Writing, promotion, tips, and opinion. Pour a cuppa your favorite poison and join in.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Self-published Author Angela Brown

This week I've got at least two, hopefully three self-published authors to talk about that aspect of publishing. First up is Angela Brown, self-published author of Neverlove.

Tell us a little about yourself, Angela.

My name is Angela Brown and I think my actual life title should be juggler. I'm a single mother to a rambunctious tomboy nicknamed Chipmunk. She is the light of my life. I work full time for a telecommunications company and I self-publish some of my writing projects. And I'm a dreamer (hey, isn't being a daydreamer a power in Shark Boy and Lava Girl?)

Chocolate and Wild Cherry Pepsi should be kept a safe distance from me because I will eat and drink it all up. Did I mention I love chocolate? If not, I lurve chocolate...and Pringles.

I live in Central Texas with no pets of my own, but maybe that can change one day soon. No cats, though. Chipmunk's allergic.

When I'm not juggling the other facets of my life, precariously I must say (lol!!!), I love to snuggle up with a good paperback, hardcover or my mini-duo and read, read, read anything from steampunk to contemporary to military sci-fi.

How did you get from being a writer to self-publishing?

I actually had a self-publishing hiccup several years ago. I was in a different place in life and was mainly interested in getting my manuscript in a pretty book format with a cover. I took publishing lightly and life's changes threw one heckuva monkey wrench in trying to take it seriously.

So after getting my life back on track, I contemplated writing but not the self-publishing. As I worked on different writing projects, I did a little research here and there on various self-publishing options, especially with the boom in ebooks. I still wasn't sure what to do but I had a very strong urge to have control over the process if I decided to hit the publishing pavement. It was during and right after the April 2012 blogging challenge that I had the chance to interact with Gwen Gardner, my Partner in ParanormYA, and watch as so many things fell into place to take on self-publishing, and I'm glad about it. Self-publishing Neverlove has been a great experience.

Did you have a background that proved to be helpful or any experience? How hard was it?

No background like marketing, editing or anything along those lines. Writing is my passion, so having, keeping and maintaining that passion has been most helpful.

Self-publishing, in and of itself, is the easy part. You load your story up to a distribution point then hit publish. However, it is the marketing and promotion that can be a bit more difficult for someone like me that's not big into sales. I enjoy talking about my writing, my stories...all of that. But selling it? Well, that is the part I have to work a LOT at to get better. Actually, I'm not sure I'm supposed to sell my stories. Aren't they meant to sell themselves with a good cover, enjoyable story and word of mouth? Things don't work out that way for all writers. So still a lot to work on.

What did you do wrong? Right?

When it came to self-publishing, I knew the stigma was there that self-publishers were sloppy or put out a sub-par product. I knew it was a stigma that did not define all self-publishers, but I wanted to do my best to make sure I didn't live down to the negative. I ensured multiple other sets of eyes worked over the drafts of my novel. I hired a book cover designer and also hired a formatter so that the layout of my ebooks and print could be just right. I was and am proud of the finished product.

As for what I did wrong, well, the biggest thing I did wrong was I didn't prepare a decent idea of how best to market my novel. I just flapped around in the publishing waters until I got my stride and started understanding a few things better. Taking away lessons learned from each publication has been helpful, but I realize there are some lessons I probably could have avoided lol!! I also failed to better understand price structure and price modification impacts during certain timelines. That is one I'm still struggling with.

Are you happy with your choice? Do you think you'll stick with self-publishing or are you still keeping your options over?

I've been very happy with self-publishing my YA/NA novel and novellas. Even though I wish sales were more in line with my enthusiasm, I love my stories and what I've produced. However, I'm open to traditional publishing as well. I'm currently querying a MG story. It's a different age group and I hope that acquiring an agent can help get the story into even more venues. 

You can find Angela here:
Angela Brown in Pursuit of Publishness

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

Buy links: Amazon.com, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Kobo, B&N
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE2g5HlKWTw
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15843604-neverlove
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6476148.Angela_Brown
Angela Brown in the Pursuit of Publishness blog: http://publishness.blogspot.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Angela-Brown/e/B009JJEX60
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AngelaLBrownWrites
Partners in ParanormYA (with Gwen Gardner): http://partnersinparanormya.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ALBrownwrites
PIP Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Partners-in-ParanormYA/462052430493091


Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved learning more about Angela and what worked and didn't work in her self-publishing journey. Excited her new book is coming out soon.

Angela Brown said...

Thanks so much for having me here today :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think you've figured out some of that marketing stuff now. And I remember when that first book was just A to Z entries. Look how far you've come!

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

Angela is one the very first people I met in the writerly world. I loved her from the start, especially when Chipmunk made appearances on her blog, LOL.

Self-publishing was once the red-headed stepchild in this industry. No more. Kudos to Angela! She is one of those people who is turning the self-pub side into a monster. It is people like her that is changing the publishing world.

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck with everything Angela! You've come a long way with your writing and publishing and I wish you the very best!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great to learn more about Angela....

Self publishing is quite the journey... Glad it all fell into place for her!

Robin said...

I love the cover of your book. I think reading about self-publishing and talking to people who have done it are excellent tips to perfecting the process!

mshatch said...

I'm really glad Angela was able to join us today :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

It doesn't matter if you self publish or traditionally publish, these are all important lessons. :)

Liz A. said...

Very interesting.

Perhaps Angela should try chocolate covered Pringles. Just a thought...

Charity Bradford said...

Angela, thanks for being here today! And Liz, that actually sounds really good. Kind of like M&Ms in your popcorn.

Liz Blocker said...

Love the honest and open answers - it's so great to read about others' experiences. Thanks for a great interview!