I’ve had the pleasure of getting of working with Cindy C. Bennett a few times throughout this year. She’s pretty amazing, friendly and very knowledgeable about publishing. Cindy is an amazing author who has 15 published titles under her name. Two of these are traditionally published and she has found success there and in self publishing. She agreed to allow me to pick her brain about the publishing industry… I’m not so sure she knew what she was getting into 😉 but she very graciously and sincerely answered all of my questions. Thank you very much Cindy!
Cindy C Bennett was born and raised in beautiful Salt Lake City, growing up in the shadows of the majestic Rocky Mountains. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. She also has two sons. She volunteers her time working with teen girls between the ages of 12-18, all of whom she finds to be beautiful, fascinating creatures. When she’s not writing, reading or answering emails she can often times be found riding her Harley through the beautiful canyons near her home (yes, I ride a Harley and no, you’d never know it to look at me!).
Q: Besides a good novel, what do you believe is the biggest necessary attribute to be successful in the self publishing world?
A: A willingness to work hard and learn everything you can about marketing, without over marketing.
Q: Besides a good novel and persistence, what do you believe is the biggest attribute needed to have your novel picked up by a publisher?
A: A willingness to take a lot of rejections before you find the one that’s a good fit for you, and also to not be afraid to say no to an offer if it doesn’t feel right.
Q: When it comes to writing and publishing do you have a philosophy or advice that you live by?
A: My advice is to make sure that you have learned the mechanics of writing such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. Without those, no matter how good your book is, nobody will read it because it will be too distracting to read or come across as bad writing.
Q: When writing a novel, how do you personally make the distinction of self publishing that novel or seeking a publisher?
A: With my first traditionally published book, I found them during a time when I did not know what I know now about publishing. With my second published book, my publisher asked me specifically for that book which is why I have two novels with Sweetwater books.
Q: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers about publishing?
A: Understand that you’re going to get rejection in the publication process, and even if you do succeed, whether you are traditional or self published you will get rejections from readers that are harsh. You just have to learn to let it roll off your back and not take it personally.
Q: Looking back on your writing career, what would you have done differently?
A: I would have started much younger. I would have not been afraid of thinking I was going to get rejected. I would have published sooner, one way or another.
Q: What do you consider to be the best aspect of each publishing method?
A: The best of traditional is seeing your book sitting on a book store shelf. There is something inherently validating in that. The best aspect of self publishing is being able to retain complete creative control over every part of your book.
Q: What do you consider to be the worst?
A: The worst aspect of traditional publishing is the very small amount of money you make for all of the hard work that you do for your book. The worst aspect of self publishing is that it requires a lot of time to get your book ready, including editing, formatting, etc. that you might end up having to pay someone to do.
Q: What advice would you give writers who are interested in publishing and are unsure of which route to take?
A: I would suggest, with the way to marketplace is today, to look into self publishing before traditional because the publishing world is changing. There’s almost more reasons, at this point, to self publish than to traditionally publish. But in the end, it has to be what you feel will work best for you and your lifestyle, as well as the amount of time, money, and work you want to put into your book.
Q: With deadlines being a big deal in the publishing world, how do they differ on each side of the spectrum? How do you go about dealing with each?
A: With traditional publishing, you’re more tightly bound by deadlines than you are with self publishing. With traditional, you have many people who are working on your book and need to have it by a certain time to get their job done. A traditional publisher schedules releases and so you have to have it done by a certain time. With self published its more relaxed because you’re the only one requiring to have it done by a certain time so if you’re not done it’s not the end of the world.
Q: Are there any problems that are unique to women in the publishing world?
A: I actually think it is easy for a woman because many time a woman has more freedom with time to work on her book and work on marketing than a man who might be supporting a family. I don’t think there is a prejudice from a man vs. a woman on who is going to sell more books.
Q: Because we are celebrating Mother’s Day this month, how do you manage your time with writing and motherhood?
A: I have extremely understanding kids who are very supportive of my career and encourage me to write and they even read as I’m writing, so I’m probably luckier in that area than many areas. I don’t have little kids at home, my kids are a bit older. For me, I always prioritize my family first. If there is a family thing, or something they want to do, I do that first before doing my writing. So for me, I don’t generally find that there is a conflict between writing time and family time.
Thank you Cindy for this insightful interview. Be sure to stop by one of her links, follow and thank her for this amazing interview. If anyone has any questions or topics you would like covered in Anyone Can Write be sure to comment below. We will be trying hard to cover topics that will help writers better navigate the publishing world.