“WiDo Publishing: Past, Present and Future” / Angela Jackson-Brown with Karen Jones Gowen

photo(3)Author Angela Jackson-Brown, curious about her publisher WiDo Publishing™, requested an interview with WiDo’s managing editor, Karen Jones Gowen. The interview originally appeared on Angela’s website. We thought it would be informative to post a segment here on our blog.

Angela Jackson- Brown: What motivated your family to get into the publishing industry?

Karen Jones Gowen: I had absolutely no idea of getting into the publishing industry, but I always wanted to be a writer. The story behind how all this came about is in a post called “The Truth about Farm Girl” on my blog. We like to say that while some publishing companies launch a book, in WiDo’s case it was a book that launched a publishing company.

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“A New Renaissance in Literature” / Karen Jones Gowen

(Originally written for LDS Publisher as WiDo’s final contribution before LDSP closed her website, this article by our managing editor captures the essence of what drives WiDo Publishing.)

One of the hallmarks of the Renaissance of the 15th century was that new voices were heard in the areas of art, literature, religion and basically all aspects of cultural life, touching and influencing thought from the highest levels of power down to the lowest, allowing the common man to finally realize his potential.  William Tyndale, who translated the Bible to English, was key in this transformation. He captures its essence in these few powerful words to a noted clergyman:  “If God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!”

For the past five decades, the publishing industry, represented by what is commonly known as “the Big Six,” have been the ones controlling what books were available in bookstores and libraries. When the offerings were the best literary voices of our time, nobody complained; but when it veered to commercial garbage that sold in huge numbers (think Harold Robbins, Jacqueline Susann and their copycats), then thoughtful readers wondered where all the good books had gone.

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“The GoodReads Giveaway and Why It’s Important” / Shauna Bray

Giving away a book can actually increase sales.  And an excellent way to give away and get attention for your soon-to-be-launched book is through Goodreads.

A Goodreads giveaway generates excitement about an upcoming book launch.  Prior to launch, the typical author is blogging, building relationships with other authors, setting up the blog tour, arranging reviews and blanketing social media with reminders about the release date.  The author is definitely excited, but an author needs reader excitement as well.  And what piques the avid reader’s interest more than a brand-new, FREE print novel?  Go where the readers are to dangle that incentive in front of them.  Right now, the gathering place for avid readers is Goodreads.

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“What Makes a Submissions Editor say Yes” / Allie Maldonado

Although WiDo will accept unsolicited, unagented manuscripts, your submission must first get beyond the query letter. Submissions editors are looking for just one thing: a manuscript that says “YES!”

Yes! I want to read this one.

Yes! our editing and marketing people will want to work with this writer.

Yes! our business manager will be glad we invested in this book.

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“Self-Publishing is Not for Everyone” / Paul Anthony Shortt

ME4The topic of self-publishing has come up time and again. I sometimes wonder if the debate will ever end as to which one is “better.”

The thing is, neither is better than the other. Any more than mayonnaise is better than ketchup. They’re both just different choices people can make. On more than one occasion I’ve had to defend my decision to go traditional. And not only that, to stay traditional. I honestly can’t see myself ever wanting to move over completely to self-publishing.

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“The Art of Ending a Sequel”/ Amie McCracken

The ending to your story is just that, an ending – the finale, finish, fin, finis, kaput, over with, done, gone, ended. There is a finesse to ending a story correctly which includes things like tying up plot lines and giving the reader some satisfaction while also giving hope or despair for what will come. But it is simply not ok to leave an ending open.

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“Organizing a Blog Tour” / Charity Bradford

Square Profile pic 2011editWe all carry an idea of what our book release will look like inside our vivid imaginations. People will be cheering and falling over each other to get to the pile of books. Our names will be plastered on billboards and all over the internet.

We wish! Sometimes being a new writer is hard only because the reality is so different from that dream in our heads. People don’t automatically know we have a book for sale. Getting the word out can be a lot of work. However, there are some things we can do to make our book release amazing. For us and for our readers.

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“Utilizing the Book Blog Reviewer”/ Karen Jones Gowen

Reviews are key to getting sales for your book, and a valuable resource is book blogs. On my blog’s sidebar is an extensive list, from the super busy who may not have time for you, to the ones just starting out who will be happy to get your request.

My Top Ten Tips on Getting Book Blog Reviews:

1. Start early researching reviewers. Don’t wait until your launch. Look for reviewers in your genre. They will have an About Us page as well as Guidelines for Requesting Reviews page. Read it carefully to see if they’ll be a good fit for you and your book.

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“How a Bestselling Author Promotes”/ Interviewing Jeremy Bates

BatesWe’re chatting with Jeremy Bates today, author of The Taste of Fear (WiDo Publishing, 2012),which is quickly becoming one of WiDo’s most popular titles.  Jeremy, whose debut novel, White Lies (Oceanview Publishing, 2012), hit  #1 on Amazon’s paid bestseller list, has an ever-growing audience. We decided to ask him what his secret is.

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“Reading Your Work Out Loud”/ Amie McCracken

A serious bit of advice that will help you and your manuscript co-exist.

I’m going to jump right in and say it, read your manuscript out loud. The cadence and harmony of the words are extremely important and reading out loud will make grammar mistakes, voice problems, and plain confusion stick out like snowmen in the desert.

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