Monday, July 8, 2013

Featured Author: Leti Del Mar

I'm welcoming back to my blog Leti Del Mar, to tell us about her newest release, Land of the Unaltered, published by Rambaldi Press. Leti was here in December to talk about her novel, The Inadvertent Thief, and to contribute a guest post. I'm happy to have her back today.

About the book:

Rose comes from the capital of the Confederation of Cities where its citizens live in luxury and the greatest fashion statement of all is being Altered. People change everything about the way they look as often as they do their hairstyle but Rose is different. Her position of privilege has made her an outcast and led her to suspect that something sinister is happening to the citizens and flees the capital along with a past that imprisons her in search of a fresh start in the Land of the Unaltered.

Flynn lives in the Land of the Unaltered and hates the capitol and everything it stands for. So when a spoiled capital girl is assigned to work with him, he wants nothing to do with her and is prepared to make her life miserable. But Flynn was not prepared for someone like Rose. She doesn’t fit the mold he expected and finds himself strongly attracted to her. As she continues to surprise and outwit him, they begin to forge a bond that is tested when they discover a secret that could change everything they know about Land of the Unaltered.

Land of the Unaltered is a Dystopian Romance and is the first installment of the The Confederation Chronicles.

Interview with Leti Del Mar:

Leti, this is your second published novel. How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve always tinkered around with writing but it wasn’t until 2009 that I sat down and wrote my first novel, The Inadvertent Thief.  After a very long time of looking for an agent, sending away my manuscript, getting rejected, doing it all over again, followed by even more time waiting; I decided to self-publish in 2012. The last year has been an incredible journey from which I have learned so much. I now find myself much more business savvy and ready to promote my newest novel with a strategic marketing plan.

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

I am an obsessive compulsive organizational freak when it comes to writing. I create character charts, plot charts and checklists before I start writing. When I finish my first draft, I go back to these charts and lists and see what needs to be improved upon. I’ve made all of my tools available on my website under the “Author Resources” tab. Feel free to check them out and use them.

I will. Thank you! Did you have any say in your cover art?

As an obsessive compulsive organizational freak, I have a lot of trouble handing over the reigns in any part of the creative process. My covers are all mine. For my recent book, I knew I wouldn’t be able to create the exact cover I had in mind so I got help from the very affordable Digital Donna.

Do you have a routine for writing?

I am a big believer in checklists and calendars. I like to give myself a deadline for when I want my completed product to be finished by. Then I break it down into all the steps I need to do to make this happen and assign them smaller deadlines. That way each week, and even each day, I know what I need to accomplish.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?

Writer’s block and I are old friends. We go way back. My solution is to stop writing. Instead, I switch gears and do something else that is productive. Sometimes I focus on the business side of writing. The point is to switch gears until I feel the creative juices flowing again.

Leti's Guest Post:

As a self-published Indie Author, I’ve learned a thing or two about this business from other professional in the publishing industry, fellow authors and book bloggers. This know-how has really paid off. The publishing and promoting of my second novel has gone so much smoother and has seen greater results. Looking back, I think I can consolidate it into 5 tips that I wish I knew before self-publishing.

#1- Market your book before it is even published

If you wait until your book is published, then you have waited too long. By telling people, readers, bloggers about your book before it is even done, you start to build a platform for potential readers. I wish I had done this with my first novel. I published it and then wondered, “Now what?” The key is to have a solid marketing plan in place and begin working on it while you finish writing and publishing your book.

#2- Network

Gaining contacts is golden in this industry. Find and meet fellow authors. I have been amazed by the results. These friendly people have pointed me in the direction of resources that have helped me immensely. Search blogs and blog directories. When you find a blog that looks helpful and interesting, follow it and comment frequently. Read their books and build real connections with these people. I have also directly emailed other Indie Authors with brief questions and those emails have led to wonderful exchanges of tips and ideas. You will get back just as much as you give. I promise.

#3- Choose quality over quantity

It sounds easy to tweet and post daily about your book. But no one likes a commercial, much less a persistent one. If you have something worthwhile to say, then tweet it, post it, ect. For example, while visiting a Kindleboards forum, I posted a question about using KDP Select and had a great discussion there. It was meaningful and helpful to me and in the end, one of the guests told me she just purchased my book! Not all online discussions will lead to a purchase, but you will have a better chance of selling your work if stop trying to sell your work with every breath you take.

#4 Learn your craft

I’m not talking about the craft of writing (although the same advice goes for that), I’m talking about the craft of selling your books. Keep looking for great sites, sign up for informative newsletters, join communities, read books by those who have made this work. This is a business after all, and you should be invested in doing it to the best of your ability.

#5 Write more

You’re a writer, so write. It can be easy to get caught up in the business side of being a writer, but you need a quality product before you can sell it. I have learned two things about successful Indie Authors. They write series and they have a huge back list of titles. This didn’t happen overnight. So if you feel discouraged and think it is never going to happen, then write another book. Keep writing those books, preferably write them as part of a series. It may not happen this year, or next, but it will happen. Believe in it!

From the author:

I live in sunny Southern California with my husband, daughter and abnormally large cat. When I'm not writing, reading or blogging, I am teaching Biology and Algebra to teenagers. I'm also a classic film buff, passionate about Art History and love to travel.

Connect with Leti:
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Linkedin | Mailing list | Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords |

Leti's tour schedule:

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