Posts tagged ‘author’

Hearts on the Line- Is writing Still an Art?

   I read a very heart-rending blog post today, which I highly recommend to anyone at any point in the writing arena. Whether you are just thinking of writing a book someday or a full-blown published author, this blog post will do nothing less than enlighten you.

Go ahead and read it, and the one it refers to, then get back to me and read my own personal response to all the feelings they bring to the surface for me.

Go here:


First of all, this is some really deep stuff. I suppose I had a dream a long time ago when I was writing my first book, not knowing a damn thing about the reality of the publishing clockworks. After I was published by a small publishing house- no advance, no marketing help, no tours or publicity- the previous naivete dropped away and I was left with the knowing that this is just another business. The art of it is quickly stripped away when an author transfers themselves from the art of the writing to the business of marketing; becoming, instead of an artist, a salesperson of sorts. I’ve spent way more time trying to hawk my four books than I have on doing what I felt born to do: write great stories. And as time goes by and I find I am a small fish in a big pond of bigger and better storytellers, the love I once had for the art has become so jaded that I now find it hard to write at all. After all, I have shared my very soul with this world; put my heart out there where it was judged just not good enough. That’s enough, I’d say, to have reason to put up a thousand veils. I just ain’t the sales type. But, hey, I still love every bit of what I’ve put down on paper. And I have to believe, nay KNOW, that that is enough. Because in the end, that’s where the only real happiness lies.


Six Reasons You Should Stick With Legacy Publishing by Allan Douglas

There is a tendency for authors, especially new authors, to discount the value of the established and venerated publishing houses; those establishments that have for, in some cases, hundreds of years provided the readers of the world, with quality materials to entertain, inform and enlighten.  But suddenly the reverent awe in which we have always held these firms is being besmirched, like graffiti on a church by a pair of hooligans; a bratty upstart called Self Publishing and his sidekick Indie Press.  Oh, sure, their cousin Vanity Press has been prostituting herself for almost as long as the Big Houses have been around, but she pretty much kept to herself and offered little threat to them.

Self and Indie, however, have managed to lure a sizable contingent of writers into their posse with promises of instant money and fast stardom.  But, here are six reasons why authors should stick with the brick and mortar giants of publishing.


Rejection is so rewarding.  You enjoy spending a year or more querying agents and wallpapering your office with the politely worded notices that you aren’t quite right for them at this time, serving as an everlasting memorial to your inadequacy.


You enjoy the challenge of rewriting your book to conform to the socio-political stance of the publishing house that has seen promise in your work.


You want to savor the prolonged anticipation and expectation of knowing your book is in the works and will be made available to the general public by stretching it out for a year or a year and half if possible.


An up-front cash payment of several thousand dollars is enough of a carrot to induce you to give up all rights to your work, trusting that the Big House will be actively seeking every possible opportunity to sell said work.


Because, should said work sell well enough to cover your advance and produce royalties, 5% to 7% of sales is certainly generous compensation for the paltry amount of labor and thought you put into the creation of one book.  After all – how much sweat and angst can it take to produce a book that sells well?


Self publishing, like micro computers and cell phones, is a fad; merely a passing fancy with technology.  Once the hoopla wears off, all reputable authors will be pounding on the doors to the hallowed halls of the Big 6 begging forgiveness for their sinful dalliance with this slick-talking upstart.

So, what’s it going to be?  I say; hold tight to your Smith Corona typewriter and that curly-corded telephone and keep banging out query letters to feed your rejection addiction.  After all; we ARE supposed to suffer for our art, aren’t we?


The egocentric liar who cowers behind the pen name Allan Douglas has been an author, writer, prattler, dreamer since the 1970’s, published mostly in magazines but has duped publishers into producing three books to date, one through a publishing house the others self-published – but they were just an experiment; like that first cigarette out behind the barn, just to see what all the fuss is about. Really!

He lives on a mountainside in the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee with an undeservedly wonderful wife, a genius border collie and a Prima donna English hound who is queen of the mountain.  He serves as an ordained Elder in his church, is a master woodworker, former custom furniture maker and once dreamt of sailing the world in a Bristol Channel Cutter.  But then he met a girl, got all twitterpated and lost is way.  Stories about his life as a mountain man wannabe are posted to  He also offers hackneyed advice to misguided writers at his blog where he compounds his offense by making a feeble attempt to sell the progeny of his tryst with a couple of the members of Self Publishing’s posse.  May he never live down the shame!

