Author Bio: Rebecca Rynecki is a librarian, and graduate of Hollins University with a degree in History. The story of Isleen first came to her when she was twelve, lying dormant for years until she just decided to go for it. When she's not writing or giving patrons the evil eye at work, she dances around the house with her husband and son, and bakes bread and cupcakes.
*I will add to this bio for the sake of full disclosure that Becca and I worked together for several years at a medium sized Library in Connecticut and are currently both friends and members of the same writers' group. If you decide to check out her blog, you will also learn she is a complete Anglophile, most specifically obsessed with actor, Andrew Lee Potts, and has a wickedly blunt sense of humor.*
Anyway, as an aspiring author I've become very interested in the last year or so in the self-publishing process, how it compares to traditional publishing, and what authors are feeling about the face of the publishing world right now.
So, I decided to ask Becca a few quick questions about her experience in self-publishing her first book, The Secret World of Alaina Downs. (BTW - Don't forget you can enter to win a copy!)
1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs to write The Secret World of Alaina Downs?
The first time this idea came to me was in 7th grade at the Ethel Walker School when I met this girl named Alaina. I loved her name and the idea came out, first as a play that was acted out by my sister and the neighborhood girls. I didn't get seriously into plotting it until I was seventeen, and then, as you know, I took a break from writing until 2009. The first draft to the final/final draft took eighteen months total with many, many rewrites.
2. How did you decide to self-publish? What was the process like for you?
I decided to self-publish after I kept hearing back from agents and some small publishers that, while my stuff was good, it was "not in the market now," or "even though it's fantasy, it's not the kind of fantasy that we want." And I had gotten a Nook for Christmas at that point and I was discovering all of these wonderful self published authors, who wrote beautifully, and the kind of things that I liked to read, but yet, they had gotten rejected by going the traditional route as well, so I decided to bite the bullet and do it.
The self publishing process involved quite a bit of research into different companies to see what they offered service and price wise. It amazed me that some wanted you to pay them up to 1000.00 just for the basics! I went with Createspace because they have affordable packages, plus their stuff is very professionally done and they have shown themselves to have good success with what they put out. I would say though, it's a little bit more nerve-wracking and time consuming to do it yourself, because even though you would hopefully have had editors help you in the beginning, it's up to you to make sure that everything is correct and how it's supposed to be.
3. So, now that you've officially published your first book, how has your writing/life routine changed?
First off, I have no time to work on the sequel now! I need to get myself in gear! But, yeah, it's become a daily routine of "pimping" myself out as my friend Heather calls it, and trying to find the right people to read it, and constantly posting things, because you would be surprised by how little people pay attention to things. Luckily, I have some great friends who have been helping out with that aspect. I've also been thanking the people who have bought the book, sent me messages about the book, even if they just send me one line, because they took the time to let me know what they thought and they deserve the same consideration back, also...it makes me happy to hear that someone says that they loved it! But, yeah, it's become a whirlwind of e-mails, double checking the information that the booksellers have posted...everything.
4. Any advice for aspiring authors out there?
Yes, get yourself a great group of people and form a writing group! It can be people you communicate with online, people who you meet with once a week, once a month. These people are the key to your success as a writer. I don't know what I would have done without these girls being unfailingly honest and helping me better myself. It's a great support group, and take what they say to heart! They want you to be successful, they want you to be happy. Also...read...A LOT!
5. Quick Picks List:
Favorite vacation destination- I have to say Higgins Beach in Maine. I'm such a New Englander like that, but I don't feel like I'm truly on a real beach until I go to Maine. The rocks everywhere, walking along the water in a sweatshirt in the summer...all good.
Favorite childhood book- This is a hard one! Grrrrr...I have too many. One that I would say that got read over and over...and over was Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt. It recently came back into print, and it's a gorgeous coming of age story.
Favorite writing snack food- Hahaha okay, this may sound strange but I often would have coffee and eat my son's Goldfish crackers. It worked!
Favorite clothing item- Oh dear, I think this is the hardest question! I guess it would have to be my yoga pants from my friend Hayley's company. I love them, and I lived in them during all those late writing nights...you know...to accommodate for eating all the Goldfish crackers.
Becca, truly, thank you so much for coming on my blog today! I'm so happy for you and the successful publication of your first book. Hopefully, this little interview will also give some aspiring authors, besides myself, of course, a little more information about self-publishing in today's writing market. :)