Confident Reads: Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye Blog Tour, Interview w/ Shari Brady & Give@way

Hello everyone! Confident Reads is a feature I have here each week and is a way to open communication between readers and Indie authors.  This  is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish.

I have decided to do author interviews so we can get an idea of what authors are thinking and going through when publishing their books themselves.

Once again I’m combining a tour stop with the Confident Reads feature.  Why not, right?  Make sure you check out the tour page for all the other stops!  This tour is hosted by me!

You can also find my review of Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye HERE.

When, and how, did you come to being an indie/self published author?

Last year I decided to become an indie/self published author because I wanted to control my work and my destiny as a novelist.  Like all self published authors I spent months researching and planning how to publish and market my books.  

Did you attempt to publish traditionally?  What were your experiences?

I did not attempt to publish traditionally as I saw/see the industry being in a state of flux.  Change in industry/business means opportunity.  I saw so many self published writers be uber-successful and felt confident and passionate enough that I could do the same.  I also want to take charge of my career and not spend years waiting for other people to make things happen.  I’m going out there and making things happen for myself.  

If you were offered a deal with a traditional publisher, would you take it? 

 That would depend on the deal they offer me.  

What is the best part of being indie/self published, for you?

The best part is knowing I’ve got control of my work and my destiny.  I make all the decisions and that is really rewarding.

The indie/self published scene is constantly changing.  Even quite a few traditionally published authors have ventured into the world of self publishing.  What do you predict for the future?  How do you think the indie scene is changing and where do you think it will go?

I think (and hope) the traditional publishers will figure out a way to work with self published writers as business partners.  I see the industry changing like the music industry.  I think the small independent bookstores will survive and thrive because they can make changes quicker and respond to changes within the industry.  Being an indie author is not for everyone, so there will always be traditionally published books.  However, I think the amount of indie authors will continue to grow rapidly.  I also firmly believe paper books will never go away, just like movie theaters are still around 

As an indie/self published author, what has been your biggest obstacle?

 Getting the book in front of readers.  Even for traditionally published authors exposure is the number one obstacle.  

In the world of indie/self published not everyone goes about things the same way.  Many make mistakes (and hopefully learn from them).  What are the biggest mistakes that you think authors are making and how do you suggest they improve?

Indie authors who are not successful are authors who are impatient and think simply writing one book and putting up on Amazon is all you need to do. Number one priority should be producing the highest quality work out in the marketplace.  Next, successful authors must keep writing and producing books.  Indie authors are entrepreneurs.  Self publishing is a tough job and you have to be committed to your business or you won’t succeed. 

How do you approach reviewers? And what has worked best when doing so? 

I find reviewers from blogs and book clubs work the best.  I think reviewers are vital to knowing how the book is being received by the public.  Like any other art form, not everyone is going to love your work and I like to see how people honestly see my work.   

When it comes to sales, what do you think has worked the best for you and had the biggest impact?

Blogs, reader websites and well placed ads.

If someone tells you they are thinking of publishing a novel themselves and they would like some advice on where to get started or some tips for success, what advice would you give?

First of all, write the best book you can before you even delve into self publishing.  The focus has to be there.  Then once you feel your book is the best it can be, find the genre you’re writing in and find the self published authors within that genre. Then I always direct them to self publishing websites to gather information.  JA Konrath’s blog is a great place to start. Also, go to every indie author website and blog you can find and any and all workshops on self publishing.  There’s a free online indie conference starting February 19th at

We all know covers are important; can you tell us about your cover story?

At first I was going to put a girl on the front cover, but then a girl on the cover didn’t seem creative enough.  It didn’t wow me. So I went searching for something more creative, more inspiring.  I wanted to find an image that could convey my story. I found the image and showed it to my twelve year old daughter and thirteen year old son. They both loved it so I then had my graphic artist tweak it to become exactly the right cover.

Bad reviews are inevitable; most every author gets at least some.  How do you handle things when you get a bad review so you don’t get hung up on it or possibly lash out which could cause more damage in the long run?

I know not everyone is going to love my work and I respect everyone’s opinion and want to hear what people have to say.  The only time I have a problem with a bad review is when it is not professional or seems unwarranted or will damage someone other than myself.  I read reviews and understand they are not always going to be glowing, but that’s what being an artist is all about.  

It’s your turn!  Ask my readers one question that you are dying to know the answer for.

