Saturday, 18 April 2015

Olivia's Catastrophe ~ Breaking into the Industry

Hey there everyone!

So today I was listening to my Dreamgirls CD, as I do, because I love it. And as I was listening I thought of the movie and how much it was a journey to break into an industry. It made me think how hard it can be to break into any kind of industry – not just the music one. Especially the writing and book publishing industry because there are so many other authors out there! I wanted to discuss this with you.
 
 

In reference to the Dream Girls movie, they start out as background singers – not even in the limelight themselves. Once they go their own way everything is going fine, until one of theirs songs is stolen. It turns out that the “good” people in the industry only get cheated and tricked, so they end up having to go to the dark side and doing everything themselves. In the end their producer even steals a song to make them more successful. It made me wonder, do we only get to the top if we are competitive and use all the tricks and tips to get there? Or is it possible to get out there the good and clean way? Do we have to be patient as it so demands?

As well as that, when it comes to writing there are two lines of things: the self-published and publishing house published way. They are both pretty full of competition. For a self-published author it is all about publicizing yourself, advertising your own work and hoping you can keep up your head above all the other authors out there clambering to do the same. I asked self-published author Kory M Shrum of Dying For A Living, and Kelly Oram of Cinder and Ella to answer some questions!

How do you advertise your book as a self-published author?

Kory: Diligently! There are many resources that are available to help authors (not just self-published ones) to sell their work. For example, book bloggers can help you organize book tours and host interviews and features of your work online. You can also do paid lists like The Fussy Librarian, Book Gorilla or Bookbub. There is a good book on advertising strategies called “Let’s Get Visible” by David Gaughan, but it all boils down to “leave no stone unturned!"
 
Kelly: Personally, I don't pay for much advertisement. I don't know a lot about the advertising world and wouldn't know where to begin navigating it. I try maximize all the little or no cost options I have in gaining exposure as an author. I thrive off of reviews and word of mouth for the majority of my advertising. Reviews left on Amazon do wonders for the sales of every book. I also spend a lot of time reaching out to bloggers. I offer review copies of my books in exchange for reviews from them, or I write guest posts and interviews to gain exposure to my readers. I'll hold the occasional sale of my book and advertise it through various kindle deal sites, and I'll participate in author events, and host giveaways. 

What do you think the future holds for you, writing-wise?

Kory: More writing. I intend for this to be my career, so I do not see an end to it any time soon. I love science fiction, fantasy, and horror best, so I imagine that I’ll stay in those genres mostly.

Kelly: I'm in a really good place right now, writing-wise. I put out a couple books a year, and participate in at least one author-promo event a year. I am thrilled with the success I've had so far, and don't really have a need to reach beyond what I'm already doing. I don't foresee much changing for me in the future. I have no desire to jump to traditional publishing. I'll just continue to tell my stories and be grateful when people buy them. 

How do the reviews and feedback you have affect your writing?

Kory: I’ve been lucky in that the majority of my readers so far have been unabashedly positive about my work. That has certainly encouraged me to keep going! That being said, I think it is important that you try to just focus on the work and don’t let outside forces sway you.

Kelly: I live for feedback. I have a small group of beta readers and proofreaders, and I cherish their feedback. Constructive criticism is invaluable to me and it always makes my work stronger. Reviews are different. I try very hard not to read reviews at all unless the bloggers posting them send them personally to my email. It's not that I'm not grateful to my reviewers, but reading reviews really does effect my work. Everyone reads and interprets a book slightly differently, and even with a positive review, they may see something different than I intended, or they didn't love every aspect of it. I'm never offended by negative reviews but it's impossible to please everyone all the time. But when I read a lot of reviews I find myself trying to do exactly that. I actually stunt my own writing process because I start writing more for the readers than for myself. I've learned to stick with my feedback and simply say thank you for my reviews without reading them.

Is it good to have the control over your book without a contract from a publishing house?

Kory: Absolutely. For the same reasons as the last question--you don’t have to please anyone but yourself and your loyalty lies with your vision of the work.


