This interview originally appeared on Bookbuzzr.com.
BookBuzzr recently interviewed April L. Hamilton who is the author of the book ‘The IndieAuthor Guide’ which was ranked fourth among the Top 10 Books of 2009 on BookBuzzr.
1. Welcome April. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’ve been writing pretty much since I’ve been old enough to hold a crayon. I dreamed of being an author as a girl, but since that didn’t seem a very practical or clear-cut career path, I pursued other options for making a living. I was a technical writer, then a software engineer and web developer, for many years, and this has turned out to serve me very well now that authors are expected to be web-savvy and develop a platform.
2. What has been the highlight of your career to this point?
I think that would have to be reading the first review of my first self-published novel, Snow Ball. I’d published it in Kindle format in an effort to drive more traffic and attention to another novel I’d entered in a contest. The review was very positive, and that’s when I realized it really would be possible for me to reach a readership through self-publishing. My other novel advanced no further than the semifinal round of the contest, but by the time it was eliminated, Snow Ball was doing so well I felt as if I’d already won.
3. Can you please tell us about ‘The Indie Author Guide’ and what led to writing it?
The IndieAuthor Guide is a how-to book that aims to be a comprehensive reference to self-publishing and managing a career as a self-published author. It’s the book I wish had been available when I set out to self-publish.
There are a lot of books on the subject of self-publishing, but I found them all to be either too specific, covering just one aspect of self-publishing such as manuscript formatting or book promotion, or too general, lacking in the step-by-step instruction I needed. Many of them are geared to people who want to start a small imprint to publish other authors, and most were too dated, failing to address ebooks and author platform at all. Most service provider sites offer their own user guides and online help files too, but those I had to work with weren’t clear and detailed enough. I found that in the end, I only discovered the numerous “gotchas” and best practices through trial and error, and once I’d done so, I thought it made sense to draw on my experience as a technical writer to document all I’d learned.
The book was originally self-published in May of 2008, and at the end of 2009 I signed with Writer’s Digest Books to release an updated and revised edition of the book later this year.
4. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
The challenges all came before I wrote it, during that trial and error process of self-publishing I mentioned. From all those years as a technical writer and a software engineer, being required to fully document my processes and the applications I developed, I find I have a natural drive to document any new skill or information I learn. At first I was just writing guides to individual steps or aspects of self-publishing and making them available to my fellow authors on my website, but it wasn’t long before I realized I had enough material to write an entire book. So I did just that!
5. What according to you are the most rewarding aspects of writing?
I think the best part for me is more about the feedback than it is the writing. There’s nothing so fulfilling as hearing from a formerly-struggling author that something in my book, on my blog or website has solved a problem for them or otherwise made their writing lives easier.