Episode # 10 – Lessons Learned with Victoria Jeffrey

In Editing, Mindset by Simon Whistler10 Comments

Victoria Jeffrey cover

In this episode I talk to Victoria Jeffrey who talks about her discovery of, and journey into, self-publishing. We talk about her attempts to go the traditional route in the 90s and then her journey into self-publishing which began a few years ago. In the main part of the show I ask about what she has learned over the last two years and what she is doing differently today.

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Links:

The Green Door

Amazon Profile

Victoria’s Website

Mentions:

The interview with Michael Stackpole which lead her to discover self-publishing.

The Elements of Style

Victoria mentions the value of Pinterest in promotion and Adam (who commented below) pointed me in the direction of this article. Lot’s of information and actionable steps. If you’re already sold on Pinterest, skip down to “Five ways to use Pinterest” at the end of the article.

Show notes:

Recycle old Manuscripts

Victoria wrote two books in the 90s and they are not published anywhere. She just felt they weren’t up to her current standards. Instead she goes back and takes elements out of them for her newer works.

Editing

Victoria doesn’t currently have an editor as hiring someone who is really good is out of her current budget. She says you must at least get a book about self-editing book. Victoria is looking to hire an editor in the near future.

Beta Readers

She uses beta-readers as the ‘fresh pair of eyes’ and says they are also useful in identifying some of the problems in your book that an editor would normally pick up. She found her beta readers in an online forum where people who read her genre gather.

Discount Pricing

As we’ve seen in other interviews she sees success with making the first book in a series free, but highlights you should have a whole series before doing this otherwise you won’t make any money! This is something Victoria learned the hard way, finding that she gave away far too much at the start of her indie career.

Choose your Genre/Audience Carefully

Be careful about the audience you write for – children’s books are not great selling and are not a great market to write for if you want to make a living (unless you are JK Rowling of course).

Take the Long View

Don’t expect to become a millionaire overnight! Stick with it, keep writing, remember it will take a while. Victoria has decided to pursue self-publishing for 5 years to see if she can make a full time living from it.

Tip for new writers:

Draw an outline of your book before you start writing, then all you have to do is dress up the outline and you have a book!

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Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Simon WhistlerEpisode # 10 – Lessons Learned with Victoria Jeffrey
  • R.M. Prioleau

    Another awesome interview! So many helpful tips! Thanks so much, Simon and Victoria! There are a lot of high-quality editors on Kboards who do an exceptional job for indie authors who are on a budget. And of course, you can always make a post in the Writer’s Cafe and will get tons of inquiries from exceptional people!

    • SimonRSP

      Hey RM! KBoards is always a great place to go :)! In the show on the 26th September I’ll be chatting with an editor – should have a lot of useful info!

  • Victoria Jeffrey

    Thanks so much R. M. This was a fun interview and I will definitely be checking into getting a professional editor later this year!

  • Adam Causton

    Hi Simon, I thought you and fellow listeners might appreciate this article regarding Pinterest. Its a little old, but gets everything you need to know across. http://www.publishingtalk.eu/marketing/how-to-promote-your-books-with-pinterest/

    • SimonRSP

      Adam – great share, thanks. I had no idea Pinterest was the third biggest social network. Those ‘5 ways to use Pinterest’ are solid, actionable steps, that seem (to my admittedly beginner eyes) like they would be excellent marketing steps even in 2013. I’ve added a link to this to the show notes.

      • R.M. Prioleau

        Pinterest is definitely fun and addicting. Definitely sucks away writing time if you’re not careful! 🙂

  • Victoria Danann

    Hi Simon. I think Victoria misunderstood the question about “middle grade”. It could have been interpreted as ages 7-11, but she was talking about American grade levels 7-11, which would be ages 12-16.

    • SimonRSP

      Ah! Thank you for the clarification Victoria 🙂

  • iron_mountain

    Victoria was easy to listen to. I wonder if she’s retired from work yet. Good point about only making the book free if there’s sequels that people will pay for. Might seem obvious, but for a while I was labouring under the same delusion just from listening to various self publishing podcasts. It’s no-one’s fault, but sometimes the discussions are just high enough above the heads of beginners to risk being the proverbial “enough rope to hang yourself”. I am finding I’m having to listen to and read a lot for certain points to register properly. Also, in such a fast pasced industry, it can be risky nbusiness listening to podcasts from 3 years ago. If you chuck a bunch of them onto an MP3 player like I do, there’s a danger you can forget and think it’s current advice.
    Ah the dangers of taking advantage of free advice from experts! I think this is what they call “first world problems” !
    And on that note, thanks for all these wonderful podcasts Simon. Really useful stuff indeed. I don’t always make it to the website to comment as I’m rarely at a computer when I listen to them but I’m finding lots of the information useful.

    • SimonRSP

      Agreed. I try to keep things as evergreen as possible, but in a fast changing industry like this, some things are sure to get out of date. Glad to hear that you are enjoying the podcasts though, even the ones so far back in the archive 🙂