8/11/12

Six Questions with Talli Roland


  
Talli Roland was one of the first authors I came across when I began writing my novel almost three years ago.

Her kindness and generosity stood out and I've been a fan and follower of hers ever since.

A warm welcome to Six Questions Talli!





1. You've now published 4 soon to be 5 novels-- when did you first decide you wanted to be an author?

It never occurred to me to try to be an author until I’d exhausted almost every other career path. I trained as a journalist, then went into public relations, teaching, recruitment . . . finally, I decided it was time to sit my butt in the chair and focus seriously on trying to write a novel. That was four years ago now, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

2. Each author has such a unique story- what has your road to publication been like?

I've always enjoyed writing – it was the reason I trained as a journalist – and I’d thought about trying to get a novel published, but it wasn’t until my thirties that I seriously started writing fiction. Over the next couple years, I wrote four ‘practice’ novels and learnt a lot! When the opportunity came to publish non-fiction travel guides, I jumped. Even though non-fiction wasn't really what I wanted to do, I knew it could teach me a lot about the publishing process and maybe even help me get a foot in the door for my fiction. And it did! The same publishing house that published my non-fiction also ended up publishing my fiction.


3. I first met you during the A-Z challenge right before you first published The Hating Game, there is a large group of authors you have in your corner- how did you grow such a supportive group?

I’m a firm believer that with social media, you get out of it what you put in. I work hard to keep up with my blog and to interact with other bloggers, always returning comments and trying to support authors as much as I can. The same thing with Twitter and Facebook – I make an effort to be on there every day. I really think consistency and interaction is the key to building relationships when it comes to social media. Constant self-promotion just turns people off.

4. Your novels and website all feature a beautiful branded appearance, what is the reason branding is so important? 

Thank you! I think that’s down to my background in public relations and marketing. I believe it’s important readers recognise books by a certain author, and that the branding should reflect the type of writing. My novels are humorous with a touch a romance – firmly in the chick lit genre – so I want their covers to be fun and playful. Strong branding builds recognition, and in a crowded marketplace, authors need that now more than ever.

5. What are the most important things you've done to market your books?

Social media have been instrumental in helping to market my books. Without a big (or any!) marketing budget, I had to rely on other, less traditional methods of raising awareness. Although I organized launch-day events like blog splashes, I’d say the most critical thing has been building relationships with readers, writers, and reviewers on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. If you have those relationships firmly in place before the release of your book, people will be open to helping you spread the word, as well as buying and reviewing.

6. What would you have done differently since you first became a published author?

Wow, tough question! Hmm. When my first novel was published, I became extremely focused on sales and stressed out about reviews. It was hard to recapture the joy of writing for quite a while. I’d tell myself to let go of all of that as much as possible, and to stay focused on why I started writing in the first place.

Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised 
in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours 
the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training 
as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up 
her own stories--complete with happy endings. Talli's 
debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best 
Romantic Read at the UK's Festival of Romance, while 
her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an 
Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been 
chosen as top books of the year by industry review 
websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the 
United States. Construct A Couple is her latest release. 
To learn more about Talli, go to www.talliroland.com or 
follow Talli on Twitter: @talliroland. Talli blogs at 

   
  

59 comments:

  1. Laura: You interview people very well! Some ask silly questions, like what's your favorite color or do you like sugar in your tea. ;o) Excellent interview questions!
    I am looking forward to reading some of Ms. Roland's novels. ;o)

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    1. Thank you, Suzan! I agree - Laura's questions are great!

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  2. Talli is not only an awesome lady, but one of my favorite authors as well! I love that you featured her. :)

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    1. Aw, Heather, thank you for your kind words.

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    2. Thanks Heather... Talli is pretty darn awesome!

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  3. Talli's such a friendly person and a talented writer. Question # 6 was especially interesting -- it's so important not to lose the joy of writing!

    xx, Lauren

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    1. Thank you, Lauren. And I so agree - the joy of writing is what keeps me going.

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  4. Talli does an AWESOME job at ALL of it--she really does. It's fun to get some insights into the tricks of her trade!

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  5. I'm hearing a common theme through a lot of authors that I admire. Thank you, Lauren, for helping us discover that thread. Thank you, Talli, for being generous with your insights. Looks like some fun read to add to my pile of books!

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  6. You are so right on stressing about reviews, Talli. It's one of the biggest single traps that an author can fall into, I think, and it can really put the stopper on your creativity. And do you find that, even in a good review, the one remark you remember is the 'I wish she had ...' rather than all the nice comments?

    So glad that you got back to writing. Love your books.

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    1. Thanks for popping by, Jenny! Oh, reviews . . . I really struggled with coming to terms with the fact that people were judging my work - and not always positively! And you're right: you always remember the slightly negative comments, even in the reviews that endorse your writing. It took me ages to develop a tougher skin!

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  7. Excellent interview with Talli. I went straight to her blog afterwards and listened to one of her videos about her writing techniques. I've taken notes!

