Q & A with George Wilhite
George Wilhite, author of On the Verge of Madness, talks about self-publisher vs. working with a publisher.
Wilhite has been an aficionado of the horror genre since his youth, discovering Poe and Lovecraft at an early age while also spending many summer nights at drive-in theaters watching the contemporary scene unfold. His stories have been published in numerous anthologies, genre magazines and web sites. He also serves as editor of Static Movement anthologies and reviews books for The Horror Review web site. He can find out more about him at: http://www.authorsden.com/georgewilhite.
Q: Why did you decide to self publish your debut collection of short fiction, On the Verge of Madness?
A: Essentially, just to get a book out. I was having some success with publishing individual stories, though still for little or no money, but no luck with a publisher willing to release a collection. I gathered up the stories I considered my best at the time and then looked for a common theme. All of the protagonists of the tales in the collection are at a crossroads in their various situations where they have two choices: the supernatural is real, or they are mad.
I decided, at least for this first time around, I would rather get a book at now on my own rather than continuing to submit to publishers.
Q: What were some of the struggles and rewards?
A: First of all, I have no talent in the area of graphic arts, so I knew I needed help with the cover. For a reasonable cost, the publisher, LuLu, provided a serviceable enough cover, but nothing extraordinary. To be honest, the most interesting element of the cover is the photography from my wife I offered as base material.
Then, of course, there was the editing. I didn’t have much money to spend so I just went over the manuscript several times myself, and my ever-patient wife did so a few times, and I also enlisted the help of some fellow writers.
While the process was all rather painstaking, it was worth the efforts to have an actual book to promote. That is the other element that requires a lot of work, sometimes for not the greatest rewards. I promote everything I publish, including “exposure only” web posts, on Facebook and Author’s Den.
I am still glad I self published the first time around because I have received eight very good reviews, which in turn provide more marketing opportunities, since readers like to see reviews on a book when they are deciding whether or not to buy it.
When Smashwords came around, it was also easy to use their vehicle to provide an ebook version of the collection.
Q: So the follow-up collection, Silhouette of Darkness is going to be published by Musa Publishing. How is it different working with a publisher?
A: Well, it’s different in just about every way. I had already been through the stories individually, and the manuscript as a whole, just as many times as I had with On the Verge before submitting it to Musa. The great thing now is that they will bring a fresh set of eyes to the final editing process and–thank goodness!–a talented artist to create a book cover. It is a great relief to let these specialists help make the book the best it can be and to tap into their existing marketing and distribution.
I am still early in the process. The initial release date is November 16, 2012. But so far, I am very pleased with the staff. It seems that Musa is a well organized and mutually supportive group of writers.
Q: How can readers keep in touch with you?
I am just starting up my blog at:
Note from Lisa: Silhouette of Darkness is out now at Musa Publishing. I own a copy. 🙂 And here’s the Amazon link: