With the upcoming summer holidays, I thought I would rearrange my blogging schedule. So I have done away with Saturday Spotlight and it has been renamed Writer Spotlight so that I can move it to a different day. Most likely it will be every Wednesday of each week, but since my internet wasn't working at the beginning of the week I am a bit behind. Even so I still wanted to get this up so that hopefully by next week I could be on a schedule that is more suitable. At the moment I am not able to visit everyone as much as I would like so I thought by rearranging things that should help and with the summer ahead I will most likely be busy on the weekends as will most others so it just makes sense!! Now that that's out of the way let's meet this week's Indie Author, Cheryl Shireman.
I actually found Cheryl through another Indie author, Lizzy Ford. She introduced me to Cheryl's blog and I am so glad she did. Cheryl has some amazing information available on her blog especially for new writers who are just starting out. Her Indie Publishing page is filled with great tips and sites that I have found to be tremendously helpful. Not only does she provide some amazing info, but she writes the most amazing books. She has six published books. The two I liked most were Broken Resolutions which is about two ex lovers who are pretending to still be together for one last event except things don't go quite as planned and Character Profile for Fiction Writing which is very helpful for those writers wanting to combat writing block, improve your writing skills, learn basic skills used by every writer, and gather ideas for new stories.
You can visit her site for full synopsis of all her books and for links on where to purchase them. Now here's my Q & A with Cheryl:
1. What site(s) have provided you with the most help and support as an Indie author?
One of the first sites that I found to be really informative is Kindleboards. I joined that site and “hung out” in the Writer’s Café. There are a great group of writers (and readers) there who are always willing to give advice and instruction. More recently, I joined a Facebook group called Indie Writers Unite. That group is just wonderful and consists of other Indie writers. We go there to get advice on such things as pricing, covers, and descriptions. We go there to complain when the writing is not going well. We also go there to celebrate those great sales days. Lots of camaraderie and support there. Love my writer’s group!
2. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing in my early teens, but I never really considered the possibility of being a writer. That seemed like such a fantasy, such a dream occupation, that it was always out of reach. In fact, I never thought it was a possibility until after I submitted an article to a magazine and it was accepted for publication. I only received twelve dollars for that article, but more importantly, I learned that people would pay to read my writing. A career in writing suddenly became a possibility.
3. Is there more or less competition amongst Indie authors than amongst "traditionally published" authors?
Well, since I have never been “traditionally published” it is difficult for me to answer that question. But – I can say this about the Indie writers I have had contact with, and there have been many. These are some of the kindest and most encouraging people I have ever met. We share our stories. We tell each other what works, and what doesn’t, and give ideas on what to try next. I don’t feel any competition among my fellow Indie writers, but instead, a sense of cooperation and unity. If one of us succeeds, all of us succeed. It has been an amazing experience.
4. Why do you think the work of Indie authors is somehow considered "less than" traditionally published authors and how can this attitude be changed?
I think that attitude is already changing. The stigma about self-publishing is well deserved because it started in the days of so-called “Vanity Presses” who “published” your book – as long as you paid them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. For many people, this is what they think of when they hear about Indie or “self” publishing.
Just five months ago, this was also my attitude. I had never heard of the Indie revolution – despite the fact that I am a writer and an avid reader! My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas. While looking for a new book to add to my Kindle, I came across an article about Karen McQuestion. She is an author who self-published many of her best-selling novels as eBooks on Kindle. My first thought was, this seemed too good to be true. There had to be some sort of catch.
There is not. A writer can now self-publish and partner with companies such as Amazon for no cost whatsoever. Within 24 hours of reading that article (in late January), I had uploaded my recently completed first novel, Life is But a Dream. Within 48 hours it was available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook. Within a couple of weeks it was also available as a paperback through Amazon and as an eBook on Barnes & Noble’s Nook. It is now mid-May and Life is But a Dream has been bought by thousands of readers. In less than four months! That is simply amazing.
5. Have you had more success with your eBooks or printed books?
While I am selling both paperbacks and eBooks, I am definitely selling more copies of the novels via eBooks. I have just released a gift book entitled You Don’t Need a Prince that is selling about the same number of copies in paperback and eBooks. I think it depends on the title. For novels, across the board, eBooks are now becoming the most popular format.
6. What is your current WIP?
I just published another novel, Broken Resolutions, and I am currently working on a sequel to Life is But a Dream. I had not planned to do so, but I heard from so many readers who requested a sequel that I thought – why not? And I love the opportunity to “hang out” with the characters again. Six months ago, if you had told me that Life is But a Dream would not only be published, but would also sell so well that readers would ask for a sequel, I would have never believed it. Dreams do come true!
Six long-time friends gather for their annual New Year’s Eve party. They are meeting at Craig and Hannah’s spectacular home in the country. Hannah is a best-selling romance novelist. Craig is her adoring husband. All seems perfect.
Except nothing is. No one knows that Craig left Hannah several months ago and is living across town with another woman. Tonight, Craig and Hannah will play the part one more time. Because tomorrow will be soon enough for broken dreams and reality. Tonight, they just have to get through the party.
But they didn’t plan on the snowstorm. A snowstorm that will keep them all snowed in together for the next three days. Which is plenty of time for secrets to be discovered, for illusions to be shattered, and for resolutions to be broken.
So, dab a little perfume behind your ear, put your party dress on, and slip into your favorite heels. You’re invited to the party!
(photo & description were taken from Cheryl's blog)
Places you can find Cheryl:
Where you can purchase Life is But a Dream:
Life is But a Dream Kindle
Life is But a Dream Nook
Life is But a Dream Paperback
I would like to thank Cheryl for taking the time to visit with me today and if you would like to be featured in my writer's spotlight, then drop me an email. I would love to have you.
To read past Writer Spotlight features, simply visit my Writer's Spotlight page.
Next week's featured writer is M. Edward McNally.