugh and Live with Passion, a mixture of short stories and activities. Its purpose is to teach people the steps I took to overcome my own misfortunes. It features twenty weeks of exercises and factual tales from my life. I write, I speak to the youth, and spend time with my two daughters and husband. I was born in Haiti but have lived in South Florida for the last 21 years of my life.
Please visit my website for the latest blogs, events and to obtain a copy of my books.
What drives you to write and publish books?
Last year if I had been asked that question. I would have said that it’s something unexplainable. It’s this need that if I don’t write, anything else that I do won’t really matter. Then last week my sister Geanny sent me this link to a Ted talk presentation given by Author Elizabeth Gilbert in which she said something like during the Roman and Greek periods they believe artistry was not something a person could produce on their own. But rather it was divine inspiration that was given to certain people at certain times through what they called their Genius or Daemons or Guardian Angels or Muses or whatever. Well this made me think, if in fact I am being driven to create by a presence outside myself. If so, no wonder I can’t sleep until write. No wonder sometimes it feel like the voice in my head won’t shut up! lol, maybe that’s what drives all artists.
What was the most valuable source of information for you as a (self) published author?
How do I answer this question? If you are asking what was the most valuable source of information for me as to what I choose to write about I would say people. People are a wealth of knowledge, of stories, of perceptions. When I look at something at the same instance someone else is looking at the very same thing, we both see something completely different. So I like listening to people, looking in their eyes, hearing their thoughts on things.
What is the most challenging part of the (self) publishing process?
To me, I would say the editing process. There is nothing more gut wrenching then to get your manuscript back covered in red marks. It’s a very humbling experience to say the least. But it’s a necessary evil. And a good editor is a God sent and a bad one is, well, a bad one.
Have you ever had an unpleasant publishing experience and if so, what did you learn from it?
My worse experience so far was choosing the wrong person to edit my first books. The relationship between an author and their editor is one of trust and respect and when one does a lack luster job it haunts both of you for a long time. If anything I learned to be more thorough from that bad experience. I mean, it’s my name right? Who else is going to protect me if not me?
Printed book versus e-book. Which one your readers buy most?
Printed books, I can’t lie, that’s all I buy too. I have not gone over to the dark side yet, I mean my books are available digitally. But I still prefer crisp printed paper and the smell of flesh pages in my hands. To me that is still part of the reading experience.
Please tell us about your marketing venues.
I like doing the Libraries and local book fairs. But I think I really need to get my butt out of Florida and do some Fairs up north sometime soon. Any suggestions?
How long does it take for an unknown author to “get their name out?”
I will let you know as soon as I find that out myself, lol. I mean for all intents and purposes aren’t I still unknown?
Will e-books replace paperbacks?
NEVER!!!! I hope. But maybe… I just hope it’s not in my lifetime.
Do reviews play an important role in promoting and selling a book?
I don’t know if I would say they play an important role in promoting the book. I mean, if you get a review in the New York Times, of course that will help you. But I think they play a greater role in gauging your audiences’ reaction to your work. To me reviews tell me where I am and what I need to work on when it comes to my stories.
What is the biggest mistake to avoid when (self) publishing?
I would think paying a POD publishing company to do something that you could do on your own with a little due diligence. The worst part of this set up is the price they have your book for sale for. Most books published through POD are priced in the teens, $15.00-18.00. In a market saturated with self-published books, as an author how can you plan on selling your books when you have already priced it higher then well known bestselling authors? It’s not a winning situation at all for a newbie. I say spend your money on a great editor, a professional cover and publish it yourself. Read blogs and books on marketing and publishing and take control of your career as an author.
© 2013 by Oana