I'm having so much fun with my new author interview series, but I've started doing a little twist. Some of my author interviews are purely about how that author got started writing, and any advice they have. I thought it would be really fun to focus a few interviews specifically on that author's process.
When I first started this blog, I committed to being super transparent about my own author journey–and I have been. But no two authors are alike, and I hope by bringing you info about how other successful authors do things, it'll help you find your own flow.
Without further ado, I present Evie Alexander! Evie is the author of the hilariously heartwarming contemporary romance tale, Highland Games. Which, by the way, I ARC read and totally adored.
You can find Evie online in all the following places.
Read on for my interview with Evie...
Do you write full time? Are you hoping to? How'd you decide on a timeframe for achieving that?
Even if I could write full time, I wouldn't be able to. So much of my 'author' time is taken up with social media, my blog, managing adverts, marketing, and checking my online presence is up to date. In addition, I make a point to read as many other authors as I can so that I can support and promote them and learn from their writing.
At the moment I spend about thirty hours a week on author work and the rest of my time on other work. I work seven days a week to achieve this and start early and end late each day.
My plan is to build my backlist over a three to five year period and hopefully by then have enough income to scale back my other work, get more admin support, and then spend more time actually churning out the words.
How do you handle social media as an author? What do you prioritize and what platforms do you focus on?
Social media can be the most depressing time suck and you really need to be engaging with people to make it work. I post to Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, but most of my time is spent on Instagram. I'd love to be everywhere but I just don't have the time. I use Buffer to schedule posts throughout the week, and then add to my feed as and when there is something I want to post.
Authors have so many responsibilities. What do you handle yourself, what do you outsource, and why?
It's important to outsource as much as possible but most of the time it's not practical due to lack of funds. Also, whilst it's great to outsource, firstly you need to know you can trust who you are outsourcing to, secondly, it's important to understand all facets of your business even if you're not great at it, and thirdly, if you outsource, you need to know that the person shares your ethos so that your branding is consistent.
I try to handle everything but rely on other authors for advice, and have an assistant who helps me create and schedule social media and upload my blogs to my website.
What does your writing schedule look like?
It depends on whether or not I'm drafting or editing. If I am, then I start early in the morning and try and get a couple of hours of writing under my belt before I do anything else, even breakfast! I try to write two thousand words a day when I'm writing and this could be spread out throughout the day. It's mentally exhausting sometimes so I can't just keep going without a break.
If I'm not writing or editing then I'm planning social media, or dealing with all other aspects of running the Evie brand. Even if I'm packaging up copies of my books to send out, it takes a long time!
Any tips for newer authors on how to make their authorship journey a success?
Start at least two years before you intend to publish. Set up your social media, post regularly, and start to make connections with other authors and bloggers. Decide what genre you want to write and then read extensively - at least four books a week to get a real handle on what you like, don't like, and what kind of books you think you will write.
Start writing and use beta readers to help hone your draft before you employ an editor. Have at least two books written before you publish the first one. Write a series (at least three books long) and have the series planned out before you start writing the first one.
If you want a trad(itional) deal, don't send your first manuscript out to publishers or agents until it has gone through at least five major revisions and you have paid for a professional to go through it.
I love hearing how other authors are handling their authorship journey. What it really highlights for me is how you can achieve a lot of success (Evie is a bestseller with her FIRST BOOK!) and there's no one formula for making that happen...
I sprinkled some steamy teasers of Highland Games above–that's Book One in Evie's series.
Book Two is Hollywood Games, and you can catch a little bit about it on the left.
Find both books on Amazon here.
You can read Highland Games on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited or via paperback, all available at the link above.
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!
I am a member of Amazon's affiliate program, meaning that each time you click a link from my site and purchase something on Amazon, Amazon may pay me a minimal commission. This happens at no extra cost to you.