Category Archives: On Site Guests

Catching up w/Random Evolved’s Rebekah Pruitt

Bachman: We’ve known each other for a long, but much has changed in that time. What can you tell us that has changed for TBK in the past couple of years?

Pruitt: Well, the TBK name is being dropped in a few weeks to be replaced with our main company name, Random Evolved. Outside that, we are the same random people who will post about anything each day.

Bachman: Covid has changed the landscape of publishing, podcasting, and conventions. How have you adapted to the lockdowns and recording of podcasts?

Pruitt: The pandemic changed a lot for me in terms of everything. Last year was our first-year publishing books and damn, it was like being thrown to the wolves. We had plans to do book signings with a local author signed to us, but our local bookstore was destroyed by a tornado right after places started to close. It was a weird first year. As for podcasts, I like to record in person. The dynamic is so fun but last year that had to change.

Bachman: You became a publisher with Random Evolved. How has that been for you? Everything you expected or worse?

Pruitt: Not withstanding the happenings of the pandemic, I have loved everything about it. I learned how to format, design covers, come up with marketing campaigns. A lot of which we didn’t get a chance to use…yet. You can feel the excitement throughout our staff.

Bachman: You’ve built a successful empire, is there anything you’d wish you’d learned sooner or anything you wish you could’ve changed?

Pruitt: Not to let negative comments get to me. Also, it is a marathon and not a sprint.

Bachman: What made you want to even start ‘the buzzkill magazine’?

Pruitt: This story is the main reason why the name is completely changing. When I was in high school before the days of fast internet, I was an editor with my high school newspaper “The Canine Courier.” And outside the theater, journalism became my favorite time of the day. And it was not due to having those cool-colored MACs from the early 2000s. I wrote the entertainment section for the paper. And when I hated something, I called it ‘The Entertainment Buzz Kill’ and decided to run with that name. As I have aged, I realized the name just does not fit us anymore. We cover a wide variety of subjects and changing it to Random Evolved Magazine just makes sense.

Bachman: When did you know you wanted to strengthen by branching out into novel publishing, podcasting, and all that readers can enjoy at your website?

Pruitt: Podcasting just came naturally as I have a background in radio. As for everything else, it just felt like the right move.

Bachman: Is there anything you haven’t done yet and looked forward to doing or have been wanting to do?

Pruitt: Soon. I can’t give more details just yet. But soon.

Bachman: Anything currently you’d like to share with my readers?

Pruitt: We have some great titles coming out this summer. The release of The Book of Roland by James Master with all new content. So, if you read this the first time it dropped, this is a brand-new book. Unbreakable Mind by Bryan Tann and Kindra Sowder. Third eye by Cindy Johnson. A book of poetry from Chelsea Hays and so much more. A few surprises. Plus, a launch of the company that started last year. We try to do something new each day, that is why I chose the name Random Evolved.

TBK Magazine – Random Evolved – Website

Interview with Janeal Falor

Bachman: You are best known for being a fantasy romance author with your Mine series, do you have any plans to change genres?

Falor: For a few years, I’ve played around writing some sweet romances, but have never been serious about them. Mostly I’ve been practicing writing them and learning the genre. I’m finally getting serious about publishing some, probably within the next year or so, but under the pen name of Jane Danforth. Under my own name, I’ll probably stick with fantasy with a side of romance. Getting lost in fantasy worlds is my favorite, with kissing of course!

Bachman: Is there anything you’re working on now you can share with us?

Falor: Yes! It’s the first book in a brand new series, The Fading Oracle. Aira, the last oracle, sees a vision of losing her powers and must fight to stop that from happening. Did I mention there are dragon gods? And a hunky love interest, of course!

It’s written, but still needs to go through some editing. I’d also like to plot out the rest of the series before I release it, just in case I need to tweak anything in this first book.

Bachman: You mentioned a box set, what can you tell us about the story you wrote that’s included?

Falor: Sure! Reader’s have often asked me for more books in the Mine series. Last year, I had a reader suggest she’d like to know about a specific character, and the idea really interested me. This year, I wrote it! I did make it so it can stand on its own if you haven’t read the Mine series, but there’s also lots of fun pieces if you have read the Mine series.

