As part of BLAZING A TRAIL: YOUR SELF PUBLISHING JOURNEY I interviewed a number of authors who are blazing their own trails to publishing success. As part of the run up to publication, I’m sharing some of those interviews with you here.
Elaine Charton is the author of several romantic suspense novels. Her most recent release is THE PINK LADY under the name of Elaine Joyce. Her website is www.elainecharton.wordpress.com
Tell us a little about your background and publishing history.
I’ve been writing since 1990 but did not publish my first novel until 2003. I had six books with my first publisher, who went bankrupt. I got the rights back to all my books. I then published three of them with another publisher. When they closed, I decided to go Indie.
If you published with a traditional publisher before self-publishing, do you think having a following helped your Indie sales? Why or why not?
[Having been previously published helped] a little. It gave me a base from where to start.
What led to your decision to self-publish?
I was constantly rejected, usually the “nice” rejections: “I love your book but it just isn’t for me.”
I didn’t want to wait another 12 years before having another book published.
How long have you been self-publishing?
What were your goals when you began, and how have they changed since then? How do you measure success?
When I began I just wanted to get my books published. I’d like to get to the point where I don’t have to do everything on a shoestring.
Did you do a lot of the production process yourself, or did you hire people to do it for you? Were you satisfied with the outcome?
I’ve done most of the work myself. A friend did a few covers, but I did the last one for both myself and my husband.
How have you spread the word about your work?
Mostly blog spots.
What has been the most effective thing you have done to promote your books? What has been the least effective?
Postcards have not helped my sales. The best thing that helps my sales is word of mouth.
How did your Indie sales evolve? What should a new Indie author expect?
Sales of my romances are growing slowly but surely. I just started publishing mysteries under a different name. I’m not sure how that will do. So far sales are slow.
What influenced your decision to price your books as you did?
I had tried a couple of different prices, and this seemed to work the best. Some authors will tell you 99 cents is the magic number. I haven’t found that.
What are your top tips for new Indie authors? What do you wish you had known before you started?
First and foremost, write the best book you can. If you can pay for things like book covers and formatting do so, but don’t bankrupt yourself either.
Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Believe in yourself and your book. It’s a lot of hard work but worth it. Set realistic expectations. Not everyone can write FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.