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Indie Author Day 2016 - Interview with Alex Dunn

Updated on October 8, 2016
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About the Author

Name (real and/or pen):

  • Real Name: Kathy Dunn
  • Pen: Alex Dunn

Genre(s): YA

Name(s) of the book(s) you’ve published and link(s) to purchase:

  • Demon Magician: https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Magician-Alex-Dunn-ebook/dp/B017DS4XSG/
  • Crazy For Alice: https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Alice-Alex-Dunn-ebook/dp/B01HQHS7ZO/
  • School Monitor: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/657002

How long you have been a published author:
Almost 1 year to the date. My first book launched 31st October 2015.

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The Interview

What made you decide to become an indie author?
My experience with a traditional publisher wasn’t quite how I imagined it to be. As a new author I was expecting a lot of help and rather naively assumed the publisher would invest time and money marketing both myself and novel. As this was not the case, I decided to go indie for my second book and keep all profits. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and the wonderful support from the wider online community so much, I’m going to launch my next two books as an indie author.

What do you like to write about?
I love fantasy and horror, although I’ve also written chic lit and a suspense novel. Whatever the setting, I always write for the young adult audience and my protagonist is always flawed with a great sense of humor. My favorite authors include Neil Gainam, Jonathan Stroud and Ursula Le Guin.

How did you publish your first book?
I entered my novel The Demon Magician into a competition, and although I did not win, the publisher offered me a contract.

Did you ever try to submit to traditional publishers? If so, what was your experience like?
Yes, and rather naïvely I assumed they would do a lot more of the marketing and leave me free to write. When most of the work fell to me and the limitations in the contract prevented publishing outside the confines of Amazon Kindle, I made the decision to go indie. That said, without being offered that initial contract I doubt I would have found the confidence to publish my novels myself, and it was a learning experience that helped me ultimately learn the business.

How did you market your first book? Has your process changed with subsequent books?

I did most of the basic recommendations I’ve seen in numerous publications and forums: Twitter, FaceBook, reaching out to bloggers to post reviews, Goodreads adverts and doing timed purchases so my book appeared higher up the charts. This time, I’ve done giveaways, leveraged SMASHWORDS so I can reach a much wider audience, and spent more time on Goodreads and Wattpad that focus on readers.

How do you support other indie authors?

I’m a member of a few Writing Circles, Goodreads and Facebook groups that support indie authors. My contributions (time permitting) is reviewing submissions, helping with technical matters (I’m an IT Manager by day) and of course buying books! Along the way I’ve met some great contacts, including an amazing designer in Wales who does all my book covers. I just look forward to the time my finances allow me to do this fulltime.

What responses have you received from telling people that you are a writer?
People seem genuinely impressed, and it always leads to them sharing information about their hobbies and aspirations.

What/who has been your biggest support as an indie author?
My husband, who’s been incredibly supportive on this long journey of mine to becoming a published author; and all the wonderful people who contribute to the likes of Goodreads, NaNoWriMo, Hong Kong Women in Publishing and SCWBI: two amazing local writing groups I belong to.

Quote from a positive review of your work:

School Monitor

Dunn explores the dynamics between twins in this gripping thriller that has the classy feel and underlying tension of a Hitchcock film. Richard is probably one of the most unforgettable characters I've come across in some time. He stands larger than life in his role as an old-world-style hero who must somehow prove his innocence without betraying his ethics. School Monitor is a sheer delight to read, even if some of the bullying episodes are guaranteed to make anyone whose veins don’t run cold wince and cringe a bit. There’s the suspense and subtle horror of a Stephen King story and the marvelous cinematic touches of Hitchcock at play in this most unusually titled and highly original psychological thriller. While it was written for a young adult audience, it’s a grand read for adults as well. School Monitor is most highly recommended.

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