Allan Douglas Writes
Bsn Web:
Bsn Blog:
Psn Blog:

Original Post:

A Few Tips on Becoming a Real Author


Maybe you just signed your first book contract. Maybe you self-published a book. Or maybe you’ve even had a book out there for a little while and not much is happening with it. Whatever the case, there are some basic steps you can take to up your chances of getting your book into readers’ hands.

Do you have an author‘s page on GoodReads? Do you have a video trailer? APEX does great work. You can check mine out as an example. And don’t stop with GoodReads. You can get an amazon author’s page, too. Linked-in is great. Try and get yourself on others’ blogs. Do interviews. Offer your book for free maybe for a week with a coupon code on smashwords. Comment on authors’ blogs who have books similar to your own. Mainly just get your name out there as much as you can.

I know I had no idea of the amount of energy I needed to expend on marketing my books AND myself. I started a blog and put up a website where people could buy my books free of shipping. I’ve done radio shows and now feel fairly comfortable with that, especially if the interviewer knows what they’re doing.

You could also look up some good author blogs and newsletters and subscribe. I continually take in new information on how best to get well-known. I have a lot of author friends all over the world through social networking.

That’s about all I can think of for now, but feel free to ask me anything that I can help you with. I love helping new authors.

Happy Writing!

Review of Earthwalker

Neil Leckman
Mar 06, 2011

Neil Leckman rated it 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book for several reasons, first and foremost would be the writing itself. If a book isn’t well written I’m falling away after the first two pages. Julie takes you for a ride that always surprises you, and leaves you wanting more. It is a vampire tale with more going for it than just a nice bite!!!

Susan Claridge Interviews Me

Before we get started talking about your books, tell us a little about yourself.  Where are you from?  What is your occupation outside of writing?


I’m originally from a small town in Michigan right on Lake Muskegon. Now I live behind the “Redwood Curtain” in Humboldt County, California.  It’s about six hours north of San Francisco on the coast. I don’t have a profession outside of writing.


Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?


I think of myself as an introvert, but I can be an extrovert when I need to be!


Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind and tell us their names.


I have a multicolored kitty named Rajah.


What are your favorite books to read?


I love dipping into just about every genre, but I do love thrillers and historical epics. I guess it’s good writing I look for when I choose a book.


Where is the most unique place you have traveled?


Europe. It’s just so incredibly ancient compared to the U.S. They have buildings that are hundreds of years old, whereas we only go back a few hundred years here. Europe has such a sense of history about it.


Aside from your successes in the writing industry, what in your life has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment?


I used to be a homebirth midwife, delivering babies at home. Nothing can ever compare to that.


How many books have you written and how many of those are published?  (Please list the names of your books here)


I have four published books, plus a few I started but haven’t finished. They’re titled: Native Vengeance (novella), Quantum Earth, Deadly Lucidity, and Earthwalker- Earth can be Hell for a Vampire.


Do you have one particular genre that all your books fall under (i.e. suspense, romance, etc.)  or do you write in many different genres?


I’ve been told that my writing is pretty unique. For one thing they’re hard to pin down as to genre. All of them have something to do with the paranormal, and there’s always a fear factor involved. I’m a multi-genre writer I guess.


How much character and plot detailing do you plan out before you begin writing a novel, or are you a “pantser” (fly by the seat of your pants) ?


I pretty much dream up a story I think I can live with for the duration, create a main character or two, and just let everything else just come to me. My stories seem to write themselves after that.


Prior to becoming a published author, how many rejections did you receive?  How did you handle the rejections?


I got many, many rejections before I snagged a couple of publishers who vied for Quantum Earth. That was crazy! I knew ahead of time that it takes a lot of rejections before you find a publisher that believes in your book enough to actually publish it. They get loads of queries from people all the time, some hundreds each month. I just kept telling myself that with every rejection I was just getting closer to getting published.


How and when do you write? Do you keep yourself on a schedule or do you work while the muse is with you?


