Today, the lovely and talented K.L. Schwengel has graciously stopped by to talk about her indie publishing experience and share her book launch with us. The release date was February 4, 2013. I’m so thrilled for K.L.!
1) Why did you choose the indie route for your novel?
Ultimately, because I believe in the story and I think people will enjoy it. Which also became a timing factor. To go the traditional route takes a lot (A. Lot.) of time. Months to years to find an agent, just as long or longer for the agent to find a publisher, another year beyond that for your book to hit the shelves. Call me impatient, but I’m already working on book 2 (and 3). Also, let’s not forget I’m a bit of a control freak. Indie publishing allows me to control every aspect of my books success or failure.
2) What do you consider to be the main pros and cons of indie publishing so far?
The biggest con for me right now has been time. Time I could/should be spending writing, for the past month has been spent formatting, formatting, editing, did I mention formatting? Also, I created my own cover, so that took another chunk of time. The there is getting the word out, all the marketing that needs to be done.
The pros? See the last bit of my answer to number one. Being in control of every aspect is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it.
3) What’s the biggest lesson you learned from indie publishing? What would you do differently next time? Any tips for first time indie authors?
The biggest lesson so far is don’t rush it. Bad editing, bad cover, bad press, will all garner bad reviews and lost readers. It’s easy to get caught up and want this out there NOW, darn it.
The only thing I’d do differently next time, start planning a little sooner. I really wanted an early January release, but I didn’t allow enough time. (There’s that word again!) I’ll be planning the release of Book 2 before it’s actually done. But then, until Book 1 was complete, I had never even considered going Indie.
For first time indie authors: Research, research, research. Then research a little more. Find some Indies you trust, build a relationship, and pick their brains. And don’t compromise. Don’t skip editing or beta readers because you *think* your book is ready and you want to be published. It stays out there forever. Make it the best you can, learn from it, write another book.
4) What were the most important aspects in choosing a cover designer and editor?
I have a fine arts degree and a background in graphic design, so I created my own cover. (Control freak, remember?) That was harder than one would think. I knew what I wanted it to say, and I knew every facet of the book, that at first I tried to put too much into it. I’m actually quite happy with the finished cover. When looking for a designer, look at other work they’ve done, talk to authors they’ve worked with. You want someone who can take a bit of direction, but who also can get across the essence of your story.
As for editing, I have a good friend who soundly beat the snot out of my manuscript more than once. But again, if I had to go out and hire one I’d shop around, do some research, ask questions. Never be afraid to ask for references either.
5) What was the hardest part of the e-book formatting process across platforms? How much time should be allocated to the formatting process? What tips would you give to anyone creating an e-book for the first time?
I downloaded Smashwords formatting guidelines and read it cover to cover and that helped worlds! The most important thing is to have a totally clean copy to start with. Word likes to hide formatting in the worse places.
Smashword’s guide suggests the nuclear method, and I’d recommend it. The guide is free so I won’t bore you with long-winded descriptions. Go to Smashwords, get the guide, read it. Basically, if you do that, it’s just a matter of following each platforms directions, they all have them.
I haven’t had a lot of problem with formatting. I know for other people it’s been a nightmare. It’s definitely tedious, which is the problem I think most folks have with it. As for how much time . . . hours. Several. Many. Maybe make that days. Better yet, give yourself a week to work on it. Undoubtedly, no matter how careful you are, you’re going to miss something.
Back Cover of First of Her Kind
Everyone, it seems, wants to dictate what Ciara does with her life: Serve the Goddess, destroy the Goddess, do as you promised your aunt. All Ciara wants is to keep the two magics she possesses from ripping her apart.
And that won’t be easy.
Not only are they in complete opposition to each other, blood ties pull her in divergent directions as well. And then there’s Bolin, the man sworn to protect her. There’s no denying the growing attraction between them, but is it Ciara he wants? Or her power?
None of which will matter if Ciara can’t overcome her fear and learn to use her gifts.No one knows the depths
of the ancient power she possesses, or what will happen if it manages to escape her control.
Will she lose herself entirely? Or be forever trapped between darkness & light?
K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.
Connecting with K.L.
Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/klschwengel
Where to Purchase Her Book
First of Her Kind is currently available in print at Amazon & Barnes & Noble, and in e-book formats at Amazon & Smashwords.
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