Tell us about where you are on your self-publishing journey right now in terms of books published, where you publish etc.
I counted them recently – I’m at over 20 self-published books, available through Amazon for one series and Lulu for another. Complicated? Yes, too much so, and I’m trying to streamline and rationalise, but it all takes time of course.
I spent a good few years trying to find a publisher, without success. This was in the days before Internet, when having an agent and publisher was the only way to get heard. The book I referred to above was taken on by a local specialist publisher, who has since gone bust, sadly. When I was pointed to Lulu (‘cos at that time Amazon was a nightmare for trying to publish) it was a revelation, and whilst I’d still like a “proper” publishing deal, I realise now that I don’t in any way actually *need* one to get my stuff out there. Publicity is the bottleneck.
Nobody breathing down my neck for a manuscript! At the level I write, I am a hobby author – I don’t have time to dedicate to doing it full-time, and at the moment my royalties buy me a cocktail every month if I’m lucky! So I can pick my schedules, take breaks when the mojo fades, and it doesn’t matter. That’s priceless.
The feeling of frustration at so few people seeming to want to read my stuff, however much I push it! I don’t seem able to get beyond that stage, either – I’m a niche author in all my works, really, but even then the niches I aim at are actually pretty big in terms of people. I guess either not enough of them have heard of me, or, more likely, they don’t have the money to spend on books just now. I certainly don’t.
Tricky! I’m not sure that there is anything, to be honest: I’ve sort-of bimbled along in the same way for everything I’ve done, though I will admit that getting onto the Amazon bandwagon was probably one of the better moves, and if I could go back in time and magically put *everything* on there, I would. People have heard of Amazon, and go there for all sorts of stuff. I find I often have to explain what Lulu is, and people seem less inclined to even follow the links I try to provide.
Ha! Do I say that I’d go to my bank and ask for a business loan to set me on the road to being a genuine, full-time, professional author? Probably not, because I’m not at all convinced it would make any difference to my sales figures. So I’m not sure there is anything I would wish to change; I’ve found a level that lets me work and pay the bills as well as write, and because there is less stress in that direction I probably enjoy my writing more than I might otherwise.
Do it – it’s easy, it’s mostly stress-free (once you get the hang of the process) and you have complete control. If such things matter to you, then self-publishing is the way to go. From what I’ve heard elsewhere, it seems that even the major publishers don’t do much in the way of promotion or support any more, so the lack of a publishing deal might not be such a huge thing these days.
As you’ll probably guess, I’m a transwoman, but I’m also a scholar and re-enactor of the Viking Age. I have a degree in history and qualifications in Electrical and Electronic engineering, at which I earn my crusts – at least until the writing takes off! Thanks for the chance to take part in this exercise – it’s been fun!
Thank you or sharing with us all, Roz! What an amazing journey so far and I wish you all the best for the rest of it!
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for the interview 🙂
Here are the links to Roz’s books on Amazon and Lulu …
From Book 1: Five transwomen; five lives; five sets of problems! New girl Sarah arrives in The Sisterhood Club just as the lives of those she meets are about to fall apart. Jo is faced with devastating loss and unending pressure at work; Phoebe is about to become homeless; Cathy is staring the end of her marriage in the face. Naomi, the Mother Hen of the group, while appearing to keep it all together, is facing mounting problems of her own… and Sarah is left wondering what on earth she is walking into!
Can the common bonds of their burgeoning sisterhood see them through the ever-growing pressure, or will the world around them finally destroy it all?Roz White is a well-known author of transgender fiction; in this, her first full novel, her explorations of this unique condition go deeper and more complete than ever before.
The Viking ship-men of Wirral find themselves confronted by old enemies and ever-more complicated problems. A third novel set among the Norsemen of Wirral.
About Roz …
I’ve been writing stories since my earliest memories: my first masterpiece was two pages of foolscap – with illustrations – about a television programme of the time, and contained more uses of the word “then” than any other. I’d like to think I’ve improved just a little since then; after all, I was only about five.
My English teacher in secondary school didn’t care for the dark, gritty science-fiction I regularly turned in for class assignments either, yet I persisted. I was teaching myself more than she ever did! As an aside, she also ruined both Shakespeare and Dickens for me, but that’s for another time.
So, where to really begin? I’m already in my fifties, although I’ve no idea when that happened! I’m British, English by birth and currently Scottish by residence: I’ve been here for over ten years now, on a remote island that requires me to commute by ferry for the day job – one of the best journeys to and from work in the world, surely! In the summer at least… this provides my core writing time, and with a favourable wind I can turn out a fair amount in that time. My output over the last twenty years or so has included almost a dozen novels and a handful of non-fiction texts, the latter being well-known in their academic field – something of a boasting point, I’m afraid! There have also been short stories scattered here and there.
However… if you look for all these other books under my name, you won’t find them, and here we come to the part of this biography that, for all my years of dealing with it, I still don’t seem to have any proper sort of handle on.
I am transgendered. There, I said it! I am biologically male, psychologically feeling more and more female (whatever that means, but it feels that way to me) as the years go by. My writing allows me a useful window to explore this side of me, and undoubtedly helps keep me close to some semblance of sanity. My family (I’m married with children)are aware of this side of me, and have accepted it without question since the Great Secret coming out – for which I am incredibly, totally, grateful.
I love sharing what I do: I have taken to FaceBook like a duck to water, and I regularly post updates, snippets and recent news about whatever it is I’m doing. I also have a blog, after many years of Luddite resistance, and similarly I am finding this to be a fantastic way of getting this gender-related business out there into places where it will hopefully do a bit of good and promote some understanding – not least in me!
My Facebook Author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roz-White/1567046250194474
My Blog: rozwhiteauthor.wordpress.com