Let’s kick things off with a rundown of you and your books. In other words, tell us about yourself and what you write!
Well, I like to refer to myself as a “part-time unicorn”, mainly because all I write is fantasy. I originally put the title on my blog as a joke, but it kind of caught on. My favorite readers now share all of the good unicorn memes they find on the internet with me (yes, this is a subtle ploy for more unicorn memes, please). My main series (the Xoe Meyers Series) is YA Fantasy with demons, werewolves, and other paranormal goodness, but I’m also working on an adult Urban Fantasy series (called Bitter Ashes) filled with Norse Myths, Vikings, and Time-travel elements. My third series, which is currently only one book, but soon to be two, is an Epic Fantasy series called “Tree of Ages”.
How long have you been writing? And how long have you been publishing?
I wrote my first book (Xoe) when I was twenty-two, and I’ll go ahead and date myself by admitting that this occurred seven years ago. I would love to be able to tell you that I’d always been a writer, wowing my grade school teachers with my prose, but it would be a lie. I was always a huge reader, but never thought myself capable of writing an entire novel. No idea what made me go for it, but once the book was finished I went straight to self-publishing it. I encountered many pitfalls along the way, namely college, and just being in my early twenties (tumultuous times, those). I switched gears in 2014 when I published my fourth book, learned how to market, and became a full-time writer.
What “kind” of writer would you describe yourself as? (Traditional, Self-Published, Hybrid, Something else entirely?)
I’m 100% self-published. In fact, I’ve never even looked into submitting a book to a publisher. This was always the route for me.
How did you decide what publishing route to take for your books?
Not much went into my decision making process, really. My mom writes too, so growing up I watched as she was rejected by publishing house after publishing house. I never wanted to put myself through that. Eventually she self-published back in the days where you had to make up your own publishing company in order to create an account with the Print on Demand companies available at the time. I went the same route, and unfortunately it took a while for us to both catch up with all of the exciting developments in the Indie author world. I didn’t publish on Kindle until 2011, after reading an article about Amanda Hocking. Still, even with my numerous set-backs, I have no regrets.
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone looking to do the same?
1) Do your research. If I would have discovered the glories of Kboards and promotion sites earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of grief.
2) This is not a race, or any sort of contest. Don’t compare yourself to other authors. You don’t need to have a #1 Bestseller right out the gates in order to build a career as an Indie author. In fact, you don’t have to have a #1 Bestseller ever.
3) I just re-read the question to see the ONE piece of advice. Whoops. The second piece comes at no additional charge!
If you could make one decision differently in your publishing career so far, what would it be?
As I mentioned in the last question, research. It is so much easier to do things correctly the first time. I would have set many things up differently had I known then what I know now.
In terms of writing and publishing, what’s something new you’d like to try in the future?
I really like the idea of having three or four books ready in a series before publishing. I’m slowly writing one in the background as I mainly focus on my other series. It probably won’t be ready for another year or two, but I’m excited to try publishing each book in rapid succession, unlike my other series where there’s a minimum of three months (most of the time more) in between releases.
What’s next for you?
I’ll just keep on keeping on, I suppose, hah. I have a tentative game plan, but nothing is set in stone. This year I hope to: release book #2 in Tree of Ages, release #3 and #4 in Bitter Ashes, and release #7 and #8 in my Xoe Series. I’d really like to wrap up either the Xoe Series or Bitter Ashes at some point, since having three ongoing series is beyond stressful, but that probably won’t happen until the end of 2017. I’m also hoping to do audiobooks. I started production on Xoe last year, but things didn’t work out, so I’ll be starting from scratch with that sometime when I actually have my head on straight.
Author of the Amazon Bestselling Xoe Meyers Fantasy Series. Born and raised in the dusty desert, now residing in the Land of Enchantment as far away from the humans as possible.
Fun Fact: My last name Roethle is pronounced “ray-thlee”, but is technically German and should not be pronounced that way at all. “Xoe”, the main character of my main series, is pronounced like it starts with a Z and rhymes with toe. It also probably should not be pronounced that way.
Find her online at saracroethle.com