Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story

Today we are hosting an interview with author Carol Denbow. She is here to talk about her new book, “A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story.”

Yvonne Perry: Is this your first book?
Carol Denbow: No, it’s my third release. My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was released in 2006. Then after a two year gap, I’ve had two new books released in just the past three months. This one, A Book Inside, which I self-published, and Stress Relief for the Working Stiff: How to Reverse the Embalming Effect, which was published by Publish America.

Yvonne: So you’ve self-published and been traditionally published?
Carol Denbow: Yes.

Yvonne: Do you recommend self-publishing a book?
Carol Denbow: Well, there are advantages that go along with traditional publishing, primarily, the cost—there really isn’t much when compared to self-publishing. But you do give up a considerable amount of control in exchange. For instance, I genuinely dislike the cover that was designed for my book, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff. I don’t feel it represents the contents of the book as well as the title being difficult to read from any reasonable distance. To me, this breaks the first rules of a good book cover design. But regardless of my efforts to change it, I have a contract with the publisher, and that is concrete. So even though it’s my book, I lose the power and control I would have had I self-published the book. Because of these things, I prefer to self-publish.

When you self-publish a book, and here I’m excluding print-on-demand publishing, you maintain complete control, but, in turn all expenses and a lot of work falls on your plate. Self-publishing requires an enormous commitment to what can equal years of preparation. After spending what may seem like endless hours writing your manuscript, there will be many more devoted to editing, layout, cover design, finding a reliable printer, marketing, and promotion. But of course, when you do-it-yourself, all profits are yours to keep.

Print-on-demand publishing is when you pay a publishing house to do a considerable amount of the work for you and make your book available to most buyers. But with POD publishing you still have to pay for copies of your own book. Also, your book is rarely “returnable” by retailers such as Barnes & Noble, so they are reluctant to order it, limiting your sales market.

Publishing options are something each individual author must choose according to their personal needs and expectations. For me, yes, I prefer to go all the way and self-publish on my own.

Yvonne: So does A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story teach new writers how to self-publish their books?
Carol Denbow: Absolutely. But it is the writers’ choice of which publishing method they personally prefer or suits them best. The book explains all methods of getting published, including Print on Demand. That way, the reader can weigh the differences prior to making their choice. Once they decide what’s right for them, they can follow the step-by-step instruction and use the references to locate the resources they need.

Yvonne: For such a small book, A Book Inside contains an incredible amount of resources. Where did you find these?
Carol Denbow: Research, research, and more research—about three years of it

Yvonne: I like the way you get your message across in all your books. I found them to be really easy to follow. Did you plan the books to be this way?
Carol Denbow: I hate to admit this, but I’m not a reader. In fact, I’ve read very few books cover-to-cover. I’m sure it’s just me personally, but when I pick up a book for the sake of learning something, or to better myself, I don’t want to read a lot of unnecessary “filler” text. So when I write, I create a simple outline of the lesson and then fill in the blanks with the most valuable information I can find. I don’t like books which are loaded with repetitive information. If you teach the lesson once and position it in the text to make it easy to find again, you won’t have to repeat yourself. Basically, my books have all the information “needed” and not the mumbo jumbo extras.

Yvonne: Many of the writers I work with self-publish their books; do you think a marketing plan is necessary for self-published authors?
Carol Denbow: If I said no, I’d be shot dead! Writing is a business and as with any business, you need to have a plan. There is no point in writing and publishing a book unless it will sell. Since more than seventy-five percent of books are self-published, I would like to direct this answer to those. On average, a self-published book sells only 120 copies. Are these statistics from published authors who lacked a good marketing plan? Absolutely!

I’d like to point out as well that book marketing is an ongoing effort. A new release can take up to three years to show signs of success. Some authors give up long before their book has the opportunity to really “get out there.” My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was released back in September of 2006, but didn’t evolve into what I would consider a “successful” book until early this year. It takes a good and ongoing plan with aggressive and unique ideas to properly market a book.

Yvonne: So where can we find your books and do you have a Web site?
Carol Denbow: All my books are available through Amazon.com as well as through my Website at http://www.booksbydenbow.weebly.com/. I also have a great blog for new and seasoned writers at http://abookinside.blogspot.com/. To see where by book tour is taking me this year, readers can visit my Website.

Yvonne: Thanks for stopping by and sharing this information with us!
Carol Denbow: Yvonne, it is absolutely my pleasure and may I add in a final note, thank you for all you do to help writers and published authors find success in their journeys.



Lee Silver said...

Thank you for letting me know you were guest blogging, Carol. Having been on both sides of the fence, you have some great insights in the pros and con of conventioanl and self publishing!


Lee Silver
"Romance with a Twist"
THE TWIST, Now on Siren-BookStrand's Bestseller List

Anonymous said...

This was a great interview and packed with information as well as an inspiration. I was thrilled to learn of the avenues available for exposing ones writing and publishing. Thanks.
Audrey Heagney

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all who stopped by to read my interview with Yvonne Perry. A special thank you to Yvonne for having me here today.
Best wishes to all!
Carol Denbow

Kissa Starling said...

Great information- amazing interview. Thanks for sharing!


Michael Richard said...

Yvonne, as you probably noticed, Carol is one of the most intelligent, one of the nicest people, I have ever had the pleasure to have the acquantance. I myself, am an author. When I finished my first novel, I ran into this cruel world blindly. No one would talk to me. It seemed they didn't care and for the most part it was true. It seemed the traditional publishing world would not waste their time looking at my work. Then, one day, I stumbled across Carol Denbow on a website and I paused and read what she had. She was also searching for authors to contribute articles for a future book. I thought it to be exciting, so I jumped on board. Little did I know that she would make such an impact on my writing. Since I met Carol, I have had published another book, plus, an additional book due out in October. To beat that, I have since plowed through yet another book I expect will be finished and fully expect my publisher to accept it and have it out by Nov or Dec. But, I am not here to publicise my work, thus no titles, I am here in support for Carol. I consider Carol Denbow a true, true friend! I have the feeling she will grow far beyond that she believes she is reaching for. I believe she will gather a great many stars before it's all said and done. For someone who wants to learn and leap forward, listen to what Carol has to say.

Michael Richard

Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

I enjoyed this interview. I went with POD and liked having control of most of it. I loved my cover.

author 101 said...

Wow, Thank you to all for the kind words and for taking time out of your very busy schedules to read my interview with Yvonne.
Write on!

booklover said...

wow! your posts are really inspiring. please keep them coming!