Self-Publishing And Marketing Literary Fiction With Jane Davis



hi everyone I'm Johanna pen from the creative pen comm and today i'm here with jane davis hi Jane it's great to have you on the show just a little introduction Jane is an award-winning writer of literary fiction her first novel half-truths and white lies won the Daily Mail first novel award and she recently won the selfies award at London Book Fair 2019 for best self published work of fiction for her book smash all the windows you're actually a multi award-winning author now Jane congratulations you've got a couple more than that as well quite small ones but yes it's my second the southies woods was the second award that recognized self-publishing standards as well as the writing so to me as a self-published author so that really means something that means something special and it's one for the team which is nice it's not just for me it's one for the whole team oh I love that we're gonna come back to that but first of all just tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing a very convoluted route I suppose and I think as a child I was quite creative but I wasn't one of these people who grow up storytelling and writing I was far too shy and retiring for that but I did spend a lot of time and drawing and come from a family of musicians and artists and I think my parents had some idea that would all be able to make a living in the arts somehow so we were all sent off to ballet lessons and to play musical instruments and nothing like that happened at all in fact my I didn't even get that far as to really look realistically a career in art because the work I produce for my level art the examiners hated and I didn't fail but I got to see and it was all a bit all a bit disc myself well maybe I'm really not very good at this maybe I'm not good enough I'm so I actually left school at 16 and went into the world of insurance where I stayed for 25 years Oh sexy exactly exactly no creative outlet whatsoever and I think once I've achieved the things I wanted to do I bought my own house you know at the card nice wardrobe things like that it's begins to bug you that there actually is no creative outlet and so something happened in my personal life that I wanted to make sense of and I turned to writing I remember a very drunken evening with my partner Matt down by the I call it a second bottle of wine evening down by the Thames and a lovely summer's evening and I pitched a book to him which is something I'm not very good at doing to this day but I pitched an idea for a book for him and said do you think anybody would want to read that and he said we'll all read it and I felt okay then and I'll give it a go not realizing that it would take me four years writing you know in my spare time and it didn't get me a publishing deal but it did get me a literary agent at the time and so you know I thought I'd written a crime novel as well at that point and they said no well and so when what year was that first book or how many years ago was that that was when I was 36 and it took me till I was 40 to write it so we're talking not very good at maths maths not a strong point for about 16 years ago okay Wow okay so you've been doing this a while that's I think that's important I've been digging the world yeah no that's great so you mentioned John were there and you're a literary fiction author so even though you said you're not that good genre or you think literary fiction is a genre so I'm really interested in your thoughts on the category on Amazon of literary fiction and you know why do you choose that Why Why is that what you write well in short I don't choose literary as my first choice of category in the official classification codes there is no such thing as literary fiction it's general fiction and so working out where you sit is a process of elimination because you've eliminated historical you've eliminated so if I evil imitated and what you're left with is this single general fiction I saw Adele Park co2 talk at a conference and she said that she was actually given the choice whether to have her work marketed as commercial fiction or literary fiction and there isn't really a subcategory of commercial fictional either it tends to be things like women's fiction that's the sort of thing they meant and she said well what's the difference and they said well literary fiction sells 7,000 copies on average and commercial fiction sells 70,000 copies on average and so she said what I might pay the mortgage so I'll be commercial thank you very much and it's those sort of choices that you made that is a little bit about the way the book is marketed and once you are once you've decided in your category you tend to be pigeonholed of you're under contract we have a bit more choice if we're publishing independently because as Kathleen Jarrett said to me recently when I interviewed her that self publishing gives her the freedom to flip between genres if she wishes to but it's true that most readers associate an author with a certain type of fiction now I don't sit down thinking I'm going to write literary fiction I mean I'm someone with a you know who left school at 16 I've got a Oreo level and assuming certificate and you know that's that's a word that I associate with the classics with Austin with Dickens with will self and to some people it has some they might think it's a difficult read it's not going to be an accessible read but what I try to do is I like to write about meaty thorny subjects and I like to