In keeping with my Friday Guest Author theme, today I want to share a wonderful interview Dan Alatorre had with Sally Cronin.
I like to keep Friday’s focused on author interviews and for the next while I’m committing to conducting two interviews per month until my next book is finished, instead of weekly, as they involve quite a bit of time to organize and I don’t have the luxury of time on my side at the moment. But in between my bi-monthly interviews I will be having guest authors post here, like Christy Birmingham’s post last week, as well as sharing other author spotlights from some other wonderful interviews.
Many of us know the talented Sally Cronin, but it seems whenever she guest appears on yet another interview, there’s always something new and fascinating to learn about her. So please enjoy this wonderfully entertaining 20 Question interview with Sally with Dan.
Occasionally on the blog we will talk with one of our author friends, gaining valuable insights into their behind-the-scenes world.
Today we meet with Sally Cronin, a brilliant writer and friend of the blog.
Be ready for a few surprises!
After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, Sally decided that she wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that she had always been fascinated with. “I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released nine others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories and you can find me daily on my blog Smorgasbord Invitation.”
See? I told you there’d be surprises. And there are more.
Sally: Thank you so much Dan for inviting me over.
Dan: Sure. Let’s get right to the important stuff. What kind of Chinese food do you order all the time?
That would be crispy duck and pancakes, and I have indulged in this starter all around the world, and rarely been disappointed. If I was off to a desert Island with just three dishes this would be number one… If you are interested, that would be followed by Beef Wellington and then Baked Alaska. If I am off to a desert Island on my own you can forget healthy eating!
I do love me some beef Wellington. Which is the more important of these two: write drunk, edit sober?
Definitely edit sober… Preferably with an automatic translator from drivel to English! However, writing drunk has its merits although it can result in some emotional outbursts.
Why do some authors sell well and others don’t? (Indie or otherwise, but indie if possible)
There are a number of key elements involved when it comes to selling well as an Indie author in my view, and I am still working on getting it right myself.
- Quality of the writing,
- Well formatted and easy to read.
- Strong storyline or subject matter.
- Popular Genre or wide based subject matter.
- Opinions of satisfied customers.
Which mean very little without the following elements.
Online presence – People do buy people first, and if they cannot find out about you they are less likely to buy your book. In this day and age not having some form of platform as an author will not help with sales.
Marketing – the common approach seems to be a book tour launch over a couple of weeks with exactly the same format. This is a shotgun approach especially as most of the blogs hosting the tour are within the same community. Readers after seeing the first post, are not going to respond to any that follow.
A different approach, which I have found more productive, is to
set up a series of interviews spread over 8 to 10 weeks split between those contacts you regularly communicate with, and blogs that are outside the community.
Also, as interviews tend to have different questions each is unique, and you can introduce individual key elements each time about your book.
Also – for both non-fiction books and fiction genres there are groups online to market specifically. For example…. If you have written a book ‘How to self-publish your Novel’, the first thing you should do is create a list of all the writing groups that have an online presence, and drop them a line with the book blurb, your latest review and a link to buy. Your market is not all the authors who already follow you on your blog and social media, but all the aspiring authors out there who are terrified of the process!
Writing books in a series is also key. I have a number of authors on my shelves today that I continue to buy and read year after year. One of the key links between them is that they write series of books. Wilbur Smith (I bought his first book 53 years ago and every one since), Bernard Cornwell, Jean M Auel, Lee Child and a newer author Gregg Hurwitz, to name just a few. Not only is the writing wonderful, but I am invested in their various lead characters and automatically want to find out what happens to them.
As Indies we need to emulate these successful and best-selling authors, and whilst we might not have multi-million pound advertising budgets, we do have access to the worldwide web to market ourselves. It takes time, sometimes years, but readers are not lining up outside our doors to buy our books. They are sitting in front of a virtual bookstore with millions of titles looking for one that stands out from the masses.
I could not agree more. Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?
I am into the 3Ms… Music, Movies and Martinis… Sorry but 2Ms did not sound right! . . . Please continue reading