Charles Sheehan-Miles and Andrea Randall share their passion for writing and self-publishing. In this interview, they talked with XinXii about challenges, marketing strategies and future projects.
About Charles Sheehan-Miles and Andrea Randall
Charles Sheehan-Miles writes political and dystopian thrillers along with romance and romantic thrillers. He is from Atlanta, Georgia. Andrea Randall writes contemporary romance and literary fiction and is from Massachusetts. They live with their many many children in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
1. What are your biggest challenges in your life as authors?
Probably the biggest challenge we face is finding time to write and promote our books. We have a lot of kids and a lot of life commitments, and even though we both write full time, it can be a challenge fitting everything into our days.
2. How were your book covers created? What is the most important about a good cover for you?
Some of our book covers were designed by Charles, and some by various designers. For covers, we try to make sure they fit the genre but also that they are interesting and compelling.
3. Which criteria define your book prices?
We price our books for different markets (for example, they are more expensive in the US than in India), by genre and also by length. Our novellas are typically less expensive than the long books.
4. What is your strategy, that your work becomes a bestseller?
We would love to have a strategy to create bestsellers. Unfortunately—we don’t have one. What we do have is a strategy to write quality books and have them distributed as widely as possible, because you can’t sell ebooks if you don’t have them in the stores. Many indie authors get stuck on Amazon and never go beyond to other stores. We’ve been delighted by the response to our books in Tolino Alliance stores, for example. From there, we hope word of mouth will help build sales.
5. Besides classic marketing actions, what do you do to boost the success of your book?
We try to regularly purchase ads with Bookbub, a very large ebook discount mailer in the United States, and have had success there, though it is becoming more and more difficult to get listed with them. We spend an appalling amount of time on Twitter and Facebook.
6. What is your most precious tip for a new indie author?
Worry less about selling your first books and more about writing them. You won’t be able to be successful unless you can write first.
7. Where do you write? Would you show us your writing place?
8. With which author would you like to have dinner, and what were your first question?
Charles: I’m such an introvert, I’m not sure I’d want to have dinner with any authors, that sounds frightening. Well… that’s not true. I’d love to meet Ernest Hemingway to talk war experiences.
9. What is your next project, and what would you do differently compared to your past ones?
We have three projects in the works. We’ll talk about one here—we’re collaborating on a set of short guides for indie authors. As I mentioned earlier, most of the indie authors we know sell only on Amazon or a few other big retailers. We want to help other authors find success by expanding their markets globally.
10. What do you appreciate in XinXii?
The thing I’ve loved the most about XinXii has been quick response time and fantastic customer service. I work with other distributors as well, and XinXii is the only one where I’ve received response to inquiries within hours almost every single time.
Thank you, Charles and Andrea, for taking the time to talk about your experiences. We wish you joy and success on your way as self-publishers and writers!