Keri Griffiths self-published her book Unforgivable because she liked the control she had over her writing. Learn more about how she reaches readers and the pros and cons of self-publishing.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
Unforgivable: “They may be our family, our friends, and we may love them deeply, but some things are unforgivable; some things will haunt your every step, some things will get you killed, and it’s Sarah Costello’s duty to make sure every sin is paid for in blood.”
2. Why did you become an indie writer?
Short answer? I’m a control freak. Indie publishing gives writers complete control over the look of their books and a say in distribution. This book is my baby, I’ve worked hard to get it to the readers. So to have final say is a real treat. That said, being an indie writer means that all the work, all the publicity and all the stuff I know very little about is on me. I have to figure it out. It’s both thrilling and challenging.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
I’ve published several articles, mostly on travel, on various websites and news outlets, but never for my novel. I’ve tried that route and it’s very difficult to break into, especially with your first novel. Indie publishing helps establish a following and prove yourself as a viable writer. I haven’t totally turned my back on traditional publishing but I’m really enjoying this journey.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
There are pros and cons to self-publishing. Like I said earlier, the control is a definite plus. I got to choose my cover, work with an artist I adore, and I keep full rights to my novel. On the down side, it’s a lot harder to get noticed. I am my own agent, promoter, advertiser and everything in between. I’m a writer, I know words, but I don’t know publicity. I’m learning as I go, reaching out to people who know more and begging them for help. It’s a lot of work but I’m proud of my book and I really think people will enjoy the read. The work is totally worth it.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
Social media has been really good to me. Reaching out to people and learning from them and making connections. Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook have been a great way to sell copies of Unforgivable as well as meet people a lot smarter than me.
6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
I think most of you are going to say, “Well duh,” but the one thing I’ve learned is that this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don’t know why I thought it would be easier. Wishful thinking perhaps. It’s hard work and sometimes very frustrating, but when you have a project you believe in you’re willing to do whatever it takes.
7. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I think I would’ve done more research first. I think it would be slightly easier if I knew more about marketing before I published. At least I would have a bit more of a foundation to work off of.
8. 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?
I think I already said this but if you believe in your work you have to keep working. Contact bloggers who interview authors – you’re reading a great example – and don’t be afraid to put your neck out there. The worst thing they can say is no, right? Believe in yourself and believe in your work. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself.
9. What are you currently working on?
I’m working on two new books right now. The first one is about half way finished and it’s a thriller about neo-Nazis and the people trying to stop them. The second one, also a thriller, is about mind control and murder. But I’m still working on the outline so it’ll be awhile before it’s available.
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?
Oh, that’s a tough one! Most of my books revolve around misplaced faith and trust so…”Question everything you believe to be true.” Hmm, yep that could work.
11. How can readers learn more about your books?
My first novel, Unforgivable, is available on Amazon right now. Head on over to my website, kerileeg.com, for more information on how to purchase Unforgivable and more information about me. Also, I’m on Twitter, @kerileeg, stop by and say hello. I would love to chat.