Author R.M. Kelly enjoys the art of writing and was inspired by her work with a small indie press to go into self-publishing. Learn why she focuses her marketing efforts on the indie community, rather than traditional media, and which vendor she favors for book covers.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
My collection of short stories, Shorter Than The Wick, includes three about the Ghost Files team and their tales on a reality ghost hunting show run by idiots who happen to meet spirits from the other side. Another story is about a husband and father looking for any kind of forgiveness from his family during the Arab Spring after a tragedy. One of my favorites is about the oldest vampire on earth loosing her ability to seduce blood from mortals after falling in love with a very modern man.
2. Why did you become an indie writer?
Because telling stories, creating worlds for a reader to live in, really comes naturally to me. Writing is simply a part of me and the way I look at the world. It’s fun and enraging at times but always important for me to have the time and opportunity to tell stories.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
Well I’m an editor for a small indie e-book publisher, nuever.com, so that was simply what felt like the best approach to publishing. Getting my books out in the new medium as the e-book market grows.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
It’s different than the traditional route by far, but I enjoy the freedom this allows me in the direction of my marketing, in the way I get my book out there and it allows for a lot more one-on-one interaction with readers, fellow writers and bloggers.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
I’ve really paid attention to getting interviews and reviews so the indie community learns about my book. My goal has not been to get traditional media to pay lots of attention, it’s much more of a goal of getting my book in the hands of readers and letting word of mouth produce great things.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I’ve tried to focus on building a community of readers and reviewers instead of bombarding people on message-boards and social sites.
7. Which services or vendors do you recommend for the marketing methods you used?
I do design work for business cards and e-book covers at TBTWorks.net, so that is where I go for design help. It’s really important to have a great cover and use that as a marketing tool.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I think a big part of the process is learning and enjoying, of maintaining your love of the craft, and that’s the best way to focus your energy. Don’t get too bogged down on negatives.
9. Indie authors face the challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie just starting out?
To not approach indie book marketing like the big guys do, to think about building lasting relationships with readers and with those people who really invest in the books they enjoy. To start small and build your way up.
10. What are you currently working on?
I am getting a novel ready for publishing at the beginning of fall, The House’s Secret, which is about a medium from the east coast who goes to an English manor at the behest of a duke to clean his home of unwanted spirits, only to find her heart and her abilities get her into much more trouble than she’d expected. Also, I am working on a humorous dating guide, Pick Me Up, for the modern man. As always I also write several times a month for I Citizen Magazine. In fact one of my new short stories is up there now.
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?
Entertainment that gets you thinking while enjoying yourself.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
You can visit my writing at ICitizenMag.com and follow me on my late night tweets of funnies at twitter@RoseMKelly.