1. Pretend for a moment I’m a parent looking for a book for my child. Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.
Dusty the Ditsy Dog is a fun, vibrant, easy to read book for the under fives. It does not just tell a story, it has a message behind it. The message is that if you put your mind to it, you can change the world. It is a is fun book with a positive message. Your child will enjoy getting to know Dusty and his friends in the fictional setting of Mistytown.
2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?
Going down the route of forcing your book down a publisher’s throat did not appeal to me. With e-books, and other book formats, the publishing industry has taken a hit. They are not publishing books like they used to. I decided to publish my book without the help of a large publishing house because I wanted to retain the authenticity of the story. I decided to go with a small publishing company called BrightSpark Publishing. I published in association with BrightSpark and my own company Intrigue Media Group. I feel like I have more creative control, and I am able to decide how I want my book to be marketed.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
Like I said, my publishing deal was a collaborative one. So, it was a combination of indie and traditional.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
So far it has been an interesting experience.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
BrightSpark has helped me with the marketing side of things. I have done two virtual book tours. I did various guest posts on blogs, was featured on various online magazines and was mentioned in a wide range of online articles. I have also visited schools, nurseries and libraries, as well as book fairs. I have used Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as plenty of article marketing. I have found that going to schools and nurseries and talking to the parents has helped a lot. The virtual book tours have been fantastic as well.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I have tried not to go down the route of constant blog commenting for the sake of getting my name out there. Instead I have opted for contacting the owners of relevant blogs and asking them if I can do a guest post. Or if they can feature me on their site. Spam is not a good thing when it comes to promoting any kind of business.
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
I have learned that it takes time, you have to be patient. Before I thought that you could print your book and put it out there and everyone would rush to buy it. I have found that you have to plan and prepare, work out a strategy and stick to it.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I don’t think I would do anything differently. I think that everything I have done so far has been a learning curve. I am happy with the choices I have made so far.
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?
I would say be resourceful, think outside the box. You might not have a million dollar budget but you can still make a splash if you know how to get things done without spending loads of money. For example, do a good deed and create some publicity for your book at the same time. Donate some of your books to the local nursery. This is the kind of thing that will provide a story to a local paper. Do some research and find out how to put together a press pack, including a press release, bio and photograph. Send this out to local papers, local radio, and even to independent book stores in your local area. Organize a small book tour in your local area and branch out once you have built a name for yourself.
There are so many strategies you can adopt without having to spend large sums of money.
10. What projects are you currently working on?
There are nine more Dusty books which will be coming out in the future. I am also currently putting together a poetry book and a novel. So, you just have to watch this space. I also have my own copywriting company so I am always working on that.
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?
Inspirational, colorful and beautifully crafted.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
All the books I am going to be releasing will be on my website, edinajackson.co.uk. You can also catch me on Twitter @writingthedream, where everything to do with my work and my business will be announced.