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    1. Thank you, Tima! And thank for taking the time to watch one of my videos - I'm glad you found it helpful!

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  8. Talli is an example to many of us: I've learned a lot from Talli's advice and her example. There are plenty of people out there who will give you the advice only, she manages to do both. The only question remaining: How does she fit it all in?

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    1. Oh, thank you, Carol. And as for fitting it in... well, right now I have few distractions. We'll see how I fare this time next year, eep!

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    2. We all make time for what is important, so maybe you won't be able to visit twenty blogs a day. But, you've laid such a foundation that you won't lose your momentum!

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  9. Laura, a massive thanks for hosting me today and for persevering through our technical difficulties! :) It's a real pleasure to be here.

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  10. Talli knows how to launch a book! And it is the friendships that fuel the fire. Doesn't hurt that Talli is just awesome as well.

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    1. Alex, you're an expert in blogging, so that means a lot coming from you! Thank you!

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  11. You touched on something with that last answer, Talli. I find concentrating on promotion alone is draining. I've learned to always be working on something new.

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    1. Susan, absolutely. I find I need to be working creatively, or promo just kills me! As enjoyable as it is, it is very tiring.

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  12. You go girl! I'm looking forward to you next book.

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  13. I've enjoyed reading these comments-- it's a testament to the fact that people are eager to support you Talli, because you've supported so many others! Cheers!

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    1. Thanks again for hosting me, Laura! The blogosphere is so supportive, as I've discovered time and again.

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  14. 'When my first novel was published, I became extremely focused on sales and stressed out about reviews. It was hard to recapture the joy of writing for quite a while. I’d tell myself to let go of all of that as much as possible, and to stay focused on why I started writing in the first place.'

    Lovely response.

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    1. Thanks, Suze. It took me a while to get back to a positive place, but I'm so glad I did!

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  15. Talli is one of my favourite blog buddies! She's kind and friendly and very talented. Love her books too :)

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  16. Talli and Laura, nice interview!

    Constant self-promotion just turns people off. Talli, truer words were never spoken. Building a readership today, is all about building relationships with people. That's what an author is looking for, a readership base for all their books, not just one.

    I don't know of an author that hasn't gotten obsessive with sales and rank when their book comes out. I think that's pretty normal and takes time to even out.

    Congratulations on your successes!

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

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    1. Thanks, Sia! I wish more authors out there would focus on building relationships - especially on Twitter - instead of just tweeting about their books with Amazon links time and again. I want to get to know them!

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  17. Talli's been quite the story of success. Talli, I think you should write a book about that. I've been trying to become more adept at the forms of social media. It sure can take some time.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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    1. Oh, thank you, Lee - that's very kind. And you'e right. It does take time!

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  18. I really worry about losing the joy in writing. That's why I try not to think about marketing too much because it's the most stressful aspect of the writing game. I hope that the writing world doesn't force me to write something that I didn't enjoy writing.

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    1. Clarissa, I hear you! I think when you lose the joy of writing, it becomes a chore and a very stressful task. I try to write in a bubble now - not thinking about marketing stuff!

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  19. Talli, you've done a wonderful job of branding.

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    1. That means a lot coming from you, L Diane. Thank you!

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  20. Thank you, ladies, for this wonderful interview! It's great to get to know Talli a little better. Her journey is inspiring. :)

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  21. I love Talli's branding, too! It makes my inner-marketer squeal. :D

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    1. I love it, too. I feel a little weird because I don't mind the marketing side. I love it all!! haha

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  22. Great interview. Talli writes great books and I love how her branding carries from her blog to her books.

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    1. Thank you, Carol. I try to have consistent branding!

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  23. Talli's success has been inspiring to watch. I hope that when my time comes I'll have half the smarts she's shown in creating this loyal following :)

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    1. That's really kind, Jamie. And I have every confidence you will! And already have!

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  24. Great interview, and as honestly answered as ever - great to have found your blog through Talli!
    Lx

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    1. Thanks Laura, I just visited your blog as well!

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  25. Great interview! I like your new covers a lot, Talli!

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  26. Interesting interview! I think it's impressive that Talli wrote and published four novels (soon to be five) in just a few years, especially since it takes me a long time just to finish one book. I bought two of Talli's books and I liked them a lot, so much so that I hardly stopped reading the books until I actually finished them.

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  27. Great Interview Talli and Laura. I can relate to being too focussed on sales and reviews.
    It's hard to commit to blogging and novel writing when there are other committments like day job etc, but I agree it's important to keep up the social media side once you have gained a prescence there.

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    1. Last year I got overwhelmed by the whole social media thing and dropped off for a few months, and then had to start from scratch. It's better to build slowly isn't it?

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  28. Great interview, ladies. Glad to have found your blog, Laura, though Talli's.

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  29. Great interview! I always love hearing from Talli!

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  30. Reading back through this series for tips on promotion etc. It really is an awesome interview series, Laura! :-)

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