I’m excited to be included in the blog tour for Nazarea Andrews’ debut novel Edge of the Falls–especially because I’ve been dying to read this dark dystopian retelling of Beauty and the Beast ever since I heard whispers of it. The release date actually snuck up on me (I know, so not right!) and it came out yesterday! That’s right, Edge of the Falls is available now for Kindle and Nook. I can’t wait to devour it!
First a little about the book…
Sabah always knew where she belonged—with Berg—and what was expected of her—to care for the other children the Mistress took in.
But when a ban-wolf saves her life, things begin to change.
Arjun isn’t like the other ban-wolves, the savage creatures that are barely human. He’s gentle and furious and as Sabah spends time with him, she can’t seem to get him out of her mind. But in a world of darkness, control, and danger, is there a place for two outcasts?
Since Nazarea is publishing her novel herself, I asked her to do an interview on self publishing. I haven’t had the chance to get acquainted with her well yet, so my questions are sort of generic, but she was an absolute sweetheart and answered them with all kinds of grace and personality. (Can I just say how much I love her answers?! What an awesome lady!)
So. Here’s Nazarea!
R: After spending quite a bit of time in the query trenches with Edge of the Falls, what led you to make the decision to self publish?
N: Edge did well querying. I had a lot of full requests, and even a R&R from one of my ‘dream agents’. It came soooo close but it never quite got there. My theory is—the traditional market is full of dystopian, and as unique as I like to believe I am, it’s a difficult market. But since I do believe I’m unique (humor a girl) and I have a great story, I decided to take the plunge. Because I REALLY want the world to meet Sabah and Arjun.
R: The cover is so pretty! Did you hire a designer, or did you do it yourself?
N: Thank you! I love it!! My creativity ends with words, so I did hire a designer—the very talented Stephanie Mooney who was great to work with. She gave my book baby a beautiful face for the world to see. :)
R: Did you have help with any part of the publishing process?
N: Oh, my gosh. I had so much help. I hired an editor, but I also had help from my CP’s on editing before it went to her. My CP/assistant Chantee helped me with everything from formatting (which she is amazing at and does freelance) to keeping me on task and helping with promotional stuffs. She’s been invaluable during this process. But so many people have contributed—bloggers, friends in marketing offering advice. It has definitely not been a solo effort.
R: What do you see as some of the benefits of self publishing? What are some of the downsides?
N: Well, you get to make all the decisions. I’m a bit of a control freak (in this one area of my life) so that’s nice. It’s also faster than traditional publishing, which I like. But the flip side is—you make all the decisions. If something goes wrong, you have to put on your big girl pants and face the fact that it’s all on you. And being faster means some folks cut corners—which is bad. Take the time to do this right, because if you don’t, you’re doing yourself and your readers a disservice.
R: Do you feel it is reasonable for a self pub author to expect to make their money back on their first book, or would you see it as more of an investment?
N: Both. I know how much money was spent to put Edge out the way I wanted. I know how many copies it will take to recoup that investment. And I fully expect to sell more than that. Look, I’d LOVE for Edge to be insanely successful and sell like hotcakes. But after recouping the initial investment, I’ll be happy with anything. Because beyond the financial investment, putting yourself in front of readers is the most important thing.
So yes. To both.
R: As a self published author, can you point out some things that are important in the marketing aspect?
N: Being real. Connecting with people and not just shouting ‘buy my book!’ repeatedly. You can’t expect that to sell books. ASK—a lot of people don’t want to ask someone to host their blog tour, or they don’t want to ask for a review. And sometimes, it’s not appropriate. But sometimes it is. Do it the right way—the worst someone can say is no.
R: Is there any advice you can give to those considering self publishing themselves?
N: Do it right. Don’t rush release—waiting to line up promos isn’t going to kill you. We’re fighting an uphill battle because we’re self-pub and not backed by a publishing house. You have to work ten times harder, and you know what? That’s okay. Do it right and prove to “them” that you really deserve to be here.
And ignore the stigma. I find it in writers more than readers. As long as your readers love your story, you’ve done your job.
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. Her first book, Edge of the Falls, is available now from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
On twitter: @NazareaAndrews