Monday, November 1, 2010

An Unexpected Benefit from Self-Publishing with Nancy Famolari

I’m so pleased to begin a new author’s tour this month with Nancy Famolari. Nancy is a talented writer and is offering a great article on some of the benefits of self-publishing. But, before we start, let’s learn just a bit about Nancy.

Nancy Famolari lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her stories and poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Flash Shot, Fiction Flyer, Lyrica, Alienskin Magazine Clockwise Cat, and Matters of the Heart from the Museitup Press. She received an award from Fiction Flyer for one of her flash fiction stories.

Doesn’t Nancy’s home sound like a bit of heaven. Living in New York City, it sure does!

Okay, on to the good stuff:

An Unexpected Benefit from Self Publishing
By Nancy Famolari

Self-publishing has many benefits:

• Control of the text of your book.
• Control of the cover design.
• Ability to make the book available in both digital and traditional formats at the same time.

For me, these were important reasons for using this flexible publication medium. However, with the first book I published, I found a benefit I wasn't sure I wanted. Having complete control of the text, I had to take full responsibility for the final product.

I had avoided thinking too much about the mechanics of getting a book ready for publication. I thought my editor would smooth out the text and make it salable. Editors do a great deal, and I had a superb editor, but when I was forced back on my own resources, I found I could do things I should have done before the book ever went to an editor. These included:

• Assuring the grammar and punctuation were correct. I thought I knew enough grammar to get by, and whatever I didn't know would be supplied by the editor, or surely the copy editor. Controlling the grammar and punctuation myself made me conscious of what each sentence conveyed. It led to a lot of rewriting. Punctuation is a valuable tool that can be used to enhance the images you are trying to convey.
• Making sure each speaker's the body language is correct. I favor description of the speaker's actions to elucidate the text. After several a careful reads, I realized there were many instances where I could use description to increase tension and reveal character.
• Checking the facts to assure each link in the chain of evidence works. When working for myself, trying to assure that each scene made a contribution to the story, I found myself making time lines and synopses. It was a lot of work, but when you're writing a mystery, it's necessary.

Perhaps I was naive when I started writing novels. I felt like an amateur, and I prepared my manuscripts that way hoping professional editors would correct the problems. When I became my own publisher, I became critical of my work and took responsibility for the finished product.

I don't mean to suggest editors are unnecessary, or that everyone should take up self-publishing. What I do suggest is that we should each view our work as though we were the publisher. I'm sure our editors will thank us, and we'll have a better chance of finding a publisher willing to spend time and money on our books.

*****
Nancy, thanks for these great insights into self-publishing. It’s a publishing route a number of authors are looking into today.

Now, let’s take a look at some of Nancy’s books:

Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm

When fifteen-year-old Meg discovers that a beautiful Swedish student with designs on her boyfriend has come to spend a year on her beloved horse farm, she decides to act. None of her plans to force Katrina to leave work. During foaling season, disaster strikes. Will the girls cooperate to save the mare and foal?

Available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1448697123

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Lake House

The lake house has been empty for ten years – the scene of a brutal murder. Undeterred by the story, Mark and Tory buy their dream house, but when they move in strange things happen. While exploring the house n the first afternoon, they find a hunting knife wedged in a closet under the stairs. Could this be the murder weapon?

Tory, a romance novelist, becomes fascinated by the unsolved murder. The owner's beautiful, young wife was found stabbed to death. The police say it was a burglary gone wrong, but she doesn't believe it. Alone at the house during the week, while Mark works in New York, Tory feels the presence of the murdered woman. When she asks questions, the townspeople become antagonistic Only Andy, the newspaper editor, tries to be helpful. After someone shoots at her, Mark tells her to stop the investigation. But she has to know: is she crazy, sensing the presence of a ghost, or is the town covering up a brutal murder? As her investigation continues, more accidents happen. Is someone trying to frighten her away, or is she the killer's next target?

