GREENVILLE — Darke County author Julie Kramer spoke to The Daily Advocate about the process of writing and publishing her second novel.
Kramer’s first book, “The Science of Dragons,” was self-published through Amazon’s CreateSpace platform in January. The sequel, “The Journey of Dragons,” continues with the same characters in a new setting and with a new villain while also explaining a bit more about dragons and how they work. There will be at least one more book in the series, according to Kramer.
“This is the second book that I’ve written and published,” Kramer said. “I’ve finished nine other novels and have started about 40 more. There will hopefully be many more in the future!”
Kramer plans to publish as many as five books next year.
“Between my two published so far I’ve sold almost 500 copies,” Kramer said of her success over the past year. “Hopefully I’ll get there by the end of the year.”
Being a published author brings a great sense of accomplishment, Kramer said.
“The experience has been very different from what I imagined,” she said. “It’s one of the best feelings in the world to hear someone say that they couldn’t put my book down or that I inspired them to write, or continue, their own stories. It’s also great to be able to say, ‘That’s mine. All 60,000 words came from my mind.’ It’s just a wonderful feeling.”
Kramer decided to self-publish her first book after trying, unsuccessfully, to find a literary agent.
“A literary agent is the person who takes your book to big publishers that one normally wouldn’t have access to and tries to convince them that your book is a risk worth taking,” Kramer said. “I was rejected by about 40 agents before I decided to self-publish.”
That process was more involved than one might think, Kramer said.
“I found an editor, a cover designer and a formatter,” she said. “The editor went through and pointed out any typos or inconsistencies that I may have missed. The cover designer and I worked to decide on the cover. The formatter made sure that everything looked good: that the ebook version looks good on any device and the print version doesn’t have any wonky formatting. Then it was uploaded to Amazon.”
The process of doing the second book was a little more complicated, according to Kramer.
“This time I had someone write my author bio because I don’t know how to talk about myself without sounding like an awkward dork,” Kramer said, “and the blurb, which is the part on the back that tells you what the book is about. And none of that counts all the promotion that comes before and after publishing the book.”
Kramer said that writing classes, and just talking with other writers, have helped her become more confident in her writing.
“I took pretty much any English or writing class that I could get my hands on,” Kramer said. “It’s wonderful to talk with other writers; sometimes what an author needs is just to talk to someone and iron out the kinks of what they’re working on.”
Kramer’s second novel was published in September and is available in paperback and ebook form through Amazon. Support is key, Kramer said, if you have a friend who wants to be a writer.
“There’s nothing better for my inspiration than someone telling me that they really want to read whatever I’m working on,” Kramer said. “That inspires me to keep going, not necessarily for that specific person, but because if one person wants to read it, someone else will too.”