Curious what it's like to write for a small e-publisher?
Nicole talks about what it's like here.
(See below for a chance to win swag!)
Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic!
When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending their unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her current favorite TV show is The Vampire Diaries.
What is the name of your small e-publisher and how did you find this publishing company?
I'm published through Desert Breeze Publishing. I first learned about DBP through a publisher chat on a yahoo group. As the chat was winding down, Gail Delaney (the EIC) mentioned that she loved series, especially for fantasy and a few other genres. I mentioned to her that I had an unfinished manuscript that would be part of a series and briefly described it to her. She said to send it to her when it was finished. The story I had mentioned was a Nano story (National Novel Writing Month when authors around the world try to write a 50K in November). I abanonded all other side projects and focused on the novel until I completed it. After finishing it, I submitted to Gail and waited. Shortly thereafter, she emailed me an acceptance for Woman of Honor.
Gail and I worked together to figure out the direction that the series could take so that the entire series was fantasy romance, each book centering on a different couple.
What made you go the e-publishing route?
I like to think of the journey to publication as a ladder. I thought that by having as many publishing credits under my belt as possible would help me to find an agent and, through the agent, land a publishing contract with a NYC publishing house. To me, e-publishing is another rung on the publishing ladder.
What are some of the benefits of e-publishing?
Anyone anywhere can read a book that is e-published. There aren't any shipping fees that you have to worry about. People in other countries have read my books, and that excites me.
You also don't have to worry about returns with an e-book. If someone returns a physical book to the bookstore, it affects the royalties of the author.
With e-publishing, you don't need an agent. You can submit directly to the publisher. Most of the bigger publishers don't allow unsolicited manuscript submissions.
As an author, you receive a higher royalty percentage for e-books than you would for print books.
There is less of a wait from contract to release date. With traditional houses, you may have to wait two years (sometimes less, sometimes more). Depending on the e-publisher, the wait could be significantly less than that.
What are some of the downsides of e-publishing?
Some e-publishers do not have the best quality with editors and covers. People have told me that they have purchased my books based on the cover alone. Covers are so important. As is editing.
Also, the author has to do most, if not all, of the marketing themselves for their book when you publish through an e-publisher. This is becoming more and more true even with more traditional publishing houses, but is especially true with e-publishers.
There are very few, if any, e-publishers that offer writers an advance.
Piracy steals money from the author.
Tell me about your Kingdom of Arnhem series. Is this third book the last one?
The Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy is a fantasy romance series for young adults and adults. It is about the final war between two kingdoms - Arnhem and Speica.
Woman of Honor is about a young girl who wants to become a knight. Aislinn is willing to give up everything for the kingdom of Arnhem - her childhood, her life, even her heart. No matter the pain it brings.
Knight of Glory. Geoffrey leaves Arnhem to find her allies for the war against Speica and finds secrets, lies, and rumors that could tip the war in Speica's favor. He also finds himself torn between two very different and mysterious ladies.
Champion of Valor. Selliki loves the mage Gabrael but she is a selkie and love has never treated her race kindly when they love someone from the land. The final war between Speica and Arnhem threatens the entire world. Lucifer has aligned himself with Speica and wants nothing less than to bring about the Apocalypse before its time. Only one kingdom will prevail; that is, if the world doesn't end.
Do you have any other publishing credits?
I've sold nine short stories/flash pieces for various anthologies, including a short story in Mertales from Wyvern Publishing and several collections from Pill Hill Press. I also have another series, but I talk more about that in my answer to your next question.
What’s your next project?
I'm revising an urban fantasy and a fantasy YA with the hope of securing an agent. I'm also working on the last three short stories in my What You See is What You Get series from Echelon Press. This paranormal YA series is 6 short stories about Ana and the summer when she learns that she is a seer. There's a veiled mist between our world and the paranormal one filled with mythological and fantasy creatures, a mist that only few people can see through. Ana's life is never going to be the same again.
What are your long-term writing goals?
I want to secure an agent and land a publishing deal with a bigger house. Bottom line, I just want to keep writing books that my readers will enjoy. That's why I write in the first place.
Any advice to unpublished writers?
Never give up. Write when you can. If that's every day, great. If it's not, don't sweat it. Pour all of your emotions into your story, and never stop reading.
Quick writing questions:
Plotter or panster? Panster
Quiet or music? Quiet
Laptop or desktop? Desktop
Mac or PC? PC
Coffee or tea? Tea (Actually water, but that's not an option)
Wine or other? Wine (but only blushes)
Day or night? Day
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win some signed post cards and magnets. Each comment during the Champion of Valor Blog Tour gives you an entry for the grand prize: a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy - Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor.