Welcome back to another week of the self-published interview series! This week’s author is my good friend, Jennifer Bray-Weber! *Cheers and shouts*
- What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
I had an award-winning book that had made the rounds, getting oh-so-close, but the publishers were holding out. The industry is changing rapidly. My ear had been to the ground, listening, learning. It occurred to me I might be missing the train, and for what? One day, I simply decided I couldn’t wait for the publishers to catch up to 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?
My approach to writing has never changed. Write the best book I can. I edit as I go and reedit as needed. I have peeps that critique once I’m done spit-shining. Being a bit of a control freak, I have a very precise idea of how I want to package my product. This shows in my covers. I had a talented young lady put my ideas to work on my first cover for my pirate romance Blood and Treasure, and I was very happy. But once I hired Hot Damn Designs (highly recommend!) to do the cover for my novella Beneath the Water’s Edge, I realized I needed to brand the books. Blood and Treasure’s cover was redesigned to match my dark, adventuresome, pirate romance series and Shazam! my sales improved with the new look.
- What did you do to promote your work?
Besides standing on the street corners wearing a sandwich board with a stack of books at my feet? I run ads on social media sites, hit a few blogs, run a sale, and do giveaways.
- What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?
Formatting is daunting. But I manage to muddle through eventually. However, I get bitch-slapped by marketing. There has been no one surefire method when promoting a book. What works today may not won’t work tomorrow. It’s all very hit and miss. Lots of time and money can be eaten up in marketing.
The easiest part of self-publishing? Cashing the check, of course.
- Can you list some Pros/Cons of self-publishing?
Self-promoting and time management when self-promoting
Trying to figure out the distributors different formatting guidelines and following through.
Complete control. (mwuahahaha) From cover art, to distribution, to sales prices, I own it.
Direct sales. Money magically showing up in my bank account is pretty awesome.
The ability to make any changes I deem necessary at any time.
Not having a shelf life.
Having the published book go ‘live’ within hours rather than months.
- 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?
My first book came out in May 2011, followed 8 months later by my novella. I also had two books published through Carina Press on the heels of the novella. It is very difficult to gauge whether or not the new releases contributed to more sales. But a wise, bearded man, in a flowing black cloak, and feather quill in hand once said, the more books one has published, the more visibility and sales one will garner. Or something like that.
- Can you give a rough breakdown of your sales numbers from your first month to the present?
I’m terrible with charts and reports, so I don’t have an accurate breakdown to share. Don’t get me wrong, I do track the numbers in a hodgepodge sort of way. I’m just not sure how correct they are. But I will say my sales have been steadily rising. All my books have been consistently in the top 1-3% of Amazon’s Best Seller’s Paid Kindle rankings. I can’t complain.
- What advice can you offer to anyone deciding to self-publish?
Get support. Whether hooking up with someone who’s already been in the trenches, or joining a community dedicated to indie authors, there’s no need to go it alone. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go with a little help from friends.
- What genre(s) do you write in? How many books do you have out? Titles?
I am the author of the dark, steamy, fun, historical Romancing the Pirate series. Currently, three novels and one novella from the series are available.
Blood And Treasure
A Kiss in the Wind
The Siren’s Song
Beneath The Water’s Edge
- What do you love about the genre(s)?
I am quite fascinated by history. People from long ago are much the same as people of today. Only the circumstance of time and technology are different. I love weaving the darker side of human nature with the spice of true romance. Historical flavor, events, and setting, enhance those adventures.
- Where can readers find you?
At the beach, mostly. Or doing laundry. Oh, you mean in the virtual world.
MuseTracks blog – http://musetracks.wordpress.com/
Facebook – http://on.fb.me/zvXd0a
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/jbrayweber
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/jbrayweber/
Twitter – http://musetracks.wordpress.com/
- Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
All my books are available digitally. A Kiss in the Wind and The Siren’s Song are available in audio books. And Blood and Treasure and Beneath the Water’s Edge are available in print.
Amazon – http://amzn.to/NaFUiD
Carina Press – http://bit.ly/GBTq67
Audible – http://bit.ly/PWMAkL
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jennifer-bray-weber
All Romance (ARe) – http://bit.ly/LSVIGV
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jbrayweber
- What works do you have coming out in the future?
I am working on the 4th installment of The Romancing the Pirate series titled Clash of the Tides. I also hope to get started on a few new projects in the very near future, as well.
- There is a rumor going around that all self-pubbed books are shoddily created. What do you say to that?
There are traditionally published books that are shoddily created, too. We’ve all read one. Seriously, I’ve read books that had me scratching my head wondering how it ever got into print. It is my belief that some publishing companies get complacent and rely on their stars to drive sales and camouflage missteps. On the flip side, there are authors who publish books before they are ready. That hurts the author. Readers will not give an author a second chance if they appear not to put the effort in creating the best damn book they can.
- What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read?
Most of us don’t buy clothes off the rack without trying it on first. The same principle applies here. If a book cover or title catches your eye, read the blurb, check out the reviews, read an excerpt. Still not sure? Go to the author’s website. Get a feel for how they present themselves professionally. Give these indie authors a chance. If you find one you like, be sure to tell your friends. Especially if that author is me. 😉
There are endless amounts of great stories waiting to be discovered by you!