Contrary to widespread belief self-publishing a book is very hard. With the influx of new writers every year and writing courses that promise to whip you into bestseller shape for as little as $199. Writing fiction has transformed from a mere hobby to viable career option. Bestsellers often write books on the blueprint of being a successful independent publisher. The success rates from following any advice that leads to publishing success vary from individuals, what they all can agree on is you need a champion in your corner for you to be successful. Champions come in all forms; they come in the shape of beta readers investing time to help writers shape stories, friends, and family being writing accountability partners or editors. For indie authors hoping to secure the same audience as their traditionally published peers having a professional to scout for mistakes and leaky plot holes is an invaluable asset. The champion we are celebrating today is Author, Editor, and Marketing Coach Blaise Ramsay.
Meet Blaise Ramsay
Blaise Ramsay is an author and an indie author champion. After years of working in conceptual art and design, Ms. Ramsay debuts with her paranormal romance “Blessing of Luna” a unique take on shifter romance starring werewolves, vampires, and gods.
She donates proceeds of her projects to charities, and she is available to consult authors from all stages in their careers. When Blaise is not writing she book blogs, works for touring companies providing reviews, guest posts and conducting author interviews.
LF: How long have you been an Editor and marketing coach?
B.R: This December will be the one year anniversary of the founding of FyreSyde Publishing. I got into marketing as a result of the company so it’ll be about a year since I delved deeper into the heart of the beautiful machine that is marketing. I am currently pursuing a BA in eCommerce for college. As far as being an editor, I’ve been doing that since college, so it’s been almost 8 years.
LF: When working with new authors what misconception do they have about Editors?
BR: From what I’ve observed, it seems that the greatest fear a new author might have is that an editor’s feedback is going to make or break the contract they’re trying to obtain from a publishing company. They may think the editor will deny their work based solely on mistakes easily rectified through reading. They might also worry that they have to do everything the editor says or risk losing a contract. This is not the case. Editors are there to help enhance an author’s work by providing an extra set of eyes for things like plot holes, spelling and grammar mistakes and possible inconsistencies. The author is always free to say yes or no to what we say in regards to their work. They know it better than we do but having an editor is always better than not having one because we do tend to spot things the author might not have seen. I, myself have three of my own editors to proofread my work and offer feedback.
LF: What should new writers look for when choosing an Editor?
B.R: Level of experience is always something to look for. Often an editor will provide their years of experience in their portfolio for an author to look at. Price is also something to look at. Even if getting an editor may at times get pricey, an editor charging a higher rate will oftentimes be of better quality. Looking at the works they’ve done or the authors they’ve worked for, availability and time for a turnaround are also all good things to look for when selecting an editor. So many times, we are just as overbooked as publishers are so the earlier you schedule.
L.F: What are some of the things seasoned writers take for granted?
B.R: Honestly, I’m not sure how to go about answering this one. The most obvious thing I have noticed is that seasoned writers sometimes forget that they too were once new authors who had no idea what they were doing. They were lost on how to market or how to go about getting their work noticed by the big publishers. I think remembering to be a mentor to those who are up and coming is more important than focusing solely on oneself. Authors are a community, not a competitive market. I think seasoned authors tend to forget about that. I have been very fortunate however to have the mentors I have. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
L.F: How do you balance being an author, owner of a publishing imprint, marketing coach and giving back to the indie community?
B.R: FyreSyde is my full-time job aside from being a college student, full-time mom, and wife. Some of the most helpful tools I’ve found to keep a balanced schedule is to set a time when I am going to work and make that time sacred. Nothing else will happen. This can be when the kids are in school or your lunchtime at work, an hour after work, whatever you can find to devote to your craft. Having a day planner to write goals for the day and taking the weekends off have been vital parts of finding balance. Another thing I do is I see all of the above as one unified machine. Each part has to move in sync with the other. A small failure in one can lead to the downfall of the rest. For example, I became an author > I wanted to independently publish > I wanted to work at home = FyreSyde’s founding > needed to be marketed for the brand to gain exposure > Wanted to give back to people = exposure. It is all one part of another. It helps to think like that and to see yourself as an owner of a business.
L.F: In regards to being a “Book Blogger” is there anything you wish you knew before you started?
B.R: I honestly only wish I knew about it earlier before I started. I had no idea just how in demand bloggers were until I became one. Being a blogger has been the most beneficial growth platform I’ve invested time in. It is an extremely large undertaking but it can grow a platform so beautifully and it gives one the opportunity to give back to the readers.
L.F: What services do you offer Authors?
B.R: Many different types. I offer editing, ghostwriting, book formatting, beta reading, interviews, guest blog posts, book reviews, and even an hour consultation for marketing assistance. All of it can be found here , here and here. Or anyone is always free to contact me at email@example.com.
L.F: Do you accept submissions for your imprint? If so what are the submission guidelines?
B.R: Unfortunately, we do not have submissions open but I am always willing to read the first chapter of an author’s novel for free and offer feedback. There are plans to eventually try and host some compilations but those are not in the very near future.
L.F: What does a productive day look like for you?
B.R: Well, I will admit, I have been taking the summer off to be with family. However, my usual day starts at 9am CST. From 9am to 5 or 6pm, I’m working on the administrative side of FyreSyde. This can include replying to emails, seeking out freelancing opportunities, booking signings and events, scheduling blog and social media posts or seeking out open submissions for literary magazines. If it is a busy season, I might be looking to host a new fundraiser, reaching out to authors in regards to upcoming fundraisers, scheduling sponsored runs, etc. Once the children get home, I’m all mom. Homework, chores, dinner – the works. When the kids go to sleep, I settle in at around 8 to start writing until around 1am CST.
L.F: What is one piece of advice you received that helped you through your career?
B.R: Never give up. There are going to be failures. Things that you hoped would work but didn’t. Books you spent time writing that may not necessarily be published or rejections you waited 4-6 weeks to hear. Learning from the bad is just as good as learning from the good. The only difference between someone who is successful and someone who fails is the successful person fell numerous times but got back up and kept walking.
L.F: Where can readers or writers connect with you and subscribe for updates?
A special thank you to Blaise Ramsay for taking a chance on a new blogger. As a thank you to my new found readers the first five readers will get a kindle version of “Blessing of Luna” by Blaise Ramsay. Click on the link below enter the giveaway.