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How I Do It: Indie Authors Share The Secrets Of Their Success – This Week: Christine Nolfi

How I Do It: Indie Authors Share the Secrets of Their Success – This Week: Christine Nolfi

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Connecting with readers, bloggers and other indie authors all played a part in Christine's success.

With a focus on writing books that she would have liked to be available in her local bookstore, author Christine Nolfi explains her beginnings as a now, best-selling author. How has Christine flourished? By keeping a strict writing schedule and self-publishing through Amazon's Kindle Worlds. Read our interview in full to learn what Christine also thinks is important to get noticed. 

The secret of your success?

I arrived on the indie scene having owned a small PR firm. I already knew about long writing hours and low pay—or, in the case of most of us when we begin publishing books, no pay—so I didn’t suffer illusions. I focused on writing books I wished were available in my local bookstore, connecting with readers and bloggers, connecting with other indie authors. Word-of-mouth from one happy reader to the next played a big role.

What’s the best single thing you ever did?

Year in, year out, I kept a strict writing schedule. I published books, participated in anthologies, jumped at the chance to write novellas through the KindleWorlds program. The more quality content out there, the higher the probability of success.

Did you get lucky? What happened?

Every successful novelist enjoys some level of luck. I was fortunate to write genre-blending novels in the age of eReading. The books and novellas earned good reviews, which surely helped. I suspect cover art helped. Certainly it’s a stroke of luck that the right people noticed my work.

How do you get/stay in creative mode?

I don’t believe in waiting for the muse to appear. I write every day, whether or not I feel inspired. If the first draft is a mess, so what? The revision process holds its own joys. When a work is completed, I move on to the next book.

How do you prioritise?

The current WIP always comes first. If I feel my productivity isn’t up to snuff, I slap a sticky note on the iMac and log my hourly word count. During edits, I shoot for a full edit of 4 – 10 chapters per day, depending on the book. Once the final books feels complete, I set it aside for several days. Then I read through for one last edit.

What’s next?

Next year I’ll debut a new Women’s Fiction series for Lake Union. In between writing the books for Amazon Publishing, I’m continuing the Heavenscribe series.

What’s your top tip for other indie authors?

Treat your writing like a business. Keep a schedule. Produce quality work. Don’t settle for poor cover art. I began writing as a single mom raising four kids. Believe me, I didn’t have lots of money to invest, and some days I was up at 5 AM writing. Nurture your dream, and it will unfold.

#Author @christinenolfi shares the secrets of her success #HowIDoIt #selfpub Click To Tweet

 Award-winning author Christine Nolfi provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Her debut Treasure Me is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. The Midwest Book Review lists her books as “highly recommended” and her novels have enjoyed bestseller status. Look for her new series, Heavenscribe. Her new series for Lake Union will debut February, 2017. Chat with her on Twitter at @christinenolfi and visit her at www.christinenolfi.com.


This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. How do you get/stay in creative mode?

    Having written 24 western frontier eBooks and preparing to write #25, often times people have asked me how can I be so creative?

    I am far from successful and polishing GRAMMAR is my greatest challenge.

    But as to what inspires me to write?

    Its quite simple.

    I go to a photography website that has a zillion photos.


    I type in the phrase I want and the photos pop up.

    I search literally thousands of photos for just the right photo that fits my genre.

    And poof, the moment I see the right photo I already know the entire story in my imagination.

    But that is only half of the equation.

    Then I need permission to use the photo as my eBook cover.

    Without (THAT) photo, I would have what I hope is the perfect story but anything but the perfect cover photo if the photographer doesn’t get back to me, says no, or asks a sum of $$$$ far out of my range.

    Back in 2011 I would write down each chapter and then transfer it to my computer. Now I just look at my screen and type.

    I am proud to be a member of this group and though not rich, not famous, and not successful, I am happy to be what I am doing.

    I recently bought WordRake from a previous article and though I have to scan 6,200 pages to polish each one I am happy to do the work.

    As a disabled fiction writer, paying a manuscript editing service to make my eBooks the best they can be $$$$ wise is out of my ability.

    So I am doing the best I can and also have an excellent beta-reader.

    What use is it to be a writer if the reader doesn’t enjoy what we have written?

    I wish English would have been my strong point in college in 1983 but it wasn’t.

    I sure could have used a crystal ball back then.

    I wish everyone the best of success in 2016.

  2. I joined a writers group. They find almost everything I miss (and it’s a lot) then I fix it and read another 3 times. We do 4-5 thousand words on everyone’s project every two weeks. Almost half way done with third in the murder mystery series. Writing #4 at the same time. 1000 words a day every morning.

    1. Hi Jeff:

      My town had a local writers group and it was wonderful to see other people of all ages at one stage or another of their writing journey. For reasons I do not know the group stopped meeting at our library.

      I think the greatest help to me has been having a personal friend who loves to read be my beta reader of my eBooks. She is a stickler for grammar, punctuation and typo’s.

      She has limited time so I do not try to swamp her but she likes to read. I even put her in one of my eBooks…(smiles).

      I loved reading the ALLi article about the writer who sold 50,000 downloads of his eBook on Amazon in 35 days.

      That will never happen to me and I am okay with it, knowing if it happened I would have a heart attack looking at my bank account, lol.

      It’s not easy to find the perfect rhythm of inspiration, writing, editing, book cover and marketing.

      But when it fits like a slot machine spinning, it feels wonderful to see success, be it small or big time.

  3. The comment about writing discipline is right on the mark. Keeping a strict writing schedule is vital, and as you note, if a particular day’s work isn’t that good, that is when the revision process takes over.

    1. Exactly, Jonathan! Often we place too much stock in a first draft–it’s a draft for heaven’s sake–and that self-criticism makes sticking to a schedule all the more difficult.

      Art, especially during the initial stages, should be all about play. Let your inner child ramble. Forget about punctuation (if it’s not your thing) and don’t check if you’ve left Oxford commas out in the cold (I always do). When it comes time for edits, I use a variety of gel pens. Purple one day, azure blue the next–a page covered with rainbow edits is rather pleasing to the eye. And that inner child!

      1. Hi Christine:

        You indeed are an inspiration and that is what we writers who are following your foot prints to success need.

        “Art, especially during the initial stages, should be all about play. Let your inner child ramble.”

        I love that statement.

        I have never been to Marble, Colorado where most of my eBooks are centered on. But my inner child has lived there my entire life.

        For decades I wrote poetry and short stories like most of us here have done.

        Never for a moment did I think I would write a book.

        I try to inspire everyone I meet in my town to believe they too can write a book.

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