Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Self Publishing Strategies with Guest Blogger Kris Tualla

Win a copy of A Woman of Choice and welcome historical author Kris Tualla to the Book Boost today!

She's here to discuss...why self publishing is usually a mistake. Here's what she had to say...

We've all seen them. The authors who sat alone in their rooms and wrote a book that no one ever saw. Or that their mother/husband/best friend saw and praised, even though they don't read the author's genre and the manuscript still needed a ton of work.

Then they Googled "self-publishing" and went to a vanity press, where they were charged thousands of dollars to get their book into print (no e-outlets). But no additional editing or proofing was included in that fee. Their book was listed on Amazon (only) and priced at twice the industry standard.

Even so, they'll never make back what they spent. And anyone who buys the first book won't buy a second one. If the author ever writes a second one.

Can you pick out the mistakes these authors made?
• They wrote alone.
• They didn't get feedback.
• They weren't edited nor their manuscripts proofed.
• They paid mucho money for their substandard, overpriced products.
• In short - they were sadly ignorant of "what it takes."

It doesn't have to be this way! An author who is willing to do the work has the potential to be successfully indie-pubbed.

I know - I'm doing it. But the path needs to begin on a traditional track. Here are the steps to high quality independent publishing:

1. Join Legitimate Writer's Groups. Ones with traditionally published authors. Learn HOW to write from them.

2. Find Beta Readers: authors & readers who read your first drafts and give feedback on the plot, characters, GMC, pacing, believability, etc. of your story. Then follow their suggestions.

3. Once the manuscript is finely polished, submit to traditional editors and agents.

4. If you're rejected, pay attention to WHY. Is it the writing itself? Or is the writing fine, but other factors are at play?

Now it's decision time. When I was being rejected because: “We don’t do American historicals… no one can sell Scandinavia…write Scotland BUT Scotland is a very crowded market… cut 15,000 words then I’ll look at it… publishers LIKE their boxes…”

I knew it was time to strike out on my own.

So with my agent's blessing (Yes - I snagged an agent AND several full requests from major houses. …Still waiting.) I took my American-Norwegian historical romance trilogy to e-publishing and print on demand (POD). And I did all the work myself.

Here's what that work entailed:

5. For the POD (print on demand) copies I used CreateSpace by Amazon because there is no contract, no fees, no required purchases, and fabulous distribution. I designed my own covers, but there are other options.

6. I ordered completed books and gave them to 3 or 4 readers to be edited and proofed. This costs no more money (about $5 for a 100,000-word book) than printing manuscripts at Kinko’s and is so much more productive!

7. I go through 4 rounds of printed-book edits until 12 different sets of eyes have picked the books apart.

8. When I’m done, I publish paperbacks on Amazon and B&N via CreateSpace.

9. I upload my e-books to Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords.

10. I begin to promote like nobody's business!

I did submit the 3rd book in the trilogy to RT Book Reviews. They said: "A riveting novel showing that dirty politics have been around for a long time. The story is quite emotional with plenty of action. Nicolas and Sydney may have serious problems, but they also share a deep love and lots of laughter!"

And they gave me 4 STARS. Not bad for a debuting and indie-pubbed author.

But I did the work over four years. I got feedback. I learned. I locked my ego in a cabinet with a big chunk of chocolate and I put myself and my manuscripts out there. I never worked in a vacuum.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thank you for taking us on your journey through the self publishing world. You still somehow make it look so easy--even though I see your strategy for success is anything but easy. Good for you for doing all the hard work and I hope you reap the benefits for years to come! Please give us a run down on your books.


A Woman of Choice
- Missouri Territory, 1819

A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820

American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?

A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821

Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.

Want more Kris?

Visit her website here: http://www.kristualla.com/

Pick up a copy of her books today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a comment or question for Kris and get in the drawing to win a copy of A Woman of Choice.

For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy.

And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.


In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:

1. Go to http://www.kristualla.com/ and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.

2. Send an email to: ktualla@cox.net with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.

3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at: http://kristualla.wordpress.com/blog-tour-dates-locations/

**Winners for Book Boost February prizes are drawn the first week of March and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Audrey said...

Wow, I thought it was a lot of work for an author to be published but I never knew exactly how much... I admire anyone brave enough to face all this (I know I'm not)

e-mail: pitiponc@hotmail.com

PoCoKat said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to win an ebook!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Kris Tualla said...

Yes, Audrey, either path is a TON of ego-bashing and hard, hard work. But if you succeed - it's awesome!

Kris :)