Today I’d like to welcome Dianna Hardy to Two Ends of the Pen. Dianna is currently on a blog tour promoting her new novella, “The Witching Pen.” As part of her stop, Dianna has agreed to give away a digital copy of her story.
Please leave your contact info in the comments for a chance to win the book. You may spell out your email address if you prefer, i.e. johnsmith [at] yahoo [dot] com. I’ll draw the winning entry on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6pm EST and Dianna will be in touch with you about getting the book to you.
Now let’s get to know more about Dianna.
Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
The Witching Pen is the first in a series of novellas. It's predominantly a paranormal romance, but with a strong urban fantasy undertone. The story stars Elena, who just happens to be the greatest witch on earth because she is the thirteenth in her family line – the first one for centuries. However, she soon discovers that her powers are a beacon for all and sundry, and before she knows it, a demon is after her, determined to make her his own, so he can harness her powers. However, a host of other issues come to light, and Elena starts to realise that the demon is the least of her worries! It's an adult story, but the characters are a little Buffy-esque – I love that kind of quirkiness.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I do have an erotic romance title out under another name that was published by Noble Romance Publishing. That involved sending in a submission and query to the publisher, which I would happily do again. But I'm mostly self-published, as I love the challenge of it. I'm also incredibly impatient, and self-publishing allows me to be able to get work out there much faster than through traditional means.
Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I do belong to an online critique group, and I would recommend every writer join one. I can take a while to find the right one, but when you do, it's worth its weight in gold. It's not only helped with my writing, it's helped with all aspects of publishing too.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
The fact that more eBooks are sold via Amazon Kindle than anywhere else. I wanted my work to be easily available to a wider audience. I think you'd have to be crazy not to use Amazon if you want to sell eBooks. Barnes & Noble is also a must, although, being in the UK, I can only get on there via Smashwords.
What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
That people are not actually turned off by it. When I first started self-publishing, I was paranoid that people would judge me based solely on that, and not on my writing, but I was mostly wrong. People are really into indie authors nowadays and will even seek them out to read something different and unique. What we're 'told' and what is actually happening, are often two different things.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
All good eBook retailers: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, Apple iBookstore, Sony eReader Store, All Romance Ebooks, 1PlaceForRomance, etc. Sometimes it takes a while for them to appear on some of those sites, but they end up there eventually.
What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
You can find me on Twitter, on Blogger and on Facebook, as well as on my own websites. I'm more recently trying out Yahoo, but there's only one of me, and I don't want to stretch myself too wide! My favourite is a combination of Blogging and Tweeting, and I've also made some great writer friends through Facebook. You can find all social network info at my site, www.romancewithbite.co.uk
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
It's not so much difficult, as a pain in the backside. I want to write. Full stop. Marketing may help me to sell books, but it takes me away from writing. When I can finally afford to, marketing will be the first thing I dish out to someone else!
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Get a domain name, get a website, get people who aren't your friends or family to read your work, then get it out there into the public. There's no such thing as failing, there's only learning. And if you do something wrong, you'll just know not to do it next time. Yes, it's important to get things as perfect as you can, but it's also important not to be too precious about it, or you'll never get anything done!
What’s next for you?
Well, I write under three names (for different genres), so I'm constantly writing something! Book Two of The Witching Pen Novellas is due to be released at the end of November, so I'm going to spend a bulk of time working on that, which I'm really looking forward to as the characters are starting to get really interesting.