Laura Howard: Six Questions with JB McGee


Six Questions with JB McGee

JB McGee is the author of the Young Adult novel Broken and will be releasing her second novel, Mending, later this month. 

I am proud to be included in her list of stops on her current blog tour!

1. When you began writing, was it with the goal of publishing or just for a hobby?

I always intended to self-publish Broken. I wasn’t sure if people would buy it, but I knew I wanted to put it out there. It was definitely a roller coaster of emotions. One day I was totally excited and ready for the world to see it and the next I worried it would be a total failure.

I just kept going, though. The worst thing in the world would be to hold onto a manuscript that could become a bestseller because of fear. It’s funny because there’s some of that fear written into Broken. Gabby really struggles with overcoming her fear to feel again. I think this was almost my fear of publishing written into Gabby.

I had a group of cheerleaders who encouraged me to get over that fear and let the world determine if it was good. Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today became the mentality. I’m so glad I listened to my friends and family.

2. What are the major things you've done to build buzz for your books... what worked for you and what didn't?

By far networking is the biggest thing you can do for yourself. I have tried to get as much internet real estate as I can. But, I am also a graphic designer. So, for me making sure that J.B. McGee became a brand of sorts was important. I wanted people to be able to see my graphics and know that they were mine. I have used the same colors, fonts, themes throughout all of my websites and social media sites. 

I think the best networking is just being available to the people who like your book. My fans on Facebook and Twitter have been incredible. If I’m ever down, I go spend some time with them and let them remind me why I’m writing. I believe when people can form a connection with you, they’re more likely to talk about you with their friends and family. Word of mouth has been huge. And, I can’t talk about word of mouth without talking about folks like you. Forming a network of bloggers that support you as an author is vital to your success. I appreciate each and every one of you. You spend a great deal of your time helping others. It doesn’t go unrecognized and appreciated.

I’m not sure I can say that any one thing in particular been unsuccessful. I think that every time your name or your book is put out there, it increases your audience. I wouldn’t say anything is a failure. You never know who might see something and what might come from it. 

3. Did you query agents or publishers?

No. I sent one query to after I published Broken. I got some awesome feedback from them this week. I’m looking forward to working on their recommendations. I am undecided as to how much I want to query. I have been so busy writing and promoting that I really haven’t had much time to do anything else.

I might be wrong with this approach, but I’ve also thought that if my book(s) are good enough, they’ll find me. I would rather be approached by an agent or publisher because I stood out to them than to seem eager or desperate to get a publishing deal. 
Please don’t get me wrong. I’d love to get a publishing deal, but it’s not a priority for me right now. My priority is writing the best books I can for my readers. 

4. What is your editing process and have you hired a professional editor?

With Broken, I edited when I was blocked. I found that very helpful to get the juices to start flowing again. I would go back randomly and re-read passages, editing them as I read. Then, I did several edits afterwards before I sent it to a freelance editor. 

I’m honored that a friend who is a New York Times Bestseller is editing Mending for me. I re-read it out loud each night after I wrote and fixed some of my mistakes that way. Because my deadline is quickly approaching, I have relied more on my editor this go around. 

5. What would you have done differently since you first became a published author?

I knew nothing about how to publish before Broken other than what I read doing research on the internet. I would tell new authors looking to publish not to rush it. Make sure you have a blogger do a formal cover reveal for you. Do several giveaways prior to your launch. Make sure to have honest beta readers. Your friends aren’t always the best to beta read. You need someone who isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings. 

Learn the term ARC. Advanced Reading Copies are essential to building reviews before your book is published so strangers will feel more comfortable buying from a new author. ARC’s are given to bloggers and reviewers in exchange for an honest review of your book. Make sure to network with other authors and bloggers before you publish. I have learned so much since I published Broken and I hope these things will help my future book launches.

6. How do you stay in touch with your readers?

I am very available to my readers through Facebook and Twitter. I love talking with them. I am also on Wattpad and Goodreads. I have a blog, website, LinkedIn and several other social media sites that I also check periodically. 

Where do you like to hang out to stay in touch with YOUR readers?

1 comment:

  1. Great interview and very helpful. Thanks JB for sharing that. I'm one of these new authors on the cusp of publishing and anything I can learn from those who've experienced it already, is super helpful. I've got a blog which, hopefully soon, will become a website, and like you I'm on all the social media's that's available and currently looking for reviewers.


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