Read and Write with Natasha

Mastering the self-publishing journey with Mary Carol Moore

February 19, 2024 Natasha Tynes Episode 46
Mastering the self-publishing journey with Mary Carol Moore
Read and Write with Natasha
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Read and Write with Natasha
Mastering the self-publishing journey with Mary Carol Moore
Feb 19, 2024 Episode 46
Natasha Tynes

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With  16 books to her name, author Mary Carol Moore shares her journey from a distinguished food journalist to a fiction writer whose upcoming novel,  Last Bets, covers the high-stakes backgammon boardgame in a sultry Caribbean setting. 

Throughout our conversation, Moore offers an insider's look at the intricacies of self-publishing and the marketing maze. As the publishing industry moves away from traditional agent partnerships, we explore the newfound autonomy authors have over their work alongside the hurdles they face in this dynamic landscape.

We also uncovered tips on assembling a dream team to refine and champion your book. From the secrets behind eye-catching cover art to mastering the craft of audiobook narration, this episode is packed with practical guidance for writers determined to make their mark.

For those passionate about writing and determined to find their way into readers' hearts through contemporary avenues, this episode offers both inspiration and insight.

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

With  16 books to her name, author Mary Carol Moore shares her journey from a distinguished food journalist to a fiction writer whose upcoming novel,  Last Bets, covers the high-stakes backgammon boardgame in a sultry Caribbean setting. 

Throughout our conversation, Moore offers an insider's look at the intricacies of self-publishing and the marketing maze. As the publishing industry moves away from traditional agent partnerships, we explore the newfound autonomy authors have over their work alongside the hurdles they face in this dynamic landscape.

We also uncovered tips on assembling a dream team to refine and champion your book. From the secrets behind eye-catching cover art to mastering the craft of audiobook narration, this episode is packed with practical guidance for writers determined to make their mark.

For those passionate about writing and determined to find their way into readers' hearts through contemporary avenues, this episode offers both inspiration and insight.

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


Speaker 1:

Walking. I tend to walk. So I take a walk for an hour and get out of the chair and out of way from my story and I think about the problem and I mean more times than not I come back from my walk and I have the answer. I'll even have like an entry into the scene in a new way just from walking, because I think my body processes some of the stuckness out when I walk. I don't know, it's really kind of mystical to me, but it's, it's. It works a lot.

Speaker 2:

Hi friends, this is Read and Write with Natasha podcast. My name is Natasha Tynes and I'm an author and a journalist. In this channel I talk about the writing life, review books and interview authors. Hope you enjoy the journey. Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Read and Write with Natasha. Today I have with me Mary Carol Moore, who's a bestselling and a word winning author of 16 books in three genre. She received her MFA from Goddard College and has taught throughout the US and abroad at various writing schools and universities. Her writing craft book, your book, starts here. One the New Hampshire literary award readers choice award.

Speaker 2:

In her most recent novel, last bet, female ambition and morality collide in the darkness of her gambling on their world. Wow, mary, do you want me to call you Mary or Mary Carols? Mary's fine, thank you, mary's fine. Okay, mary, I'm so happy to have you here, really impressed by all the novels that you wrote, and your most recent novel sounds intriguing. You know gambling, so you tell us a book about the book. Are you a gambler yourself? No, well, it's okay. No judgment If you can just tell us a bit about the book. What was the inspiration? And so the floor is yours.

Speaker 1:

Well, I was fascinated by the idea of people using second sight or paranormal powers to win in a game like. The Queen's Gambit is a great example of a show that people love because the woman could see the chessboard in the air before the plays were made. So I designed a character who would be able to. She's a portrait artist and she sees the future of the people she paints, and it's gotten into her into trouble. But she also has used those powers her father was a gambler to win backgammon, and backgammon is a huge tournament game with high stakes in the Caribbean.

