I have a GREAT line-up of authors over the next couple of months for the self-published author series. To start, I am going to answer the questions myself–I thought it was only fair considering I too am a self-published author.
Don’t forget to check back next week (5/21/12) for Marie Force’s interview.
What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
The first book I self-published was anthology of erotic Highlander short stories that I had the rights reverted to me from my original publisher. I did that for a few other back titles. Then I decided to put up my medieval novel that my first agent had shopped around without success. ‘Twas a story I loved and I didn’t think it belonged buried on my hard-drive never to see the light of day.
What went into the process? Writing, editing, cover design, formatting, etc… Share your ups and downs and how you went about it. If you used a service from a someone, could you share who?
For the anthology, it had already been professionally edited. I brushed it up, bought a cover pic, tried my hand at formatting and posted it on Amazon. Several months later I published it on Barnes and Noble and then later on Smashwords. It was a trial learning all the processes that went into it, but in the end it was worth it.
What did you do to promote your work?
For the anthology I did very little promotion. The titles were already extremely popular before I had the rights reverted. For my original medieval, A LADY’S CHARADE, I submitted for reviews, did guest blogs, gave away copies, read excerpts at book events. I also made the title free for a couple of weeks as well.
What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?
The hardest part for me is all the time that has to be put into producing and selling the actual product–not the writing itself, but all the stuff I didn’t know how to do before and even now that I do, the time it takes. The easiest part is uploading it to the various sites.
Can you list some Pros/Cons of self-publishing?
Pros: Higher royalties, more control.
Cons: A lot more work that takes away from writing time. Not as much exposure as there is with a publisher.
How long have your book(s) been out? How long between books if you have multiple sales—and if you have multiples did you see a bump in sales with subsequent publication?
I self-pubbed my first book (THE HIGHLAND JEWEL SERIES) in late December of 2010. A LADY’S CHARADE came out in June 2011. Between those dates I put out a few other backlist titles. And recently I made the anthology stories available as single books. I definitely have seen a bump in sales with each subsequent book that is published–and that includes with my works published with my two current publishers (Ellora’s Cave & Carina Press).
Can you give a rough breakdown of your sales numbers from your first month to the present?
The very first month I had 76 books sell. The highest month I’ve had so far sold over 1000 copies. I see the sales taper on and off depending on month, holidays and books that are releasing. I make steady sales. I could not support my entire family, BUT I am making more than I was when I worked full-time seven years ago.
What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?
Put out the best product you can. That means its edited (by someone other than you–even if that is your crit partners), has a nice cover, a compelling book blurb. Get reviews. Do a blog tour. You’ll need to do a lot of work promoting your initial books. And most importantly–keep writing. The best way to sell books is to have books releasing.
What genre(s) do you write in? How many books do you have out? Titles?
I write historical romance (medieval/Regency) and erotic Highlander time-travel.
A Lady’s Charade; A Gentleman’s Kiss; Men of the Sea Series: Her Captain Returns, Her Captain Surrenders, Her Captain Dares All; The Highland Jewel Series: Warrior in a Box, Lady in a Box, Love in a Box; Edit Your Book in a Month
I also write middle grade novels under the name M. Leigh Ingles. There are two titles out currently: The Mystery of the Old Black Diary and The Mystery at 321 Chestnut Street.
What do you love about the genre(s)?
I love to be transported through time to another place. I am obsessed with history! I love happy endings. I love alpha heroes and independent, feisty heroines!
Where can readers find you?
Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple I-Books, Smashwords, Kobo, Sony
What works do you have coming out in the future?
I am currently working on a Scottish medieval–the first in a series. I’m hoping to release it this summer!
Are you participating in any reader contests?
Yes! I am doing a summer blog hop tour. See the widget on the side bar 🙂
There is a rumor going around that all self-pubbed books are shoddily created. What do you say to that?
I say that there are some–true. I could say the same thing about some traditionally published books. But that is not true of them all–traditionally or self-published. I have read some really amazing self-published books that I fell in love with. There are self-pubbed authors making the lists. If the author truly cares about their readers they will put out a quality product. Read the reader reviews, read about the author, read the free excerpts.
What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
Choose a genre you love to read–or a genre you want to try. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Read the reader reviews. Read the excerpts–hopefully you’ll be hooked within the first few pages.