write about moral dilemmas but I always try to make them accessible by showing them through the eyes that perhaps one or two characters the case of my last novel rather a lot more characters than that actually with multiple points of view but usually breaking it down in that way so it makes a subject it's accessible to people and I'm not trying to you know I do like to inform people but I also want to entertain so if I the choice I say contemporary fiction if because historical fiction is easier to market as well if I've written something that I can categorize this historical fiction I will literary fiction is kind of a label that gets attached to me and you know on Amazon that we have the choice of different categories so that we can charge in different ways in the rankings then if literary fiction is a choice I might use that as one of my ten choices but it's not my first choice I prefer to say contemporary if I can yes interesting for I wonder also is our books that or authors who write mainly standalone novels cost more as literary writers rather than genre writers because so many genre writers or commercial writers write in series I don't know that that's got anything to do with it I'm Kate Moss said not so long ago as well that she distances herself she prefers to think of herself as a storyteller which sort should leaves you open to you really a little bit broad Kate I don't think anyone sits down and says they're going to write a literary novel I think people the the the challenge is that I set myself for to write something that's authentic something that's honest something that feels true and if people say to me oh you know if I read in a review that someone says to me I believed that everything happened it was as it was written on the page which is review ahead recently and I thought well actually that means I've done my job because I'm writing about made-up things based so quite a lot than the based in truth but the events themselves the people are all fictional obviously and and if I get a comment like that then I think yes actually you know that's probably one of the best compliments I could have mmm you know fantastic so yeah I mean you mentioned getting a literary agent earlier on in your career you've won prizes your writing is you know excellent so why many people would then say why choose to be indie and you you're in in the UK you're one of I guess I would say your significant in the genre in the UK because you always events you're you're talking about it so which is you know fantastic so why choose the independent way or tell us a bit about your story and how you how you two have chosen to public yes well I've the truth is that I had my 15 minutes of fame and was told I was going to be the next Joanne Harris and then actually I was I was dropped by my publisher so although I would say now that self-publishing is a positive choice for me it came as a bit of a shock at the time I didn't realize because I was very green and possibly my business background maybe less challenging than I should have been because I've sat on a board of directors for 16 years you're very used to in that situation putting a case forward arguing your case but not actually winning the votes to get your policy put through to get your idea accepted and so but the truth is that nobody actually asked me how do you see yourself as a writer when I was published and I was so grateful to get a publishing deal that I didn't really challenge it at all and that's all you're gonna be on our White's black swattin label apologies I didn't say what does that mean I just look great I just looked up a couple of authors from there and they were authors I liked thought fabulous and it was only when I presented my second book which was actually quite soon after my heart path trees and white lights was published probably only about three months down the line because the production took quite a long time and and they said yes we loved it but of course we can't publish it because it's not women's fiction and it was only at that point that I realized that that was how they saw me and that it wasn't possible they weren't going to publish me if I if I wrote anything else and it had never been my intention to write only for women and someone put him one of the reviews from a human fiction this isn't women's fiction because it was a book that they're bought under the category of women's fiction they said this isn't women's fiction it's human section and you know my fiction was always supposed to be for everybody and I presented them with a book where the main character was a a twelve-year-old boy but that became a funeral for now and it's my best-selling book now and they said no we can't take it so what I set out to do after that was I set out to write what I thought was deliberately quite a commercial woman's fiction novel with really feisty ass-kicking female lead and again that was it or the historical bent and again it was something they didn't they didn't want so I actually was in the end in the not very enviable position of touting three quite different books around the market at the same time and I really stumbled upon I paid that like many many people I mean this was back in 2009 2010 self-publishing was probably still in its infancy yeah and the advice at the time was no self-respecting author will self publish and you pay thousands of pounds to get this advice and of course you listen to it and it wasn't until I actually thought you know I should go along to a conference and