- What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
I have 29 self-published books as well as love being traditionally published. Some of the self-published titles were published with epubs that are now defunct. Some of the books agents and/or editors considered but passed on. The latest was a case of my publisher moving from sex and violence to inspirational. I still am writing on the highly successful series, The Highlanders—a Highland romance set in the time of King Henry I—but couldn’t remove the sex or violence without making my readers wonder what happened. So I went ahead and self-published Highland Rake, 3rd in the series.
I’m putting some of the titles into print—the more popular titles first. The YA fae series is extremely popular, so they’re all going into print. Dragon Fae (book 5) is just now available. Shadow Elf, another YA series, is also. I don’t have highspeed Internet where I live, so it makes it more difficult. But I did put Kiss of the Vampire (YA) into print. And also: Highland Rake, Lady Caroline and the Egotistical Earl, and Killing the Bloodlust. I read only print books myself so it’s nice to have another version for readers like me!
- 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?
On formatting, there’s a little bit of a learning curve—what works for one book site, might not for another. And book cover sizes are different for the different sites. But each of the sites has explanations on how to do it properly.
I’ve also learned a lot about cover art and so some of my books are my own, others I’ve purchased from cover artists.
- What did you do to promote your work?
I post that it’s up on my blog and give a link to it on FB and Twitter and Google +. I’ll add it to my blog, Shelfari, Goodreads, and my website. But then it’s off to working on the next book. That is always the biggest push for books.
- 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 sometimes is finding a picture or a cover that will work for the book. I have one I’m still having a time finding that right cover. It’s true that a cover can catch a potential reader’s eye, just so they will take a look at the book’s blurb. Other times, I’ve found the perfect cover that has launched a book.
- Can you list some Pros/Cons of self-publishing?
The cons: The distribution isn’t as great. Most brick and mortar stores are not interested in carrying your book. Setting up a book signing at these stores might be out of the question. For many, sales can be slow or not at all. You’re on your own with editing, or hiring an editor, who might or might not be great. The same with cover artists. Some are just not that great. And some are out of this world. It’s not based on money, either. Some great cover artists charge lower prices and some who charge high prices can have lackluster covers. And you’re on your own! J You have to decide title, editing, cover, promotion, even deadlines!
The pros: A successful book can take off that editors and agents wouldn’t give a nod to and you’ve got a winning series. With the fae, that’s happened. It’s helped to raise interest in all the other YA titles that I have out. The more you have in a series, the better. Highland Rake is doing very well. And I have another sequel coming.
- 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?
For my self-published titles, since last year.
Definitely, subsequent books help to sell earlier books. That’s the best promotion an author can do. Have the next book in a series out.
- Can you give a rough breakdown of your sales numbers from your first month to the present?
It would take too much time to go back and add it all up because I have so many books out and sell at a number of different sites, but let’s just say that I was working full time through this July, and decided that because of my self-published works, I was making enough to quit my job. And that was my goal. Instead of writing 40-45 hours a week and working a day job for another 40 hours, which meant an 80+ hour week, I’m able to spend all that time writing and promoting. I LOVE it. 🙂
- What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?
Keep learning how to write. Even if you have tons of books you’ve written, and published, it never hurts to keep learning how to write better.
- What genre(s) do you write in? How many books do you have out? Titles?
Paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance, contemporary romance, historical romance, YA paranormal romance, fantasy romance, scifi romance, romantic suspense, YA fantasy romance, YA urban fantasy
I have 29 self-published titles out.
- What do you love about the genre(s)?
I’m an eclectic reader so I LOVE to read everything and I love writing everything.
- Where can readers find you?
- Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
- What works do you have coming out in the future?
- There is a rumor going around that all self-pubbed books are shoddily created. What do you say to that?
Yes, some are. And some Legacy books are. I read one in a contest that was so poorly edited, I counted 156 bad mistakes, and many more that were just the kind of thing where 15 sentences in a row started with the word: He. The world was built with definite boundaries, and then the characters broke those world boundaries, but with no explanation why it could have been done. Just all kinds of plot holes. Yet that was with one of the Big 6.
So yes, some self-pubbed books are awful. Some have sold millions despite being poorly written!!! And some Legacy books are just as bad.
- What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
This is so individualistic. When I worked in the library, readers would ask for advice on books they could read. If they liked a particular author, I would suggest they read books that other readers had bought in addition to this one. So it would help readers to find authors who wrote in a similar vein. But just to come out and say, “I liked this, and you might, too,” wouldn’t work. Because what I like, they might not at all.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Eliza. I love self-publishing and traditional publishing. I feel they complement each other. In the end, there doesn’t have to be only one. 🙂
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality!”
About the Author
USA Today bestselling and an award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval romantic suspense, Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, that are personalized that have found homes all over the world. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses or gardening. Her family has roots in the Highlands of Scotland where her love of all things Scottish came into being. Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of the Heart of the Wolf series and the Heart of the Jaguar series, plus numerous other paranormal romance and historical romance novels.