Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MY STORY: Barbara Foster

1. Why did you choose to self publish and what were your expectations?

I checked into the big traditional publisher but I found out the only way I would be able to to submit a manuscript would be through an agent. The cost factor kicked in, as there would be no guarantee even then. So the next step was to find a publisher that I could get my book published. I selected a vanity press and paid to have the book published, but there was no editing or cover design, so basically I had a book that I paid for and had to sell. I had hopes that it would become a good seller and from family and friends and promotion, it has sold very well. The reviews were good so my expectations were met.

2. Why did you select your specific publisher?

Not satisfied with the vanity press I used on my first book, I looked for another and fell into the clutches of what so many aspiring writers do. I found Publish America who promised everything I was looking for, but I didn't read the fine print and was foolish enough to have two books printed by them. But I wised up and searched again using the Predators and Editors site. I found Dragon Publishing. I spoke to them in person, and felt comfortable they would suit the publishing needs I wanted, even if I had to pay a fee. They offer the support to the author as well as list the book in several catalogs making it available to a host of retailers.

3. How is it going so far? Are you achieving your goals?

I would say it is going very well. I've sold a lot of books through book signings and by recommendations. My latest book is available to all book stores and I have been fortunate enough to get it into a local chain store and it is doing well along with the other books that I supply. I am achieving my goals, slowly but I am forming a customer base and it is growing. My biggest goal was to have my work appreciated and so far it is.

4. What advice would you give a person who has completed their manuscript and is considering self publishing?

First: Check out the publisher you are going to use. Whether you use a publisher who charges or one who doesn't, you need to read the fine print in their contracts. Check them out on Predators and Editors as well as looking at the other works they are putting out.

Second: Get a good editor to go over your work. No matter how much you or your family and friends read your manuscript, you need an editor who will find all the little mistakes that are so often missed. And you will have a polished manuscript to be proud of.

Third: Form a marketing plan. Do book signings, interviews with local newspaper and other media. Get the book reviewed and promote it wherever you can. Use sites that offer to promote your book that are reliable and have the capability to bring in potential readers.

Fourth: Set up a website for your book and you. This can be very important once your promotion starts so that people can find out about you and your book(s).

The best advice is for the person to be comfortable with the publisher they chose and not expect to be a best seller. Unless you have contacts, it won't happen immediately. It is a slow climb on the ladder to success and we have to pay our dues to succeed.

Suicide or Murder, ISBN#0979398150
The story is based on a real life event, with fictional characters and locations. Information from police reports and interviews with family and friends leave a big question. The story takes the reader through the lives of the McAlester family and the crime committed. Due to the lack of a police investigation, primarily because of the family's prominence in the community, the clues were overlooked. The question remains: Was it Suicide or Murder?

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