Ingrid King is the author of Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. A former veterinary hospital manager turned writer, Ingrid publishes the online magazine News for You and Your Pet, covering topics ranging from conscious living to holistic and alternative health. She shares her experiences with consciously creating a joyful, happy and healthy life for pets and people on her popular blog, The Conscious Cat. Ingrid lives in Northern Virginia with her tortoiseshell cat Amber. For more information, please visit Ingrid’s website at www.ingridking.com. You can also find Ingrid on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ingrid.king) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/consciouscats)
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Ingrid. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
Buckley’s Story is my first book.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
I choose not to go the traditional route of finding an agent and dealing with the inevitable rejections that come with following this route. I just wanted to get Buckley’s Story out to the world. It was also important to me to share her story before the first anniversary of her passing, which was this past Thanksgiving weekend. So rather than going the traditional route, I thoroughly researched other publishing options.
There are a lot of options for authors looking to self-publish. It’s important to be clear about what your goals are. Do you want just a few copies of your book for family and friends? Do you want to handle most aspects of the production and publishing process yourself? I knew that I wanted more than just a vanity press. I wanted mainstream distribution for the book, and I wanted the book to look really good. After months of research, I choose iUniverse. They offer what is considered assisted self-publishing. I had professional help all along the way – from content editing to copy editing to cover design to interior design, and since my book received an Editor’s Choice and Rising Star designation from iUniverse, I even receive marketing support. I could not have been happier with my experience with them.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
Publishing Buckley’s Story is a dream come true for me. I wanted to write a book all my life, but I always had excuses for why I wasn’t doing it – too busy, not enough time, no good ideas, etc. Then Buckley came along, and I had a subject that was so compelling that all the excuses went away. Holding the book in my hand for the first time was an indescribably joyful feeling. I threw a big launch party to celebrate and it was a wonderful experience to have people from different parts and eras of my life come together to help me celebrate the realization of my dream.
Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I began promoting Buckley’s Story long before it was published. I created buzz for the book on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter months in advance of publication. I’ve found social media to be the single most effective tool to build an author platform, bar none. Additionally, I built relationships with book bloggers and pet bloggers, which also helped spread the word about the book.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
Given that I wanted the book to be out in time for Buckley’s first anniversary, I would not have chosen a different route.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
I’ve had several book reviews published in a print magazine, and I continue to write and publish my own online magazine as well as my blog. Writing and publishing Buckley’s Story has solidified for me that writing is my true passion, and I’m actively pursuing other options for being published.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
Since I choose to self-publish, I can’t really say I would have done anything differently at this stage.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
I’ve become better at public speaking. One aspect of publishing a book that I didn’t really consider ahead of time (and that’s probably a good thing that I didn’t!) is that I would be speaking at various events to promote the book. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, but getting word out about the book matters so much to me that I’ve had to overcome my reluctance to speak in front of groups of people. Much to my surprise, I found that my passion for the book and what it stands for has made it fairly easy to get over the initial nervousness that comes with these situations to where I actually look forward to these events now.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
I might have become a veterinarian. I worked in various facets of the veterinary profession for twelve years, and always admired the vets I worked with.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
I think I have combined the best of both worlds! I get to write, and I get to write about cats, pets in general, and pet health topics.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
I honestly don’t plan that far ahead. I’m a big believer in living in the moment, and making long term plans feels counter-intuitive to that philosophy to me.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Don’t give up on your dream. Keep writing, and investigate different options toward making your dream come true. Everyone is different and has different reasons for being published. There have never been more options to achieve this dream for writers than there are now.