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Saturday, 1 January 2011

In Case You Missed It.

This week we are delighted to have an interview with
Amanda Hayward
The Writer’s Coffee Shop
Congratulations on the launch of The Publishing House, the publishing arm of The Writer’s Coffee Shop!
The Writer’s Coffee Shop is a haven for writers. You have immersed yourself in a literary world and achieved what many bibliophiles could only dream of. What is your background? Do you write yourself?
I grew up surrounded by books as my mother is a teacher/librarian. Even when I wasn’t interested in reading as a child, I was always given books. Now, as an adult, I have come to love reading and only during the past few years I have turned to writing myself. I find it to be a fantastic stress relief.
After the birth of our first daughter, I found it hard to work with a young child and decided to stay at home with the girls. After many years of being lost and loosing myself in being a mum, I turned to reading and found a wonderful online community and people with similar interests.
How I started the idea of the Publishing House? I was reading bought published stories and felt that the people online wrote better and more exciting books than the books I had just paid for. I am very proud of the women and men we have taken on. They have all been working so hard.
Publishing House currently only publish their titles in e-book format.
What impact, if at all, do you feel that the emergence of e-books is having on the publishing industry and how do you see e-readers affecting the future?
The Writer’s Coffee Shop is focusing on e-books, but we do have paperbacks of our titles available for purchase, on our site, through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. E-books are instant, cost effective and everyone has a smartphone, laptop or ipad these days so you can read wherever you are, at any given time. Our e-books will be available on Kindle, ibooks, nook, sony e-reader,… We are actually in the process of signing a new deal with another company at the moment. We feel very strongly that e-books will be the way of the future, with how convenient and cost effective they are.
I, like many others am extremely resistant to change and new technology. How would you convince me that buying an e-reader is a sound investment and would I enjoy an electronic handheld device as much as a traditional paperback?
You can have your whole library at your fingertips. For someone that travels a lot it is an easy way to have something to read during down moments without having to carry around a heavy bag. Or have you ever gone on a vacation with a book that you thought would be a great read, only to realize after a few pages it just wasn’t holding your attention. With an eReader you can quickly choose another book. I personally read either on my ipad, laptop or, if I am out and about, on my iphone.
What do you look for in a new author? What makes one book leap out from the rest of the slush pile?
I like unique ideas. Something that keeps me on my toes and want to keep reading. Here at The Writer’s Coffee Shop we like to help our authors grow. We don’t expect them to have all of their i’s dotted and t’s crossed, we are more than happy to work with them to help produce some top quality stories.
The dreaded query letter is an essential part of approaching a publisher. Do you have any pet hates? In the query letters that were successful in their approach to you, what made you respond favourably?
I have had a few people write on their letters “I am no good at these things.” That is not the way to make a good expression! A query letter should be confident, polite and straight forward.
Writing is often accompanied by rejection – what advice, if any, would you give to an author who is yet to find success?
Every author has their own way of writing and the more you write, the more you grow as an author. Enter writing competitions, write some fan fiction to find out what works for you while learning from your mistakes. We encourage every author on our site, and it is amazing to see how far some of our authors have grown. Don’t give up, keep applying to publishing houses, but most of all, keep writing.
What are the best and worst aspects of owning your own publishing company? What, if any, are the main difficulties?
The best thing is the people I have met and now work with. It is a joy to work with them every day. They truly are as passionate as me in helping authors live their dream of seeing their book on a book store shelf.
The worst would be the hours I put in. My family life is rather busy, and it is hard to find a balance sometimes, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Finally, if I was about to burn every single book in the world that had ever been written and you were allowed to save just one – what book would that be?
I have been working with a friend for a few years now on a story she is writing. She is publishing a version of that book in the near future. We have gone through so much together during that time. There is no way I could bring myself to let you burn it. It holds way too many sentimental memories.
Thank you so much for interviewing me and highlighting what we are doing at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House.

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