BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER: Bonnie Lambourn
I contacted Ginger Scott because I read five of her books and each time I was impressed with her writing. I trust her books because she always delivers. After realizing she is a self-published author, I decided she has a lot more to offer other than just fabulous books, so I asked Ginger to do a book giveaway, so I could introduce her and her books.
All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on facebook with a link and you’ll get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back on September 29th to discover the winner.
Ginger Scott’s latest book THE HARD COUNT came out in July, but the paperback hits the bookshelves tomorrow. She sent me a copy of her new book and here is what I wrote on Goodreads after finishing THE HARD COUNT:
Ginger Scott gives us another 5 star book with THE HARD COUNT. Don’t let the fact that the story revolves around football stop you from reading this book. It is so much more than football and is so well written. This is my fifth Ginger Scott book. All her books provide an engaging plot with characters you want to spend time with. She makes you laugh. She makes you cry. You will sigh when the main characters intertwine their fingers and their lips touch. Her writing will keep you turning every page and hate anything that interrupts you. When the last page is read, you will close the book satisfied and feel like you got more than your money’s worth.
I also decided to do an interview to ask some of the questions I knew would be on everyone’s lips. I know they were on mine.
Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.
In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.
When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
Interview with Ginger Scott:
When did you start writing?
It’s something I’ve been doing most of my life, but professionally, in college.
Did you attend classes to study writing?
I did. I majored in journalism, and there isn’t a publication in Arizona that I haven’t had a byline in. I covered a lot of things, including breaking news, courts, government and sports, then I switched to magazines. But fiction is what I always wanted to do. I was afraid of failing, though, so I went the tried and true way – and I loved the idea of telling the real stories that are out there. There are a lot of things I learned from being a journalist that I think make my fiction stronger.
When did you decide to Write YA and New Adult?
My favorite stories are about this age – the time from becoming a teenager to just learning to live on your own. My favorite books when I was young were Judy Blume’s Forever and The Outsiders. I think I’m always chasing that feeling with the stories I write.
Do you belong to a critique group?
I don’t. I do have a team of beta readers, though, and I take their feedback along the way as I write. They are amazing, and such an integral part to my writing process.
Do you have someone who edits your books?
I do. I use a professional editor after a few rounds of “volunteer” editing by some pretty savvy proofers.
It looks like you wrote 11 books in the last 3 years. How did this all start?
My first book, Waiting on the Sidelines, is something that I carried around half-finished for years. I was afraid that it would be rejected, and that fear paralyzed me. I know, it’s part of the publishing process. But somehow, for me, it became this hurdle I just couldn’t get past. Then I began to read a lot of indie authors, and I was inspired to see how they took their books directly to market. It inspired me to finish my book and ultimately self-publish it. It’s the scariest, greatest decision I’ve ever made.
I have read six of your books and have always been impressed. How do you have time to revise when you are writing so many books? Do they come out perfect the first time?
Oh lord, I wish! I don’t do a lot of typical plotting, but I have notes that direct me on the feel I want, and my ultimate beginning, middle and end. Most of my time is spent on character development, and then I always get an idea in my head of where it all starts. The prologue and first chapter usually race out of me, but then I take it a chapter and a time. I write, then revise, then move to the next while betas read the last. It’s sort of like this crochet method, of forward, back and through. It works for me.
What made you decide to self-publish your books?
That rejection thing. I know, I sound like George McFly…”I just don’t know if I can handle that kind of rejection.” But that’s the truth – I loved this story, and had carried it around in my heart, head and hands for so long that I just got stymied by the idea of someone not believing in it as much as I did. The self-publishing process is a sure-fire way to find out if you have stories people want, and that rejection is immediate and very public. Once I hit publish, I held my breath hoping someone would care. When people began to discover my story, respond to my story, I was blown away. The only word good enough for the feeling is joy.
Did you ever submit to any traditional publishers?
I have. I have an agent, Rachel Marks, and she is currently shopping one of my projects. As much as I love the self-publishing process and the freedom that comes along with it, I also dream of seeing my book cover on a shelf at Barnes and Noble, or a Target end cap. And I’m a lot less afraid of rejection than I used to be.
When did you decide to write full time? I’m assuming that is the case, since I can’t imagine being about to write three or four great books a year while working another job.
I quit the day job on Valentine’s Day of 2014. I had a job I really loved, but writing is my passion. I had to go for it.
Publisher’s Marketplace lists Rachel Marks at Rebecca Friedman as your representative. What does an agent bring to the table for a self-published author?
Rachel is a great advocate for me. Ultimately, I would like to be a hybrid author, with some things self-published, and some done traditionally. An agent can also help take your book to foreign markets and sell your various language, audio and (oh, fingers crossed, dream big) film rights.
What was the first thing you had to do to start self-publishing your books?
I had no idea what I was doing when I started. First and foremost, you need to make sure your manuscript is ready for the public, and you need to know what you want for your cover. I design my own, but there are a lot of services available to have one done for you. For me, the first step was learning what all of the steps are. The work is endless, and it is not an easy route for sure, but it is possible. That’s all I needed to know – that it was possible. I’ve never been afraid of hard work, and I’m not intimidated by learning technology. I think that and my resolve to succeed are what helped me through the other side.
Was it hard to learn how to format your ebooks for Amazon and B&N?
