Hello everyone! Confident Reads is a feature I have here each week and is a way to open communication between readers and Indie authors. This is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish.
I have decided to do author interviews so we can get an idea of what authors are thinking and going through when publishing their books themselves.
When, and how, did you come to being an indie/self published author?
I did it because I was looking for a new career. I’d always wanted to write (I studied journalism in college) so I when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it and ran.
No! I had no interest in traditional publishing.
If you were offered a deal with a traditional publisher, would you take it?
Not unless it was a seven figure deal. It would have to be a super duper pie in the sky dream. The reason I’m self-pubbed and writing is because I want to work for myself. If I were to go traditional, I would give all that up.
What is the best part of being indie/self published, for you?
What I said above. I’m self employed and I call all the shots. I write what I want and work when I want. And most of all I love what I do. I’ve met the most wonderful people on this journey from bloggers to fans to other authors…it’s been the greatest thing ever!
The indie/self published scene is constantly changing. Even quite a few traditionally published authors have ventured into the world of self publishing. What do you predict for the future? How do you think the indie scene is changing and where do you think it will go?
I think it will keep expanding. There will be fewer books printed (less trees cut down!) and more people will be converting to e-readers. The only problem for indies will be getting your work noticed because there are so many new authors entering the marketplace every day.
As an indie/self published author, what has been your biggest obstacle?
What I just mentioned above. The market is very crowded and finding a way to make yourself noticed is very challenging. My problem is that I write in 2 different genres –YA/New Adult and Adult. The marketing does overlap but I also have the paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy mesh and I’ve just entered the adult contemporary romance genre as well. So I’m always looking for new ways to reach my audiences. It’s difficult because in this business, one day you can be up and the next day you can be down a bit and there’s really no true way to track what works and what doesn’t.
In the world of indie/self published not everyone goes about things the same way. Many make mistakes (and hopefully learn from them). What are the biggest mistakes that you think authors are making and how do you suggest they improve?
Oooh, that’s a though one. I’m not sure I can answer that. I know I’ve made a ton of them. A year ago when I published my first book, Survival, I did everything ass-backwards. I didn’t know the first thing about this business. I didn’t know a thing about blogging. I had never even heard of Goodreads. Can you imagine? I’m totally serious here. My learning curve has been tremendous. I didn’t even know what a Twitter hashtag was. I just was addicted to reading and never had enough time to read because I had worked as a sales manager in the pharmaceutical industry for years and spent 60+hrs a week on that job. So I never had time for social media or anything else. When I started writing, I did just that. After I published Survival, I started researching how to market your self-pubbed book and that’s when I learned about all the important things.
How do you approach reviewers? And what has worked best when doing so?
You know, I just ask them if they want to do a R2R and I send them the book. If they have time, great, if they don’t, I still gift them the book. Most reviewers are so underwater with requests, I just feel honored that they considered my work at all. I look at their policies and if my genre fits what they like, then I approach them. If it doesn’t, I don’t hound them. I don’t ever want to be considered the obnoxious author that wouldn’t leave someone alone. Ick!
When it comes to sales, what do you think has worked the best for you and had the biggest impact?
I think blog tours really help a lot if you have a giveaway attached. I’m a loser at blogging myself. If I could be accused of blogger abuse/neglect, I would probably go to jail. I just can’t seem to find that perfect balance with my blog. So I can’t say my blog helps a lot. I do think Twitter does. When I’m not buried in my writing, I really try to help other authors and bloggers in their tweeting too. But admittedly, I can get behind on that as well.
If someone tells you they are thinking of publishing a novel themselves and they would like some advice on where to get started or some tips for success, what advice would you give?
There are several great books out there. HP Mallory wrote one on how to publish a book. I read hers and it really helped me a lot. Smashwords also has one that helps. I would research it and get as much information as possible. The bottom line is when you finish the book, that’s only half the work. The real work comes in marketing the book. You can write the greatest book ever, but if you don’t get the word out, no one will ever know about it.
We all know covers are important; can you tell us about your cover story?
The cover for Dark Waltz was designed by Regina Wamba at Mae I Design. I wanted to show the MC, Jurek, with his tats, as well as his Praestani power. The reader can see that with the electrical charge between his hands. I think Regina pulled it off pretty well here.
Bad reviews are inevitable; most every author gets at least some. How do you handle things when you get a bad review so you don’t get hung up on it or possibly lash out which could cause more damage in the long run?
I definitely don’t lash out. I look at them and see what they didn’t like. If they’re done well, I look at them as a learning experience. If they’re written poorly, I ignore them. Not every book is for everyone. There are some major hits out there that greatly disappointed me. So I get it. I’ve gotten a lot tougher with respect to reviews too. I think as an author, you have to expect that. When you put your stuff out there, you’re baring your soul and exposing yourself. If you can’t take the heat, then you might as well not publish. That’s the way it is. I will say this…some reviews can be quite cruel and I don’t see any reason for that.
Can you list 5-10 indie/ self published titles that you recommend? Please include genre as well.
Oh lord…I hate this question!! LOL!
I think the best book I’ve read this year is On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
I loved Down With You by Michelle Leighton, Hale Maree by Misty Provencher, Emerge and Love and Skate by Lila Felix, Eden and Eden West by Janelle Stalder, Sweet Blood of Mine by John Corwin and The Mageri Series by Danika Dark.
It’s your turn! Ask my readers one question that you are dying to know the answer for.
What do you prefer…fast and furious Insta-Love or nice and slow heat?
Thanks for inviting me by for a chat today Candace
Attention: This is an ADULT Book!
Dark Waltz–A sizzling legend of loss, lust and love.
It’s the year 2030 and the human population has been annihilated by a virulent form of small pox. Liasare Davidson is desperately searching for her brother, who has been missing for three months. It’s been eighteen years since she was evacuated from Earth and she is horrified to see it’s become a cesspool of unimaginable things.
In her quest to find her brother, she meets Jurek, a powerful and enigmatic being that frightens her, yet she is unable to resist. When things begin to unfold between them, they both discover a paralyzing truth that puts Liasare at grave risk. She must make a choice to join Jurek and find her brother or fulfill a role she believes she is ill equipped to undertake.
A.M. Hargrove is the author of the YA series, The Guardian’s of Vesturon which include Survival, Resurrection, and Determinant. As well as the adult books, Dark Waltz, a Praestani Novel and Edge of Disaster, an adult contemporary.