Self-Publishing Advice: Jennifer Chase, Author of ‘Dead Cold’

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.



Thank you for this interview. You self-published your latest book, Dead Cold. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?

Dead Cold is my ninth published book. When I published my first book, Compulsion, I took the time to decide if I wanted to publish with a big company and wait, publish with a smaller company, or self-publish. In the end, I decided to self-publish to test the waters and not wait months or even years to publish. I really didn’t know if anyone would be interested in my books or my writing style.

Take us through the process. You had an idea for your book, you wrote it, and then you decided to find a publisher. What were your experiences with that?

I did look at my options and the publishing houses. Most writers want the same thing I did— to be published. Most of the requirements (at that time) were that you needed an agent or manager to submit your first chapter. I was discouraged. I decided to jump in and self-publish. The first book was a huge learning curve for me—and I had many things to learn.

What different online stores carry your book?

Most of my books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple iBookstore. My latest books, Dead Cold, Dark Pursuit, and Body of the Crime, are currently exclusive at Amazon.

Do you think that having your book self-published makes any difference to the media?

Yes. I believe that there is still a “stigma” of self-publishing, for lack of a better description, which mainstream media doesn’t promote or interview these authors as often, if at all. However, I believe there are many popular and successful self-published authors that this “stigma” has broken the ceiling and more media outlets are taking notice. I believe it will continue to go in this direction in the future.

Are they open to interviewing self-published authors or reviewing their books?

From my experience, few self-published authors have access of a mainstream media outlet to review their books or conduct interviews. Of course, there is always exception, such as a self-published author who has sold an amazing amount of books. I feel that this obstacle will soon open up for more self-published authors to have the opportunity for mainstream media to interview or review their books as more successful self-published authors continue to succeed, and make media outlets take notice.

Authors who go the traditional route have an edge over self-published authors in regards to distribution to bookstores. How did you handle that as a self-published author?

There are lists for bookstores to contact. You can start with local bookstores and visit them. I’ve found that being a self-published author, and being relatively unknown, bookstores weren’t the best or biggest way for me to sell books and get exposure for my series. It’s great for book signings, but I’ve found little sales from them. eBooks have far out sold any paperback or hardback books. I’ve stuck with what works for me.

On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control.

Very true. It’s a wonderful but scary feeling having all the control. You must rely on your own research and the professionals providing services (editing, formatting, cover art, etc.). This can be a daunting task.

I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it?

I’ve designed all my Emily Stone Thriller covers. I wanted to have two photographs overlapping that depicts the story theme with a haunting image.

Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?

I format both my ebooks and paperbacks. You can find formatters that are very reasonable—I may hire someone now to take care of the formatting in order to free up some of my time.

What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?

Promotion and marketing. Pure and simple. Promotion is definitely the most difficult aspect of self-publishing. You could write the best book ever written, but if no one knows about it—it doesn’t matter. Promotion still scares me. I’ve learned quite a bit, and I’m still learning because there are great sites to advertise with and very talented book promoters. The big question is finding out which ones. How much should you spend? What should you expect in exposure and royalties? Should you promote everything all at once? Or, should you spread promotion out over a period of time? You must answer these scary questions as a self-published author with every single book project.

What steps are you taking to promote it?

I’ve learned what areas that promote and engage readers in the crime thriller genre—at least for me. First, set a budget and do your research on book promotions. I’m a firm believer in asking questions and interacting on forums. You can learn a lot just by interacting with authors, publishers, editors, and even readers. Readers and Beta readers have been a wonderful asset to me reading, critiquing, and writing reviews of my books.

I begin with the usual: author blog site, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Shelfari, and any other social media that you use on a regular basis. Now this is just the bare beginning. You want to advertise with book sites where they have readers looking for new reads. There are hundreds of them and you can find them with simple internet searches. Find out what numbers of visitors go to their website and how many email recipients they send out. And finally, book a blog tour, I cannot emphasize this enough. There are many blog tour hosts out there and it’s an invaluable opportunity to write posts, interviews, spotlights, and giveaways just by promoting your book. You meet new bloggers and have a chance to interact with readers. It’s a lot of fun too.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?

Most importantly… write… write… and write. Put your writing first and continue to improve your craft with every project. Make a budget, not just for your time, but how much money you want to spend in this process. Do your homework on publishing and promoting. There’s no easy recipe or correct answer on how to proceed. You have to find out what works best for you and the specific genre. Good luck and happy writing!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Related posts:

  1. Syndicated humor columnist Rose A. Valenta on ‘Sitting on Cold Porcelain Virtual Book Tour’ Jan. 3
  2. Book Publishing Secrets: A Conversation with Alana Terry
  3. Writing and Selling an eBook With Kindle Direct Publishing
  4. Self-publishing Success Stories: How I Do It – with C J Archer
  5. Book Publishing Secrets: A Conversation with Joseph Spencer
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: seo services | Thanks to massage bed, web designers and crest whitening strips