Monica Exley focused her energy on developing her book until it was perfect. Find out why she believes authors shouldn’t stress about publishing and marketing.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
I am so thrilled that my latest novel Shadows is now available to purchase. This book took me a whooping 20 years to officially complete. What an incredibly emotional moment it was when it was finally done. It has taken me two decades to complete this project because I wrote this book with much heart, passion, soul, and experience. I focused on character development, story line, theme, voice, and plot twists for a good amount of time. I revised it more times than I can count until it finally felt polished enough and ready.
My book gives a voice to the many voiceless people of different types of abuse. It rests on the healing wings of love as a journey and an end goal. The backdrop of the story is love but many skeletons in the closet must be confronted first. This book is setup as the first book in the series of two more books to come. It is designed to empower, encourage, and uplift. It is deep and very intimate. A committed relationship, not a one night stand.
2. How have your sales been?
I have done well in this department. People seem to be drawn to my stories. They tell me that they love them and they want more. To date I have published five books. There is a high demand probably because I’m a fantastic storyteller. I have a unique way with words.
3. You’ve chosen self-publishing. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
I initially started out exploring the traditional publishing route. Later, I explored self-publishing. They both have their pros and cons, but my favorite continues to be self-publishing. The freedom and creativity options are endless.
4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
Honestly, if your book is good then it tends to sell itself. One person tells another about it, etc.
5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
Social media is my best friend. I’m so thankful for all the support my friends have given me by helping me spread the news of my books. Each post of mine that they re-shared, liked, or “hearted” meant so much. Also, I’m in the clouds each time I hear the words, “I’m interested in this book or that book, where can I get it?”
6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I have used a variety of marketing strategies and have been successful with most of them. It all depends on what goals you are trying to achieve with a particular type of strategy.
7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
Publishing is a very attainable process. It is not as daunting as I thought it was going to be. It is actually a fairly simple and user-friendly system to swim through.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I have no regrets. I am very happy with where I am today.
9. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Honestly, don’t even worry about this too much. Focus more attention on refining your final product and the book sales will just follow. People love good stories. They will buy your books, eventually, if they are something they enjoy reading or they think it’s good. So make your book amazing! Don’t worry about the rest.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
Working toward publishing a romance novel soon. Also, working on a couple of new children’s books at the moment.
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?
Originality and uniqueness are my cornerstones.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
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