Michelle was a teacher and business trainer before starting her publishing career. Her bestselling book ‘Goodreads for Authors’ also became a course, a started her on the rounds of interviews and guest spots on teleseminars, webinars, and workshops.
She noticed that a lot of authors were troubled that they had ‘all their eggs’ in one basket – Amazon. However lucrative that basket is, it is slightly worrying to have only one source of income. She teamed up with successful and experienced author Nancy Hendrickson and they spent months researching and writing ‘Make Your Book Work Harder’, which helps authors understand which platforms they can get their books onto both while in KDP Select and out of it. Nancy is a hybrid author – both traditionally published and Indie – so she has a lot of extremely valuable insights.
What inspires you to write?
I was an only child who spent my childhood with my head in a book. I started writing when I was at school. Later, I was in a serious car wreck and spent years having surgeries and recovering from them. Writing was therapeutic.
As a teacher I wrote courses and curriculums and later branched into business-to-business training, which I enjoyed.
Throughout, my writing has been inspired by a) Lots of ideas constantly buzzing around my head; and b) A need.
I wish I could say I want to whip out a notebook and jot down ideas when I’m awed by seeing a shaft of sunlight illuminate a beautiful tree but it doesn’t happen for me like that. Beautiful sights make me speechless. Need is what makes me want to write – either seeing something that could be done differently, or something that doesn’t exist and needs to exist.
I wrote my Goodreads book because I had had trouble getting to know Goodreads and realized that other authors felt the same. Make Your Book Work Harder was born because lots of authors only publish on Kindle, and I realized they are missing out huge swathes of the public who love audiobooks, print books, hate Amazon, etc.
Tell us about your writing process.
It has to be digital. I’m not a longhand person – probably made to write one too many lines at school!
I have a computer on a desk in my bedroom and that’s where I do much of my writing – and also recording, as I create courses. I also like to go to a stunning library in a city not too far from me. The studious atmosphere is wonderful and very helpful for concentration – the world-class research facilities don’t hurt either! I use a little netbook when I go there. It’s purely for writing or taking notes from books, so as soon as I open it I’m in a writing frame of mind.
I’ve also had some success with dictating. I use the voice memo on my iPhone. It got me through a blocked period, when I had a lot of family health and money worries and found that it really slammed my creativity. As soon as I sat at the computer to write, I would drift onto Facebook, or medical sites, etc. Breaking that pattern (interrupting the thought process, as NLP practitioners would say) by switching to speaking into my iPhone really helped.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is for non-fiction:
Outline, plan, prioritize, and set deadlines. It really helps.
For me, a book could go on and on and become an encyclopedia, there’s always some new interesting snippet that could lead you down another research trail for something else to put in the book.
With digital publishing you can store all those ideas for the next update.
Get it done now, get it published, listen to feedback and questions, and add those to the update.
When I was writing for other people – courses and instruction manuals – I had to produce them quickly, often at the rate of several per week. Yet a small non-fiction book can take months to write. Setting self-imposed deadlines can make you feel you’re working for somebody else and get you moving!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After speaking to Indies who were formerly traditionally published, I did a joined a course on how to publish on Kindle. It was daunting – especially, for me, the marketing – but I was very glad I did it. The royalties are better and I like having full control.
I published my first book under one of my own names (Michelle Booth – my new married name) about one of my hobbies, aquaponics, just to try out KDP and learn how to do it. I was surprised, and still am, that that book continues to sell well. I must have hit on a good topic.
I published my next book, children’s fiction, on Kindle as well. That does okay but not as well as my aquaponics book. I thought maybe it was because Kindles aren’t the best way for children to read so put it out on CreateSpace, where it does better.
Now all my books come out on Kindle and CreateSpace pretty much at the same time. I generally sign up for KDP Select for one 90-day period, then withdraw and get them on Smashwords to take advantage of their ability to get books into the iBookstore. Apple are now the second biggest retailer of eBooks, just behind Amazon, so it’s great to be able to get books on there without owning a Mac. (I owned a Mac until recently. It had only lasted three years and cost well over $1,000. Never again!)
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m very excited by it. It changes almost daily with new platforms and possibilities – and Amazon’s constant one-step-aheading! I’m creating a course about the new Snippet platform at the moment, that’s awesome. Books on there are almost like books in Harry Potter, with live content.
What do you use?
Dictated and got transcribed, Co-writer, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Link To Author Page On Amazon