Interview with Elise Kova: Learn How a Self-Published Author Launched a USA Today Bestselling Series

Learn How a Self-Published Author Launched a USA Today Bestselling Series

I have worshipped at the altar of Elise Kova for several years now.

This is for multiple reasons. Firstly, I adore her Air Awakens series. The combination of a wonderful world, a perfectly written romance, memorable secondary characters and lots of elemental plotline makes, for me, the ideal reading experience.

Secondly, though, I admire the hell out of anyone who can make it on their own in the challenging world of publishing, traditional or boutique. Elise not only writes fiction full-time for a living, she is a USA Today bestselling author.

Clearly, any self-published authors and hopefuls have a lot to learn from her. In the run-up to the release of Rebels of Gold, book 3 in the highly reviewed Loom Saga, I thought I’d sit down with her (virtually) to ask some questions about how she made it all happen.

If you’re only interested in the new book, it goes on sale December 5! If you’d like to learn more about how she did it, read on.

Here we go!

1. When did you decide you wanted to publish your own books?

It’s a funny answer, but after I wrote them. I began writing on FictionPress for fun and it wasn’t until I had written and posted the entire Air Awakens series that I decided, “Why not, let’s publish them!” That launched me into querying (which is a maddening process) and then ultimately when no agents made an offer of representation, self-publishing. I believed in my story and didn’t want to “trunk” (put aside) my manuscripts.

2. What do you think other author hopefuls who haven’t had luck with the traditional publishing world can learn from your story?

The big one is that there’s no “right way” to be published. Everyone has a different path to success and everyone defines what success looks like for them. Also, perseverance is key. Traditional or indie, publishing is a weird and trying industry, but it also can be pretty fantastic for those who stick it out. 

3. How did you market your books at first?

I really tried to connect with book bloggers and reviewers. I contacted them personally and offered review copies. Some said no (understandably, I know how many books reviewers get!) but most said yes. I think a book recommendation means a lot more when it comes from someone other than the author.

4. Has that changed these days?

For the Loom Saga, my second series, I experimented with a lot more things like blog tours and Netgalley. They’re interesting tools, but I think I like the personal connection between me and the reviewer best. 

5. Do you use Amazon ads?

I do; most authors I know of find them helpful. But, it is worth noting … you can only use Amazon Ads (AMS) if you have the book in your own KDP account. So many authors who are traditionally published can’t even if they wanted to.

6. What’s the very first place someone who wants to be like you should start?

Write a book you’re passionate about. But assuming that step is finished … learn as much as you can from other indie authors and take your time. Develop a publishing plan, find an editor and cover artist, work on a marketing plan. Don’t just rush to hit publish. You get one “first impression” in the market and then treat every book after like it’s your debut.

Thanks, Elise!

Y’all can preorder the book now by heading to Amazon! And if you haven’t read her other books, I highly recommend doing so today!

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