RedShelf’s Independent Publisher of the Month blog feature spotlights our independent and self-publisher partners. We hope to give our readers a glimpse into the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of independent publishing that has been facilitated in recent years by the rise of easily accessible eBooks.
This month RedShelf caught up with Ten J. Howard, author of Bricks and Mortar: A Novel.
Ten J. Howard is an American novelist and a real estate professional who works in New York City. Her passion for reading and storytelling began as a young child. She loved to daydream and allow her imagination to run wild. Her dreams were bigger than her humble beginnings and she used her creative talents to reinvent herself through entrepreneurship. Finding success in the beauty industry, owning her own public relations company, and achieving outstanding accomplishments in real estate, Ten believes in the power of reinvention and thinking big.
Her desire to write began shortly after winning the prestigious real estate industry award bestowed by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) Deal of the Year Award in 2010. What began as journaling through a difficult deal and chronicling the rollercoaster of emotions that often occur, resulted in a deep exploration of self and discovery of her gift of storytelling that enabled her to find her creative voice through writing.
Bricks and Mortar is a fictional novel inspired by actual experiences in her personal and professional life. It is the first installment of a book series.
She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.
Ten utilizes RedShelf to distribute her self-published novel in eBook format. We asked her several questions to dig deeper into her background and motivations for doing so:
1. What were your motivations to pursue self-publishing?
My objective for self-publishing was to come to an understanding of the publishing process, to solidify myself as a published author, to create a platform for future books with a desire to partner with a traditional publishing company.
1. Have you self-published before?
This is my first self-publishing endeavor.
2. When evaluating different resources or platforms to publish on, what criteria was important to you?
Having artistic creation, publication and distribution control is important to me, especially for my first project.
3. What helped you make a decision on a platform?
The ability to control the timing of my launch and debut influenced which platform was best for me.
4. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when self-publishing your content?
I once believed that the writing process was my biggest challenge, however, I now believe the marketing, promotion and sales of my book is the most challenging. The storyline and content of "Bricks and Mortar" novel is a best seller, it’s just getting the exposure and momentum to make that happen.
5. How did RedShelf ease these challenges?
RedShelf has made it an easy process for exposing my novel to be available on any digital device. That’s a huge opportunity that I’m hopeful will translate to huge returns.
6. Has it been challenging in terms of promoting or marketing your book to the masses?
Yes, it is challenging for me. I tend to get overwhelmed just trying to keep up with the necessary promotion for my social media. I’m learning to employ people to do it for me.
7. Compared to other platforms, what is one thing RedShelf does differently that helped you in the process?
I appreciate the personalized approach RedShelf demonstrated in assisting me with the process. There are so many moving parts within self-publishing and it’s a relief to know that you can collaborate with a company that can handle the necessary details for you.
8. What are some of the advantages of self-publishing? What are some of the advantages of self-publishing with RedShelf?
Some of the advantages are that you can control the content, design and marketing, you can bypass traditional publishers, and receive higher royalty rates. All of these aspects are appealing. I have a new relationship with RedShelf, I’m curious to see how much exposure I’ll receive through our collaboration.
9. Do you have plans to publish another title in the future?
Yes, I’m currently writing the second book within the "Bricks and Mortar" novel series. Projected release date is October 2016.