Tag Archive: traditional publishing

Hey peeps –
ain’t we the lucky ones today?! For why you ask (or at least those of you who didn’t read the title do)??
Because today we have a special guest post with the lovely Cambria Hebert, published paranormal author, fellow member of the Creative Reviews group on Goodreads (click the button over there on the right if you haven’t visited there yet) and general lovely nutter. This is her, look:
Hot chick with thiing for werewolves

Hot chick with thing for werewolves

Now boys, calm down (girls, she is just as lovely as she looks). She has kindly agreed to answer some questions for this blog to celebrate the release of short story Before, which will be released for your enjoymen and delectation on 18th November, no less and is a taster forher main novel Masquerade, due to hit the shelves on 16th December. Her blog is full of amusing and entertaining stuff, and her book trailers are WAY cool! Especially the one for the short story White-out which is frankly the best book trailer I’ve seen in some time. She is also one of the main culprits responsible for the Creative Reviews Charity Anthology, Christmas Lites, due out on Nov 26th,  so keep an eye out for all of these literary amuse-bouches.
So – let’s hear from the lady herself….

Name: Cambria Hebert

Title: Before

(more details  and frankly fabulous cover are at end of post)

Format: Ebook (no links yet)

One sentence summary:  What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect… Before.

One sentence author bio: Cambria is an author, blogger, latte sipper who loves werewolves and just knows a toilet snake is waiting to get her.


Website: http://www.cambriahebert.com

Blog: http://www.theunlockeddiary.blogspot.com

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138

Twitter: @cambriahebert

1.  When writing Before what element did you start with and how did it develop?

Before is the prequel to my debut novel, Masquerade, so I used the novel as a jumping off point. Masquerade is based on Heven, a teenage girl who had the perfect life before there was an accident and she was left horribly disfigured on the left side of her face. She is then treated with caution and considered a freak. Heven can’t remember the accident or how she got her scars. Before is about Heven about her life before her accident and the trouble that is lurking in the background that she doesn’t see….

 2.  What was most difficult about writing Before?

The most difficult thing is that it is a short story and shorts are hard!!! Trying to pack some interest and action into such a short amount of writing. Also, I felt a lot of pressure to make it be enticing so people will want to read Masquerade.

 3. Do your characters do as you intend or do they run away with the plot?

They run away with the plot – always!! That’s why it’s so fun to write! Once I researched a character’s name for an hour, picked one out and then wrote the scene where the character came into the book. When he was asked his name he said something else!!! I was like all that time researching wasted! I couldn’t force his name because he never would have been quiet in my head. I would have insomnia!

 4. Why toilet snakes?

Imagine this: its one o’clock in the morning, you wake up and crawl out of bed, trudge through the dark and into the bathroom. You sit down on the toilet, half sleeping… and then a snake bites you! On your butt! Ack!!!  Always look before you sit. It’s a rule!!! Never get caught with a snake on your bum. It could happen. But it won’t happen to me, because I look before I sit. Yes, even in the middle of the night.

 5. Werewolves. How often do you have to groom them?

That’s the beauty of a werewolf. Sometimes they are hairy and other times they are hot men. Wait – not just hot – Hawt. Yup, gotta exaggerate that hawwt. Uh –huh. Anyway, when they get shaggy looking you can just either make them morph into their human selves or send them to the groomer. Or perhaps they can just run off into the woods and scratch themselves against a tree. Either way they are great for cold winter nights….


 JAC: <bafflement. Fleas?>


6. Brussel sprouts – why?

As in why would anyone eat them?? I don’t like them. I’ve tried to cook them, bake them, season them. They are gross. They taste like mini cabbages (which isn’t that what they are?) and cabbage is gross too. Sorry to all you cabbage lovers out there!

Thanks to Cambria for answering those questions,even if the whole werewolf / fleaing thing is a bit of a worry….. So here are those links again in case you missed them!

