Do a lot of research. If there’s one thing I knew when I decided to go the indie publishing route it’s that I didn’t know much and had to learn how to do it. Get advice, read books and take advantage of services that are available.
YA romance writer Alia Rose is an indie author by night and full-time architectural designer by day. With her debut novel, My Lullaby of You released in June we catch up with her to talk about being guided by your ‘why’, her favorite book marketing methods and the beauty of to-do lists.
What made you want to be a writer?
I was really into journaling when I was younger and would pretend I was the main character in books I was reading at the time and write about it. My first stab at writing was a story very similar to the Laura Ingalls books. I moved on to write another story very similar to Harry Potter. It wasn’t until high school that I started to find my voice and create original stories.
I joke that I write because the characters in my head refuse to leave me alone, but in a lot of ways, it’s true. After finishing my first few manuscripts, I couldn’t stop writing things down. It became my best form of expression and a way to process the world around me.
What inspires you to write?
A little bit of everything but mostly personal experiences, exploring new places, music, dreams, and observing people.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
1. Figure out your big picture goal and the “why”. Why do you want to be an author? Do want this as your source of income? Do you want your words out there for readers to enjoy? Or both? Figuring out what you want helps you understand what you hope to achieve by getting published and which route to take. I know that for me, it helps keep things in perspective.
2. Do a lot of research. If there’s one thing I knew when I decided to go the indie publishing route, it’s that I didn’t know much and had to learn how to do it. Get advice, read books and take advantage of services that are available.
3. Lastly, read. Read books in your genre, about writing, about publishing and memoirs of authors. All in all, reading makes you a better writer.
Also, don’t give up on your writing and keep reminding yourself of your big picture goal. Don’t lose sight of why you started.
What do you think is the biggest marketing challenge for new authors?
Finding readers! Since I am a new author, the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is getting people to take a chance on my book. There are so many different marketing strategies nowadays and services that you can get lost in what you should/shouldn’t do.
What methods of book marketing do you find the most effective?
So far, I’ve found Instagram and Goodreads to be the most effective active platforms. As for services, I’m still in the process of figuring out what is working and what isn’t.
How do you make time for your book marketing?
To-do lists! I schedule specific time slots/days for marketing and give myself boundaries and stick to them. I tend to get overwhelmed quickly when I feel like I’m not doing enough or doing too much or could be doing something else. So my way of managing that is to discipline myself to only do what I can with the time I have scheduled.
How do you handle rejection as a writer?
I let myself wallow for a few minutes and then brush it off and move on. I try to keep things in perspective and remember that every writer and author started somewhere. Not everyone will like your work, and that’s okay.
How do you deal with isolation, as writing is an inherently private exercise?
I’m an introvert, so I actually enjoy the isolation for the most part. When it does get to be too quiet for me, I’ll go to a coffee shop with one of my writing buddies and we will write together. I also have noise canceling headphones that I’ll use as a way to stay focused and be in the same room as someone else while I’m writing.