Wednesday 12 December 2012

Blog Guest: Why I Went Indie by Emma Mills

I am delighted to welcome Emma Mills onto my blog today, an author who I am privileged to be able to call a friend as well as a fellow writer. I am a huge fan of Emma's writing, which grows with each book as she weaves her world so fluidly, and brings her characters to life effortlessly -or at least that's how it feels when you read the WitchBlood series.

I also have a huge respect for self-published 'Indie' authors; having to become a jack-of-all-trades in the publishing business, with the writing almost having to take a back seat at times. To hear that I may have been instrumental in Emma Mills' decision to go that route is a huge honour, and I am very glad she did.

Anyway, rather than hear from me, I shall hand you over to the lovely lady herself...

Emma Mills

Big thanks to Aurelia for having me on her blog today, as she is a very busy blogger, with mountains of books stacked up (probably to the ceiling) and various writing projects on the go.

I thought a chat about why I chose to self-publish might be interesting and would let you know a bit more about me, so here we go…

Buy it now!

I wrote WitchBlood after becoming, quite frankly addicted to paranormal YA fiction. I happily devoured the Twilight series and then moved on to all the vampire fiction that followed. As a quick aside, some of my favourites are, the Sookie Stackhouse Series, Vampire Academy…I’m a big Adrian fangirl, Wings by Aprilynne Pike and more recently The Hunger Games.

The one thing I couldn’t find, at the time, was anything set in the UK. Now I have read, loved and become friends with some great UK authors, but they are hard to find in this genre. I also couldn’t find any YA fiction with witches in it…I hadn’t come across The Secret Circle then! So I decided to combine my two favourites and mix it up a little... vampires and witches, set against the wet, cloudy backdrop of my local city, Manchester.

I wrote WitchBlood throughout 2010 and after a thorough edit I was overjoyed to land myself a UK agent, who loved the book and believed in me. However, by the time she was sending to publishers it was the second half of 2011 and the response was always the same: We like her writing style but we have stopped taking on vampire fiction, or The market is saturated, could she write something else?

Buy it now!

Amazon US Amazon UK
In one way their feedback was great…at least they thought my writing was good enough, but on the other hand it was SO frustrating. I knew that WitchBlood was different, and I knew that people were still buying supernatural YA, but the tides had turned and there was nothing I could do.

I did try writing something new, but my heart wasn’t in it. I still wanted to write the whole series I’d planned out. My characters had become real to me and I couldn’t shut them away in a drawer, so when Aurelia suggested I self-publish on Amazon, I looked into it and decided I had nothing to lose.

Would I recommend becoming an indie author? Definitely! Do I still want a publishing contract? Of course I do, but I’d think about it carefully! Basically, self-publishing is hard work. I am the author, editor, cover designer and promotions team all rolled into one! The good thing about it, is that I can set my own timeframes and deadlines. I have total control over my work, when it’s published and what price to set.

On the other hand, I haven’t yet published in print, because self-publishing in print, in the UK, is tricky and can be costly. However, I would love to see my books in print on the bookshelves of my local bookstore.

Coming soon!
Do I think supernatural YA fiction is ‘over’? Not from what I’ve seen. I’ve had 25000 downloads of the WitchBlood series over the last six months and every day people I don’t know leave me messages asking when WitchLove will be out. I don’t think vampires will ever ‘be over’!

Me either, Emma - thank goodness - whatever would I read for fun without my regular dose of vampires?

But did I read that right? 25,000? And in just six months? Wow!! That is incredible, as well as truly inspiring. 

With so many self-published authors churning out what can best be described as 'dire', it is fantastic that readers are recognising your skill and coming back in their droves for the sequels. I've seen many of the reviews that readers and reviewers leave, and can totally see why you have such fantastic numbers.

I'm also not surprised to hear fans are getting in touch to demand to know the latest on WitchLove. I would be amongst them if it weren't for your regular status updates on Facebook and Twitter, letting us know how you are progressing. And on that note, I'm going to stop holding you up so you can crack on with those final edits. Patience has never been a virtue of mine!

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your publishing journey with us, Emma. I'd like to congratulate you again on your success, and truly hope that this is just the beginning for your writing career.

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