Category Archives: Publishing your novel

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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Reflection, In the Moment and Looking Ahead to 2020

A belated Happy New Year to you all!

Reflection

Thinking of my personal journey, 2019 was a tough one family wise, reflecting the state of the nation, but I feel in a stronger and more optimistic frame of mind for 2020.

Back into my writing life in 2019 I worked on:

  •  Preparing my new novel for presentation to the world. Date to be announced shortly.
  • Updating website and social media sites. It’s amazing how quickly it all becomes out of date and a bit tired.
  • Writing regular blog posts once more, particularly enjoying the special ones about our life in Scotland on http://www.selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com . So many precious moments with wonderful friends.
  • Engaging more on Twitter and Facebook, although I have a long way to go on that one.
  • Catching up with what’s new ~ this is a big one. Try https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2019/12/29/how-to-market-your-book-in-2020/ for up to date marketing techniques. It all makes my mind boggle!

I am so aware that everything has moved on since I last published a novel in 2014. Was it really six years ago? I have published a travel memoir with a difference, but this year will be the first full length novel since we moved to Fife.

In the Moment

I aim to be in the moment, be aware of opportunities which come my way and above all try not to plan rigidly so that I am able to be more spontaneous. This means in my life in the community too ~ not having so much on that I cannot respond to where my heart says I should be in the moment.

Ahead to 2020

Being aware of my ‘in the moment’ aim, I am positively looking forward to life, launching my new novel, being there for the family but hopefully not overwhelmed by it and above all  ~ joy!

A dear friend of mine, who usually buys a special Christmas card for me, apologized and said she’d been ill before Christmas and hadn’t got around to sending one. I replied, ‘that’s quite all right, I’ve just opened two cards with the word Joy in large letters on the front. Since it is your surname, I’ll think of you whenever I look at them.’ ~ and I did.

And so I wish you Joy for 2020 too.

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