In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Independent Publishing Book Awards is the longest-running and one of the largest book awards open exclusively for independent authors.
I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and due to my father’s position in the diplomatic service, I travelled the world while growing up. This allowed me to learn different languages and enjoy an array of cultures, while attending a variety of schools. I used to write short stories as a youngster but never thought I’d write or become an author. My time is devoted to medicine, but I also have a passion for aviation and work as a senior flight instructor on weekends. Somewhere between this and a busy family life, I find time for writing. I would describe myself as quite physically active, enjoying playing sports and exercising on a regular basis.
2. You work as a psychiatrist in Perth, Australia, and only recently began writing and publishing your work. What ignited your passion for writing?
My father started writing after retiring from duty. He asked me to read some of his work and provide feedback on ideas, plots, storyline and characters. He writes in Italian and published five books in Italy. This process awakened my interest for literature and thus took me down an unknown but worthy and creative path.
3. What inspired you to write Foresight,Hunted and Vestige?
I found that my interest for fast-paced suspenseful stories inspired me to start writing my first two books.Vestige was inspired by my own ghostly encounter in an old section of the hospital that I work in.
It is an elegy of love and redemption and tells the story of a little girl who sees the wounded spirit of a slain poet huddled near a fountain in Granada, Spain. She befriends him to give him his voice back.
2. How were you planning to promote and market your book before the COVID-19 crisis?
I had been approved by Indigo for a signing on April 18th in Victoria and had Tellwell create my promotional materials for that event. I also had a reading set up at the Vancouver Public Library on April 19th and an event set up with the Victoria Public Library in May, as part of the emerging local author program. All of these events have been cancelled. Fortunately, I had an interview with Citizen’s Forum on YouTube before we were all told to self-isolate so I gained some traction there. After many months of building online interest, the book was finally starting to take off; however, all of the events mentioned above are still available to me, when life resumes once more.
3. What are you doing now?
I’m still in the thinking stages of what to do next, but plan to set up my own YouTube channel to do readings and talks to post online, through my website and Facebook author page. I am also planning to set up a series of podcasts. Finally, I am building a community of authors around me whereby we read and review each other’s books and post them on Amazon by way of support.
4. Do you have any advice for authors?
My advice is to never give up. If there is an obstacle in the river, float around it as there are always creative solutions available. Also, form communities with like-minded artists to exchange ideas. View this time as an opportunity for growth. We are all in this together, globally. If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need each other.
Read how Charlene Doak-Gebauer, Markus Matthews and Monique Gliozzi are adapting their book marketing strategies in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
As a book marketing consultant, I work with authors to show them how they can connect with their audience through various marketing activities. It’s my goal to give authors a better understanding of all the tools they have at their disposal when it comes to marketing their book, and teach them how to effectively use those tools.
2.What does a typical day or week look like?
A typical day includes a mix of meetings and consultations, writing marketing strategies, designing websites, creating social media graphics and promotional materials, and pitching to bloggers, media outlets or bookstores. I love that my work week always contains a mix of writing, strategizing, phone calls with unique authors, and creative work.
3.What did you do beforehand?
I was the marketing manager for a California based start-up. I worked remotely from Victoria with a lean-team based in Ottawa, Oakland, and Los Angeles. We all came together to launch our company in early 2017. What a whirlwind that was! I wouldn’t trade that time for anything though. Not only did I hone my time management and communication skills, and learn just how adaptable I really can be, but I was also able to experiment with all kinds of marketing activities. My responsibilities included social media management, blogging, B2B and B2C email marketing, media outreach, partnership marketing with California event planners, as well as managing and executing brand awareness campaigns, mostly through influencer marketing on Instagram.
4.How would you describe your personality? What inspires you?
I thrive when I’m able to socialize with others – friends, family, even strangers at events or concerts. I love getting into good conversations with people. Learning through sharing ideas with others charges me up like nothing else. With events and social gatherings on hold though, I’ve been turning to other sources of inspiration. I consume books, blogs and podcasts on the regular, but my consumption rate has increased tenfold since social distancing came into effect. I’m still getting outside and spending time near the ocean or on a remote trail – there’s nothing like nature to keep me feeling whole.
5.What do you enjoy most about working with authors?
I love hearing why authors wrote their book, why they want to share this particular message with the world. Starting with why is a driving force behind just about everything I do when it comes to business and marketing – thank you, Simon Sinek.
