One of the things I love so much about the romance community is the chance authors have to lift one another up. If you've followed me on social for a while, you'll know I talk about other authors' books ALL.THE.TIME.
I'm starting a new series on the blog for author interviews. We'll span multiple genres, but today I'm starting with USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Alexis B. Osborne.
Alexis writes scifi and futuristic omegaverse, and I can attest to her books being absolutely stellar. Engineering Fate has been one of my favorites in 2021.
I got together with Alexis to ask a few short questions about how she got into romance authorship, and what she recommends for others hoping to make that same journey! She's been a wealth of knowledge for me as a new author, so THANK YOU ALEXIS!
Please hop on over to social media and give Alexis a follow:
Without further ado...
1. Alexis, what made you decide to write romance?
Because I love to read it! I’ve been reading romances for twenty years so when I started writing I instantly knew that I wanted to write romance. I enjoy the happy endings. No matter what happens, no matter what trouble our hero or heroine go through, we know that it’s going to end well and everything they went through will have been worth it.
2. What research did you do to figure out where to start?
After reading a lot of self-published romance novels on Kindle and then with Kindle Unlimited, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. The first resource that I found was the sub-reddit eroticauthors. They were very helpful and informative, even though monster romance and aliens who look alien and omegaverse aren’t genres that they really support.
After learning the basics of self-publishing romance and erotica with Kindle Direct Publish, I found beta readers in the Romances with Aliens Who Look Like Aliens discord group. I’d been a member with that group for years as a reader, so it felt natural to return to it as a budding author.
3. How did you decide your genre and how to approach success?
When you start writing to publish you have to decide if you’re going to go traditional or indie. I didn’t want to wait the months or sometimes years that it takes to find an agent, send query letters, read contracts, accept a deal, etc. I wanted to publish as soon as possible. I also enjoy having complete control over my work.
So, that made the decision to go Indie very easy for me. Plus, trad pub houses might not want to publish the things I wanted to write. Since I read mostly speculative fiction meaning sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, etc that’s what seemed natural for me to write. I’d be lost trying to write a contemporary romcom since I haven’t read one in over a decade. You have to read in the genre that you write in to create a book that’s going to meet the reader's expectations. For me, success is about doing better than I’ve previously done.
I was as thrilled to make my first $10 on the first monster romance short I released as I was to make my first $1,000 on my new alien romance release. The better I do, the higher that bar for success goes, and the more I can plan for the future. I’m all about setting small, attainable goals rather than big ones. I don’t know if I’m ever going to make enough money to afford to quite my day job, but I do know that I’m a writer and I always have been, going all the way back to middle school.
4. Tell us about your current series!
I just completed my first series, the Omegas of OAN. It’s a sci-fi omegaverse series set in a futuristic NYC post-alien invasion. Basically, the aliens invaded a while ago and now humanity is trying to find a common ground to move forward. Now that the Omegas of OAN series is wrapped up, I’m back to working on my alien romance universe.
My universe is set into four quadrants and each quadrant focuses on a common, central theme. For the Outer Limits series, that theme is inter-species politics, super soldiers, and war. The first book Engineering Fate launched with a great response, and I’ve just started working on the second book which follows a new character right after the first book ends.
5. Do you have a goal of writing full time, or do you already write full time? What steps are you taking to get there?
I’m not going to lie, being able to quit my day job would be fantastic. I think that’s every author’s goal. Right now I’m just taking it one day and one book at a time. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I also really like having healthcare and a 401K. I think that it would take a lot of success to get me to quit since I’m the primary breadwinner of my family and I’m not a big risk taker in general.
6. What's your secret sauce for success?
Network. Find friends in the author community and then support one another. You don’t get more successful by tearing others down. Readers will either like your book, or not. Having the support of the author community is so important when your’e writing. You’re going to have bad days where you want to give up and never sit behind a keyboard again. Your author friends will listen to you whine, nod in sympathy, then tell you to get back to work because the book isn’t going to write itself.
Social media is another great tool for authors. I haven’t 100% figured it out except to learn that authenticity is probably the most important factor. That, and making people laugh. I’m still working on the second one.
7. What's the best 1-2 tips you have for newer authors?
One: Hire an editor. I understand that editors are expensive and not everyone can afford one and some authors don’t need one, but a good editor will take your manuscript and polish it. When I started, I couldn’t afford an editor either. I published monster romance short stories using a combination of Grammarly, self-editing, and multiple beta readers. Then I immediately took that money and applied it to hiring an editor for my first novel. You just have to get that ball rolling, and then it gets easier to keep the momentum going.
Two: Buy a decent book cover. Do not make your book cover yourself. Not even if you’re an artist or a graphic designer. There is a lot of nuance behind designing a good book cover. Your cover is your first piece of marketing. It tells the reader your gene, sub-genre, heat level, tone, tropes, etc. That’s a lot of information to convey in one graphic. I know this advice feels super unhelpful for new authors who maybe can’t afford to spend money on a professional cover. Trust me, I’ve been there too. I released by first novel with a homemade cover, then re-covered it when I had the money to pay for a good cover. If you can skip this step at all, then do it. Your cover is worth the investment. The cover snags the reader’s attention and gets them to read the blurb. A good cover will sell your book more than any other piece of marketing.
How did y'all enjoy Alexis' thoughtful answers?!
I started my own authorship journey this year (2021), but I can wholeheartedly agree with her tips. Great editing, a great cover and investing in social media were absolutely pillars of my own strategy.
I love this picture of her by the way, and her TikToks are hilarious. Find the direct link in her Linktree up above!
Hope you enjoyed today's interview with Alexis. Just to tease you a teeny bit more, I'm including a link, teasers and blurb for her newest release, Omega Rescued, a scifi Beauty and the Beast retelling.
If you're an author, and interested in being part of this series–please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can set it up!
“Would you truly wish to return home, knowing that you could hurt someone? Someone you love?”
Callista always wanted to be special. The omega daughter of the ambitious and wealthy Hoskiss family, she’s never been expected to do anything other than marry well and breed the next generation of Alphas. When she learns of a terraforming expedition traveling to the new Oberon colony, she is willing to strike any bargain to get herself on that mission, away from her cold, calculating parents and a life that has never felt like her own.
But Calli’s choices are stolen from her anew when she wakes up from cryosleep on a spaceship—one that seems to be under attack, judging by the warnings and sirens.
Estrevaga D’Thani is a veteran member of Anti-Theta, the elite taskforce working to subvert and ultimately defeat the Theta-Devs threatening the Earth… and he’s also a defector from the original invading force. He refused to support the cruel experiments and flesh peddling, turning his back on his own kind to help the humans.
Humans like Calli, who he stumbles upon while Anti-Theta is raiding the attacked transport ship.
As the two make their escape, he realizes she has been used as a test subject too, like so many others before her. Others who never survived the process. Abducted and altered, Calli must now come to terms with those changes—or risk seriously harming humanity.
Can Estrevaga help Calli learn to uncover and harness her new abilities, or will she never see him as anything more than just another Theta-Dev beast like the ones who held her captive?
Omega rescued is the third book in the Omegas of OAN series. It is an inter-connected standalone that can be read on its own, but for the best reading experience you will want to begin with Omega Swipes Right. Omega Rescued is a Sci-Fi MF Omegaverse Alien Romance. This book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling where the Beast stays Beastly in appearance. The Omegas of OAN books are Alphahole free!
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