Guest posts

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interview with self publishing and self help author Claudia Fletcher

Please tell us about yourself.

I'm Claudia Fletcher and I have had a great life full of all kinds of adventures.  By the time I was 21 I had a staff of 21 as a Hall Director on a state university campus where I received my Master's . By 25 I was the equivalent of a college vice-president and was tired of that by 28.  Spent two years as an educational consultant in  Mexico before returning to the states to pursue a doctorate.  That plan fell through but instead I met the most amazing guy -- one who enjoyed cooking and cleaning and laundry -- and somehow convinced him to marry me.  From there we started foster care and now, right before our 15th anniversary, we are the proud (and sometimes not so proud) parents of 12 children ages 12-24 and two grandchildren a bit earlier than we had planned.   

What books have your written?

My husband and I wrote the book, "Out of Many One Family:  How Two Adults Claimed Twelve Children through Adoption" which we self-published in August of 2009 with a target audience of people starting the foster care or adoption process.  My second book, geared toward Christian women, was self-published this April and it is called "A Glimpse of God's Heart:  How Trying to Change My Kids Changed Me."

What triggered your choice of topics?

The first book came as a result of a trip to England in 2001 where we knew NOTHING about the area we were in and everything was new.  I realized that it would have been great to have a guide book to tell us each step of the way how to live in that new place.   That made me think that parents starting their adoption or foster care journey might like to have the same thing.  So I set out to tell our story but also to share with others what we had learned.

The second book was motivated by a writing contest which I did not win, but since the book was done, I figured why not publish it?  (is that a bit too honest?)   The book was actually fairly inspired - I wrote it in 19 days.... a chapter a morning with only skipping a couple (the book has 15 chapters and an intro).  It just seemed to flow.

What made your decide to self publish?

I like to get things done.... and I have a lot of technical skills.  Messing around with query letters didn't sound like fun.  And I have adopted many kids with special needs so I get plenty of rejection without requesting it.    So I created my own cover, formatted the book, and published it just to get it done.

What tips to you have for other self publishing authors?

Make sure that you have some technical expertise or a good friend who does.   The formatting takes a lot of time -- both for the hard copy and for digital publications and if you don't have the skills it can be very frustrating.  Also, if you don't have a lot of time to market and get the attention of readers, selling is difficult.   For example, you can sell on, but without a distribution center you can't sell in bookstores so you still have to do that.  I guess the bottom line is that you get what you pay for -- or in the self-publishing realm, you don't get what you don't pay for.

How do you promote your books and find an audience?

I have a blog that has been up for about 6 years and that was where I was able to promote my first book well.  It is an adoption related blog, so the second book hasn't done as well with just blog promotion. I have a website and the books are featured there.    I have a Page on Facebook specifically for book promotion but I also talk about my writing a lot on my personal page.  I have used Twitter in the past.  I also offer the books whenever I speak.

Anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?

I am a very open and honest person and kind of let everything just be "out there."  This has been both a blessing and a curse.  I think that readers connect with my authenticity and the fact that I am real, but it doesn't make me look polished or together like most writers do.  

Claudia Fletcher, B.A., M.Ed.
Downey Side Families for Youth
Adopt America Network
Third Degree Parenting, LLC

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! well-thought questions and detailed answers!:) Loved it!:)