Cambria Hebert
Didn’t get enough? Check me out on Tuesday nights at 9pm (EST)
 BEFORE – by Cambria Hebert
Cover of short story by Cambria Hebert

What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect…


This is the story of my past. Of what things were like for me when everything was normal. Of what every teenager’s life is like. Clothes. Parties. Boys and summer vacation. What’s so wrong with that? I liked it. I was happy.

Until things changed. I changed.

I didn’t know that lies and secrets were about to take over my existence. I didn’t know there was someone out there, someone meant just for me. I didn’t know that I was about to go on a journey, a journey that would lead me to the girl I am today.

This is the beginning of the worst year of my life. Would I go back and change things? Erase everything that has happened to go back into these moments?

Not a chance.

This is a story of before.

= = = = = = = = =
So once again thanks to Cambria for her fab interview, and best of luck with the exciting multiple releases over Christmas! And remember, kids, when she’s at the top of the NYT Bestsellers list – you saw her here first!
In the weeks to come – a guest-blog from CS Splitter, author of The Reluctant with hopefully some details about his new release The Willing, due out 21st November…. and a couple of other treats queued up between now and Christmas, so keep an eye on this space! And you never know, it’s just possible that I might have a new release in the On Dark Shores series for you before the end of the year….here’s hoping!
Upon which note I shall get back to my edits and leave you lovely lot to go look at Cambria’s websites (go on! I didn’t put all those links in for nothing!) Have a great week, peeps – and  when you’ve read Before, and indeed all the rest, don’t forget to leave a review!
Catch you later;

Hi all – just a quickie in case any of you missed Barbara Silkstone’s guest-blog on the differences between marketing in the UK and the US, with reference to various indie authors including Ali Cooper, Sibel Hodge and myself, among others…

Check it out at http://markwilliamsinternational.com/2011/07/10/swimming-the-atlantic-naked-barbara-silkstone-investigates/

and do leave a comment if you have a view!



The times they are a-changin’……

I was chatting to a friend the other day – my sister went to college with her so she’s about my sister’s age (which is to say about a decade older than I). We got to talking about books and writing, and she told me that she too is in the throes of polishing her own story, which is more fiction than fantasy. She is submitting it to all sorts of publishers and agents and was getting the most encouraging letters gushing about her story in terms that made it clear that they hadn’t even read the damn thing – and of course when she looked into it further, it became clear that the publishers in question were vanity publishers. I asked her if she had considered self-pub, and the following conversation was something of an eye-opener to me.


Since the iPad came out a year back, I’ve been really interested to watch the growth of awareness of ebooks in the UK, but I am always aware that it is difficult to tell when it’s only your own growing knowledge and what is general knowledge; but as far as I can tell, very roughly it’s been along these lines – in London, at least!


Spring 2010: ebooks? Whohellhe?


Summer 2010: Apparently you can read books electronically on the iPad, you know. Like pdfs or something.


Autumn 2010: Have you seen all the ads around the Tube and on the telly for the Kindle?


Winter 2010; I’m getting an iPad / Kindle for Christmas. Can’t wait!


And by January 2011 (ie now) Waterstones are putting out their own ebook-specific newsletter, a lot of people are discussing agency pricing and ebooks are taking off slowly but surely. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before you start getting a regular ebook review in one or other of the big papers if there isn’t one already, as the Times (to name only one) did a review of the top ten bestsellers of 2010.


So in London at least, ebooks are getting more accepted. You see people reading Kindles on the train, the Tube, the bus all the time where this time last year it was something of a novelty. There are adverts on the telly for Kindle, and most of the big publishers are bringing out books simultaneously on both media. Fairly main-stream, I thought; then I went back ooop North at Christmas and of course they haven’t had the saturation you’ve seen in the South. As always, London leads the wave because London has the information and the disposable income; no-one bothers to plaster the North with Kindle posters with the result that they might see the odd advert on the telly but there seems to be no real recognition of the sort of step-change that is going on.