I write almost constantly when I’m working on a book project. My muse is pretty cooperative once I’ve found something that excites me.


If you have a new release coming out, tell us about it.  (a short synopsis)


Earthwalker- Earth can be Hell for a Vampire is my latest release. It’s about a woman who’s going through a lot of emotional turmoil and heads to the mountains to be alone. Well, she’s not alone for long. A loud crashing noise in the night wakes her up and she goes out to investigate. She finds a man badly hurt next to a small spaceship. Of course she’s terrified, but he convinces her that he won’t hurt her if she helps him. This is the beginning of a very rocky romance, full of thrills and chills, not to mention passion. It’s a hard story to describe without giving away too much. I will say that the vampires involved are very different from what you’re used to. I wanted to create a world that was fresh and exciting.


If you have many books already released, tell us which is your favorite and why.


I really love them all, but since you’ve put me in a corner I’d have to say Earthwalker. I chose this one because I think vampires are so fun to read about. They can also be so multidimensional.


Out of all the books you’ve written and the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite character and why?


I think it would have to be the female protagonist in Deadly Lucidity. She’s got to deal with this crazy nightmare world she’s trapped in, going from one dream to the next in a heartbeat. It really makes her character have to evolve throughout the story, which I really enjoy.


If you could give one piece of advice to writers trying to get published, what would that advice be?

I never go with the obvious one about expecting lots of rejections. I tell them something I was totally clueless about, which is don’t think the work is over once you’ve gotten your book published. That’s only the beginning if you want to sell books. You’ve got to learn how to market yourself and your book. Publishers just don’t do that anymore for the most part. That’s one reason I self-published my second two books. For $500 I was able to get everything I got when I was with a publishing house, plus I get a much larger cut for all my hard work. There is a lot of great free info on marketing for writers on the internet. Do your research and market till your fingers bleed!


Anything else you’d like to share with my blog readers?


I’m offering a free pdf file of Earthwalker to anybody who would like to write a review of it on amazon and goodreads. Just contact me at if you’re interested. Happy reading to everyone!


Where can we read more about you and your work?


You can search my name on Google or any other search engine, or you can visit my blog at

There are lots of reviews on amazon, too. If you’d like to purchase my books with free shipping, go to

Be My Guest- Guest Blog Participation


Hello! Thanks for your interest in guest blogging at I love hosting other authors who have something to share.

Here is some information you’ll need:

At the bottom, there is a form for you to fill out so I know who you are and why you want to be here.

Please fill it out, then rename the MS Word file your name (example: JULIEACHTERHOFF.doc).  That will help me keep things organized.

Please return all of this ASAP, and at least two weeks ahead of the date you’d like to appear on my blog.


1.   Follow the directions.  I am not going to go looking around the www for your information.  With writing deadlines and the insanity that is my life, I just don’t have the time.

2.   Give me the URL for any photos you’d like included.  I don’t have the space on my server to host large images. Instructions can be found below on how to find an image URL.

3.   Offer swag if you can.  Just a free copy or download of one of your books is great.  (Unpublished authors are not expected to offer swag.)

4.   Copy, fill out this form completely and return it to me as an MS Word attachment to at least two weeks ahead of the date you would like to appear.

Date you would like to appear (if no date is specified, I will assign one to you):

Name/Pen Name:

Contact Email (not to be given out, just for me):





Book You are Promoting:

Buy Link (either to your author site or online places like Amazon):

URL for cover: (right click on the pic, then go to properties. It will have a URL, copy and paste that here)

You have the choice of writing an article, a character interview, or excerpt.

Articles and Interviews MUST be new.  I will not repost something that has already been posted on another author’s website.  For the article, gear it toward readers, not other authors.

The interview can be yours or a character of yours.  For your interview questions, scroll down.  You are responsible for interviewing your own characters.  See an example done by Melissa Schroeder here:

What do you plan to do (article, interview, excerpt)-

Cut and paste it here (Be sure to proofread it.  I am a writer, not an editor):

What are you offering for swag (giveaway):

Would you rather have people comment or answer a certain question to get their name in the hat for the prize?:

When you are done filling this out, send it to me at

I’ll confirm receipt when I get it, so if you don’t hear from me within 72 hours, please contact me.

