Category Archives: Publishing your novel

What do successful indie authors say about achieving success?

During the month of August I interviewed five successful Indie authors on this blog. You can click on them down the sidebar.

Here is a summary of of their advice to writer’s and similarities about their approach:

BE DILIGENT

~ Treat Writing Like work

It was clear from all of the authors interviewed that they took all aspects of writing novels, marketing and the publishing world seriously. Although many of us may not aspire to the dizzy heights of employing staff like Adam Croft ~ most of us commission people to do the cover art, formatting and editing. We aim for a professional product our readers expect of us.

I’ll let you into a little secret here. I met Adam when he was promoting his first ever crime novel, giving it away free on Amazon through Smashwords ~ and so there’s nothing wrong with aspirations of grandeur! (and possibilities)

Writing seriously IS HARD WORK!

BE CONSISTENT

~ Build your audience by expectation

Although many authors dabble in different genre and some are successful doing that, it is the consistency of publishing in a certain genre, an awareness of your audience and regular releases of books in a series that appears to build success. It may take time, but patience is then rewarded.

(If you click on the links below they will take you to the author pages on Amazon)

I know if I buy an Anne Allen book that it will be some kind of mystery, reflect a period in history and be set on the island of Guernsey, usually in at least two time periods.

Tony Riches writes historical fiction, researching characters in history who are less well known and it is obvious from his books that he has explored the places and well as also the lives of the people.

Margaret Skea is also a  competent historical fiction writer, often with some mystery adding a different dimension.

Adam Croft writes crime. His plots are quirky and increasingly complex, but all of his books are ‘a good read.’

Maggie Anderson writes Regency Romance which has a great following and are easy to identify.

Skimming over their author pages gives a clear picture of what to expect if buying their books.

BE CREATIVE AND AHEAD OF THE GAME

Adam Croft was into Audio Books well before they ‘took off.’ Margaret Skea has taken the opportunity during lock down of launching her books on audio too. With audio increasingly popular and profitable, why are more of us not taking up this opportunity? (note to self!) At first Audio books were mainly in the realms of libraries but not anymore.

Many of us are glad we ignored the doomsayers about e books and have always diversified into both paperback and e book. This is vital in today’s odd world.

BY GIVING YOU RECEIVE ~ IN MARKETING

I am a great believer in this message. No author is an island unto themselves. (a Diana mis-quote!)

Avenues for marketing are limited these days for those of us who were used to speaking to an audience, having stalls at craft fairs and book signing. There’s a plethora of different ways though, to promote your books on line. Margaret Skea, author of Historical Fiction, gives the good advice that it is essential to ‘give as much or more than you take’ when marketing on Social Media.

Help other authors out and they are more willing to support you.

I certainly feel the same. Author Tony Riches is always promoting other people’s work and because I love his books I trust his choice of books he promotes. It’s a win win situation. He has also given me tips along the way and pointed me in the direction of marketing opportunities, such as The Coffee Book Club Tour.

Maggi Anderson mentions the importance of a newsletter ~ so important and often overlooked.

… and finally just get writing!

If you would like to do a guest blog between now and Christmas on this blog then please read:

Throw a Dice for Memories of a Character in your novel

Then leave your contact details as a comment on my blog or email diana@dianamaryjackson.co.uk

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Filed under Blogs, Guest author, Marketing your novel, Publishing your novel, Social Media Networking, Writing

Anne Allen ~ 2nd Summer Special of Successful Indie Authors

I’m especially pleased to have this interview with Anne Allen; a successful Indie Author of ‘The Guernsey Novels’. Being a lover of The Channel Islands I have read several of Anne’s books.

I hope this will appeal to writers, fans and potential readers alike…

Welcome on my blog Anne! 

Thank you, Diana, I appreciate you inviting me!

Firstly do you mind me asking was the success in your writing career gradual or sudden?

Definitely gradual! I enjoyed reasonable sales of my first book, Dangerous Waters, which was fortunate as I had ordered a 1000 copy print run. Ever the optimist! It took over a year to sell them all, mainly through Amazon and the lovely Guernsey bookshops and I also had decent sales with the e-books. The sales had declined by the time my second book came out a year later and from then on each new book gave the series a boost. The last few years it has been harder to keep the sales figures up as competition grows. An indie author has to  spend as much time marketing as they do writing, something I’m not keen on. I went ‘wide’ in 2018 meaning my books are available worldwide in all e-book formats as well as in paperback.

