Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seeing into your future with Emlyn Chand

by Emlyn Chand

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Book Teaser: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Featured Article:

Today, I’d like to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot lately:  Say, Emlyn, why did you decide to self-publish Farsighted when you have a literary agent?
Excellent question, dear friends. Allow me to explain.

I actually sat down to blog about this yesterday, but instead of coming up with a succinct answer, I wrote this giant analogy comparing self-published authors to Salem witches. How much further off-topic can you get?

So anyway, let me explain my decision. About a year ago, I thought the only way to be a “real” writer was to land an agent and get a traditional publishing contract, which is what a lot of aspiring writers think. Then in December of last year, I started my blog and, more importantly, became addicted to Twitter. Within a couple of weeks, I amassed a pretty large following. Just like that.

A few months in, I realized I had a unique gift for social media and launched my book marketing business, Novel Publicity. One month after that, my business made enough to sustain me, and I was able to quit my lackluster day job. Since then, I’ve only been getting better at managing social media and using it to promote my clients’ books and my own blog.

My star client, Terri Giuliano Long, reached over 75,000 copies sold on her self-published manuscript because of all the work we put into marketing it. Success like this is practically unheard of, indie or not. What this showed me is that the publishing industry is not only changing – it’s changed. I’m not really sure there is any benefit to being traditionally published anymore, especially if you’re an author who has the know-how and financial/time resources to A) professionally edit your books, B) get a stellar cover designed, and C) market your work.

With all of that in mind, it didn’t really make sense for me to seek traditional publication for Farsighted. I don’t want to discount traditional publishing altogether, so I still will try to publish through my agent down the road (well, you know, maybe). But, a condition of my signing with him was that I get the Farsighted series as my own.

Another reason I’m all gaga for the self-pub world is because it’s what I preach through Novel Publicity. I spend all day trying to convince writers that the indie path can work for them. By choosing that route for myself, I am showing my belief in that statement; I am practicing what I preach.

The publication and marketing plan of Farsighted will also serve as a grand experiment. Since this is *my* book, I can go kind of crazy – not that I wasn’t already crazy to begin with, mind you. My goal is to run the “perfect book marketing campaign.” I’m using all of Novel Publicity’s services to get it up and running:  from cover design to editing to the actual marketing. I’m also bringing in other elements that I think will help get Farsighted out there (such as Pay-per-Click advertising).

I plan to blog about my journey as I go with absolute transparency. Yes, I am putting all of my eggs in one basket here, but that’s how much I believe in the ability for indie authors to succeed – so much so that I’m willing to risk my career as a writer and my career as a book marketer to prove this point.

I’ll let my indie brethren (and sisteren) know what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. If something works really well, I’ll break it down and tell others how to do it. We’ve got to stick together and support each other, am I right?

I ♥ the indie world dearly! Who knows, I may never need to go traditional.

Author Bio:

From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has written two-and-a-half novels, leads a classics book group with over three hundred members, and, of course, runs the whole shebang at Novel Publicity.

The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. While she enjoys all types of novels, her greatest loves are literary fiction and YA. Farsighted is her first novel.

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Patti Hultstrand said...

We had fun on the radio this evening and hope everyone can take a listen. The show audio player will be available in a few minutes for anyone to listen to at their leisure.

Thanks so much to Emlyn Chand for visiting with me here on the blog and especially taking some coffee time with me this evening.

Terrific meeting you!
Patti Hultstrand
Az Publishing Services, LLC

Emlyn Chand said...

My goodness, yes! IT was fun. I think this is the most chill interview I've done--those are always the best since they're the most natural. It was good chewing the cud with you, Patti, my dear!