Why Patty writes:
When I turned twelve, I received a journal for my birthday. I was delighted to plop on my bed every evening and write my day to day happenings. But over time, I realized when I read my entries, that my life was pretty boring..the same food..same classes..same people. Then I scribbled some poems here and there. I wrote anything that came to my head, and sometimes the creative urge would pop up late at night and I'd get up and write. The poems continued over time; I have written on pieces of paper, on handkerchiefs, and on the computer, all the while earning my biology degree, then working as a biologist in a laboratory. I also had a few poems published in poetry journals after some encouragement from an online poetry group.
Hundreds of poems later, I married and became a stay-at-home mother with time on my hands. That's when I began writing stories. Long stories that eventually turned into novels. My first novel "Lipsi's Daughter" was inspired by my visit to my country Greece. Although I was born in Greece and immigrated to the U.S. with my family when I was four, I did not return to Greece until I was a college student. I fell in love with Lipsi Island, which is located next to Patmos, the island that St. John was exiled and wrote the Book of Revelations. I traveled many times to Lipsi, and absorbed the culture, the people, the donkeys, and the traditions. So I wrote a love story that took place on Lipsi Island. I found a small press (JoNa Books) to publish it back in 2003. I marketed the book to the Greek American market and sold 1500 books within six months (through festivals, mail order, speaking).Then my publisher did not keep up with my orders and I ended up getting my rights back and going on my own. I have not looked back since.
I believe that a true artist, like Rembrandt, Picasso, etal. did not go from artist to artist, asking for them to edit their works. They were very good at what they did. They were true artists. Writers, on the other hand, have to have a code of approval from a publisher and editor. They have to wait months, if not years to see their books published. What for?
I have a method I use.
Plan A - I send off my finished manuscript to 2-3 people to read/review/comment. Meanwhile, I submit to at least twenty agents and twenty publishers. I always allow a certain amount of time for that (3 months), just to see if I could get a nibble. Some nibbled, but not enough to follow through. Undaunted, to say the least, I move on to Plan B.
Plan B - By now my manuscript has been seen by several other people. Several revisions later, I submit it to be published (iUniverse in the past). Now, I use Virtualbookworm.com ( POD company).
Plan C - While the book is in the publication phase, I start my marketing efforts. I contact people to set up booksigning events. I will also contact local newspapers and magazines to see about putting my information in their local news section. I update my website, facebook, twitter with my news. I go back to my folders and index files and look up previous contacts and submit to them.
I reiterate Plan C many times, then start writing my next book.
My philosophy is this, better to get the book out to like-minded readers, than to please a handful of publishers with totally different belief systems than I. It's a win-win situation. I don't "owe" any money to any publisher (they give you an advance, then you have to work hard to "earn" it). The money it takes to publish my books is a fraction of what an author has to "pay back" to a publisher, and comes entirely from my pocket. I publish my books quickly (although it takes me about 2 years to write them).
The most beautiful feeling is when a reader emails or writes either complimenting me on my books, or asking when my next book will come out, or letting me know they'd like to purchase books for their family and friends. If I had never chosen this path, just think what the world would be missing.
Until next time. I just finished my third novel, and am getting started on my fourth. I love writing!!