In this week’s RSP I talk to Mimi Strong, bestselling author, who has sold over 500,000 books. Mimi started off writing young adult fiction, but when those sales declined, got into “naughty billionaire fiction” on a dare, which lead to massive success. We talk about why hopping genres works from a creative and business perspective! Show notes have all links to the mentions in todays show.
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Genre Hobo Blog – Mimi’s blog about hopping genres, lots of excellent stuff.
Joe Konrath’s Blog – One of the blogs that Mimi started reading at the start.
In 2010, Mimi thought that writing was something that people only did as a hobby, it was not something that she thought could ever be a career. She started writing “small stories,” and people actually bought them which was a good sign. At this point she had no idea what was popular on Amazon, and just wrote what she felt like. She doesn’t feel like this was wasted time in her writing career, it was perfect for burning of the desire to write a book for herself, rather than the market.
Mimi found that most of the writers from the traditional world, where not saying that you should write something that sells, but rather “write from the heart.” While Mimi does understand that, she also says that writing is a business and you need to be aware of what the market wants. If you want to be successful you need to know what people are going to buy.
In 2011 when she started self-publishing was still something of a “dirty little secret.” She self-published one of her works that she had failed to get published, and she had low expectations, and those were met, the book did not do very well.
Dalia Moon was her first name, writing young adult novels in 2011, she then wrote romance under Mimi Strong and now writing as T Paulin for her urban fantasy Ghost Hunters series. She was writing under a pen name because she was still hoping to get a traditional deal and didn’t want the publishers to see that she had self-published something.
In 2011 when KDP Select came out things started turning around and she found that you could make great money of standalone books, by simply putting it free for a while, and then increasing the price and waiting for the money to come in.
2011 was an incredible Christmas and Mimi was sure that she was now an author. 2012 took the wind out of KDP and she felt that thing took a huge step back for her. Sales declined over the year and she says that it was a very hard year.
Declining sales lead her to want to try something else. A friend dared her to write some erotic romance, so she went from writing young adult to writing about “kinky billionaires.” This was when she started writing as Mimi Strong, they were short, and the just sold. It was a shock to her because she had been working so hard on her previous pen name, and nothing was happening, but when she wrote about kinky billionaires it all took off. Mimi says that 50 Shades of Grey probably had something to do with that!
Mimi doesn’t just write what sells though. Now that she has established herself and has enough income from her successful books, she can experiment with other stuff. She says that doing this even makes writing the romance stuff more enjoyable.
Mimi says that success isn’t down to number or words, or marketing, its down to mindset. It isall to easy to look at a successful author and think “I am not them.” You are only seeing the successful stuff that they did well, all of that other stuff that failed (there’s a lot), so don’t feel bad when thing s you try fail.
“You did not have to be a rocket scientist to write erotic billionaire romance in 2012 … you just look at the carts”
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