The ‘Meet the Contributors’ for Issue 88 of Crack the Spine is up, and I’m in it! My story, ‘To Love a Forest Fire’ will be coming out. Feel free to leave comments on it, let me know how you feel about it, both to let me know how I’m doing as an author, and to let the Crack the Spine staff know if you’d want ‘To Love a Forest Fire’ to be included in one of the upcoming ‘Best of’ print anthologies!
Taking a break from my own blog tour, today I’m hosting a tour stop of author Michael Brookes for the release of Conversations in the Abyss, the sequel to the 5-star rated supernatural thriller, Cult of Me.
I was curious to know how Michael got into publishing, and what it was like for him to dive into fiction. So I asked him a couple of questions- I hope you all enjoy them!
Elizabeth Rose: What got you into writing?
Michael Brookes: My love of reading. I always been an avid reader and reading other people’s stories sparks ideas of my own. Writing provides an outlet for those stories.
ER: What drives you to publish your work?
MB: The simple answer is to share the stories. I’ve written short stories for most of my life, but only in the past few years did I consider releasing them into the wild. Although if it hadn’t been for the support of other writers and their encouragement I probably wouldn’t have released my stories to the public.
ER: Do you self-publish or go through traditional channels?
MB: I self publish. This provides me with the advantage of being in control of every stage of the publishing process. Self publishing brings the opportunit
y to publish to us all, although authors have a duty to make sure what they publish deserves to be.
ER: What in your experience are the pros and cons of both kinds of publishing?
MB: Publishing houses
bring a great deal to the table. They provide the support needed to nurture authors and the resources. The difficulty for authors is becoming part of this process. It’s more tricky for authors who write cross-genre or niche work.
Self publishing allows anyone to publish their work, but you do so without the valuable support network.
It’s early days, but I think there’s enough space for both models.
ER: What was the hardest part of the publication process? The easiest?
MB: I find promotion the hardest part of the process. Connecting with readers takes time and constant effort. Not necessarily the easiest, but the most fun is writing the first draft.
ER: What advice would you give writers seeking to publish?
MB: Keep writing. You should always be seeking to improve your skills. Listen to the advice of others, but make your own decisions. And keep writing.
ER: What do you think is the most important part of marketing?
MB: If I knew that secret I’d be a millionaire 🙂 I think the best thing is to be honest with prospective readers.
ER: What tools/services/sites have you found most useful?
MB: For sites KUF and Goodreads have been very useful. And not really a tool, but test readers and an editor are invaluable.
ER: What are your long term goals for publishing? Short term?
MB: Short term I want to release another novel this year and finish two more first drafts. In the long term I’d like to write full time.
ER: Tell us about your current project/ upcoming projects.
MB: I’ve just finished ‘Conversations in the Abyss’, the sequel to my first novel ‘The Cult of Me’.
A synopsis of Conversations in the Abyss:
Stealing Lazarus’s miracle gifted him immortality. Combined with his natural ability of invading and controlling people’s minds this made him one of the most dangerous people on Earth.
But the miracle came with a price. His punishment was to be imprisoned within the walls of an ancient monastery and tormented by an invisible fire that burned his body perpetually. To escape the pain he retreated deep into his own mind.
There he discovers the truth of the universe and that only he can stop the coming Apocalypse.
Buy Now From:
Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.
Today in the blog tour, I talk about the benefits of publishing through a small press versus simply self-publishing. What are your opinions on the matter? Feel free to leave a comment!
My, my- look how the time flies! Here we are in the last week of February- only two more days left of my Goodreads Giveaway and the first copies of ‘Till the Last Petal Falls are due in my hands by next week!
So why not kick off my Blog Tour right with a wonderful blog dedicated to the support and encouragement of new authors? At ‘It’s All In the Details’ blogger Michelle Hauck posts inspirational guest pieces about how and when other authors ‘got the call’ to publish. (Something she’s no stranger to, as her own YA epic fantasy is slated to be published here in the Spring!). Why not check out her blog and see where I got my ‘call’ to publishing?
