Thursday, March 24, 2011

Interview with Jennifer Hudock

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?

The Goblin Market was inspired by Christina Rossetti's poem of the same name. I'd read the poem when I was younger, but it wasn't until college that I really dove in and analyzed it.

When the younger of two sisters is poisoned in the Goblin Market and kidnapped by the goblin king, Kothar, it's up to elder sister Meredith to save her and bring her home. As she journeys through the market and goes underground into the faerie kingdom, she discovers that her ties to that world run much deeper than her poisoned sister.

Fantasy and intrigue, darkness and despair, there's even a bit of romance in The Goblin Market.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I originally recorded The Goblin Market and offered it as a free episodic podcast through my website and iTunes. After I finished the podcast, I submitted to a small press that focuses on fantasy, but after a few months of waiting decided to withdraw and publish it on my own.

I have had other work traditionally published in magazines, ezines and journals, but at this time in my life I am content with self-publishing. You have more control over the end product, as well as your promotional strategies, and I'm a bit of a control freak.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I have worked with critique groups in the past, but do not belong to one at this time. I am a huge supporter of the critique group because authors tend to tell you straight up what they think of your work, and how they think you can improve it. I have definitely seen improvements in my own writing after working with a centralized group.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
As I mentioned above, I'm a bit of a control freak. I started to think about the amount of promotional work I would have to do on my own, even if I was picked up by a small press publisher, and realized there were more benefits to self-publishing beyond the higher royalties. I could control my price, choose my own cover artwork and wouldn't have to worry about a publisher telling me they didn't like one of my character's names, so I'd have to change it. I actually know people that have gone through that publishing on the traditional route, and the very idea makes my skin crawl.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I did work very closely with an editor, which is such an important part of the process. As writers I think we sometimes refuse to see beyond the greater picture when we create something, and a good editor can help you break that habit and look at details you might have missed.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
It's a lot of hard work getting the word out there about your work, but it's very rewarding. I can take a look at my numbers be proud because I made them happen.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The Goblin Market is available on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I am an avid Tweeter, and I also spend a lot of time on Facebook, KindleBoards and KindleChat when I'm not writing.