by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky
Welcome to The Quick Six – an ongoing series of posts, where I interview independent authors on their self-publishing stories, using six quick questions to gain insight into their processes, thoughts and works.
This week, I’m interviewing S. Breaker – a fellow ASF writer and author of offbeat, quirky, and easy reading teen/young adult science fiction and fantasy. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and two kids, and (in her own words) ‘publishes independently in a likely futile attempt to pay for her writing addiction’ :). She has just released “Free Yourself” – Book 3 of her YA Sci-fi series “Selfless”, and has kindly offered to share some of the lessons she has learned while navigating the indie publishing scene.
1. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?
With self-publishing, you have control over most of the aspects of your work. You make your own deadlines. You make your own priorities. You can choose what you want to write about and how you want to write it. You get to set your own benchmarks for the type of success you want based on what “you” define as success, not what someone else defines for you.
2. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?
With self-publishing, because you have control over most of the aspects of your work, you need to do your own research for A LOT of things. What types of books are selling, how to get exposure for your books, what rates are good for expenses like editing, cover art, ads (and all these can be very expensive – you’re paying for all of it). You often have to try many strategies across the board and it won’t always work.
3. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED DURING THE PROCESS THAT YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN FROM THE START?
I’m still relatively at “the start”, but I think you don’t stop learning. And you shouldn’t. Success looks different for everybody. What works for others may not necessarily work for you and vice versa. Just keep learning.
4. WHO OR WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF HELP OR INSPIRATION?
My readers inspire me. Knowing that what I’m putting out there means something to someone (even if there are just a handful of them) is very inspiring. Other indie authors also inspire me. Most of them are very supportive and helpful. The thing about it is many of us started from zero and probably still remembers what it was like.
5. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR INDIE AUTHORS AND SELF-PUBLISHING?
If platforms like Amazon keep providing a channel for indie authors, self-publishing as an industry will just grow. More new indie authors are publishing books every day. These are people from everywhere in the world, of all kinds and all ages. Traditional publishing will always be there, but with the internet and the proliferation of e-books, self-publishing will always have a fair share of the market.
6. WHAT IS YOUR PUBLISHED WORK ABOUT AND WHY ARE PEOPLE GOING TO LOVE IT?
I’m about to release Book 3 of my YA Sci-fi series Selfless, entitled “Free Yourself”. The series is about a teenage girl who goes to a parallel world and gets mistaken for her genius scientist “alternate self” whose life is in danger. I think it’s a bit different from anything already out there because of its tone. I wanted to create a compelling dystopian world with conflict and danger while maintaining an overarching atmosphere of levity and hope. It’s a fast-paced adventure with some steampunk influences and a bit of romance, fun and quirky, but is still packed with substance. My goal was to write a science fiction book series that’s entertaining and easy to read. If people get that, they’ll love this.
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