In last week’s episode of Book Journeys, Angela engaged another author in the person of Brit McGinnis who talked about her book, Gin and Brimstone. Unlike the non-fiction books usually featured in the show, Brit’s book is an urban fantasy novel and therefore belongs to the genre of fiction. Set in San Francisco, the story is about a young woman who is confronted by the devil and is asked to make a bargain with him to become his wife. The premise of the story is about making the choice between something familiar and one that is totally unknown and scary.
Brit has employed unique ways to market her book and build a platform and readership. One of these is through the Patreon project, a crowdfunding campaign that allows her to get patrons who can pledge to donate money for her book projects while in return, they get free copies of her book. She has created a fan club through this and she finds ways to match the enthusiasm of her fans by giving them free bonus rewards every month. For her it is important to treat her readers well and treat them like her friends.
Brit was only 22 when she finished her novel but has gained valuable insights into her book journey. While at first she wanted so much to honor her first book and make everything right the first time, she realized that this put too much pressure on her and was hindering her entire writing career. With a new mindset, she took the leap and went into independent publishing where she found a couple of mentors. She learned many lessons in the process, and for one, she recommends that people get a publisher that specializes in their genre, unlike in her case where she got general publishers whom she felt didn’t know what to do best with her book. She also advises that people should follow their instinct about what they want to do with their book even if they’re dealing with people who know more than them. In her case, being only 22 with hardly any experience in publishing, she said she held herself back from voicing out her views to her publishers.
Brit’s goal is to come up with three more books over the next year. For her, a way of overcoming writer’s block is to pick an idea that one is excited to write about. She has also found it important to write consistently and regularly, say 500 words per session over a period of several weeks, instead of writing 5,000 words in one go and then not writing again for another month. And her advice to would-be authors is to check themselves to make sure they really want to write a book. She says that if one is willing to make changes to one’s life in order to write a book even if it means being uncomfortable with these changes, then they really want to be an author. As Brit puts it, “Success or failure is all up to you.”
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.