I’m going to start an indie author interview series, in which I’ll interview fellow authors about our approach to self-publication! Check out the questions here, and if you’d like to share your own approach, sign up here!
The purpose of these interviews is to connect with other authors, inform upcoming authors, connect with readers, and have fun!
Normally, I’d do this in a chat-style with other authors, so it feels more personal and less like a cookie-cutter questionnaire, but I’d like to start this off by answering the questions myself.
So let’s get started!
Why have you decided to self-publish?
The sad truth is, that despite my efforts to find a literary agent to represent my work, none of the agents I queried could connect to the work in a way that was necessary for them to represent it. Some people say, “Well, just shelf the book, and write another one,” but I believe too much in The Cycle of the Six Moons to just give up on it. I believe it’s worth putting out in the world, so if I have to do it myself, then I will.
Would you pursue traditional publication?
I’m not totally against it. I still think that the professionals who have experience within the industry can do a lot better as far as publicity. I’m not sure if they would be interested in picking up The Cycle of the Six Moons to publish traditionally, but I probably would query future novels.
Do you have an editor? Did you edit your own manuscript? Do you have advice for other authors editing it themselves or hiring someone else?
I don’t have an editor. I edited The Cycle of the Six Moons myself. I don’t really recommend it, however, I know that some people trust themselves to do it and don’t really wanna dish out money to pay a professional. If you have no other choice and absolutely want to put your baby out in the world without professional editing, then my main advice is to read your manuscript as many times as possible, in different fonts, on different devices, to catch as many errors as you can. Read the text aloud and make sure it flows well.
Where have you decided to publish your books? (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.)
The books are available on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and paperbacks are printed through CreateSpace. The print copies are available on Amazon, and signed copies (for slightly cheaper!) are available on my website store. Check ’em out here!
I have noticed that I’ve sold more paperbacks than ebooks, so I think it’s definitely worth publishing your book as widely as possible. I’ve heard advice against publishing exclusively with any company. You don’t know who you’re going to bar from reading your work by granting exclusive rights to any one company.
Did you format your own book? Did you run into any trouble formatting it? Do you have any advice to fellow authors about formatting their books?
I formatted the books myself. Kindle was probably the easiest. Once I read up on Smashwords, that was also a breeze. Nook, however, is a pain, but I still feel like it’s a necessary evil to make the book available through Barnes and Noble and not through Smashwords.
I also formatted the print book myself, which was a lot more fun than any of the ebook versions. I can use different font faces!! However, with CreateSpace, make sure that the text is True Type Font (it’ll end in .ttf), otherwise, CreateSpace won’t recognize the font, turn it into a bitmap, and the font will be fuzzy in print.
Advice: Make sure you check the book preview and that there aren’t any issues with the formatting. Indentation is a common problem I’ve seen in formatting ebooks.
Who created your cover art?
Brandon Lacey created my cover art! Check out his DeviantArt here: http://blue-paint-sea.deviantart.com/ Brandon and I were working on a video game together. He’s one of the concept artists, and when it came time to making cover art, I didn’t want to do it myself. I wanted a vector-style, simplistic but pretty silhouette cover. I knew Brandon could do that better, so I recruited him for his services. He’s great to work with. He has a lot of great suggestions, implements my suggestions, and if we have a conflicting vision, then we discuss it and come to a consensus.
What have you found most helpful in marketing your book? What have you found least helpful? Is there anything you want to warn authors to stay far, far away from?
Outside of my own friends and word of mouth, I think what has been most effective are blog tour book reviews. I’ve yet to find something more effective, but I think bloggers are willing to get the word out, especially if they’ve actually read and reviewed the book.
However, I don’t think promotional blog posts are as effective as review posts. I think it really helps when the blogger takes the time to write their own opinion about the post, rather than the author providing everything within the post.
Giveaways help get the name of your book out, but I haven’t had luck in any of the winners writing up a review for the book. In that case, I suppose it depends on what’s more important to you: spreading word of your book, or reviews. (I prefer reviews.) Fortunately, I haven’t found crossed any marketing methods that seem scammy.
How do you connect with your readers?
I’m most active on Facebook! I also don’t mind if readers send me an e-mail or hit me up on Goodreads. I have a Twitter, too, but I’m not really active on it. I feel like an idiot when it comes to Twitter.
I try to comment on personal blog reviews of my books, but not on Goodreads, since it seems to be frowned upon. I like to thank them for taking the time to read and review, and sometimes they respond and we can start up a conversation!
What do you love about being an indie author? Do you hate anything about being an indie author? I love having freedom about what exactly is going to end up in the book. I love having control over the cover design and the paperback formatting. I thought I would hate marketing my own book, and while I still have a lot to learn, so far it’s been fun. There are some things I’m iffy about, like approaching people, “This is why you should read my book!” Overall, though, I like to think of new and innovative ways to get the word out. I’ve made bookmarks, I’ve slipped business cards into YA books at bookstores, I’m working on a book trailer… The creative liberty is great. I don’t know how different it would be if I had a publisher and if I had to run everything by them first.
Would you like to see your book in another medium? Audiobook, film, TV series, video game…?
Hehe, absolutely! I only have promotional “audiobook”-style shorts (check ’em out here!). If I do have an official audiobook, I would want it fully voice acted, with sound effects and music, just like these productions. I’d need a budget for that, though.
The rest of it is wishful thinking. I’d prefer an animated series over a live-action film, though. And I would love, love, love a video game! Of course, if you’ve read The Cycle of the Six Moons, I’m sure you would be able to tell.