Friday, August 31, 2012

The Changing Face of Publishing

Writing a book isn’t what it used to be. The computer made the physical part of the process much easier. Now, Indie Publishing has added another convenience. It’s eliminated the need to find an agent or a publisher. 

But is this a good thing? Or is there a lot more poorly written crap out there? And why are so many authors blogging, Tweeting, and Facebooking? What’s with all this self-promotion anyway? 
The publishing world is changing and authors have to adapt or change careers. For those of us still struggling to make a career, the changes can be daunting. 

What’s an author to do?

I’m not sure myself. So, I’ve asked recently published Wild Rose Press author, Linda Trout how she views this new world of publishing.

Welcome Linda!

Hi Lilly. I’m so glad to be here today. It’s very sweet of you to host me.

- Contests. Do you enter and why?

I do enter contests. As an unpubbed, I found it to be a good way to get my MS in front of an editor if I finaled. Also, if you final you have bragging rights. Always a plus.

I tried contests a couple of times. Some of the critiques were very helpful. A couple sounded like so much sour grapes to me, while others didn’t give a clue as to what was good or bad about the work. I tend to shy away from them. I guess I’m afraid of being told I suck. Lol!

- Do you keep up with your sales? What social media do you think generates the most sales for you and how do you keep up with the results.

Since my book is a recent release, I’m still new at keeping up with sales numbers. I don’t check every day, but probably should keep a closer tab on them. I always try to steer people to The Wild Rose Press site, but most people are more familiar with Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I love that TWRP pays quarterly. I checked my sales a few times on the authors’ website, but it just made me anxious. Now, opening that email that takes me to my paypal account is like opening a present. And since my sales very so widely, it’s like getting an unexpected gift. My December sales were steady. My sales went up in March and then dropped in July. Can’t wait to see what September brings.

- Do you do book signings. Do you think they're a thing of the past?

I LOVE book signings! I’ve done quite well at them. Of course, the one’s I’ve done so far have been with family, friends and former coworkers so it was a good way to reconnect. I think it may depend on where you live and your own social network. I come from a small town so it made sense to hold my first signing at the library there.

I’m a small town gal myself. I’ve had seven book signings. I made my most sales at the two held in a gift shop in my hometown. Thanks to all my friends, family, and co-workers. Lol! But you’re right. It was loads of fun and a great way to reconnect.

- Speaking of books, do you still read paperbacks? Or do you prefer digital readers? Do you see a future for paperbacks or do you think they're going the way of the dinosaur?

I have to admit I’m one of those dinosaurs. Don’t own an eReader (yet). My hubby and I both read paperbacks. A LOT! We drop in at the bookstore quite often to see what’s new. Don’t you just love the smell and the stacks of books when you walk in the door? Kinda like coming home. When we have too many books piled up, we donate them to the local library. It’s a win-win situation.

I felt the same way you do—until my husband bought me an e-reader two years ago. Now, I only buy/read research books. I still love browsing bookstores. I still buy old books and research books. But when I want to read for fun, I download it. I’m now on my second e-reader.

- Besides guest blogging, how do you promote your books?

I use Facebook and set up an Event when I have a signing, then invite all my friends that live close by. I’ll also have an announcement in the newspaper. I’m signed up on Twitter, but I’m still trying to learn my way around it. hehe. I also set up author profiles on Amazon and Goodreads. Not sure how those help me promote my book, though. Basically, I use word of mouth and tell everyone I know to tell everyone they know. Not that efficient, but I’m still getting the hang of this stuff. Remember, I’m a dinosaur. {snort}

I know what you mean. I get Facebook. I don’t quite get Twitter. But I am trying to Tweet more and respond to Tweets. I’ve run contests on Goodreads and I post reviews of books I’ve read on both Goodreads and Amazon. And, I too have an author page. I’ve also joined Pinterest. Another time suck. Lol!

- What's your take on self-publishing? Have you attempted it? Do you recommend it? And, have you read any self-published books? What was your take on them?

I think Indie Publishing is a great way to get your book out there that doesn’t necessarily fit in the parameters of the Big 6. However, too many people are simply throwing their work out there without it being ready. First and foremost, you have to have a good product! Which means hiring an editor. I know my book wouldn’t have been nearly as good without the help of my Wild Rose Press editor. If you’re going to go to all the effort to write a book, make it the best it can possibly be. Once you have a bad reputation for poor quality work, it’s hard to overcome it.