You are more than welcome and encouraged to show up on your guest blog/interview day to chat with readers.

I will give them until 8 a.m. Pacific on the following day to post for a chance to win.

I will draw a name, announce it on the blog, then send the contact info to you.

It is your responsibility to contact the reader and get the prize to them.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask,

–  Julie

Special thanks to the lovely and talented Melissa Schroeder

for showing me just how to do guest blogs properly.

Author Interviews

If you’re an author and would like to be interviewed by me on this blog, please fill out the questions below and return them to me via email at:
Author interviews and/or guest blogs will be posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays at but I will work with you to schedule another day if you need it.

Please send your answers or guest blog to me no later than two weeks prior to the date you require so I have time to post it.  I will not post interviews/guest blogs on the same day you send them.  In case you’re wondering why, read this:

If you’re promoting a specific book, please include the blurb, short excerpt, cover, and purchase link for the book in your interview (all in one document, please).

Author interview questions:

1) What genre do you write and why?

2) If  romance, what subgenres do you write in? Why?

3) Are you aware of any themes that run through your stories? If so, what are they?

4) What would you like readers to take away from your stories?

5) What inspires your stories?

6) Will you be attending any book or writing conferences this year? If yes, which

ones? Where and when?

7) Do you have any book signings or author appearances coming soon? If yes, where and when?

8)What is your writing schedule like?

9) Do you have any other passions besides writing? If yes, what are they? Why?

10) What is your best memory?

11) What is your favorite comfort food?

12) What relaxes you?

13) What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

14) What decade has been your favorite? Why?

15) What is your favorite way to promote your work?

16) Where is your favorite place to write? Why?

17) What is your favorite fairy tale? Why?

18) What was your favorite vacation?

19) If you had another career, what was it?

20) If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?

21) If you could have one wish, what would it be?

22) If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be?

23) Are you a cat or dog person? Do you have any pets and if so, please tell us about them.

24) What is the one thing you most want to do that you haven’t yet?

25) When the zombies take over, what will you do?

26) Vampire or werewolf?  Why?

27) Please tell us about your most recent release and where we can purchase it.

28) Please give us your urls and your publisher’s url.

29) Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers? Please do so here.

Thank you.
If there are any questions you don’t wish to answer, please ignore them.

I look forward to working with you.


Publishing Your Book

This is a recent letter I wrote to a frustrated friend who was trying to decide how to go about getting his first book published. His idea was to start by trying to obtain an agent, but really didn’t know which way to turn. He knew that I self-published my last two books, but was concerned about the stigma about doing it this way. I set him straight.
Here it is:
I can definitely understand your frustration! I went through it a few years back when I was trying to get my first book published. I thought that I’d get at least one book published, then get an agent. Then I did some research on the publishing scene to get some perspective. I must have sent querries to around 75 publishers, then had a couple who wanted Quantum Earth. I chose a small publishing house in Maine. I thought that was the hard part! Little did I know that as far as marketing and publicity I was on my own, as are most authors in the business, including those published by the bigger houses you may get to publish your book with the help of an agent. Even the big houses don’t even put your book into stores for you. They also don’t help one iota with marketing. Some may give you a couple free books to pass out for review, but it’s only the big guys who get such things as advances and tours.
So you see, having an agent doesn’t guarantee anything except one more person to take a piece of your pie, so to speak. I’ve sold many books with my publisher, but received such a small percentage from MY hard work that I decided to self-publish. I found a great friend on facebook who has connections to get your book published within a week, getting a special custom interior and fonts (with pictures if you wish), have your book listed with amazon and createspace, plus a marketing portfolio, all for $500. I have done this twice so far and am extremely satisfied with everything. My friend worked with his experts and delivered exactly what I wanted and more. Now I am in complete control of my books and profits.
From my research the stigma attached to self-publishing is quickly falling away, and I and many others believe it is the wave of the future because of the changes in the publishing industry. You can even contact J.A. Konrath on facebook (he’s a friend of mine there), who has lead the way by becoming extremely successful as a self-published author.
This guy has also written other cool articles you can check out.
The cure for frustration is to make yourself as informed as you can. There are a lot of good resources on the net to educate you so you can make an informed decision about what you want to do next.
I wish you much luck! If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
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