Laura Cross – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

The Complete Guide To Hiring A Literary Agent: Everything You Need To Know To Become Successfully Published” is designed to help aspiring authors navigate the publishing industry, prepare a winning pitch package, target, attract, and hire the right literary agent, and make the journey to acquiring a book deal

Tell us something about yourself.

I’ve been a ghostwriter and freelance book editor for many years. I also adapt books-to-film as a ‘hidden writer’. I have a passion for nonfiction and screenwriting. My hope is to combine the two – creating a screenplay based on a true story.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I think I was born with a writing gene. I was just meant to be a writer. From a young age I would create plays and stories and force them upon my family. When I became older I often helped friends, associates, and clients organize their manuscripts and that developed into book editing, ghostwriting, and coaching – until eventually I authored my own book!

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

Intellectually I understood that publishers make the final decisions about an author’s book, but that realization really hit home when I wrote my own book. I was more than unhappy with the title the publisher chose (I wanted “acquire” a literary agent, instead of “hire” a literary agent) and I was devastated with the cover they created for the print version of the book and some of the decisions they made about content. In the end, I didn’t win any of the arguments. I thought the choices might hurt my brand and reputation but ultimately I have to recognize that I chose to contract with this particular publisher and if I want to maintain complete control I need to launch my own publishing company to release my books. (I did get to use a book cover I commissioned for the eBook version of the book.)

What are you reading now?

I’m interested in books that are adapted to film – I’m reading “Crazy Heart”, “The Blind Side” and “Playing the Enemy” (which became the film Invictus).

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I get a kick out of helping writers bring their projects to fruition and sharing what I’ve learned during my writing career, so my next book is another book for writers (based on one of my writing classes).

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Understand the publishing industry – it’s a business and if you want to be a part of it you need to know how to navigate the waters (whether you’re seeking a traditional publisher or self-publishing). Build your platform. If you’re going the traditional publishing route, it’s essential to land a nonfiction book deal. If you’re self-publishing, it’s an essential component for successful book sales. And start marketing your book early – at least a year or two before its release.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I’m in the midst of a book blog tour (arranged by www.wow-womenonwriting.com), I produced a book trailer and distributed it around the internet and on bookseller sites, I’m arranging online author chats and podcasts, I’m “tweeting” tips from the book, and I’m leveraging opportunities for print media – as both a writer and expert source.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can download a free chapter from the book, view the book trailer, read the full table of contents, and purchase the eBook at www.GetALiteraryAgent.com.