see what this is all about just check up on it and I realized that you know I was walking into a room and absolute professionals people who had been traditionally published before whose latest book hadn't sold enough itself quite enough copies people who just thought and there was someone they was writing what he called rad lit at the time a stone chick lit he felt he was writing the equivalent of Chiclets but for the men and there was no market for that at the time so he decided that he would go ahead and self publish there were people who'd ghost written novels for other people but had choked choosing to publish their own work because it didn't fit neatly into a genre or something with a slit tree that was classified as being too quiet for the current market because we know that it's a you know it is a business decision that the big publishers are making I reread recently Diana at Hills memoir stepped about her many years in the publishing industry and she talks there and reminds us that the Booker Prize was set up to try and tempt non readers or people for whom reading was many at one of many options to get them out of the cinemas and the bingo halls to get them to pick up a book by making it newsworthy and she talks about how if the book came across her desk that she categorized as literary fiction she would almost hope it was bad because then it would be an easy decision she could just turn it down whereas if it was good they had to have an editorial meeting to decide whether it's something they would take on board in the knowledge that if they took it on they would probably sell 800 copies and they would make a loss and of course the publishers they have their more commercial books that will prop up that cost that will support it and that's one of the things they want to do as publishers but you know when you're publishing on your own you don't have those other books to prop things up unless you delve into nonfiction Ross Morris for example has her own writing series I think you do as well you have your own non-fiction books as well and and of course they support and they give credibility to your skills not as an author as what something I haven't ventured into yet simply because I think there's so many books out there obviously as we know there can be many books on the same topic so I do think no I don't think that should stop you for sure but I want to come back on on the word self-publishing because you have talked about on your blog and things about how self-publishing is a misnomer so tell us about your publishing team and why it's not self-publishing well the only part in self-publishing is where you push the button at the end of the day you're the only person who can decide whether you're going to put that book out there I still hope that if I'd written something spent a couple of years writing a book and the profession opinion that was that it wasn't good enough that I would actually abandon that project I've never got to that stage but I still hope that if that's the opinion I'm getting that I would have the integrity to do that rather than put out something that was substandard I also feel the pressure mounting with every book because readers have certain expectations and they keep on saying what we see the development with every book and you're thinking oh my goodness what am I gonna get in with the next one to top the last one to meet those expectations I think it gets tougher but yes I have a one of the reasons self-publishing is is now is now my first choice is because I've built a team around me of course my first couple of attempts at self-publishing I didn't have that I was changing services as well as I was using professional services but it took me a while to get a team that I was completely happy with and it not only professional services but I have a team of core team of beta readers probably about 20 and then for every book as well I actually look for someone with specific skills so for example if the book has a medical subject matter I noticed a doctor I might be looking for sensitivity readers of their issues of diversity or ethnicity so I'll put in some extra people every time but that after I've self edited the book myself too with an inch of a lot it's life and I just can't be objective about the thing anymore that's the point at which I'll send out to beat readers I collect all of their comments back and really if anyone's if more than one people are saying to me I've got a problem with that part of the book even if you don't agree with the solution they're suggesting you know that there is a problem with it so you've got to start making the changes I'm also weaving those changes the whole way through so by the time my books get to a professional they've been through quite an extensive state rounds of self editing really and so then I use for my last book I use a structural editor I don't always use the structural editor but it was a really located structure from my last book and I used down Holloway who's been known to ally members as our news hound but and he obviously writes himself me and he can just get to grips with something very very quickly he's very challenging which is what you want people to do you work with the whole idea is you're not employing the yes-man you're employing the people who are gonna push you to make the book look as good as it can possibly be and so when Dan says is that really the first thing you want the reader to know about that character you have to really be able to justify that and