Having wanted to write books ever since she was a child, British indie author Lynn Florkiewicz is now living the dream as a full-time author writing cozy mystery novels. Today she shares with us her best advice to other indies aspiring to make a living from their self-published books. As a naturally upbeat person, her recipe for success combines having fun with addressing the serious business issues required of the true authorpreneur:
- to treat your writing like a business
- to motivate yourself by setting your own targets, goals and deadlines
- to keep the writing fun!
What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?
I’ve had many, but the proudest moments are always the most recent…
Having Magna Publishing contact me to release my series of cosy mysteries in large print and audio was thrilling.
As most writers know, writing is a solitary business, and you sometimes wonder if you’re on the right track. This confirmed to me that I must be doing something right.
The first in the series also won the Earphone Award, given by audio file magazine based in Boston, Massachusetts. Two other crime authors received awards along with me, Ann Cleeves and Janet Evanovich, both mainstream-published and at the top of their game. To be mentioned alongside them on the same page was thrilling.
What’s the single best decision you ever made?
Deciding to self-publish. I knew I had a good idea; I knew I had great characters and I was getting lovely rejection letters from various agents. But, none of this was getting me published. I had a decision to make. I never ever want to look back on life and wish I’d done something differently.
My choice was: do I wait for someone to take me on, which could take years, or do I simply go for it and see what happens? I decided on the latter and haven’t looked back.
What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?
How easy it was to self-publish. I went through Amazon and Create Space and I was surprised. I’d put the idea off for months as I am not technically minded. But the Amazon process makes everything so easy.
I know some people have had problems with Amazon but, if I came across anything I didn’t understand, they were very helpful.
What’s your greatest challenge – and how do you deal with it?
The only thing I can think of is that I sometimes find it difficult to get started. Like every other writer, I always have a reason not to start.
But, once I begin, I can’t stop. I think that writing gives me similar symptoms to an addiction. If I don’t write, I start getting irritable. That’s a sure sign for me to knuckle down and get my fix.
How do you get/stay in a creative mood?
In my bio, I mention Anthony Horowitz and I have a similar mindset to him. I am like a child and can’t wait to get stuck into the next adventure and immerse myself in the community that I’ve created.
It’s fun, fun, fun and, if I’m not having fun, then I can’t be creative. Simple as that.
How do you remain productive/motivated?
- The fact that each book sells more than the last is a motivator.
- Four of my books have reached #1 on the Amazon cozy bestseller list.
- Winning the Earphone award is a motivator.
- The desire to be successful is a motivator.
- Personal emails from fans is a motivator.
Being a naturally positive person, I tend to be very driven. I set targets, goals and deadlines – without them, I don’t function properly. My next target is to reach the 200,000-sale mark. I believe I’ll reach that by the end of this year.
What’s your favourite thing about being an author–publisher?
I’m my own boss. I don’t feel as if this is work because I’m enjoying it so much.
I’ve created a world that I adore and I love to slip into that imaginary community and meet up with my characters.
I am not a literary writer. I’m not here to change the world or make you think, I want to entertain people and, from the feedback I’ve received, I tick that box.
What are your top tips for other ALLis?
If you’re serious about being a writer, than treat it as a business. I have masses of fun writing but I have to do the boring bits too.
- Employ an accountant if, like me, you’re hopeless with book-keeping.
- If you're not a US taxpayer but sell books in the States, make sure you get an ‘alien’ social security number so you’re not paying tax twice.
- Ensure you have a good, professional website where fans of your book can sign up for a newsletter and read about you and your books.
- Create a brand. My book covers all have the same style and a silhouette of Lord James Harrington on the front. That brand carries through to the website.
- If you’re on social media, make sure that brand continues there as well.
What’s next for you?
I’m just about to publish the eighth Lord James Harrington novel (the Whitsun Mystery) and I’m about a third of the way through the ninth.
I’ve also an idea for another series that I’m beginning to jot down notes for. Something is forming in my head and I hope to get that underway at some point this year.
I’ll continue to push the Lord James Harrington series as I’m sure these books are destined for bigger things, preferably TV!!!
I also want to start getting invited to sit on forums and share my experience, so if there are any crime festival peeps out there that would like to have me along to chat, do get in touch.#Indieauthors - take inspiration & ideas from this exclusive interview with bestselling mystery writer Lynn Florkiewicz aka @cosycrazy #selfpublishing #success Click To Tweet