To celebrate the publication of my novella, Christmas with Mr Darcy, I’m hosting a special ‘Indie Month’ on my blog where bestselling authors will tell you about their latest book and share the secrets of their indie success.
Today, I’m delighted to welcome new indie author and queen of the fabulous book site Novelicious, Kirsty Greenwood.
Tell us about your latest indie book
My book is called Yours Truly and it’s a romantic comedy with a mischievous edge. It’s about a woman called Natalie who would rather tell little white lies than any truths that might cause conflict. When she is accidentally hypnotised into always telling the truth she gets herself into a huge amount of trouble and in order to put things right (and to save her dignity!) she must find the hypnotist so he can stop the spell. Only problem – he’s vanished, leaving her stuck in a tiny Yorkshire village and at the mercy of her truth telling compulsion.
What made you decide to go indie?
My agent had submitted to traditional publishers and it was a case of close but no cigar. Feedback about the book was so positive that it seemed a shame not to try to do something with it. So, after some encouragement from friends and family, I decided to put it up on Amazon. It’s been a fantastic experience so far.
Do you design your covers yourself and write your own blurb etc?
I did design this cover myself. I’d already done a few cover designs for friends and my boyfriend is an artist (luckily!), so we worked together to create a cover that was bright, punchy and right for the market. Here’s the story of how we developed the cover.
My blurb attempt wasn’t as sparkling as could be in the beginning, so one of my lovely friends (who works in traditional publishing) waved her magic wand over it and now it’s much sharper.
What are the pros and cons of going indie?
I’m having trouble coming up with substantial cons. But then, I’m in the middle of an indie love affair. I reckon if you hate the idea of controlling your own output, timelines and production then maybe it’s not for you. Personally, I love that aspect of it. The pros of the self-publishing experience have been overwhelming. Having my book read and responded to in such a positive way has been super cool. Really blumming fantastic. People telling me that my book made them laugh ’til they cried? Cannot be beaten. And the financial aspect has changed my day to day life. So yeah, I like it a lot.
How do you publicize your books?
On my launch day I ran some book giveaways and a hashtag game on twitter. I’m lucky in that I’m part of a strong book bloggers network who were willing to give Yours Truly coverage on their blogs. I love those guys. I do tweet about my book, but I try to keep it to a minimum, otherwise it can get annoying and grabby. I also run advertising on my women’s fiction website Novelicious.com. That accounts for a good percentage of my sales.
Do you think Twitter and Facebook really help in getting word out there?
Gosh, yes. I think having genuine chats to people on Twitter can be really helpful. As can tweeting/facebooking when you hit sales milestones, or about your writing process/lack thereof. It’s great to build a community around your book.
Do you read any indie authors yourself?
Hell yes! I read lots of indie authors. Mel Sherratt, Rachel Abbott, Nick Spalding, Talli Roland and Poppy Dolan are all authors who are doing a grand job and I will automatically purchase anything they put out because they’ve proved that they’re as good as (and in many cases better) than lots of traditionally published authors.
Would you accept a traditional publishing deal now?
I don’t know. It would depend on the terms and circumstances and the genre of book I had submitted.
What advice would you give to writers thinking of going indie?
Write a good book.
Self publishing is a big step and a whole lot of hard work, so really think about it before you make the decision to go ahead.
Go forward with a positive, can-do attitude rather than the notion that going indie is some kind of ‘second best’. Otherwise you’ll be resentful of the book and the process before you’ve even begun.
Always say thank you when someone helps you out. Try to help them out too. Share your skillz, yo.
Always respond to your readers when you can. They just bought your book AND got in touch with you about it – that makes them rock stars and they should be treated as such.
Thanks so much for sharing some great tips, Kirsty.