For those familiar with the Mine series, the book, Mine to Defy, is about Tawny, a Princess from another country who came to help those struggling in the Mine series. She became a tarnished in the last book, forced to become bald, had her face tattooed, and made barren. This story takes place as this princess returns to her country and to a people that aren’t ready for what she’s become. She discovers a plot against the tarnished, and fights to save those like her, discovering herself in the process. And finds love along the way, because I love kissing books!

Bachman: When we talked you named other authors, what about these authors did you like that made you want to work with them?

Falor: J.A. Culican is putting the set together. She’s a great, USA Today Bestselling author with some cool books out! When I found out she was putting together a fantasy box set, I was excited to become part of it and hopefully learn some new skills from her.

Bachman: What’s the box set going to be called?

Falor: Speed Dating with Authors: Fantasy Novel Edition

Bachman: Will it be primarily a romance box set?

Falor: It will be a fantasy box set. I know that my book has some romance in it, because kissing rocks, but fantasy is the main genre.

Bachman: When you’re not writing, what do you do to entertain yourself?

Falor: I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I also love to garden, though I’m mostly good at killing plants and not making them grow. And as long as I don’t have to cook, I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

Bachman: You’ve been writing for some time now, any advice you’d like to share to someone just coming into the business?

Falor: Write. A lot. I know it may sound silly, but often writers want to write, but we get caught up in doing so many other things, sometimes we forget the main point is to actually write. While you’re writing a lot, read even more. There’s so much we can learn from reading other books, not plagiarizing them, but discovering what you like and don’t like about them, and then applying that to your writing in your own way.

Thank you for having me!

[Brief Words] 2015 Throwback: When Lindy Spencer Took Over

Once again, my ninja skills have served me well. Another unmanned blog to take over! Muahahaha!

Hi, my name is Lindy Spencer, and I’m an author. I write everything karmic, psychologically thrilling, and – breaking news – I even write children’s books! Who knew, right? I know! Spinne the Spider is a story I came up with recently, and I’m excited for it to come out for the kids in my life to read. Heck, the kids in your life might even enjoy an adventure with Spinne the six-legged spider.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about. I’m here because the door was unlocked, and, well, I do takeovers when bloggers aren’t looking, and today I’m focused on where we are with where we thought we’d be when we were asked that question in high school.

Me, personally, well, I’m so far removed from where I thought I’d planned well enough to be… I can’t even see the white picket fence from here. That’s okay, though. The white picket fence wasn’t my destiny. I can totally work with that! I planned to be married (that happened, didn’t work) with children (check, check) and live in a cute little cottage home (yeah, no) with a white picket fence (splinters are my enemies) and a yappy little dog (the neighbor has several, glad I dodged that particular bullet!). Instead, I am now re-married (to Amazing Husband, who is awesome), have the two children (lights of my life) who have given me a horde of grands (which I lovingly refer to collectively as ‘Skittles’), a home that is my refuge, and Super Smart Dog (who is bigger than a yappy puppy).

Way back when they asked where we thought we’d be in ten years I am not sure I would have made it to where I am now had I known then what was coming. Life is funny that way, isn’t it? It’s like someone in the Planning Department has a twisted sense of humor. Probably why I have one as well!

Anyway, that’s what’s on my mind. If you want to drop me a line and let me know how life has turned out for you compared to how you thought it would turn out, I’m pretty easy to find. Either through my website,, or over on Facebook at Oh, and I’m easily stalk-able on Twitter, though not as prevalent there…

Thanks for hanging out with me for a minute! I just heard a car door slam, which means they’re probably back… I’m going to use my ninja skills to sneak out the back door – don’t mention my name, okay? Later, Lovelies! *waves*

Some links in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have become broken over the years as well for some interviews and older content. This is an older interview being re-posted.

[Brief Words] 2017 Throwback Interview/WiHM Special – Lindsey Goddard

In honor of Women in Horror Month so much is going on! I just had to do a 15 for 15 to interview one woman in horror right now and I was lucky enough to snag the wonderful Lindsey Goddard!

Bachman: Tell us a bit about yourself, your work, what genre(s) you write in, and something you’d like to share about yourself that maybe isn’t well known.

Goddard: I am 33, and I’m not getting any younger, so I’m trying to get my name out there. My fiction is dark and somewhat depraved, but with an emotional twist. I’m currently working on a novel that I hope will knock your socks off.

