I have asked my beautiful and talented friend Carmen Stefanescu to do me a favour and help me out with a guest post about what it is like to publish while in a country other than the US. It seems that many of us authors take for granted all of the social media opportunities and reliable internet abilities we have here, and I thought it would be interesting to hear the perspective of someone with first hand experience on how different it really is to publish in a more remote area. Please welcome her to Readful Things.
Have you noticed that it is difficult to publicize your work from a more remote location?
Thanks to the wide spread use of the Internet and the appearance and consolidation of e-publishing, and even self-publishing, I don’t think there’s a problem where you are located nowadays: USA, Europe, Asia or Australia. You need to have a well crafted and edited manuscript, to be able to use the Word system and the Internet. And, above all, you need a lot of patience and be prepared to deal with the rejection letters.
Entering the highly competitive world of publishing, through traditional publishing, isn’t easy. However, I succeeded. My novel Shadows of the Past, a paranormal romance, was released on 4th December 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA which for me, a Romanian, it means a huge accomplishment. I can tell you it was a tough task for a beginner and I, as a non-native English speaker, can say it was a real challenge.
Do you feel that publishing from Romania has been any different that it would have been Inside the US?
Definitely. There are publishing houses in Romania but I doubt they would have accepted something written in another language. There’s no such thing as a literary agent or e-publishing. For the moment. Self publishing is all I could have done in my country. Print form. I absolutely didn’t want to go self-publishing. I wanted to know, and this could be told only by a professional editor, if my writing had any value. I also understood that for me, living in Europe, would have meant a huge sum of money to send paper manuscripts by traditional post to be examined by agents or editors living in the USA or UK. The only thing left was e-publishing, though I still like to read a printed book, to hold it in my hands and smell the ink and pages. A bit reluctant, I started sending queries to e-publishers. It may sound easy but, take my word, it brought me to despair sometimes.
Tell us how you came to the decision to publish your books through the publisher you chose please.
The path was not an easy one. People ask why I publish abroad and above all why English. As a teacher of English for so many years, I felt it easy to express my thoughts and feelings in English, even if vocabulary usage may be a bit tricky. I started with poems that met acceptance abroad and in 2002 I was awarded the Silver Cup for poetry. Some of my poems were also selected in 2001 and 2002 in a collection of Contemporary Poems in English – Muse Whispers.
Regarding Shadows of the Past, after a long string of rejections, I suddenly received acceptance for my submission from four publishers in a period of two days. I was pleasantly surprised but faced with a dilemma. Whose offer to accept? I considered Wild Child Publishing to be more reliable, having many people in the staff and a professional looking website and covers.
What would you like people to know about your book(S) that they may not know?
Well, I wrote the novels in several months but it took me several years to find acceptance for publishing. That my heart and soul goes inside each topic. That all the characters are like real friends to me. That everything I know now about publishing was learned the hard way – trial and error. That I consider my books a bridge between me and my readers. And, finally, that my greatest satisfaction is to know that reading my book I take the readers to other worlds and times, offering them a snug virtual shelter.
Can you give us any hints about what your next book might be about?
Likewise Shadows of the Past, my next novel, Dracula’s Mistress, is a paranormal, a historical one this time. The main focus is on a controversial character, Vlad III Basarab aka Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula. I know that there are many novels dealing with him as the infamous vampire. All are written by foreigners. So, why not a novel written by one of his country people? I dare say that my novel goes against the grain. You’ll have to read it to judge if I am right. I already signed the contract for it with the same publishing house.
What is the most important part about writing, publishing and marketing for the new author? What do you wish someone would have told you about the process before you began?
The day you sign the contract with a publisher, don’t imagine you’ll have no worries left. The hard work you put into writing your book is not over yet. You need to gain more visibility on the internet, brand yourself as an author and enhance your profile. Get the word out! Getting your name and your book out there is vital to growing your audience and increasing your sales. Marketing becomes a very important stage even before having your book released. These are things I had no idea about and wish someone had told me in advance. Or, perhaps not. Writing is one of those crafts where it’s better not to know the work ahead of you before you set out. I wonder if I had had the daring to embark on this adventure knowing everything I know now. But, let me tell you, I enjoyed it and had the opportunity to meet beautiful people in this process: my editor Shawn and all my reviewers, many of who, like Ionia, have honored me with their friendship.
Can you tell us where we can find you and your books and how to contact you?
Oh, you can contact me or ‘stalk’ me in many places:
Author, Carmen Stefanescu’s Site: http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/
Trailer: Shadows of the Past
Find me on:
Buy Link: Wild Child Publishing
Buy Link: Barnes & Noble
Thank you Ionia for hosting me on your lovely blog! I really appreciate it!
*Thank you so very much Carmen for such a wonderful interview and for sharing your insight!