In preparation for the publication of BLAZING A TRAIL: Your Self Publishing Journey I’m sharing some of the author interviews that are included in the book. Today the featured writer is Lori Devoti.
Lori Devoti is the author of several traditionally and independently published romances. Her most recent Indie release is LOOSEY GOOSEY written under the pen name Rae Davies. You can learn more about her books at her websites: http://www.LoriDevoti.com and http://RaeDavies.com
Tell us a little about your background and publishing history.
I’ve written for three publishers and had over a dozen works published by them. About three years ago, I put up my first self-published work, a vampire romance short story. To my surprise the story really took off, and I’ve been self-publishing since. I do still have one book to come from one of my publishers, Harlequin Nocturne, but am not pursuing traditional publishing deals at this time.
If you published with a traditional publisher before self-publishing, do you think having a following helped your Indie sales? Why or why not?
I really don’t. In fact, I got so sick of people saying that. I self-published my first comic mystery under a pen name that had no connection to me anywhere. Mystery was also a new genre for me, so even if somehow people knew I had written that book, my base wouldn’t have helped me. The book took off.
What led to your decision to self-publish?
I was at a point where I was seriously considering walking away from writing as a career. I was burnt out and tired of feeling like I had no control over anything. When I started making real money off my one little short story, I realized I might have another option.
How long have you been self-publishing?
Around three years.
What were your goals when you began, and how have they changed since then? How do you measure success?
To continue writing and making a living writing without being dependent on publishers and agents.
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?
At first I did everything myself, and I made some mistakes. I still do all of my own formatting (and some for others), and a few of my own covers. I hire a copy editor now for all of my stories and a cover designer for most.
How have you spread the word about your work?
I’ve done a few ads at the various sites that promote Kindle deals, at Goodreads, and through Project Wonderful. I also have a web site, newsletter, Facebook pages/profile, and a Twitter account. Most of my success though has just come from the mystery of the algorithm.
What has been the most effective thing you have done to promote your books? What has been the least effective?
Setting the first book in my Dusty Deals Mystery series for free is definitely the most effective thing I’ve done.
Least effective would have to be Goodreads. I don’t see doing that again.
How did your Indie sales evolve? What should a new Indie author expect?
I can’t answer this because it varies a lot by author, genre, etc. Also things have changed a lot, even in just the time since I published my first mystery under my pen name.
What influenced your decision to price your books as you did?
That’s an ever evolving thing too. I noticed in the past few months that Amazon seemed to be giving more love to books that cost more. This encouraged me to raise some of my prices. I do, however, keep my books at under $5. That’s what I’d want to pay myself.
What are your top tips for new Indie authors? What do you wish you had known before you started?
Get a copy editor at least. Next, if you have the money, hire a cover designer. Third pay someone else to format the book.