Speaker 1:

So this is set in on the island of Bonnere in the Netherlands and Tillies, where she has to face the idea of whether she's going to. She needs money desperately. Is she going to use her powers for good or selfish reasons, and what is she going to do when she's faced with this desperate situation? So she she can see the backgammon board ahead of time and she teams up with another gambler down there during her her time and she tests decide what she's going to do with that. So it's called Last Bets, because it's basically her last chance to decide. You know what she going to do with this power that she both loves and hates this ability to see the future. Oh wow.

Speaker 2:

So it's interesting backgammon. So I was born in the Middle East I think you can tell from the accent, but backgammon is huge. My dad always plays backgammon, so I was curious that you Okay, so why not in the middle? I think it was originally. I think it was created in Iran, right, if I'm not mistaken.

Speaker 1:

I think so somewhere.

Speaker 2:

So why did you decide that the Caribbean rather than the Middle East, which is the origin of backgammon?

Speaker 1:

Well, the idea for the novel came when I was I'm a scuba diver and I was down in the Caribbean diving, okay, and I was on this island named Bonair and I sat at the, the Tiki Bar, one afternoon and this guy was telling me the story of how he lost his yacht in a high stakes backgammon game. And I said, well, backgammon that's like a parlor game, you know, it's not anything like poker. And he said, no, it's actually one of the more difficult games because it requires skill, not luck. And so I got fascinated with this idea that and I researched it and I found that the Caribbean was a kind of hot spot for wealthy people to come and actually bet high stakes like thousands of thousands of dollars. So I thought, well, what a great place for this woman to go. She has a commission, she's finishing of a wealthy man's portrait on the island, so she goes to finish it. And then she realizes, oh, she could get involved with the games and earn like tons of money and save her financial situation, which is abysmal. So I'm fascinated with the whole idea.

Speaker 1:

I like backgammon, I can play it, but I never knew that it was kind of a big deal game Like poker. Players maybe graduate to it after they get tired of the the luck and skill balance in poker and then they go into backgammon. They realize this is for skill and I can get really good at it and then I can win lots. So I'm just fascinated with it. Yeah, the idea of morality too, like what will people do to get what they need and where is the line between right and wrong for people? You know, that's the. That was one of the big questions I was asking in the book, as I wrote.

Speaker 2:

So when I read your memoir, I read a line that really fascinated me is that you started writing when you're 50. You won't be one to school when you're 50. You got your MFA and you started, you know midlife. Is that correct?

Speaker 1:

Yes, I was a journalist like you. I was a food journalist.

Speaker 1:

I wrote for the LA Times and the kids and I wrote lots of cookbooks and I won awards and that was a big career for me and it was really stable and I was doing really well. But I had this desire to write fiction. I've always wanted to write fiction. So I had a big experience in my 50s. I had.

Speaker 1:

I was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was very serious and you know those kinds of experiences where you face your life and you say what haven't I done? If I had to die tomorrow, what? What would really bother me that I hadn't done? And the thing that really bothered me was that I hadn't written fiction, I hadn't learned how to write fiction. So I quit my career. I quit my food writing career and I had saved up enough money to live on for two years. So I went ahead and went to Goddard and got my MFA and then my first novel was published and it was just it's like a dream come true to do that. But it was so risky I mean really considering, you know giving up something that was so stable and so well paying.

Speaker 2:

But I had to do it Good for you and glad that you're feeling better now.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

So, okay, I love the ideas of taking a risk. You know I'm in the same boat. I was in journalism, also worked on corporations and communications department, and now I'm on my own. I run my own LLC where I provide content and write novels and all of that. So the question that I always like to ask how sustainable is this life? And I mean you don't have to answer it if you don't feel comfortable, but is it sustainable? How sustainable? And would you go back to being a journalist working for an organization?

Speaker 1:

No, I wouldn't. So it was. It was hard for about five years. That's a really good question, because a lot of people think, well, I'm going to write a novel and I'll earn a huge amount of money from it, and then I'll be fine, and they don't realize what the industry's like. So I did it because it was a dream I had to fulfill, but I had saved money to support myself and that was the only way I could do it. I don't think that bookwriting is necessarily a sustainable income for most writers. Okay, yeah, but so I teach or I have taught for years now, to support my writing habit, if you want to call it that. So that's the only way.