Yesterday, I was asked to come into a fifth grade classroom to talk about my experience of being a young author and poet. I got dressed up more than I do than when I’m going out to a fancy dinner, I was so nervous. I’ve talked to groups of people from elders to teens, but this was my first time talking to that age group that’s just so full of imagination and wonder that they’re almost irreversibly fragile. I wondered if I would say enough to them. If I would say something wrong and crush someone’s dreams, or give false hope. If I would make writing sound more like a back-breaking job (which is is) than a life-giving work (which it also is). I didn’t even really know what to say for the first couple of minutes. I just introduced myself, introduced the works that I have been writing (vaguely… these were children, after all), and then opened the floor for questions just to catch my breath. The questions streamed- and I had prepared for none of them. ‘What’s in your contract?’, ‘What would violate copyright law?’, ‘I like to write non-fiction narratives, how hard is it to get that published?’, ‘Why are there different guidelines for getting stuff published?’, ‘How many rejections do you get a month?’, ‘How do you deal with rejection?’, ‘If your book were to be made into a movie, would you be happy or would you be afraid that they would ruin it?’.
They asked questions up until the bell rang, when we all took a group picture and then I gave my autograph to a few very shy girls. It surprised me when, at this point, a couple of them specifically wanted me to give them a list of resources, aka journals and presses that accept the work of children/pre-teens/teens (which I have found a couple in my searches). I had been expecting to come into this experience being this authority, this person who was going to introduce them to this wonderful world of writing and what can be done with it. These kids were already past that point however. Those who didn’t like writing were critical, and wanted to be proven that there was some value in it. The ones who did wanted to write were itching to get started building their own portfolios and skills, and while English classes had given them a great outlet to practice their writing, no one would talk to them about publishing (which they were most interested in). That was amazing, to me. When I was in fifth grade, I assumed writing was something that happened to other people. Here, these kids were already pawing at the gates. What I wouldn’t give to make sure that someone was there to keep stoking that fire up until their big breaks! It makes me wonder why we don’t have more resources for young writers to be taught how to make it in the writing world. Why parents will spend hundreds of dollars each year to send their children to soccer camp, but not to an after school writing class that would focus on those who really wish to make writing their career. It’s not like there’s any better chance in being a professional soccer player as there is being a professional writer- and with the advances in publishing technology the industry is changing in the author’s favor.
In general, the world’s view of what a writer is, does, and can do for the world at large needs to change. Children like this who are hungry for chances don’t need to be taught to form themselves to standardized testing- they need to be taught how to critically analyze the work of others so that they can write their own works, and then learn how to write simple things like cover letters, proposals, and queries- which are much more helpful. Not that I have any authority to be saying these things- I’m no instructor or educator. Just my reflection on going into a fifth-grade classroom.
As we near publication, I’m going to begin to take pre-orders! The retail price for the book is going to be $16.95, and I’m hoping to be able to offer the pre-order copies for 10-15% off retail price, as well as hand-signing each copy (and providing a personal message, if requested). I will be putting up more information, as in how to pre-order, how to pay for your copies, when to expect your copies, by the end of the week, but I wanted to be able to give everyone a heads up. As of this moment, we only have a ballpark estimate of when the printed copies will be finished/delivered to me so that I will be able to deliver them to you, the reader, so I feel like I will not ask for payment until I am able to tell you that I will be sending the book out that day.
However, if you would like to begin to ‘pre-reserve’ your copies now, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the best e-mail to contact you back with, as well as how many copies you think you would like. As soon as I have a solid pre-order price, and again when I have a solid date for shipping and what not, I will e-mail you back and keep you updated on when you can look forward to holding your very own copy of ‘Till the Last Petal Falls!
As we get ready for publication in mid-late February, I’ve been upping my media presence under my fiction name- Elizabeth Rose now has a Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook- my LinkedIn remains under my real name, and I’ll probably be connecting this to that in a short while. Gotta make sure everything is connected for when I start rolling out the big announcements! Hurrah!