Bestselling thriller writer Rachel Amphlett, recently returned to her native UK after 13 years in Australia (now with dual nationality), is a highly organised, disciplined and strategic authorpreneur with a string of different series to her name. Generous with her time to help other authors (if you join her writing group, she'll send you a free monthly newsletter with the tips and tricks she’s used in her author-publishing business), in this exclusive interview with ALLi she shares the secrets of her success. Her answers provide a timely illustration of the principles Orna Ross recommended in her post “Author Earnings for Author Business” at the start of this week. Key points include:
- treating her writing like a business
- ensuring books in a series can also stand alone
- enjoying the ride!
What’s your proudest achievement to date as an indie author?
Going full time. It took me six years, but I finally made it in July 2017.
What’s the single best decision you ever made?
Treating my publishing life as a business. I’d worked as a project administrator on some huge engineering projects during my time in Australia and gained qualifications in project management and commerce, so when I introduced all that knowledge into my publishing business, things really took off.
What’s been your biggest surprise as an indie author?
The fact that the fifth book in my Detective Kay Hunter series (Call to Arms) was received so well as a standalone and starting point for new readers.
It taught me a valuable lesson that not all readers will see a new release and go right back to the beginning.
Some will grab the new release if you write it in such a way that it can be read as a standalone, and that will help you with advertising opportunities as well. It
What’s your greatest challenge – and how do you deal with it?
The biggest challenge this year has been trying to remain focused on the publishing business while organising our emigration back to the UK after 13 years in Australia. It’s only because of the discipline I’ve got through habits and good business practice that has meant I haven’t completely lost the plot – both figuratively and literally!
How do you get/stay in a creative mood?
I read books in my genre to stay inspired but I also make sure I eat well and exercise regularly. I love walking my dog, Floyd, and that really helps to blow away the cobwebs and give me some time when I’m simply concentrating on where we’re going and what’s happening around me.
How do you remain productive/motivated?
Having a rent to pay and a voracious appetite for pizza helps.
Seriously, the thought of going back to an office job scares the hell of me and keeps me honest, which is why hitting the daily word count before I do anything else is so important.
What’s your favourite thing about being an author–publisher?
The freedom and control I have in my publishing choices. I have a production schedule that I keep to, a quarterly business and marketing plan and a separate bank account and book-keeping software for my publishing business.
I love turning up for work every day!
What are your top tips for other ALLis?
My biggest error was not treating this like a business from the start. Do that, have a business and marketing plan, understand your genre and review your expenditure on a regular basis – you won’t go far wrong.
Above all, remember to have fun – if you don’t enjoy writing, then you’re in the wrong job.
What’s next for you?
I’m in the final throes of the first draft of Detective Kay Hunter book seven, I’ve got the first draft in a new police procedural to edit, and I’m plotting a new standalone psychological thriller.#Indieauthors - take a leaf from @RachelAmphlett's book - treat your #selfpublishing like a business, but enjoy the ride! Read her top tips for a successful #writing career here: Click To Tweet