Jennifer Bogart: Author of Remember Newvember and Reflections

Tell us a little bit about you, the person behind the books:

I’m a mother of four boys living in the Montreal area. I started my career as a technical writer, but it seemed to suck the creativity out of me. After the birth of my third child, we decided living on one income would be better than paying someone else to raise our children for us as we were both working very long hours. I started writing fiction about two years ago, when all my children were in school full-time. Lucky for me, I have the most encouraging husband in the world.

Let’s talk books!

“Remember Newvember” is about a young woman who manages to get herself stuck in the daily drudgery of a routine-oriented world. Her best friend dares her to try something new every day for the 30 days of November. Willow takes on the challenge and embarks on the journey that is her life.

My work in progress, “Reflections” is about a woman who can’t get past the image she thinks she sees in the mirror. Roxanne sees a frumpy, dumpy, painfully plain, rundown single mother when she looks in the mirror. For the past seven years she has put all her energy into raising her young daughter, Calleigh. During this time she has lost sight of who she is and where she is going as an individual. A change of job, a move into the city and a fresh look at her teenage daughter give Roxanne new insights into how her life has spiralled into a vortex of nothingness.

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Why did you decide to self publish?  Or, why didn’t you go into traditional publishing?

I gave myself a deadline of six months to fish for a Canadian agent (this was the longest turn around time given by the 15 or so accepting Women’s Fiction in Canada). Maybe this was naïve of me, or just plain stupid, I don’t know. When my deadline approached and all I had received were form rejection letters, or nothing at all, I was ready to upload to Kindle and Smashwords. I did this for two reasons. One, I’m in charge of my book, the cover, the layout and the content – I did have help with editing, and for that I am eternally grateful. Two, if I didn’t have “closure” on it, I would continue to tweak it and rewrite it instead of moving on to the next book waiting to be written.

What was the process like for you?

The process for self-publishing was really very easy. I wrote “Remember Newvember” in 2009 as part of the NaNoWriMo challenge and then spent the six months reworking and editing it. Anyone who completed the 50 000 word challenge received a coupon for a free proof copy from CreateSpace. That first copy was a bit of a disaster, but it really opened my eyes to the mistakes in both technically and developmentally. A very generous friend helped with the editing process – she’s a bit of a perfectionist, which is a good thing in an editor.

Using the Smashwords style-guide, I prepared the document for e-publication – all very simple if you already have a working knowledge of Word.

What are some good things about self publishing?

Good things about self-publishing? It’s faster than traditional publishing; you can make corrections to your already published work without ever taking it off the market; you get to choose your layout and design, including the cover design – which was very important to me. The bottom line is that you’re in control of your art.

Another good thing is discovering there is a world of writers out there who exist outside the traditional publishing routes. I love to read, but I do get bored easily. Finding new and exciting books that might not fit into a specific genre is always of interest to me.

What are some bad things about it?

I would have to say the worst thing about self-publishing is the marketing. I’m not naïve enough to think that a traditionally published author doesn’t have to do a fair bit of promoting also, but the self-published author has to do it all. I had a huge learning curve with social networking, and to be honest, I am still figuring it out. Sure – all my friends have purchased copies of my books, and no offense to them, but it’s very important to figure out how to reach a wider market. It’s slow-going if you’re just starting out and having to learn how to do it all. Not to mention the time it takes away from writing your next best-seller. I’ve had to learn how to better organize my time for self-promotion, blogging, writing, and reading, all while not forgetting that I am a mom first.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for those thinking about going into self publishing?

Google is your best friend. Seriously, research everything and anything, connect with other writers and reviewers, and join a community of writers such as Authonomy or Book Country. Spend some time just figuring things out, and when in doubt ask. Someone out there will help you along the way.



I am happy to take any other links or information like blogs, websites, twitter info and the like:


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