Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie P. Smith.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am an American, multi-genre author of paranormal, romance, criminal suspense, and police procedural novels. All of my work is available in eBook and print, some are available in audio format. Titles can be purchased through all major book distributors.
I’ve always been an avid reader; I think that’s pretty common among authors. I remember being around six or seven when I first curled up in a quiet corner with the Boxcar Children — I was hooked. I read every one of those stories before I graduated to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy Mysteries. When I outgrew those, it was on to Agatha Christy.
As much as I loved to read about adventure and mystery, it just wasn’t enough. We lived in a rural area where we worked hard and played hard. I guess you could say I still do. When I’m not writing, you might find me riding my Harley on a quiet backroad or exploring the wilderness on my ATV as I indulge in my other passion — photography. I’ve been able to combine both of my creative outlets into one and use my own photos to create my book covers. This is sometimes challenging, but rewarding.
But, back to the beginning… to get through an afternoon weeding the large garden, mowing the lawn, or completing some other mundane, routine task —I’d imagine myself going on a grand adventure or solving a strange and complex mystery. Eventually, the stories found their way to the pages of an old notebook. I have to admit; I rarely completed an entire story from beginning to end in those early days, but I discovered my love for writing. As I got older, it became an outlet for me — a way to relax after an exhausting or difficult day.
Then, life interfered. I headed off to college where I graduated with an associate’s degree in marketing, a bachelor’s in business management and a master’s certificate in conflict resolution and negotiations. Creative writing was put aside while I focused on my career.
One summer, I landed a job as an intern for our local Sheriff’s Office. I initially believed this would be a short, part-time job. It turned into an amazing twenty-six-year career as a civilian (non-sworn) member of law enforcement. Most of my time was spent in the Special Operations Division where I worked closely with SWAT, Search & Rescue, the Motor Unit, K9, the Air Unit, and the Mounted Posse. During this time, I responded on callouts to man the command post, provided logistical support, and coordinated communications for SWAT and Search & Rescue. I was also a member of the Logistics Unit for our Child Abduction Response Team.
The work was exciting at times, heartbreaking at others, interesting, and always fulfilling. It also presented an opportunity to utilize my writing skills in a professional environment. I spent a lot of my time producing professional brochures, educational and public awareness campaigns, annual reports, web content, articles, and event programs. In 2014, as my career in law enforcement was nearing an end, I began to write for fun again. I published the first book of a paranormal series in July of 2014 and never looked back. In 2016, I retired from my ‘day job’ and currently work full-time writing and promoting myself and others through MPSmith Publishing. My novels are fun, exciting and action-packed; but, I’m also able to utilize the knowledge and experience I gained throughout my career to make them realistic, suspenseful, and accurate.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Very few successful roads are smooth roads. Succeeding as an author is no exception. There are basically two different paths an author can take; Traditional publishing or Independent publishing. Just that first step is a difficult one to maneuver. Each road has its own benefits and pitfalls. Ultimately, I decided to publish independently. The upside? I have complete control over my work. The downside? I have complete control (and responsibility) over my work.
One of the biggest struggles an author has to overcome is identifying the right target audience and then marketing to those specific readers. That’s after they figure out formatting, distribution, sales, etc. Fortunately, my combined education and experience provide an edge in this area. I have also partnered with like-minded professionals who support and promote each other. Networking in this way allows a level of exposure and success we could never achieve on our own.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with MPSmith Publishing – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As an author, I believe my knowledge and experience in law enforcement sets me apart from other authors in my genre. They say write what you know and, after twenty-six years, I know law enforcement. Writing criminal suspense or a police procedural story comes naturally for me. Rather than spending time researching procedures and tactics, I can spend my time creating compelling characters and crafting a suspenseful plot full of intrigue and mystery that compels the reader to keep turning pages until the very end.
In addition to writing, I established MPSmith Publishing in 2014. This is an internet-based company committed to supporting authors and other industry professionals through a wide range of marketing and promotional services. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Our services are geared toward supporting authors, offering advice, and producing marketing material that will assist our partners and clients in their quest to succeed.
In 2015, MPSmith Publishing launched Connections eMagazine. This is a quarterly publication that was created as a way to bring authors, readers, and bloggers together. The eMagazine is always FREE to both our readers and to authors who are looking for a way to promote a new release, sale, or event. It also features short stories and articles on a wide range of topics. This is mainly an online magazine, but we have recently decided to make it available through distributors like Amazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.
In 2018, MPSmith Publishing partnered with Goylake Publishing to expand our reach and our services. As a partner, I joined the editorial staff of Mom’s Favorite Read’s. This elite organization includes a talented group of international professionals who work closely with authors, teachers, librarians, and young adults to encourage reading, education and healthy living. In a relatively short amount of time, this group has flourished. We have opened an Amazon.UK eBook store and produce an eMagazine that is routinely an Amazon Best-Seller. Mom’s Favorite Read’s eMagazine, is a free monthly magazine that can be read on Issuu.com or downloaded through most eBook distributors. Our contributors are serious professionals who love to write. Teens and pre-teens interested in journalism or writing as a career have also been given the opportunity to publish articles and short stories in our magazine. Each edition is full of parenting tips, special offers, activities, and information on wellness and well-being.
MPSmith Publishing also offers a limited range of promotional services to fellow authors and industry professionals. These include eBook trailers, promo videos, audiobook sample videos, and brochures. I am able to utilize my education and knowledge of business and marketing to produce high-quality products at reasonable prices.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I always have multiple projects in the works. At the moment, I am working on Season 4 of my Paige Carter police procedural series, Book 4 in my Thin Blue Line criminal suspense series, and a couple paranormal/fantasy novels that should be completed within the next year or so.
This past year, I also broke into the audiobook market. I started with my Thin Blue Line series. Mount Haven is completed and available for purchase through all the major markets. Moondance Ridge (book 2) is currently in production and should be completed this fall. Subterfuge (book 3) will follow, with a tentative release date in early 2020. The first season of Paige Carter is also in production and I hope to have that completed by the end of 2019.
- Website: https://melaniepsmith.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mpsmithauthor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melaniepsmithauthor/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MPSmithAuthor
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/ConnectionsEMagazine/
Melanie P. Smith | MPSmith Publishing