Speaker 2:

I was able to do that. Yeah, I mean, I talked to a lot of authors and most of them have something to support it, either teaching or selling courses or others. So you teach writing correct?

Speaker 1:

I taught for many, many years. Yeah, I'm retired now. I decided that I had finished up. I coached writers and I taught writers and I decided I had finished up and I'm going to be 17 in a few months, so it was time for me. It was time for me to stop and just focus on my own writing. So that's been an incredible pleasure. I tell you I love it.

Speaker 2:

So how, like where is the I think, the industry going right now when it comes to writing? You know, you've been in the industry. You coach writers. Where are we? I mean, there's a lot of transformation happening with the rise of KDP and self-publishing, cancel culture, you know, focus on diversity, lgbt. There's a lot of things happening and where are we? You know, I'm just curious to get your assessment.

Speaker 1:

Well, I always thought that there was a real line between traditional trad publishing and indie publishing and that the line would never be crossed, and I think we're seeing that that is not true anymore. I really I'm really seeing a lot of industry comments about how self-published writers can actually do very well. They actually can make more money than trad published. And I saw Cheryl Strayed who wrote Wilde the beautiful memoir Very Best Seller, and she had a she has a sub stack newsletter and she interviewed a woman who actually was published by she Writes Press. She Writes Press is a hybrid, so that's kind of an indie type of book and she is promoting this woman who was published by she Writes Press. So I saw that as an indicator. I also I know that Brooke Brooke is also she's the CEO of she Writes and she's working with Simon and Schuster now I heard and so there's a lot of things that are kind of merging between the different avenues of publishing. So it's not as cut and dried as it used to be.

Speaker 1:

I have an agent. I've been published by many different kinds of publishers trad, you know, big, big publishers, little publishers and I've also gone indie. So I've actually made more money on the indie books than I have on the traditional published books. But it takes a lot more effort on the right, on the part of the writer. So the author, the author really has to promote. I think it's a little. That's a really big area of my thinking right now about writing and how it's going.

Speaker 1:

But I think it's old fashioned to think that we can produce books ourselves, write them, get them published by someone else or publish them ourselves and not promote. There's not a way to get your book out anymore. I mean, millions of books are published every year. How are you going to get your book out? So to be able to concern yourself with the publishing aspect and the promotion aspect is kind of the deal breaker for writers right now.

Speaker 1:

You can't just write the book and then expect it to do well. It has to be put out there and shared with people and you have to find a way to talk about it that is meaningful to you and meaningful to the person that you're talking to. So that's kind of where I think it's going. People are looking for meaning. They're looking for relationships with authors, meaning that they want to know the person behind the book, not just the book itself. That's where I'm seeing the change. It's really kind of fun and wonderful what's happening. So the industry is a lot of people say it's really in trouble and all that, but I actually see it as just full of opportunities now for people in all levels, traditional or self-published.

Speaker 2:

So I'm curious so you this book was it traditionally published or self-published?

Speaker 1:

Yes, this one isn't Indy. I decided to go why?

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, what happened with the agents and how did you find your agents?

Speaker 1:

I just want to hear about the whole journey.

Speaker 2:

Because many authors have a really hard time finding agents. I know and I just want to hear about your journey, just to inspire those who's listening or watching.

Speaker 1:

Well, I had an agent with my first book way back in the 80s and I worked with him for a number of years and he sold several books for me and then he retired. So he turned me over to someone else, another agent, a very, very high level one in New York City. I knew the firm, you know the agency and all, but that didn't work out. We ended up parting ways because it wasn't a good fit for me and at that time I was very unaware of how publishing worked. You know, it was the 90s at that point and I wanted to see if I could sell a book by myself. And so I did. I sold two or three and I thought, well, who needs an agent? You know, this is really working for me. I'm making money, I get royalties and everything happens. But and I knew I had to promote them myself, which is not any different than what I had to do with the agent books. And then there was a point with my.

Speaker 1:

My first novel got published by a small press and I did not have an agent for that. And then I was thinking well, maybe there's something I'm missing here. Is there, is there a benefit I would have from using an agent to further my career. I want to write two more books for sure. I have one pretty complete ready to send out, and so I shopped for an agent and this was in 2015, 16, something like that and it took me a year. I queried probably 40 agents before I got somebody that was really interested. I a lot of people wanted to see the manuscript, but it wasn't a good fit for some reason. So then I finally found somebody who really liked it and we signed. I signed with her and then she's a very hands on agent. She wanted to edit a lot and some agents don't do that, but this one did and I was glad because I liked I really respect editors and she did a wonderful job with that novel and she tried to sell it and it was not able to be sold. We got tons of positive comments. I mean I couldn't believe the rejections were so positive. But the reason that it didn't sell was it didn't fit in any sellable category.

Speaker 1:

My books tend to be cross genre, so I had written a thriller that was literary and that's not an easy sell. There are only a few literary thriller writers that I know of, so she said you know, you might be able to just take this yourself and publish it. And so I did and so I've really enjoyed the process. It's gosh. It's not any different, in a sense, than what I experienced with traditional publishing and that I still have to promote. I still have to do all the work that I did before. I do have to front money, but then I get paid back. So it's a. It's a really interesting experience and I'm not sure I recommend it for everybody, but that's the way I ended up going after many years of trying all different kinds of publishing, and I still love and work with my agent and you know she'll try to sell my next one to a major publisher. We'll see how it goes, but I'm very comfortable with this place right now that I'm at.

Speaker 2:

So how do you self publish? What do you use?

Speaker 1:

Oh, I have to hire a team. I have to hire a team. So I have a whole group of people that I work with. I work with a project manager, I work with an editor, I work with a type setter, I work with a proofreader, I work with a cover designer. Let's see what else I have there Somebody who does the ebook and another narrator who does the audiobook.

Speaker 1:

So it's basically like being a contractor for your own house. You know you're hiring all the people and you have to vet them. You know, make sure that they're good and that you like working with them. Like the audiobook narrator, I had to audition about six narrators for the right one and really love this person that I ended up with. So it's a lot of work. You know, not everybody would want to do it, but I've, like you said, I've been in the industry for a long, long time and I kind of know it better than maybe other people do because I've been published. I've also worked as an editor. So it ends up being a cumulative experience for me that I can use now for my own books.

Speaker 2:

Where do you find these people? Ah, that's hard, me too, or yeah. Where do you find?

Speaker 1:

them. Well, I tried Fiverr. Fiverr was a good resource for me for a while. I tried to find a cover designer on Fiverr, and I just didn't succeed there. So I have a lot of contacts of other people in the industry, and so I just started emailing and texting people and saying you know, I'm looking for a really great cover designer. And finally I got a response from somebody that I knew in Minneapolis who worked with a couple of cover designers for books that she produced, and she referred me to Jeannie Lee, who's a again Minneapolis artist and she's fabulous. So she's. She sent me five cover designs and I couldn't even choose. You know, they were all so good. So that's the kind of person I really wanted to work with. So I was very lucky. It's taken a while to find people, though. Yeah, fiverr was a good option, but you have to be very careful, you know, find make sure that you like the people. The cheapest people on Fiverr are not necessarily the best.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, yeah, I use Fiverr for audio editing to edit my podcast as well. I'm lucky, I found a very good audio editor and that really saves me a lot of time. So what about the marketing? You do it yourself or do you have a marketing firm?

Speaker 1:

I have several publicists that I've worked with. One does podcasts, so she was the one that you talked to and got her, got you me, on here, and that's been great because I needed a podcast help. I have booked my cell phone podcast before, but it's a lot of work to research, so that was something I knew I needed help with.

Speaker 2:

And I also yeah, I work with your publicist all the time.

