Thanks to Mercedes Fox for allowing to be interviewed! She offers up some advice below for self-published authors and her experience in the field of writing.
In her own words:
I’ve been writing since childhood but until four years ago I didn’t even think I’d ever see one of my books published. Then when I was shown the Kindle and discovered all the self published authors I decided it was time to take my chance. My favorite subject to write is werewolves. I like my stories bloody, violent, and explicit. My love of books and reading came from my mother. Everything thing she read I was allowed to read. Being an only child my folks involved me in all family decisions so I was much more mature than most children my age. Then the best man in the world married me 22 years ago and we are the proud parents to three dogs. And he encourages my writing even though he’s never read a word of my books.
Vengeance of the Werewolf Book 3, a Zombie novel, and trying my hand at a mystery.
I use an awesome editor, http://www.wickedmuseediting.com I recommend her to every author. Not only does she do a meticulous job, she’s reasonable.
For my ebooks I won’t price them higher than $3.99. I also will offer discounts on them and freebies. As for the paperbooks, I won’t charge higher than $15.00. My reasoning on these prices are, I won’t pay more than $3.99 for an eBook nor will I pay more than $15.00 for a paperback. However if it’s a learning text I will pay more, but not for pleasure reading. I try to look at it with my buyer eyes. If I think it’s too expensive and wouldn’t pay that price I don’t expect my readers to either.
I have two sites actually. My website http://www.mercedesfox-author.com I created using GoDaddy.com. They offer a website builder which works like a template or wizard. I like GoDaddy’s service and people. After I purchased the site I had it built and live about two days later. It runs about $45.00 a year. My blog https://mercedesfoxbooks.com was started in Wordpress for $25.00. I bought my domain name and then moved it over to GoDaddy Hosting. I have SSL protection on it as well and unlimited pages. It runs around $120.00 a year. My blog was up and running the day after I purchased it. I’m a bit of a nerd (wrote a couple programs) but website building has never been easy for me so I looked for someone who looked good to me. I’ve used GoDaddy before and I recommend them to all. The service I’ve paid for and help I’ve received are well worth it.
When I decided to release my first book Vengeance of the Werewolf under my old pen name, Mercedes Ludill, I knew nothing about self-publishing. I did a web search and found a self-publishing company that sounded really good. I ended up with AuthorHouse. After a few thousand dollars I realized I went about it all wrong. I met another author and we became quick friends and thanks to Greg and his guidance I broke my contract and learned about CreateSpace and editors in my price range. I did learn a lot of authors just like me were duped by vanity publishers like AuthorHouse. I try to warn everyone off them now. Since taking control of everything the most expensive item is editing. My editor, shown above, does not ask for any arms or legs or even toes. When I’m done putting it all together I spend about $500.00 a book. And that covers editing, proof reading, ISBN, copyright, and cover.
They hurt and at first those reviews infuriated me. I’ve since learned to smile and move on. Everyone has a different view and not everyone is going to love my books like I think they should. My advice, read the review, if there is something truly needing fixing (such as editing or proofing) change it. If the reviewer is just being nasty, scroll past it. I have a nasty review on one of my books from a male reader. He clearer doesn’t like my strong female lead in the book. At first, I was so angry, now I just smile and laugh a bit. I remember I left a review for a movie once with Jason Statham. It was Crank. I love Jason Statham and have seen all of his movies. I hated this movie, I thought it was just ridiculous and left my review saying as much. I was attacked by male reviewers going off on me because I didn’t like or understand the ‘action’ film. You’d have thought I called the reviewers name in a busy shopping mall and then started making fun of them in front of all the customers. When you get a negative review if there’s nothing to be fixed/learned from it, just smile and snicker, cause if we all liked the same things, life would be so boring.
I’ve had my best luck using Twitter and Goodreads. If you don’t bash your followers over and over with ‘buy my book’ and be a real person who interacts with others you have more sales. Same on Goodreads, there are loads of groups with these fun games they play. It’s a great way to meet folks and eventually they find out you’re an author and they take it from there. I don’t mention I’m an author unless I want to my 2 cents in on a discussion directed at authors.
I’m bad, I’m not great at watching the clock when I’m on Twitter or Goodreads. I end up spending a lot of time chatting and reading up new books I want and tweeting.
Self published authors who’ve made it. I love seeing an indie-author like myself making a noise big enough everyone is looking.
I write what I like to read. I’ve always loved werewolves. It just fascinates me a man turning into a wolf. I like my books full of all the nasty stuff; like sex, violence, guts and fur. It’s my favorite thing in books. I have to write what I love and who I am. I am going to try my hand at a zombie novel and mystery novel. All of my work will always be geared to adult readers.
Lee Child’s Killing Floor
Thank you for taking the time to answer all my questions! Best wishes on your continued endeavors!
"Descendants of Avalon"
Released via Inklings Publishing
("The Forgotten" volume 2)
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse