Meet The Author – Denise Weldon-Siviy

Hello my Gentle Readers. I won’t call this a true Meet the Author Monday, because, well, it’s not Monday, is it? Today I am talking with Denise Weldon-Siviy, author of “Self-Publishing and Libraries” that I reviewed yesterday. Per the usual here, we will put my comments in BLUE and Denise in GREEN.

Denise, let’s start off with something my readers always want to know about, what started you as a reader and what genre(s) really grab you?
I’m not sure. I think I’ve always been a reader. Even as a child I would dive into a book and the rest of the world would disappear. My sisters would run in circles around me and I wouldn’t even notice! I remember maxing out my library card every week at the book mobile.
As for genres, I read a ton of books across the spectrum.  Having said that, there is nothing like an extensive fantasy series to lose yourself in. I really enjoy finding alternate worlds that I can spend some serious time in. 

I agree. There is little else like a great epic world to get lost in. What’s your favorite fantasy series to get lost in?
That would depend on what day it is! I’m usually reading several series at the same time. My all-time favorite would probably be Anne McCaffrey’s Crystal Singer series. More recently, I just finished the Earthcent Ambassador series by EM Foner on Kindle Unlimited. And I’m halfway through the Alien series by Gini Koch.  Oh, and I’m very impatiently waiting for Indie writer Tima Lacoba to finish writing the fourth book in the Dantonville Legacy series.

Anne definitely put out some great books. My readers can click the links above to the others on Amazon. Let’s get to your publishing history. What can readers find from you in the literary world?
What they’d find is probably a lot of things they wouldn’t read unless someone paid them
I spent 25 years as a Technical Writer and Editor specializing in systems level engineering documentation. At that point, I decided two things. One was that I wanted to do something other than technical writing. That was when I started library work and began work on the MLIS that I just finished. The second thing was that I wanted to write things that people would read voluntarily.  So far, I’ve put out a Kindle Single (part of their curated collection) in science fiction – The Betta Virus, under the pen name Jadzia Banks (https://www.amazon.com/Betta-Virus-Jadzia-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B00Z4RNHRW).  I also wrote some fun nonfiction as Charity Grant. Since I’d written tech manuals for so long, I picked topics that I found interesting. First I wrote a tongue-in-cheek fitness book for people tired of circling their dining room tables to get in those last steps. That was 20,000 Steps (https://www.amazon.com/20-000-Steps-Easy-Ways-ebook/dp/B0147MGKQO). And I wrote a clutter busting book for people who don’t really want to get rid of their stuff. It’s called Moving Clutter to the Cloud (https://www.amazon.com/Moving-Clutter-Cloud-Charity-Grant-ebook/dp/B018UPUNIA).
Now that the library degree that resulted in Self-Publishing and Libraries is out of the way, I’m working on finishing a longer novel – The Pacifist Assassin – which I plan to have completed by the end of the year. After that, who knows?
We can circle back to The Pacifist Assassin, let’s talk about your experience with this latest book, Self Publishing and Libraries. Being a self published author myself, I’m very curious about getting my book into public libraries. Are the waters a little less murky now when it comes to getting on a library’s radar as a self published author?
Very slightly, but it’s definitely not water clear enough to drink!

If you mean getting your book onto the shelves physically, if anything that’s becoming slightly more difficult. One of the things that I talk about in the book is how much it costs a library to accept even a free book. The cost of cataloging, physical processing, and staff time are easily 4 to 5 times the cost of most self published books. With budgets for public services being what they are, I don’t expect that to improve in the near future.
For e-books, however, things are definitely looking up. By understanding the market and knowing how to go about publishing their works, authors can now make their self published works available on the e-book platforms that libraries serve up to patrons. With SELF-e, that’s not a big deal because they require self published authors to donate their work to be included. Quite frankly, I find the idea that authors of Indie works should just give away their work to be insulting.    Overdrive on the other hand allows self-published authors to set library specific prices in the same way that traditional publishers do. The ability to get self-published books into public library book collections via Overdrive really is a game changer.
At the other end of the process, just making librarians aware of specific self-published works is still a struggle. Too many are still relying on discovery tools (like paid review services) that were designed for the traditional publishing industry and really don’t serve the self-publishing model very well. One of the things that I do in my book is to make librarians aware of where to learn about top quality self published works. 
And that brings up probably the most important thing about my book: it looks at the process from the perspectives of both self-published authors and librarians. I think the largest barrier to getting self published works into libraries right now is that those two groups — self-publishers and librarians — have no idea what the other group does or how and why they do it. What they do have is a lot of misinformation that gets in the way of effectively working together to present the best of self-published literature to library patrons. 

It’s a great, informative read. Readers can find my review on Amazon, Goodreads, and HERE.
Let’s move away from your professional life and learn a little about you the person. What keeps you occupied when you aren’t writing or diving into fantasy realms?
My great passion is traveling. Seeing and experiencing new things. New countries and cultures, fascinating places across the US, even day trips to explore all of the new and exciting things around my home.  Right now I’m getting ready to move to the Netherlands for five months and planning a visit to Africa where my youngest daughter is serving in the Peace Corps.

I also try to spend as much time as possible with my four children and two grandchildren. Since they’re spread out over several states and countries at this point, that usually involves travel as well.
Sounds like you have enough to keep you busy. Well, good luck with your launch and I hope when you have “The Pacifist Assassin” ready, which sounds like a great title by the way, you will stop by and visit us again.
My Gentle Readers you can find Denise over on her blog HERE.
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Book Review – Self-Publishing and Libraries by Denise Weldon-Siviy

My Gentle Readers, I’ve got something different for you today. As I know some of you are self published authors as well, I think you may find this book as interesting as I did.

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I came across Denise Weldon-Siviy’s latest book, “Self-Publishers and Libraries” via Facebook. I grabbed it through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. What she delivered is a very thought provoking case study of self publishing and its relationship to the library system, mainly in the US, but also as it applies worldwide.

In checking up on the author, she has experience on both sides of this issue. Having spent time as a technical writer, and as a librarian, Denise’s unique perspective gives a fair representation for the complications that self publishers have getting their books into libraries, and the challenges libraries face including the diverse books that the self publishing boom has produced.

With insights about just how little a lot of self publishers need to know (for example Library of Congress submission requirements), Denise gave me a lot to think about in this book. If you are a self published author, or thinking of becoming one, this is a definite read to understand the complexities of making your book show up on library shelves. It will help you understand the bias, whether intentional or not, that librarians may have towards the flood of self published books that have hit the market in the last decade. For librarians, it is an eye opening look at where the market is going as the Big 5 publishers continue to lose ground, at least from the looks of sales on Amazon.

A great read for self publishers and librarians alike. Get your copy today by Clicking Here.

If you would like to see what else Denise is getting up to, you can find her HERE.

 

Instafreebie Samples

Today, my Gentle Readers, I want to tell you about a new promo going on. I’m offering up the first few chapters of my novel, “Beginnings“, and the first chapter of my novella, “The Haunting of House 1273“.  Both of these promos through Instafreebie come with no strings attached like some that require you to join the mailing list. I would love it if you did join my publishing house’s mailing list when you did. Then you can receive all the updates on what we are getting up to over there at Cloaked Press. We send out a little story and give away Amazon Giftcards every month. More prizes will be forthcoming as we ramp up to publish our first short story collection this fall. I hope you will take a moment to check it out. 

Meet The Author Monday – Bracha Goetz

Today my Gentle Readers, we have Bracha Goetz, a children’s picture book author. In our usual style here we will put my questions/comments in BLUE, with Bracha’s responses in GREEN.

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Thanks for stopping by today, Bracha. I must say you are my first children’s book author. It’s not a genre I normally read myself, but as my daughter grows up I am sure I will have to become familiar with the genre so I have something to read to her. What brought you into the literary world?
I loved picture books as a child – and they are still my favorite books to read!

Picture books, huh. Well, I think you covered my usual next question of what genre excites you the most.
Picture books – the less words, the better! 🙂

So, what made you want to cross the line from reading to publishing your own?
When I won the Junior McCalls’ contest for McCall’s Magazine as a 12-year-old, and my poem appeared in the magazine, I understood that people all over could hopefully benefit from my writing.

Wow, winning awards and published at 12 years old? Impressive. Do you still write a lot of poetry or do you dabble in other genres now?
I write articles for magazines or for websites online on important issues when I feel “somebody’s got to do it” but I much prefer to write picture books.

So, we’ve established that picture books are your bread and butter. Tell us a little about your work in that arena.
I’m the author of 33 picture books that help children’s souls shine, with a whole bunch more under contract. I love making deep spiritual concepts clear to children in a delightfully simple way.

For years, I only had books for Jewish children accepted for publication, but now my books for the general public are just beginning to get published too.

33 picture books published? That’s quite the pedigree. It’s wonderful that you tackle such a potentially hot topic such as spirituality for an audience so young. When you aren’t trying to enliven children’s lives with your work, how do you spend your time?
I’m the mother of six children who are all now parents, and my husband and I are enjoying our many grandchildren. I coordinate a Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Baltimore, Maryland, and I love practicing yoga every wonderful day.

I’m not your typical Harvard grad ’cause chapter books are a bit much for me. I like expressing big ideas in little words.

Sounds like you keep a full plate, congratulations on your growing family and I hope you continue to bring light to children’s lives. If anyone would like to find more information on Bracha’s body of work, and connect with her, you can do so at the links below.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can get more information by Clicking Here.