Tanya Allan writes in a variety of genres and has worked for many years cultivating a web presence. She talks about the various websites she uses and which methods she’s avoided.
1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book. Pitch me one of your books in five to ten sentences.
To Fight for a Dream: Meet James Allan, a captain in the Parachute Regiment with experience in Northern Ireland and the Falklands Conflict, as he embarks on the most terrifying mission of his life…to become Jane Allan at the age of twenty-eight.
Follow his life through a series of flashbacks, through his schooling and military career, up to the moment he attempts to win over his bigot of a father.
The join Jane as her life begins to go right, after three decades of being wrong, but still an emotional roller-coaster nonetheless.
2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?
I write fiction across several genres: romance, war, science fiction, police investigation thrillers, espionage; however, but much of my work deals with individuals living out their lives with the added burden of coping with some form of transgender issue, so established publishers are reluctant to take a risk in such a marginalized sub-genre.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
No, see 2. above.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
Fine. I started posting my work on free sites in 1998 and received positive feedback. There appeared to be a market, so I looked at the most cost-effective and simplest system for publishing.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
I suppose I was fortunate in that I was well-known amongst my readers and on several story sites (e.g. The Authors’ Haunt) long before I attempted to sell my work. I already had my own website, I also had space on other writers’ sites and posted stories to a dozen sites frequented by those most likely to read my work. Once published, last April, I used those sites to advertise each book as I released it, and pointed them towards my website where I catalogued them and linked them to other Amazon Kindle sites where they were on sale.
At the same time, I use Facebook, LinkedIn and more recently Twitter (although I am still finding my way around the last). I also used several Yahoo writing Groups which have large membership numbers, so circulation to over 5,000 people with each message. I have also formed a Yahoo Group for Tanya Allan Readers, so I can answer questions and give a heads up to those who want notice of new releases.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I was once told that writers write and get paid for their work, so I have avoided anything that involves paying money or personal appearances, for obvious reasons.
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
It’s all down to you!
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
Not sure, ask me again in a year’s time
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?
Start pushing your work out several years before you attempt to sell, so you are already a known name. That way you get feedback, editors, and you know the strengths and weaknesses of your writing. I am still aware that I have room for improvement and stuff to learn.
10. What projects are you currently working on?
Sequels to some of my books: Candy Cane Club, Whispers in the Mind, When Fortune Smiles, Behind the Enemy, Every Little Girl’s Dream, Amber, Marine. Plus new ones: Extra Special Agent, Tamsyn, Badger’s Set, and others.
11. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Let dreams come true, with a happy ending.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
My website: tanyastales.yolasite.com.
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