Self-Publishing Expert and CWW Member, Heather Hart, shares a little about writing, publishing and marketing.
Question #1: How long have you been writing?
Response: All my life. I had a poem published in high school, but my first book wasn’t published until 2009 and I started writing it in 2008.
Question #2: What made you decide to pursue a writing career?
Response: I was volunteering for a ministry that was publishing my writing and I just kept getting more involved. I am not sure I ever made the conscious choice to make it a career, it just happened and I fell in love with it and kept going.
Question #3: What is one of the most difficult aspects of being a writer?
Response: Life. Being a writer isn’t a regular 9-5 job. You have to make time to write, and then it is brain work. You can’t just get something done, you have to pour yourself into it and every single distraction can derail your entire thought process and cause huge delays.
Question #4: What is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a writer?
Response: Hearing from readers. Reading a review about someone enjoying your book, or getting an e-mail. Even a positive comment on Facebook is an amazing feeling and extremely rewarding.
Question #5: If you could warn new authors about one thing, what would it be?
Response: Being a writer isn’t easy. It is a career path. Just as with any job, there will be parts of the job that you love, and parts that you don’t enjoy. If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to put in the time doing both. Otherwise, it is just a hobby. No one will force you to do it, you have to make the decision for yourself if you want to make it a career or not.
Question #6: Do you have a set writing schedule? If so, what is it?
Response: Yes and no. I usually write during the day when my kids are at school, but sometimes that is in the morning, and sometimes it is in the afternoon. It just depends on my schedule that day.
Question #7: What was your biggest learning experience or surprise when you wrote/published your first book?
Response: The biggest surprise for me was the varied opinions from readers. I got tons of e-mails saying they LOVED it, and others telling me where I went wrong. I learned that everyone has an opinion, and that not everyone will agree.
Question #8: Looking back, what did you do right and what would you have done differently?
Response: I think it is a lot easier to see what I did wrong over what I did right. I should have hired an additional editor. And I shouldn’t have been afraid to market my book. However, I did work with the ministry to build an online following, and we had a professionally designed cover, etc.
Question #9: What are some publishing tips? Do you recommend self-publishing or traditional? If so, why?
Response: There are pros and cons to both traditional and self-publishing. You generally get more recognition through traditional publishing, but you actually have a greater potential for income through self-publishing. I currently self-publish because it gives me more control, however, I may pursue traditional publishing in the future.
As far as publishing tips, I would say the most important thing is to know that each step of the publishing process is equally important. Cover design, editing, formatting, and even back cover copy all play a huge role in how well your book will do. Any of them that are done poorly can sabotage your book.
Question #10: What are some marketing tips?
Response: There isn’t just one thing you have to do, you have to utilize multiple marketing methods and weave them all together. But it is equally important to know that you don’t have to do it all, and not every marketing method is right for every author. Choose the marketing methods that fit best with your personality and turn them into a web that catches your readers and keeps them connected to you.
I would also say it is important to balance writing and marketing. One can easily overshadow the other, and without both you cannot succeed as an author.
Now it is your turn to ask Heather a question!
Heather Hart is first and foremost a servant of Christ who is happily married to the man of her dreams – but she’s also the mother of four, an internationally best-selling and award-winning author, avid reader, author coach, and the founder of CandidlyChristian.com. Heather enjoys working from home where she spends her days studying God’s Word, typing on her computer, and encouraging those around her. When she’s not writing or totally absorbed in her four children, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.