Shelley Leiber book1. Tell us about your latest published book and your current writing project. 

Released in March 2008, 4Ps to Publishing Success: Get Your Manuscript Off Your Desk & Into Print is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step publishing guide for aspiring fiction and nonfiction authors. The workbook style gives beginning and intermediate writers an overall picture of how to begin with an idea, develop it on paper, approach editors and agents (or self-publish), and promote themselves and their work. It includes exercises, resources and many, many tips. I’m presently working on the follow up book, which focuses on preparing writers for the new era of publishing and will include many how-to strategies for publishing books, ebooks and audio books.

2. Tell Shelley Leiber picus about your leap from editing for the big publishers to owning your own business as a publishing consultant

I worked as a staff editor at a New York publishing house for eight years right after college. After relocating to Florida, I freelanced as a book and magazine editor and writer for many years. When I began to write my first novel, I joined a writers’ group. After many years of solitary work as a freelancer, I loved the experience of being among other writers in the group and joined several more. I found that most of the participants in the groups were very good writers, but knew little or nothing about the publishing industry or how to go about getting their work published. When it came out that I had publishing experience, I was so besieged with questions at the meetings that I began a seminar to teach the basics. The seminar grew from a half-day event to a full day; then to a 10-week class. The lessons and exercises from the classes became the basis for my book, 4Ps to Publishing Success. 

3. What is the biggest misconception writers have about self-publishing?

Probably that a self-published author will never get the same respect as an author with a traditionally published book. Today’s publishing market is completely different than the market that existed even two years ago. In 2008, for the first time in history, more on-demand books were published than via traditional publishers. There are more tools and resources available to help authors today who want take control of their publishing. When an author is willing to take the necessary steps, a self-published book can be as well done and successful as any from a New York publisher. It’s happening more often all the time, and many agents and publishers are now scouring the market for self-published books, looking for those successful sellers and offering big contracts.

4. How can a novelist develop a “platform”?

The same as any author: build an email list of readers and communicate with them regularly; blog; join groups relative to your topic and take an active role; pursue media appearances on radio and TV; be creative.

5. What advice do you have for the “shy” novelist in marketing?

Pursue marketing avenues such as the Internet that are comfortable at first and then branch out. Practice a statement to give when someone asks, “What’s your book about?” so you can engage that person in a conversation. Don’t try to explain the whole plot; just offer some interesting facts that will entice them to want to know more.

6. Marketing trends come and go. What marketing idea has been overdone and what is one worth pursuing?

I don’t think anything that works is overdone, especially if you put your own special twist on it. But I’d say that currently social networking is the hottest marketing trend, and my own experience is that it works. I started using Facebook and Twitter about six to eight months ago and I’ve made more inroads and connections to get my name and book out in public than I have using any method ever.

7. What is your favorite part of your consulting business?

I love working with writers. We’re awesome! ;-D I find it thrilling to be part of the creative process that helps someone communicate his or her special message to an audience.

8. What services do you offer and how can an author contact you?

Right now, I work with writers individually or as part of a mentorship group. I offer three levels of consulting services, which are explained at:

http://wordywoman.com/consulting http://wordywoman.com; http://vipauthors.com;   I can be reached via any of my websites : http://visualimpressionspublishing.com.  and I would love it if you connected with me on Twitter and Facebook: http://twitter.com/wordywoman  

9. What do you like to read?

I like fiction and nonfiction. I like literary fiction and inspirational nonfiction. Also enjoy fun, entertaining books. I can spend hours looking at art and photography books. I guess I just love books!

10. Tell us something about your part of the country – we love travel.

I live in Western North Carolina and love it! I’m new to this area, having moved about two years from Florida. So, I’m especially enjoying the change of seasons and the beautiful mountains.

11. What are your travel plans?

My husband and I are planning a two-year cross-country trip in a motor home. We’ll first head west through the Southwest to California and up the West Coast. We plan to spend time in the Northwest before heading back across the northern states to Maine and then down the East Coast. It’s our dream life to see the country and pursue our crafts–he is a photographer, and I’l be writing while conducting business via the all wonderful technological “miracles” available to me!

12. Do you have any good advice for writers?I think it’s important to know this: Writing is a passion. Publishing is a business. Successful authors know the difference.