Saturday, July 24, 2010

Special Guest Saturday: Shawna K. Williams

There seems to be an epidemic of e-publishing lately. : ) At least here on the alley, but it seems to be popular and many new authors are entering the scene this way, so check out this new author, Shawna K. Williams and the words of wisdom she has to impart from her first publishing experience.

My experience with an e-press has been really positive. I knew from the beginning that I'd be seeking publication through a small press. If you read No Other you'll understand why. It's most definitely Christian fiction, but somewhat atypical for the genre. Some call it edgy, I prefer Grace-Inspired because that's the focus of the story. Anyhow, given that, and also that I was a first time author, I knew that the story's best chance was with a small press.
I think one of the biggest advantages with a small press is that they are far more willing to take a risk with a new author, and a good story that might not fit the standard mold.
For me, it's been really interesting to see the changes taking place in the industry because of electronic publishing. It's telling that every major book chain has an ebook division and their own version of a reader available now. I love the convenience, efficiency and economy that ebooks/epublishing bring to the table. I also see it bringing reading back to young people. My 12 y/o recently purchased a Nook with her own money and reads about six to eight books per month. She'd borrowed my Kindle before buying it. I'm so glad to have it back! Before we had an ereader in our home she read around two books per month. I've heard other parents who own ereaders make similar comments. Two of my friends recently bought Kindles for their kids.
As far as disadvantages go, it's still a small market and sales reflect that. The idea is to be aware of this so your expectations are in line with reality. Lol!

Also, there's still a lot of educating to do. I hear all of the time, "I don't like reading from a computer screen." Many people are unaware of all the ways ebooks can be read, and also that an ereader resembles a print book and not a computer screen. It even uses ink. With the soft covers they feel like a book in your hands, and it's quite cozy to read from while sitting by a fire.

I have moments of discouragement when people ask, "When will it be a real book?" I know they what they mean, but I also know the effort that went into my book, so it smarts a little. Most people are thinking in terms of tangibility, though, and don't intend any offense. And in that regard, I'd be lying if I said that I don't long to hold my book in my hands. I love ebooks, and actually prefer reading on my Kindle, but there is something about having that physical representation of an idea that's been in your head. Just is. While Desert Breeze is currently only publishing in e-format, it is their intention to expand into print.

Shawna's casual bio:
I'm a lot of things: a Christian, wife, mother, friend, author, artist, rock hound, science geek and animal lover. The first four take priority. The rest tend to jostle for my attention. Since I'm always a dreamer, author usually wins.

Indeed, my first two books are the result of a dream -- an actual dream. It nagged me for six months as I mentally tried to fill in all of the gaps. I finally had to write it down. Since then, God has continued to bless with me inspiration at times of His choosing.

Technically, I'm an Inspirational Romance writer. But I like to think that romance includes more than the relationship between two people. It can also be about the era or place, or even a single moment in time, when an elusive whisper reaches inward and ever so gently taps the soul, saying, "This. Remember this."

It's my desire that my stories create such a moment.
Some of my methods for filling my creative reservoir are reading about the histories of small towns, pouring over old photos in antique shops and people's homes (if I'm at yours, I'll ask to see your picture albums) and asking prying questions about your best family stories. Oh! And if you ever see a lady on the side of the road, taking pictures of old, dilapidated houses and buildings, it's probably me.


Shawna K. Williams said...

Thanks for having me, Casey!

Casey said...

Hi Shawna, my apologies for not stopping by yesterday, but thanks for the great post and being here! Your book is great and I can't wait to see what you put out next. :)