Today we're talking to Mary Carter, author of Three Months in Florence. Three Months in Florence is published by Kensington Books and Mary is here to tell us all about her experences getting her book published.
Congratulations on your new book! Before we ask how you did it, can you tell us a little about your book?
Three Months in Florence is about Lena, a stay-at-home Mom who finds out her art professor husband is having an affair while teaching abroad in Florence, Italy. Lena packs up the kids and the dog and flies to Florence to confront him and his mistress. From there it’s her journey from revenge to acceptance, with a little sight-seeing and romantic temptations of her own thrown in.
Can you tell us who your publisher is and why you went with them?
I am published through Kensington Books. I went with them because they went with me! They compete with the larger publishing houses, but they are still independently owned. Because they are smaller, I have a great relationship with my editor. In fact I just came back from having a nice lunch with him. He’s supported my career as a writer as opposed to just watching numbers on a single book and dropping me if I don’t sell well. I’ve heard some of the larger publishing houses are quick to drop you if your sell-through numbers are low.
Were they your original choice?
I was pretty clueless about the business when I submitted my manuscript to agents. My first novel was also being considered by Random House. I was disappointed at first when they eventually passed on my novel, but my agent pointed out what I mentioned above—that Random House would’ve given me a bigger advance, but if it didn’t “sell out” the advance, I would have been out. Whereas, he said, Kensington will pay smaller advances but keep you on as a writer. So I have a feeling I wouldn’t have 7 published novels and 3 novellas out if not for Kensington, Books.
Did you go through an agent?
Yes. I’m on my second agent, but I have a lot of respect for both. Currently I am with Evan Marshall of the Evan Marshall Literary Agency.
What are the perks of going with a traditional publisher?
They often have good connections in the foreign markets—my first two are published in 6 different languages. They do the cover art, the back of the book, editing, some publicity, and most of all, they have a large distribution network.
Did you ever consider self-publishing and why or why not?
Recently I’ve thought of experimenting with it, only because the royalties are so much higher say with amazon. I still might whip something up and give it a go. If nothing else than to report back on my experience.
What do you believe is the biggest obstacle authors face when searching for a traditional publisher?
I assume getting an agent is still difficult, and just getting a publisher excited about your book is still very competitive.
What does your publisher do in terms of publicizing your book?
They reach out to readers on Facebook, and they send out 40 or so review copies to Publisher’s Weekly, and book bloggers with large followings. Once in awhile there are some print ads. I still do a big portion of the promotion myself.
What do you believe is the biggest challenge authors face in promoting their books?
Cost versus payoff. It can be so hard to determine what publicity will work, and at what cost. Also, the market seems a bit saturated. So everyone is trying to promote something. It can be difficult to make yours stand out from the crowd no matter how much you tweet about it!
Are you active in the social networks and which is your favorite?
I’m trying to get better. I like Goodreads. And I have a Facebook fan page. (Mary Carter Books). I’ve just started to touch base with Twitter more.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors?
Know that you will spend most of your time actually writing your novels, even after your published. So learn to love the actual process of writing, and realize it’s not always big money and book tours. Some authors make a modest, but decent living, such as myself. And although I would love to start cranking out bestsellers, I have to remind myself that no matter what, the writing will always be the same amount of work, and it’s where I will spend most of my time. That’s the process I have to treasure, and the only one I can control. The results are something beyond me.
Visit Mary's website at www.MaryCarterBooks.com.
Connect & socialize with Mary at Twitter: https://twitter.com/marycarterbooks
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Carter-Books/248226365259
Giveaway! Win $25 Amazon Gift Card and two of Mary Carter's books by clicking here!