Indie Revolution Day One - Sarah Billington!

by 12:30 AM 2 comments

For one whole week, I will be talking to Indie Author's about what it is like to be an Indie Author and their books!

First up on the tour, we have Author Sarah Billington!

Thanks for joining us today Sarah!

What is it like to be an Indie Author?

Honestly? Pretty stressful. J But I imagine being a traditionally published author is pretty stressful too, but for a variety of different reasons.
As an indie, I am responsible for all decisions, be they what the cover should look like, hiring the right editor who gets my manuscript and what I want it to be, formatting the ebook so that it comes out well on a variety of ereading devices, typesetting for the print versions and approving finals of each stage. Not to mention organising blog tours and monitoring promotions. I’d love to be able to just worry about the creative side, the writing, but I’ve certainly gained a whole new skillset through being an indie. I have also started to learn when to outsource – such as some of my covers, formatting and typesetting, so I can focus my attention more where I want it to be.
As an indie, I find it incredibly rewarding when readers like my work, because I had sole creative control over the whole process. The books came out the way I wanted them to, and it’s so great when readers respond to that.

Can you tell us any pro’s/con’s about being an Indie?

Creative control is a blessing and a burden.
I love it because the cover art turns out the way I imagine it, not the way someone else imagined it. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to use it, and I can change the cover whenever I wish. Same goes for the text inside – if typos are found after publication, I can easily fix them on the spot. If a story is being universally panned (hasn’t happened yet, but I’m realistic) I can give it an overhaul and re-publish a new, better version for new and old readers alike, as I’ve seen some authors do.
Being an indie is also a burden, because of all of the above, the cover design, formatting and typesetting, promotion, it all rests on me, when really, I just want to write. J

Can you tell us about an important experience in your Indie journey? 

I haven’t had bad experiences, being an indie. Anonymous 1 star ratings are painful, but no book will appeal to everyone. The downside to being an AUSTRALIAN indie author with 95% of sales coming from Amazon, is that they pay international authors through cheques, which are drastically reduced through bank processing fees and currency exchange rates. I literally couldn’t deposit my first couple of cheques – the fees were higher than the cheques were worth. So yeah, seeing my royalties increase is awesome, not being able to access them, not so much.

Do you have any advice to any aspiring authors, about being an Indie?

Don’t think it’s the easy way! It’s the FASTER way to get published, definitely, and the royalties are a lot higher, for sure, but indie authors are businesses. There’s a lot of work other than writing that goes on behind the scenes.

Describe The Kiss Off in 3 words!

Upbeat, funny, gossip

Did you know what the book was going to be about from the start?

It changed a LOT from the very start, actually. The plot for The Kiss Off was a subplot of another, crappier book I was writing, but it was way more interesting than the main plot so I dropped it and gave The Kiss Off a starring role.
What happens with the love interest, who she chooses was totally different as well. I was writing The Kiss Off with the intention all along that she would choose the OTHER guy. It gave me a lot of angst when I realised it just wasn’t authentic that way and sorry, but dude, it’s time to go.

Were there any road-bumps in the story process?

Uuuum…writing the totally wrong story and starting it from scratch, grieving over lost love (they were meant to be!) for a while after finishing the book…other than that I think it was fairly road bump free.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Always always. Back in my day, way back when I was a kid in the 90s and computers used DOS, not Windows, I hand wrote stories. There was paper all over our house, it was ridiculous and my family will never let me forget it. Not to mention, in high school I was voted most likely to be an author, so it wasn’t a secret to anyone.

Future Books in the works?

I have lots of short stories on the go because as a busy lady I like to READ short stories, getting to read the start AND end in a short space of time? I’m so there! But aside from the short stories, though The Kiss Off can be read as a standalone (no gut-wrenching cliff hanger that makes you go through the agony of WAITING to see what happens in the next book!), I am in the beginning phases of writing a sequel. It’s fun. Just as insane as you would expect from the first book.
I am also halfway through a YA zombie novel, called Dark Zones. But my zombies are different. And the protagonist has a rather wry sense of humour. I try to bring the horror, and though I reckon I nail it in places, I can’t help myself but also bring the funny. It’s just who I am, I gotta learn to embrace it.

Random Questions!

Watching TV pilots. I LOVE new stories. There’s so much potential for awesome. Attending the ice hockey, going to swing dance classes, going on ghost tours and watching paranormal investigation shows. I loves them. I tried to write a scary paranormal investigation book. But the ghost was a woman’s teenage son who was moving things to play pranks on his mother. One day I’ll scare your socks off, but that day is clearly not today.

Special writing habits?

Going for walks. I got into this amazing habit when writing my first novel, where I’d go for walks around a local soccer field (I like sports fields/ovals because I don’t have to pay attention to where I’m walking and I’m unlikely to trip over anything) and plot and character details would shake loose from my brain. It got to the point that the second I stepped onto the oval the flood gate would open. I’d only get one lap in before I had to hurry home and write so I wouldn’t forget anything.
I also have a weekly pub lunch writing date with a fellow writer friend, which I love to pieces. We eat lunch and goss and then get working for a couple of hours, interrupting each other with questions such as “how do you describe that movement where someone shakes their head in a weird circular sort of motion, like they’re not sure of themselves?” or “What should the name of a Charity Ball be, which is actually run by a mafia group in steampunk Europe, as a front for a black market?” It’s awesome.

Favourite book? (Apart from your own of course!)

I love Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford. This is a favourite I mention a lot. And the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison. Both excellent YA comedy series.

Great questions, Claire, this was fun. Thanks for having me!

Thank you to Sarah Billington for stopping by and having a chat with us!

You can find more about Sarah at her website here!

Today I am giving my fabulous followers the chance to win an ecopy of 'The Kiss Off' and 'Life Was Cool Until You Got Popular'

There will be two winners, one winning The Kiss Off, the other winning Life was Cool until you got Popular.

Claire Blennerhassett

Reader, Blogger

Twenty-something | book-blogger | tea-drinker | procrastinator | wannabe-writer | student


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