Bachman: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Goddard: Well, my life as a writer has been great, during the times when I was able to write. Other times, I don’t get much writing done at all and beat myself up over it.So I’ll answer with a direct quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Forrest Gump: “Maybe both is happening at the same time.”

Bachman: What’s your writing process look like? What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Goddard: I tend to obsess over topics I find interesting, so research is an enjoyable part of writing for me. I can spend hours reading and watching about a topic, even for a three-thousand-word story. Days and days for the longer stuff.

Bachman: If you were deserted on an island, which three people would you want to have with you? Why? Criteria:One fictional character from your book, one fictional character from any other book, and one famous person that is not a family member or friend.

Goddard: Casey Wendell, the social worker from my novella Ashes of Another Life, because she is a strong woman Peter Pan, ‘cause I would ask him to fly me away from the deserted island (is that cheating?)Jonny Craig, lead singer of the band Slaves, because I’m currently obsessed with his vocals and would make him sing to me.

Bachman: What about the genre(s) you write in attracted you to them?

Goddard: I’ve always loved horror. I’m not sure why. Some people just do. We’re a misunderstood group of people. You’d think the obsession with darkness, with blood and would indicate somebody is a psychopath, but I find the opposite is true. Horror fans tend to be fun, laid-back and open-minded. Maybe it’s an effective form of therapy to read, watch, and write horror.

Bachman: What’s your latest release about?

Goddard: When Tara Jane Brewer leaves her polygamous community behind after her family dies in a tragic house fire, she is plagued by ghastly images of death. Hunted by a member of the church who plans to bring her home to Sweet Springs at any cost, Tara Jane must fight to keep her freedom. But everywhere she goes, she sees the charred faces of her burned family, watching her, following her, all thirty-four of them, waiting for her to come home and resume her place in the family. From Ashes of Another Life.

Bachman: Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?

Goddard: Honestly, no, I don’t feel successful yet. I know the more humble or likable answer would be to say, “Yes, I feel successful because people are reading my work.” But I don’t feel that way. I haven’t produced enough work, haven’t reached enough goals. Maybe the upcoming release of my new collection, Secrets of the Slain, will bring some new fans my way.

Bachman: A brilliant idea hits you, what do you do first?

Goddard: Text it to myself! I have a song I sing for my muse: “I don’t want anybody else. When I think about you, I text myself.”

Bachman: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

Goddard: Sleep. I wish I could stay up all night like I used to when I was younger. These days, even coffee won’t keep me up after 11. I would trade sleep to become a better writer, if I could control the Zzzzz’s when they hit me!

Bachman: Do you believe in writer’s block?

Goddard: I believe that some writers believe in writer’s block, which is a good way to get it. Therefore, I try not to believe in it. Take that, writer’s block!

Bachman: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Goddard: I’m still waiting for a really, really bad one. I know it will come. I’m almost eager to get it over with. So far, there have been reviews from readers who weren’t thrilled or didn’t fully connect, but nothing too terrible.  *knock on wood*  *gulp* The good ones… they always make me smile.

Bachman: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Goddard: I saw how the editing process can rip things to shreds and form an entirely new, polished product, so I try not to dwell on the small stuff.

Bachman: Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Goddard: Well, it can surely be said that some of the biggest jerks in the world are the most successful, but personally, that depends on how you measure success. If nobody really likes you as a person, how successful are you as a human being? Big egos kill personal relationships, no matter if the book sales are rolling in. Best to avoid that.

Bachman: What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Goddard: Publishers asking authors to pay for a book deal. That is not a book deal. Don’t ever do that.

Bachman: Does your family support your career as a writer?

Goddard: Yes. Quite supportive.

Bachman: How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

Goddard: As a person reads my work, I like to make them think and figure things out along the way, but I promise, I’ll always explain what’s happening in the end. None of these “and then they woke up and none of it mattered” endings. Read my fiction, and I’ll reward you, I promise.



Links to check out:

Purchase Links for Ashes of Another Life



Social Media: 






Some links in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have become broken over the years as well for some interviews and older content. This is an older interview being re-posted.

The Interview of Voice Actor Sean Rhead

Audiobooks are the next level in reaching your readers. Paperback, hardback, and even digital formats are other common ways, but its a dream for any novelist to get their work into audio. Audible is the most common way, the biggest as well, and for me I wanted this like everyone else. For those that have followed along with me, you know I’ve had struggles in this department. I’ve had narrators quits and others not be able to continue with the projects. This made me want to give up, but the passion for my work continued and eventually I found a man named Sean Rhead.

