Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pathways to Publication: Interview with Alessandra Thomas

Have a manuscript you think might be worthy of publication and not sure what to do next? Maybe you're wondering if you need an agent and how to go about finding one. Or you're confused about what kind of money is involved--does someone pay YOU or do you have to sink some of your own savings into this venture? What does an editor do? Will you have to market this book yourself?

Last month I wrote about my first feeble attempt at publishing a book. Now I'm interviewing other writers on their SUCCESSFUL pathways to publication--from self-published to traditional, debut writers to a writer who's published 130 books, and everything in between. 


Alessandra Thomas, New Adult fiction writer, on finding a niche in the self-publishing world

Jody: You wrote a book that you felt was worthy of publication, what was your next step?

Alessandra: I wrote Picture Perfect with the intention of publishing it  myself. After it was drafted, I sent it to critique partners, made some edits, and then sent it on to my line and copy editors.

While my editors were working on the book, I put it up on Goodreads and started emailing reviewers asking them if they’d be interested in accepting a free copy for an honest review. I also became more active on Twitter.  I engaged a publicist (KP Simmon at Inkslinger PR , she’s incredible!) to set up the blog tour and release day blitz, and then we were off to the races!

Jody: How long did it take from finished book to publication?

Alessandra: About three months.

Jody: That's a quick turnaround! Do you have an agent?

Alessandra:  No, I don’t.  Although I was approached by a couple of agents about representing Picture Perfect before it was published, I wasn’t interested in representation because I knew I wanted to self publish.

Jody: You mentioned that you had line and copy editors and your publicist. Did you hire anyone else?

Alessandra: Yes. I also worked with a digital formatter. The editors and formatter all cost around $1000. My amazing publicist KP Simmon, in addition to arranging a blog tour, sent out eARCs to some reviewers, while I sent them to others I had contacted personally. Then I uploaded it to all the websites et voilĂ !

Jody: What are the benefits, in your opinion, of taking the self-publishing route?  Any cons?

Alessandra: For someone like me, who’s writing in a hot genre – New Adult romance – indie publishing allows me to get my book to readers quickly and directly. I can start reaching an audience with it and see the benefits as soon as the book’s ready, and readers can decide whether it’s worthy of success.  I love that there’s no waiting period.

Jody: Any thoughts on the future of publishing or what's going in the industry, as far as mergers, e-books, bookstore closings, etc., go? Do you see any of these issues as affecting you now, or in the future?

Alessandra: I’m just so grateful that self-publishing exists, honestly. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to share my story with readers this easily. I think that more authors will realize that traditional publication is one way to share your work with readers, but it’s not the only way.


Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult novelist. Her debut is Picture Perfect. You can find out more about Alessandra on her website.

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