Mystery/thriller author Morgan Amos has learned many things – both good and bad – during her self-publishing journey. Find out the one mistake she made starting out that can be key to a book’s success or failure.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
“From the Killer’s Eyes” focuses on the small town of Somers and takes the reader into the life of Bradley Beckington and Katie Caldwell. Katie and Bradley meet and fall for one another, but what Katie doesn’t know is that Bradley has a sinister past that threatens to tear them apart, and if Katie isn’t careful she could wind up dead. The motivation for my book stemmed from watching a lot of Lifetime TV movies and seeing what they were producing. I tend to read a lot of thriller and mystery books also, and I am into true crime, so I got the idea to write my book from that.
2. How have your sales been?
Being honest, my sales haven’t been great. When I first released my book back in 2014, my dad helped me to sell copies, but once that stopped so did my sells, unfortunately. I promoted through social media and word of mouth, and I continue to, and it’s definitely been a process.
3. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience?
I haven’t sought an agent or worked with traditional publishers. I would love to, but I don’t know how or where to begin honestly.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
I’m laughing as I am writing this because as I stated earlier, it’s definitely been a journey. I do like self-publishing because it gives you a freedom you don’t have sometimes with traditional publishing. My experience has been both positive and negative.
Let’s rip the band-aid off and get to the negative experience first. I decided to self-publish because it seemed easier, so I went with a company that to my understanding would provide me with services such as marketing, promotion, a cover, copies of the book, and so forth. Everything sounded nice, but what I didn’t receive that I feel is a crucial part to any author and their story is the promotion. I didn’t receive the marketing and promotion that I thought I would under my contract, and this is where I was introduced to grassroots marketing for myself.
I learned quickly that if I wanted my book to reach an audience and sell, I had to do my hand in promoting it. I made several mistakes and this was one. I paid my money to a self-publishing company that I thought would deliver a particular service and was mistaken, and I think this is something a lot of first-time authors fall victim to. Always promote your work yourself even if someone else promises to do it for you.
The positives were the do’s and don’ts I learned along the way and also being able to know that I am a published author.
5. Describe the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your book. Which ones have been most successful?
I’ve used family members to help sell my books and I’ve also used social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I saw success with family members, but as stated, the help eventually stopped. I’ve also utilized sites such as WattPad where my book can be read for free for a limited period of time to try and generate a following and feedback while also having it available for purchase on Amazon. And, I’ve contacted bloggers, writers, and reviewers like yourself to try and generate more exposure as well.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I do not have any marketing techniques I’ve discontinued.
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
The most important thing I’ve learned about self-publishing that I didn’t know was you have to promote any work that you do on your own. No matter who says they will promote your work for you, you have to be willing to bet on yourself and believe in your work. Promotion is key. You can have the worst book ever, but if you know how to promote the book, you will get the sells.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I would focus on learning how to promote my book better.
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?
My advice to indie authors starting out is to take your time with your book and do your research. Knowing your audience and who you would like to work with, whether traditional or self-publishing your book, is important.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
Some other projects I am working on are two other books and I also write book reviews for authors, which you can view here.
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?
In one sentence it would be evoking thought, emotion, and conversation one review and interview at a time.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
Readers can learn more about my book by going to Amazon.com to purchase it, or for a limited time can read it for free by visiting the link here.