Last Saturday Jayde Scott had two Top Ten e-books in the Teen section of Barnes & Noble. Both are part of her young adult paranormal romance series called Ancient Legends. A Job From Hell, published in May, hit the number 6 spot, and the second book, Doomed hit the number 7 spot even though it was just published on July 15th! . She joins us this week to talk about her e-book success.
Jayde, get us started with a summary of the first book, A Job From Hell.
Hidden from mortal eyes are the creatures of darkness that coexist with mortals: Shadows, vampires, fallen angels, demons, shape shifters, succubi, and the likes. Seventeen-year-old Amber enters their world by chance when her brother, Dallas, sets her up with a summer job in Scotland. Dallas has spied something in the woods he thinks could make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. But instead of finding riches, Amber unknowingly enters a paranormal race—and promptly wins the first prize—a prize for which many would kill.
As the dark forces slowly conspire against Amber, her naivety and love for the immortal bounty hunter, Aidan, catapults her into a calamitous series of otherworldly events.
Tell us about the path you took to publication.
After years of querying agents and publishers, and much soul searching, I decided to go with the independent publishing route. I struggled with unemployment because of the difficult job market in the UK, during which I kept querying for the six books I wrote in the last ten years. Most queries ended in rejection letters. Some requested edits and a resubmission.
Following two full edits with a publisher for A Job From Hell, I decided I didn't want to waste my time waiting for a miracle to happen so I took matters into my own hands and published my first teen book last year, followed by A Job From Hell and Doomed in May and July 2011, respectively. I figured I had nothing to lose by going the independent route, which turned out to be quite challenging but also the right one for me. I love independent publishing because it gives me full control over what I write and how I present my work. Choosing cover art and designing a book trailer are my favourite pastime activities and I wouldn't be happy with someone else doing my covers for me because I really enjoy creating them. I'm still thinking it would be nice to find a traditional publisher to ease my workload when it comes to marketing, but I know I don’t really need one.
What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? And have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
I’ve always been a huge fan of e-publishing and e-readers. The reason is that, as an environmentalist, I'm not keen on chopping down trees for the sake of paper. So anything that helps our environment and stops trees from being cut down is something I’m happy to embrace.
I was hesitant to give e-publishing a try, but only because I wasn't sure what to expect or whether I'd find my way around. At the same time, I was also excited to try something new and couldn't wait to get my work out there to get feedback from readers outside my critique group and the authors community.
My thoughts on e-publishing haven't changed. The digital age has completely eliminated many of the obstacles writers used to face such as having to spend ages to find an agent or publisher who might want to take a second look at our work, and for that I'll always be extremely grateful. I'm a huge believer in e-publishing and would encourage anyone who's not afraid of putting in twelve hours a day and learning as they go along to give it a try. If I were to travel back in time and do it all over again I would, minus the few bad mistakes.
Your books climbed to the top of the list rather quickly. Tell us about your marketing and use of social media.
I'm an active Goodreads member where I like to keep in touch with readers and other authors. My activities involve chatting in the forums and reviewing books. Having a presence there certainly helps my books' visibility. My blog is aimed both at readers and fellow writers and displays information about my work as well as other issues applicable to writers such as marketing and promotion. In addition to that, I offer reviewers free copies of my books in the hope they might want to write a few sentences about my work. Most reviewers have a huge backlog, so patience is the key as well as being appreciative of their time and effort, even if they decide not to review or feature the book. However, most of my exposure probably comes from Twitter and Facebook where I have author pages set up and post at least twice a day with links to Amazon.
Learn more about Jayde and her books by clicking on the links I've provided in the last paragraph. And look for the 3rd e-book in the Ancient Legend series, Voodoo Kiss, due out on November 30th.
I hope you enjoy meeting these fascinating authors and hearing about their e-publishing successes. Check out this week's Kids' E-Book Bestseller List to see the up-to-date top ten lists.