Q&A with Lindsay Buroker--Fantasy Author discussion

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Questions on Self-Publishing

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message 1: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Wondering how it works? Why so many authors are going this route these days? Ask away...


message 2: by Khaalidah (new)

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali Hi Lindsay.
I self published my novel with Xlibris about three or four years ago and have done soooo very little to get it sold. School, work, family...
Well time is still so very short, but I would like to do more. Any simple tips you can offer that I can implement to create more interest?
BTW, I've also self published the same book on Smashwords and Lulu. It is available on Amazon and will soon be available on Kindle.


message 3: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Hi, Khaalidah! Thanks for popping in. :)

It's definitely easier to sell ebooks than paperback books for indie authors, so it's good that you're getting the digital version out there in multiple stores. The hard part is making people aware that it exists!

Fortunately, there are more and more book bloggers willing to review indie authors, so you can try submitting your ebook to them.

If you have paperback copies, you can run giveaways here on Goodreads (have you set up an author page here yet?). That gets a lot of people at least taking a look at your book, since many readers browse the giveaways area.

If you have any short stories sitting around, you could turn one into a free ebook to distribute through Smashwords to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc. You can include an excerpt to your non-free book at the end.

And, of course, being active on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. can all help. If you have an excerpt up on your blog, you can do promotional tweets/links now and then to send folks to take a peep.

Lots of work to sell those books, but doing a little bit each week certainly helps. Good luck!


message 4: by Lynda R. Young (new)

Lynda R. Young (LyndaRYoung) | 2 comments I was wondering what made you, Lindsay, decided to go the self pub route.


message 5: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Lynda, there are lots of reasons now that I'm glad I went this route, but at the time it was a matter of wanting to get my stuff out there within months instead of years (if ever) and having zero interest in paying the agent-hunt game.

I never played the job-interview game either. I've always liked to work for myself and control my own destiny. ;)


message 6: by Stacey (new)

Stacey James (Redheadnews) | 1 comments I love your book covers! Can you point me in any direction, or refer me, to someone who can also design covers for me? P.S.- I have never read anything to do with fantasy before, but I just added one of your books to my to-read shelf...I'm looking forward to reading/buying it!


message 7: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Thanks, Staci! I hope you enjoy the book. :)

As for covers, Glendon Haddix over at Streetlight Graphics does mine. Here's his site: http://streetlightgraphics.com/

I think he's pretty busy right now though. You can also join Kindleboards.com and ask for recommendations in The Writers' Cafe there. Lots of indie authors hang out there, and there might even be a big list of cover artists around there somewhere.

Good luck!


message 8: by Lynda R. Young (new)

Lynda R. Young (LyndaRYoung) | 2 comments Speaking of covers, what made you decide to change the cover of Emporer's Edge?


message 9: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Lynda, I liked the artist, but the Amaranthe on the front didn't end up looking anything like the character in the book (interestingly, the same fellow did the cover art for Ice Cracker II, and I liked that version of Amaranthe a lot more, albeit she's rather scantily clad for the middle of winter :P).

Also the text didn't look like something you'd find on a "real" book. I tried a couple of versions of the text, but, after working with the very affordable Glendon Haddix (the fellow who did the Flash Gold cover art), I decided to just have him do another EE cover. I know the current ones don't really capture the often light-hearted and (I hope) fun nature of the books, but I imagine that'd be tough for someone to do who hasn't read the series.

Someday I may have someone take another stab at custom illustrations that involve the characters, but the ones now are affordable (since Glendon can use the same layout for each book), and that's something to shoot for when you're an indie, hah. ;)


message 10: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
It's all over the board! Some people know artists, some people are artists themselves, and some people hunt around on Deviant Art or ask people for recommendations.