Kelly: I think it depends on the personality of the author. Some writers aren't good at making everything happen themselves. They simply want to write their stories and hand the project over to someone else to get it published. For those people I think traditional publishing is a better way to go. For me, the control freak who doesn't do well having a boss or deadlines, and a million people asking me to do a million different things, self publishing has been a dream. It is a LOT of work, and it's been a HUGE learning process. But for me, it was the best option and I'm completely happy with it. I doubt I'll ever cross over to traditional publishing.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

Kory: I’m terribly impatient! I had an agent for 4 years before I decided that I could do this on my own. Writing cannot be done in a vacuum. Every writer needs their audience and what better way to get their work into the hands of readers than to deliver it personally?! J

Kelly: For me, it was an easy choice. I never intended to be a published author. I never went to college for it. I never even took a creative writing class in high school. I never wanted to be a "writer." Writing stories was just something I did as a hobby. It was my deep dark secret for years. When I was in high school I got into writing fan fiction and posting it online. After years of that I decided to try creating my own characters. Eventually I had a book I thought was "publishable" but I still didn't like the idea of trying to pursue a career in writing. I didn't even really have the desire. My husband suggested we self publish it just for fun and see what happens. I cannot believe how far that one decision has taken me. I'm overwhelmed by the response I've had to my work, and have somehow become a career writer despite all my intentions of never being one. I can't complain though. I get to do what I love and share my stories with the world. Being a writer is the best ever.

Join me in the future as we get to find out about the traditional publishing side of things!

Olivia's Question: Would you be interested in self-publishing?

Olivia-Savannah x

24 comments:

  1. This is a really great post & I did like reading the authors answers. I do respect them for not reading every review though, chances are I wouldn't read the extremely negative reviews if I published a book. I would like to write a novel one day but I'm not sure if self-publishing is the way to go for me, but let's see :) Benish| Feminist Reflections

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I would be much the same but might read a couple out of curiosity. Maybe you can see if publishing is more for you when you read part two of the post coming next week!

      Delete
  2. Hi Olivia - Interesting responses from both of these authors. Thanks for the post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked seeing how their ideas might compare and contrast :)

      Delete
  3. Hey Olivia - like your new blog design. For excellent posts and advice on self-publishing, check out Joe Konrath's blog - A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. His posts from 2011 onwards will especially help you decide which route to take. DUO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you do! I will definitely check it out. I think it sounds like a good idea to read further into this.

      Delete
  4. So many good quotes to remember and live by. :)
    Have a wonderful weekend, darling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially for us writers and creative thinkers ;)

      Delete
  5. What a great discussion Olivia! I personally know I will probably never publish anything 'cause I'm not a writer and I've never felt the need of writing to be honest but I think self-publishing is great in many ways and there are many prejudices about self-publishing because most people believe that those who do that is because no publishing house wants to publish their work and that is so wrong. It is good to not have someone behind you telling you (or rather bossing you around) what to do :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I know a lot of people have the wrong idea about self-publishing, but I do see it as having its own advantages as well! I like the idea of the freedom in controlling your own book as well. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. What a great post. It was wonderful to hear from Kory and Kelly. I always like hearing about author's path publication. So glad Kory and Kelly are pursuing their dreams and doing what they love. Self-publication is an excellent way to get books into the hands of readers. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would agree with you there! And I have read some really great self-published books so far! I think hearing their answers was very interesting :)

      Delete
  7. I really liked Kelly's answers and mainly when she said that writing for her is a hobby. I think it shows. I've read Cinder and Ella by her and found it fun, you know? I could imagine, while reading, that the author actually ENJOYED writing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As much as a reader should be able to enjoy what they are reading, I also believe the author should have a lot of fun writing what others are going to read as well. Which I find to be pretty important, now that I think about it.

      Delete
  8. Great discussion! I think a lot of us book lovers or bloggers think about writing. I know I have a few stories in my mind, but I'm not ready to take that leap or willing to put the time into it yet. Someday.

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I am one who does as well! I think in time you will find out when is the good time for you to start writing!

      Delete
  9. Thank you for the invitation to your blog, it has been both enlightening and so very helpful. Your interveiw of both writers on self publishing also answered so many questions I have had on the issue and appreciate your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad this post was so useful to you! Self-publishing is something to think over in a lot of detail before going ahead with it.

      Delete
  10. These are great tips to remember. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow Olivia great blog post, thanks for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post, as always! They give some brilliant tips and advice. I think part of me would really want to avoid reading reviews of my books, but another part of me would be unable to stop myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand what you mean. I would be worried about the judgment but in the end succumb to the curiosity.

      Delete