One of the most inspiring posts I see on my many author forums is when someone takes the time to share their story. Each Friday, I’m going to feature a different indie author to help inspire all of you!
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What is your pen name?
What genre do you write in? Why do you love it?
Paranormal & Fantasy Thrillers. I love action-packed adventures, and I love taking imagination to the farthest reaches. I also like monster stories.
How many books have you published?
3 so far, under this new pen name, but I will continue to publish new books every 1-3 months going forward. Under my real name, I have published 8 books and 8 short stories.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I get non-stop ideas for stories, ever since I was in grade school. I figured I might as well earn some money from it. I also love a good story, that’s full of action and fun characters and scenes, and writing allows me to create the kinds of stories I love! I also know how powerful stories are in shaping how people view their world, and I want to give people some positive heroes as role models to help them think of new ways to handle their real life problems.
What is your indie success story?
I published a book, The Red Rider, in 2013. In seven years, it gradually built up 40 reviews, receiving high praise and typically 4 or 5 stars. But I still wasn’t reaching many people with any of my books, even with the sequel book I published in 2017. I am now starting over, focusing entirely on this series, The Red Rider Saga, to finish it, under a new pen name. I have re-formatted the books to make them shorter and publish them more quickly. So far, with only 2 of these new books out, I have earned more in a month than I ever had, so that’s been exciting to see. It’s small progress, but moving very quickly overall, and I’m excited to see how sales improve from this new strategy. I’m also very excited about re-formatting the series and writing new scenes to create a deeper and richer story experience, even for those who read the original versions.
What are your marketing and advertising strategies? What works for you? What doesn’t?
Joining Bookfunnel promo groups has been extremely helpful for building up my newsletter subscriber list, and my subscribers have been really supportive and helpful in reading and promoting my books. Again, it’s not huge right now, but I’m not worried about that. Just knowing that I’m connecting with a handful of readers, or even one reader, means that that person was blessed by what I wrote, and that’s a success all by itself. But those people who are really touched by the story are also my best promoters, to tell other people what the books meant for them. So my first priority is to do whatever I can to bless my existing fans who are already supporting me.
What is the best piece of self-publishing advice that you’ve ever received?
To spend the first year or so on just writing, and worry about marketing after you’ve built up a few books. That’s what I’m trying to do now. I have lots of great ideas, and I started out writing the stories I had in mind, as they came up. Some of that could not have been done any differently. But I now see how successful authors usually focus on completing an entire series of one idea, before starting to write a new series or standalone novel. Once I’ve finished The Red Rider Saga – which will contain 7-10 books – I’ll have plenty of other ideas to develop, and hopefully I’ll have a lot of Red Rider fans who want to see what I write next.
Anything else fun or notable that you would like to share about yourself?
I usually write by listening to action movie soundtracks. I get an idea, make notes of some action scenes and dialogue, and later find some epic music that fits some of those scenes. Listening to the music helps me flesh out the scene, sometimes changing some details to fit the music, which improves the scene. I also make a playlist CD for each novel and listen to it when writing my final draft, and afterwards to re-live some of the fun moments from the book.
What are you working on right now?
As of this interview in July 2020, I’m working on Book 3: Red Rider Redemption. After that I hope to publish books 4 and 5 by the end of 2020 and start a Wattpad serial of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, in which she teams up with Batman and later with my character, The Red Rider. I’m really excited about putting this fun story out there for people to read for free!
Where can we find your work?
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Finding a cover designer is hard work.
Not only do you have to find designers that design for your genre, but you also have to vet them to make sure they are professional, you have to make sure they aren’t booked out.
You need to go to different websites, Facebook groups, and Instagram accounts to compare their work with other designers. OR you go to sites like Reedsy, and when you search for someone in your genre, it only yields a single designer. (Yes, this is the case for cozy mystery.) It’s sometimes like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I’m excited to announce the solution! The Cover Designer Directory.