Interview About Writing and Self-Publishing a Book
You win some, you lose some, but in the end you can post it on your blog.
I was contacted by a women's blog for an interview about writing a book and self-publishing. That was a few months ago and it's safe to say that they won't be running the piece so I'm sharing it here:
Have you written a book? What is it about?
I've written three books - two editions of The Darker Side of Lust and a mini ebook, Exhaust Pipes. They are erotic short story collections which include the taboo or "darker" themes of sex and relationships including sexless marriages, masturbation, infidelity, open marriages, sex work, anal sex & pegging, first-time encounters, casual hookups, religion and abuse. The stories feature heterosexual, bisexual and transgender characters.
What gave you the courage/motivation to start?
When I wrote my first book, I'd just started writing erotic short fiction. I was also heavily involved in an erotic showcase. I wrote stories on a regular basis so that I would have new material to share at each event. When I had ten stories complete, the idea came to me to write a full collection. So the next 6 stories were written specifically for the book. The 2nd edition of The Darker Side of Lust is the 5th Anniversary Edition of the collection. This book came about as a way to commemorate my first book and to showcase my growth as a writer. I edited all the stories, rewrote some, removed some that were in the first edition, added and edited the stories from Exhaust Pipes and wrote new stories for the current edition. The 5th Anniversary Edition has 24 stories total.
Did you encounter any problems such as writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome them?
I didn't suffer from writer's block - I had the ideas. I had to overcome moments of just not wanting to write or edit. I've never been a writer who works on a set schedule; when inspiration hits, I write. For the 5th Anniversary Edition, I had a deadline - I had to publish the book at the 5-year mark! So I was much more structured than I usually am. I tackled the easiest stuff first - editing and proofreading - before writing the new stories from scratch.
How did you go about finding a publisher/getting the book self-published?
I was familiar with the elements that published books possess - an ISBN and barcode (you can get those through Bowker), copyright, publishing company/press, price - and made sure my book had those too. The goal is for your book to NOT look like it's self-published. I accomplished that with my second edition. For the first run of The Darker Side of Lust - 5th Anniversary Edition, I used the same printer that I used for the first edition. All subsequent runs will be printed through Ingram (they are also the distributor that bookstores buy from so if you want your book on bookstore shelves you should definitely look into them).
Did anything surprise you about the whole process?
The one thing that surprised me was how manageable the whole process was. That's not to say it isn't a lot of work, because it is, but if you have a plan - writing, editing, rewriting, design and layout, marketing, distribution and sales - it is a manageable process.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book, or starting to write one?
The first and most important advice I'd give is to write it. I think some people get overwhelmed by the entire process and that paralyzes them from actually writing. Others get lost in their dreams of being a bestselling author. You can't get on the bestseller list if you don't write! The editing and rewriting and design will all happen afterwards. You can't design something you haven't written. You can't edit a book you haven't written. Get it? Also, even if you plan on self-publishing, it doesn't mean you will have to do everything yourself. Hire help.