All of us at BookRix are self publishing enthusiasts, so when we hear indie author success stories, we’re elated! We recently read an interview on Alli with indie writer Liliana Hart and loved how honest and upfront she is. Unlike some other independent writers, Liliana approaches book writing with a “strictly business” attitude that we find admirable. Her determination and hard work have paid off, and now her mystery and romance books can be found within the bestseller lists of the New York Times and USA Today.
Despite her busy writing and traveling schedule, Liliana was able to carve out some time to answer our questions about the start of her writing career, how she uses social media and what she’s learned over the years.
When you wrote your first book in college, did you consider publishing with a traditional publishing house or were you drawn to self-publishing from the start?
When I first started writing, self-publishing wasn’t even available as an option. There weren’t eReaders and Amazon was a new company. Traditional publishing was all I knew and I worked toward that goal for several years. I never had a problem finding an agent. I’ve had four in my career, each one contributing in some way to my overall success. And though I had several books that were very close to being acquired by publishing houses, it never happened. Once self-publishing came along and I discovered I could have success and make a good living from it, I stopped trying to go the traditional route. Though I no longer seem to have any problem getting offers from traditional houses now that they know I can make money and sell a lot of books.
We love that you dedicate time to write, even when you’re not feeling creative. Would you encourage other indie authors do approach it the same way?
Absolutely. This is a business. It’s not a hobby. If I only wrote when the mood struck I’d never get anything finished. If writers want a career and they want to be taken seriously then they’ll treat what they do with respect, just like they would any 9 to 5 job. You have to sit in the chair with your fingers on the keyboard. Every. Day. Even if you’re writing crap it’s better than nothing. You can always go back and fix crap. You can’t fix nothing.
Your reviews on Amazon are all 4 and 5 stars. Do you think these have helped increase your book sales?
I’m not sure. I think people probably read them before purchasing, but I don’t know that they make that big of an impact. I’ve got great fans, so I always appreciate the positive reviews, but I never pay much attention to them. And if I’m being honest, I think the one star reviews can sell a book just as much as a four or five star review. The things some people hate are often things other readers love, and one star reviewers are much more vocal about giving that information in the review—not that I want an onslaught of one star reviews, but I think you have to have a good balance of good and bad reviews to appeal to a broader audience. I think word of mouth is far more important than any Amazon review.
Which social media outlets do you enjoy using to promote your work and engage with readers?
I love social media. I enjoy getting the chance to interact with my readers on a daily basis, and I love getting their comments and seeing their posts about my books. I use Facebook and Twitter mainly, and I make it a point to post at least a couple of times every day, even when I’m traveling or in the middle of a deadline. I also use Google+, Wattpad, Shelfari, and Goodreads. It’s all about being visible and giving people the opportunity to recognize my name when they’re browsing books on Amazon or one or the other sites. It’s a subconscious thing for them to see my name and think, “Oh, I recognize that name. She must be a big seller, so I’ll give that book a try.”
Which series do you feel most proud of and why?
Gosh, that’s like asking me to choose a favorite child. I’m not sure I can do it. I really love writing the Addison Holmes series. I have a blast writing them from start to finish. But I’m probably most proud of my J.J. Graves series. I love the way that series is evolving and the character growth I’m able to weave into the stories.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your writing career?
To never quit. There have been times I’ve wanted to—when the writing got too hard, or back when I was going toward the traditional path and couldn’t sell. If you want it bad enough you’ll keep going. Just write the book. And then write the next one after that.
If you’re a sucker for romance and mystery books like us, check out these bestsellers by Liliana. Whiskey for Breakfast is the second book in her Addison Holmes Series and is available now! But when it comes to a series, you always want to start at the beginning. So download the first book, Whiskey Rebellion, for free on Amazon Kindle Edition by clicking here (we did!). Dirty Rotten Scoundrel, the 3rd book in her J. J. Graves series, will be available on November 5th. So now is the perfect time to catch up on Dirty Little Secrets (book 1) and A Dirty Shame (book 2).
Thanks again, Liliana. You rock!
We love indie publishing
After recently turning 18, Adam Lewis LaValley is the youngest success story at BookRix. Adam, known as “rootrot”, is one of the most well-known young writers on BookRix, and his hard work is starting to pay off – His first self-published eBook, The Mountain Man, has been in our top 10 sales ranking since January! Adam is a multi-talented writer; he is a self-proclaimed history buff, and just published his first historical book, Freedom Ho! Extravagant Stories from America’s Past. He also recently published CORE – today’s featured book – a futuristic sci-fi action novel with intense descriptions, plot and back-story only a history connoisseur could create.
The world has been ravaged by nuclear war, famine, and terrorism. In a continent’s ashes, a new power has risen…In its pursuit for supremacy, the power attacks and conquers the neighboring, small thriving country of Maruvi. The Imperial CORE Warrior Program quickly wipes out Maruvi’s defenses and military structures, killing off their best fighters, the Jaspers. Only one lone rebel group remains to resist the invaders, but their attacks are futile…they are forced into hiding as the COREs continue their onslaught.
But that was until one of their own, Unit Radez1079, joined the Resistance. With this professional combatant, the rebels again take arms and rise up. After 40 years of hiding they must rise to fight this power, and this time it’s die or try…
You can find more free eBooks by Adam LaValley by clicking right HERE!
10 Things You Wouldn’t Have Known About Adam:
1. Loves cartoons and animation in general; anime travel series are a new personal favorite, and he is captivated by Kino’s Journey.
2. Is an amateur graphic artist.
3. Has a thing for messing around with animation; hopes to see one of his stories as an animation on the big screen or television one day.
4. Began drawing funny little cartoon characters at the age of 11.
5. Started a collection of Louis L’Amour Western novels.
6. Aside from Civil War history, loves the Industrial and Progressive Eras.
7. Prefers Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln over other presidents any day.
8. Favorite saying from Teddy: “Mistah SPEAKAH!”
9. Is a not-too distant blood relative of Ulysses S. Grant, and owns a copy of his autobiography.
10. Hates tomatoes, loves fries!
Adam Lewis LaValley was born and raised in Minnesota, and has been living there since. Having just completed High School, he is now being exposed to the world and all its opportunities. With a deep interest in American history, he plans to take courses at the University of Minnesota to strengthen his understanding of the past and later begin a career in teaching.
Having written his first full-length novel at the age of 13, Adam has gone on to better his skills at writing by introducing himself to various genres and writing forms. He has found, surprisingly, that his storytelling skill lies in tales of Historical Fiction and Sci-Fi.
After joining the Bookrix community in 2010, Adam has been introduced to a positive environment full of encouragement and ambitious young story writers like himself. His dream of publishing a novel came true when The Mountain Man hit the website’s front page in December 2012, and became a bestseller. Since then, two others have been published.
Aside from writing by himself, Adam is also collaborating with Bookrix writer Timur Iablokov (the.dragon) and DeviantArt artist Plaguey to create a Sci-Fi graphic light novel. Glory’s Palm, a Western novel that will feature three parts to its storyline, will also be published this September.
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