I couldn’t agree more! I think those who’re making the most money off Indie Publishing are previously published authors who’ve gotten their rights back and those authors published in other genres who decide to do something different—like trying their hand at Steam Punk. I’m flirting with the idea of Indie Publishing myself but haven’t taken the plunge yet. 

-And you have a new release from The Wild Rose Press. What’s it called? Can you tell us a little about it?

My debut novel, Grave Secrets is a romantic suspense.
Here’s a blurb:

When Sara Adams' infant daughter is abducted, she moves heaven and earth to find her. But six months later, time is running out and Sara turns to the one man she shouldn't—insurance investigator Morgan Daniels. Dangerously attractive, he's a threat to more than just her heart, and if she isn't careful, he'll unearth secrets better left buried.

Proving Sara murdered her husband is Morgan's top priority. Helping her find her child is the perfect opportunity to get the proof he needs. But when he starts to think of her as a woman rather than a suspect, she slips under his armor. He can't trust her. Worse, he can't trust himself around her.

All evidence points to Sara as a murderer, but Morgan's gut tells him the evidence is wrong. Is his obsession with her blinding him to the facts? Or is the real murderer still out there…stalking Sara?


Sara’s sobs, the first he’d heard from her, broke through his stupor. Was this the reason behind those dark circles under her eyes? The logical side of his brain said to back out of the room and get the hell out of the house. He didn’t need another mental case in his life, didn’t need the responsibility, and later the guilt, when he failed them.
Instead, he gathered her in his arms, then pressed her head against his shoulder. She cried so hard, her entire body shook, and her keening touched him in places he’d thought long dead. He had the feeling this was the first time she’d truly cried since they’d dug up her husband’s body. No wonder there were so many tears.
His shirt was soaked. He didn’t care. He forgot about his mom, about how Sara could already be headed down the same road and simply held her close. When the tears had abated and she’d blown her nose on the handkerchief he’d offered, he kissed the top of her head, whispering it would be all right. She looked up at him, parting her lips. Remnants of tears still trailed down her cheeks. Without thinking, he lowered his head and gently pressed his lips to hers to comfort her.
Sara had been clinging to his shirt, but now moved her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. She opened for him, inviting. Am I out of my mind? He couldn’t get involved with a client. Or a suspect. Sara Adams fell into both categories.
He chuckled to himself. He was about to make the biggest mistake of his life, but right now he didn’t care. When she whimpered he scooped her into his arms, her weight a turn-on by itself, and strode across the hall to the nearest bed he could find.

Thanks for stopping by to chat today. Good luck with the new book. I think it’ll do great. Then again, I love good romantic suspense.

Thanks for having me today, Lilly! I’ve enjoyed visiting with you and sharing my viewpoints on some of the issues authors face in our ever-changing publishing world.

This is the tail end of my blog tour, so on Labor Day I’ll be drawing one lucky commenter’s name from the tour to receive a free digital copy of my book.

Who doesn’t love a chance to win a free book? Especially an award-winning book.

That’s right. Grave Secrets won the 5 Heart Sweetheart contest with The Romance Studio!{Yelling a little quiet ‘yah’ here. hehe}


Thanks again for hosting me! You’re more than welcome to come on over to my site anytime. I’d love the company.

Buy Links for Grave Secrets:
Barnes & Noble:


  1. Hi Lilly and Linda. Loved this interview and think Grave Secrets looks compelling. Congrats on winning the 5 Heart Sweetheart contest. Do you have any recommendations for contests/competitions?


    1. Thank you, Rebecca. There's a lot of emotional tug-of-wars in the book. It's a fairly fast paced read and if you like suspense, you'll probably like this.

      As far as contests go, it kinda depends if you're looking at unpublished or published author contests. If you're unpublished, look at the guidelines for the various contests (you can find them listed in the RWR). Do they promise to give you feedback? Are the judges trained, published? A few of the one's that I know are good (have good reputations) are the Emily, the Molly, the Rebecca. I know there are a ton of others out there but can't remember their names at the moment. Sorry.

      If you're looking at published author contests, besides the RITA, I would look for contests in a different section of the region where you live. The point is to find new readers. When they love your current book, then they'll be watching for your next one to come out. That's my opinion, anyway. :-)

  2. Hey Rebecca. Linda probably knows a lot more about contests than I do. My only advice would be to know what you get and what you want from a contest before entering. If you're just looking for feedback, don't enter things like the Golden Heart. You don't get a score sheet. If you're looking for a big win and aren't interested in feedback, go for the gold!

  3. Hi Linda!
    Congratulations on the new release - Grave Secrets - and especially the great review from the Romance Studio.

