Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, her blog, a blog tour (including this blog post!), YouTube and more... when author Chelsea Curran set out to tell the world about her debut novel, Unseen Road to Love, she left no stone unturned. Marketing can be a beast, but it's all worth it. It's still early in this author's marketing game, but so far Chelsea is liking the results. "The more I use (these avenues), the bigger my audience becomes," she says.
Check out her full author interview below!
1. List the titles of your published books (include publisher and year published) plus your author website/Facebook page links.
Unseen Road to Love
published with Cedar Fort
Author website: www.chelseacurranauthor.com
Author Facebook page: www.facebook.com/iwriteandpaint
2. When did you start writing your first book? Where did the idea come from?
The idea started while I was attending Dixie State University, where part of the book takes place. I began writing it in 2014 while attending my friend’s 30th birthday party in his family’s backyard. I caught him and his girlfriend at the time having a moment that truly inspired me to begin this love story, which was what my soul needed to get out at the time.
3. What was the hardest part about writing your first book? What hurdles did you have to overcome?
Cutting things out was the biggest challenge. The characters and battles they fought are inspired by my own experiences and that of my friends and family. There was a lot I wanted to keep in, but I did my best to maintain the flow of the story and do them justice at the same time.
4. Once your manuscript was finished, what did you do?
Immediately looked for publishing opportunities. Becoming a writer was a dream I had since high school. I was very happy with the final product, and ready to share it with the world.
5. What did you expect from the editing process? How was the experience?
I didn’t expect so much insight from other editors, which can be rough because they aren’t being critical of the author, they simply know how to take a good story and make it better. They provided great tools, and helped me become a better writer because of it.
6. Describe what re-writing involves and how it makes you feel. How is it different than the initial writing?
The initial writing is wonderful, because ideas are coming out and I’m building something straight from my heart. It easy to marvel at finishing a big project that I’m proud of. But re-write can get exhausting having to read the same sentences over and over again, which can ultimately make me sick of the story entirely. Until once again, I read the finished product for the final time and it’s sweet relief for a job well done.
7. Did you have non-editors read your book for feedback (Alpha Readers)? What did you get out of that?
Not that I didn’t let anyone, but before editors gave me feedback, I was the only one to have ever read my story. But I often bounced idea off people as I went, which did help for some chapters.
8. Who designed your cover? How much input did you have? How important is the cover design?
The Cedar Fort marketing team did the cover, and I had a lot of input, giving them specific details that pertained to the story. The cover was the most important to me, considering I am an artist and have a specific eye for what creates a feeling. I believe they captured the feeling of the story perfectly.
9. How did you go forward with publishing? Why? How was that experience?
I looked for publishers who supported the genre of my book, and Cedar Fort was one of the best matches. The process took six months to hear back, but when I opened the email to find out it was accepted…the feeling was monumental in my life. Since then, the whole team has been extremely helpful and supportive since I signed the contract, to holding my first copy in my hands.
10. How have you marketed your first book?
Through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon, my personal blog, a blog tour, friends and family, and recently an interview with the Dixie Sun news in St. George, Utah. I’ve plugged it in on a web show my friend and I have on YouTube called, “Words on the Rocks”. We talk about YA related topics, including dating and romance, which is what my book is all about.
11. How was the initial feedback from readers?
So far, awesome. I’ve gotten a couple of great reviews and 5 star ratings on Amazon, and look forward to future feedback.
12. How have sales been on your first book? Did they go as expected? What helps you the most to sell books?
Sales are moderate as expected since I’m a first-time writer, and marketing can be tricky. What helps the most is YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, which is where traffic is high for my audience. The more I use it, the bigger my audience becomes, I’ve noticed.
13. Talk about print vs ebook. Do you get more sales with one than the other?
Ebook is typically more, with the cost being lower and my audience having direct access to a kindle device.
14. Did you set the prices of your print and ebooks? How do you decide how to price them?
The publisher set the price, and for what it is, I believe it’s a fair system.
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’ve written a couple of manuscripts before this one, and after going through the process and attending writing conventions, I’ve since returned to those projects and reworked them entirely. I turned one manuscript into a three-part series, which I’m far more excited about than I’ve ever been. It started out as a simple short story for my friends; a hobby. Today, it feels like my ideal lifestyle.
16. Anything different in the publishing process for your other books?
Time will tell on my next book, but I’m looking forward to the editing and publishing process now that I know what to expect with Cedar Fort.
17. When did you consider yourself a "writer"?
As soon as I completed my first novel. Regardless of what I did with the words I wrote, I felt like a writer once I finished the story I began.
18. When do you write? What motivates you to write?
I write as soon as the idea comes to mind. On my breaks at work, I pull out a pen and notepad and write as much as I can until I can come home and type it all out on my computer. Usually during the day, I’m teaching my second-grade class, painting, or living life’s obligations. Whatever down time I have in between is when I can be found typing away.
19. What do aspiring authors ask you?
“How do I get my book published?” And my answer, go to writer’s conferences first. There, one will takes classes geared specifically to bettering a novel and how to pitch to editors.
20. What advice can you offer for aspiring authors about writing, editing, publishing, and marketing?
When it comes to writing and editing, a lot of people will have an opinion. It’s easy to say, “It’s my story, I can write what I want.” But if you’re at least welcome to the ideas or critiques of others, it makes for a great tool in writing a good story; one that accurately reflect you and the readers you reach out to.