Marketing with Mandy Author Spotlight: Candice Gilmer
Q: Tell us a little about your experience with Lyrical Press and Samhain Publishing.
A: Both companies really are a pleasure to work for. I’ve been fortunate enough to release four books with Lyrical Press, and two with Samhain, with more coming.
But, it is a job, and it is work. Just because you sell a book doesn’t mean the work stops. That’s actually when it begins, where your terrible habits as a writer get revealed. Me and homophones do not get along at all. Not to mention the “comma addiction” I seem to have.
And while I will admit a certain amount of protectiveness over my stories (read “babies”) I have found that editors really do have the best intentions with books, and they want to see the books do well, almost as much as I do. Fortunately, I have had pretty good luck with all my editors, and they have been as passionate about my stories as I have, and that always helps.
Q: What tips/tricks do you use for marketing or promoting your own titles?
A: I do whatever I’m told, lol. No, seriously, though, I use Twitter and Facebook quite a bit, trying to post regularly from my Facebook Fan page, letting people know what I have coming out and when. I keep all my book covers and blurbs available there, as well as on my website www.candicegilmer.com.
Also, I try to do signings when and where I can—Michelle Pillow makes me, she’s so bossy. J I’ve also done some promotions in conjunction with review sites like Bitten By Books, because they’re incredibly author friendly, and are terrific about working with you to do a great release on a book.
Q: What is one thing you’d want to tell a newer author, just coming into the game?
A: Write every day. Every day. Every single day. Selling is hard work, promotion is hard work, and editing is hard work. Writing is the happy, joyous part of being in the business. Savor that.
Also, I would remind them that publishing is the SLOWEST business in the world. Even with email, it still takes forever to hear from agents and publishers. It’s a hurry, hurry, hurry, wait game.
So write. Write as much as you can, every day. Set a word count or page count goal. And hit it, every day. Don’t take days off. The story will just go stale if you do. Just keep at it.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
A: My latest release, Rescuing Rapunzel, April of 2012 from Lyrical Press, started, actually, as a request from my 9 year old daughter. We had been reading the original Grimm’s fairy tales, and when we finished reading the original Rapunzel, my daughter turned and looked at me and said “Mom, you can write a better story than that.” So I did. It was supposed to be a short, ten page story about Rapunzel, but it wound up stretching far bigger in scope, because I wanted to know what happened to Rapunzel when she got out of the tower. There was so much more story that needed to be told.
As I worked on the story, I found that my hero, Nick, had two best friends, Penn and Bryan, and each one of them wanted their own story as well, and poof, The Charming Nobles series was born.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current WIP’s?
A: Right now, I’m deep in my Charming Nobles series, working on both the second book, Catching Cinderella, and the sequel, Finding the Frog Prince.
Q: How did you get into writing?
A: I’ve always told stories. It’s like a requirement in my family. Everyone tells stories. There’s no short, one-liners in my family. Writing became a natural extension of that. Also, in school, I had a lot of bad grades, and I would be grounded from everything—tv, radio, books, my car, the phone, anything I enjoyed doing. So I would write my own stories to pass the time.
As I got older, I wrote fan fiction, trying to learn how to really craft a story and write dialog. Eventually, I started writing my own stories, focusing on the relationship between my hero and heroines, and a romance writer, I became.
Q: How do balance family and writing?
A: I have a really supportive family. Granted, I heard the “you better not quit your day job” a LOT before I got published, and still do, to be honest, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without their understanding. Even my little three-year-old understands that “Mommy’s working now.” We put up the “force field” in the kitchen, blocking him access to Mommy, and that works. For now.
Also, I have probably the most awesome husband ever. He’s my biggest cheerleader, and my best supporter. He’s incredibly understanding when I have to work, and watches the kids when I need to hunker down and get my job done.
I wouldn’t be able to do this without his amazing support. And the fact that he goes ghost hunting almost every weekend, giving me the house to myself. That’s always a plus.