Australian author Jenna Whittaker stays busy but manages to make time for her writing. In this interview she explains what self-published authors have to do to make their work a success.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My latest book is The Leavers. It’s a fantasy novel set in a marshland, bordered by an invisible barrier that nearly no one dares to cross. Novia, the main character, wakes up at the edge of it, and finds a Leaver – one of the ones who do cross the barrier, and never, until now, return. With his return comes desolation of the marshlands, the arrival of the beings from Beyond, and what you think is good and bad is turned on its head.
2. How have your sales been?
I’ve not gotten too much time for promotion lately; working on my current WIP, my part time job, and starting up my own pet sitting business! I get a few sales per month and I’m happy with that; I love every review that comes in!
3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience?
I decided not to go the traditional publishing route. I’m not sure why; mostly because of my impatience to have my book released, I think! My mother is a traditional/e-book publisher, so I made sure to have a properly formatted/edited novel ready for publication, based on what I’ve seen of her requirements and some of the more questionable submissions!
Self publishing is great, but only if you know what you’re doing or willing to put in the effort to learn. It’s vital to get a professional book cover, proper editing, and work on promotion constantly.