This book started out as just a series of paintings while I was still in school. I have always been interested in urban legends, and their homegrown nature, for as long as I can remember. Coming from an art background, my natural thought was to make an art project out of it. The more I explored familiar tales, and researched previously-unknown-to-me tales, the more interested I grew in the history behind each one. I was no longer content to just visually depict my interpretation of these stories, I wanted to share all the spooky details. That is when I got the idea to write about each tale that I was illustrating, and compile them all into a book.
2. How have your sales been?
I just finished my final revisions, and started offering my book for sale, a few weeks ago. Needless to say, my close friends and family have started ordering my book, but I have not yet had the opportunity to do any marketing. I plan to promote and offer my book for sale in some local markets first and build from there.
3. Describe your experience with traditional publishers and how it compares to self-publishing.
I have only contacted traditional publishers for the purpose of illustration and design so far. What I have noticed is that small publishers are much more friendly to emerging talent. The publishers I have worked with have all been very accommodating thus far. I do enjoy the freedom of self-publishing, but sometimes it’s nice to have a partner to spur you on, especially if you are a procrastinator, as I’m sure we all are sometimes.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
I have certainly enjoyed the freedom of self-publishing, mostly from a creative standpoint. I can do exactly the project I want, in the way that I want, without having to compromise. The finished book is much closer to my heart, because it’s a completely personal achievement, than it would be if many others had a hand in the pot.
5. What sort of marketing techniques have you used to sell your e-book, and which ones have been most successful?
I have not yet created an e-book, though I am considering it. The problem is that my book is full-color, very heavy on graphics, and black/white e-readers would miss out on that. However, as more people switch to LCD screens and tablet computers, it might be a viable option.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I am about ready to try anything as far as marketing goes! I try to avoid bothering my contacts on social networks and such. I still post news about my book from time to time, but I try not to hit the same people over the head with the same reminder multiple times.
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
Spell check! Even when there are no misspellings, grammar or other mistakes can catch you up. Having a volunteer proofreader is a great idea.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, either online or in traditional media, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing!
9. Independent authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie author just starting out?
The first step is writing a book that appeals to a specific audience. You have to start with a marketable book, of course. Then I would start small, generate buzz in your local community, target specialized groups that would have an interest in the topic of your book. You can build from there, largely by networking for more opportunities.
10. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
I am an illustrator and graphic designer, with a special interest in adventure and spooky stories.
11. How can readers learn more about your books?
You can view more examples of my other works at http://catherinelapointe.com.