Monday, December 21, 2015

Guest Post: Louise Herman

Louise Herman Guest Post

Happy holidays everyone and I hope you are enjoying the break.

I have decided to take a week’s respite, from writing the third book in my YA Urban Fantasy series, ‘Split Blood’, to catch up with author interview and guest post requests. I am looking forward to discussing my writing experience, so far, with the ups and downs I have encountered throughout my self-publishing journey.

Why did I start writing?

I started writing when I was in high school because I loved creating magical worlds and characters with super human abilities but put this passion to one side when other commitments took over (college and university).

I decided to return to writing approximately ten years ago, when it was possible to publish my own work, and I signed up to Amazon Kindle and Smashwords to publish my first YA Fantasy prequel novella, ‘The Orcus Games: Blood Moon’.

I love the freedom this genre gives me and now I have a little more free time, I have decided to devote it, to complete the rest of the ‘Split Blood’ series, along with a creating few surprises which will hopefully enhance the readers experience and allow them to delve deeper into the ‘Split Blood’ world.

What have been the positive aspects of self – publishing?

When I started writing the first book, I honestly did not think past finishing the story.

I was more focused on creating strong characters, showing they’re difficult evolution and creating a believable magical fantasy world.

It was when I started to research the self-publishing process that I became excited about the amount of input I had in promoting and marketing the novels, communicating and networking with a vast array of people (readers, fans, bloggers, etc.).

What have been the negative aspects of self-publishing?

There hasn’t been any aspects of self-publishing that have put me off continuing my passion but I have realised that you have to be:

·       Hard working (research is the key for stories)
·       Focused (set realistic deadlines for yourself)
·       Passionate about your work and genre (you may not always get positive reviews and feedback on your work but take the constructive criticism on board and build on it for future stories)
·       Organised (I have so many spreadsheets with blogger details who I have worked with in the past, deadline dates, competitions I am doing, readers I need to reply to, etc.)
·       Creative (do not just put your creativity into your stories! Be creative in marketing, advertising and networking! Think of different ways you can get attention to your work that hasn’t already been done. I know this is difficult but I love book trailers and am in the process of editing the trailer for ‘Split Blood: The Ancient Codex – Part One’)

I love being a self – published author because I get to experience everything first hand but there are times that I feel I would love to have a literary agent so that I can solely focus on the writing and leave the marketing and promotion to a professional.

Any advice for new authors going down the Self-Publishing route?

I still feel fairly new to this industry, so I can only base any advice on what I have learnt so far.

I think that anyone wanting to self-publish a book needs to look at it like you are about to produce a film:


·       Do the research for your stories and get feedback from friends and family (make notes, create strong characters: personality profiles, history, the cause and effect of conflicts and grievances, etc. Create a believable world: laws, descriptions of landscapes, buildings, politics, economy, etc. Build up to conflicts and / or romances: do not rush these because you want it to be believable, have sub plots that lead up to these and make it that once the story reaches the climax, it will leave the reader wanting more, etc.)
·       Test out your work on social media (I love Wattpad!)
·       Get a good book cover artist, website, blog and ensure you have signed up to social media sites
·       Find a good proof-reader and / or copy editor

Post Production  

·       Ask bloggers for book reviews
·       Host competitions
·       Try to attend Book Fairs
·       Update social media regularly
·       Interact with readers and fans
·       Do not spam blogs, social media and other book related sites with links to your work. Talk about your interests too and allow the reader to know the person behind the great stories.

Author Biography

Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.

In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.

Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.

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