Are you single minded in your writing? Do you treat it as your main work and plan your day accordingly or write when the mood takes you?

I retired from my work as a psychotherapist a few years ago so writing is now my only work. In theory I could spend all day writing, but I am not always in the mood and tend to pace myself – a benefit of being an Indie author. And there is always marketing/promotion/social media which eats into the day. My last few books have involved a great deal of research, which I love, and I can happily spend a day or two reading textbooks or surfing online.

Would you describe your main genre is Women’s Mystery? How would you describe your writing style to potential readers?

I’ve never been able to quite pinpoint my genre as it’s changed slightly over the series. Romantic cosy mystery probably covered the first four titles, but the latter ones are more family drama/historical/touch of romance. I think it’s a shame books and authors have to fit into categories, don’t you? I just want to write the story! As regards style, my writing has been compared by readers to Maeve Binchy and Nora Roberts. I am happy with either!

I agree with you so much on this one Anne. I always find it extremely hard to categorize mine in one genre too.

Can you give any writers any marketing tips?

The world of marketing is constantly changing which makes it hard to be specific. Personally, I have always loved and relied on bloggers (bless you!) to help with book launches and general posts about my writing. You need to keep your name out there, and eventually the penny drops and people actually check out your books. It is also helps to give radio interviews and write articles for glossy magazines, either national or local. And at the end of the day, price promotions play a huge part in e-book sales and spreading the word about your books.

Don’t forget you were a speaker at the Guernsey Society weren’t you? I am a member and so I saw your name advertised in their booklet!

Have you one annoying habit you can share with us?

As an ex-therapist, I tend to analyse people and their ‘problems’ and give ‘advice’ when it’s not necessarily wanted!

What pastimes keep your feet on the ground, or maybe not, when you are not writing?

I used to love travel, but with the current situation with the pandemic am not sure if I will consider it even if and when it seems safe. I also love museums, the theatre and cinema which are on hold at the moment. Fortunately I can still read books and watch good drama on television. In the past I have sculpted, painted furniture and dabbled with mosaics, but now all my creativity goes into my writing.

Was there a single moment in your writing life when you thought ‘YES, THIS IS IT’? Can you describe that moment for us?

Two years ago I received, out of the blue, an email from a well-known publisher, asking if I’d like to meet up to discuss books. She complimented me on my Guernsey books, indicating she had read at least one of them. Immediately, I thought, ‘Yes, this is it!’ I naturally replied saying yes and although she did write again nothing was ever arranged. I later heard she had commissioned another writer who wrote in a similar genre. So near, yet so far! I continue to be an Indie author and enjoy my modest success ☺

And finally, do you see yourself writing in five years time and have you ever been tempted to write in a different genre to surprise your readers?

I can’t guarantee I’ll be writing in five years’ time, but at the moment I’d like to think I could be, brain cells permitting. Looking back, I wish I had picked up my pen years before I did. Recently I have been thinking about writing in a new genre, though not sure which. My current series will probably end with the book I’m writing now, and I’ll be free to experiment. Will see what happens!

I’ve enjoyed three books in your series and I love the covers Anne. I have yet to read your latest and seventh ‘Inheritance’ but look forward to reviewing it shortly.

Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog.

 

 

 

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Summer Special ~ Interviews with Successful Indie Authors

DO YOU WANT TO HEAR HOW SOME AUTHORS

WROTE THEIR WAY TO SUCCESS?

For the month of August, starting on Monday 3rd August and every Monday after, I will be interviewing successful Indie Authors,

whether they have self published all of their writing career,

sat on the both sides of the fence ~ both Trad and Indie,

or published through a small Independent Press.

I am so pleased to be introducing my first guest Adam Croft this Monday. I first met Adam at a tiny Indie Bookshop in Ampthill Bedfordshire, at the book signing for my first novel Riduna, which was published by Pegasus back on 2009. He, too, had just launched his first mystery, self publishing from the very beginning and he has now sold over one million copies worldwide!

Watch this space…

 

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Filed under Events, Guest author, Marketing your novel, Publishing your novel, Writing, Writing a novel