September 18th, 2012 | Add a Comment
Shannon McRoberts writes books that she would like to read. The lead character is usually a strong female and not a lot of description is given to mundane things like wall color in her books because she feels that the reader should create most of the scene in their minds! Shannon is an avid reader, blogger, artist, poet, and author. She currently works full time at a job that is unrelated to anything she is truly passionate about. She lives with her wonderful husband and beautiful daughter. She is truly an independent author, writer, and artist. She is self taught in many mediums including oil and digital art created in Poser.
Her book The Daughter of Ares Chronicles: The Complete Trilogy was made available to the public in 07/03/2012.
What do you think of “trailers” for books? Do you intend to create one for your own books?
I think they are interesting and I did research them. I know I would always get excited to see a commercial for a book on TV when it was coming out. Mostly Anne Rice’s books. I think some of them are done better than others. I am looking into making one, but that may take a while. I have too many irons in the fire…but I think it could be a useful tool! I even found a website that has royalty free music that the artist makes. He has some nice pieces that would work well in a book trailer:
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I had to do it all myself. I know that is not the best, but I don’t have a lot of funds to put towards things like editing or PR. I truly am an indie trying to do everything I can on my own.
I am very used to having to edit things for others and to edit things every day at work so it wasn’t as bad. Plus, the way I write is in long pauses because real life just gets in the way. If you stop a lot isn’t hard to “forget” what you wrote until you go back and print it out to edit it. That way your mind doesn’t see what you think you wrote because it has “forgotten” it! I absolutely think you need a printed copy for the best edits. I did try to enlist one of my dearest friends who is great with editing, but he got my manuscript stuck in a desk drawer!
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs being published?
Self publishing allows me total freedom and control. It is also a step up from “vanity” publishing because you can do it all online and not have to pay 2K for a warehouse full of books! The disadvantage is that like most indie artists you don’t have the “big dogs” supporting you so you don’t get the press and push. Every wonder why the Independents don’t win things like President? More focus is just put on Democrat vs Republican and the Indie is usually the little guy in the race. I find that many “main stream” books aren’t any better than indie books but they just get lucky and fit some magic formula. I have never fit in anyone’s mold and I prefer to do things on my own; so, for me self publishing is 10 times better, but it doesn’t have the pay offs of the “main stream” books. I, however, would not change anything about what I have done to date. I can proudly say I wrote a book AND it is PUBLISHED!
You hesitated between a self-made book cover and a professionally made one. What made you choose to self-create your book cover?
I had always wanted to have something that “I made” from top to bottom. I have a real person hang up about my art being “my art” as much as possible. I know not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s human nature to do so. I first pick up books that have interesting covers. Everyone is guilty of doing that at one time or another and you increase your chances of a sale if your cover is at least looked at! That is why I started to learn Daz Studio and Poser after I became frustrated in trying to find that perfect picture. I had seen a picture that I had wanted to use, but never could find the contact of the person. Instead, I learned how to create fantasy art in the 3D realm. I noticed more people were interested in my first book,The Secret of Genetic Corp X, when I redid the cover from just a plain pattern print I had created to the one featuring 3D renders. I have found many indie writers are also using the same tools. Plus, when I got into the cover art creation I started to make fantasy art that just further helped me create ideas for my books. It is like they feed off one another. I would highly suggest anyone to try Daz Studio as it comes with great tools and totally free stuff!
How well has The Daughter of Ares Chronicles: The Complete Trilogy been received by the public so far?
Meh. This is the first book I’ve really tried to “push” and I’ve only started in the last month to really amp up my gathering of book reviewers and social media. I’ve had some moderate success. Nothing like I want to have, but still at least people are looking at my blogs. I only used the blog actively for about 1 month and I had over 500 hits. I try to help out other indie writers too and that helps with page visits and exposure. Everyone who has read the book and provided me with feedback loves it. Now if I could just get them to write reviews, but everyone is busy and I understand that.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
I try to market my book at least a few hours a day on Twitter, my Facebook, etc. I also started doing indie book reviews to try to pick up followers. I went from 2 followers (my husband and best friend) to 26 followers within the first month on Twitter. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was for me. I am only just now starting with the actual push b/c I have my trilogy completed and need to take a break from writing to focus on things like overtime at work, fantasy art, and the upkeep of all these online things! I have recently signed up for the Independent Author Network and purchased a page there. It looks to be promising and they have easy built in tools to promote your page! I also recommend Tweet Caster as you can schedule tweets for certain times of the day. Great for authors on the run or who have a day job when twitter is most active!
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