Saturday, 25 April 2015

Olivia's Catastrophe ~ Breaking Into the Industry (Part II)

Hey there!

After part one of this discussion post last week Saturday here, I am back again and this time interviewing Jeff Altabef, author of Wind Catcher and Shatter Point about being traditionally published. This is the method I personally would prefer to use, so I was curious to hear his answers!
 
Do you have any role in the advertising of your book?

Absolutely. Whether a book is self-published or published through a traditional publisher, the author has to be the team leader for his or her projects and that includes marketing. I'll take it a step further. Advertising for authors is as much about the author's brand as it is about a particular book and no one can tell that story better than the author. Besides, marketing can be fun. It's really storytelling in a different form. This time about yourself as an author and your book. 

Only the top selling authors these days can get away with exclusively letting the publisher advertise their books. Even then I bet most of those authors stay involved. James Patterson doesn't strike me as the type of guy who sits back quietly while the publisher makes all the decisions!

What do you think the future holds for you, writing-wise?

Sometimes I wish I had one of those Magic Eight Balls to answer this question for me. I like to write thrillers and young adult books. My first two books were thrillers. Now I'm in the middle of a young adult trilogy with my teenage daughter as my co-author. The first of which is called Wind Catcher and will be released on March 23rd (shameless plug but I have to advertise-see question 1). I love both genres and plan on writing both, but my focus will have to be on young adult for the next year or so.  Still, I have this great idea for a new thriller that I'd love to....

How do the reviews and feedback you have affect your writing?

I write because I want others to read and enjoy my books. That sounds obvious, but it's not true for all authors. Some write to unburden themselves or for some esoteric reasons involving craft or to prove how incredibly brilliant they are. Since I primarily want readers to enjoy my books, reviews are extremely important to me and I take every one seriously. Before finishing a manuscript, I always hand it to my beta readers. I'll change aspects of the story depending upon their feedback. Once a book is published I look mostly for patterns among the reviews, whether good or bad and will adjust in my next project. For example, my first thriller, Fourteenth Colony, uses humorous footnotes as funny asides about characters and the setting. Half of my audience loved these footnotes but the other half found them hard to deal with mainly because Kindle placed them as endnotes. So I adjusted in Shatter Point, doing away with footnotes and adding the humor directly into the story. The results have been great.

How does having a contract to abide to affect your freedom in writing?

When working with a publisher, there's always going to be some give and take. They also have a stake in the book's success. Luckily, Evolved Publishing is an author first type of place, so I can't think of any negative issues we've had. 

I have to admit that I was a little nervous when we (my daughter and I) signed the contract to write the Chosen Trilogy for them. We had to produce outlines (that I normally don't do) for books two and three and have submission deadlines to get them done. So far, the deadlines have proven to be a benefit  because they keep us focused. Now those outlines are another story. When starting a project, I usually have a beginning, a mid-point, and an end in mind. Other than that, I let the characters take the story where they want it to go. It keeps the story fresh and surprising. Honestly, I haven't looked at those outlines since I submitted them. I hope the publisher lost them! 

Why did you choose to publish through a publishing house?

I enjoy writing, editing and even marketing. I don't have any interest in logistics or finding the right editor or cover artists. I admire those that can pull the entire package together, but that's not ideal for me. Besides, Evolved Publishing is really a great fit for me. First, they are highly selective and have a tremendous catalog. Every author should check out the other books that a publisher releases to get a feel for the quality of their work. If those other books don't look good, search elsewhere. Second, Evolved spends an incredible amount of time on editing, which shows in the end products. They have made me a better writer and that's pretty darn good!
 

Olivia’s Question: Would you want to publish a novel in the future?
 
Olivia-Savannah x

18 comments:

  1. What a great post!! I have always wanted to know how publishing works especially through the professional field.
    Naomi @The Perks Of Being A Bookworm

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    1. I am glad this interview was useful to you then!

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  2. Hi Olivia - I loved his answers and that his daughter is involved in writing the YA novels.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. I think the pairing is quite suitable as well :)

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  3. Great interview! I love when you do this kind of stuff because it makes us feel closer to the authors and their books! And I don't think I would ever publish a novel in the future, at least not in the fiction department but hey, I would love to help authors to do so :)

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    1. I am glad you do enjoy reading them, and I do think it is important for the readers to know the authors well!

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  4. What a wonderful interview. I love the covers of Shatter Me and Wind Catcher. It was fun to learn about Jeff's path to publication. I think it is awesome that he is co-writing a series with his daughter. Wishing them the best of luck. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. The covers do look very good :) It was a pleasure to read both of those books and I look forward to whatever he publishes in the future.

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  5. This was a great interview, Olivia! It was really nice to see an author's opinion on publishing houses and it's awesome that he found a publishing house that's a good fit. I think that's the ideal in writer's world, right?

    I always write, but I never think of publishing. Maybe I am just not ready yet, ha ha!

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    1. It definitely would be the ideal thing! And also, deciding to publish is a big step so whenever you want to do it make sure you are completely prepared!

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  6. This is a well-informative post. I think traditional publishing is a great way to get your book published but from what I have researched, most authors can't live off of it. I find the looking for an agent and then the agent looks for a publisher like a goose chase :( I think self-publishing is easier but then again barely any advertising for it ?

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I know what you mean about it being a goose chase that sometimes doesn't pay off in the end. But then again, if you are going to self published you are taking a lot of work on and have to be ready for it. I am not sure which method I would be likely to follow yet either :/

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  7. It's interesting to get a lil behind the scenes look. I always wondered how much a say the author has when in publishing houses vs self-published. I've noticed quite a few big authors self-publishing some of their books while still writing for a big pub house. This is a great post.

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    1. That was the initial reason for me being so introduced in asking an author about traditional publishing. I haven't heard of the combo before, which is kinda of interesting as well!

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  8. This blog post is really insightful :-)

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  9. This was a great interview and I can see how this can be very useful for an aspiring writer.

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