Katy Evans is the latest in our series of interviews with self-published authors, after the success of her New York Times and USA Today bestselling debut novel. Find out what inspires her to write, why she chose self-publishing and her advice for writers considering the self-publishing route.
What or whom inspires you to write?
I think more than someone or something, it’s a ‘feeling’ you want to get down in words. I might see something that touches me and it seems to plant a little kernel in my mind, and I then want to explore that further.
For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us about your books?
I write contemporary new adult romantic fiction, and my debut, REAL, an amazing story about love conquering all, became a New York Times bestseller, USA Today bestseller, and Wall Street Journal bestseller - by the second week after its release.
When do you find time to write? Does this differ from when you started writing your first novel?
I think what works best for me is a schedule where I can balance my writing time with my personal life as well. So I usually wake up to take care of my family’s needs, feed myself, and then I’m off to write for several hours, taking a break for lunch, and then writing once more during the afternoon. I love doing it this way, so that by the evening I feel content and productive that ‘I got it all out’ and can relax with my husband or review what I wrote.
Why did you choose to self-publish? Did you try the traditional route first?
Yes, I’ve been writing, entering contests & trying different publishers for many years under different names. Then I got exhausted and quit, disheartened that there were always things to change, things that ‘didn’t work for this line.’ Self-publishing breaks with all that - it allowed me to just write the book of my heart and expose it just as it was envisioned in my head.
Would you have taken the opportunity to go down the traditional route if that had been a possibility?
Yes, I would have done that as well. I think traditional publishing, just like self- publishing, has some great perks!
How, if at all, has being represented by an agent changed your writing life?
I absolutely love my agent! She is a complete champion of all things Katy Evans and she takes care of all the business side of things that I, as a ‘creator,’ would rather not get involved in -so that it doesn’t eat into my precious writing time. I’m very lucky to have her.
What do you think the greatest advantage of self-publishing is?
The freedom it offers.
On the other hand, is there anything you feel self-published authors may miss out on?
Yes, I do. I love the freelance editors I hired for REAL, but I do also feel that there is a lot to be gained by a long-term, steady author-editor relationship. Having the support of an experienced team on your back whose goal is the same as yours (to bring the readers the best book possible) can only be a great thing.
Do you feel there is more of a sense of community with self-publishing than there is with traditional publishing? How important do you feel interacting with your fans has been?
I absolutely LOVE my fans and the amazing, supportive, encouraging, loving community in the self-publishing world. I love how all authors help each other, how bloggers, readers, and authors interact without barriers, just for the sheer love of books and great stories.
How important is marketing yourself in the early stages of your self-publishing career? Any tips?
I think the success of my debut REAL definitely happened thanks to the amazing support of bloggers who read it in advance, loved it, and helped me promote it to readers, so marketing and word-of-mouth seem to be huge driving forces for a self-published author!
Did you design your own cover? How important do you think cover design is to a potential reader?
The cover was designed by Sarah at Okay Creations and she is absolutely, positively amazing! I think a great cover is key to catching a reader’s eye.
Finally, do you have any advice for writers looking to self-publish?
Enjoy the process, enjoy the moment. Write your book, present it as professionally as you can, hire a good editor/proofreader, choose your cover wisely, invest time in helping readers find your book (such as scheduling a blog tour and putting your book out there as much as you can) and remember that not everyone likes everything they read, but as long as you love your work, chances are others will fall in love with it too! Good luck!