Author Interview with Sarah Bates
Introducing Sarah Bates
Below is my interview with historical fiction writer, Sarah Bates. Bates has written and self-published three books. In her interview, she profiles her journey to becoming a self-published author.
Genres: Literary fiction; historical fiction; military fiction
How long have you been a published author? Sixteen years
The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton book cover
1. What made you decide to become an indie author?
I wanted to direct my own destiny.
2. What do you like to write about?
I write about people dealing with common themes.
3. How did you publish your first book?
The first book I published was a anthology of short fiction with another author.
4. Did you ever try to submit to traditional publishers? If so, what was your experience like?
I did send queries for Twenty-One Steps of Courage and The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. For Twenty-One Steps, there was no interest because at the time no agents were submitting stories about current war themes, or so they said. For Elizabeth, I sent 75 queries, got two replies of interest. First agent declined after submitting 50 pages; second agent requested full manuscript then postponed her response two or three time. I gave up.
5. How did you market your first book? Has your process changed with subsequent books?
My background is marketing so I use tactics that I learned when representing client products and adapted them to books. The process has changed with the advent of social media marketing and its subsets such as blog tours.
6. How do you support other indie authors?
I share my marketing expertise.
7. What responses have you received from telling people that you are a writer?
People ask lots of questions, sometimes expecting me to know other authors personally, which I don’t. I am always surprised people think authors are a “big deal” when we are merely people who write and try to make a living doing it.
8. What/who has been your biggest support as an indie author?
I publish through www.booklocker.com who offers their authors a comprehensive marketing plan. They not only support us through marketing but also by staying on top of orders from bookstores, often shipping well before the date needed.
9. Quote from a positive review of your work.
“Dear Sarah, I was at your book signing in Johnstown for your book The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying reading it. I have never read a book that I had to slow myself down reading as I don't want the book to end. So my thanks to you for the enjoyable read. My best, G.M.”