Find out what Indie author Renee Swann has to say about the publishing world. Find out more about Renee Swann on Twitter, Goodreads, Website, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Google Books.
What made you decide to go Indie and self-publish?
I self-published my first book, My Never, while I was polishing and rewriting a manuscript for submission. But that didn't quite happen (the submitting). I discovered I rather enjoyed having total control over everything (yes, I am just a BIT of a control freak). But this made me even more invested in my books, because I also do the marketing. It's a great motivation for me, wanting to get my books out there and find new readers.
Though this path isn't necessarily right for everyone, or for the faint of heart. I believe that traditional publishing is still important and necessary, and I like to treat each of my books separately in what is right for them—perhaps one day I'll pursue a "traditional" publisher, but right now I am content with what I have.
What do you think is the biggest challenge an Indie author faces?
Finding an audience for your books. I think it's essential to know who your potential-readers are, in order for them to discover your books. Some vital questions to ask yourself are: What age group am I writing for? What genre? Which author's books are similar to mine and could attract similar readers? Where can I find these readers? If you can answer these. then you're on the right track (though it still won't be easy).
What are you working on right now?
I am doing a final edit on The Truth About Love (the manuscript I mentioned above), which is due out this October.
The Truth About Love is centred upon the life of cupcake baker Veronica Hart. Love has always been complicated for Roni, but when two past loves return, seeking to reconcile, 'complicated' becomes an understatement.
Roni bakes with dexterity, intent on sparking happiness in her customer's lives. But life isn't always perfect in her world, and it's about to be turned upside down in disturbing ways. With the lives of her friends in jeopardy, Roni must figure out who is behind it, before it's too late.
What advice can you share with other Indie and aspiring Indie authors?
Keep writing and never give up. The struggle is worth it and something every writer goes through.
Which authors inspire you?
I'm inspired by many authors, but I'll attempt to narrow it down to a handful. Let's see—Jack Kerouac. I am a monumental Kerouac fan and I just love how he writes, abolishing writing rules and creating his own set. Tahereh Mafi is similar and quite poetic. My writing style has evolved so much over the past year and I think it reflects these two most.
I also love Leigh Bardugo, Veronica Roth, Lauren Nicolle Taylor and Kelley York. I know with these ladies, a fantastic story always awaits me.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
I think Goodreads is a great place to interact with readers and promote your books ... Twitter, not so much. A lot of indie authors tweet non-stop promo tweets, and they may as well be shoving their book in my face saying, "READ THIS!!" It really turns me off from even having a peek at their Amazon page.
Other authors are not your target audience.
If you don't make me laugh or tweet something real and 'everyday'--I'm not interested. And it's all about the connections you make. That is what sells books. As a reader, I want to feel connected to an author, laugh with them when their dog climbs onto the (unused) barbeque (like mine did, she's Houdini reincarnated, I tell ya) or feel deflated when said dog is rushed to the vet. THAT is what makes me buy books. Not constant self-promotion. Make me care, and I will sprint to the bookstore (or e-book store).
I mostly tweet about coffee, cupcakes and YA books, but a whole lotta people love coffee and YA.