Today’s interview is with attorney Sherri Jefferson, author of 23 Days At Montefiore: Murder, Mystery, and Malpractice.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
My name is Sherri Jefferson. I am a native New Yorker and reside in Georgia.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The title of my newest book is 23 Days At Montefiore: Murder, Mystery and Malpractice A Patient Advocate’s Odyssey.
Non Fiction (legal, medicine, and drama)
3) What is the book about?
Inspired by true events, 23 Days At Montefiore journeys the experience of a patient advocate who exposes first hand accounts of patient abuse, neglect, and malpractice. The main character in the story is Lucy, an elderly woman.
It delivers 23 days of torment, painstaking and heart wrenching human drama of doctors and medical professionals licensed to steal and kill.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
The concept for 23 Days At Montefiore is premised upon real life experiences during my 23 days at Montefiore.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
I began writing the book on June 7, 2019 and finished it on June 8, 2019. Thereafter, on June 9, 2019 the book was edited and reedited. So, it took only 2 days to actually write.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Yes, I learned a lot of things from the project. Pre, during and post writing, I learned as follows:
Pre: I learned that it is great to pour myself into a project (writing) and not be consumed by the outcome in that moment. Often, we interfere with our flow of thought because we are too busy critiquing ourselves about what the end product should be like. I learned to simply flow in the moment. Unlike my other books, I did not write to a specific audience of readers, I simply wrote my truth.
During. While writing, I learned that my experiences during the 23 Days At Montefiore had taken a greater toll on my life than expected. The adverse impact is life changing. The abuse that I witnessed and experienced is embedded so deep.
Post After writing the book, I learned that when everyone else says ‘no’, or seeks to grossly impede your creativity or trample upon your truth to sell books or are too afraid to let truth stand, that you must go it alone. Stand on truth and be the backbone of your true self.
Get your story out there! If it blesses, educates, engages, empowers or encourages only one person, then that was your purpose.
A major publishing house was concerned that a book about patient advocacy was not a large marketing space to sell books.
Another was concerned about the tone of the book and wanted it toned down. I refused because it was more important to present truth. Compromise is necessary in life, but there is a time and place to stand regardless of what others think, do or say.
In a world where our thoughts and communications are subject to scrutiny and freedom of speech and press is challenged like never before, we must stand for something or fall for anything.
This is not my first book, but this book is doing extremely well despite the naysayers, closed doors, and the literary agents and publishing houses who said there was no market to sell books about patient advocacy.
Unlike my other books or years of experience in publishing, this book reiterates the saying you can always learn something new. From the publishing side, I learned a lot about working directly with retailers and the distribution companies.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
The success tips are copyright your manuscript before sending it to be edited, then within 60 days send or upload to the copyright office your final copy. Often, people use online editors or companies to provide publishing services before they copyright their work.
Create a blog or author page (site) not simply a social media platform.
New authors, build yourself around your genre, especially non fiction. Building a niche includes public speaking, volunteering, blogging, and association.
Get your book in the market space with distributors like Baker Taylor, Ingram and ABC Wholesalers, which is exclusive for Books A Million.
I tell people who are self published authors that self published also means ‘self publicity,’ you are responsible for your journey and book success. Create marketing tools that are genre specific. My book is about legal, medicine and social science. Within this space are a pool of readers who are doctors, lawyers, medical and law school personnel, public affairs and public policy, business, political science and politicians and, most of all patients! Every household in America has a patient, someone who is, was, or will go to the hospital.
So, when a major publishing house or literary agent tells you there is no market for your work, you create your own marketing plan based upon your subject.
Check on the success of your book by making sure the metadata information is correct in the retailer system, books in print, and distributor. Check to see if the BISAC (browse subject category) is accurate or working for your book. You may have to change it to find the right niche.
Do not use an incorrect BISAC. There are many books in the wrong category and some purposefully. Common problem with self published authors looking to get an edge.
If you see a problem with your book product information report it immediately. Make sure your sales reports are reflective of your actual sales and that neither the retailers nor distributor is taken advantage of you.
Do not be afraid to speak up and stand up.
Make sure you purchase your ISBN from Bowker not independent retailers who sell them for less and in many cases, thereby making them your publisher.
Although Amazon Kindle uses AISN for Ebooks, you can request to add your ISBN to the product information page.
Contact major bookstores to schedule author events. Attend author events to meet other authors and participants.
Is everything free, free and free! No, not a free book giveaway. Rather, use your book to create an expert niche and agree to do free public speaking to create buzz around your topic. Get a T-Shirt or coffee mugs with your book title or create a hashtag. Give those away, but not the book. There is a time when the goal is book sells not giveaway. Alternatively, create promotional packages that includes the book and promotional item for sale.
I have not given any 23 Days At Montefiore books away for free on any platform, not even to family or friends. In the past, I gave away thousands of books or eBook downloads. No more! That is a slice of the market. Your family, friends, colleagues, and others should support your craft.
Finally, do not rely on the hype of retail book reviews by verified purchasers, or readers. Some books sell with no reviewer at all. Others, may only have a few. Investigations by both government, media and private sector find most retailers reviews to be fake.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I love reading non fiction books in the social science, historical, legal and medical subjects.
I welcome reading books by new authors and will review their work. However, I never want my opinion to be the determining factor in whether an author moves forward with their dream, goal or desire to write.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
I do not share my favorite book of all time as it is a marketing response. It is like a commercial. To do so means that I am promoting that book as the best read.
Marketing is a profitable industry. A review is one thing, but a favorite read of all times is like a commercial. It is one thing to read a book to share with others. It’s another to exclaim it’s the best book ever.
I have read many books, I think they are all great in their own right.
Books that interest me are factual, balanced, and from the gut books that risk it all to tell the truth. Unapologetically!
11) Fun Question: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I use three reading devices. Each serve their own purpose. A universal reading device would fair better than having to meet downloads for epub, PDF, azw, and other formats. Retailers know how to create platforms to make reading profitable, but I still prefer an old fashion book. Hail to bookstores and libraries.