Thanks for having me!
Tell us a little about MORE THAN MUSIC.
MORE THAN MUSIC is about a geeky guitarist who joins a rock band and goes on a reality TV show like The Voice but for bands. It’s a light, fun, sexy read with lots of pop culture and music references, and it’s completely stand-alone – the other books in the series will be about Maddie’s friends going on other reality TV shows. I’m also working on a prequel novella now, called MORE THAN EXES, which I hope to have out in October.
*Rock band and reality show...sounds like a fun read! -K.S.
Even though you have an agent, you decided to self-publish MORE THAN MUSIC. What influenced that decision?
When I wrote MORE THAN MUSIC I’d already been on submission for years with my YA books and was pretty burnt out by it all. I decided MORE THAN MUSIC would be a perfect book to self-publish since New Adult generally does better in ebooks than print anyway. Also, the book has a lot of pop culture references in it and I wanted it to come out now instead of two years from now or more. I knew that by self-publishing I would have control over the content, the release date, the price, the cover, the interior format, and so forth – and I’d keep all the rights and the profits, too! Giving up all of that for a traditional deal didn’t seem worth it for this particular book.
*Sounds like a smart decision, especially considering the circumstances. -K.S.
What inspired you to write MORE THAN MUSIC?
I went to high school for a short time with Adam Levine and the other guys in Maroon 5, back when they were called Kara’s Flowers. They played at our school dances and I sat behind them in class and was completely in love with them. Of course, they had no idea I existed! Many years later I saw Adam Levine on The Voice, and had the idea of a geeky girl joining an up-and-coming rock band at her school and going on a show like The Voice, and MORE THAN MUSIC grew from that.
*Wow, such a cool inspiration and fun story! I wish I knew Adam Levine in high school... -K.S.
What has been the most difficult part of your publishing journey? Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
The most difficult part was learning that great books often don’t sell because of the market or for other reasons. I hit a really low point after going through this myself, but it led to me writing and self-publishing MORE THAN MUSIC, so I wouldn’t change anything about my journey.
*Very true, sometimes great books don't sell. Love that you wouldn't change anything about your journey! -K.S.
Some writers may be scared to self-publish because they aren’t sure how to market or promote their book. Do you have any advice for marketing or promotion? How did you get your book “out there?”
One thing to consider is that even if you traditionally publish you will end up doing a lot of the marketing and promotion yourself, so it’s not too different when you self-publish. Promotion is one of the hardest things for all authors because it’s difficult to tell what works and what doesn’t. To get my book out there I did a cover reveal and some blog tours, and I also put my book on Netgalley to get early reviews and buzz going. I tried a few other things too, such as Facebook ads, but I’m not sure how effective they were. But I believe in trying everything once to see if it works, if it’s worth the time, and most importantly, if you enjoy doing it. I think it’s especially important to be a real person on all of your social media and to think about other ways to get your name out there that isn’t about selling your book. For example, I mentor other writers in Pitch Wars and The Writer’s Voice, and I do it because I love helping other authors – but it’s also good publicity, too.
*Great advice! -K.S.
I’m headed to a writing conference in a couple days, and I’m working on my elevator pitch. What would yours be for MORE THAN MUSIC?
MORE THAN MUSIC is a New Adult romance about a geeky guitarist who joins a rock band to compete on a reality TV show and ends up falling for the tattooed lead singer. When the show pressures them to remain single they have to keep their relationship secret, and she must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
*Oooh, love the pitch! You made me want to read it! :) -K.S.
Okay, now for some fun questions that have nothing to do with writing, but more to do with getting to know you!
If you had to wear a T-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life, which word would you choose? Why?
“Rawr!” This word just works for so many different situations.
*Lol. Great word! :) -K.S.
Describe your ideal romantic date.
Having dinner at a fun, casual restaurant, followed by seeing my favorite band in concert.
Tell us something nobody knows about you.
When I was 13 or 14 my mom wouldn’t let me go to Lollapalooza, so I lied and said I was going to a friend’s house… but then I went with this friend and her super cute older cousin to Lollapalooza anyway. It was awesome, although nothing ever happened with the hot cousin, sadly. Even as a kid I was all about rock music + hot guys!
(I really hope my mom never reads this interview…)
*Haha! Your secret is safe with me...and the rest of Unicorn Bell... -K.S.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done lately?
I recently played Cards Against Humanity with my mother-in-law and one of her friends. It was pretty embarrassing, but also hilarious because these two older British women ended up being dirtier than the rest of us!
*Lol. Too funny! -K.S.
What is your absolute favorite thing about being a writer?
My absolute favorite thing is hearing from fans that they loved my book, read it in one night and couldn’t put it down, and can’t wait for the next one. It’s truly the greatest feeling in the world!
*Aww, love that! -K.S.
Thank you, Elizabeth!! It was great having you on Unicorn Bell! And best of luck to you and MORE THAN MUSIC! :)
Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.
Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.
As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She plays the guitar, mentors at-risk teens, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of small, fluffy dogs.
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