Jenna Whittaker

13096190_1191304047568882_1555622748994703516_nAustralian 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.

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R.M. Kelly

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.

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Robert Szeles

Robert Szeles wears many hats, including music producer, graphic designer – and, of course, author.  Robert discusses the hard work that goes into self-publishing and offers bountiful advice for the new writer just starting out.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

When a monogamous guy and a polyamorous gal are brought together by two of the least respected gods of Los Angeles, Love and Romance, they find themselves on the bumpy five-lane freeway to love, contending with a vengeful ex-girlfriend, a dominatrix boss, an irresistible TV star, an egomaniacal TV producer, Hollywood backstabbing, and the greatest obstacles of all: themselves!  A sexy romantic comedy set in Los Angeles, where even gods are only as good as their last gig.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

The state of the publishing industry is in tumult and I thought I had a better chance at publishing myself.  Then if I have some success, I can always approach the major industry later with a successful track record, if that seems worth doing.

3. Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

I have had a couple short stories published.  I haven’t pursued traditional publishing beyond that for the above reasons.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

Liked?  It’s hard.  I imagine any kind of publishing is hard.  There are things that are wonderful, like the freedom and creative control, and there are things that are terrible, like the long work hours, lack of budget and lack of support from a company and its resources.  I can’t say I’ve liked it.  I like being a writer and author.  The publishing part is necessary if I want to be read, which I do.  But some of it is fun, like creating the book covers, which I do myself because I’m a professional graphic designer.  And my book trailer turned out fabulously, but it was two months of purgatory.

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Ted Gross

Ted Gross is a short story writer who’s busy with a variety of writing projects.  In this interview he offers a laundry lists of recommendations for indie writers to successfully get their books out there.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

Ancient Tales, Modern Legends, a short story collection by Ted William Gross, presents the reader with engaging and thought-provoking stories spanning the ages.  Covering subjects of love, loss, pain, desire, need, frustration and hope, these stories are meant to entertain as well leave an indelible impression upon the reader.

This is not a book to dismiss easily.  Enjoy it, grow with it.  You will, in turn, be haunted by it and the stories will remain with you long after you have closed the pages.

As almost all authors will tell you, their work in writing is a labor of love.  “Ancient Tales, Modern Legends” is a collection of stories that were written over many years, sometimes in great pain, sometimes with great joy, and is certainly a labor of love for both the author and the reader.  As colleagues read them, and some were published, I was prodded to publish the rest.  It is my hope that they will make you, the reader, stop and think, perhaps just about the waywardness of life.  They all are short stories in the pure art form of this genre.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I followed the industry for many years.  I have watched the indie book explosion.  I have also closely watched the trends.  My feeling is that the days of traditional publishers where they were the “bully” on the block has come to an end.  It is an age of “let the reader choose”.  You can write just so many query letters, have just so many books accepted and then cancelled on you before you either give up or find another avenue.  Indie book publishing offers another avenue.  And it is becoming more and more legitimate in the eyes of readers.  And certainly easier to actually go through the “publishing routine”.

In the end, simply a matter of practical thought and decision.

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