Nancy Popovich’s latest book, Malice & Murder, developed from a spy series she wrote and is currently the focus of her marketing and promotion energy. Read about her methods as well as the learning curve she experienced as an indie writer.
1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book. Pitch me your series in five to ten sentences.
If you enjoy reading the adventures of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances, continuing characters that grow and evolve, and the escapades of a group of agents from various intelligence agencies, you will love the four books in the Spy Series (Spies & Lies, Secrets, Backlash and The Puppet). The action moves them back and forth from Canada to England, and Paris. Family ties take on new dimensions as our intrepid group reacts to the situations and revelations thrust upon them. The climax of the last book in the series, The Puppet, is the springboard for my latest book, Malice & Murder.
2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?
See #3 below.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
I have not been traditionally published, and it was not for lack of trying. I could paper a room with rejection slips – and not all agents and publishers answered my queries. After a length of time, I stopped beating my head against that particular brick wall. My stories sat on my computer for almost ten years.
In answer to #2, when I discovered that it was possible to indie publish, I took the plunge, sink or swim.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
I like the control of self-publishing. But it requires dedication, business sense and hard work. Make no mistake, the fun part is writing, but self-publishing must be approached in a business-like manner. A self-published author must do for themselves or hire assistance for all that is done by traditional publishers—professional editing, beta reading, cover design and publicity.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
This is the part that I find the most difficult, because it’s counter-intuitive for me. I’d rather write. I have attempted to have a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and to some degree on Facebook and advertising on book sites. I’m not certain which is the most successful, but now that Malice & Murder is published, more effort will go into social media marketing.
6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
I would say that it isn’t as simple as just formatting your story and uploading it to the websites, awaiting the accolades. It requires a great deal more. It’s a steep learning curve, and I continue to absorb writing and publishing details daily. There is a tremendous amount of information on the web that continues to improve my competency at publishing. The bottom line is to provide the reader with a polished, enjoyable book.
7. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I would have been more cognizant of the parameters that constitute a polished and professional product. My naiveté regarding these parameters allowed me to publish books that were not as polished as they deserved. While I am proud of the stories told, the Spy Series will be reworked and professionally edited to allow them to shine in their best light, now that Malice & Murder is published.
8. 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?
Learn all you can about publishing – the internet is brimming with stellar information in blogs. Start a social platform immediately and continue to create a presence long before you publish your book. And, enjoy! Writing is a joyful experience and the end result is something about which you can and should be proud.
9. What projects are you currently working on?
Malice & Murder has just been published and I shall now concentrate on marketing this book.
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?
My brand would be to give the reader an interesting, intelligent and easy read, with ordinary characters dealing with extraordinary situations in a manner that satisfies and begs for more.
11. How can readers learn more about your books?
The best place would be on my website, nancypopovich.com, where the first chapters of all my books (even the as yet unpublished) are available as well as video trailers. I have an author’s page on Amazon, Smashwords and the Independent Authors’ Network, and they could follow me on Twitter @NancyP48.