It’s been way too long since I’ve written a blog, and one of the major reasons for that is time. Let me catch you up. I’m an author. Or like to think of myself as one. I still haven’t published a novel, but more on that later. I have written a fair amount, and have had some works published in various avenues. Writing is a huge passion of mine, and when I decided to step onto the other side of the fence and start Woodbridge, I had no idea of the sheer amount of work, or reward I would see from it.
Last April I published the first of what I expect to be a staple at Woodbridge Press: an anthology. The Haunting of Lake Manor Hotel was my first project, and I dove in head first, managing every small detail of it. There is nothing like starting off with a collection, so you right away have to deal with multiple authors on a single project. While it can be a challenge at times, I knew one thing was key to any success I could have: communication. I’ve been in a few anthologies where you don’t hear a word from the publisher for months or dare I say ‘years’. I was going to be the opposite. I wanted the authors to be involved with the various steps. From my short experience one of the things I notice is the authors seem to be committed and excited by the projects. Even if I didn’t sell well, this would be a success to me.
Lucky for me I’ve worked with some amazing people, and we have done fairly well so far. I learn from the market, and I consider myself a reactive and determined person in my personal and work life. Something not working? Change how you do it. Shift the perspective, and you can and will succeed. Another key is surrounding yourself with people you can trust, and that help support your vision. The friends I’ve made in the last year have been amazing, and I couldn’t have done half of the stuff without them
So what does it take to make a book? Not write one, but make one? The idea is key, but even beyond that, you have to give a book every opportunity to sell. You have to give it the time and love that the author has given it. Maybe even more, because even if you have the world’s best manuscript in your hand, you won’t sell it with a poor cover, no editing, and poor formatting. An author spends years cultivating the skills to create a book. They toil for countless hours, tired, and cranky over that keyboard to produce the product a publisher has in their hands. So what falls on the publisher? Getting it in front of readers. This is my mantra. Do I want the authors to promote? Sure. Do I expect their friends and family to buy it? No. It’s my job to get sales on this book, and the authors job to write an amazing book that will sell like wildfire once it reaches the first rung of readers.
This takes many steps. Finding a developmental editor. With the right pairing, this will make the book as good as you can possibly make it. Finding a great cover artist. I’ve been lucky to have found some amazing artists, and the first one was my uber talented sis-in-law Laura. Since then Tom Edwards has made me three amazing works, and though he is known for his Science Fiction, I trusted his talent to make me a fantasy cover, and he blew it out of the water. Heart Blade has such a talent behind the art, and I had actually found Merilliza Chan on Instagram and tagged Juliana in a post so she could look at the artwork. The cover is the first thing a reader will see, and most of the time it can quickly be the last thing they see. So wow them. Make them click it. Make them read the premise. Make them buy it. Then we have copy-editors (shout out to my amazing ones Sam and Scarlett, you guys are awesome)
I have three books being released in the next three weeks: Explorations: First Contact, Journeys, and Heart Blade. They are all so great, and with all I’ve learned so far, I’ve given them every chance to succeed in the saturated world of books.
With these three books I have 26 contributors for the anthologies, and Juliana Spink Mills is the author of Heart Blade ( she is in Journeys with such a good story called ‘Fool’s Quest’). Top it off with three editors, two cover artists, and hopefully all of this translates into thousands of new readers! If anything, it won’t be for lack of trying, because everyone involved has worked tirelessly to get these books from conception to fruition.
2017 will be a great year for myself, my collaborative partners, and Woodbridge Press. With more projects already under way, there is nothing but the promise of success ahead.
As for being an author, I am almost done a rewrite of book one, and will be sending for a second round of beta reads in a month or two. I want to write the sequel this year as well, and am looking to self-publish them both, one after the other, in 2018. My other novel, Sleepy Grove is dying to be finished, and I am planning on dedicating a month or so to finish off that first draft this year.
I wanted to share a bit about what I’ve been doing, and hope to be back sooner than later on this blog. Thanks for reading!