Author Topic: RJ Keller Interview  (Read 10099 times)

Stacey Cochran

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RJ Keller Interview
« on: October 26, 2013, 03:28:17 pm »
RJ KELLER INTERVIEW


HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK: Your novel WAITING FOR SPRING was originally self-published. It did so well that Amazon Encore approached you to acquire the rights to re-publish it. What is the story about?

RJ KELLER: WAITING FOR SPRING is about a troubled woman (Tess Dyer) who moves from one small, Maine town to an even smaller one after a painful divorce to escape her demons. (Figuratively speaking, of course. It’s not a supernatural tale.) Unfortunately, her demons follow her, as they tend to do, and she brings them into her new relationship with Brian, a local carpenter with problems of his own. The book is chock full of angst and sex and drugs and humor, but it’s basically a story about modern rural life as seen through the eyes of an intelligent, but under-educated, woman.

HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK: How long did it take to write? And tell us about your decision process to self-publish it initially.

RJ KELLER: It took me around a year to write WAITING FOR SPRING and another six months to edit (with the help of two very dear editor friends), then I queried it to over a hundred agents. I had several requests for the partial manuscript, and even a few requests for the entire thing, but was turned down by all of them. The general refrain was that it was a good book, but not particularly marketable.

I understood where they were coming from. It’s kind of a huge book and isn’t easily pinned down into a genre. It’s got a love story, but isn’t a romance novel and it’s much too gritty for ‘chick lit.’ But all the same, I was irritated that no one was willing to take a shot at it. I was confident that there was an audience for it, so I made like the Little Red Hen, went out and found that audience myself.


HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK: For folks unfamiliar with Amazon Publishing (most people think of Amazon as an online retail store), how does their self-publishing and traditional publishing process work? How are the two separate?


RJ KELLER: They are separate. Amazon’s various self-publishing platforms are available for anyone to use. Amazon Publishing, which has several imprints, works like any other publishing house, only—in my experience—better royalties.


HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK: What advice would you give to a writer who has just finished her first novel and wants to publish it? Should she get a literary agent, self publish her book, or find a small press that she might approach on her own with her book?

RJ KELLER: It really depends on how much research and work she’s willing to do on her own. Self-publishing the right way (with proper editing, formatting, marketing, etc) is a lot of work. You’re basically running a business and if you’re not willing or able to put in the work, or can’t afford to pay someone else to do some of the work for you, then you’re not going to be successful. It also depends on what a writer’s goals are. Although the stigma surrounding self-publishing is lessening, it’s still there and if that’s a big deal to you, then you should probably take the more traditional route.



HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK: What are you currently on? What timeline do you have for publishing your next novel?

RJ KELLER: I’m currently hard at work on a novel called THE WENDY HOUSE. It follows a man Rick during the course of one day as he prepares to kill the man who killed his daughter, all while having semi-drunken, hallucinatory conversations with his long-dead wife. There’s no timeline for publication at the moment, but I can tell you that it’s nearly finished. It’s only taken me five years…
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 03:30:28 pm by Stacey Cochran »

Bob Schultz

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Re: RJ Keller Interview
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 04:38:04 pm »
Interesting interview. I can relate to RJ's frustration at the seemingly monumental task of finding an agent or publisher! Belief in one's work is paramount to completion of the dream. Fortunately, in this hi-tech age quality self-publishing is becoming the norm for new writers. Quality work and the effort to bring it to light will likely meet with success. Keep the faith. Renew the spirit. Reject rejection and use this website with vigor!
Robert Schultz
Autobiographyofababyboomer.com

Stacey Cochran

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Re: RJ Keller Interview
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 03:56:23 pm »
Agreed. What I get questions about so much is whether self-publishing will hurt your career... and which self-publisher to go with. Most new authors want a physical copy of a book. I usually direct them toward CreateSpace.com or Lulu, but I'm sure there are others out there that work just as well now. Maybe better.