September 20th, 2012 | Add a Comment
Wodke Hawkinson is the name under which Karen Wodke and PJ Hawkinson produce their co-written works. Both authors grew up in the Midwest and attendedHutchinsonCommunity College. Karen also attendedKansasWesleyanUniversity.
PJ’s interests include sightseeing off the beaten path and fishing.
Karen has played in various bands since childhood, writing many of the songs herself or with co-writers.
Both authors enjoy a wide range of literary interests but are narrowing their focus to creative writing and have self-published three short-story volumes and two novels at this time.
Their last self-published novel, Zeke, was made available to the public in Aug 2012.
The sales were slow to begin with but have been picking up in the past couple of weeks and they hope to see a continuance of the growth through the coming months. They are in the process of changing the cover to include the words A Psychological Suspense because they are concerned the cover photo is deceiving, leading readers to believe the novel is a romance or erotica.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Marketing probably takes about 40% of the time involved in producing a book. However, the marketing does not stop whereas a book is, at some point, finished. It’s important to continue promoting the work, networking with other authors, and connecting with readers. It’s equally important to begin a new book and work toward getting it out there as well.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs. being published?
Naturally, the most significant disadvantage is the inability to place books nationwide (or worldwide) in brick-and-mortar stores. Also, the self-published author does not have access to the enormous marketing and promoting power of a big publisher. Traditional publishers, especially the Big 6, have a wide reach. Those are the only disadvantages we’ve encountered. While self-published authors may carry a bit of a stigma, we have never encountered any reader who chooses books based on the publisher. They choose books based on the author, the cover, the title, the blurb, or recommendations from others.
The advantages of self-publishing are many. Most important to us was having full control over our material. To submit to traditional publishers, we would have had to change elements of our storylines. We didn’t really want to do that. Another advantage (and this is huge for writers whose books are their livelihood) is the royalty rates are higher when you publish your own work. In addition to higher pay, there are no contracts to bind us on our self-published work. We still own it.
What do you think of “trailers” for books? Do you have one/ intend to create one for your own books?
Book trailers can be very interesting. They’re enjoyable to watch, especially the very well-produced ones. We have not made a trailer for Zeke, although we did produce one for our first novel (which has since been signed by a publisher). At this point, we have no plans to do any more trailers. We might change our minds on that in the future.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
Against the wisdom of many and the advice of respected peers, we do our own proofing and editing. Again, we are not the types to relinquish control over our content. Our books are 100% entirely and completely ours. For us, editing is a painstaking process and it is performed more than once before a book is released, and then again afterward as well. It’s surprising how some errors still survive the most meticulous of edits! The bottom line is, with our books, the buck stops here. If you find a mistake in our books, there is no one else to blame.
We take proofing and editing very seriously and devote a great deal of time to the process. We are fortunate as co-authors to have two sets of eyes, but even at that, typos can slip through. We know that errors can be found even in traditionally published books, too.
Have you experienced problems when uploading your book on Amazon or other book distributors? Which ones and how did you solve them?
The process for uploading books is pretty much a breeze. There was just a slight learning curve at the beginning, but now it’s easy. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords all make publishing fairly painless. We’ve found the most important element in a successful upload is to start with a properly formatted book. A tool that we’ve found invaluable for formatting is Mark Coker’s Smashwords Style Guide, a free publication available on Smashwords. By following his directions, you are almost guaranteed a properly formatted manuscript.
Our email address is: [email protected]
Visit our blogs: http://findagoodbooktoread.com/wodke-hawkinsons-blog.php and www.wodke-hawkinson.com/blog1/
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