Today I'm excited to welcome author Realm Lovejoy to the blog for the Confident Reads feature to celebrate her YA sci-fi book, Clan. You can check out my review of this fantastic book HERE. I asked Realm a few questions, and here's what she had to say.
When, and how, did you come to being an indie/self published author?
I’ve been writing all of my life. I wrote my first novel, CLAN, when I was 22 years old and shopped it around with an agent while I worked on other novels. Self-publishing it on November 12th, 2013 was the decision that I reached with my agent’s blessing.
Did you attempt to publish traditionally? What were your experiences?
Yes. I spent time submitting manuscripts to publishers through an agent and going through rounds of revisions. It was challenging because of the slow process and because most publishers were wary of taking any risks. Since I love trying different things, ultimately, I decided to take the risk myself and self-publish.
If you were offered a deal with a traditional publisher, would you take it?
I appreciate the amount of freedom and control that comes with self-publishing. That being said, it would really depend on the kind of deal it is. For example, I’d be happy to consider a print rights proposal, similar to the approach that Hugh Howey has taken.
What is the best part of being indie/self published, for you?
I’ve grown to love that I can control every aspect of publishing: the release date, the number of editors, the cover, and the amount of risks. After hearing about the long, drawn out process that traditional publishers can put you through, it was very freeing to know that I don’t have to needlessly wait around in order to fit into a publisher’s schedule or release catalogue—instead, I can go with the book’s natural cycle and know that it will be released when it’s ready.
As an indie/self published author, what has been your biggest obstacle?
I think the final month prior to the release date was the most challenging. I’m responsible for the final formatting, the proofreading, scheduling all the promotions, and making sure everything gets done on time.
In the world of indie/self published not everyone goes about things the same way. Many make mistakes (and hopefully learn from them). What are the biggest mistakes that you think authors are making and how do you suggest they improve?
I’m not sure about other authors, but I think I didn’t plan enough promotions ahead of time. I should have scheduled blog tours to run during the release month several months ahead of time.
I also wish I started to self-publish earlier rather than spending years waiting—but I must just accept that it happened when it was meant to.
How do you approach reviewers? And what has worked best when doing so?
Approaching bloggers (such as you) who have a network of reviewers who might be interested in my genre has helped a lot. This has been the best method so far.
When it comes to sales, what do you think has worked the best for you and had the biggest impact?
Whenever a major site picks up my book, I see a boost in sales. Kirkus had my book on their recommendation site for a while and it seemed to have helped. Having Twitter noise is also helpful. I do free days sometimes and see a crazy amount of downloads which pushes my book up the bestseller list—however, I’m not sure yet how much it has impacted sales afterwards or if I am yet seeing the repercussion of it.
If someone tells you they are thinking of publishing a novel themselves and they would like some advice on where to get started or some tips for success, what advice would you give?
I would suggest hiring a developmental editor, line editor, copyeditor, proofreader, and a cover designer. It’s a lot of money but well worth it if you’re very serious about becoming an author. You want your manuscript as mistake-free as possible and a cover that makes your book look professional. I would also recommend considering Amazon’s KDP Select—the free days help spread your work around.
We all know covers are important; can you tell us about your cover story?
My cover was based a lot on the ideals of CLAN. In the story, the environment is pretty sterile and the culture of Clan values simplicity. I chose to stay true to the essence of the story and keep the cover iconic. It’s a bit of a risk, but it’s part of the benefit of self-publishing—I get to experiment.
Bad reviews are inevitable; most every author gets at least some. How do you handle things when you get a bad review so you don’t get hung up on it or possibly lash out which could cause more damage in the long run?
As a professional artist in the game industry, I am used to getting feedback on my work – good and bad. I do my best to get as many feedbacks as possible prior to publication to make sure that I did my best. Since art is subjective, there will always be someone who doesn’t like it. I would advise authors to focus on the positive! If you did your best, you can’t have regrets.
It’s your turn! Ask my readers one question that you are dying to know the answer for.
What’s your favorite indie book? I’d love to check them out!
Please note, Clan is currently only .99 cents for ebooks and under $8.50 (!!!) for paperback (it has great illustrations!). This sale ends Sunday, January 19th.
Clan by Realm Lovejoy336 pagesPublished: 11/12/13Clans are Unity.
No variation. No deviation.
On Clades, to be a Clan is to be an exact copy. A perfect society cloning themselves to survive, even as the zombielike Frags threaten to overrun them on an unforgiving planet.
Clan 1672 (privately known as Twain) was never supposed to survive the Incubation Tank. But he did. Illegally. He is different from the other Clans.
A secret that could destroy him.
Find the Book:
About the Author:Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at www.realmlovejoy.com
Find the Author:I have awesome giveaway's for you guys as well!
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