Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 148--Interview with Linda David, Author of The Firestone Crystal

Jennifer: When did you publish your first book and what is it about?
Linda: I published The Firestone Crystal on Kindle first and that was on 29th December 2011 and the paperback version was published on 10th February 2012.  It's a story aimed at the '9 years and over' age range, about the adventures of a young 11-year-old girl named Thea. She gets an opportunity to be Earth's first student at The Firestone Academy set on Planet Aruuliah when her grandfather is reunited with a mysterious childhood friend.  This is a school that offers lessons in telepathy, mind-reading, and astral-projection to name a few.  She makes some good friends but also some enemies, and when she begins to have some very disturbing dreams, she tries to find out what they mean.  This leads to the discovery of a hideously-deformed cave-creature, and a dire warning that life as they know it will soon end unless she can help...

Jennifer: Did you invest in your book for editing or proofreading? Why or why not?
Linda: I did all the editing myself, and although I did have some assistance through family and friends with the proofreading, it was not something I would pay a professional to do.  To be honest, I knew so little about the publishing world, this being my first book, that I didn't realise so much professional help was out there.  Now that I know, would I do it differently next time?  I don't know if I would.  A lot of people seem to recommend it, however, when I wrote this book it was just a hobby, a bit of fun and I think hiring people to do things for me will make it seem too much like a full-time job, and I have one of those already!

Jennifer: Please tell us your top three, most successful book marketing tips.
Linda: Basically, for this book, I had a book launch in April, and I have a website and Facebook page.  That's about it apart from Twitter, but I have to admit, I probably don't do as much as I should.  For me, the fun was in writing the book.  Getting the opportunity to publish it myself was an added bonus.  I don't spend a lot of time marketing because I'm too busy writing!  Top three tips, definitely having a website where people can get further information about the book and any new projects.  Also, I work in a college and they very kindly had some posters made up and created a lovely display advertising my book, which is also available to buy in the college bookshop, and lastly word of mouth!  I get all my students to recommend my book to as many people as they can!

Jennifer: Do you have an author blog? If so, how do you attract readers? What is your blog's address?
Linda: My author bog and website are the same thing,  I'm new at the 'blogging' thing, and most of my blogs consist of character blogs from the students at the Academy and really anything that catches my attention that week.  I do my best to keep it related to writing and books.

Jennifer: If you are on Twitter, how do you get followers and what are your favorite hash tags?
Linda: The only one I have used myself is 'authorRT' which means that any authors who get the tweet will retweet it to their followers.

Jennifer: What have you done that has successfully increased your online sales?
Linda: My sales are slow, but steady, and they mainly seem to increase when I update my blog. 

Jennifer: What online sites do you prefer to network with authors, publishers, editors or readers?
Linda: At the moment I really prefer the author sites, purely because they are in the same boat as you, and it's a good place to get tips and learn from others' experiences.  Hopefully, if enough people begin to buy my book, I would love to be able to talk to my readers about what they did or didn't enjoy, what they'd like to see happen, etc.  I'm particularly interested in children's feedback and have a page on my website where they can leave comments about the book, or if they want to write a book review, I am more than willing to put it up.  My first went up last week!

Jennifer: What advice would you give aspiring authors about self-publishing?
Linda: I would say it's definitely worth doing, however, be aware that once published, it is a long and often slow process to seeing those sales.  You really have to market your work in order to get results.  Also, make sure somebody else reads your work prior to publishing.  You have no idea how many typos and other errors there may be in there, even if you've read it through fifty times!  There is no greater turn-off than a book full of grammatical mistakes.

Jennifer: Your book is less than six months old, has the self-publishing process been what you expected?
Linda: To be honest, I don't really know what my expectations were.  I was just so excited about seeing my work in print that the rest seemed unimportant.  I've learned a lot from other authors about what I should or shouldn't be doing, and have taken a lot of their advice.  I did hope that my sales would be higher, but then one of the things I keep hearing is that unless you have at least three books out, they will probably continue to be slow.  With that in mind, I started my sequel in January, and would like to think I'll have it finished by Christmas, but it will more than likely be this time next year.

Jennifer: Describe your idea of success.
Linda: My ideal scenario would be to begin making enough money from my books so that I can retire early from my job and return to my island home in Nevis in the Caribbean.  I have a sister who lives out there and she is currently putting the finishing touches to her own book.  The plan is that we will both retire and live on Nevis, with its deserted beaches, cool breezes and warm, tropical sunshine...aahhh, an idyllic place to write!

Jennifer: What projects are you working on now? Please describe.
Linda: My second book is the sequel to the first, so a continuation of Thea's adventures at The Firestone Academy.  The book is still in its early stages, so there isn't much I can tell you.

Linda David is a UK based author and currently lives in West Drayton just outside London. She just celebrated her 45th birthday and is a single mother of two wonderful children aged 15 and 13 years.  She works full-time as a College Lecturer in Childcare.

Click image to purchase The Firestone Crystal!