JAMES M. COPELAND
- Finally Cracks A Contract -
Today I welcome an author who has previously featured on this blog - James M. Copeland. James has just cracked it for a contract with a major publisher. He has signed a contract with KG Books of Alabama, USA and the title of the book is, “Detective Frank Hawthorn is … Blindsided.
Welcome, James ...
JMC: Thank you Clancy for having me.
Clancy: What is the hardest thing about traditional publishing?
JMC: I don’t think there is anything hard about traditional publishing; it’s the authoring that’s hard. Of course the publisher has to make a decision to publish and once that decision is made their hung if it doesn’t work. I’d say that getting someone in publishing to look at your work is probably the hardest thing.
Clancy: What genre is this book written in?
JMC: It’s a mystery / crime / suspense book, or better said, a-who-done-it-book. And, in this case Detective Frank Hawthorn always gets his man!
Clancy: When did you originally write this book James?
JMC: This novel was one of the first I wrote in 2006.
Clancy: Has it been rewritten, or possibly re-titled?
JMC: Has it been rewritten, ha, ha. (Laugh) I have re-written it so many times I wore the words out. This was the first book I took to a Literary Conference. It got eaten alive by a literary agent. Not only that, but the name was changed several times. I think that the end results are one of my best works. (I do have to give my publisher (KG Books) editor credit for making the last corrections.)
Clancy: What’s the book about?
Clancy: How should new readers of your work feel?
JMC: Like they want to turn the pages of my next book! (This could be the beginning of a series?)
Clancy: How did you meet the publisher?
JMC: Through one of the social media units I belong too. (I was turned down by the publisher at once, until I restated my position.)
Clancy: Writing is one thing. What about marketing you, your book, and your brand, any thoughts?
JMC: Clancy, if I had been left to my own demise, I don’t know what I would have done. My publisher, (KG Books of Alabama) has given me every conceivable amount of help I could ever imagine. I feel that with the assistance I have been given that there is no way my novel would be anything but a success. The path we are on (together) only leads to success!
(One of my ways of marketing is going to be the sale of my home, and hitting the road in our new 38 ft Cayman Motor Home. I have the sign already made to post on my bus when we arrive at a signing spot. I have cards already printed with the face of the book prominent and mailing-cards that I can send to prospective accounts that possibly might sponsor a signing. We have the accessories for having a signing at a location, ie, table, table cloths, chairs, pens, isles for showing books and several other things too numerous to mention.)
Clancy: What are your feelings concerning the efforts of your publisher?
JMC: I am overwhelmed. If I had planned to select a publisher, I couldn’t have made a better choice.
Clancy: Will this episode in your life change it?
JMC: Yes it will. It’s a new adventure, and I can hardly wait. For Shaw, who’s waiting, I have been working night and day trying to keep up with what my publisher (KG Books) wants me to do.
Clancy: What are your plans in the very near future?
JMC: We are working everyday in preparation for hitting the road. I can hardly wait for the signing process to begin. I have agreed to be at any signing or interviews my publisher (KG Books) feels necessary.
Clancy: Do you have any tips for wanna-be writers?
JMC: I think the strongest thing I could possibly say is that if you want to write, you have to devote yourself to doing just that. This is not a process like fishing. You can bait a hook and drop it in the water, after a while you will catch a fish. Not so, in writing. You have to research every nook and cranny of the writing and publishing world to see the opportunities available to you and then spend countless hours practicing, arranging the words and studying the results.
In reading some of my earlier works I look with awe at how I did what I did. I know now that my earlier work was only for me! Why, because I was the only one who knew what I was talking about. I wrote endless poetry and turned it over to others and they would read it and go, huh! What did he say?
In order to write, you have to write, and write, and write!
Diving into the vast pool of literature opens up an area of life most have never been. How do you swim? It’s a learning process! One can not swim without training, it can be self-training, but it’s better to have someone formal teach. It’s best to keep your hands under water, why, because they help you stay buoyant.
In terms of writing you must keep your mind active in putting words on paper. To begin with, any words. The art of putting them on paper will cause you to self-train for that work; you will suddenly see the words start to make sense, and your heart will soar.
Water is deep if you can’t swim. Literature is vast and soooooo many words. Shakespeare compiled a group of words that people of the world are still trying to discern. Some say this way…others that!
Our talent if we have one…is to compile a group of words that are very well understood by our peers so well that they want to turn the page!