1. How did you self-publish?
In 2014, I attended a workshop from Bronze Age Media called “Author At Once” out of sheer curiousity. It talked about the basics of publishing in e-book format. It was facilitated by Mina V. Esguerra, romance author extraordinaire, who eventually introduced me to #romanceclass. I had a manuscript ready then – a novella that I wrote after graduating college – that I figured I could use to test out. I rewrote the novel, had it edited and read by a couple of friends who acted as my beta readers, hired a cover designer and eventually hit the ‘Publish’ button on Amazon. A couple of months later, through submission, The Boyfriend Backtrack was traditionally published by Anvil Publishing.
Since then, I’ve also attended a workshop with Bronze Age Media for Print Publishing, a writing workshop for Young Adult hosted by Buqo that eventually birthed What About Today, my second book that was also eventually published by Anvil Publishing.
Despite being traditionally published, I enjoy self-publishing so my next works were all self-published first, including my poetry collection, The Last Time I’ll Write About You.
I’ve talked about some of these experiences on my previous blog posts: here, and here.
2. How did you find a publisher for your books?
I submitted my works to the publisher for my romance titles. My advice is that you visit their websites and check out their submissions page. Write a good cover letter to introduce yourself and your book. This might take a while, so don’t get too frustrated.
As for TLTIWAY, I was fortunate enough to be approached by my publisher 5 months after I self-published it.
3. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write, write, write. There are days when it feels hard to write. That’s okay. I take breaks too but don’t take too long. Enjoy the process of writing. Be open to people reading your work. Be open to critiques. Learn to separate constructive criticism from destructive ones. Read. A LOT. Or watch things. Listen to songs. Be inspired by stories told by other people. Be a receiver. Trust your gut. If you find people who are just like you, who read and write the same things, and love the same things, then consider building a community. Or joining one, if you found one that already exists. Writing may seem like a solitary thing, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Support from a community is the best.
4. Did you always want to be an author?
No, but maybe yes. I never even thought of it as a thing ‘to be’ when I was young, just because when I was growing up, it didn’t seem like a doable thing. I didn’t know how to be one, as opposed to being, say, a doctor – which would mean going to medical school, etc. But I have always loved writing, even as a young girl, and I’ve always loved sharing my stories to my friends and classmates. So maybe there is that intention, although I wasn’t aware that that’s where it was leading. I have degree that is not related to writing at all, yet I’ve joined a literary club because I love writing and I needed an outlet. So maybe what I’m doing now is pretty much the same: I have a day job but I write (and publish) on the side.
5. May I please send you something that I’ve written?
I’m very touched that you would want me to read your work, however, I do have two lives (lol!) at the moment and can’t promise to get back to you regarding these right away. I do sometimes get annoying book slumps (you know how it is!) and I would like to be guilt-less as much as possible. Do find friends to read your work though. Preferably those who read the genre that you write, so you may get comments and critiques in your work. You can do it!
6. I have a book ready! How can I get this out and into the world?
First of all, have cake (or whatever cake represents). You have a book ready, that’s awesome! I assume when you said this, you meant you already have an edited manuscript, a cover ready, a layout — if not, that’s cool. Baby steps. But also, that’s what you need to do. Find beta readers, have an editor. If you need illustrators and can’t do it yourself, find one too. If this is all done then you decide — do you want to self-publish? Or do you want to submit to your preferred publisher? Or perhaps you want to pitch to an agent using this book? Whatever you decide, you can always trust on our friend Google and join the writing communities on Twitter (you can simple observe if you’re still too shy to chime in) to get more info on what you need to do to achieve your goal. That’s the key: pick your goal. Be SMART about it — make it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. Good luck!
7. What’s next for you?
Nothing to announce yet, but working on the next thing(s). And also resting. Resting is part of the process, too.
8. I’m writing a report on one of your books! How do I reach you?
You can email your questions at email@example.com. Before you do, make sure you read the book – and please don’t ask me to do all the work for you? If you have questions, kindly list them all down instead of going back and forth. Let’s save each other’s time. 🙂
9. Would you please do an interview / guest post for me or would you please attend my event?
Again, because I have two lives, I need to check first if I would be able to. You can always ask though. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the full details. The clearer and direct it is, the better.
10. But wait, I need to know more!
I might have already answered some of the questions in these interviews. I encourage you to go through them:
- Backtracking: An Interview with Author Dawn Lanuza
- Interview with Dawn Lanuza, Author of The Hometown Hazard
- AUTHOR CHAT WITH DAWN LANUZA + PH GIVEAWAY
- #romanceclass podcast
- #romanceclass IG Takeover Q&A video
- Art 2 Art with Lisa Macuja interview
- Dawn Lanuza’s Journey from Prose to Poetry
- Interview with Dawn Lanuza, Author of The Hometown Hazard
- Poetic Justice: Interviewing Dawn Lanuza
- 31 Modern Poets You Should Follow (+ Conversations on Poetry with Matt Spencer, Tuheena Raj, and Dawn Lanuza
- 10 Pinay Romance Writers Share What You Should Remember About Love
- An Interview with Dawn Lanuza – Read Poetry