Understanding an author’s why helps me better understand who we’re trying to reach, which determines my recommendations and strategies for how to connect with them.
Hope is a fascinating phenomenon. A day with it guarantees nothing; a day without it is very difficult. It can’t be injected. It can’t be x-rayed and yet we know when our hope is down.
Ronna Jevne has been a psychologist, researcher, university professor and leading authority on hope. She is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology and the Hope Foundation of Alberta, a research centre associate with the University of Alberta whose mission is to explore and apply the phenomena of hope. She is the author of several books, including the recently published Finding Hope: Ways of seeing life in a brighter light. Jevne, and her co-author, James Miller, invite new understandings about hope, how to foster hope in our own lives and offer strategies for finding and practicing hope.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I laugh a lot, love deeply, and have a thirst for adventure. I believe life is not a problem; it is an experience to be lived. My pen and my camera are constant companions. I am passionate about photography, and I manage to stay fit while wishing it didn’t require exercise.
I loved every day of my life as a psychologist and professor. I have had the privilege of working in education, health care, corrections, and academia. Over the years, I have seen extraordinary courage in the midst of life’s most serious challenges.
I stepped back from the mainstream of professional life to be with my husband in the last chapter of his life.
I live now on eight acres of heaven, share my life with my husband, Hal Martin. Hal and I are lifelong friends who had amazing partners. In a brief window, we both lost our spouses. We now share our lives.
Life has given me new opportunities on all fronts. In this new chapter of my professional life, writing is central. My role in the Prairie Wind Writing Center, a partnership with my present husband Hal, is to take the lead in designing workshops/retreats, writing books, and promoting therapeutic writing with clients and professionals.
2. Can you summarize what your book is about in a few sentences?
Finding Hope: Ways to see life in a brighter light is a shortcut to hope. After an introduction to the value and qualities of hope authors Jevne & Miller offer time tested strategies to enhancing your hope. Each strategy is a one-page explanation and illustration of a “how to”. Written in a personal style and accented with quotations and photographs, Finding Hope is not only about hope, it is an experience of hope.
3. You are a leading authority on hope through your work as a researcher, university professor and psychologist. What is it about hope that fascinates you?
Hope is a fascinating phenomenon. A day with it guarantees nothing; a day without it is very difficult. It can’t be injected. It can’t be x-rayed and yet we know when our hope is down. It is different than faith, coping, or resilience. People who have hope approach challenges differently than those who feel less hope. They achieve more, handle uncertainty with more confidence and have better health and well-being, Yet, hope was until the last couple of decades was virtually ignored by the scientific community.
Having an author website is a bit like a business card – it establishes credibility, a point of contact, and an opportunity to showcase your work.
It can be well-agreed that in 2020, having an online presence as an author is essential, and an author website no exception.
As an author, you might have even envisioned what you want to put on your website – maybe a blog; an annotated gallery; links to events etc. What you might not have considered, however, is your domain name.
What is a Domain Name? A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.
In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.
My story is an honest account of having lived every moment to the fullest and never letting negatives stop my drive to be happy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. How were you planning to promote and market your book before the COVID crisis?⠀
In much the same way, except I had presentations arranged at book stores, libraries, historical societies, and organizations like Apex and Rotary.
Maintaining contact with all the sources that were postponed (not cancelled), making sure they retain all the posters and flyers for when I return immediately after the virus is contained.⠀⠀⠀
3. What are you doing now?
My greatest wish is that I die writing, as a day without having written something creative is time wasted. I am currently writing a fantasy trilogy set 69 million years ago. At the same time I am writing an article, a novela, about my road-trip south and my Paul Revere-like race home to avoid the Queensland border shut down because of the virus.
That journey started at 8.30 p.m. at the Victorian border, a 2,000 kilometre journey through the night, dodging kangaroos and wallabies. Only when the greyness of trees edging the road became like canyon walls in my mind did I realize fatigue was setting in. I pulled over for a nap, Raven curled up in the passenger seat and me in a slightly reclined driver’s seat: the car was too packed to sleep in the back. It ended up being only a 20 minute sleep as my dog had a dream and kicked me in the backside as she slept. It was enough, however, to revive me for the rest of the journey. I would not recommend it to anyone else to try. Upon reaching the Queensland border town of Goodniwindi at 9.30 a.m., I sighed with relief, even though I still had over four hours driving ahead of me to arrive home.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
4. Do you have any advice for authors or is there anything else on your mind?
My advice to authors is not to be complacent. Writing is what they may be used to but, like all things in the world, you have to get out there and sell. Use every contact and source available, often one leads to another. Almost 40 years in the film industry, with the big companies like Village as my opposition, taught me to be clever with promotions – it was the only way to survive against the national theatre chains.
