25 October 2013
Interview with author Anya Breton
Today I'm thrilled to feature author Anya Breton on the blog. I met Anya on Twitter, where she is an active tweeter and member of the writing community and all-around slice of awesomeness. She also has some interesting features on her blog, including Crazy/Awkward Interviews and Trauma Llama posts, and I was fortunate enough to do an interview on her blog earlier this week.
In her interview here, Anya talks about her writing process, her choice to publish some of her books traditionally and self-publish others, and the single-most successful strategy for selling books.
Ladies and gents: the interview!
For those who aren't familiar with your work, what type of books do you write?
I write mainly romance (erotic and regular) but I do have an urban fantasy series and a young adult book. Basically I have genre ADD ;)
Will you tell us a little about your current project(s)?
I have so many going at any one time… For NaNoWriMo I’ll likely work on book 2 in a YA urban fantasy series that takes place in the same town as The Only Sorceress. YA and UF are things I can write quickly so that’s what I generally do in November. But I’m also working on the last book in the Haizea Brood trilogy featuring Amanda, the mother. That one will be incredibly difficult because she’s not a very sympathetic character…and because erotic romances tend to take me longer.
Do you have a day job? If yes, how do you make time for writing?
I do have a day job! I don’t have children so that makes it easier to find time. Usually my writing happens in the evenings and weekends (and lunches when I can sneak it in).
Do you ever get stuck in your writing? If so, how do you unstick yourself?
Oh, yes. I’ve gone through months of dry spells. That’s very frustrating. I generally edit existing projects and/or read other people’s books until I get out of my funk.
I noticed, while perusing your site, that some of your work is self-published and some of it is published traditionally. Why did you decide to do some of each?
I started out self-publishing. I know this is horrible, but initially I put some work out there simply to see if I ought to bother continuing. One super fan discovered me, asked me for more, and read everything I had (an eleven book series) within a few months. I was shocked. Her encouragement gave me the guts to seek a publisher.
How did you find your publishers?
A combination of checking publishers listed on Amazon, word of mouth (Twitter), and the Absolute Write forums.
What are the advantages to self-publishing? What are the down sides?
The advantage to self-publishing is being in complete control of every aspect of a book. Not to mention most of the proceeds go directly to the author. And they generally get paid monthly (versus quarterly + a delay). But the author has to pay for everything out of pocket: editing, cover art, formatting, etc. I’ve never made enough self-publishing to pay for any of that.
Advantages & down sides to going the traditional route?
The advantage to having an established publisher publish an author’s work is having them take on some of the responsibility and work—such as cover art creation, the editorial process, and crafting compelling blurbs.
Down sides are losing control over the cover’s look, royalty payments come quarterly (with usually a month or so delay tacked on), and the publisher chooses the price. Most e-publishers don’t provide promotion so that’s still up to you.
What has been your most successful strategy for marketing your books so far?
Writing more books. That’s really the only way that I’ve personally seen bumps on book sales.
A question borrowed from your interview with me: What keeps the darkness at bay?
Hah! In no particular order: fancy chocolate, editor cat, and my wonderful boyfriend.
What words of advice do you have for new and aspiring authors who are just getting started in their writing careers?
Write more and read more. And get with an editor who knows what they’re doing (rather than someone who will soothe your ego).
I’ve read loads of blog posts on self-editing as well as a few how-to-write books. I thought I understood what they had to say. Whoa boy was I wrong. Despite going through editing with Siren twice, when my manuscript came back from my Ellora’s Cave editor marked up with a zillion bubbles, I realized how wrong I was. None of the advice people wrote for the masses made sense to me until my editor pointed out the mistakes I’d made in my own work. Then it all fell into place. I’ve grown so much in the past two years that I’m even freelance editing now.
Connect with Anya on Facebook and Twitter and find out more about her work by visiting her author website.