Speaker 1:

She always refers to me like really good, she's very good. And there was, I wanted to do a bookstagrammer tour for Instagram and book people and I asked again. I asked around to find out like I never know how to find somebody, really and I got a line on a woman who does tours and she's called Susie's Approved Blog Tours and she you know her too oh gosh, well, you're really in the industry too. So she's done two book tours for me a cover reveal, which is happening today for Last Bets and yeah, and then she does the launch tour and it's been great. She gets about 18 bloggers to post that day or the two days that we do it, and it's just been fabulous. That's the one that, because of her tour, my last book went to the Amazon bestseller level in three categories, just from the bloggers. So that's pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, good for you. So what was so you think the blog tour was like in terms of your marketing efforts? What was the gave you the highest ROI? I think the blog tour did.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow, yeah, the black tour, and it's so funny because it's not very expensive I think it's $75 for the cover reveal or something and the fact that I guess a lot of people are online and they love books and they follow these books to Grammar's. One person had 54,000 followers, so, wow, even a tenth of those people getting interested would be fabulous. So it's a really it's a cool thing and I didn't know about it and so I'm really glad I tried it.

Speaker 2:

So in terms of I'm just getting technical here but in terms of publishing, did you use Amazon, kdp or no?

Speaker 1:

I didn't. I used Ingram Spark. I've published with KDP once. They're very good and you get a higher percentage, but they're limited as far as distribution, so you don't get your book into oh gosh, target, walmart, you know, bookshoporg, all those places. Yeah, I wanted a broader distribution this time, so I went ahead with Ingram Spark and I've been very happy with them.

Speaker 2:

And Ingram Spark. Do they just take a cut or do they have to pay them upfront?

Speaker 1:

No, you don't pay them up. Well, let's see. No, you don't pay them upfront, they take a percentage. Yeah, they take a percentage Trying to remember back yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, that's good to know. Oh, wow, so what is your routine, daily routine, like I mean, you published a lot of books. How many hours do you write? Do you write every day, like what's your secret?

Speaker 1:

When I'm producing a book meaning I'm in the drafting or revision stage I write every day and I usually write in the morning. When my son was still in high school, I would have to get up really early, you know, before everybody was up, and I'd write for an hour or two hours and then I basically catch time between things. That was one time of my life. He's grown and gone to his own life now so I have much more time. But mornings are best for me and I tend to write two to three hours in the morning and then again sometime in the afternoon I'll come in, you know, work on something.

Speaker 1:

When I'm in a book really deep into it, it's very hard for me to not write. I get a lot of momentum and I'm not somebody that tends to get stuck very fast. So if I do get stuck, I've got like a whole bunch of things to get me unstuck and I have really good support in terms of my writing partner and my writer's group, so I can always text them and say help, you know, can I send you a chapter that's definitely not working and then I get some feedback and it keeps me going. So that's been a very important part of my writing life.

Speaker 2:

So what are your tricks to getting unstuck my tricks to getting unstuck while having help Walking.

Speaker 1:

I tend to walk, so I take a walk for an hour and get out of the chair and out of the way from my story and I think about the problem, and I mean more times than not. I come back from my walk and I have the answer. I'll even have like an entry into the scene in a new way just from walking, because I think my body processes some of the stuckness out when I walk. I don't know, it's really kind of mystical to me, but it works a lot. That's why.

Speaker 2:

I agree, it happens with me as well. When do you have time to market, because marketing sometimes takes more time than the actual writing of the book and do you do it at night? I tend to do the marketing like before I go to bed, because that's when my creative juices are at their lowest and I don't need to be that creative with marketing, unlike writing and creative fiction. What about you? That's about the same, and how many hours do you dedicate to marketing? What's your marketing strategy?

Speaker 1:

When I'm doing the marketing for a book. So say, now I have my last bets is out and it's going to be published in April and I have these months between today, cover reveal and April to promote it. I will put in hours every day in marketing. I will put in maybe three to four hours a day. I have to set up so many things to make it work, like I have videos that I make of different topics around the book that I post, my website, of course, updating that and any kind of things I can think of, the podcast, of course.

