Friday, April 11, 2014

Meet Susette Williams

Note: I met Susette Williams online over ten years ago, and over that time have learned so much from this generous Christian lady. In my opinion, she’s a book promotion and publishing genius. Today, this prolific author shares some of her secrets with us.--Ellen E. Kennedy (aka E.E. Kennedy, author of the Miss Prentice cozy mystery series)

SS:  Can you give us a little mini-bio? Background, things you've written? 
Susette: I'm a romantic at heart and love to hear how people fell in love. I also like to people-watch. Add a sense of humor and falling in love can be fun, or murder! I've always felt that laughter helps you deal with the obstacles life throws your way. Unfortunately, I instilled this in my children and has backfired on me at times. But as the mother of six wonderful children, they've always given me enough material to write about!

SS: What's your genre or genres? Which do you like best?
Susette: I have a wide variety of interest. I write children's books, inspirational romance, cozy mystery, and have a suspense started. I think I enjoyed writing my humorous cozy mystery the most because I was able to cut lose with my humor. I inevitably add humor to almost anything I write!

SS: How did you get started writing?
Susette: When I was in 7th grade, a friend wrote poetry. So I decided to try writing poetry. That was also the first year I had to write book reports. After reading nearly fifty romances in a year, I felt like I could write one. Although it was years later before I actually sat down and tried writing a novel.
When I started writing, I had six children under the age of thirteen. The twins were only ten months old, and we had another child that was only two. The other three children were in school all day, so I mainly wrote during nap time and after the children were in bed.

SS: What's the hardest thing about writing for you?
Susette: Editing! I think I am ADD. It is hard enough not to get distracted (by social media) then trying to reread stuff, over and over again, is very hard for me. I'm the same way with watching reruns on TV, or a movie I've seen before. So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you have to reread something over and over again! Hiring an editor can be very expensive, hundreds to even over a thousand dollars for a novel.

SS: Have you a message? Are you hoping to convey anything in particular in your writing?
Susette: I usually weave a subtle message for readers. Planting seeds as I consider it. I think sometimes your writing can help a reader see something differently, or think about something they maybe haven't thought about before.

SS: You have quite a few self-published books. How did you get into self-publishing?
What would you say was the main benefit and main pitfall of self-publishing?
Susette: I have 16 self-published books now in various genres. I began self-publishing after I received my first royalty statement from my publisher and realized I was making less than $.07 per book that sold. That meant the only type of marketing I could do was free because there was no way I could recoup my cost if I paid for marketing. It would take 7 sales just to pay for 1 stamp if I mailed out a postcard or any other advertisement, which isn't counting having to pay for whatever form of mailer I would send out.

The benefits to self-publishing are that you make a higher royalty rate, you don't have to wait for someone else to approve your book before you know if it will be accepted for publication, and you can publish it immediately. No waiting months, or a year, until it is released! 

The main pitfall for most authors would be having to be a jack-of-all-trades! You either have to learn to edit, create a book cover, publish on various platforms, and market your own work or hire other people to do the things that you are not able to do yourself.  

Through self-publishing, I've learned marketing comes more natural to me. I didn't know the first thing about using PhotoShop except for very minor things my husband taught me to help him for his work. They were simple, repeat steps that I think I even wrote down on a piece of paper. I had to learn a lot on my own and I can assure you, PhotoShop is not an easy program to learn. You can however learn a lot by watching YouTube tutorials!

(A list of Susette’s books is included at the end of the interview.)

SS: If you won the lottery tomorrow, would you quit writing?
Susette: If I won the lottery would be a miracle since I don't play! lol. But no, if I came into a windfall of money I wouldn't quit writing. I enjoy entertaining people with my stories. From children on up to adults. I'm hoping that one day I have enough stories written that children can start out reading my picture books and continue reading the rest of my work as they get older.

SS: Have you some advice for new writers?
Susette: Don't rush the process! Learn all the rules you would have to learn if you went the traditional publishing route so that you learn to turn out quality work. Don't just ask advice from 'yes' people in your life, and don't take it personally if the people you ask don't always tell you what you want to hear. If you are going to publish your books, your readers will have their own opinions and they will leave them in the form of reviews. Your colleagues are there to help you make your work better. When you accept that, you can begin to learn and grow as a writer.

SS: Is there any other question that you would like to answer? Something more you'd like us to know about Susette Williams?
Susette: Authors are real people, too. I have had people say they were surprised that I wrote them back when they sent me a message through my website. Some of my fans have become readers for me. I appreciate having their help in reading and reviewing my stories.

Now, if you want to know my favorite foods: carrot cake, crab legs, fried zucchini, and my husband's rigatoni ala carbona.

Books I've Self-published:


FALLING IN LOVE (Seasons of the Heart series)
WINTER CHILL (Seasons of the Heart series)
SCROOGE FALLS IN LOVE (Typecast Christmas series)

31 Devotions for Writers
Self-Publishing Tips & Marketing Resources

Children's Books:
SARGE GETS A TIMEOUT (Sarge in Charge series)
THE 'IN' CROWD (Life With Stef series)
YOU CAN'T SCARE ME (Life With Stef series)


  1. This is encouraging. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Super! Thanks so much for sharing with us today!