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 bestselling author Susan Alison.
Tell us about your latest indie book.
My latest production is a full colour paperback book of illustrated doggerel – ‘The Corgi Games’ – celebrating Royal Corgi sports in this year of the Jubilee and London Olympics, but my latest novel is ‘All His Own Hair’, a romantic comedy of which Katie Fforde said: ‘Susan Alison handles difficult issues with quirky humour and uplifting results.’ (I’m pretty chuffed with that quote!). Next month I’m bringing out a book of illustrated twist-in-the-tale short stories. Next year will be my most energetic, production-wise, as I have three romantic comedy novels nearly finished, another short story book, and another couple of illustrated doggerel books.
What made you decide to go indie?
I’ve been self-employed most of my life – self-publishing my work is only more of the same trend for me. The question would probably better be – what made me spend all that time trying to be traditionally published? The answer is that when I started that was the way it was done. E-publishing has opened up opportunities hitherto obscured. Yay!
Do you design your covers yourself and write your own blurb etc?
So far, I’ve done my own covers because I’m a full-time professional artist and the pictures arrive fully formed in my mind as I write. However, the twist-in-the-tale short story book I’m about to publish is going to be illustrated by a wonderfully inventive illustrator, Wendi Fyers. I’m really looking forward to working with her. I do write my own blurbs.
What are the pros and cons of going indie?
The pros are all about the control one keeps and not having to answer to anyone and not being bottom of the heap – oh, and earning more dosh per copy sold. The cons… hmm… I’ll let you know about the cons if any ever come to mind.
How do you publicize your books?
I think people take an interest in my books either because they are already familiar with my artwork and curiosity gets the better of them (the humour in my artwork is in similar vein to the humour in my writing), or because they came across my first novel, White Lies & Custard Creams when it went meteoric in the top 100 listings. Other than that, I’m always thinking I should do more promo work, but I never really get around to it. I would actually rather spend the time getting more books out there – hence 2013 being my totally-going-for-it year.
Do you read any indie authors yourself?
I never check the publisher when I read a book. A great story is a great story. However, if I like a book then I check to see who published it, and quite a few recently have been self-published.
Would you accept a traditional publishing deal now?
I doubt it. I prefer knowing exactly what’s going on with my own work, and my own earnings. It would have to be a very, very tempting deal to lure me away from complete control, and the money I know I can make myself.
What advice would you give to writers thinking of going indie?
It would be the same advice I’d give anyone who decided to go self-employed – that is – provide a quality product, be consistent, be persistent; don’t expect to make money straightaway. Keep at it!
Thank you so much for such an inspirational interview, Susan!