It's Indie Author Sunday! Every other Sunday, we're posting an interview with a different indie author along with posts about them on all our social media accounts. This week it's Tabatha Shipley, the author of Breaking Eselda.
WW: Tell us about your experience with Indie publishing?
TS: My first book, Breaking Eselda, was published with Lulu publishing. Lulu did a wonderful job with the cover and the interior design and I’m very happy with the product. For my second book, 30 Days Without Wings, I choose to do all the cover and interior design myself using Amazon’s KDP and Barnes and Noble press. I am happy with the product I was able to create on those platforms as well.
WW: Tell us about your book.
TS: Breaking Eselda: Strength, humility, speed, mirth, and wisdom are perfectly balanced in the kingdom of Fraun where council leaders make decisions in the best interest of all Fraunians. Meanwhile, young Princess Eselda is being groomed to eventually take the throne of Enchenda. But as her reign draws closer and long-held secrets are revealed, she realizes that her title comes with challenges she never imagined. After Eselda hears the council has been withholding valuable information about age markers that only affect those born of royal blood, she is horrified to learn that she will soon become malicious, power hungry, and lustful. As she struggles to accept her destiny, Eselda is overwhelmed with fear. There are rulers who will kill to keep these secrets hidden; and rulers who will kill to change the council. What kind of ruler will Eselda be? In this fantasy tale, a young princess must overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges as she prepares to take the throne of a kingdom in turmoil.
30 Days Without Wings: Faeries are real. Elise is a faerie who has experienced terrible heartache and just needs a change before she is forced to choose the path she will walk forever. She will risk everything for one chance at happiness. But is the cost of the risk more than Elise bargained for?
WW: What made you want to write in the genre of your book?
TS: I have been a voracious reader all of my life but my best memories are of books that were written for young adults and teens. Like a lot of us, I vividly recall dreaming of fantasy lands and wishing I could spend just one day in them. Knowing that it just makes sense that my first books would be fantasy for young adults.
WW: What has been your favorite part of being an indie author?
TS: The network of other indie authors is very strong. We are not competitive, we build each other up and work together. I seriously enjoy working with other indie authors and reading their work.
WW: What do you wish you knew before going the indie-publish route?
TS: I did a lot of research before deciding to independently publish. I think the one thing I wish I had just instinctively known, instead of having to research, would’ve been all the details about setting the pages up for physical books. E-books were easier. Physical books require a lot of specifications on sizing, margins, and page breaks. It was a lot of work to put that all into 30 Days Without Wings as I was preparing for that.
WW: What books or authors have inspired you?
TS: There are so many! Of course I’m inspired by the mega-authors out there; James Patterson, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Jodi Picoult, Ruth Ware. But I’m also inspired by authors that, in my opinion, deserve sales like that because their books are so impressive; Tom Leveen, Jason Pellegrini, Gina Damico, Jenna Morland.
WW: Are you working on anything now?
TS: I am working on the next Kingdom of Fraun book, which should be out some time in 2019. I am also working on my first dive into Science Fiction, which will also be for young adults. I have another fantasy novel in the works, this one dealing with magic. I always have something I am working on, I think that’s the secret to being successful as an indie author.
WW: What does your writing space look like?
TS: It’s a rather messy desk with an adorable Coca-Cola lamp that is always on even when it’s bright enough that I don’t need it. I always have either coffee or water nearby and music playing softly in the background. I have highlighters, sticky notes, and paper within reach at all times.
WW: What is your writing process like?
TS: I start with my idea journal, which is loaded with characters or scenes. I grab an idea that speaks to me from there and try writing a few scenes. If it still speaks to me and I don’t run dry on the idea, I start an outline. The outlines I write are in depth and long. They turn out to be chapter-by-chapter road maps for the books. After the outline is finished I’ll start writing. My goal is 1500 words per day, but that is an average. Sometimes I change the outline, but for the most part the outline is where most of my work is done. After the first draft, I edit heavily at least twice through before sending the book to early readers to give feedback.
WW: What advice would you give writers looking at indie publishing?
TS: Do research ahead of time on marketing and sales. Find out how to obtain a license to sell your own books in your state. My biggest sales, by far, come from me selling books to people face-to-face at events. Keep writing.
WW: How connected are you to the indie publishing community? What is that experience like?
TS: I do my best to stay connected with other indie authors through facebook, twitter, or instagram. Indie authors are the best! They are incredibly supportive. I am really proud to be a part of that community.
WW: What platforms do you use to promote your work?