Today, the lovely and vivacious Stephanie Queen has stopped by to answer questions on her indie publishing success. I met Stephanie at a Backspace Writer’s Conference in 2010. She was a take-charge woman who fearlessly approached published authors to ask them advice about my book for me.
I’ve watched her indie publishing career develop and could not be more impressed by her! She was one of the first writers I reached out to when I started my indie journey and she graciously answered my newbie questions and pointed me toward fantastic resources.
1) Why did you choose to self-publish?
I did it for the fame and fortune! Kidding. Well, maybe half kidding.
But really, the notion of having creative control of my novels which are hybrid genres was irresistible!
2) What were the most unexpected/gratifying things about self-publishing?
Being Queen of my empire is the most gratifying! I’m actually not kidding about this. I love being an entrepreneur and that is unexpected. I realized when I sat down on New Year’s Day to write my detailed business plan for the year that I was a goner—totally sucked into the entrepreneurial spirit of indie Publishing.
3) What do you consider the key elements of self-publishing success?
Patience. Fast writing. Fast everything! I know that seems contradictory, to do things fast and then sit back and be patient, but that’s exactly the way it is. You need lots of product to sell—books—so you need to write fast. You also need to be able to react to market changes quickly—and I don’t mean writing to trends—I mean things like Apple and KOBO coming up with their own distribution platforms, Amazon inventing KDP select and now changing the rules, etc. You need to be on the cutting edge of every facet of the business so you need to be aware of what everyone else is doing and how they’re doing it—like getting audiobooks produced through ACX.
4) If you could go back in time to before your first book was self-published and give yourself three pieces of advice about self-publishing, what would they be?
Learn to write faster.
Hire more than one editor for each book.
Take a chill pill and become zen-like with patience.
5) Last time we talked, you were working on an audiobook. Can you give us an idea of what that process involves (key steps, biggest costs, etc.)?
Truthfully, I could (and will if you want me to!) write a whole ‘nother blog about that process. But I will say for now that I enjoyed the process immensely. The first key step is finding a narrator who has the right voice for you and who is reliable to work with.
As for costs, that’s complicated. A narrator could cost you from $0 to $5,000+ up front. Depending.
There’s royalty share options, there’s combo royalty share/stipend agreements, there’s straight hourly fee per finished hour, etc. The good thing is that the narrator not only reads/acts your book, but they also take care of the production. As the author, you act as the quality control, listening to the “draft” and making revision requests.
Right now my audiobook, THE THROWBACKS, a romantic comedy suspense, is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The next in the series, THE HOT SHOTS, is currently in production and should be out by the end of April.
She’s a vivacious, light-hearted young beauty from Beacon Hill
He’s a world-weary not-so-young exile from Scotland Yard.
She’s an orphaned decorator who longs for a family of her own.
He’s a rogue detective with a superhero complex.
She’s smitten with this superhero who is the last man she sees in the picket-fence picture of her future.
He’s smitten with this fluffy young romantic who he sees as kryptonite to his career and well being.
But if you saw Grace and David in a room full of people, and you had to pick one man and one woman who belonged together, you would pick them. They would be The Throwbacks.
Vivacious young decorator Grace Rogers sets her sights for that picket-fence life she longs for with the unlikely world-weary British exile, the not-so-young David Young. The ex-Scotland Yard detective joins the Boston Police Department to salvage his career. He hires Grace to decorate his Beacon Hill townhouse to salvage his life.
But this rogue detective’s plans for a new beginning are threatened when he can’t resist the seemingly unseemly romance with his too-young bombshell decorator. Grace turns out to be a key witness in his high-stakes kidnapping case–and like Kryptonite to his career and his well-being with her romantic notions of family life.
David put his life on the line to save her from the kidnappers, but now is Grace willing to put her dreams on the line to save her real-life superhero from himself?
My website: www.StephanieQueen.com
Buy THE THROWBACKS:
Apple iTunes ebook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-throwbacks/id488522462?mt=11
Apple ITunes Audiobook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/throwbacks-scotland-yard-exchange/id590292831
Audible Audiobook: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00ATF48EK&qid=1362247129&sr=1-1