I wanted to introduce you to him with an interview. Here is how that interview went.

Bachman: You’re a voice actor and narrator. How did you get into that line of work?

Rhead: I’ve always been more of an auditory and hands-on learner, so audiobooks are my preferred way of experiencing literature. I grew up listening to Jim Dale narrate the Harry Potter series, and I loved the way he voiced all of the characters and brought that world to life. I love the idea of giving that same experience to someone else who absorbs content the same way.

Bachman: What do you do when you’re not recording?

Rhead: I teach general music (preK-8) during the day. When I come home, I love to sing and play guitar, duet sea shanties on TikTok, and end the night watching a movie with my girlfriend. 

Bachman: Have you ever thought about writing a book of your own? Why or Why not?

Rhead: Writing has never been at the forefront of my mind; I’ve always been a performer first. But I’ll never say never.

Bachman: What are your favorite genres to narrate?

Rhead: Fantasy. I love getting acquainted with an entire ensemble of characters, besides creative world-building.

Bachman: What was your favorite book to narrate so far?

Rhead: Far too many to name, but I will always be grateful to Sarah K. L. Wilson for giving me my start with “Dragon Chameleon.” Not only did I love getting to know her characters and her world, but I definitely grew over the course of that series (both on the creative AND technical side of audiobook production).

Bachman: We met through ACX, what made you want to narrate The Blasphemer Series?

Rhead: I LOVE a good redemption story, and Maxwell’s journey drew me in right from the start. I was compelled by where he began, and in the end, his resolution was as satisfying as I knew it would be.

Bachman: Has there ever been a scene or book you couldn’t finish? Why or why not?

Rhead: Not that I can think of. I do have a lot of books on my TBR list (that I’m NOT narrating) that I will finish eventually. Such titles include “The Lies of Locke Lamora,” “Mistborn,” “The Fires of Vengeance,” and “Six of Crows,” just to name a few.

Bachman: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can share with readers?

Rhead: In addition to my continued work on “The Blasphemer Series,” I’m also currently working on a YA fantasy mystery novel entitled “The Other Side” by Justin Jay Gladstone. Anticipated release for that one is sometime mid to late spring.

Bachman: You must be very organized with the amount of work you do, how do you stay on track?

Rhead: I appreciate that you think I am organized. Hahaha! In all seriousness though, on my recording and editing days, I like to set specific goals in place (I would like to record this page to that page, or I would like to edit this much time of audio). I have gotten a better understanding of how much time it takes me to meet those goals, so I always like to make sure I have ample time to meet them.

Bachman: If you could have a dream book to narrate, what would it be?

Rhead: It would be a daunting task, but I would LOVE to narrate anything by Brandon Sanderson.

Bachman: Is there anything you’d like readers to know about you?

Rhead: I love Disney and musical theatre, and I am a proud ally of the POC/LGBTQ+ communities.

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[Brief Words] 2019 Throwback guest blog by KJ Taylor

My name is Katie, and I’ve been an author my entire adult life. I published my first novel in 2006 with a large mainstream publisher. In 2009 my second came out with another. Five more followed, and everything seemed set.

But by 2015, everything had changed. eBooks had been a thing for some time, and book sales were down across the board – even for bestsellers. The big publishing companies had chosen to invest heavily in the eBook market, a move which did not pay off as well as they likely hoped it would, as many readers decided the format did not suit them and for some “electronic books” appeared to have been nothing but a passing fad. On top of that Amazon had cornered the eBook market and few other platforms survived for long. By now hemorrhaging money, the “Big Five” stopped renewing contracts with many of their mid-level authors and many editors and other publishing professionals lost their jobs.

I was one of the many people to lose out. In 2015 both of my publishers told me they weren’t going to publish the next installment in the series I had begun in 2009. I was effectively out on the street with a half-published series, fans asking when the next book would be out and an agent shrugging helplessly as every other mainstream possibility turned us down on the grounds that they did not want to pick up a series halfway through (or in one case, went into receivership before they’d even read the manuscript).

I had no idea what to do, so I turned to my friends. Their advice – go indie.

