Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Follow-up with H.P. Mallory

Hi HP, welcome back to Two Ends of the Pen.  Since your interview here in July, a lot of things have been happening and I thought it would be great to catch up with you.

Hi Deb and thanks for having me again!

You mentioned in your first interview that you had landed an agent, but that that relationship went sour.  You now have a new agent.  How did that happen?
Well, after my December sales, I thought maybe I should find out what an agent could do to take my career to the next level. So I sent out about 4 queries to agencies I considered to be top notch. Amazingly and so different to my first time around with querying, they all responded right away. I ended up signing with Kimberly Whalen from Trident Media Group and she has been fantastic!

Do you think there is a different mindset for agents in regards to self-published books these days especially with the ebook revolution happening?
Yes, mostly. I think the smart agents are jumping on the self publishing bandwagon rather than fighting it. And Trident has really led the pack in this respect. I know of about 5 indies who have signed with Trident. I think the publishing industry is going through an identity crisis at the moment because epublishing is completely revolutionizing the industry!

You said back in July that you would not be opposed to a traditional publishing contract.  How do you feel about it now? 
I’m still not opposed to it at all but it has to make sense from a numbers standpoint. I think it makes total sense to try to make as many platforms as possible work for you!

Now that you’ve enjoyed tremendous success as an indie author, what do you think a traditional publishing contract can offer you?

Well, funny you should ask because I just signed a three book deal with Random House! What I'm hoping to get from the traditional side of things is an outlet that I can't get by being an indie. I want to find out if by having a foot in both worlds, if it helps build my platform as an author. I'm excited!

What kind of marketing strategies have you used to bring attention to your books?
I think social media has really worked for me. It’s incredibly important to maintain that personal touch with readers and I’ve found that facebook is really working wonders for me. It’s so easy to use and I can talk with so many different people, it’s fab! I just try to think of things that would interest my readers and I’m constantly trying to find ways to keep them involved with my writing.

What advice would you give a new author who is thinking about publishing directly to Amazon or Barnes & Noble?
A.   Make sure your covers are professional and don’t look like you made them
B.   Make sure you get someone to edit your book who knows how to edit
C.   Don’t overprice your books—anywhere from .99-2.99 is a sweet spot
D.   Then just put yourself out there and don’t get discouraged. It took me about 4-5 months to really ramp up.

What has surprised you the most about being an indie author?
Where my life has gone! I’m planning on quitting my full time job in April because my book sales are just blowing away my full time wage. I’m in talks with huge publishers about my book rights and when I sit back and think about it, I just can’t believe how lucky I’ve been. Uploading to Kindle and Nook has literally changed my life!

Contact info for HP:

Thank you HP for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me again.  Congratulations on your book contract! I wish you the best of luck in your writing career and be sure to come back again and let us know how you’re doing.

Thanks so much, Deb!!!