This month, I have the pleasure of interviewing Renee Grace Thompson. Renee keeps an air of quiet reserve, but trust me, bottled inside is a whole lot of wonderful fun that comes out in her writing.
J.W. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
R.G.T. Absolutely. It gives you a feel for what’s on the inside. Right or wrong, a book most definitely is judged by its cover. If the author cares enough about his or her work, she’s going to care about its packaging as well. It’s typically the first thing we see to catch our attention, even before we read a blurb. The cover has to grab a reader and lure her in.
J.W. So true. And you have some great covers. 😀 Now, I’ve heard of some writers doing this, so I have to ask; would you use a PR agency?
R.G.T. I really haven’t thought about it. Maybe someday, but for now, I want to do it myself. Once I get a few titles out there I’ll consider spending more time on promoting them.
J.W. Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
R.G.T. So far, with just three stories published, I still feel like I have very little experience. My first publication was the Valentine’s Day Anthology. We didn’t know what the heck we were doing, and basically, we didn’t do anything other than mention it on Twitter and Facebook. It was super successful. (By successful, I mean we broke even.)
Since then, I published a novella, for which I’ve done several Facebook takeovers as well as paid for Amazon ads. I’m not even close to breaking even on that one.
But I’m very well aware that it all takes time to be noticed and to build up a following, so I’m just doing all the basic things without any big expectations for now. Next year at this time, I hope to have a mailing list as well as a social media following, and then I feel that all those routes of communication will play into effect. I don’t really think one avenue is better than another.
J.W. It does take time. That’s some great info. How are you publishing this book and why? (e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
R.G.T. I have no interest in publishing traditionally. I love the entrepreneurial life, and I like to dabble in all the little details. For me, if self-publishing weren’t an option, I wouldn’t be doing this.
J.W. I’m with you. I love all the little bits and pieces of self-publishing. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. 😀 How much research do you do?
R.G.T. Not a whole lot. I’ve looked up quotes, and dream patterns, and effects of stress and post traumatic stress disorder. I’ve also looked up some city landmarks and that type of thing. For the most part, I just concentrate on my characters and their lives. When I get more comfortable with writing I might do some work that I’ll need to do my research for, but for now I want to concentrate on learning the craft and the industry.
J.W. Wonderful answers. Thank you so much for hanging out to talk. 😀
R.G.T. Thank so much for your time!
Renee lives in the Midwest with her husband and four kids. She worked as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist for over many years, but now manages her family-owned business. Her spare time is spent hovering over her laptop, trying to transcribe the romance novels playing out in her head. There are several going on at once though, so keeping up with them is hard. She hopes to have her first novel published sometime this winter.
Renee can be found at: