This month’s self-published spotlight is focused on Shelia Goss, author of Roses are Thorns, Violets are True and My Invisible Husband.
Clutch: First, congratulations on the incredible success you have achieved as a self-published author. Why did you decide to self-publish as opposed to pursuing the more traditional publishing route?
SG: In 2002, I decided to submit my manuscripts, but received countless rejection letters from agents. After encouragement from friends and colleagues, I decided to try my hand at self-publishing. I also felt it was something I needed to do. I took on the motto: If I don’t believe in myself, then who will. My first two books I self-published in 2003 and 2004.
Clutch: What do you feel were some of the major challenges of self-publishing?
SG: One of the major challenges of self-publishing is making sure your book is accessible to readers. Although a lot of people shop on the internet, there are still some people who prefer to walk into a store and put their hands on a book before buying. Another challenge is making sure you have the resources to keep up with the demand of the book.
Clutch: How long did it take you to self-publish your first book?
SG: It took me about nine months. I did research on printers, barcode providers, graphic designers, distributors, book stores, etc.
Clutch: What advice would you give those who may be interested in self-publishing?
SG: I advise anyone who is thinking about self-publishing to make sure you’re dedicated to your craft and be prepared to handle the business side of self-publishing. Remember you are not only the writer, but the CEO/CFO etc. I would also suggest reading books such as Dan Poynter’s, The Self Publishing Manual and taking workshops that outline step-by-step instructions on how to self-publish.
Clutch: Was there any marketing strategy used to create a buzz for your first self-published release or had you already established a fan base?
SG: I created a few contests and also sent out information about my books to various online readers groups. I also depended on friends, relatives and other readers to help spread the word. I left bookmarks and/or postcards at the library and at book stores. I also did cross-promotion with other authors.
Clutch: Both of your self-published titles have done very well and you were recently picked up by a traditional publisher who has re-released both books. Are you currently working on anything new? If so, when can we expect it on shelves?
SG: Kensington Books re-released My Invisible Husband in December 2006 and Roses are thorns, Violets are True in February 2007. Paige’s Web will be on the shelves in October 2007. It’s about a woman who is afraid of commitment. Paige Christine Webb enjoys her independence, but finds herself entangled in not one engagement, but three. The story is not only packed with drama, but there are some comical scenes as well.
Clutch: We will definitely keep our eyes open for that release. Will you be touring or appearing at any book signings for either of your re-releases?
SG: I have been attending book club meetings in person (if within two to four hours driving distance) or on conference calls (when outside of that range) for those who have chosen either My Invisible Husband or Roses are Thorns, Violets are True as their book of the month selection.
Clutch: Some self-published authors, once established, pursue publishing up and coming authors. Is this an avenue you would or have considered?
SG: No, but I will continue to be a mentor to up and coming authors.
Clutch: Well, we certainly wish you continued success in your writing endeavors and are looking forward to more of your work. Thank you.
SG: Thank you. I’m honored to be interviewed by Clutch Magazine. If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Roses are Thorns, Violets are True is not a story about your typical twin sisters. Rose’s main goal in life is to stay in the spotlight; whether it be the star of her parent’s eyes, or that of the silver screen. Violet, unlike Rose, prefers to remain behind the scenes and cherishes her privacy. In the past, regardless of the circumstances, Violet has always been able to forgive her sister’s hateful deeds. Well that is, until Rose does the unthinkable. Can these sisters ever be friends, or will they always stand divided? Violet Purdue gives a shocking interview about the life of Hollywood actress Rose Purdue, her twin sister, to a popular magazine. Violet voices her frustrations about Rose and her escapades, with the latest involving stealing her ex-husband, David, and tricking him into marriage. Violet also reveals to the reporter that she loves Rose, but she is still dealing with the pain of the betrayal.
About Sheila Goss
Ms. Goss successfully self-published her first novel, Roses are Thorns, Violets are True. This delightful tale made its debut in August 2003, making the Dallas Morning News Best Sellers List. She was the recipient of three 2003 Shades of Romance Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards.