peeps: Heather Topham Wood
Growing up in New Jersey shore town, author Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began back in childhood, and apparently it was strong enough that in her teens, she began writing fiction. After graduating with a bachelor’s in English from the College of New Jersey, she proceeded to a fruitful freelance writing career, her work appearing in USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine.
But around a couple of years ago, she decided to move on from her successful freelance career to return to spending her energies on writing novels. She has since published The Disappearing Girl, a New Adult novel, and the paranormal romance Second Sight series.
Her self-publishing, however, is behind her, or at least on hold. She recently signed with Crescent Moon Press to publish her new paranormal Memory Witch series. “Although I love the process of self-publishing, it is a relief to have some of the work taken off of my shoulders,” she says.
How Heather Got Started Self-Publishing
At that point, she knew no one in the indie publishing community, and she pretty much learned what she needed to learn by herself and trial and error. Eventually, she managed to release her first book, First Visions, May of last year. “It is surreal to think how different my life has become since then. Last year, I had no idea what Kindle Direct Publishing, Goodreads or PubIt was. Now, they are a part of my life every day.”
- “Self-publishing my first book was definitely a learning experience. I didn’t know anyone at that point in the publishing community and I wished I networked instead of going into things blindly.”
- “I micro-managed my novel and I should’ve been more willing to seek out help with the formatting, editing and cover design. Through trial and error, I eventually found freelance editors and formatters who were able to achieve what I wanted for the book. Elance and recommendations from other indie authors are your best bets for getting the right people to help get your novel ready for publication.”
“Hitting the submit button once your book is polished can be nerve-wracking. I had questions such as ‘what if everyone hates it?’ and ‘what if no one buys it?’ The most important thing to remember is that no one will buy your book if no one has heard of it.”
- “Marketing should be part of your everyday writing life. Start a blog. I have a review blog and it is a great way to drive traffic to my site and increase interest in my books. You should be on all of the major social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Set up a profile on Goodreads and connect with other readers and authors. Don’t spam your followers though. Share the love by cross-posting and retweeting your fellow authors.”
- “KDP Select is a great way to market with a limited budget. On certain free days, I had as many as 10,000 downloads for my books! This was great for word of mouth marketing and I experienced a huge sales boost on the days following the promotion. Other sites I had successful marketing campaigns include Kindle Nation Daily and BookBub.”
- “I’ve been profitable with my paranormal romance series and it was a happy day when my profits surpassed my initial investment to publish the book.”