Happy Six Question Saturday, readers and writers! Today is special because it's my 11th wedding anniversary. Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?
Today I'm happy to invite back to Finding Bliss, Julia Hughes! Julia has offered to give away two paperback copies of her latest release The Griffin Cryer, make sure to check the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
How many drafts do you typically go through before you upload your book?
Typically three drafts of the whole book. I don't know if that's excessive or slacking! But there will be chapters that require more attention and reworking than others, and sometimes need to be completely re-written for the story to have the most impact.
What authors have influenced you the most?
C S Lewis and his Narnia chronicles, he first planted the idea in my mind that it wasn't impossible to create my own worlds. I adore the Shropshire writers, especially Mary Webb, there's something magical about her writing. Stephen King with his casual manner of introducing supernatural or preternatural elements into his stories, and finally our own Stephen Spencer, who is an indie writer, and who very generously steered me in the right direction with his insightful critique of "An Explosive Time" and "The Griffin Cryer".
Did you query agents or publishers before you first self-published?
Yes! I sent "A Raucous Time" to several agents, via snail mail. One eventually answered, telling me that the main characters were too young to appeal to adults, while the story line didn't suit younger readers. I disagreed of course! Though I did build up one of the adult character's parts, and surprisingly – that agent (wish I could remember her name) was right!
How do you feel about exclusivity programs like KDP Select?
Kindle Direct Publishing Select worked for me spectacularly once I realised that any free promotional days have to be planned like a campaign. I did take my titles out of KDP Select, with mixed results, and consequently have now enrolled all but one of my titles into KDP again.
What would you do differently if you could start all over again?
I was very nervous about asking other people for their opinions, advice and help. I wasn't too confident in giving my own opinion or advice either. I realise now that the Indie Author community is extremely supportive, and I don't hesitate to ask for beta readers, or reviews, or advice. I wish I had done more research, and followed successful blogs, such as your own highly informative and helpful "Finding Bliss".
What marketing tools have been the most effective for you?
Sales have always improved dramatically after free promotional days. (Tweet this!) By having one title in Amazon's top ten (albeit free download top ten) my other titles are visible to kindle owners. It sounds painful, giving away your book which represents months even years of hard work, but it is the quickest most direct method of attracting new readers.
Author interviews and guest posts are an enjoyable and effective way to invite people into my little world too, and I'm very grateful to you Laura for making it possible to appear here. I would definitely recommend your site to readers and authors alike. I try to keep my own site and Facebook pages updated, and of course Twitter is great for communicating updates and new releases.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you have a fantastic weekend, and I'll see you back here Wednesday, unless of course one of my friends needs me to post a cover reveal, which I'm always happy to share!