You can also check the "yellow pages" on the Kindleboards for lists of folks who do editing, cover art, formatting, etc.: http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...


message 11: by Renee Angela (new)

Renee Angela (reneeangela) | 11 comments Also...to add on to what Lindsay said, there are also places like Freelancer.com where you can post a job request for an editor as well as a book cover artist.


message 12: by Renee Angela (last edited Nov 30, 2011 06:26AM) (new)

Renee Angela (reneeangela) | 11 comments *** Q of the week! ***

I really loved that one entry on your site where you talked about approaching eBook marketing with introverted authors in mind. Would you ever, say, if given the opportunity...attend a promotional event somewhere? Like a comic-con perhaps?


message 13: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Renee,

It does go against my introvert tendencies, heh. I don't mind chatting with folks, but I'd have a hard time plugging my books in a public forum (even online, I almost always plug my free stuff instead of asking people to buy something).

Also, I have a fear many authors probably share, of doing a book signing or chat or something, and having no one show up. :P

On that note, I love this video with Parnell Hall.


message 14: by Nicholas (new)

Nicholas Olivo | 5 comments I love this video with Parnell Hall

That is classic!


message 15: by Renee Angela (last edited Dec 01, 2011 03:57PM) (new)

Renee Angela (reneeangela) | 11 comments Lindsay wrote: "Renee,

It does go against my introvert tendencies, heh. I don't mind chatting with folks, but I'd have a hard time plugging my books in a public forum (even online, I almost always plug my free st..."


I figured you'd say that (thought it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway ^^;). That video was pretty sad...in a funny way, lol. Definitely makes me cringe at the thought of being in that situation though!


message 16: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Renee, did you have some cool comic con in mind? ;)

Maybe someday something like that will coincide with my travels. Someone was trying to get me to go to a con in Ontario (in November), but I much prefer to visit warm and tropical destinations. *g*


message 17: by Renee Angela (last edited Dec 05, 2011 07:25PM) (new)

Renee Angela (reneeangela) | 11 comments Lindsay,

I've never actually been to a comic con in my life but I would really love to go to a steampunk con of some sort! I was thinking I would LOVE to see Flash Gold come to life somehow (I think out of all your stories that series is the most steampunked). I'm in Japan so the chances of me venturing out to a (writing related) con is very slim unless it's happening in Tokyo or somewhere else relatively nearby. Nevertheless if I chance upon something in a warm and tropical climate, I will surely let you know! :]


message 18: by Renee Angela (new)

Renee Angela (reneeangela) | 11 comments *** Q of the week! ***

Do you have any advice for people looking for crit buddies? ...Critiquing in general?

I've found some temporary crit buds from Absolute Write Water Cooler (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/) but so far I've never actually found a solid crit buddy. But then again I'm so engrossed in writing that perhaps I'm not really trying hard enough (*_*;). I am also looking into www.critters.org as well (for when I actually DO manage to finish my manuscript, heh).


message 19: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Hi Renee,

A steampunk con sounds fun to me too. I'd like to see Abney Park play sometime:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPH1Oo...

Japan might make for a long commute to find some steampunk. Maybe there'll be something in Hawaii. Long flight, but nice and tropical!

I found my crit buddies after being on the SFF OWW for a while. http://sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com/ Unlike Critters.org, it's not free ($50 a year), but I found it easier to get to know people there. That said, it isn't as active as it used to be, so if you check them out, you might just want to do the free trial first.

Maybe someone else will come along with other suggestions.

Good luck with the writing! Are you getting close to finishing your novel?


message 20: by Renee Angela (last edited Dec 07, 2011 04:26AM) (new)

Renee Angela (reneeangela) | 11 comments Lindsay,

I am definitely going to look more into Abney Park. Hawaii would totally be a nice place to go for a con! (And of course I wouldn't mind the white sandy beaches either.)

As for SFF OWW, I would gladly pay the $50 if it meant having an easier time but yeah I think I will do the trial for starters and dip my toe in the water. :]

Thanks to NaNoWrimo, I'm finally shedding the majority of my panster ways and my novel is *finally* achieving some semblance of coherence through an outline. I'm finding that the outline is really helping me stick to and develop the plot a lot better. At this point it looks like I'll finish the rough draft perhaps by the end of January, cross fingers.