The first time? Absolutely. But it’s gotten a lot easier. And now there are great tools available. I use Vellum – a HUGE time-saver.
Can you use the same formatting for both Amazon and B&N?
Nope. Totally stinks, too.
Have you tried any of Amazon’s marketing programs?
I have. They have a lot of great tools available for indie authors. Some have worked well for me, some no longer work for me, but I think what’s important is to be open to trying anything.
What type of things did you do to get noticed?
I wrote personal emails to bloggers every night after work. I wrote to about 200 before someone wrote me back, and when I got that email from her, I cried. I also gave books away to willing readers/reviewers. I offered to write guest posts. I took to social media hard and fast. I spoke to groups that would have me. I did takeovers and interviews, and interviewed others. Anything out there, I tried. I didn’t care if I reached one follower or a thousand. Each reader is worth finding.
How hard was it to make the book trailers you have for some of your books? Any tips on this?
For me, not too hard, but I have a digital media background. It’s not technology that someone can just pick up and get moving with unless you have some comfort in Adobe or Final Cut. I think digital skills are great to have, so any learning you can do online, or for free, I would do it.
How did it feel to have Wild Reckless nominated for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards?
I literally jumped in my recliner when someone messaged me about it. Full-on Tom Cruise happy-dance jump! It still gets me, and I smile so big when I think about it.
What were sales like the first few months?
I’m assuming you mean for the very first book I published. Slow and go. I had a goal of reaching 17 people. I figured I know 16 people, so 17 meant I broke my bubble. A bit of an exaggeration, but I did set my goal to 17. I wanted it to be possible, so I had something to celebrate. I hit that the first day, and it sort of continued on at about five or six copies a day for a few weeks, until I started to reach more bloggers and readers who like to share about what they’re reading. It grew by a copy or two a day until suddenly my book was hovering in the 2,000 ranking spot for a while. I wrote Going Long and it did about the same, and I was filled with this unbelievable feeling that something I dreamt about was actually possible.
How did you connect with the other contemporary YA romance writers to put together excerpts from your books in Love First: A Sampler of Young Adult Contemporary Romances?
A few of the other authors in the anthology had planned it and reached out to me. I was beyond flattered because I am a huge fan of everyone in that anthology. It was an enormous honor.
Did you see a jump in sales after it came out?
I wouldn’t say a jump in sales, but I did reach new readers. I still hear from some who discover me because of that anthology.
What type of stats do you get from both Amazon and B&N?
Books sold per day, what releases well, trends—pretty much anything an author can obsess over. I try not to obsess often because I want my focus to be on my stories.
Do you sell more ebooks vs. paperback books?
Definitely more ebooks. It’s hard as an indie to market paperbacks without the help of brick and mortar stores.
Which book has been your biggest seller?
This Is Falling, followed closely by Wild Reckless and my new release, The Hard Count.
Out of your eleven books, which one is your favorite?
It changes constantly, but probably my newest one, The Hard Count. That book touches on a really important message for me—the idea that we judge people based on their address and skin color. I also love the hero in that book, and the way the words made me feel. I love football—LOVE!!!!—and I feel like this book was my best world-building. I feel like readers can hear, taste and smell the games, and the feedback I’ve gotten has warmed my heart tremendously.
What do you do to find someone to create your covers?
I actually create my own. It’s one of my favorite parts of the process. I have a few photographer friends, including one who has been a dear friend for most of my life. We do shoots sometimes, and those covers are my favorites. He shot In Your Dreams and The Hard Count for me.
Can you share the step someone needs to follow to self-publish their books?
It’s different for everyone. But you have to have a ready book first, meaning make sure it’s ready and at its best. Have it edited. Pay for the best editing. This is where you want to spend your money. Then, research all of the outlets and programs, and decide which one is best for you. Don’t feel like you have to do it like someone else. Start slow, start big—you decide. Make it manageable, and make it fun.
Any other advice or pitfalls to avoid that might help other authors thinking about self-publishing?
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember, there are millions of books out there, and don’t feel like you are a failure if you’re not number one. A reader is going to read more than just one book and one author. Embrace other authors, connect and network. It’s good to point people to other books, because us authors…we need to scratch each other’s backs. We want people reading, no matter what it is. Let’s work together and keep giving them good stuff.
A Little About Ginger
I tell stories for a living. It’s a pretty great gig, actually. Each story has led to an amazing encounter, be it a new appreciation for the view from atop a polo horse to a deeper understanding of what it means to be the parent of a child with autism. I’ve told the stories of Olympians, comedians, doctors, teachers, politicians, activists, criminals, heroes and towns. You can check out a small sampling here or, heck, just Google me — my journalism work is usually under Ginger Eiden. I published my debut novel, Waiting on the Sidelines, in spring 2013, and in August 2014, I published my fifth novel, a really raw college romane called This Is Falling. That book hit number one in teen on Amazon, and the entire adventure blew my mind! You see, this storytelling thing is my dream, the kind you wish for as a kid and pine after as you age. I took a leap to go after it, and I’m so grateful I did. I’m grateful for every single reader. And I hope to be keeping you up late at night with my words for a long, long time. I’m at nine books and counting. I hope to celebrate 20 with you down the road.
As always, I’d love to hear from you.
- Please check me out on Goodreads @ goodreads.com/gingerscott
- You can also find me on Twitter @TheGingerScott & Facebook @ www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor