New Release : Brash
4.4 rating on 34 reviews
MEET the AUTHOR:
On Becoming an International Bestseller
Q. How did you go from journalism to a career in health?
A. I always wanted to write in some capacity so at high school, I had plans of becoming a journalist. Then in tenth grade I did a work experience stint at a rehab hospital and was hooked! After high school I did 4 years at university and worked as a physiotherapist for 13 years after that before finally following my dream to write.
Q. You’ve published 41 books and sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide. Readers and fellow authors will want to know how that happened? Can you talk about the time and effort it takes to market your work, a lot of new authors just assume they too will be bestsellers. If you could talk about how it isn’t enough just to be good.
A. How did I get published? By sheer persistence. Watching trends. Writing contemporary novels. Knowing the market. Forfeiting TV time in favor of writing. Writing, writing and writing some more.
Once I was published, the hard work was only just beginning. Writing books alone isn’t enough. Those books need to be marketed: or more precisely, I needed to market myself.
An author becomes a brand and mine is ‘flirty fiction with flair.’ (so even my young adult books, which debut in 2013—BANISH with Harlequin Teen and SCION OF THE SUN with Month9Books—both have a bit of flirt in them.)
I have a slight Twitter addiction but it’s fun for me. I chat about life stuff, it’s not just ‘my books’ all the time. Same goes for Facebook. And I adore Goodreads because I’m a reader first and foremost.
Writers need to lay the social media ground work early, before they’re published, because once you have deadlines it becomes a manic juggling act!
First Indie Book Becomes Instant Bestseller
Q. Also your book Crazy Love was an Amazon hit. How did that story evolve?
A. Sometimes in life you have to take a giant leap of faith.
That’s what I did with the release of my first indie-published contemporary romance, CRAZY LOVE. I won’t bore you with the long history behind this book but here’s the abbreviated version:
• Wrote the first version in 2004, found an agent who represented it, book went to acquisition at a BIG 6 publisher because editor loved it, week before acquisition meeting editor leaves and heads to another company. Requests it there for a series the book wouldn’t fit. Rejected.
• Agent retires few months later.
• Book on backburner while I meet constant deadlines.
• Fast forward several years, another agent loves the book, represents, submits. Editor at BIG 6 publisher loves it, wants to take to acquisition meeting. Editor leaves following week. Book in limbo, new editor doesn’t want it. (yeah, publishing is full of highs and lows and bizarre coincidences like this one, where two editors adored Crazy Love only to leave before acquisition meeting!!!)
• Book on backburner.
• Fast-forward few more years to 2012. I submit book to BIG 6 publishers and other smaller publishers. Interest in book. Revision requests from several.
Here’s where I took the giant leap of faith.
I’d been eagerly following the e-book/indie publishing revolution for over a year. Storing away information, joining loops, learning from the experts. I love traditional publishing but the more I watched other authors take that leap, I knew my time was coming to jump too. So I did. I withdrew CRAZY LOVE from submission. And within a few weeks (after editing and cover design) I took a massive leap and self published my 85000 word contemporary romance to Kindle Select. I utilized the five free days. It hit #1 in the overall kindle store on day one and stayed there for the entire five days. I gave away a staggering amount of free books, which I’m still reeling from. But when CRAZY LOVE came off free that first day, a wonderful thing happened. I hit Amazon bestseller lists for kindle contemporary romance and for book contemporary romance.
Readers were still buying my book.
I have no idea where this indie publishing journey will take me or how high CRAZY LOVE will climb. But I’m glad I took that leap of faith. It’s exciting and exhilarating and incredibly satisfying!
Tips for better plot development
Q. A lot of writers, especially Indie Authors, in my opinion, don’t develop their plots or characters enough which is one reason their stories fail. How do you ensure your plots and characters hold your stories together?
With all my books (whether it be with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing, Harlequin Teen or Month9Books) the characters must have believable motivation for everything they do. If readers aren’t invested in the characters, doesn’t matter how scintillating the plot.
Rock-solid character motivations and strong conflicts are what I focus on for my stories.
Q. Tell us something fun about living in Australia? Does your country embrace Indie Authors?
We have kangaroos in the streets. (kidding!) Though we did have a rogue roo at Melbourne international airport recently so I can only imagine the stories visitors have been saying about OZ. And yes, OZ loves indie authors. There are many talented authors taking the indie plunge these days.
Q. Finally, has working with traditional publishers differed from doing it on your own? How so?
A. All my stories, whether with a traditional publisher or indie, are edited and marketed and publicized. The difference going indie is I have the freedom to choose who does all those jobs. (I have huge fun choosing my own covers!)
Other Books by Nicola Marsh