Since it’s February, I have to ask them what was the last love story they read, and do they think we need more romance in YA?


About the Book:

Before my older sister Francesca died, I worked at the bakery and wrote songs, but now I write lists. Lists like ten reasons why it’s my fault Francesca’s dead, or five reasons why I should try and win Howie back, or one reason why I need to stop lying to everyone, including myself.

Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is an extraordinary novel about one family’s struggle to make sense of their world after losing a family member to addiction. Through sixteen-year-old Carmella’s eyes, we witness the courage and strength it takes to overcome the consequences of grief, guilt and co-dependency. WIth conviction and determination, Carmella shows us what can happen when we’re open to love, feel the pain of our loss, and find the courage to accept the truth of our lives.

About the Author

Shari A. Brady is a native Chicagoan and previously had so many careers she’s lost count. A graduate of Loyola University’s Business School and University of Chicago’s Creative Writing program, she’s finally a full-time writer, a dream she’s carried with her since she was twelve. She lives in suburban Chicago with two of the best kids ever and their shelter dog, Betty Queen Elizabeth. This is her first novel and her last career.


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  1. That ‘s a great interview and the book sounds very good. I love the cover and the synopsis.

    My answer would be, I love romance and will never get tired of it, though I don’t like love triangles and insta-love.

    Happy Valentine’s Day :)

  2. Loved this interview! I like that she knew what she wanted and went for it and how she wasn’t going to sit back and wait. This book sounds really good. The last love story I read that was a sweet love story was A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk, as for a tough love story, it was If You Stay by Courtney Cole.

  3. I love the interview. I am so thankful for indie authors. It is amazing how many of them are getting their books picked up by publishing companies now. If they wouldn’t have self-published, it makes you wonder if they would have had that opportunity. Plus, as readers we get the opportunity to read so many great books that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to. This book sounds awesome. I looking forward to reading it.

  4. I love it when authors appreciate honesty and understand that not everyone can enjoy their work. On the other hand, I respect reviewers who do their best to make their reviews as blanced as possible and try to see every angle and try to predict who would possibly like something they didn’t. So it’s a two-way street, just like everything else.
    I really enjoyed this interview.

  5. Great interview. It seems that Shari really made the best publishing decision for herself, and importantly, made sure her book was the best it could possibly be. Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye sounds like a beautiful story.

  6. I’ve read plenty of love stories, but the last GOOD love story I read was JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman!

    This is such a great series, Candace–thank you for hosting it. I definitely sympathize with indie authors in many ways, as the challenge of marketing and releasing your own book isn’t an easy thing. It’s nice to hear that some self-pubbed authors do understand the role that bloggers and reviewers play, and certainly the respect is usually therefore mutual.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. Oooo fun question! I’m a huge fan of all things romance, so I’m of course in favor or more romance in YA:) That being said though, I want it to be romance that’s meaningful, not tossed into the plot simply because it seems like YA has to have romance in order to sell. Sometimes it’s really refreshing to come across a YA book that focuses on family or friendship only, but I always find myself really drawn to the ones that feature some variety of romance:)

    Loved this interview!

  8. The last romance I read was a paranormal romance called The Better to See You. I do not read a lot of straight up contemporary romances in YA. However, I do not want insta-love or love triangles..i want depth.

  9. This was a great interview. I have to say that the unprofessional bad reviews reflect on the reviewer and not the book. People are usually smart enough to tell the difference.

    Oh and I do love romance in adult and YA, but not to just throw it in there because it is expected. I hate that. In those cases, do leave out the romance. I actually would like to see more of that, or slower romances in YA. Not a fan of insta-love in those books. At least take a week before falling head over heels. LOL

  10. Love this candid interview! To answer the question, the last really good love story I read was Eleanor & Park. I agree with Jenny, I think more romance is always good, provided it isn’t just thrown in haphazardly. Also the other relationships can’t suffer because of it. It’s always better when there are really strong friendships too. Otherwise it’s kind of an escapist bubble. Great question!

  11. Thanks for the candid interview! I haven’t really been reading romance lately… a lot of UF… but I definitely think we need more romance in YA… but sweet, romantic stories, not the tortured, emo, watered down 50 shades stuff that’s been popping up.

  12. Last Love story I read was The Time Traveler’s Wife. I suppose… more romance couldn’t hurt, but IMO, there’s enough of it. What should be gotten ridden of are love triangles. Waaaay too many of them now.

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