So, You Want to Get a Book Published
This week we were able to interview Ashtyn Newbold. Ms. Newbold is the author of ten books, seven of which have been self-published. She primarily writes regency romances, though she hopes to branch out soon.
Interviewer: What made you want to be an author?
Ms. Newbold: Growing up I always loved stories. I didn’t write them as much, but I loved to read and tell stories. Then, when I got to high school, I took a creative writing class and found I really loved it. When I discovered regency romances, I fell in love with them and began to write my own. For a while it was just a hobby, but eventually I just decided to try to get one published and began to write more and more. I just love it!
Interviewer: What opportunities helped you in the process of becoming a published author?
Ms. Newbold: I go to the Storymakers conference in Provo every spring and that helps me learn more about publishing and writing, network, and make friends. I even made friends with people who I worked with to co-author a couple of series which was so fun. Before I got published, I went to Teen Author Boot Camp and had great opportunities to find mentors that opened my world up to even more opportunities.
Interviewer: What has been your favorite thing you’ve done to become a better writer?
Ms. Newbold: Probably just going to the Storymakers conference and learning a lot. I guess reading as well is really fun and helps me become a better writer.
Interviewer: Why did you choose to write regency romances over other genres? What other genres would you like to try?
Ms. Newbold: Well, at the time when I was discovering my love of writing I was reading a lot of books set in that time period, Jane Austen, modern authors. I just fell in love with that time period. Plus, I’ve always been a romantic, so I just love writing romance stories. Other genres I’d like to try include middle grade, young adult contemporary (romance or no romance), and, of course, romantic stories set in other historical time periods.
Interviewer: What are the pros and cons of being published by a company?
Ms. Newbold: Pros, you get to have your books in bookstores, you don’t have to invest in production, you also get a wider distribution of your books, and you don’t have to worry about editors and designers. You just get to write. Cons include that you have less control over things like your title and your cover, it takes a long time to get your book out (usually about one to two years), and you get a smaller royalty because your pay is split between the publisher, the distributor, and the retailer. The author usually gets the smallest cut. You also don’t get to control your pricing which makes it hard to ask people to buy it.
Interviewer: What are the pros and cons of being self-published?
Ms. Newbold: Pros, you get complete control over everything (your cover, the release date, the title, your editor, the blurb, the pricing, etc.) and you get a higher royalty. The cons include that it requires some investment for marketing, cover design, getting an editor, etc.. You also don’t usually have the opportunity to see your book in stores, just online, so they’re not as widely distributed.
Interviewer: What is your favorite aspect of writing?
Ms. Newbold: I always love my characters the most. I like to give them a lot of flaws that they change throughout the book. I love writing that development.
Interviewer: What is the hardest part of writing?
Ms. Newbold: Researching. The research that you have to do before you write a book or while you’re writing a book can be such an interruption. I wish I could just know everything so I could just write!
Interviewer: What is one piece of advice you would have for someone who would like to write a book?
Ms. Newbold: Read a lot in the genre that you want to write. Also, write everyday so that it becomes a habit. The more you write, the better you get. And get friends to read your book before you send it out because other people will have amazing insights to help you.