Blog Archive

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Progress Over Perfection: Author Interview with Misty Black

You've published almost 20 books beginning in 2019. That's a lot of books. How much time do you spend in writing and editing daily?
Not enough, sadly. I spend most of my time marketing, networking, and doing other business aspects. Luckily, I have a business degree that helps. I've also been creating courses to help other authors make their books the best they can be, sell more of them, and create a profitable business from their books.

Fortunately, I love most of what I do. I love doing author visits and connecting with the children. I love selling my books in person at events and meeting new people. I also love the creating process. There's very little about being an author that I don't like.

You have your own publishing company. How much of the work outside of writing, do you do personally do?
I do my own formatting and cover design. I also do formatting and cover design for other authors and publishers. I hire illustrators and editors.

What's the hardest part of the publishing process for you?
The hardest part for me is finding the time to do everything I want to do. I want to explore more avenues like creating more courses, making merchandise with my book characters, translating my books into more languages, adding to my blog, and reaching new schools and media channels. But I'm only one person. And my family comes first.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
The hardest part for me is creating that brilliant beginning that hooks the child in and makes them want to read more. I also struggle to keep my word count down and let the illustrations tell half the story. But I have gotten better at both over time.

You have multiple illustrators who do the artwork for your books. What tips do you have for finding the right illustrator?
Get a sample. Expect to pay for this. Their time is valuable too. Make sure you know exactly what to expect from each other before the work begins. Sign a contract. Decide who keeps what rights to the illustrations, so there's no disputing afterward. Make sure it's someone you communicate well with and who can take your suggestions without getting offended.

Your books are also published in Spanish. How did that come about?
An author acquaintance approached me about translating my books for me. She came highly recommended, so I thought I'd try it. I started with one to see how it would go, and I ended up translating them all through her. She is now my great friend.

What book format sells best for you – eBook, paperback, or hardcover?

What's the best encouragement you've had in your writing?
My sister-in-law, Karlee, a very successful entrepreneur, gave me the push I needed to self-publish my first book, and it has taken off from there. Before that, I was trying to get traditionally published. I went to a seminar by a traditionally published author who said it takes on average ten years to get traditionally published. That's not ten years from when you start writing. That's ten years from when you have a finished manuscript that you're actively submitting to publishers and agents. I knew then and there I could do more myself in 10 years than a traditional publisher could do for me. I'm so glad I took that leap.

What is the best writing advice you've received or could give?
Progress over perfection. You can't improve on something unless you get started.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
I want to offer my Secrets to Success Guide to becoming a best-selling author to your readers for FREE. It includes all the steps I've taken to become an 11x best-selling author of 23 books, selling over 85,000 copies, and gaining over 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
I'm working on three currently, so I'm not sure which I'll publish first. One is the 6th book in the Punk and Friends series called Clutz the Cat Can Handle Hard things. It focuses on growth mindset and not giving up when things get tough. 

Another one is in a new series. The tentative title is My Favorite Way to Travel, and it's intended to promote summer reading in children, so I'll publish it in the spring of 2023.

Love your idea for a new series to encourage children to read! That's all for today's interview. Hope you'll take advantage of the FREE marketing guide. If you'd like to learn more about Misty's books and classes, here are some links to get you started.

Here's a link for free printable activity sheets and a downloadable Bubble Head song. 

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