Speaker 1:

The blogger tour starts kind of a momentum going on Instagram and threads and I need to continue that post something. I try to post something every day during the marketing time. That's an enormous time suck. I just like you said, it's just so much effort to market a book but at the same time I have been in the position in the past with my books where the publisher has set it out. It's gotten published and I didn't know enough to market it and it's up to the publisher and I've had some books really do well based on the publisher's help. Maybe they hired a publicist for me or put me on a book tour. But I've had other books just kind of sit there and I started to realize that it was very much the author's responsibility, especially now, to get their book out there.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. So you say you're active on social media. What channels do you prefer?

Speaker 1:

Oh gosh, it depends on what group I'm looking at. Let's see Instagram and threads are probably my two biggest, and then Facebook. I have a real community on Facebook, but it's older people and it's more my family and friends. And I find Instagram is less that it's more. I get more exposure on Instagram. I used to be on Twitter X but I've kind of stopped. Now it's changed. I'm not really fond of it anymore. That's those are my main ones. Linkedin I'm on LinkedIn and it's a business focus. So if I can figure out how to post something about my book that's about business kind of a business orientation, I'll do well. Or if I have an event I often get a lot of response on LinkedIn for events.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh, that's good yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow, there's a lot of them out there. I know Like Blue Sky. I don't know anything about that, but I'm interested in figuring it out. It's just, what's Blue Sky? I've heard of it. I've heard it's a new, it's social media. It's called.

Speaker 2:

Blue Sky. Blue Sky, is it for authors only or?

Speaker 1:

There are a lot of authors on it. Yeah, there's. Mastodon is another one. These are ones. I are there, authors that others authors that I know are on these, but I don't know anything about it, so yeah.

Speaker 2:

I found that, like each platform has different audience and I try to be active on all of them, but it's really hard and like I try to focus on one and then kind of replicate it A repurpose it on others, but the main focus is one.

Speaker 2:

And for authors, I focus on LinkedIn, okay, because I do both creative writing and business writing and kind of LinkedIn. For me, I get the most engagement on LinkedIn, yeah, and I get a lot of. I still need clients as well to support my creation Because, you know, as you know, creative writing does not pay the bills. Um, so LinkedIn is where I get my clients and at the same time, I promote my books. Um, so that works for me, um, because it's kind of a hybrid for both, and I also got some coaching client people who want to write a book and also was through LinkedIn. So that's at least for me, uh, but you know it's. But, uh, instagram is great for authors and TikTok have you been, uh, experimenting on TikTok?

Speaker 1:

I'm on TikTok and I'm, you know, I'm a it's funny, I'm I'm a word person, not a visual, not a, not a movie person, and so the effort of making videos or getting videos all the time for TikTok was just too much and I just I'm like, I'm like all about words really. So the thing that I've I liked actually I forgot to mention, but the best one that I found is sub stack. So I have a newsletter that I've written since 2008, every Friday, and I've got a number you know thousands of followers on that and I I published it on, I moved it to sub stack in April last year and the community there has just been fabulous and it's, you know, really writing oriented, creative arts oriented, and I just feel like I'm a home. You know much more than I do on any of the other.

Speaker 2:

So sub stack over one. Yeah, I love it. Yeah, I have sub stack too, but I'm on and off. But that's good to know. I'll. I'll follow you. Actually, a number of authors I had on this podcast are also on sub stack, but that's good to know. So you think sub stack is more for authors rather than other places? Huh, that's good to know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I like it too. I like it for the, the writerly community. I guess that's the thing. People are really engaged, and more so than you know. Instagram is great and they're all good, but they're just. You have to find the one that you really like. Like you said, you know, focus on one, so I guess right now I'm focusing mostly on sub stack.

Speaker 2:

Good for you, I'll follow you, thank you. So what's next for Mary? What's next?

Speaker 1:

for Mary. Well, last bets trying to get that out and get it published not published, but get it into people's hands until it's published and pre-orders are happening. Now I checked Amazon this morning and it's already number one on two of the categories, so that is very cool. That's from the blogger tour that, once again, you know that's really, really Susie's done it again.

Speaker 1:

And then after that I've got short stories that I've published and I would like to pile them into a collection. So that's probably down the road, though I want to take a break for a while. I've had two books back to back. It's been really wild. It's a lot of work. Yeah, it's a lot of work, wow.

