Welcome to the second installment of Author Up Close, the series that explores several authors’ paths to publishing. If you missed the first in the series, a Q&A with author Fiona Zedde, you can read it here.
There are probably as many articles about the perils of self-publishing as there are about the “fall” of traditional publishing. Most of these articles lack nuance and are more concerned with promoting a perceived “right” way to publish while disparaging the “wrong” way. In reality, choosing a publishing path is a very personal decision, and what’s right for one might not be right for others.
Today’s featured author, Linda Seed, obviously made the right choice for herself and her career when she decided to self-publish. Linda is a contemporary romance writer, a Writer Unboxed Conference alum, and a friend. We’re in a few online communities together, and over the years I’ve watched her career grow from an author who, in her words, “made enough to buy a coffee” to one who now makes a living from her books.
In a sea of self-published authors, Linda stands out because of her excellent writing, commitment to quality, and strong work ethic. And as you’ll see from our Q&A, those things probably had a hand in getting Barnes & Noble’s attention at just the right time in her career.
GW: What do you write and how many books have you published?
LS: I write small-town contemporary romance, with all of my books set on California’s Central Coast. I’ve published nine books so far.
GW: You’re doing what a lot of other authors wish they could be doing right now: making a full-time income from your writing. When you started writing, had this been your goal? If not, when and what changed that?
LS: Honestly, when I started, I didn’t expect to make any money at all. It was more of a bucket list thing—I wanted to have a published book out there. For me, the day I uploaded my first book onto Amazon, my goal was met. Anything else was just a bonus.
Things changed eleven months later, in September 2016. I had two more books out by then, and I had just made my first book free. I went onto Facebook one morning to find a bunch of notifications from friends congratulating me. I learned that Barnes & Noble had featured my first book as their Free Fridays pick. My book was all over their social media, on their website—it was crazy. That drove the sales of my other books, and overnight I was making ten times more money than I had been. That was when I thought, okay, I might be able to make this into a viable business. I still have no idea why they chose my book, but that was really a turning point for me. [Read more…]