Friday, November 2, 2012

Author Interview #5!!! especially for fellow writers...

This week's interview is a bit different in that I have not yet read this author's book. However, I want to, and considering how many books there are on my reading list, and how little time I have these days, that is an accomplishment in itself! :D Seeing reviews, interviews, and mentions in various places around the blogosphere, I found myself growing more and more curious about her book.
So, in anticipation of reading Violets are Blue, I asked Elizabeth Rose if she would be willing to answer some questions more on the marketing side of things, and she graciously agreed! Read, learn, and enjoy!!! :)

- For those of my readers who may not have visited your lovely blog, would you mind saying a little bit about yourself, your book, and what stories you're working on right now?

I am a Christian young woman passionately in love with my Savior. I never leave the house without a book, my thesaurus is my best friend, I love big purses with plenty of room for pens and notebooks, and I'm nearly always drinking tea. History inspires me, which is why most of what I write is historical fiction. I also dance several days a week at a Christian studio, and the experience of worshiping the Lord in this way cannot be contained in words. In my spare time, I scribble away at various stories of my creation, read voraciously, and spend way too much time on Pinterest. You can find me on Literary Lane.

My debut novel, Violets Are Blue, was published in April 2012. It's a story about two young girls, Violet Bradshaw and Lillian Prescott, and how their friendship is threatened when the Bradshaw family moves from England to America's unfamiliar shores. Lilli and Vi find a way to communicate through constant letter-writing, and with each passing week, but one desire remains in their hearts: to see each other once more. When Lilli tells Vi that the Prescotts will be coming to America as well — and on the "unsinkable" Titanic, no less — neither girl can foresee the great tragedy on the horizon and what a test it will for both.

My current work-in-progress is also historical fiction (no surprise there, eh?) and is set during the American Revolution. Titled Rifles in the South Field, it chronicles the story of a motherless young woman left to manage her family's Georgian plantation while her father fights in the Continental Army and a British foot-soldier who has yet to find his true purpose in life.

- I was recently at a book festival where a panel recommended starting an online platform 3-4 years before your book is published - and I know I was following your blog quite a while before you published a book. What social media sites are you on and how long had you been using them before your book came out?

I've been blogging since January 2010, which was over two years before Violets Are Blue was published. I'm also on Google+, Twitter (@misslizzyrose), and Pinterest, but none for more than a year.

- Which one has been the most helpful?

Blogger has been the most helpful by far, but I account that to the fact that I've been building an online platform there for nearly three years now.

- Easiest to use / any tips on being a successful blogger, etc.?

The best advice I've ever been given about blogging is to concern yourself with quality, not quantity. A few good posts are always better than ten so-so posts. Devote time and thought to your blogging, and your readers will notice. If you're a photographer, try incorporating a few photos throughout your posts: it rests the eyes after paragraphs of text. Even if you aren't a photographer, Pinterest provides scores of beautiful photos that you can find sprinkled throughout almost all of my posts. Finally, write about what inspires you, what makes the very passions of your heart burn like flames of gold and scarlet. The most dull blogs are those authored by bloggers who don't enjoy what they write. Blogging is a hobby, not a chore, and making it such acts like a bucket of water dousing the flames of a fire.

- I saw your author interviews all over the blogosphere, and also that you were doing a little more than just random stops. How did you set up your blog tour, and do you think it really helped get the word out?

In August I hosted a blog tour to promote my book. I began organizing it about a month in advance, which gave me plenty of time to write up guest posts and answer interview questions. I was blessed with a wonderful reception, and many young ladies kindly hosted me on their blogs throughout the month. As far as sales and promotion go, it was very successful, but also very time-consuming. For those interested in promoting their books in the same way, I suggest being willing to set aside a large portion of time, since it's a big task.

- What else have you done to promote your book?

In April 2011, my sister and I began a year-long event called Unsinkable. As a means of both honoring those who perished in the sinking of the Titanic and promoting the approaching release of Violets Are Blue, we hosted twelve monthly giveaways for products inspired by the infamous ocean liner, released excerpts of Violets Are Blue, shared a total of 100 facts about the Titanic over the course of the year, and featured several guest posts on various topics relating to the Edwardian era. The event concluded on the Titanic's centennial, April 14th 2012. Though my book was to be released on that day as well, making it available on Amazon took a few more weeks.

- Are you selling your book locally? 

My book is only available on Amazon currently, but those who know me personally can buy autographed copies through me. I'm also planning on making autographed copies available through my blog.

- How hard do you think selling books is, as compared to writing them?

Selling books, in theory, is much easier, since the work of writing the book is completed. However, when crafting a story, whether it is finished or not entirely depends on you. If you devote yourself to your project and keep disciplined, you will finish. Book sales are another matter entirely. Obviously you cannot force someone to buy your book if they do not want it. You can promote and advertise all you want, but in the end, whether or not someone purchases your book is their choice and not your own. In this way, sales require much more patience and a good deal of humility.

- Is there one thing you wish you had known before you published your book?

As I mentioned in my answer to the question about, publishing a book is a very humbling experience. I've received praise for my work, but I've also received criticism. Though I blush to confess it now, I was a bit naive about this side of the publishing world when my book was first released. I wish I had known better how to take honest critique with grace. I also have a burning desire to go over the whole book with a red pen and rewrite it once more (but that, I'm told, is a normal feeling).

- As a published author, is there any particular advice you have for those who would like to self-publish their books?

Unlike the more traditional route, when books are self-published, the pressure of promotion weighs most heavily on the shoulders of the author. Publishing a book does not happen on its own. You have to be willing to put time and energy into your project. On the brighter side of things, you are your own boss, and you can make your own schedule depending on other personal responsibilities. I particularly enjoyed the flexibility that this gave me.

Thank you for hosting me for an interview, Katherine Sophia!

Thank you! :) It's been delightful!

1 thoughts shared:

Nela said...

Great interview, you guys! Your answers were great, Elizabeth, and I enjoyed reading them. :)


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