|Cynthia Marsh - Author of The Aten Sequence Books|
Monday, 8 July 2013
My Very First Online Interview! An Author First For Me
I guess I was pretty naive when I started writing the first Aten Sequence book back in 2007. I just sat down at my laptop one Sunday and started typing. After typing five whole pages I was pretty impressed with myself. Who knew that I could string so many words of fiction together? Perhaps not surprisingly, not a single one of those first words actually made it into the final draft, but they will always be important as the first steps in my writing journey. I even have them saved somewhere on my laptop.
But what I did not know then was how much other stuff I would need to learn in order to get my books written, produced and sold. Because I chose to go down the self-publishing route, I quickly worked out that being an indie author means you either have to do everything yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Oh, the lucky writers who just happen to be partnered up with a cover designer, editor or file formatter that will do freebies for them!
Like many authors, I have done a lot of things myself and paid to have some other things done for me. My first foray into self publishing, which was a bit of a test really, was my collection of spooky short stories ‘Ghosts and Other Really Big Surprises.’ This was a totally DIY project and I put the cover together myself, formatted the file for Kindle Direct Publishing and uploaded it. I have recently been wrestling with it in CreateSpace, so that I can have a printed version for sale and not just an ebook.
For The Aten Sequence Books, I wanted to have professional book covers designed. I also wanted them to be available on more online book retailing sites. So I chose to use BookBaby and have been very impressed with them so far, as they took my somewhat sketchy brief for the book covers and produced something very close to what I had envisaged in my mind’s eye.
But it is the book marketing and promotion that I have found the most challenging so far. Write it and they will not necessarily come! Now that self-publishing is so accessible and can be done for free, there are thousands upon thousands of indie books out there. Some are amazing, some are good and some are ....., well just are. But the challenge is how do I make my Aten Sequence Books stand out among so many others clamouring to be downloaded onto the e-readers across the globe? How do I persuade a potential reader to take a punt and spend some of their hard earned cash on a book written by an unknown author?
I was so focussed on the writing and editing side of things, that I neglected to read the advice on starting to promote your book at least a year before its release. So I am already a late starter in the promotion game. But impatience doesn’t help anything. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and I have set my goal as doing one thing a day, however small, to market my books and get them out there. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that standoutbooks were looking to interview indie authors and they agreed to interview me.
Being a typical introvert writer, my first concern was what was I going to tell them? I mean I write stories about other people, not about me. How was I going to make me interesting? There is a myth that writing is a glamorous profession. Well maybe it is when you get to the level of success enjoyed by J K Rowling and others, but for us relative newbies writing means hours hunched over your laptop at home, quite often still in your pyjamas and picking cornflakes out of your hair. So I had to put on my big girl pants and open up about myself, my writing and my books. Not easy at the start, but as I started answering the questions it started to flow and I amazed myself at how much came out.
I have to give standoutbooks a big thank you, as I think they have done an amazing job in putting the interview together online. It looks really professional and I am very proud of it. I’d also really like to thank them for giving a few of us indie authors the chance to talk about our books. We are all looking for a break, that first elusive whiff of a winning streak and I don’t think people realise how much it means to us when you tweet about our books, share our posts on Facebook , comment on our blogs or write a review on sites like Amazon or Goodreads. So thank you to everyone who has ever shown their support for The Aten Sequence Books. So make an indie author happy today and tweet this post or share it on Facebook – go on, you know you want to!
In case you missed this awesome interview you can catch it here - Author Interview: Cynthia Marsh