My lot are fairly bookish and they were all giving paper copies at Christmas. I got a Kindle for Christmas and none of them had seen one before or knew anyone else who was getting one for Christmas. Apple managed to cover the whole country but Kindle, bizarrely, appear to have missed a significant chunk out. Oh, they’ll get there in a few months – summer will see them as Kindled up as the rest of us – at least the more techtastic ones with the spare income to actually buy it in the first place – but it was an interesting check to my views.


These were further drawn back when I talked with my sister’s friend. Only ten years older than me and living more centrally than North, still she was not particularly  knowledgeable about ebooks or epublishing; in fact it took me ten minutes to explain the difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing. POD was something she hadn’t heard of and ebooks seemed intangible and basically a step  up from a blog, I suspect; she was interested to hear what I had to say but knew that she wanted to be traditionally published by a “proper” publisher.


I told her about my own research into it; how my partner used to work in the bookselling industry and where there used to be hundreds of new books published every year, now there was hardly a tenth of that number, and a lot of those seem to be by reality stars or popsters or other people who have had their fifteen minutes’ fame and want to cash in on it while their name is still recognised. In my view, in hard economic times, the chances of being picked up by a publisher are small and by all accounts the chances of being given the time to build up a following are minimal. A literary friend talked of her colleague who had been picked up by a publisher and had books on the shelves of every bookshop in town for maybe six weeks; after which the publisher decided it wasn’t selling fast enough and pulped the lot, leaving the author stuck in a contract with no books to sell. Another author tells of an editor agreeing to publish the book if she changed the ending to an anodyne happily ever after which would have totally changed the character of the book, destroying the whole point of it.


Now, I don’t think my story is by any means flawless – that why it’s in the process of going through an editor and a proof-reader before being released to my beta-readers – but I would be seriously cross if they carved it up in a manner that meant they missed the point. So far all my edits have been great, carving off the excess or superfluous bits and tautening up the action. But that said, neither do I expect to be an overnight success – in six weeks if I’ve sold twenty-five copies I’ll be chuffed, not least because I don’t have much in the way of time to spend publicising it. I wish I did but alas the day-job has to pay the rent so the day-job wins on that front, especially in a time of cuts and down-sizing.


So for me, all the downsides of trad publishing overmounted the plusses – and when I knew that self-publishing seemed to be such a viable option, I went for that instead. I’ve never submitted my stuff to an agent, so it’s not a case of having been turned down by everyone else; I just did the research and thought that I could envisage my little story pottering along in Kindle-form and selling the odd one here and there; hopefully eventually selling enough to pay for itself and for the paperback form that will follow afterwards. I don’t have much time full stop so devoting time to the writing and the editing and the input and the formatting is proving difficult, never mind the publicity; but I have always known that if ever I am to make my mark on this world (and that’s not a given by any means) – that IF I ever do, it will be via my writing. This seems the simplest and most logical way to start undertaking just that.


I also think that the advent of ebooks is a complete game-changer and I want to be in on it. All my instincts are telling me that if I can just get a foot in the door at the right moment, it may be that I can go part-time with the day-job, or even go onto writing full-time and really put a bit or work into my writing. I think ebooks are going to go as far as mp3s have, and I think if you can make a name as someone whose books have been edited, proofed, properly formatted with a full active Table of Contents, and all the other technical quirks required by Kindle, Apple and the rest; if you can do that NOW while the market is in its early days, then the possibilities are very good. So that’s what I aim to do; to make my books as professional as anything you might find in a bookshop or from a trad publisher. (Of course, all I have to do now is magically find an extra couple of hours in every day, but that’s by the by!)


A year from now, my sister’s friend and I will be coming back to take stock of progress. You can’t really draw direct comparisons, of course, but it will be really interesting to see how each of us fares. It may be that she is agented up, with a contract and the first hardcopies rolling off the press and hitting the shelves at bookshops across the country, while I am still lurking on Twitter saying “Anyone want to buy a book?!”; or it may be that my ebooks are flying off virtual shelves to the extent that my hardcopies will be merrily rolling off the POD printers, who knows?


At all events, I think it’s going to be fun – hard work, granted, but hopefully fun too – finding out.



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