peeps: Bonnie Bartel Latino
A lifelong journalist and former columnist for the Stars and Stripes newspaper in Europe, Bonnie Bartel Latino is the co-author of the military love story, Your Gift to Me.
A military wife for thirty years, in 2011 the Military Writers Society of America honored her with its William E. Mayer Award for Literary or Artistic Excellence, and more recently, its 2012 Gold Medal in the Military Super Romance category.
A licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister in the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, Bonnie lives in Alabama with her husband, retired Air Force Colonel Tom Latino.
How Bonnie Got Started Self-Publishing
In 1996, Bonnie met her co-author, Bob Vale, on a CompuServe forum for the military. They teamed up and have been writing together for over a decade. Meeting partners and collaborators online is hardly considered unusual in this day and age, but this little factoid caught my attention:
The two have never met in person.
They did have a literary agent, but she was unable to secure a major publishing contract for the pair, so they decided to part company amicably and make a go of it on their own. It made sense — Bob’s a graphic designer with his own company. “We had all the skills necessary to self-publish,” says Bonnie. “Our one expense was hiring a professional editor.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “One mistake I have often witnessed writers make is failing to experience reading on an eReader to learn all about them before becoming a publisher.”
- “If formatting is incorrect, or if grammar isn’t near perfect, reader reviews will slaughter a book, no matter how divine the story.”
- “Prospective ePublishers need to understand why including a lot of front matter destroys the purpose of the free sample, thus sacrificing sales.”
- “We need to comprehend — and embrace — the sheer seduction and immediacy of the medium. Electronic books are the financial incentive for contemporary authors and publishers.”