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 Talli Roland.
Tell us about your latest indie book.
My next novel, due out in November, is called The Pollyanna Plan. Thirty-something Emma Beckett has always looked down on ‘the glass is half full’ optimists, believing it’s better to be realistic than delusional. But when she loses her high-powered job and fiancé in the same week, even Emma has difficulty keeping calm and carrying on. With her world spinning out of control and bolstered by a challenge from her best friend, Emma makes a radical decision. For the next year, she’ll behave like Pollyanna: attempting to always see the upside, no matter how dire the situation. Can adopting a positive attitude give Emma the courage to build a new life, or is finding the good in everything a very bad idea
What made you decide to go indie?
Although I had a very positive experience with my traditional publisher, I was excited about the opportunity for control over my timelines and, of course, the chance to earn higher royalties. It’s been a great experience so far, although ultimately, I don’t want to known as an ‘indie’ writer. I want to known as a writer of good books, no matter who publishes them.
Do you design your covers yourself and write your own blurb etc?
I write my blurbs, but I always have several people look them over to ensure they’re as good as they can be. Initially I hired a cover designer, but after purchasing PhotoShop and teaching myself the basics, I now do my own covers. I’m lucky enough to have a very good friend who works as a designer, so I have her cast a critical eye over them first.
What are the pros and cons of going indie?
As I mentioned, the pros are definitely having control over your timelines and greater royalties. On the flip side, the fact that you’re the boss and there’s only yourself to blame if something goes awry can be a bitter pill to swallow!
How do you publicize your books?
Social media have definitely been helpful in getting the word out there! I’m a firm believer that with social media, you get out of it what you put in. I work hard to keep up with my blog and to interact with other bloggers, always returning comments and trying to support authors as much as I can. The same thing with Twitter and Facebook – I make an effort to be on there every day. I really think consistency and interaction is the key to building relationships when it comes to social media. Constant self-promotion just turns people off.
Do you read any indie authors yourself?
I do! But I don’t go seeking them out specifically – I look for great stories, and some of them happen to be by indie writers. Mel Sherratt, for example, has self-published two very engaging crime novels that gripped me, even though I don’t normally read that genre. Kirsty Greenwood is another author who’s self-published her debut, and it’s a wonderfully humorous read.
Would you accept a traditional publishing deal now?
I would, but it would have to make sense financially. I’ve been very fortunate this past year with how my novels have sold, and at the moment, I’m not sure the advances I’d receive would make traditional publishing a viable option. Of course it’s not all about money, though. I’d love to have a team supporting me, with all their expertise.
What advice would you give to writers thinking of going indie?
I’d advise writers to think carefully before deciding to self-publish. It takes a lot of work, both time and money, to ensure you’re releasing a quality product. Think of the novel as the first step in your career, not as something you’re throwing out there in hopes it’ll stick. Take the time to learn about the industry and how to successfully self-promote.
Thanks so much, Talli!