to think about what you've done because I'm I don't plot I write quite organically so the book grows out of an idea and I'm probably not thinking those questions through to myself that need to be asked at the structural stage so Dan's great fun to work with he has such a you know the cultural references are so broad he'll say go watch the first scene of the player or go and watch this scene from Silence of the Lambs or going you know the lot of books or send your way to look at it's you know a cinematic approach can be really really useful and to trigger ideas of how you might tackle a particular problem and he kind of rather than offering resolution on a plate challenges you to find your own solutions or define what it is that what you need to take it next and then I use after that stage of edits I use a copy editor and I use sub John Hudspeth who I haven't actually met I found online I I found online because his comments are so irrelevant irreverent reverent innovation i but irreverent that people actually publish his comments to their work there are blogs on which people publish his comments and they're so funny and and I thought that really when I can actually I can actually work with because he can present critique in a way that is gonna make laughs and I'm not going to take a sense because it's so easy when you get a critique paperback the first time around to read it and go no that's not right and to be very dismissive of this because it's your baby they've talking about you've been working on it for such a long time and sometimes it's good to have someone who can make you laugh at yourself quite a bit and he also does a little bit like a school report on the end of each chapter as well and how it makes how its moved the novel on or if it hasn't moved the novel on in the way that he wanted to see and and he's writing to say I'm really excited where we go next with this or you know I'm not sure where you're going with this or something like that but it's quite he's he's putting his thought processes down as a reader which is really really useful as well then I go through the proofread staged before typesetting typesetting another proofread of course and testing out all the various ebooks on the formats and then Oh covered design has happened it's somewhere in between this point in time I am work with sorry I wanted to mention JD JD Dixon Smith does my ebook formatting my typesetting for me and she's a fantastic help and resource with that another ally person my cover designer is actually someone who runs my local art gallery and when I first decided to self-publish I walked in and said away you know artists graphic designers etc do you know anyone who does covered alone who's Jane I do color design so I've worked with him my initial cover designs were really quite simple but I like to get quite involved in the process I usually source the photographs myself I come up with the concept and then I say to him this is what I have in mind what are we going to do with it and actually I push really hard to get the covers I want for my latest cover he wanted it to be very simple and I said no we need this people to have a place in mind I want people to know it's a London novel I think I know I think they're very good yeah I think this conversations like can you put a deer's head on a ballerina and he says will you go away and find me the right picture it's a banner the banner I mean and the deers head cuz I'm not gonna scroll through and find once on like a dog's dinner exact angle of the deers had to be right the exact width of the deers head to be right something that proportionally it's gonna look cool and you're going to do that not me so you know I spend hours now as now as weeks well I would say on that just a couple of things so for people who don't know a lie it's the Alliance of independent authors of people wandering there and I'll put links in the show notes to some of the professionals you've talked about Jane Dixon Smith does my covers and my interior print design as well she's fantastic and yes so really important like you mentioned standards at the beginning and clearly with all those iterations you're absolutely maintaining standards and and growing standards so I also wanted to ask about your thoughts on pricing because we had discussed this and you know when you spend years on a book like you do it can be very hard to look at the pricing that people use online and you know maybe that make a decision say tell us your what's happened with your experience of pricing I'm really conflicted on this I had been trying to edge my prices up so I felt that the minimum and so I worked on the basis I think this statistic is still true that only 5% of books Sully the 1000 copies regardless of genre and so if you actually do the maths and work out what you're spending work out what commission rates you're going to get hope for the best and hope you're gonna sell those 1000 copies but you can't really say if you don't have a history of sales that you're going to sell much more than that and I worked out to begin with it than the minimum I could sell for an e-book for would be $2.99 my paperbacks have always been the same I've never particularly made a profit on paperbacks in fact for several years I was making a loss of about five pounds per book because hard to do the foot work but it's so important to me as someone who grew up surrounded by books I'm not the book generation I love the feel of Earth a call book I read physical books I read my own