jillianjacobs
 
Welcome Donya Lynne, Author of the All the King’s Men series and Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) GOLD MEDAL winner for Best romance ebook, Rebel Obsession. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to guest on my blog.

Any comments posted through midnight on Sunday, 5/11 will be entered in a drawing for an Amazon gift card, please remember to leave your email address for contact purposes. (I will not use your address to send out any mktg info, I promise.


Welcome Donya!


Thank you for having me.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I chose to self-publish for a variety of reasons. For one, I wanted to retain creative control over my manuscripts and covers. I also wanted to create my own publishing timeline. With a publisher, you're restricted in so many ways. Word counts have to come in under a certain number, covers are usually created with little input from the author, and you're bound to the publisher's schedule. And, of course, I wanted to retain my royalties.

 

What are the positives of self-publishing?

I think the two biggest positives are the retention of creative control, as well as the retention of royalties. I also like working at my own pace, and self-publishing allows that. I'm not on someone else's timetable. I'm on my own. And when one story is speaking to me when another one isn't, it's nice not to have a publisher imposing deadlines on the piece that's not speaking. I don't like forcing a story to talk when it's not ready to, because the result is always regrettable. In the past, when I've forced a story that wasn't ready to come out, I ended up rewriting half the book.

 

What are the negatives?

You're alone. It's all on you. You're the author, the scheduler, the editor (although I do have an editor, I do a lot of editing on my own), and the formatter. You're responsible for all marketing and promotion, you have to find all the conventions you want to attend, you have to coordinate with the cover artist, editor, beta readers, and proofreader. Honestly, it can become overwhelming at times, and occasionally, I'm kept up at night by everything that needs to be done.

Also, I'm missing out on an advanced level of learning by being self-published. While I love my editor, I would like the editing machine that comes with a Big Five publisher for the simple fact that I would learn something new from someone new and trusted, who is educated and trained. I believe in learning constantly, and one way to learn is by shaking things up, encouraging change, and working with new people with different perspectives. I recently began working with a new group of critique partners and have already noticed an improvement in my overall skills. I thrive on feedback from my beta readers and critique partners, and I think that if I were to work with a Big Five publisher's editing, marketing, and promotions team, I would learn so much more about writing and the industry overall.

 

A specific question, how hard is formatting per venue? Is it as difficult as everyone makes it sound?

For me, formatting is the easiest part of self-publishing. When I first started out, I studied the Smashwords formatting guide, which is pretty much the industry standard for ebook formatting, and created a multi-page process document that I use every time I format a book. Over the past couple of years, I've tweaked this process doc to include pretty much everything I need to do from start to finish. It takes several hours to work through, but by the time I've finished formatting a manuscript per Smashwords' guidelines, it's pretty much ready for every venue. Of course, I need to run it through Calibre software (free and easy to use) first and prepare the individual files for a couple of the sites I load my books to, but the formatting is done. Uploading to each site is a breeze once the formatting and files are finished.

 

What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on Good Karma, the first book of the Strong Karma Trilogy. I'm also working on book two, Coming Back to You. I started Good Karma a year-and-a-half ago, but set it aside to work on my All the King's Men Series. And while I know fans desperately want the next AKM book, which is Trace's (a HUGE fan favorite), I can't finish it until I get these first two Strong Karma books done. They're clogging up my mind to the point that I can't work on anything else, so until I get them out, Trace's book is bottle-necked. And, like I said earlier, I don't like to force books out. Right now, Trace can't get through because the Strong Karma books have taken over my mind. Once the first two Strong Karma books are out, I think Trace will open up again. I desperately want to reach a point where I can live in the AKM world for about four straight years. I have a lot of characters in that series waiting in the wings for their stories to be told.

Of course, Micah (my #1 AKM character) is all for that. He says he's eager to get Trace's book rolling again (it's mostly drafted; I just need to finish it). Micah and Trace have a special bond. Unbeknownst to Micah, though, that bond is about to be tested by a kick-butt female named Cordray. In the draft of Trace's book, called Bound Guardian Angel, there is so much information that wants to come out that I'm going to have to break out bits and pieces for two related novellas, one of which could become pretty tense as the dynamics shift among characters, including Micah, Trace, Cordray, and Samantha. Believe me, I'm looking forward to writing it, but first things first.

Best way for readers to contact you.

Readers can contact me at donya@donyalynne.com

Facebook: AuthorDonyaLynne

Twitter: DonyaLynne

Thanks Donya. You are on your way to great things! Congrats on the IPPY!



 


Comments

Nancy Marsh
05/09/2014 8:05am

Congratulations on your awards. I didn't realize how complicated publishing is. Good luck is your future writing.

05/09/2014 9:16am

Thank you. :) It's not really that complicated, just time-consuming. There is simply too much for one person to do. I'm hoping to hire an assistant in the next year or two, but I need one who's able to put in anywhere from 20-40 hours a week (depending on what's going on) and who knows the business and/or is a quick, resourceful learner. That would free up so much time for me. :)

05/09/2014 8:07am

A great interview. Good luck with all you're doing!

Jillian
05/09/2014 8:25am

Hey Donya, one more quick question. If someone wants to start reading your AKM books, where should they start?

Debbie Boyes
05/09/2014 8:57am

rise of the fallen :) then the other books in the series are named at the end

05/09/2014 9:14am

I would start with Rise of the Fallen. After that, my recommendation would be to read them in publish order:

Heart of the Warrior
Micah's Calling
Rebel Obsession (recent IPPY winner - YAY!)
Return of the Assassin
All the King's Men - The Beginning (this is a prequel, and I've actually had some folks start with this book, but new readers will get more out of it if they read it last).

Sandy
05/09/2014 8:43am

Great interview and congratulations on the new award!

Debbie Boyes
05/09/2014 8:58am

great interview cant wait for Traces book to be released :)

05/09/2014 9:19am

I did think of one other negative about being self-published. Book sellers don't allow a lot of self published authors to do pre-orders. Right now, I can't offer my books for pre-sale on Amazon, which is a huge disadvantage. This pretty much kills any chance of making a bestseller list. Some more established self published authors have been able to get Amazon to work with them on this, and I'm hoping that in the next year, Amazon will allow me to begin listing pre-sales, too. We'll see. :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Shirley Bastian
05/09/2014 5:01pm

For anyone that hasn't read Donya's All the King's Men series you really should move it to the top of your to be read list! It's my favorite paranormal series!!!

05/09/2014 5:06pm

Awe. Thank you. :) It's a labor of love, to be sure.

05/10/2014 4:20am

Congratulations on your award Donya!! It's great to learn about what goes into getting a book written and published. Thank you for all you do!! Love the AKM series! And looking forward to Good Karma. I trust you tell Trace's story when it's ready to be shared. Will be worth the wait!! :)

05/11/2014 10:23am

Thank you, Daryn. :)

Cathy Shouse
05/10/2014 11:10pm

I enjoyed the interview, and your perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing. Best of luck to you!

05/11/2014 10:23am

Thank you, Cathy. :)

Shabby arora
10/01/2014 11:04am

Actually your antlers are perfect.id like one of those pair 😅
Manushabnam @yahoo.Com


Comments are closed.

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