Meet Indie Author of the Month – Richard Gould

Welcome! Every month I feature an Indie Author and ask them to tell us a little about their books and their writing process. My featured author this month is Richard Gould who writes contemporary fiction about relationships. So make yourself a cuppa, get comfy and let’s get talking to Richard.

Welcome to my blog, Richard. Can you tell us what made you decide to become an Indie Author?

I was with two indie publishers who were professional and proficient in getting my novels ready for publication, but once out there was little marketing or promotional support on offer. I’m not blaming them because I can understand why a company with limited resources would focus on those most immediately selling well. So, it was up to me to take on the task and the problem with this was obvious. Firstly, the largest percentage of any sales income resulting from my own advertising and other promotional activities would go to the publisher. Secondly, I had no access to the detailed sales and expenditure data that is essential to ascertain which parts of a marketing campaign are a success or failure.

So, I decided to self-publish, which included getting the companies to revoke the copyrights of existing books, thereby taking up a clause I’d insisted on within the contracts following advice from Society of Authors.

Can you talk us briefly through the processes of publishing your book?

The starting point is to make sure that what I publish is as good as possible, which means as good as anything a publishing company is prepared to put out. I’m obsessed with editing and actually enjoy it. I suggest that fellow indie authors should see editing as part of the writing process itself rather than as the unpleasant task needed once the book is complete. I have two valuable collaborations for this. The first is a small sub-group within Cambridge Writers. We meet/zoom regularly to read and provide constructive criticism about each other’s work. The second is my Launch Team, readers who have liked my past novels and are happy to read and pass comment on the one before final draft of a new novel.

I always produce a paperback and an eBook version, using FeedaRead for the former and Amazon KDP for the latter. I think both are quite easy to set up, but on reflection perhaps I’m only stating this having had practice with seven novels. Easy or not, it is time-consuming because like the content itself, it has to be professionally formatted.

Uploading the book is the main task. For other things like pricing and description, both FeedaRead and Amazon efficiently steer the author through the process.

Can you tell us the pros and cons of traditional publishing as opposed to self-publishing?

The pro of going through a publisher is that they do everything for you. Mind you, despite going along with both publishers’ suggestions, I didn’t feel that their covers represented what I was writing – so that became a con. Now, through working with a designer, I have established a brand that I’m happy with.

What turned out to be the biggest con of traditional publishing was ending up with almost no sales and no control over how to change that. For me – and I recognise that everyone will have their own story to tell – the guest blogs, tweets, interviews etc that I arrange are lovely to do, you ‘meet’ nice people and get great comments, but that doesn’t sell many books.

How difficult do you find it to market your book? What social media platforms do you prefer?

This is the BIG one. If you self-publish you need to be aware that a vast amount of time has to be dedicated to marketing and even then, the competition for visibility is fierce. It’s a constant struggle with no easy answers. During the first few months of COVID I stopped writing completely and set out to get to grips with digital marketing. It was a complex data-based journey and I’m still travelling. There is plenty of help available out there but it is of mixed value. If I wanted to maximise revenue, I might be better off becoming a marketing guru rather than writing novels.

Regarding social media, I’m OK on Facebook and twitter; Instagram drives me mad. These are add-ons though – if you self-publish you have to advertise and it’s easy for a substantial amount of money to be frittered away. I won’t recommend particular advisers because it’s very much a personal choice, but look some up and see if their ideas appeal. I would never pay the hundreds of pounds/dollars for a course that some are asking. And I would not set out to write one novel a month to maximise marketing potential as some suggest because I believe this gets in the way of artistic integrity.  

Is there something you would really like to write but haven’t attempted yet?

I’ve finally got round to writing it! Called Then and now, it’s the story of four students during the wild Swinging Sixties who are now in their late sixties and are sharing their life journeys – the successes and failures, the happiness and despair, and their optimism and fears for the future. It will be released in mid-March.

That sounds really interesting! What are your hobbies when not writing?

I love playing tennis. I used to love the cinema, sadly currently an at home activity.

Thank you for talking to us today, Richard, and for providing such detailed answers. Wishing you lots of success with your books.

Richard’s latest book

Blurb for Dream Café  
“Why on earth am I here?” David wonders as he observes the juvenile antics of ex-classmates at the twenty-five year school reunion. Then he sees Bridget.   David draws up a list of all that he hopes to achieve to kick-start a new life now that his wife has moved in with his best friend – his ex-best friend. A relationship with Bridget is top of the list, opening an arts café is a close second.   Formidable women – an unfaithful wife, a reckless teenage daughter, a boss from hell, a disapproving policewoman – seem like insurmountable obstacles.   But it’s still OK to dream, isn’t it?

Buy link:  http://mybook.to/dreamcafe    

More books by Richard

The bench by Cromer beach: http://mybook.to/thebench

Nothing Man: http://mybook.to/nothingman

Mid-life follies: http://mybook.to/midlifefollies

Author bio

R J Gould writes contemporary fiction about relationships, using a mix of humour and pathos to describe the tragi-comic life journeys of his characters. He is a member of Cambridge Writers and a rare male member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Before becoming a full-time author he worked in the educational and charity sectors.

R J Gould lives in Cambridge.

Contact Links

Website:         https://www.rjgould.info

Twitter:           rjgould_author

Email:              rjgould.author@gmail.com

Facebook:       RJGouldauthor

Instagram:      rjgould_author         


 

Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-King/e/B0034P6W7I

Website: https://karenkingauthor.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s