books an e-book because I have to I don't enjoy reading books and about format I know other people do I know other people find them incredibly helpful but they my eyes don't like them I don't find that I process the information in the same way so for me it's always a paperback it is so important for me to to produce something that I thought was a beautiful thing as well as an object and to try and get those onto the books of bookshelves and I have to say I've kind of abandon my teamsters it's so hard to get stopped in bookshops it really is I have the clays and sorry I forgot to mention plays with my teams yeah we only went as far as the production and clays produce my paperbacks for me but they also did they do more than like they do distribution as well so I have a catalogue that I send to book shops in the UK the slightly frustrating thing with clays is that although they do the distribution to book shops you don't find out which book shops have bought your books so you don't you can't find out what of all the graham work that you've been doing has paid off but I've stopped taking my boxes of books and driving to book shops and saying please stop my book I just stopped that kind of activity that I was doing well just on that so people know so craze is a printer and a distributor so you would have paid upfront for them to print a certain number and then put in their warehouse where as I do print through Ingram spark so I only do print on demand and demand runs so clays do short print runs it's a service that they've only introduced for indie authors in recent years and they will print you one book 50 books it's still quite expensive but if you order a hundred books plus it starts getting economical if you order 200 books the price comes down to below two pound for a paperback hmm they will deliver to one UK address but they will also keep I don't know what the number is it's of a box of books on and those they would distribute for you through gardeners to book shops so you have a stock for yourself and you have a stock that they keep there as well and I think those they will still do the distribution above that but they will charge you for warehousing if you get a certain number that they keep free mmm so circling back on eBook pricing mm-hmm so I started off at 299 say two pounds in two pounds $99.99 I had been gradually trying to edge up to four pounds 99 and it wasn't really some of my books were selling at $4.99 some weren't I'd actually at the point where so something specific happened last summer one of those things was that I got a book bug deal for my book of you know for now and I had been trying to sell it at $4.99 and I did it at 99 P and it sold massively but it didn't stop selling so I didn't reduce the price now this was about the time that amazon.com were telling people in other countries you can only buy from amazon.com if you're a u.s. resident so prior to this time I've been had quite a degree of success with Amazon marketing services in the u.s. at that time those sales dried up and it became apparent to me that the people I was trying to reach all myself started to come from from doctor condo I use Australia in New Zealand basically and it appeared to me that that's where my market really is the UK I don't appear to have a u.s. audience so there wasn't much point carrying on with the advertising on Comm and in fact the book sales continued to grow for a funeral for an hour and I was putting all this work into trying to push for a $4.99 price but I was giving away so much of that money in marketing expenses that I actually decided to trial for a while and reduce all my process to 99p the reason for this was I had to started to help care of my dad who has dementia two days a week and it was taking up writing time and I still simply if I was gonna write a next book because I hadn't written anything for a year I realized I was gonna have to cut back on marketing massively and walk away from it and suddenly there seemed to be a way of walking away from it so it feels like selling out because I've always been against low pricing I've always felt that books should be priced to represent their value and yet where I get the value is because I need to put a value of my time and I can't be spending seventy percent of my writing time and a great deal of budget on trying to you know get the price of $4.99 for a book the other advantage for me with the with Amazon with the 99p as you are on the 35 pence Commission rate instead of the 70% pen so actually you've got to make three times as many sales to make up for them but the really good thing as far as I'm concerned is that and they don't allow me but lending at the 35% rate or you have to opt into it rather so it's not automatic whereas at 70 percent you have to allow you but repla blending and because I go out and speak to book clubs quite a lot because book clubs are my market I've been aware for some time I used to be able to go to a book book book club and even if they'd already bought the book I would be able to sell 20 or 30 copies of paperbacks at a book club I wouldn't paying for a market stall I wouldn't be paying money back to a book seller I wouldn't be paying commission to a book seller so I would get you know 100 percent of that book price so there had gone along and spoken to a book club and given up my time I would actually get some sales out of it and in the past year or two I've not been getting any sales and when I actually asked the question they said oh no we don't buy paper