Do you have questions about publishing, writing and designing a cover? What about marketing? I am here to answer any of your questions... Ask Me Anything!

Roxana Nastase
Feb 7, 2018

Hello, there! I am Roxana Nastase (aka Rowena Dawn) and I wrote five crime novels and six romance novels, which I formated, designed the covers myself (with one exception), published and marketed them myself.

I am also Editor in Chief of a Literary Magazine - Scarlet Leaf Review and of the small indie press Scarlet Leaf located in Toronto, Canada. I format the online and print formats of the magazine and I am the 'mastermind' behind the creation and development of the magazine.

Well, ask me anything you want... 

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My books & Author Page.



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What's it like being an author? Do you still continue thinking of stories even when you're not writing?

Feb 14, 6:31AM EST0

All the time. I started writing the ideas down wherever I am because I am afraid I might forget them. Being a writer doesn't mean you only write but that your mind never cease to create new plots;

Feb 14, 8:52AM EST0

What is the best feedback you’ve gotten so far from one of your readers?

Feb 13, 12:14PM EST0

I had a reader sending me an email - although I have no idea how she found it, and she explained in detail what she liked about the book. That was the best feedback I have ever had. Too bad she didn't write a review but still she made me happy

Feb 13, 7:46PM EST0

Do you design your own book covers? If so, what are some of the best tips you can share with those still working on their book cover?

Feb 12, 8:29PM EST0

Yes, I do. I bought some book covers in the past and I didn't have the feeling they conveyed what I wanted to say. So, now, I do design them. I found that the best thing is to convey the content of the book but not very straightforward. If there's no mystery left.... 

Anyway, it is important that you feel that the cover is what should be. I never give up working on it until I am satisfied with the colors, font and image. My advice is: never settle. I did it in the past and it reflected on my sales. Once I decided to change those covers, sales came again. 

Feb 12, 10:18PM EST0

How lond did it take you to finish writing, "A Churchgoing Woman" and like you mentioned you started with different protagnist but ended up chosing someone else, were you satisfied with your first draft of A Churchgoing Woman?

Feb 11, 4:11PM EST0

Actually, I wrote that novel within 5 days and the change in protagonist happened swiftly, without even noticing. After I finished writing the first draft, I only reviewed it once and sent it to editing. I didn't change anything and even today, this is my favorite novel (maybe together with An Immigrant -  I like that one as well).  

Feb 11, 6:25PM EST0

It's clearly seen that you have worked hard to reach where you are at right now. With so much experience in hand, do you help young/budding authors in writing or publishing their books?

Feb 10, 9:32PM EST0

I cannot help them writing but I do try to help them publishing their books through Scarlet Leaf Press. I have published several books written by authors that have not been published before, regardless their age, and some of them have been successful. 

Feb 10, 10:33PM EST0

What are criteria to include articles, short stories in your magazine if I consider sending one? 

Feb 10, 10:07AM EST0

It must be original. I don't mind if the submission has already been published somewhere else (if you have the right to republish it, of course). There is no criteria considering the subject or page numbers . I would prefer a word doc but if that is not possible, the text should be pasted in the body of the email. Check for more info. 

Feb 10, 10:17AM EST0
Show all 7 replies

According to you what are some of the most cleverly designed book covers that you have seen?

Feb 10, 6:40AM EST0

This is a very tricky question. I've seen many book covers which I liked amd I can't choose one for an example. I wanted to come up with something and I checked a few books on Amazon, but unfortunately, I couldn't find one I liked. Maybe Kain und Abel (Germa version) by Jeffrey Archer. 

Feb 10, 9:18AM EST0

If you were to send one recently-published book back in time to 2000 to be read by every literate person in the world, what would it be?

Feb 9, 12:38PM EST0

Are we talking about one of my books? If that's the case, I would say An Immigrant. If not, I would send a book that doesn't picture the period 2000 - 2018. I wouldn't want to taint the historical perspective. In conclusion, I wouldn't sent a lirterary book. Writing this answer, I question myself about the purpose of doing so. No book would make a lot of splash to someone from the turn of millenium. Had I sent a book back to the 17th century for instance, then any book would have had a huge impact. 

Feb 9, 12:45PM EST0

Is it possible for you to make a living from your self-published books? What are signs of an unprofessionally self-published book?

Feb 9, 7:05AM EST0

I think it is possible to make a living but in time.  It takes a few years, though. 

People say that unprofessionally self-published book will show bad formatting and editing. However, I have just read a few books published by one of the five big publishers and the format was one of the worst possible and you can't imagine how many editing mistakes I found.

In the end, a book is as good as the reviewers say. I saw very good books, with above average editing and formatting with very bad reviews, which propelled them to the lowest of ranks, and books with very bad format and awful editing, which got extremely good reviews just because the subject appealed to tender feelings. 

So, in conclusion, everything is subjective and it is not up to me to comment or give advice in the matter. 

Last edited @ Feb 9, 10:02AM EST.
Feb 9, 10:01AM EST0

Could you share some light on how are profits split for a published book?

Feb 9, 6:38AM EST0

It depends on how you publish the book. If you go with a publisher, you will get a certain percentage. It depends on the publisher. I saw royalties going from 11% to 70%. If you publish yourself, it depends on the platform on which you publish. For an eBook on Amazon, you can get 30% to 70%. For the paperback, the calculation is a bit more complicated. They will substract the cost of the print and their commission and if anything is left, then you get a percentage. I had a book sold on for which I got zilch. Apparently, there was nothing left after they took off the cost and their profit. I had to increase the price for the book for that site, but as result, no other book sold there. For different percentages, you need to check with the platform on which you publish and sell. I use Amazon, Draft to DIstribution, IngramSpark, Create Space, StreetLib and for audio books ACX.  

Feb 9, 10:16AM EST0

What are the some of the basic elements involved while designing a novel cover?

Feb 8, 8:23PM EST0

The most important: subject of the book, eye-catching, complementary colors, respecting Amazon terms (Amazon still remains the most important platform for distribution) and personal pleasure. I was in the situation of changing a cover for which I paid quite well just because I didn't really feel anything for it. Of course, you also need to know how to use at least one designing software or if not Kindle Cover creator. 

Feb 8, 8:43PM EST0

about dinajpur board schoolership result

Feb 8, 12:30PM EST0

Beg your pardon?

Feb 8, 12:59PM EST0

How can one display a cover photo of a UX design project? Can it be designed with only Adobe Photoshop?

Feb 8, 8:53AM EST0

In my humble opinion, yes. Adobe Photoshop is good for such designs. 

Feb 8, 9:07AM EST0

Before you became a writer did you used to write fanfiction? Like in your teens?

Feb 8, 8:39AM EST0

I never wrote fanfiction. I wrote poems and fiction. 

Feb 8, 9:07AM EST1

Would you consider the marketing approach regarding books within Canada different from other countries?

Feb 8, 4:43AM EST0

Not really. Marketing is almost the same. 

Feb 8, 9:06AM EST0

What are your personal thoughts on plagiarism?

Feb 7, 9:15PM EST0

I can't abide plagiarism. If someone doesn't have anything to say, they should forget about writing. Plagiarism is synonym with theft. 

Feb 7, 9:21PM EST0

In the marketing of your books who are the audiences, you have focused on?

Feb 6, 2:56PM EST0

As I write both crime novels and romance, I have to focus on at least two segments: the avid readers of thrillers and the avid readers of romance. Both segments are quite extensive and something they mingle. 

Feb 7, 9:20PM EST0

Are there other Authors that you are friends with? How have they helped you become a better writer?

Feb 6, 12:24PM EST0

Yes, I do have friends among authors and I always welcome their comments and advice, even though I don't always follow them. 

Feb 7, 9:19PM EST1

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

Feb 6, 10:38AM EST0

I have three book series already. It is addictive. I find myself plotting the action for the following books in the series all the time. 

Feb 7, 9:18PM EST0

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Feb 6, 9:26AM EST0

I have never thought of that. Probably someone like Paul Adrian for Victor and Keira Kneightley. 

Feb 6, 3:13PM EST0
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