Well, as always, thanks for the great advice and also for the luck, I need it. Until next week's Q! :D


message 21: by Keith (last edited Dec 06, 2011 10:19PM) (new)

Keith Weller (KeithMWeller) | 2 comments The steam Punks are sort of interesting I have the pleasure of seeing one each year where I work. Its nice to go into that world where people have fun and dont look at you funny because you enjoy the multitudes of styles that appear. If you get the chance google RadCon 2012.


message 22: by Keith (new)

Keith Weller (KeithMWeller) | 2 comments Lyndsey,
Where do you find the inspiration for your books?


message 23: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Renee, there are quite a few steampunk bands you can check out on YouTube, but I think Abney Park might be the most popular. This song (not by them) is fun too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq7XG4...

Glad to hear the novel is coming along well! I always outline a bit, though I inevitably deviate from it as I go along. :) It helps to have the ending figured out in advance at least.

Let me know if you end up liking the OWW!


message 24: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Keith, thanks for stopping by!

It would definitely be fun to see all the costumes and such at a steampunk con. The pictures I've seen on the web all look fun. Though if I went, you'd never get me to put on a corset... ;)

As for inspiration, I get a lot of ideas from history books and tv shows. I have a cool coffee table book on the old New York waterworks system, and the idea for EE2 came out of that. A History Channel special on ice breaking ships gave birth to my short story, Ice Cracker II, and reading Simon Singh's The Code Book made me decide to do a cryptographer for a main character (Tikaya in Encrypted).

Thanks for asking!


message 25: by Sookie (new)

Sookie Willson Hi Lindsay, i just want some advice about writing and how to start?? ive got good ideas but feel embrassed to write or get to distracted. Did you ever think you were stupid for writing??

I know this Discussion is for Self Publishing, i just want advice if you can give it.

Thank you


message 26: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Hi Ashton,

Sorry I missed seeing this post sooner! I think joining a writing workshop and meeting other aspiring authors can be a good way to get into things. You'll realize that everybody has fears and insecurities about their writing, and that we're all in the same boat. Yes, I have "this sucks" moments when I'm writing, and I have to remind myself that I can go back and edit the story later to make it better.

Workshops can help you stay motivated to finish things too. You develop relationships with critique-buddies, and they'll start bugging you to post the next chapter or short story. :)

With sites like critters.org, you don't necessarily need to have anything finished to get started. You can try sending the first chapter of a manuscript through and getting some feedback on that. Sometimes just having people make suggestions will motivate you to get back in there and work on your story.

I'm not sure if I can help you with avoiding distractions. I am quite good at wasting lots of time on Twitter myself. :P

Good luck!


message 27: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Glad it helped, Michelle!


message 28: by William (new)

William Hello Lindsay,
What did you do in regards to an editor?


message 29: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Hi William,

I've worked with four or five now (yes, I get around!), and I'm currently using Shelley Holloway (http://hollowayhouse.me/) to proofread my manuscripts. I also have a couple of nice beta readers I met through my workshop. They're not afraid to pick on things. :D


message 30: by William (new)

William Ya writing workshops are awesome for that. Thanks for the link.


message 31: by S.A. (new)

S.A. Mason (saraamason) | 1 comments Hey Lindsay!
Have you ever done a book blog tour? If you did, how did you go about finding the right blogs? Any suggestions for content?
I'm currently trying to put together my own blog tour, and it's pretty daunting for a newbie.


message 32: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (GoblinWriter) | 80 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Hey Lindsay!
Have you ever done a book blog tour? If you did, how did you go about finding the right blogs? Any suggestions for content?
I'm currently trying to put together my own blog tour, and i..."


Hi Sara,

I did a couple early on and found it to be a lot of work for not many sales, though I did get a couple of reviews from some of the blog owners (they also posted them on Amazon). That was helpful, since I didn't have many at the time.

I signed up with outfits that do the work (find the blogs) for you, though I don't remember the names now. If you wanted to hunt for blogs yourself, you can go to Alexa.com and check the site's traffic rating to get an idea of whether or not there's an audience (it's not really worth doing interviews or writing up posts for sites that don't have many readers). With Alexa, a lower number is better. My blog is around 150,000, I think. Anything over a million might not be worth it.

You can google your-genre + reviews to hunt for blogs that might work for you.

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck!


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Q&A with Lindsay Buroker--Fantasy Author

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