books one of us buys an e-book from Amazon and we all copy it and give it to this car there downloading books from pirate sites these are people who consider themselves to be book lovers bookworms people they consider themselves to be supporting the publishing industry and yet they think it's acceptable to buy one copy of an e-book and put it on an e-book library like calibre and pass it around the whole group so I wasn't even getting if you imagine now I'm only getting one 99p sale for a whole book club I'm like it's so destroying – I'm stunned normally normally women over forty-five exclusively women almost you yeah that's your easy that makes me quite sad as well so yeah we definitely should not be encouraging that but it's so so do you get a sense now so this is like a almost I guess nine months on from when you made those changes to your pricing do you get a sense of whether it was worthwhile like do you feel like you've had your time back the pricings working you're still moving books I am not there I'm not selling as many I am moving books I'm not selling as many as I was for me because I think people start buying paperbacks around Christmastime start looking at present buying it dropped off so between August and the end of last year was absolutely fantastic and it was actually I was thinking for the first time like goodness this is actually a considerable contribution to my revenue this is looking if I could do this you know every every year it would be it would be a significant amount of income not to say huge but significant for me because I also work I also work as a compliance consultant so I've do some freelance work as well and and I thought well I can start building up some self-publishing pot as it were for future projects and but it has told off a bit I tried I tried the nerve of it putting my prices back up to 199 and the sales just dried up completely so I'm actually gone back down to it and that was always my aim that it would be temporary and that I would start nudging up again but I don't think I can do that the other good the good news is for the UK market I can still utilize honors and marketing services and it still pays for itself hidden at the 99p because my my campaigns all run at about fifteen percent so there is still money there and if I can get a new reader on board as well it's going to go looking read the other books with that and the ads in the UK still pay for themselves I'm I'm pretty pleased with that even at the 99p because lots of people say oh well if you're going to advertise on and as an obviously your price ins got to be high enough to pay for that well this this is interesting because and I had Karen English of course who you know another in the ortho on and I think this is one of the benefits of being in a genre whether you want to call yourself literary or not but within categories that are less targeted by Indies right now so it's very expensive in romance in thrillers it miss you in crime but if you're in poetry or literary fiction or children's fiction you can still get good return on your ads because there are fewer authors actually paying for ads at that level and fewer politicians in my history of my book that I'm advertising for that is historical fiction that that runs that I went so lost but that runs near or the break-even and where's that the ones that are contemporary literary and they run very very well so I think you're probably right there yeah so you've given us loads of tips on marketing their book bourbon AMS and book clubs and things do you have any other thoughts for writers in your genre or marketing and I think it's it's quite individual I mean I tried tried Facebook ants and they didn't work for me and I quite quickly clocked up a lot of money got very scared and ran away from that and since 2012 I've been interviewing other authors I have a blog called virtual book club and the idea being that you know they get a bit of publicity and in return I get other visitors my website and hopefully they might stay in a bit of an exploring like what they see their social media I suppose has been has been quite successful for me certainly in terms of nurturing some contacts and friendships and you know I several hidden Facebook groups with other authors who with support groups and bits and pieces as well and I've done some joint ventures with other people I did a joint venture with some other members from the Alliance of independent authors a few years ago a book set a box set called outside the box and and as a result of that because we got there with the power of several individuals we were able to get in several national newspapers which I don't think it would have been possible to do on our own hmm so that was very exciting yeah I think it's a sort of scattergun approach you have to try and see what works and I think it's very important to not write off the things that didn't work for you two years ago because the market is changing publishing is changing so rapidly that you have to constantly revisit the way that you're doing things and make sure that you haven't missed a trick and perhaps go back and try something you didn't work before perhaps something you're doing now just stops working so you've just got to find the next thing to latch on to and the chances are that that won't work forever I'm sure that my pricing strategy at the moment is a temporary thing and so you have to constantly keep looking at it and and and experimenting be willing to experiment so yeah it doesn't well I