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Interview with Self-Published Author Timothy M. Braun

As part of our self-published author interview series, today, we talk to fiction writer Timothy M. Braun. Timothy wrote, “When The Angels Cry-The Story of Arielle.” Here’s what the author had to say about his novel and the self-publishing process:

Tell us about your self-published book.

The purpose of my fiction novel is to acknowledge the small, daily miracles in our lives that most of us write off as coincidences. In the Foreword, I give several accounts of these in my own life, which I now believe were actually divine interventions. In the winter of 2008, I had a cardiac arrest out in the desert of Arizona, miles from nowhere, and survived. I detail the several, unbelievable coincidences that had to come together in those critical minutes for me to be alive today. As only about eight percent of cardiac arrests outside of a hospital survive, it was pretty miraculous.

About a month after being discharged from the hospital with a new pacemaker/defibrillator implanted in my chest, I had a very vivid dream. This was memorable as I am one of those people who never remember my dreams, but this one, I did. When I got up, I immediately wrote four pages of notes on a legal sized notepad. The dream had every chapter, the names of the characters and the name of the book. Those notes became my novel.

This may sound unbelievable, and I may sound like a religious zealot, but I'm not. Although I would describe myself as spiritual, I'm not religious. I've probably been to church three or four times in the past forty years. I wasn't a writer, but the story was so inspirational, it had to be written. I was driven.

The novel, "When The Angels Cry-The Story of Arielle," is about a very special little girl, who comes into the life of Rebecca. Rebecca had a wonderful life; a brand new, beautiful baby boy, a loving husband and a great job as an ER nurse. She had it all. She enjoyed an existence most people only dreamed about--until early one morning it all came crashing down. She found her son dead in his crib from S.I.D.S. She cursed God, the heavens and all who resided there. How could He do this to her? Her depression so engulfed her, there seemed no end to her sorrow. After months of begging Rebecca to see a doctor or therapist, her husband left her.

A year after her son's death, she apologized to God and asked for His forgiveness. Her life was forever changed. Then, she finds an infant, Arielle, on her doorstep, but possessing something so mysterious she can't bring herself to believe.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish after sending out dozens of query letters to agents and receiving the standard, “It’s not what we are looking for” response. I knew from research that it was almost impossible for new authors, especially older ones, to get published through conventional means.

When I looked at the statistics of percentage of queries that are accepted by agents (1-2%), multiply the percentage of books agents accepted that they sell (25%??), then the percentage of those books published by mainstream publishers that sell over five thousand books (13-14%), it doesn’t take long to figure out first-time authors are better off publishing and marketing their work by themselves. At least you are in charge of your own fate.

After speaking to some first-time, traditionally published authors and doing more research, I also found that most of them didn’t make much, if any, money on their hard work. The publishers didn’t put any money or effort into marketing, and they were very upset at the contracts they had to sign. There was no control, no money, no recognition, and lots of frustration.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

My biggest challenge was the editing process. Each time I thought the book was ready for printing, I would find several more mistakes, typos, or problems with continuity. It was very time consuming but definitely worth the time and effort to put forth a quality product.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

I would probably have to say the educational process I had to undergo to learn how the publishing industry works, and at the same time, the most frustrating. I spent a lot of time just learning about the differences between “self-publishing” and “subsidy” or “vanity” businesses and the costs. I wanted to find the best place to have a superior product printed at the most competitive price. I understand companies making money on the processes of making a book; I refuse to keep paying them down the road for each copy I order.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Do your homework first. There is a lot of information to digest, but it will be to your advantage in the end. Position yourself to make as much money as you can from the sales of your book. Learn marketing, as it will be your biggest challenge after your book is published.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My book has been out almost a week, and I’ve pretty much gone through my first two orders of 135 books. I am placing my third today. That will make two hundred books that I hope will be gone by next week after two, book signings. Our new publishing company, Sangre de Cristo Publishing, Inc., will have another book out soon, “The Contest,” a mystery/suspense novel. If anyone would like to contact me about our publishing company or for information on self-publishing, contact me at More information about my book can be seen along with a sample chapter at

Thanks so much Timothy. Your novel sounds very interesting.

How about you? Do you have questions about self-publishing and selling books online? Please write to me here or at I’m here to help! Thanks!