From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: How did your book become a book?

Visit the full catalogue of "My Publishing Journey" interviews HERE.

Today's Featured Author

Carrie Butler
Award-winning Author of
The Mark of Nexus Series &
As We Know It

Carrie and I are blogger friends from way back. We had similar experiences starting out with traditional publishers and getting our rights back after learning traditional publishing isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not only is Carrie an amazing author, she's a fantastic cover fact, she designed these beauties...look familiar?? Check her work out at

Here's what Carrie had to say about her publishing journey:

Welcome Carrie! First, please give us a brief summary of how you got where you are and why you chose that path.

Hi! I debuted with a publisher that... well, I signed a non-disclosure agreement. Let's just say the experience did not turn out as expected, and I eventually took my rights back. Now I'm in the driver's seat—and five books later, I'm still loving it!


Do you have an agent?
How many queries did you send?
Oh, gosh. It's been so long. I think twenty-ish?

If you don't have an agent, is it by choice?
Yes, I stopped querying agents when I landed a publisher. (New Adult was very niche at the time.)


How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
One of my critique partners recommended them.

How long did it take to find a publisher?
Three months.

What do you like about your publisher?
They were communicative and receptive to author input.

What do you dislike about your publisher?
They grew too big too fast.

Did traditional publishing get your book(s) in Barnes & Noble or other bookstores?
Hah! No.

Did your publisher produce a hardcover of your book or just paperback?

Did your publisher create an audiobook for you?
No, I did that after I took my rights back.


What made you decide to self-pub?
I wanted to oversee every aspect of the process from start to finish.

Did you do everything yourself (such as cover design, formatting, etc.) or did you hire out?
Yes, but to put that in perspective, I own a company that specializes in author services. Doing it myself was the same as hiring a professional.  (The only thing I hired out was editing.)

Which platform (such as Createspace) do you self-publish through?
KDP, Smashwords, ACX, and Createspace.

Have you researched or considered getting a hardcover printed of your book? What about audio?
Yes, but I didn't feel making hardcover copies available would provide a solid return-on-investment. I do have audiobooks available via iTunes, Audible, and Amazon, though.

What do you like about self-publishing?
I love the freedom it affords me. Controlling the process from start to finish allows me to study various outcomes and adjust as necessary.

What do you dislike about self-publishing?
The initial investment of self-publishing is never fun—in fact, many times, it's a gamble.


What marketing tactics worked for you?
I've tried a variety of things over the years, but the tactic that yielded the greatest result was making my loss leader (the discounted first book in my series) free and taking out a BookBub ad. My 65-day ROI was 5077%.
More details here:



Looking back would you do anything differently?
Strangely enough, no. Starting traditional, regardless of the outcome, helped me learn the publishing process. It also helped me figure out exactly what I wanted for when the time came to assume control.

What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
Celebrate all milestones, regardless of whether they're perceived as good or bad at the time. They all contribute to the author experience, and they're proof of your progression.

Can you provide names and/or contacts for the following?
Cover / Promotion Designer:
Audiobook: ACX

**Winner of "Best New Adult" and "Best Series" in the eFestival of Words - Best of Independent eBook Awards**

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.

Deep beneath the ocean, stretching hundreds of miles alongside the Pacific Northwest coastline, lies the Cascadia subduction zone—a fault on the verge of unleashing a catastrophic earthquake, thirty times more powerful than the San Andreas. Unfortunately, like most tourists, Elena Cordova is oblivious.

She’s got her own pent-up stress to deal with, a humiliating breakup that’s driven her to end her tenure as a human doormat once and for all. So, when a pickpocket makes off with the last remnant of her relationship, she takes action—only to get trapped with him when disaster strikes.

Now, if either one hopes to survive, they’ll have to get past their initial impressions and work together . . . because in fifteen minutes, half the town will be underwater.


  1. Carrie does rock the cover art!
    I'd almost forgotten she started out with a publisher.

  2. Sorry for the delay! I ended up getting hit with a tight deadline last week / weekend, so I wasn't around much. Anyhoo, I'm here now and oh-so-grateful for the opportunity to share. Thank you, my friend! :)