Today I’m excited to be part of a blog tour to celebrate the release of Arbiter by Jamie Foley, the second book in the Sentinel Trilogy!
I just read book 1, Sentinel, and fell absolutely in love with it! Unlike anything I’ve read before, Sentinel is a thrilling fantasy adventure in a fantasy world with modern aspects, fantasy mind-powers, and, oh yeah, an apocalypse — plus great humor, awesome characters, a hint of Christian allegory, and all rolled up in a gripping, good clean novel. 🙂 It ended at a surprising point and left me needing book 2!
I’m so excited that Arbiter has released now, and can’t wait to dive into reading it soon. 😀
(Read my review for Sentinel — and the prequel novella, Viper — HERE on my book blog!)
Jamie Foley is a great author and a lovely person; I got to meet her at a writing workshop where she was speaking on publishing and marketing and other cool authorial things. I absolutely loved all the cool info she had to offer, so I’m excited to share some of her thoughts about the publishing world and other fun things in an interview below. 🙂
Don’t forget to scroll down for links at the end, and enter the giveaway too! (Who wants to enter to win books and gift cards? You know you want to!)
1. Welcome, Jamie! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Howdy! I’m a workaholic marketing specialist/webmaster/graphic artist/indie publisher/author. Apparently that’s a thing…?
I live in central Texas with my Irish cowboy husband, hyperactive toddler, and snuggle-bunny Australian Shepherd. We’re rabid gamers and unashamed nerds.
2. Which book in the Sentinel trilogy surprised you the most while writing it?
Definitely Book 2: Arbiter. I didn’t expect the villain to come alive and be so… well… loveable over the course of the story. More than one beta reader said they learned to love him despite his nefarious deeds.
And Jet did some things I didn’t have in my outline. I tried to argue, but he’s so thick-headed.
(Oh my, I can just see that of Jet. XD)
3. What’s next in your writing/publishing plans after the final book (Sage) releases?
I’m working on two new series, both of which I hope to traditionally publish. One is called Emberhawk, which happens in the same world as The Sentinel Trilogy, but thousands of years in the past.
In Emberhawk, elementals vie for control of human tribes and empires, sparking wars that shape the nations of Sentinel. I’m planning for Emberhawk to be a series of three novels with a tad more romance than The Sentinel Trilogy, but just as much action and suspense.
The second series is still early in development, but… *looks over shoulder and whispers* It’s set on a totally new world with rune magic!
(Looking forward to both! :))
4. Zoo or museum, and why?
OK, I love zoos, but I definitely have to go with museums. My hubby and I are total nerds, always slurping up random worthless trivia and awesome historical tidbits. I love learning about the past — the more ancient, the better!
5. If you could choose one place to visit, real or fictional, where would you go?
Do I have to choose one?? Well… then it would probably be Narnia. Assuming that I couldn’t go back in time and ancient Earth. Or Rivendell. Or Kashyyyk… sorry.
(I’m totally up for Kashyyyk or any of those! ;))
6. Which aspects of indie publishing have been the most challenging and most rewarding?
It’s challenging to supply your own funds for crafting a professional work all by yourself, but if you know it’s what you want to do as a career and you save up, you’ll find that most all of the pros out there are happy to work with indie authors. Learning the ropes is tough at first, but boy, is it worth it!
One bonus of indie publishing is that you can be a little more… out there… than some publishers might approve of. Yes, you should definitely hire a professional editor or two, but at the end of the day, you get to make the call when your work is ready for the world to see.
Another reward is when the monetary investment returns and you don’t have to pay any middle-men. But if you can land a contract with one of the Big 5 publishers, signing that baby would definitely be worth it!
7. What is the difference between traditional and self-publishing, and what is a hybrid publisher?
There are a bunch of differences, but really it’s a matter of rights. As an independently published author, you’d maintain all of your rights and would take all of the profits from your book sales for yourself. But you’re a one-man show.
If you’re lucky enough to land a traditional publishing contract, you’d sell your rights to the publisher and make a much lower royalty percentage. But you’d have a team of experts behind you with a vested interest in making your book awesome and selling as many copies as possible.
A hybrid author has one foot in each camp. They have been traditionally published, but also self-publish some of their works.
8. What are the advantages of being a hybrid author versus just sticking with indie or traditional?
There are lots of advantages! Hybrid authors have the best of both worlds. They have the full force of a publisher’s resources gunning for their success–large traditional publishers help tremendously with marketing and may even hire a publicity firm for a project or two.
And when traditional authors self-publish on the side, they make a killing on the royalties because they’ve already got a large fan base, thanks to their publisher. Because of this, hybrid authors tend to make more money than both independent and traditional authors (on average).
9. Are there any well-known authors who have chosen to hybrid publish their work?
Oh, yeah! I’ve chatted with bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Beth Wiseman about their decisions to self-publish after many years of publishing traditionally with the ‘Big 5’ publishers.
The sad truth is that authors simply don’t make as much moolah as we used to. The market is changing, and a lot of big-time authors are barely hanging on. This is why you see well-known authors turning to self-publishing–even if they’re also continuing to publish traditionally–to make more money on the side.
10. What advice would you share with an aspiring author?
Decide if you want to write for pleasure or for business. It’s OK just to write for pleasure and not publish everything, just like it’s OK to be a hobby artist or musician!
But if you do want to be a career writer, realize that you’re starting a small business—and all small business require a monetary investment and a start-up period of a few years. Be willing to learn, save up, and sacrifice. Surround yourself with professionals—from top editors to bestselling authors to award-winning cover designers to marketing gurus—and I promise your hard work will pay off.
Great advice — thanks so much for joining us, Jamie!
- Wednesday, May 3 (Arbiter launch day) – Laura VanArdendonk Baugh
- Thursday, May 4 – Gillian Bronte Adams
- Friday, May 5 – The Left-Handed Typist
- Saturday, May 6 – Reviews of a FearStreetZombie
- Monday, May 8 – Zachary Totah and Elizabeth Newsom
- Tuesday, May 9 – A Little Southern Grace
- Wednesday, May 10 – The Road of a Writer
- Thursday, May 11 – Hope Through the Pages
- Friday, May 12 – R.J. Metcalf
- Saturday, May 13 – Lands Uncharted
This is getting a bit long, so check out the links to the books to read more about them! 🙂
Sentinel (Book 1)
Arbiter (Book 2) — just released!
Sage (Book 3)
Viper (Book 0) — prequel novella
What do you think, Roadlings? Do the books intrigue you? Is this an awesome giveaway? (Yes.) And did you find any of the publishing info interesting? Drop a comment to let me know what you think, and thanks for reading! 🙂