Losing Control is the first book of the Mason Ridge Trilogy. Set in the fictional town of Mason Ridge, WI, it follows seventeen-year-old Ashley Holbrook as she moves to her ancestral home, meets and falls in love with werewolf Tristan Deveraux and unwittingly falls for his archrival, Gabriel Stewart. Besides her complicated romantic life, Ashley has to care for her six-month-old brother, tries to avoid her less than pleasant stepfather, and finds out she is the only one able to help her ghostly ancestor be reunited with her one true love, Tristan’s uncle, Warwick. Will Ashley be able to break the curse on Mason Ridge and reunite the ones who should always be together? (Losing Control is a FREE download during Smashwords’ July Summer/Winter sale!)
Why did you decide to self publish? Or, why didn’t you go into traditional publishing? I first made the decision to self publish simply because I wanted to see my book in print. Through NaNoWriMo in 2008, I received a coupon for a free proof copy of my book from Createspace. That lit a fire under me and I knew I had to do it. I first decided to publish just for a few friends and family; it wasn’t until very recently I took it more seriously.
What did your process look like?
For edits, I had a couple close friends edit for me. I’ve since realized I might have needed more than that. As for how I self published, that’s a little more complex. After getting my coupon from NaNoWriMo, I checked out Createspace.com and determined whether it was for me. Upon deciding it was a good deal, I finished editing the book. I had a friend of mine design the cover and format the book for me. Once they were done, I uploaded everything to Createspace. It took about 24 hours for them to review my uploads and determine them ready for me to order the proof. I used my coupon, but still had to pay for shipping. It took 3-5 days for me to get the proof copy. Once I received it, if I was happy with the end result, I could go back to the site and approve the proof. Once it’s approved, it’s ready for consumer consumption. J One thing I would suggest for those interested in publishing through Createspace is to take advantage of the Pro Plan. At $39 a year, it allows you access to more markets (libraries and direct buy avenues) and to get more royalty from each sale (whether from their e-store or Amazon). It’s a great investment!
I also published the book as an e-book with Smashwords.com. I love that site! The how-to-format guide is easy to read and easy to follow; it took me hardly any time at all to format the book to their specifications. I like that the site allows the book to be published for 7 different formats, including 2 for the internet and 2 for the computer. Almost anyone can download a book from Smashwords and read it, no matter if they have an e-reader or not. Anyway, after formatting the book, I simply had to upload the book and the cover to the site. It goes into a cue and when its time comes up, it’s reviewed by actual people (at least this is my understanding). Once it’s determined to be without errors, I had to choose the formats I wanted to publish in, set the price and hit submit. It was live!
What are some bad things about it? I’m not very good at making choices. 😉 Therefore, while freedom is the best part about self pubbing, it can also be a downfall. Everything is up to the author: editing, publishing, formatting, marketing, cover design. It’s a lot of work! (and honestly, it’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to pursue traditional publishing. I’m not very good at being my own boss.)
I was surprised to see you seeking traditional publishing now. Can you tell me more about that. I would imagine it wasn’t an easy decision to make.
What made you want to pursue traditional publishing?
Seeing my books on a shelf at Barnes and Nobles (or any book store) has been a dream of mine since I first started writing as a teenager. That dream came back to me when I made the decision to better my life at the beginning of the year and the only way I see that happening is through traditional publishing. Honestly, I just want to see if my writing is good enough to get noticed in New York.
What advantages do you see with a traditional publisher?
I know work is still involved, but I’ve had problems with getting covers done on time and while formatting is pretty simple (depending on where you’re publishing), I just want to write. I don’t want to think about a marketing plan, promotion (though a fair share of that will still be required with a traditional publisher), worry over who’s going to design the cover, do the formatting, etc. All of that will be taken care of for me. Taking away all of that work gives me the freedom to do what I really want to do: write stories that entertain others. 🙂
Are you glad you did self publishing first?
Oh yes! Looking back on it, I feel going the self pub route was impulsive, but I wouldn’t change doing it. I have met people I wouldn’t have known otherwise just because I have the words “self published” attached to me. I know so much more now about the publishing industry than I ever thought I would need to know. And the indie author and self pubbed authors I have become friends with are some of my favorites. (even if I make it the traditional route, I will still strongly support indies and self pubbed authors.)
What did you learn through self publishing that you will apply to your career.
Understanding that no matter what route I choose to take, it’s going to take a fair amount of work on my part as well as patience and belief in what I’m doing. Honestly (and this may anger some people), if I can’t get into the traditional publishers, I know more about self publishing and what I would do more of or differently in the future. I already have a different cover artist lined up. But like I said, my ultimate goal is to see my book on a shelf in a store.
Do you have any advice or suggestions for those thinking about going into self publishing? Make sure you are up for the work load involved in self pubbing. As I stated in the last question, everything is up to YOU. The amount of effort you put into getting your book out there determines how well your book will sell.
In addition to everything I have said here, you can also find me:
On Twitter: @erindanzer
On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3336797.Erin_Danzer
My website: http://erindanzer.webs.com (where all 3 books of the trilogy can be found)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-Danzer-YA-Author/201179339901905 (my author page)
Thank you, Liz, for having me on your blog! I enjoyed my time here! J