Allbooks Reviews INTERVIEW:
Please state your name and location. (City and State or Province, Country)
Annette Burget Bailey
Oak Park, California USA
Tell us the title and publisher of your book:
“The Blue Smoker of Barkwater Village” and my publisher is iUniverse.
Tell us about yourself:
My mother calls me a “late bloomer” because I wasn’t really serious about writing until I was well into my thirties. With that said, I’ve worked as a Los Angeles Daily News community editor, and later tried my hand as a STAR magazine reporter. Traditional versus tabloid reporting, I still can’t decide.
It wasn’t until I turned the big “40” that I made the quantum leap into fulltime fiction writing. I guess you could say I caught the bug; the fiction writer’s bug, that is.
When was the book released?:
Give us an overview of your book.
It’s a short (49 p.) children’s book primarily geared for ages 7-11. The print is large and easily read and the dialogue is fairly simplistic. However, I intentionally used a few advanced words to initiate questions between child and parent, or student and educator. Alliterations are also used very generously. I read all Dr. Seuss’ books as a child, and loved every last one of them, so I felt it only fitting to pay homage to my childhood favorite.
With my previous background as a mystery writer, I wanted to incorporate criminal justice into the mix, so I added a canine crime spree, complete with a couple cagey cockers. Additionally, my entire cast of critters are dogs, due in large part to my enormous affection for man’s best friend.
In conclusion, “The Blue Smoker of Barkwater Village” has a decidedly good versus evil storyline, complete with a foul-smelling protagonist, and there’s even a little romance between a lovelorn Chihuahua and an unlikely Boston terrier.
What inspired you to write this book?
The basic “Blue Smoker” premise was inspired years ago. It started simply enough. My dad used to call our very flatulent pet dachshund “The Blue Smoker” because she’d sit behind the couch and pass gas all day long. Let’s face it, flatulence is a topic, however offensive, that usually incites laughter; especially from children. However, not until my equally flatulent 13-year-old Chihuahua gave me the real creative nudge did I finally put fingers to keyboard.
How is your book different from other books in this genre?
Obviously, flatulent dogs are quite the rage. First, there’s Walter the Farting Dog, and who could forget Farting Fred and his Dog Show.
The primary difference is the Blue Smoker is a reluctant super hero; he instinctively uses his dog-given gift of gas to rid any and all bullies, bandits and burglars in Barkwater Village.
In conclusion, while the other dogs may possess the powers of super stench, my central character’s pooter powers are SO putrid he smokes; blue smokes, that is.
Where can people buy your book?
Almost anywhere on line —Barnes and Noble.com, Amazon.com, Books-A-Million.com, and of course, my publisher all currently carry my title.
If you self published, what advice can you give to fellow writers?
Having a book self-published is a real labor of love. In short, it’s hard work, lots of it. Creatively speaking, however, it’s equally satisfying knowing that the cover art and interior design are your own creations. I knew from the get-go what I wanted and stated very matter-of-factly what my vision was. Thankfully, the graphic designers completely understood, and as a result, the cover reflects not only my personal touch, but their obvious expertise as well. Words to the wise, before you sign-on with any publishing house, have a marketable product that’s been seriously critiqued by a friend or family member, and of course, a clear cut idea of color and design. In the end, you want an eye-catching product. Besides, you might not have a name YET, but at least you can be sure your cover’s as slick as any bestseller. Additionally, be prepared to self-promote 24/7. Last but not least, if you’re looking for instant monetary gratification, I suggest you look elsewhere.
Can you share one of your marketing successes with us?
It’s hard to say. Since I’ve started seriously writing fiction, way back when in 2000, I’ve learned a great deal about the dos and don’t of self-promotion. For instance, I’ve cut way back on spending lots of time and money sending out postcards or unnecessary copies of the book. Besides, chances are if the recipients don’t have a vested interest in your topic, all your efforts will go directly into the trash.
Additionally, I’ve learned that appropriate demographics are foremost. In short, any organization and/or group that cater directly to your specific reading audience are critical. Shameless solicitation is a must.
Lastly, reviews are important sales tools. With that said, contact as many reviewers as possible. Many are free of charge and simply require a copy of the book; another inexpensive, yet powerful marketing tool. Be creative and always “think outside the box.”
As a four-time author, I’ve employed all the above mentioned suggestions and my most of my marketing successes have been based on persistence and dogged determination. A good rule of thumb is to simply remember —do some form of self-promotion each and every day and never give up!
How did you find Allbooks Reviews and what are you hoping for in your relationship with us?
I discovered AllBooks Reviews a few months before my latest book was published. The website looked polished and the reviews were all very well written. So far, so good; I’d recommend their services to any fledgling authors seeking extra exposure.
Was the low cost a surprise? What other things would you like Allbooks Reviews to offer writers?
The fees are nominal, to say the least. The $46.00 investment is really a no brainer. Besides, when all is said and done, you’d easily spend fifty dollars or more on dinner and a movie, and chances are, you’d probably end up disliking the entree or perhaps even nod off during the movie. Needless to say, there’s nothing negative about extra exposure; the benefits of having your book professionally promoted are truly invaluable. Need I say more?
Thank you for this interview and best of luck with your book.