Speaker 2:

And I think the last thing I want to ask is you coached writers, what are, I think, the top? Forget about the advice. We know the advice. I want to hear about the mistakes.

Speaker 1:

The mistakes I've made. What are the?

Speaker 2:

top mistakes.

Speaker 1:

No the oh the mistakes on my coaching clients. Yes, yes, yes.

Speaker 2:

They do what they continue to do and that's kind of hindering their progress and their success. So that we can all learn from that.

Speaker 1:

I think the most common thing is that people feel like as soon as they have a draft put together, it's publishable, and I think they don't realize that editing is kind of, I'd say, 90% of the process. You definitely can enjoy the free right of the flow, right of getting a draft together, and that's a huge accomplishment that a lot of people don't get to. So getting your manuscript done, drafted, is really good. But to realize that the editing process is the next step I think that that would save a lot of people some heartache if they actually planned on that, rather than be disappointed when someone gives them feedback and says well, you know, characters aren't quite there yet or I don't understand this plot point. So that would be. My first thing is to really be aware that, yes, you've run a marathon with this draft and it's now done and that's fabulous. But now you have the next stage, which is the editing stage, and that's so important, I can't stress it enough. That's where the book really comes into its own is during the editing stage.

Speaker 2:

In my experience, yeah, I just posted something on LinkedIn and it got a lot of reaction, which is I finally invested in an editor. You know you have to pay money out of your pocket and it was amazing the feedback that I got from my this manuscript I'm working on and I would not have gotten that feedback only from better writers or from my writing group or any of that, so like I had to pay for a professional editor who worked with like New York Times best seller. And it's amazing what she noticed the then the research that actually she did or might be asked to make sure everything I have is accurate and I use a lot of Arabic words, right, because my characters are originally from the Middle East or from Arab countries or based there and she actually checked the Arabic. She doesn't speak Arabic, but she checked it. So that was for me.

Speaker 2:

I was like, well, and she noticed some consistent inconsistency with the, how I wrote them in English, how I transcribed them in English, and that for me was like wow, she did a lot of work that I didn't do in my own native language. So it was amazing. And also that the you know the characters, the flow, the changes of point of view, all of that. It's like you're suddenly you had blindfolds and somebody took them off and it's and I've been enjoying like just going through everything again, and so I, you know, I had to put my ego aside and I had to poke a hole in my pocket, but hopefully the investment, both emotionally and financially is will be worth it. But yeah, it was a fascinating experience for me.

Speaker 1:

It's so good that you had a positive experience, because now editing is going to be completely okay, yeah, but you'll also share that with other people, other writers, so maybe they'll they'll try it, because I think some people have a negative experience so they they stop, but it can be very positive and, like you're saying, that opens all these doors for you as the writer. You see things you didn't see, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, wow. So maybe how can people get in touch with you, how can they buy your book? Just tell us how.

Speaker 1:

how can they reach you. Well, you can go to my website, marycarolmorecom, and that's two Rs, two L's and two O's of, just to be able to spell it right, marycarolmorecom, and on there will be all the information of buying my book, but it's available on all the bookstores the Amazon, bookshop, barnes, noble, et cetera, et cetera. And you can also visit my sub-stack, which is marycarolmoresubstackcom, and that's a weekly free writing newsletter for writers at all stages fiction and nonfiction, with lots of tips, publishing information, marketing information, just everything about my journey as a writer and also with my publishing experience and it's been fun to write. And those are the two places I would send people right now. Thank you very much.

Speaker 2:

Of course, and thank you for joining me today. I personally learned a lot from you, from someone with your experience, and you know we'll definitely stay in touch and for anyone who's listening or watching, thank you for joining us today for another episode of Read and Write with Natasha and until we meet again, thank you. Thank you for tuning in to Read and Write with Natasha. I'm your host, natasha Tynes. If today's episode inspired you in any way, please take the time to review the podcast. Remember to subscribe and share this podcast with fellow book lovers. Until next time, happy reading, happy writing.

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