peeps: Suzanne Jenkins
Suzanne Jenkins, author of (among others) the Pam of Babylon dramatic fiction book series, remembers writing stories for her grandmother back when she was only 7. “They weren’t cute stories, either,” she recalls, “but dark from the start.” Interesting. That must have gone over well in her Greek/American household in the suburbs of Detroit. “Human drama intrigues me,” she explains. “I have a whole string of bogeymen in my retinue…”
As if that inclination to dwell in the darker side of human nature wasn’t enough, she likely added to it working in an Operating Room for thirty years as a technician and registered nurse. “Those experiences added to nightmares of childhood abuse have given me a rich bank of ideas to borrow from as I write.”
And write she did…
How Suzanne Got Started Self-Publishing
One of her friends had used CreateSpace to publish his book and recommended the service to her. And she used it without hesitation.
“Trying to find a publisher was never an issue for me. At the time, I was 60 years old, and 60-year-old women wait for no one.” With sixteen books in three years, apparently not!
At the end of the day, though, that high output can probably be easily explained by something simple, something that just likely makes all the difference in the world: “I love to tell stories, and am so thrilled readers are willing to read mine.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “If you have limited funds, hiring a proofreader is the best money spent… My first books are plagued with wrong word usage and grammatical errors in spite of having spent thousands of dollars on editing. Someday I will go back to the first, Pam of Babylon, and have it proofread yet again.”
- “Using beta readers is also something I started to do recently, and it is very helpful.”
- “Amazon’s KDP Select program is fabulous for marketing. I can’t praise it enough. The key is to have other books in the queue for readers to buy after they’ve gotten your free book.”
- “I market about fifty percent of the time. Bookbub.com has been the most successful marketing tool for me; they email to readers who are targeted in your genre.”
- “Booktweetingservice.com does all my formatting for paperback, Kindle conversion, and daily marketing on Twitter at extremely affordable prices.”
- “After spending a small fortune having my books put into paperback, I realized that it’s very easy and inexpensive to do if you subcontract the work. I use my own editors and proofreaders, fiverr.com for beautiful book covers, and booktweetingservice.com for the interior formatting. Although I probably only sell one paperback to every thousand Kindle books, some readers like physical books, so I’ll do it for them.”