Month of Indie with Shalini Boland
Please welcome today's Month of Indie guest, author of books with amazing covers and gripping content, Shalini Boland.
Can you start by telling us why you decided to self-publish?
Back in 2009 I had a literary agent and after an initial flurry of interest from publishers, things died down. After that, my agent went quiet too and so I decided to end our agreement and self-publish instead. It was probably the best thing I ever did. Now, I have total control over all my books. I get to choose covers, pricing and publishing schedules. Plus, I take home all the royalties, rather than 5 – 10%. If I were a writer just starting out, what publishing platform would you recommend, and why?
For ebooks, I would probably start with the Amazon Kindle Unlimited programme. If you’re lucky enough to get the Amazon algorithm to kick in and start showing your book to its readers, this will help you with sales. If sales droop, you’re only tied into KU for 3 months, so you can then widen your platform and go to other retailers like iTunes, Kobo and B&N. To save time, you can publish via a company like Smashwords or D2D who will send your book out to all the retailers on your behalf, taking a small percentage of royalties.
For print books, I would start out using Amazon’s CreateSpace print-on-demand service. It’s straightforward and user friendly. If you start selling enough, you could then explore other options like Lightning Source (my preferred choice).
What top five tips can you give to authors that are just about to release their first book?
Make sure your manuscripts are as well-edited as you can manage. Don’t put it out if it’s not ready. Nothing worse than a slew of 1 star reviews for typos and poor grammar.
Get a great cover – nothing home-made unless you’re a designer. And no clip-art or crappy fonts.
Your book blurb is very important. You have to hook that potential reader in. they need to WANT to read your book. Don’t make it too long – short and snappy is good.
Plan your release with a pre-release buzz, graphic teasers, and some promo over the first few days.
Consider releasing with a special 4 or 5-day launch price – e.g. 99c. This should help gain you visibility in the early days by pushing you higher up the ranking.
Can you tell us a little about your next novel, or a recently released one?
The Girl from the Sea is a psychological thriller with a wicked twist. It’s about a young woman who is washed up on the beach with no memory of who she is or how she got there.
My newest novel The Best Friend is a chilling thriller about toxic friendships and dark secrets.
Toxic friendships, money worries, paranoia, and murder . . .
The Best Friend is a chilling psychological thriller from the Bestselling Author of The Girl from the Sea.
They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer... Wrong. Louisa's new best friend has it all - the house, the status, the money. But she's also hiding a dark secret.
And as Louisa is drawn deeper into her friend's life, events take a chilling turn . . ."
"Sit on the edge of your seat and prepare for the ride!"
Will you ever traditionally publish your work?
My last novel was published traditionally as an audio book. And I’ve just signed an audiobook deal for my next 2 thrillers. I’ve also been approached by foreign publishers for the rights abroad, which I am considering. I would also consider a print-only deal. But I’m keeping the ebooks self-published as I don’t think a traditional publisher would be able to match my earnings.
What’s the most challenging thing about being indie?
Having enough time and energy to do everything required. I farm out the covers and editing, but that still leaves formatting, scheduling releases, paid promotion, social media – oh, and of course the plotting and writing.
What other self-published novels would you recommend?
There are so many good ones out there. I’m currently enjoying Sarah A. Denzil’s psychological thrillers. Other amazing self-pubbed authors are Rachel Amphlett (thrillers) and Elle Field (Chick Lit).
Let’s leave this on an inspiring note with a quote from our Author of the Day.
‘Don’t think about writing, just sit down and write.’
Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband and two noisy boys. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing suspense thrillers and dark adventures (in between doing the school run and hanging out endless baskets of laundry). Be the first to hear about my Thriller releases here Be the first to hear about my YA releases here Facebook Website
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