Writers@Work: The Hybrid Author Model
April 20, 2021
Note From Rochelle
I want to thank everyone who took time to mark Mightier Than the Sword as “to read” on Goodreads and added it to their wishlist. If you’d still like to read and review an eArc, respond to this email.
I want to announce that thanks to my marvelous website designer, Designspinner, I have a new website for my children’s book writing. Over there, I have a blog that features children’s book writers and a newsletter that offers tips to teachers and librarians. In time, I’ll have more goodies for readers.
Today, I’m delighted to welcome Angie Stanton to the blog to talk about her new book, Don’t Call Me Greta. I was lucky enough to get an arc, and read it in one day. If you love YA family drama—this book is for you!
Writers@Work: The Hybrid Author Model
An Interview with Angie Stanton
Welcome to the blog! Tell us about your new book, Don’t Call Me Greta.
It’s my tenth book, so I’m super excited about that! Don’t Call Me Greta: A Stolen at Birth Novel was inspired by a true story that dominated headlines a few years ago. It got me wondering what it would be like to wake up one morning and have everything you believe and trust about your family become not only a lie, but also a crime.
My story follows Piper—her birth name is Greta—and the dizzying array of issues she struggles to come to terms with. At first Piper is terrified to face her new family and runs away, dominating headlines as she evades authorities with some white-knuckled adventures. When reality catches up to her, she’s immersed in a new life with her birth family that is complicated and confusing. The family has secrets and not everyone is happy to see her.
Despite the heavy topic, it’s actually quite light and humorous, and early reviews have been wonderful.
What does it mean to be a hybrid author?
A hybrid author is published both traditionally and independently. I have six novels published with traditional publishers, including HarperCollins, and four that are indie novels.
Can you talk about the differences in the processes of indie publishing versus traditional publishing—and how you make the decision for each book?
When I first indie published, it was because I couldn’t get an agent or editor to read my material. It was rejected over 70 times, so with nothing to lose, I self-published back in 2011. Ironically, some of my first indie books were later picked up by HarperTeen. Every book I write is intended for traditional publishing, but if my agent is unable to find a home for it, I indie publish it instead.
The difference between the two styles of publishing is that with indie publishing, the author does everything. It allows great flexibility, but also an enormous workload and learning curve. They must have the book edited and formatted, cover art created, business accounts set up, and more. The learning curve is probably the biggest hurdle, since how things are done is constantly changing.
Traditional publishing means you get an advance upfront, and the publisher makes most all of the decisions including cover art, release dates, and marketing. However, the author is still called upon to heavily market the book as well.
What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about indie publishing fiction?
You better want this bad! LOL. But seriously, it is far more work than you’ll ever imagine, and you better do it right. Do your research before you get started. Know what you’re stepping into.
What’s your secret for staying productive as a writer?
Setting goals. It’s crucial to have a plan, even if it’s basic. There’s a thousand steps to publishing. As long as you keep taking a step or two forward every day, you’ll get there.
What are you reading now?
London Prep a young adult novel by Jillian Dodd. She is a successful indie author who knows the ins and outs of marketing. However, I just picked up The Princess Spy: The True Story of World War II Spy Aline Griffith, Countess of Romanones. It sounds so good and I can’t wait to start it.
About the author. Angie Stanton is the award winning, bestselling author of ten novels including Don’t Call Me Greta: A Stolen at Birth Novel, If Ever, a Broadway love story, and Waking in Time, an epic time-jumping romance. If Ever is the recipient of the National Readers’ Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and the Write Touch Reader’s Award. Waking in Time won the Midwest Book Award and was a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards. Angie has a Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin. Her books have been translated into German, French, Spanish, and Bulgarian. To keep up on my giveaways, news, and new releases, please join her newsletter list.
Great interview and thanks for sharing your insight Angie. Congrats and continued success!
What a helpful and encouraging post!
These days the wide WILD world of publishing has enough options to make your head spin, so getting advice like this is priceless!
Thanks, Angie and Rochelle.