It is an honor and with Great pleasure to bring back author Eve Paludan. Thank you Eve for today's Interview. I wish you much Success!
~~~Author Interview #2~~~
What does it take to become successful?
A lot of authors will tell you it takes hard work and a burning desire to become successful, and to that, I would add, you need a plan. This plan should consist of three steps, because not only do you have to envision what you want from your career, you have to figure out how you can achieve what you want. Let's get started:
You need to establish a web presence. Besides your own dedicated web site for the people who are not glued to social networks, the primary social networks are: Facebook; Goodreads; Twitter; Google; and Pinterest. When you establish your web presence, you need to provide interesting content that is amusing, educational, thought-provoking, and has cool graphics. Your content should be relevant to your books in some way, even distantly. You can get more traffic to your site or page by offering occasional freebies. Always have positive interaction with your online fans, and try to answer questions and emails in a timely way. Encourage people to share your posts on Facebook, and ask them to RT(retweet) on Twitter, so that you are crowd-sourcing your fans and friends, but still giving them a lot back. There has to be value to what you offer online, and I discourage subscriber-only information, because people are less willing to give out their email addresses than in times past. If you have a newsletter, you should post it publicly online as well as emailing subscribers. Always say thank you to compliments, and try to be interested in other authors' books and promotions too. Get these cross-promos going with other authors to build your readership and fan base. Be as positive as you can when dealing with others. Taking the high road and keeping politics and religion off your page, unless you are a faith-based author, or a political novelist, will take you a long way with readers. Aim for a mainstream audience in your topical discussions, when possible.
Your realistic plan for success should include how you will support yourself, until your books take off. I chose freelance novel editing, because it dovetails reality with my writing career. It provides a way for me to learn from other authors' mistakes and triumphs, and editing improves my craft, while other people pay me to learn how to become a better writer, by editing their work. I really enjoy it too, am experienced, and apparently very good at it. Several of my editing clients are on the top one-hundred list of indie authors in terms of sales, and make their own living as Kindle authors. I am very proud of my client list, and I appreciate their trust in my skills. I also do a bit of ghostwriting(anonymous writing) and I only do that when it pays well. I have eliminated freelance editing of academic manuscripts from my writing-based services, because editing fiction pays about ten times more, when my hourly rate is figured in. Truly, academic editing is much more time-consuming, and for me was only a way to make a living, until I could break away and become independent of a day job. I don't recommend that people leave their day jobs, without a savings cushion, a plan, and clients for your services already established. Always, have a plan for income, while you are writing your books. Please don't put all the burden on your spouse either. You have to have income, while you are writing novels.
No matter what genre you write in, I'm going to encourage other authors' to write series novels. I can tell you that book series have a much higher audience draw, and repeat customers than single titles. It is not just me, who has figured this out. I love writing single titles, but they do not perform like series titles, at least not for the people I know, and for myself.
Of all the books you've had published, which one was the most enjoyable to write?
Describe your perfect writing atmosphere.
I like it perfectly quiet, or sometimes write with music. I live alone, so I can write at night, which is my preference. My creativity seems to be pretty high, between midnight and 2 a.m. I write best, while wearing pajamas. I like snacks when I write, not messy ones, though. I have a really comfortable rolling office chair. It's leather, and has arms. I prefer Logitech key boards, because of their springy touch. My rolling-cart style desk is a curb find, but it is the perfect height for me. I have a twenty-three-inch wide screen monitor plugged into my laptop, and I love seeing the words at a larger size. This helps avoid eyestrain. I also have a lap desk that I use in bed, and have another laptop computer set up in my bed, almost all the time. I have taken my computer to the beach, but it's too bright outside, or even in the car to see the screen. If I want to write at the beach, I just do it on paper, and type it when I get home.
How important are promotions to a book?
Very important, very. If you don't promote, you probably won't sell a dozen books in a month. It's a must.
Are your characters created from real-life events?
I have a disclaimer in my novels that the characters are fictional. I should probably stick to that statement.