Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mirror, Mirror Book Tour

Let me start by saying thank you to Shandy, for hosting my guest post on your blog. I want to talk to you all today about self-publishing. I’ve previously written and published two novels, The Blood That Defines Us and Mirror, Mirror. Both books can be easily compared as they’re both supernatural horror novels geared towards young adults. The latter is a bit longer in word count though, and hence a bit pricier.
Writing novels is easy. Seriously, it is. At least when you compare it to self-publishing books. It isn’t necessarily the self-publishing itself that is hard. Nowadays, you can easily learn how to make book covers yourself in Photoshop or hire a designer to create a book cover for you. Editing isn’t that hard either. You can hire someone to edit your book, or you can use editing software and proofread it yourself. You can even ask some of your friends to read it for you and give their opinion on spelling and grammar matters. Publishing itself is a breeze as well. Amazon Kindle offers free Kindle Publishing for self-published authors, and Createspace or Lulu are excellent places to order a copy of your book in print. Smashwords is great for self-published authors as well, since you can sell your book in all eBook formats there.
What is hard however, is marketing and promoting your book. There is still a large group of people in the book reviewing and blogging community who refuse to read self-published books. I can understand their viewpoint. Supposedly self-published books are unedited, they’re clearly not good enough to be published by one of the major publishing authors, and the covers don’t look that professional as well. So I get. But it’s not true. I’ve never been against self-published authors. In fact, in the last year, a third of the books I’ve read and reviewed were written by self-published authors.
The clich├ęs are only true in some cases. It’s true that some authors don’t bother to edit their book, and that some books have the occasional spelling error. But the amount of errors isn’t overwhelming, and it’s certainly not enough to stop you from reading the rest of the books. Plus, saying that all professionally published books have no errors is wrong as well. Heck, I even found some spelling errors in my copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and I found some in Mists of Avalon and The Lord of the Rings as well. What people generally think, that these books are completely filled with errors, simply isn’t true.
Additionally, I’ve come across some self-published authors who present me with stories so spectacular, imaginative and well thought-through, that I can’t imagine any major publishing house who doesn’t want to get their hands on that book. What book bloggers and reviewers alike often forget, is that for some people, self-publishing isn’t the last way out. For some people, it’s a choice. Not because nobody else wanted their book, but because they want control. They don’t want their book to get published three years from now. They want it published now. They want to handle everything, from cover design to book blurb to distribution to marketing.
Self-publishing is a choice. It’s not always because the books are bad, or not good enough for the major publishing houses. If you’re a book blogger, you should give self-published authors a chance. They might surprise you.
How do you stand towards self-published authors? Do you review self-published books or not? Please let me know!

Book Title: Mirror, Mirror
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Genre: Supernatural Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
Piper is nearly as obsessed with antiquities and century-old houses as her mother is. It's no surprise that she immediately falls in love with the old mirror she discovers on the attic of their new home. Despite the warnings of her best friend Alison, who senses something isn't quite right about Piper's newest discovery, she puts the mirror in her bedroom.
Tormented by nightmares and haunted by eerie voices in the middle of the night, Piper realizes she has made a terrible mistake. But is it really the fault of that antique mirror, or is her imagination playing tricks on her? Maybe the truth is even more terrifying...

Author Bio:
Majanka Verstraete is a twenty-one year old female from Belgium. She’s currently studying law at university. Her greatest passions in life are writing and reading. She especially enjoys writing books in the young adult genre, ranging from young adult horror novels to epic fantasy and paranormal romance. She has currently published two books, The Blood That Defines Us and Mirror, Mirror. She’s working on a collection of horror short stories, The Thirteenth Hour, which is due for release on June 1st 2012. Her current writing project is a paranormal romance series under the working title “The Angel of Death Series”. Volume one will be entitled “Soul Thief”.

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