Wednesday 24 July 2013

Berengaria Brown Talks about Self Publishing

Please welcome Berengaria Brown to my blog today.
Why have you become a published author, Berengaria?

I have always read voraciously. I began writing when I had no books to read. On the way I discovered it was something that I could do, and something I enjoyed doing, so I haven’t stopped writing.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
So far I have only independently published books for which the contracts have expired, or to which I've requested the contracts back. It’s definitely been a steep learning curve, and there’s no way I’m going to get rich any time soon, but it is a good feeling to see books that have done nothing with a publisher finally start to sell. Being in total control is also a good feeling after having had some less than awesome experiences with some publishers.

I like the control, too.What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Join a group of authors experienced in independently publishing their books and learn as much as you can before jumping into the lake.

I agree. What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your books? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
When I started writing I chose to publish with several different publishing houses as I’d had a couple friends who got caught in the mess when a publisher ceased operating. This was A Good Thing as one of the publishers I was with closed and another one got very rocky and I was able to remove my books from them while still getting sales from other books elsewhere. I decided I would give self-publishing a try with the books I’d gotten back.
So far I've only done digital myself.

What went into the process? Can you share your ups and downs and how you went about it?
I had the books re-edited by a professional editor and a talented friend did the covers. I did the formatting myself. The first two were hard work, but by the third and fourth ones I thought I was getting better at it. For authors self-publishing a brand new book I really think editing is very important. We simply don’t see our own mistakes. It takes a professional who is at arm’s length to pick them up.

What was the most difficult thing in the process of self-publishing? 
Actually stepping out from the security of having a publisher with everything at their fingertips is hard. But having tried it once, I think many authors will be ready to continue self publishing. 

How about the easiest?
The easiest thing was knowing I had nothing much to lose. If it didn't work out I could simply go back to writing for one of my existing publishers.

Can you list some Pros/Cons of self-publishing?
Choosing release dates and art work was wonderful. Although most publishers do a good job with covers, some don’t. And with a publisher an author has to fit into their time frame. By independently publishing the author picks release dates that suit them, so they can promote etc as much as they want to.

How long have your books been out? How long between books if you have multiple sales—and if you have multiples did you see a bump in sales with subsequent publication?
The first two went out together eighteen months ago, then two more in January this year. Because I work full-time at a demanding job I have to schedule releases around that. Every time a new book releases, the backlist kicks up a little.

All self-pubbed books are rumored to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
Some books are very badly edited. That’s a fact. Authors tend not to see their own mistakes. Also, some authors get their best friend, or an eager fan to “edit” the book. A good edit demands a professional editor who lives and breathes grammar and consistency and timelines, and that costs money. But the author’s good name is at stake here, so the fee is essential.

What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
Read the best books around, then read the most popular. By then you’ll know what you like.

Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
“Jaid’s Two Sexy Santas”

Jaid hates the annual family Christmas party, a huge event with people she doesn't recognize or like. She's hot and horny and looking for action on the holidays. But this year things look brighter. Her second cousin, Greg, and his partner, Steve, invite her to spend time with them. Two sexy Santas for Jaid? Oh yes!

Thanks for joining me today, Berengaria. Do you have any final words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Never give up. Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep perfecting your craft.

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  1. HOT covers! Great interview and I agree wholeheartedly on the editing advice. I suggest to other writers that if they have a barterable service, consider making a deal with their editor to cut costs. I'm a massage therapist and personal trainer in my day life and my editors and proofreaders work for my services. It has been a mutually beneficial and satisfying relationship so far and it doesn't require out of pocket $ for me. Good luck with your books!

    1. That's a really awesome idea, to exchange services. Thank you for dropping by

  2. Thanks for sharing. I've read some of your books over time and found them interesting. I wish you much success with self publishing.

  3. Great interview and I agree that those covers are HAWT! ;)

    Your advice is spot on, too. Especially the part about never giving up! Best of luck with your sales!!

  4. Thank you for inviting me here today, Anna