    I wholeheartedly agree that just throwing something out there to try to catch the gravy train of current self-publishing is a big mistake for future success. I suspect the most sought after people at the moment are free-lance editors.

    Interesting times we're living in, that's for sure. It might be a blessing or - I believe there is an old Chinese curse that says - May you live in interesting times. LOL

    1. Thank you so much, Lynne! I was especially tickled by the review..and the win. hehe

      More people need to use an editor. A highly published friend of mine said SHE wouldn't even self-publish without having an editor go over it first. However, it should be buyer beware. Anyone can 'call' themself and editor, but do they really know what they're doing? And what type of books do they edit? You wouldn't want a technical editor helping you with your romance as they are two totally different animals. i.e. what works for the one, doesn't necessarily work for the other. So again, the buyer will have to do their homework BEFORE hiring an editor. You don't want to hire someone only to find out later you knew more than they did. i.e. don't waste your money.

      Whew! I can sure get long winded. hehe Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love your comment, Lynne. And you're right--or, the Chinese proverb/curse is. We do live in interesting times!

  5. I'm so glad we live in a country where we can experiment with different careers, and I'm thankful we have talented people like Linda that can write down thoughts and completely captivate us for hours. I loved the book, and you are very deserving of any and all awards that you receive from it. I look forward to many more great books from you. Congratulations, and good luck.

    1. Thanks, Houdis! I appreciate the compliment. And thanks for dropping by!

  6. Great interview. Good luck with your book. I love the smell of a bookstore, especially one with an in-house coffee shop!

    1. Love the Barnes & Noble at Brier Creek because of the Starbucks. Ok, that's not the only reason I love it. lol!

    2. Hi, Liz. Yeah, an in-house coffee shop in a bookstore sure doesn't hurt. Pick up a good book, then enjoy it with a good cup of coffee. {{sigh}} hehe

      I appreciate you taking the time to drop by today.

  7. Congratulations on the release and the contest! This looks fabulous. I don't have an ereader either though I have the kindle and nook applications on my computer to read that way.

    1. Oh, I'd never thought of having those applications on my PC to read books, Lisa. I'll have to look into that. Hmm. Poor hubby will never be able to get back on here. {snort}

  8. Good advice, Linda. And thanks for a great book. GRAVE SECRETS is a keeper!

    1. Hey, Marilyn. Did any of that stuff sound familiar to you? I like to learn from the best. Ahem. :D

      Thanks for popping over today!

  9. Wonderful interview,Lilly & Linda! Good to know there are other dinosaurs out there. I,too,love the scent of a new book but experiment a lot with 99 cent & free books on Amazon Kindle. I've found several new authors whose other books I'll buy. Others I didn't get past the first two pages. I did experiment with Indie publishing a non-fiction book recently. It was polished, polished, and polished again, over and over, and a couple of great beta readers did the same. Definitely NOT an easy way top be published! Great fun, hard work, terrifying when checking the sales ranking every few minutes, and something I'll do again someday. Thank you so much for your insights, and your book sounds great - another for the TBR pile!

    1. Hi, Glenys! Nice to meet you. I toyed with the idea of going Indie. For all of about 3 seconds. LOL Then I came back to my senses and realized I need help in getting my MS polished and ready. I think Lilly mentioned it earlier, a lot of the people doing well by going Indie are putting their backlists out there. They already have a name and a following. For newbies, it isn't so easy. Of course, anything worth having/doing is never easy. And we appreciate it more when we've sweated over it.

      If you pick up my book, I hope you enjoy it.

  10. Glad to hear self-publishing was hard work, Glenys. I guess that means you did it right. lol! I'm scared to try it, but I think I least once.

    1. Lilly, I think a lot of us wonder if we can self-pub, and if we do, will we be successful. If you decide to do go for it, I wish you the best of luck! Keep me posted.

  11. I will Linda. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from you as your career takes off. Thanks for chatting with me today.

  12. Thank you, Lilly! The funny thing about this business is, if you produce a good book, you'd better have another one waiting in the wings because (hopefully) your readers will want more.

    I appreciate you letting me drop by today to talk about the industry. There's always more we can learn from each other. And good luck with your writing career, too!

  13. We're going to have to change your name from Linda to "Oh, Wise One." You really should teach a workshop at OWFI, because you've learned and learned well!
    I'm thrilled your book is selling so well. It is a keeper! (like M. said.)
    How's the new one coming? (she asked, playing the same song again.)
    Love you!

  14. Wonderful interview and great insight. Sorry I missed the draw, but Labor Day holidays only come once a year.