peeps: D.V. Berkom
As the author of a number of thrillers — such as her Kate Jones Thriller series and new Leine Basso series — it would seem that D.V. Berkom’s natural inclination is to keep readers “on the edge of their seats,” a tendency she explains away by saying that she grew up “on a steady diet of spy novels [and] James Bond movies and mysteries.”
Maybe. And maybe that’s just the way she’s really built. But you probably can’t pick up any hint of that from the details of her life: raised in the Midwest and graduating with a Political Science degree from the University of Minnesota, she lived on a sailboat in Mexico for a few years before settling in Seattle, Washington.
Pretty normal and peaceful. But there they are, her fast-growing library of heart-thumping thrillers that keep you guessing until the last page. Makes one wonder sometimes, you know?
How D.V. Got Started Self-Publishing
In 2010, after D.V. finished the second of two full-length Kate Jones thrillers, a friend suggested she do a prequel. She did, and signed on with a boutique ebook publisher, releasing in serial form what eventually became the novella, Bad Spirits. D.V. looked into Kindle Direct Publishing, however, and figured out she “was looking at a phenomenal opportunity to publish my work and retain much of the control by going out on my own.” Graciously (and fortunately), the ebook publisher gave back her rights to her work.
So, in the spring of 2011, D.V. released her self-published work on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. She’s published a number of new titles since then, and her sales have been “gradually” moving up, enough that in July 2012, she reports that she quit her day job and now writes full-time!
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “The publishing sands are continually shifting, and I don’t see it stabilizing any time soon. The only thing you can count on in this business is change. Most of the time it’s exciting and I love it. Sometimes it sucks.”
- “If you’re an author with an entrepreneurial spirit, you’ll fare better than someone who hates all things business and just wants to create/write.“
- “Making a living self-publishing can be very hard. You have to wear all the hats like most self-employed folks do, with a heavy emphasis on promotion and sales.”
- “And, just like in traditional publishing, you’ll have to develop a thick skin for those inevitable less-than-stellar reviews.”
- “That being said, it’s still the most rewarding career I’ve had.”