Monday, October 11, 2010

Featured Author: Sandra Edwards

Today I'm actually backtracking on an earlier post. Sandra Edwards was one of the first Smashwords authors to contact me, but a review helper had declined her work after a reading. But, you know what? There's a lot of really popular writers I don't like at all, and a lot of popular writers I once liked who repeat themselves so often I can't tell if I've read book Z since it sounds so much like book M.

So I decided to take a look. The Google search was not encouraging. A realtor with the same name came up a lot, but I had to dig for our Sandra Edwards. This is fixable. One of the first discussion groups I joined at had a simple wat to get your name out where search engines can find it. Join a lot of discussions at a lot of reader and writer blogs, and always sign off with your full name and author tag. In other words, join a romance book discussion, make a comment, and sign off as Sandra Edwards, Author of Incredible Dreams. Do this at Kindleboards, B&, BookBlogs, etc. until in one week or two, Google finds your name all over the place. Do you guys do this? If not, then featuring Sandra gives us a chance to talk about marketing opportunities, and share what tricks we've picked up.

What I liked a lot was this: when I type Sandra Edwards at and at Amazon's Kindle Store, a full list of books comes up. At Amazon, Sandra has Secondary Targets with 5 reviews, Crazy for You with 9 reviews, Incredible Dreams both in paperback and Kindle versions, each with 10 reviews, Broken Wings with 4 reviews, and last, The Marriage Bargain with 1 review. This is terrific.

Now at Smashwords, I don't see reviews. This brings up a point of contention I've heard from several Smashwords authors. At Amazon, anyone with an Amazon account can post a review. At Smashwords, only readers who bought the book through Smashwords can post a review. So, if your book is reviewed in the NY Times Sunday Book Review, unless Michiko Kakutani bought the book at Smashwords or has a coupon code, and takes time to do this, the review will have to be posted by other means. But what about eBooks distributed to Apple, B&, Kobo, Diesel, etc. Can those customers post reviews at Smashwords? It seems like they cannot, right now.

Back to Sandra Edwards. The point I'm making is, the lady has done a good job with limited resources of getting sales for her books. She sets a good example for other writers, and yet can still learn and grow with the rest of us as we learn how to succeed at what is actually a difficult but do-able vocation.

Q&A with Sandra Edwards:

Q&A from Smashwords Books Reviewed

Your letter calls one of your books “award winning.” Tell us about any awards or featured events you’ve enjoyed.

I’ve had the good fortune to have won/finaled in numerous RWA (Neil's note: Romance Writers of America is one of the largest writers organizations in the world) sponsored contests with multiple books. INCREDIBLE DREAMS won the 2008 Linda Howard Award of Excellence, the 2009 Gotcha and received nods in several other contests.

How did your background help you to write novels?

I started writing at a very early age (about 13) and was known for making up tall-tales as early as the age 6 or 7. I think most writers are born with an inherent need to tell a story.

Where are your books available?

At Smashwords (it’s outlets) and Amazon.

Do you have author links for readers to learn more about you?

Yes, readers can learn more about me at my website  , Goodreads and my Author Page at Amazon.

What genre are you most comfortable with? Do you write romance, or mystery, etc.?

Honestly, I’m most comfortable riding the fence between more than one genre. Oftentimes, my books are described as having a genre identity crisis. I do love hard-talking suspense, time travel, reincarnation, and all with a touch of romance.

How are you marketing your books?

My marketing strategy consists of getting as much online exposure as possible (without depleting my kids’ college funds. lol).

Tell the readers about your different novels, and what they might enjoy.

Crazy For You is a rags to riches tale set against the backdrop of the 80s, movie stars and rock-n-roll. *FYI: this book is a gritty romance that visits some dark and controversial topics. If you prefer a light-hearted romance, this book may not be for you.

Incredible Dreams is the story of a modern-day ghost whisperer who travels through time to save the life of a WWII fighter pilot and ends up jeopardizing her own existence.

Secondary Targets is a hardboiled suspense with a hint of romance ~ What would you do if you woke up one day and found out everything you thought you knew about your father turned out to be a lie?

Broken Wings ~ In this opening book of the Soul Searchers Series a con-artist who's been hired to locate a buried treasure finds more than she bargains for.

Have you always been an Indie writer (self-published) and why?

No, but I prefer being an Indie writer J. I have specific stories inside my head that I’d prefer to write, but they’re too outside the box for traditional publishing. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being an Indie writer, I’m much happier when I let my muse write what she wants. 

What future projects do you have in mind?

I’m wrapping up the second book in the Soul Searchers Series. In November, I plan to start working on a sequel to Crazy For You (currently, my most popular book on Kindle).

Do you read a lot? Are there books you would like to see featured?

Yes, I am an avid reader. I recently read a great time travel romance by Monique Martin titled Out of Time.

What would you change, now that you’ve acquired experience in eBook marketing?

I had the good fortune to find a group of seasoned Indie writers who shared their experiences with me, so my marketing strategies worked well right out the gate. The only thing I’d change is I would’ve gone Indie a long time ago!

Are there writers you work with, or readers to help you edit?

Yes, I have a small circle of writers that I work with. They help me stay focused and offer up invaluable assistance when it comes to editing and such.

Anything you’d like to add?

I love hearing from readers!;

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