Today, Author Duncan M Hamilton is sharing his wisdom and experience with us. Thank you, Duncan! (He really has some great advice!)
You can find Duncan’s Amazon Author Page here:
1. How did you decide to become an indie author?
I’ve been writing all my life, but always as a hobby, and never as something I thought I could make a living at. When a relative fell seriously ill, she said not to get to that point in your life with any regrets. Publishing one of the books I had written was my first thought. It was around the time self publishing was getting some media attention, so I decided to give it a try.
2. What genre do you write in and why?
I write in Fantasy. Historical fiction was always my thing, but I usually hit a road block when historical events wouldn’t allow my story to progress. For that genre, I’ve never liked the idea of playing free and easy with real events, so this was a bit of a problem. One day it struck me that making up my own history would not only help solve this, but would also be a lot of fun! I haven’t looked back!
3. What social media sites do you use and can you offer a tip for each one?
A WordPress based website and blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads author profile, and a Google Plus page that I never use. I’m not great at this stuff, so the main tip I’d suggest is the thing I rely on. I have my WordPress set up so my blog posts are automatically shared on the other sites, populating them with content and saving me a lot of effort!
4. How important is blogging to an indie author in your estimation?
In honesty, I don’t know. I don’t blog that often, and probably far less than I should, because it’s not something I’m particularly good at. When I do, it’s limited to book related news, and things that give me inspiration. I’ve always seen it as a resource for people who’ve already encountered my work to visit, rather than a tool to grow my audience. Not sure if this is the best approach or not. Probably not.
5. How do you go about getting reviews?
For my first book, I spent some time making a list of all the review sites and book bloggers that were open to my genre, then went about emailing them all (it took quite a while!). I mailed nearly two hundred sites, heard back from about 10, of which 4 ended up posting reviews, so it can be something of an uphill battle.
6. What do you price your books at and do you give away free copies?
They range from $2.99 to $5.99. I’ve given away some copies as part of promotions, but I don’t have a permanently free title.
7. Do you use a cover artist or make the cover yourself?
I use a cover artist. In my opinion, the cover is too important not to have expert input.
8. What do you do about editing?
I use professional editors.
9. What do you do when sales are slow to encourage more books to be sold?
Panic! Work harder to get another release ready sooner. This is something I really don’t have much of an answer for. There’s no silver bullet that I’m aware of. If you have one, I’m listening!
10. What do you know now, that you wish you had known before?
I can’t think of anything. There’s so much information out there for writers looking to venture into self-publishing, that a bit of time spent researching can cover most of the pitfalls before plunging in. As with anything, there are minor things I change and refine with each book, but they’re more matters of personal preference rather than anything substantive.
11. Do you use a mailing list or newsletter to promote?
Yes, I do. Conventional wisdom is that it’s pretty important. I can’t say with any certainty how helpful it’s been for me.
12. Any further advice, tips or tricks you think would help others?
If you hope to make a career out of this, behave professionally in all areas and at all times. Only release your work when it has the level of production quality you would expect from a book you buy.
13. Where do you sell the largest majority of your books and do you do just ebooks or print as well?
Amazon, with Kobo in second place. I have my novels available in print through print on demand.