Available from: http://www.amazon.com/Lake-House-Nancy-Famolari/dp/1452817944/

*****
To learn more about Nancy you can check out her site links:

Website: http://sites.google.com/site/nancyfamolari/
Blog: http://nancygfamolari.blogspot.com/

*****
Nancy, it’s been a real pleasure featuring you today. I wish you great success with all you books.

~~~~~


19 comments:

DarcĂ­a Helle said...

Great article, Nancy. One of the things I love about being indie is the freedom to write whatever I want and not have to fit into any agent or publisher's niche. However, you make a vital point. We need to make our books as professional as possible. Editors should be for catching those little mistakes that slip by us, not for re-working our entire manuscript.

Thank you, Nancy and Karen, for sharing this with us today.

Nancy Famolari said...

Thanks for having me as a guest today, Karen. Your post is wonderful!

Darcia, I agree with you. One of the major benefits is being able to keep your own schedule!

Janet Ann Collins said...

Nancy's books sound wonderful, Karen. And thank you for mentioning me.

Ginger Simpson said...

When I first started in this industry, self-publishing had a stigma attached to it...the belief that anyone who went that route did so because they couldn't find a house to publish their work. I've avoided it like crazy, but lately my viewpoint has changed. I'm proud that I just signed up on Createspace to publish my latest novel in print. The e-book version is owned by BWLPP, but I want to compare my royalties as an Indie as opposed to getting 10% of the net which equals about 12 to fifteen cents. I enjoyed your interview, and you've encouraged me and made me feel my decision was a wise one.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, All, Got started a bit late today.

Darcia and Ginger, Self-pubbing is coming into its own. More and more accomplished authors are taking this path to have more control.The key to doing it is to make sure you create a quality product.

Nancy, it's a PLEASURE featuring you today!

And, Janet, gotta pay it forward. :)

terri.forehand said...

great post, and gives the reader much to consider when thinking about self publishing. I think it is the wave of the future for many talented writers.

Terri
http://terri-forehand.blogpost.com
http://familiesmatter2us.blogspot.com

Debra Eckerling said...

Great post! Am thrilled with how much more accessible - and more accepted - self-publishing has become.

You have some great tips. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy Famolari said...

I've enjoyed all your comments. I hope I've convinced some of you that self-publishing can be fun and a very professional way to get books out.
Ginger, I'm so glad you're trying it. I hope you'll have a good experience.

Karen Cioffi said...

Terri and Debra, thanks for stopping by. Places like CreateSpace are giving authors great opportunities. I'll be looking into CS for a nonfiction book I wrote.

Donna M. McDine said...

Nancy:

What a terrific article. It's wonderful to hear that self publishing is getting over the stigma of being the "red headed step child."

Keep up the great work!

Best wishes,
Donna

Magdalena Ball said...

Good piece, Nancy. Of course one other benefit is significantly increaesd profits. Some big authors like Seth Godin and Stephen King have been doing it for both the reasons you suggest - control, and for the increase in profits - because they already know their market and have a direct line into them. Certainly the stigma is starting to diminish, as long as authors do as you say and make sure that they pay as much attention to editing (especially!) and promotion.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Donna and Maggie. Yes, self-pub has come a long way, but unfortunately, I think it still has a bit to go . . . only because of the authors who put very low quality work on the pod sites like CreateSpace.

kathy stemke said...

Great post ladies. Glad to hear that self publishing is becoming more accepted.

Miss Mae said...

I'm very happy to see this post. As an author previously published with three houses, I'm now totally Indie, and loving it! Yes, we must make sure to deliver a good product. The print books sell for more, so the reader is entitled to get their money's worth. We have to become very strict editors!

Martha said...

Nancy, I just love your cover art. It really draws me to your book.
Martha Swirzinski
www.movementplus.com

Nancy Famolari said...

Thanks to everyone for visiting and making such interesting comments. I think we all agree self publishing is here to stay!

Karen Cioffi said...

Kathy, Miss Mae, and Martha,

Hey, all, thanks for stopping by. Miss Mae, yes, we have become editors out of necessity. :)

Virginia S Grenier said...

Nancy great guest post and one many writers should see. I've twitted and posted a link from my blog to come read this. This is a topic we've talked about a lot on my blog radio show 'A Good Story Is A Good Story'.

Kudos to you for sharing your insight.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Virginia,

Thanks for stopping by and linking back to the post.

It is an important topic especially many more writers are choosing this pub path.