Our Interview with Author Nancy Christie
Ohio based author Nancy Christie has released a new book through Mill City Press, Rut Busting Book for Authors. As a follow up to her award winning book, Rut Busting Book for Writers, this latest book focuses on advice for the whole process; from writing the book, as well as what to expect in publishing and tips for marketing a book. Christie not only shares her expertise in the field, but has gathered information from others, including authors, editors, marketers and other experts in the field, including Jennasis & Associates’ very own Jessica Shaffalo!
Process, Publishing and Promotion
Christie breaks the book down into three main sections: process, publishing, and promotion. This makes it easy for the reader to navigate through the book to find specific advice more easily.
The process section guides the reader on how to manage time, get through any ruts of writing, and different methods of writing. Christie also offers advice on effectively researching your topic, editing and proofing your book.
The publishing section of the book explains the pros and cons of different publishing methods. Christie and her experts include helpful thoughts on drafting pitches, smart ways to construct a book proposal and what you need to do to prepare for the production process.
The third section, promotion, is all about marketing your book. Where and how to promote it: in person or online, creating your platform, getting reviews and how to handle them, scheduling a book tour, conducting interviews and more. Many times this is the hardest part for authors; having this layout and knowledge base can be extremely useful for your book’s success.
The advice offered in Rut Busting Book for Authors is a great tool for both new authors and experienced authors to help them start, or continue their writing careers.
Our Interview with Nancy Christie
Nancy Christie recently took the time to discuss her latest book and more.
JA: You previously published Rut Busting Book for Writers. What is the biggest difference in advice from that book and your latest book, Rut Busting Book for Authors?
Christie: Rut Busting Book for Writers has strategies to get writers out of their particular writing rut so they can have more time to follow their passion. It covers both the practical and creative aspects of being a writer, and is designed for those who do it for their personal fulfillment as well as for those who are writing professionally, i.e., for money but are having trouble setting and achieving their goals.
Rut Busting Book for Authors focuses specifically on the ruts that would-be and current authors can fall into when writing, publishing and promoting their books. The book has tips, techniques and strategies from more than 60 authors, editors, literary agents, literary attorneys, publishers, book marketing professionals and other experts. It came about because, as I was doing book events for Rut Busting Book for Writers, so many people would tell me they wanted to write a book and asked if that was what the book covered.
JA: Which tip from the book tends to be most useful for your writing?
Christie: Not so much one tip specifically but the entire marketing and promotion section. When my first book, The Gifts of Change, came out in 2004, marketing was old-school: you showed up and did talks and signings. No blogs, no podcasts, no social media to speak of. But so much has changed in the past fifteen years that I feel like I am always playing catch-up: as soon as I learn about a new marketing strategy, I find out there are ten others I should have been doing! Right now I am focusing on social media and how to best promote my books and connect with readers.
JA: You have written a variety of styles of books. Does your writing style change with the type of book you are writing? In what ways?
Christie: Absolutely, and the biggest way is the reason for writing them. Both writing books were done with the goal of self-publishing them and using them in tandem with my talks and workshops, so in that sense, they were “work” projects. Since I was self-publishing, I had total control over the content and didn’t have to spend time pitching them to agents or publishers. Writing them was very much like writing a series of articles: I interviewed experts and wove their information into the chapter along with my own knowledge and experience.
My short stories and my novels-in-progress are done first to satisfy myself: to explore an idea or emotion, to bring a character to life, or to put my character in a situation that I am afraid of in real life. If the work gets published, that’s wonderful. But that isn’t the primary goal. My main goal is to write something that I am proud of, that almost (but never totally) achieves what I wanted when I first started out. Often I don’t even know what the story is really about until I finish it.
That being said, I do submit my short stories to literary magazines. And I’m thrilled that my two collections have been traditionally published!
JA: In your experience, what has been the most helpful lesson you have learned in regards to the whole process of being an author?
Christie: Ah, back to promotion...the most important lesson is not to get stuck in the past and only do what worked before. For example, I used to do the traditional book marketing: press releases, in-person events, some guest articles. But now I am focusing more on doing podcasts and video interviews because that’s what the market wants in terms of connecting with an author. It took me a long time to get comfortable with podcasts, especially the live ones, but now that I’ve done some, I have found out it isn’t that terrifying! And at some point, I’d like to do my own podcasts where I talk with other writers about the craft and business of writing. Baby steps, always baby steps!
JA: What was one of your most memorable or favorite events that you have had while promoting a book?
The most moving experience I had was when I was doing a signing for The Gifts of Change at a Borders in San Diego. The book is about making the most of the changes that come into your life, even the ones you don’t want, and I had finished my little talk and was signing copies when I noticed an older couple sitting in the audience. After everyone else had left, they came up to me, introduced themselves, said how much they enjoyed my talk and then said they had a question. I was expecting something along the lines of “How do you write a book?” or “Where do you get your ideas?” But what they said was this: their adult son had been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and didn’t have long to live, and they wanted to know what they should say to help comfort him. I didn’t know what to answer, and it was even more difficult because my own mother was undergoing cancer treatments at the time that didn’t seem to be working. But I didn’t want to fail them because they looked so desperate. All I could think of was to tell them to let him know that his life had a purpose and meaning, that he mattered, that his existence was a blessing. And that they loved him and would never forget him. I don’t know if it was enough but they seemed satisfied. And I have never forgotten them.
Nancy Christie’s latest book offers a well rounded approach for authors to use when tackling the whole process of writing, publishing, and marketing a book. The tips offered are insightful and allow you to move forward with tools for success from start to finish.
Nancy Christie has several workshops and book signings scheduled all over Ohio throughout December.
To learn more about Nancy Christie or to buy her books, visit: www.nancychristie.com.
Follow Nancy Christie on social media: Instagram: @NancyChristie_Author, Facebook or Twitter: @NChristie_OH.
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Marcia Hudgel has been writing stories and poems since she was very young, and has honed the ability to write in a variety of styles, which she has done for a number of websites over the past few years. When not writing, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation, especially to women in addiction recovery.