There has long been something of a class system in the publishing world, which to my regret I must confess I once ascribed to myself. “Real” authors got their books out through big shiny corporate publishing companies and that’s it. Self-publishing was for untalented losers who couldn’t take no for an answer. Indie publishing was for cults and conspiracy theorists. Certainly, when I became an indie author several people I had thought were friends suddenly began acting as if I didn’t exist, or began making passive-aggressive remarks about my “failed” career.

But the landscape has changed and is still changing. If those stereotypes were ever so they no longer are. I entered the independent publishing world hopelessly naïve and unsure of what I was getting into, and as it is in any business I learned a few painful lessons along the way. What I found was a world where many others are still finding their feet, but were, for the most part, everything was less impersonal, and there was far more creative freedom. The companies I’ve begun working with are not owned by faceless bean counters, but by other artists, for artists. There’s less money invested, of course, but in some ways, that’s a good thing. Too much money on the line makes any company overly conservative and averse to taking risks, which is why so much mainstream fiction tends to be rather samey – blockbuster movies even more so. Diversity is encouraged and there is far less preferential treatment shown toward white male authors, which was an issue I had to deal with many times as a mainstream author. The experience is more collaborative, and as the author, you feel less like a supplicant and more like a partner.

Some people are now declaring that independent publishing is the way of the future, and perhaps it is. Time, as always, will tell.  I for one am optimistic.

Check out KJ Taylor:

Some links contained in the above interview may no longer work properly. Images may have been lost over the years as well for some interviews and older content.

This is an older piece of content being re-posted.

Interesting Reads and Related Content

Check it out: BvF #1: Girl, Interrupted

As you know, I did my own post here called The Most Satisfying Read on my website. I just had to share my thoughts on the book. There were many differences, but the ones I noticed I wanted to post a comparison, but held back on doing that here as I had seen a fellow writer had a specific book version movie category on their website. I was welcomed to post as a guest on James Master’s website on this subject.

Over at James Master’s website The Writer’s Apocalypse you will find a the guest post called BvF #1: Girl, Interrupted. I hope you find it entertaining.

Let us know what you think. Did you notice things I didn’t? Like me guest posting over on his website? The comments are where to do that!

The Word: An in-depth look behind independent publishers w/Edd Sowder from Burning Willow Press

I had the honor to get a hold of some of Mr. Sowder’s time and ask him a few questions. I wanted to do a more in-depth follow-up to the post I did called The Word: Mythbusting – Stereotypes and Misconceptions of Self-pubbing and independent pubbing and that’s what this is meant to be. I wanted the perspective of a publisher and not just my perspective as a working author, graphic artist, and formatter in the business.

Edd Sowder is the type of man to not hold back his thoughts or feelings when it comes to business and thus he was the perfect person for me to ask. He’s been publishing for many years and brings to this Q&A his experience and expertise.

I hope in some way that those that read this gain a perspective and insight they may not have had before on things behind-the-scenes of publishing. So many of us go into submissions unaware of what may be going through the mind of the person we’re sending a manuscript to. This is inside one such mind.

In your opinion, what should someone know before submitting to a publisher?

My opinion varies from day to day. Recently, well…when our submissions were still open, I noticed that a lot of authors were submitting first drafts, if not second. I feel that if you are an author, and have written the next great novel in history, you should have someone beta (prior to submitting your books a “beta reader”) your novel from one end to the other and help you with suggestions on fixing plot holes. Additionally, if you could allow time from when the novel was submitted, many publishers have what’s called a “slush pile” of books to read and yours is just as important as the others, so if they say it will take at least three months, don’t email them a week later and say, “did you like my book?”

I feel that if you are an author, and have written the next great novel in history, you should have someone beta your novel from one end to the other and help you with suggestions on fixing plot holes.

Edd Sowder

Many believe the publisher should take on full responsibility for the marketing of a project where others believe in splitting the responsibility, what should people know on this? I have read where some will do all the marketing for the author and others will do zero.

Ours is somewhat in the middle of that. In today’s world, an author should be just as proud of their book as the publisher is. Now if the idea of marketing your books is just completely devastating to you, guess what? If you self-publish it, you will still have to do that as well but you will not have the same amount of reach, you will have to come out of pocket for the edits, cover, interior, and deal with the business side of being published. It is not as glorious as some think. Here is a piece of real information, NO book is accepted by a big five publisher anymore without a marketing plan submitted for approval by the author. I have heard this and read it in several areas. Will my company do it for you? No, not exactly. We will do some light promotional posting, some follow up after the book is out, a few posts on social media a few times a year for you but that is about all the time I have. I actually expect my authors to do the bulk of it themselves. It does show when they, and/or I, do find a few minutes to post something about the back catalog. There is no reason why it would not show something if the author did it as well. Each author is different though. And to ask if an author will or will not, well… most will at the beginning of the life of the book, but soon after it has come out, they discontinue to do so. I have seen it a lot. It is unfortunate but we all get pretty busy.

Here is a piece of real information, NO book is accepted by a big five publisher anymore without a marketing plan submitted for approval by the author.

Edd Sowder

From an active publisher, what is your take on what you see authors doing wrong?

I think I just answered that in the last question but I can elaborate one that I have seen all too often that burns me, and many other publishers up. You have a book with a publisher, and one with another, and you have self-published a few. Great! Good for you! We could not be happier for you and if you ask, I am certain that we may even help you spread the word on your newest book that was self-published as we have the time… just don’t forget that this industry does not revolve around the last book you let out into the world. It is hinged upon all of your catalogs. You have a book here, there, and now a new one but when did you stop loving that first one you have with the initial publisher who took a huge risk on your name, book, concept and put their funds into it to make your dreams come true? Is that now the step-child you never liked? It happens all the time and it hurts not just the publisher but you as well as nobody remembers the first books you put out because you are spending so much time promoting the newest one. Bundle it, ask for a sale to help promote it, make sure that you are not bastardizing the prior catalog you have just because the newest book is ready. They all deserve equal attention.

…just don’t forget that this industry does not revolve around the last book you let out into the world. It is hinged upon all of your catalogs.

Edd Sowder

The situation is a newcomer/green writer to the business doesn’t know what to do, they’ve got a bunch of things done, ideas, and no networking. Advice for those people coming in and unsure what to do and what not to do?

Ask questions. Each publisher, author, editor, graphic artist, will have ideas of what you should and should not do to get things rolling. Join a couple of groups online that are primarily other authors and be certain you join a few that are readers too. You will need beta readers. Those that will read your book before it goes to print and help you mold the idea. These people are just as important as the ones who publish it for you. I cannot express to you how important in today’s world social media is for sales. Everyone behind a computer screen is anonymous and nobody knows more about your story than you do. So, share it with friends, family, and loved ones online in excerpts. Don’t give them a whole chapter but give them a part of the book, a passage, that you are particularly fond of writing. Do some interviews. Get on some podcasts as a guest, start an online blog, guest write on a few. It will keep your name in the spotlight and when your book comes out, people will be looking for it.

I cannot express to you how important in today’s world social media is for sales. Everyone behind a computer screen is anonymous and nobody knows more about your story than you do.

Edd Sowder

You’ve gone to many conventions, met a bunch of celebrities. What can you share for an author starting off in conventions? What should they remember about dealing with celebrities?

Be yourself, be gracious, and be thankful. If you are an introvert, as most authors are, take someone along with you who can help liven up the table a bit for the passersby to talk to. If you are an extrovert, like me, go out a few times a day and walk the area to see who all is there. Meet other authors, artists, and for Pete’s sake, get bookmarks, business cards, or something else that will tell others who you are in case they do not buy today. New authors going to cons are hard sells. But sometimes, if you can get in good with a neighbor, they will point people in your direction for you. We have done it for others and likewise, others have done it for us. As far as dealing with celebrities, if there is an after party to go to where they will be there, do it. No excuses. Just go. They will be more relaxed, likely having a drink, chatting with others, and less in the mindset of having to make money. We have met some incredible people on our journeys and many of them are still friends with us to this day. Some have even brought us into cons with them as we get along with them so well. Remember, at the end of the day, we are all just people. Being in the place of a celebrated actor/actress, remember to respect their privacy, ask for permissions, and be cool. All of them like to get something cool from fans (many are readers too), and if you can get a photo op at the end of the con with them, all the better.

Be yourself, be gracious, and be thankful. If you are an introvert, as most authors are, take someone along with you who can help liven up the table a bit for the passersby to talk to. If you are an extrovert, like me, go out a few times a day and walk the area to see who all is there.

Edd Sowder

What’s your take on the saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’? Some don’t submit to more than one publisher whereas some prefer doing this?

While I would like to have exclusivity on all published works, that is unreasonable. We suggest—since we know we are not the only publisher out there—to shop around. If you tell us that your book is being submitted to other publishers, as well as ours, we will understand. It will not speed us up in getting to your potential work but we do want to know ahead of time. Submitting to a publisher and then not submitting to others while you wait seems like you are willing to just wait and see. I suggest, weighing the options and looking for who seems to be the best fit for you. Much like we are implementing new tactics for new submissions, we expect that you, the author, are willing to look to not just reputation of the publisher but also ask questions to authors that are with that publisher. If the overall atmosphere seems good for you, and you are willing to wait on them, then by all means submit and be inquisitive but if you get an overall bad feeling from them, or their authors are highly dismissive of how they work with them, walk away. Keep in mind that not all authors will feel that they are getting a fair shake from the publisher, and not all publishers will feel that the authors are doing their fair share of working with the publisher. So, take all info with a grain of salt, so to speak, and weigh the pros and cons of each decision.

If the overall atmosphere seems good for you, and you are willing to wait on them, then by all means submit and be inquisitive but if you get an overall bad feeling from them, or their authors are highly dismissive of how they work with them, walk away.

Edd Sowder

Pet peeves that authors should know about publishers?

Well, that is a good question. That list can grow substantially daily and shrink just as fast depending on the schedule, the stressors of the day, and the attitudes of those involved, myself included. One thing that publishers hate is for someone to refer to themselves as the “next Stephen King, Anne Rice, James Patterson, Lovecraft, Wells, Harris, etc.” Let us make that determination for you. No, on second thought, let your readers and reviewers do it. If your style is much like Koontz, or Rushdie, your readers will notice. Don’t make the assumption that you are the next anyone. Be you. Be honest. If you are influenced by those prolific authors, then, by all means, state it in interviews that you enjoy their works but if you are trying to be the replacement for Gaiman, you need to have the clout to back that up. Another pet peeve that publishers, well I personally hate, is an unedited manuscript sent in with credits installed in the file that says who edited it. Now, all editors will see a sentence differently than the next but if you have several hundred mistakes per chapter in your submission but it was supposedly edited prior to submitting, and you named that person, as the editor, we already expect a very clean version of the MS. When we get in there and start reading only to find these mistakes, missing words, sentence structure that is horrific and not in any way ready to be considered… it slows us down. If we really want to know if the sub is worth it, we will read on trying to ignore the issues but sometimes, the issues will outweigh the story. This is where beta readers come in handy. Additionally, never submit a first draft. I think I said something about this earlier… or a second. Revisions are your friend. A submission is a piece of your soul. You are baring it for the other world to see and it is also a career path. Treat it as such. Never get too upset if you get a rejection. It comes with the territory and developing a thick skin as it takes to handle it will go further for you than wallowing in self-pity. Hopefully, the rejection that comes back will have some creative ideas to help you grow. I know when I send one back, it has ideas in it to help the author but many other publishers will send a form letter. Those are too impersonal and it’s like they never read through your submission. Why waste your time like that? Keep in mind that most publishers work on a release schedule and many times it has to fit with their preconceived budget to operate for the year. If they tell you the book is accepted and will not release until such and such date, ask them what you can do in the meantime to help them and yourself in potential sales. They should have some good ideas to get your name out there. Remember, your name is now a brand, the book is a product. You need to sell it as much as the publisher will, if not more. You are competing with over one million other books a year to get a piece of the proverbial pie in sales, although other authors are not your competition by any means.

One thing that publishers hate is for someone to refer to themselves as the “next Stephen King, Anne Rice, James Patterson, Lovecraft, Wells, Harris, etc.” Let us make that determination for you. No, on second thought, let your readers and reviewers do it. If your style is much like Koontz, or Rushdie, your readers will notice. Don’t make the assumption that you are the next anyone. Be you. Be honest.

Edd Sowder

Interesting Reads and Related Content

Interviews are Back!

With the interview of wonderful author Brian G. Murray, I’ve decided to bring back some older features back. I had originally stopped interviewing those from the industry because there seemed to be a lack of interest for them, but through Facebook I learned that there is still some interest and so an interview took place behind-the-scenes.

Check out the interview that sparked the interviews to come back!

15 for 15 with Brian G. Murray