Here’s a Guest Post, Interview, and the very first keep calm & blog on quiz!
Interview with Samantha March
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I knew since I was about nine, when I first started taking an interest in writing my own stories – often knock-offs of The Baby-Sitters Club!
How long did it take you to write your first novel, destined to fail?
When I actually set to it and really buckled down, it took me just over a year.
What made you decide to start a blog based on chick lit? And to run virtual book tours?
I started Chick Lit Plus to help me gain exposure in the writing community, because being an author was my goal. I have made so many valuable connections, and I truly credit CLP for my success. I decided to run the blog tours because back in 2010, no one was really focusing on the smaller, independent authors, so I wanted to create a market for that. The first tour ran in January 2011 and has been going strong since.
What made you decide to launch your own publishing company, Marching Ink?
I went to college for business and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I know books and publishing really well. It seemed like a natural career choice.
What’s been the biggest struggle in your writing career?
The biggest struggle is probably how much time you really need to dedicate to not only writing, but marketing as well. It takes a lot of time to do both, but luckily I love it.
Being an author takes time. And I don’t just mean writing the book. First, you need to know what you are writing. Some authors take more time on this than others, but everyone needs to start somewhere. What will your story be about? What is the conflict and resolution? Who is the heroine, the protagonist, the antagonist? What will be the peak of the story? Once your finished going through an English class pop quiz, you can start writing. And that, my friends, takes time. I find it best for me to give myself daily goals by word count. Everyone is different. But your job as an author doesn’t end when you type The End. Next comes in self-editing to help clean up your work and find errors that are easily fixable, and then calling in the big guns and hiring an editor to really get down and dirty. I love beta readers (getting honest feedback from a reader on your story) to help get an idea of what your audience thinks. Cover design is a lot of fun, from picking out what the cover will look like and the fonts and the colors. Formatting is typically my last step, hiring someone to format both my print book and eBooks so nothing looks wonky for a reader. So after all this, you’re done, right? Even after your book is published, you have a lot of work to do. New authors are emerging every day, so you need to promote, promote, promote. Contact book bloggers for reviews. Book a blog tour to make someone else coordinate your marketing for you. Create promotions, get your website looking good, offer giveaways. Get your name (and your book of course) out to the public. Remember, just because you publish a book doesn’t mean your work is done. Promoting is such a huge factor is publishing, whether you are self-published, independent, or traditional. The work of an author is never done!