Hai Spicy Hoomans!
I’m curious, so I asked questions.
The posts this week have been made possible by the wonderful Chloe Hodge, author of Vengeance Blooms, a book I recently finished and have fallen in love with. She has graciously accepted to answer some questions on two topics; Her novel, Vengeance Blooms which is the content of Saturday’s post, and Self-Publishing & Editing which is the content in today’s post.
A little about Chloe:
Chloe is a journalist turned author from Adelaide, South Australia. From radio producing to reporting, then technical writing to creative, she’s no stranger to media. But her true passion lies in fiction, and this book is the first of many to come.
Living with her fiancé and two dogs, Chloe finds joy in life’s simple pleasures: a walk along the beach, a cosy nook to read in, a morsel of chocolate and a good movie to watch. When she’s not living a thousand other lives in the pages of a book, she’s travelling the world and seeing other cultures.
The adventure of the Guardians of the Grove continues in book two, releasing mid-year. To learn more about Vengeance Blooms, head to www.chloehodge.com or pop by on her socials!
I, personally, have no knowledge of the publishing and editing industry which has lead to me having many many questions. Given the opportunity, I have asked Chloe just a few of my burning questions about her work and she has been nice enough to answer them.
Publishing/ Editing Questions
What were the hardest parts of self-publishing?
“Self-publishing can be very daunting in the beginning. There is so much to learn—most of which is by trial and error. There are resources out there to help authors during the process, but when you go the indie route, you’re largely on your own! Luckily, I had the support of fellow indie authors to help guide me when I was unsure of the next step. Overall, I’d say that marketing is one of the things I struggle with most… which brings me to your next question!”
How do you market your novel and yourself as an author? Do you find these techniques successful?
“There are millions of authors throughout the world, and in this competitive industry, it’s difficult to stand out. Marketing was much easier during the leadup to publishing, but now that the book is out in the wide world, it’s difficult to catch the attention of new readers and maintain relevance and publicity in a market that is constantly sourcing new content. Social media has been a key element to developing relationships with readers and advertising my book, and in this I’d say I’ve been relatively successful. My book has been featured in book subscription boxes and in bookish businesses from relationships built on Instagram in particular, which has been a rewarding experience. I have also found success through my websites and have branded my company. However, I have seen little payback from advertising campaigns on sites such as Amazon or Facebook and see the need for strategy in these areas.”
What has been the most rewarding part of your life as an author?
“Writing is rewarding in itself as I’m a creative being and find joy in literature and all things bookish, but being an author is a whole new level. I have had a few readers tell me my book is now one of their favourites, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt more proud or happy in those moments. Being able to spread joy to my readers through the power of words is all I could ever ask for.”
Hearing Chloe say this made me a little sappy (not going to lie) because her novel now has a special place in my heart for a few reasons, one of them being that it was able to pull me from a really shitty book slump. Also, because of it, I have been able to connect with her as an author and be inspired to write both my WIP and blog content.
How important is social media and influencers in the community to someone like you?
“I think modern society demands the use of social media for marketing and to develop and maintain relationships with readers—that’s the beauty of being an indie—you do it all yourself. Consequently, it also makes things harder in the long run, but I love being able to interact and gain the opinions of my readers first-hand. I have not had much experience with high profile influencers yet, but I do have plans. In saying that, posts and pictures of my book on social media combined with a solid review does wonders for word-of-mouth and possible new readers!”
What is the most common question asked to you as a self-published author?
“I’m often asked how long it took me to write Vengeance Blooms and how do I go about selling it. Of course, this varies from author to author and there is no wrong way to go about it… unless you’re not selling anything! My first book took around eight months from developing a concept through to publishing.”
How has being an editor helped you write your own novel?
I was most intrigued by this question. It was originally number one on my list since I was far too curious about how writing with editing knowledge benefits an author. You know with everyone I know doing a ‘Professional Writing & Editing’ course at uni and all.
“I started my first client just before publishing Vengeance Blooms and hadn’t seriously considered opening a business until a month or two before. Funny enough, I’d say becoming an editor didn’t greatly impact my own novel. Perhaps it allowed me to look at my book from a logical/technical headspace, but I hired an editor for developmental and copy-editing purposes. I think it’s so, so important to have a third party edit your book because after draft upon draft, it can be so easy to miss minor mistakes. However, I will say that my background in Journalism helped hone my writing to a higher standard.”
What is the most common advice you find yourself giving to people who use your editing services?
“Two things stand out to me:
- Don’t rush the process. Writing takes time… and then comes the editing, the triple checking, the proofing of a physical copy… It’s so important to allow yourself the time needed to take these steps because things can slip through the cracks regardless of how many eyes have seen your work. Take your time adjusting. Check it. Check it again, and then check a final time to be sure! …Then reward yourself with cake 😊
- Don’t be afraid to take a breather. Editing is hard on the eyes and the brain! It is mentally exhausting—especially when you’ve read your manuscript a million times. If the inspiration isn’t there or you’re too tired to critically assess your work, don’t be afraid to step away and revise your manuscript with fresh eyes and a new perspective. It can work wonders!”
Thank you for reading and thank you a million to Chloe for answering my many questions in so much detail! I’ve learnt so much and I hope that this information provides clarity to my readers who have the same or similar questions.
I really would love if you could give Vengeance Blooms a read. If you need any convincing to pick up the novel, please read to my spoiler-free review I posted on Monday because I guarantee you that this book ticks all of the boxes.
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).