As for the road-trip, I’ll do it again, just as soon as the blasted virus is kicked to the curb. And my faithful dobermann will be by my side.
It’s exciting to finally get to see the author’s book live and published, and to share in that joy, knowing you had a part in making their vision a reality.
Redjell Arcillas works as a project manager at Tellwell. He guides and assists authors throughout the publishing process – from their book submission to distribution. Redjell liaises with designers, editors, illustrators on behalf of the author and then, once the book is ready, distributes it so it can be purchased on various online platforms.
As a project manager, Redjell is part of every author’s publishing journey. His role is to bring to life the author’s work by making sure the cover is even better than the author envisioned, and the content of the book is ready for publication. Redjell considers the authors goals and works within their budget to produce a top-quality product.
Prior to Tellwell, Redjell worked at a large indie publishing company as a project manager.
1. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?
Working with authors is a great privilege. I enjoy being able to access their personal anecdotes during the writing process as well as seeing the progress of their work, especially after a series of recommendations. It’s exciting to finally get to see the author’s book live and published, and to share in that joy, knowing you had a part in making their vision a reality.
2. How would you describe your personality? What are your strengths?
I value success, achievement, and quality. This drives me in life and helps me push forward to keep improving myself. I believe the key to success is persistence. I don’t allow obstacles to stand in the way of my goals. I’m proud of my achievements and I’m grateful to be able to pass those opportunities on to my children.
3. What advice do you have for authors going through the publishing process?
First, trust the process, and know that no matter what, your book will be published. Second, know that your project manager will always be there for you. Third, always aim for a quality product rather than rush the publication of your book.
4. What is the most common misconception authors have about the self-publishing process?
I find many authors focus on marketing their book and pay less attention to the editing. When you do this, you miss out on improving your manuscript. You have to keep in mind that reviews will definitely affect the ability to successfully market your book. Neglecting editing before publishing your book is like offering readers something that is not worth reading at all. The professional publishing standard is to have very few spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Reviewers can be brutal if they see too many of these errors. But they are also savvy enough to comment on plot lines, character arcs, pacing and the writing.
Physical distancing, self-isolation and quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic have completely altered our lives. We’ve all had to reimagine the ways we connect and engage with each other. With so much fear and uncertainty circulating during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a great need for breaks from the news cycle. We are also spending more time at home now than, perhaps, ever in our lifetime. Indulging in a good story is one of the oldest and most enjoyable forms of escapism. Hopeful, cheerful, funny or just straight-up weird and quirky content can lighten our mood and make us feel so much better.
For authors, it’s a great time to promote and market your book. While holding book launches, book tours, book signings and school visits are not possible in a physical setting, you can take these activities online. Authors are using social media, and platforms like Zoom, to hold live events, digital book tours, and Q&As. They are partnering with other authors, book bloggers, booktubers and influencers in their space to share their stories and engage with their audiences.
Here are some ideas and strategies to consider on how to market and promote your book during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Book launch → Digital book launch
Considering using Facebook live to launch your book. It’s free and relatively easy to setup. Almost everyone has a Facebook account together and it’s likely the people you would invite to a physical book launch event will already be your Facebook friend. Facebook Live can also accommodate another person which is great if you would like a co-host, emcee or someone to introduce you.
As a book marketing consultant, my role is to support authors in the marketing and promotional aspect of the publication process. We develop strategies for authors to develop their book marketing plan, and fulfil marketing services to take some of the load off their plate.
2. What did you do beforehand?
I worked in community engagement and development within educational institutions from preschool to university! My tasks ranged from directing international field studies with university students in Europe, to being the person who got to drop the eggs from a school roof for a science fair ‘egg drop’ challenge!
3. How would you describe your personality?
I’m a big infophile – learning is what motivates me more than anything! I also find it really tough to sit still and read a book – so audiobooks are a great way to circumnavigate that.
4. What do you enjoy most about working with authors?
I thrive on having a varied workload which is why working with authors is so great. They each present unique perspectives, skills, and stories. Getting to adapt to those individualities is really amazing.