About Ann Everett:
I’m a native Texan and have lived in the Lone Star all my life. My writing career started about ten years ago out of boredom…that’s a whole ‘nuther story! I never intended to publish, but fate had other plans. About a year ago, I left the small press I was with and struck out on my own into the wide world of Indie Publishing. Best decision I ever made. I now do programs on self-publishing and marketing, doing my best to pass on what I’ve learned.
Here are five important things to know about me:
I’ve been married to the same man since dirt. I love shopping at thrift stores. I hate talking on the phone. A really sharp pencil makes me happy…and I’m thankful wrinkles aren’t painful!!
What inspires you to write?
This is a great question and funny for me, because every time I finish a book, I think I’ll never have a new idea for another one! But, then I’ll overhear a conversation or see something silly on TV, and an idea sparks! My last book inspiration came from something my doctor said during an office visit. So, I get it everywhere. Once I do, I think about 24/7. I become obsessed!
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve done both and when I outline, the writing is easier. My only problem with that is I don’t always know where the story is going, so I don’t have anything to outline! When I get a scene in my head, I do make notes about it…on a whiteboard mounted on the back of my office/den/gameroom/playroom door! If I have really detailed thoughts, I’ll put them into a word document.
At the beginning of each book, I research to find celebrities who I think should play my characters in a movie. I cut their pictures out and make a storyboard including houses, pets, family members and any other thing important to my story. I also make description pages to record, physical characteristics of each player. I have to do this or I’ll change an eye color, or sometimes even a name!! By the time I finish a book, I may have forgotten what the secretary’s name is, or some other minor player, so I have to have those notes to keep me straight!
I don’t write everyday. Lord knows I try, but my personal life is somewhat hectic, so I can’t always work it in. But even if I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it, so I’ll make notes on scraps of paper and stick them in my purse. Once I get to them, figuring out what those notes mean isn’t always easy!!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Of course! I write dialogue heavy, so I’m always having conversations in my noggin…sometimes to the point of making myself cry…if it’s a sad scene…or laugh…because I generally have a lot of humor in my stories.
What advice would you give other writers?
My number one recommendation to writers no matter where you are in your writing journey…newbie or with a 100 books out. Join a critique group. I belong to an online site and there are many to choose from. I also belong to a local group. So I get critique from complete strangers and face to face with folks I know. Luckily, my friends in my local group are good enough to not pull punches. They let me know when something works and when it doesn’t. Not everyone likes critique, especially when they’re told they need to change something, but I LUV (I sang that in opera for effect) getting suggestions and comments that make my story better.
Along with critique, get beta READERS before you publish or submit your book. I emphasize READERS, because readers read differently than writers. You need writers for critique, readers for judging the overall story. I’m fortunate to have two of the best beta readers in the universe!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I lucked into getting published by a small press. Didn’t even try. A reader from the online critique site I mentioned was reading one of my stories and she was published by a small press. She recommended me to them. I sent them my manuscript at her request, and they accepted. They published one other book for me before I decided to go out on my own. My relationship with them was a good one. No hard feelings in me leaving. My contract was up and I actually had three more books ready to go, so I took the two I had with them and in August of 2014, I indie published 5 books at one time!!
For me, it was all about control. I wanted to be able to see daily what books were selling and where. When you’re with a publisher, small or big, you aren’t privy to that information. Because of that, I’ve been able to see what marketing works for me and what doesn’t…and because of that, I’ve had pretty good success.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Let’s talk print vs. digital. There will always be both, but from my experience, unless you are a best selling author, print books will never make you any money. The whole world has gone digital. So for beginning authors, if their goal is to get their book into book stores, they are focused on the wrong thing. For every thousand books I sell, ten of those will be print. I rest my case.
Big houses, small houses, indies…I believe there will always be some of all. Indies leading the pack. Amazon has made it too easy for authors to get published and houses have made it too hard. Until some kind of balance is reached, more authors will continue to go out on their own. To be traditionally published just takes to dang long. I have a dear friend..in my critique group, who is published everyway. She has a book published by S&S, a couple with a small press, and now she’s gone indie all the way. It took two years for Simon and Schuster to get her book out. Take my word, if a big house publishes your book and it doesn’t sell 10,000 copies the first month, they won’t be publishing your next one. That’s why big houses pay attention to indie author sales on Amazon. You become a best seller there, the big houses will come knocking.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Mystery, New Adult romance, Contemporary romance and non-fiction writing references
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.