My guest this week is Cathy Wilson, the prolific Canadian self-published Author. Cathy’s one of the most active and vocal Indies. Here’s her outspoken and informative take on the business…
Hi Cathy! Tell us about you?
Hi! I’m Cathy Wilson, single mom of six, and passionate self-published author. I write all my books, blogging, and website material myself. Health and wellness is my focused area of expertise. Currently I’m building my gynormous Book Empire Mountain, using Amazon as my main launch pad for now. I’m the REAL deal!
I know you’re always pushing out something new, so what’s your latest book?
Real Food Diet – Easy Healthy Eating http://amzn.com/B00QISI3N4
Real Food Diet – Easy Healthy Eating is an introductory book aimed to help people figure out how to create healthy eating habits with “real food,” to help them lose weight, gain energy, and prevent serious disease. I write my books with a playful but expert tone, so they’re easy to understand and use to improve your health.
Everything I see from you is always bubbling with enthusiasm! So what are you up to at the moment?
I’m excited to announce my books are now all available in paperback from Amazon and Createspace. Now that I have 58 books published I need to take care of, getting them up in all formats for my readers is a little tougher. But I’ll just keep going!!
So, how did you get started in indie publishing?
Funny you should ask. It happened when was actually writing on Elance, a monstrous platform where I did just about every type of writing you can think of. Book writing has always been my real passion, and I was hired to ghost write oodles of books. I hit the fifty book mark, writing for other people, when one of my clients asked me why I wasn’t publishing for myself. That was my light-bulb moment!
That’s not as easy as it sounds but I figured it was my signal to go for it! I still ghost write for a few select long-term clients, to help support the expense of publishing my own books. But I’m writing for me now, and it’s fantabulous!
If I could write 24 hours a day I’d be in my Dream-Ville-Come-True! That or getting picked up by a publisher who could take care of all the marketing mumbo jumbo so I could just write!
So with all that frantic activity, you must have a few aborted projects?
I think of them as “masterpieces in progress.” In all the years I’ve been writing, a zillion for sure.
How did this latest book happen?
My kids came home one day and said they were hungry! What a surprise! Actually I had just finished the last book prior my Real Food Diet book, and happened to get inspired by a brochure my kids brought home from school. Essentially it talked about how important it is for moms to stop putting processed food crap in their kid’s lunches! Ha – I checked out the niche to make sure people were interested in buying this genre of book, and I began researching and letting my fingers work their magic! Once that happens, my books write themselves.
What are the parts you love or hate most about the whole process?
What a hypocrite I am. I tell my kids they shouldn’t “hate” anything, just dislike. But I really do hate the marketing part of this whole process. I JUST WANNA WRITE! It doesn’t mean I can’t do it, but if I don’t market the best I can, nobody will ever find me in a million zillion years, and I won’t ever sell my masterpieces! Sucks but true! That is until I get rich and famous and hire a team to do it for me. Yeah me!
So, with all your experience, you must have some nuggets for newbies in the business?
Absolutely; how long do I have?
Firstly, most writers are not editors! The audience needs to understand that self-published writers have gynormous costs associated with writing “free” books. If a writer wants their book to sell, they’ve gotta spend money on a cover designer, editor, marketer, website, SEO specialist…etc. So the editing may not be perfect initially if the writer has to do it. Bottom line…When you can afford to hire a professional editor to zip through your books before you publish them, DO IT!
Second, the self-publishing process becomes fairly straight forward once you get a few books under your belt. Just be sure to check the trademark on your title. You don’t want to get nailed for making this mistake like I did!
Didn’t I already tell you I don’t want to talk about marketing!!! My tip here is to use as many avenues as you can. It’s a trial and error process. You will learn what works for you in time. Start with a website, SEO and Keywords, and blogging daily, and you’re on the right foot!
You’re prominent and active in the online Author Community. How does that work for you?
My belief is that twenty heads are better than my one. In order to succeed as a self-published writer you need to commit to actively participating in a variety of writing/author groups DAILY. I’m not kidding you. There is so much to learn that will help you become successful, faster. And if something I know can help someone else succeed, I’m happy to help. Commit to these communities if you’re serious about your books!
How do I feel about crap PLR writing?
I’m a passionate writer and when it comes to book quality, that’s priority one. So when I see these cheap pamphlets and books with rubbish information, it really does tick me off. I grew up working on a farm, and learned that if you’re going to do something, you should put your “everything” into it or don’t do it at all. Even when I’m cleaning toilets I do my best! Gross but true.
So when I come across these pieces of writing that have no passion, purpose or professionalism, I get sad. These books and pamphlets just make it harder for the REAL authors of the world to prove their worth. It’s like climbing a mountain with banana peels on your feet and covered with honey, with bees and bears chasing you!
So what does the future hold?
If I’m around, I’ll be writing from some remote beach in my swimsuit in my eighties! Writing is me. I couldn’t turn it off if I wanted to. So I’ll continue building my passion and helping people in the process to the best of my abilities. I am one of the lucky ones that knows my calling. Writing and having kids! I would be empty inside if I wasn’t writing.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a writer?
Whatever you do, just don’t stop! This is a trial and error business. The more times I screw up, the stronger the writer I become. The only way for you to fail is to quit. That word isn’t in my vocabulary. So technically I don’t know what I was just talking about!
Smile and look for the good in everything. The bad crap is just a waste of your time.
Great words, Cathy! So how do people hook up with you?
Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/104730899301510698883/posts
Twitter – https://twitter.com/cathywilson1234