The biggest conundrum for authors is publishing. The pros and cons for self-publishing as well as publishing traditionally are varied. Every author, I am sure, has their own story.
I am fortunate to have Ellynore Smith as the featured author. Ms. Smith has published several books. She has graciously consented to share her publishing experience.
Q: You stated that you were done with self publishing. What exactly did you mean?
A: Since self publishing has become so easy, there are many authors who publish books that are not yet ripe enough to be published. I have found errors in books that should have been caught by editors. For example, an author has changed a name of a character or town, and the old name slips through occasionally. Another genre are family histories of good people that have a dull life. That is fine for the relatives, but please, don’t expect me to buy such a boring book. At least when a book is published by a commercial publishing house ( and I don’t mean a vanity press) at least there is some control of quality and marketability. The author has to at least grab the attention of an editor for the work to be looked at and considered. Once accepted it goes through several editors before being printed. Not that it might be 100% flawless, I think sometimes in the printing process things go wrong, but there is a quality control.
Q: How did you go about finding a publisher?
A: A friend who has over a dozen books published, told me she likes her publisher–Black Opal Books (BOB). She was the second person to read my manuscript SIGRIT and recommended them. The first person to read it was my writing professor at college. When we had a conference about it he asked me how many drafts the work had been through. “First draft” I responded. “I like it, you should send it to a publisher.” BOB accepted it immediately.
It took 8 months before the book was published. One has to get into queue for the editors. While I was waiting, I republished a book that had been published 20 years ago by a small press in Baltimore called THE WOODEN MISTRESS. I had to retype that narrative non-fiction in order to be available in e-book format. I also had some short stories that were the result of occasional writing classes and compiled a little book called ONE COLD NIGHT AND OTHER STORIES. Those books are available at Amazon and other outlets.
Q: What are the pros of publishing traditionally as opposed to self-publishing?
A: It amounts to an endorsement or seal of approval. This book passed the judgment of people in the industry.
The advantage of self published is the time factor. One can publish in a matter of days instead of months. I self published a sequel to SIGRIT
called ERIKA. I was in a hurry to get the work in print, and had a professional do the cover. That means now I have 3 self published books to the one by my publisher. I get larger royalty checks from SIGRIT than the other three combined. I have since taken ERIKA off the market (although Amazon still list it as used copies and e-books) and BOB will re-publish it. I also have another work with BOB called RELEASED. That fictitious story starts with a woman being released from prison. (No, I have never been in jail.) I’m told ERIKA should be out in July and RELEASED in the fall. I’m thinking of calling it ERIKA’S DILEMMA.
Q: Can you tell us something about SIGRIT?
A: I call it historical fiction, although my publisher says it isn’t far enough back in time to be historical. It starts in Germany in 1944. Sigrit comes home from school and finds a horrible sight. (I do know someone who did just that, but I am NOT Sigrit. She is a lot smarter than I am.) Sigrit has a brother and an Aunt Erika, and through circumstances they are all separated for the remainder of the war. After the war they reunite and some come to America in the late 40s. America was different then than it is now.
When I sat down to write I knew how to begin the book–that’s all. I wrote the way I like to read–minimalistic with lots of action. Many of the events have happened to people I have met or their relatives.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A:Years ago I knew a German man who came home from school one day and found….(What he found is in the first 4 pages of SIGRIT) I thought then, that would be a heck of a way to begin a novel. I did nothing until I had a traumatic event in my life. When that was over my first thought was I have to write that book.
Q: Can you tell me something about yourself?
A: My primary career for many years was a wife and mother. Our passion as a family was sailing. We lived on our wooden sailboat for many years. After my husband suddenly died I wrote THE WOODEN MISTRESS, a sea story a love story. It is about a naïve young couple that buy a big old sailboat and right away they have more adventures than they ever wished for. I called that book my boomerang book. In those days one still mailed out paper copies. After a few weeks or months the rejection letters came back in big envelopes if one had been enclosed with stamps on it. Then I called a publisher in Baltimore–a local call, and told him what I had. He said it sounds interesting, why don’t we get together. That was Books Unlimited, no longer viable. I bought all copies that were not distributed. Guess what people got as a present.
Now I live in Arizona with the best two cats in the world. You can look me up on @www.ellynoreseyboldsmith.com
also on facebook as Ellynore Smith and Ellynore Seybold-Smith.
Q: What advise would you give aspiring writers?
A: Don’t quit your day-job. Take writing classes and find your own voice. By the time I took my most recent class I would openly and respectfully disagree with some points the professor made. There are writers making big money, but most of us don’t. Connect with other writers. I go to @Write on the Edge Yuma.com where we exchange information and learn. The writing prompts can be lots of fun too. Have thick skin. You have to be able to take critique without getting defensive.
Be sure to visit her page on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Sigrit-Ellynore-Seybold-Smith-ebook/dp/B00FM0GU20/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423796663&sr=1-1&keywords=Ellynore+Smith.