Author Interview: DP Davidson, Push
"There isn't one right way to be an author. If you want to be published with a big company, go for it! But don't be afraid to do it on your own. Choose your own adventure! "
Author DP Davidson is living proof that if you dream it, you can do it. Even if you have written something and sat on it for a while, it's never too late to get it published, even if it means self-publishing. Just for for it!
Read the rest of her Author Interview below.
1. What are the titles of your published books?
I am also working on one now and have several others waiting their turn.
2. When did you start writing your first book? Where did the idea come from?
I started writing my first book about fifteen years ago, but I put it away and forgot about it for a long time. When I started college in my early 30s I felt my brain waking up and decided to pick it up again. The story just laid itself out and suddenly there it was. My inspiration for this first book came from a dream I'd had as a teen wherein I had been betrayed by my best friend. Several years later I did have a best friend who ended up causing me tremendous pain and I found I was able to let that pain go as I wrote the book.
3. What was the hardest part about writing your first book? What hurdles did you have to overcome?
The hardest part of writing that first book was feeling that there was no depth or sophistication in my work. I'm just not interested in lengthy description and several of my friends felt there needed to be more. I was given many suggestions on where I could improve and polish consistency. It was hard to hear what I felt was negative feedback, but some of it was definitely needed. I also learned that not everyone is going to love my style and that's okay.
4. Once your manuscript was finished, what did you do?
Once I finished my manuscript I just sat on it for a while. I didn't really see myself as a writer so I didn't know what to do with it. I let a close friend read it one day and she's the one who really encouraged me to try to have it published. After that I did some research and sent it out a couple of times, to smaller publishing companies, but no one was interested.
5. What did you expect from the editing process? How was the experience?
I guess my expectation for the editing process is more "check for misspellings and punctuation" and less "change this or add that." I've only had one professional-ish editing, but the person in question made changes in the text concerning my characters character and that bugged me.
6. Describe what re-writing involves and how it makes you feel. How is it different than the initial writing?
Re-writing for me is more labor intensive. I usually bang out the skeleton pretty quickly and then come back several times to fill in details. It can be a little more stressful than the first write up because I actually have to figure out how the scene moves from one place to the next.
7. Did you have non-editors read your book for feedback (Alpha Readers)? What did you get out of that?
I always have about three non-editors read over my book before I prepare it for publication. I like hearing their perspective of the story's flow. They always have great input.
8. Who designed your cover? How much input did you have? How important is the cover design?
I am an indie author so I have to do everything on my own. Therefore, I create my own covers. I usually know exactly what message I want to send in the cover and I've been very blessed to have found people who are able to capture my vision. I think cover art is pretty important only because people do judge a book by it's cover so it has to grab ones attention. My first two covers, while what I wanted, were pretty boring.
9. How did you go forward with publishing? Why? How was that experience?
I sent my manuscript to several publishing companies, but the more research I put into it, the more it seemed like too much of a hassle to continue down that path. Writers have to have agents present their work to the larger publishing companies, so I'd have to hire an agent. My book may never have been published, but I'd' still have to pay the agents fee and it was a pricey venture for uncertainty. So I researched independent publishing and its a better fit for me. I have control of my content, my cover and things of that nature, but I'm also the only promoter of my work.
10. How have you marketed your first book?
I've published all of my books on amazon.com and they have a pretty sweet promotion program. I've also created ads on Facebook and keep a blog.
11. How was the initial feedback from readers?
I've gotten tons of feedback on my work and have only really had one negative review for one book. My most glowing reviews were written by people I don't even know. That makes my day because I know the review is an honest opinion.
12. How have sales been on your first book? Did they go as expected? What helps you the most to sell books?
My first book did marginally well, but I can't seem to hit the same volume with the others. It's kind of disappointing, but I keep plugging along.
13. Talk about print vs ebook. Do you get more sales with one than the other?
I have print solely to accommodate anyone who prefers holding a book in their hands, but it is not my favorite. The books can be super pricey and I don't make much off their sales. It's more economical for the reader with more from the sales for me if a reader chooses the e-book.
14. Did you set the prices of your print and ebooks? How do you decide how to price them?
I do set the prices for the print and e-copy of the books. I want to create interest in my book and most readers aren't looking to spend a ton of money on an e-book so I generally try to keep it between three and four dollars. I get a larger chunk of the proceeds if I charge more, but if no one buys it because its too pricey then I get a larger chunk of nothing. I have to set the printed books at a price that will cover the cost of printing and that gets ridiculous. The printing company gets about 70% of the sale so I generally try to promote the e-book.
15. What made you decide to write more books? How were those experiences (writing/editing) compared with your first book? Did you do anything differently?
I decided to continue writing because more and more ideas crowded into my head. They were constantly there and would insert themselves into my day. I want to see the characters on paper that I see in my head. I want to know what happens in their stories so I have to write them. I feel like the thoughts flow more freely than they did in the first book. I feel like my writing has improved though I'm still a simplistic wordsmith, but I enjoy the process.
16. Anything different in the publishing process for your other books?
Publishing the other works was easier only because I knew what to do, how to format the work and create the cover art. Though I still forget how to put some things together. I really should write it down so I don't have to relearn it.
17. When did you consider yourself a "writer"?
I don't know that I consider myself a "writer" yet. I feel like a "writer" is someone who can make a living with their work, but the other day someone said my name and then added, "the author?" That made me feel pretty good.
18. When do you write? What motivates you to write?
I try to make time to write in the afternoons, but once I get in "the zone" I pretty much abandon everything else until its done. My family dreads "the zone", but they also love my work.
19. What do aspiring authors ask you?
I haven't really had anyone ask my thoughts on the writing and publishing process.
20. What advice can you offer for aspiring authors about writing, editing, publishing, and marketing?
There isn't one right way to be an author. If you want to be published with a big company, go for it! But don't be afraid to do it on your own. Choose your own adventure!