think it's that being willing is is exactly the point and I think particularly in literary fiction there are people who are less willing to engage with some of these marketing activities because they seem a little bit you know but you mentioned the word sellout around you're pricing which I totally would never use that around around anything you do at all value clearly feel like I fight I fight I do find it difficult and actually I got a really supportive respond from somebody because I felt it necessary to put my reasons down I've felt it necessary to blog about my reasons for reducing my prices and I wanted people to know that this is not the value of the book there are no books out there that own it that are only worth 19 what I'm sure they might be someone's life they spent on professional services this is not something they haven't just written it and pushed it but this is one of the reasons I dislike the term self-publishing because the perception of people you know there is still the dismissal oh you self-publish and the thought that oh well that it's not seen as a professional way of doing things it is and it costs money and the idea that a book that's been 2 years in the writing and had all that money spent on it should only be worth 99p it does it I do find it difficult but I know how to pronounce his name Dave Dave gone is it gone go got current David got gone current you say Cochran do you yeah Irish Dave he sent me a lovely response and said never look at the individual price of the book look at the total income from that book I only look at that and if that makes sense then keep on doing what you're doing and that's the thing that makes sense now for me yeah that's fantastic well look we're almost out of time and but tell us like what what are you working on at the moment or you know anything you want to tell people about what you do right I'm quite suspicious about talking about work in progress and we've very good very good reason really I always think feel as if you're discovering something for yourself when you're reading it and like other people I read three biographies last year and I found that there was a connection it's back-to-back and I found there was a connection between three people in the biographies and I thought that's really interesting and you feel as if you're the only person in the world who could know this and I already have found out that someone has write is writing something quite similar and so you get a bit scared about that I'm going to have to read that and make sure mine's different enough so I don't you know there's always this stage where you're writing when a book takes a long time to write you think oh my goodness they've written my book and they've got their first and it's already out there and the thing is they won't have your characters then they won't have your storyline they won't have the structure they won't have anything else so so yeah there is there is a work-in-progress about 65,000 words in which is quite early days for me I don't know if it's going to be as long as some of my other and other novels but it is first draft well tell people when they can find you and your books online well my website it's Jane – Davis co uk I'm on Twitter I'm on Facebook thanks so much for your time Jane that was great thank you you

7 thoughts on “Self-Publishing And Marketing Literary Fiction With Jane Davis

  1. My work was stolen and put on Google for free. My sales dried up. I took them off amazon and rewrote my entire series. 125k to 280k. Took a few years to do. Then I've just written a book before the old one. 200k. Should release them 2020. 😎

  2. Hello. I am a novice writer. I write short stories and novels. I have published my first book on amazon site (the gates opener. Miracle birth book 1). Three years ago. I have been working in media and I have not been read by anyone. What do you advise me to read and spread.?

  3. Re Indie publishers: 'I was walking into a room of absolute professionals' – I wanted to cheer when Jane Davis spoke of her first meeting with authors who'd taken publishing into their own hands back in the heady days of 2010.

  4. This is a great interview. Literary Fiction is effectively its own genre, but I've also noticed that books aren't really categorised as Literary Fiction. I looked at my copies of Gone With The Wind, some of the Daphne du Maurier novels, and a few others. They're all under General.

    And how interesting that Jane uses the term Contemporary. Within YA, that term is widely used, but not so much for Adult Fiction.

    My difficulty is that I'm writing Modern Historical Fiction, and that appears not to be an official term. My fiction doesn't necessarily fit into conventional categories, but I somehow feel uncomfortable with using the term Literary Fiction, in relation to my own work. I would consider using Historical Fiction, but stories set in the 1980s aren't universally accepted, within Historical Fiction.

    It feels like I'm making my life hard. I would much rather write in a genre – if I can learn to accept the boundaries…! 😃💝

  5. Such a great interview, Joanna! I'd love to see more Jane Davis on your show in the future if/whenever possible. Thanks so much for this. 😀

  6. Faking classical music vocals (if you are untrained at it), faking classical dance, faking bonhomie or empathy; and finally, faking laughter – all fall flat and appear painfully "cringe-worthy" when viewed on a screen.

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