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 fellow romantic novelist, Sue Moorcroft.
Tell us about your latest indie book
Where the Heart Is begins in Malta in the late 60s and ends in the UK in the early 70s. It’s a story that’s dear to me because I lived in Malta and returned to the UK at those same times. It’s the story of a Maltese girl, Sylvana, who marries a British Army staff sergeant, Rob, and the challenges they face. It was a lot of fun to write. Like many of my self-published e-books, it began life as a magazine serial.
What made you decide to go indie alongside your traditionally-published novels?
Opportunity, I suppose. Uphill All the Way, my first traditionally published novel (Transita 2005), had reverted to me as it was out of print and the serials had all had an airing as large print books – readers could see them in online stores but either they couldn’t buy them or they were expensive. I received quite a few comments and enquiries so decided to make them available as e-books, more as a service to readers than in the expectation of making money. But the books have sold quite well and I receive a usable amount each month.
Do you design your covers yourself and write your own blurb etc?
I write my own blurbs. The lovely covers to Uphill All the Way, A Place to Call Home, Between Two Worlds and One Summer in Malta were created for me by an art student friend, Josceline Fenton. When Where the Heart Is was ready to come out, she wasn’t available so I took a recommendation and used Jane Dixon-Smith, who was great.
What are the pros and cons of going indie?
The pros, for me, are making my work available to readers and gaining an extra income stream. Also, I’m a bit of a fraud as someone else kindly put the books up for me, so it has been an easy ride. The only con I can think of is that I worry whether readers who enjoy my Choc Lit novels will like the others. Uphill was as much a family drama as a love story and the ex-serials are ‘sweet’.
How do you publicize your books?
Mostly, I don’t. I occasionally make one of them free on Kindle for a few days and I talk about the self-published stuff if I’m asked, but I’m just lucky that I get sales from readers who read my Choc Lit books. Those traditionally published books are the ones I promote and my self-published books are lucky enough to go along for the ride.
Do you think Twitter and Facebook really help in getting word out there?
Definitely. But you need to be careful, in my view. I’m turned off by the ‘Buy my book! Buy my book!’ style of using social media so I don’t promote like that.
Do you read any indie authors yourself?
Yes. Some of them couldn’t be told from traditionally-published books … and others could. Some of the best self-published books I read are by authors who have been traditionally published in the past.
What advice would you give to writers thinking of going indie?
Use an editor. Make your work as professional as you can. Promote (but in a palatable way). If you can get traditionally published at least for a couple of books, it seems to make it all a bit easier.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on Indie Publishing, Sue.