{Q&A} Faydra Deon

#WeekOfIndieAuthors

And when I say, “week”… I mean 10 days.

Faydra Deon started The Indie Author Index, which is a great website that features indie authors, promotes their books and hosts giveaways. Deon is also a big presence on social media. Following her on Twitter means you’ll be in the know for all the indie author happenings and free ebook promotions. But she also has self-published a variety of books, with many more to come. If anyone can articulate how meaningful and important the indie author movement is, it is Faydra Deon.

Learn more about her at Faydra.com | Buy all of her books here

JULIE CHICKLITASAURUS: Tell a little about yourself. How many books have you published? Any awards or mentions? What is coming up next for you?

FAYDRA DEON: I’ve been on a computer since I was about 14 years old. I’ll be 44 on my next birthday. When I was about twelve, Mrs. Jorgenson, my middle school reading teacher, told me that I could make a living as a writer. She believed in me so much she gave me a writing journal, which I actually still have. Even though I wrote stories here and there since Mrs. Jorgenson told me that, I didn’t start taking my writing seriously until about three years ago. It’s odd that it took me so long, because I’ve always wanted to be a published author, and I actually believed enough in myself to do it, even though I hadn’t done it. I know now that the missing ingredient is what exists now with self-publishing, which allows me to have the kind of control over bringing my writing to readers that wasn’t available with traditional publishing.

Since that time, I’ve published six books, and I’ve got about 20 more in the works. The first book I published was ’30 Quotes, 30 Days, Volume 1,’ which is the first book in a journaling series. After that, I published a compilation of short stories by those who entered a Kindle giveaway contest I had, and then came my first novel, ‘The Pride.’ After my first novel, I published two long-shorts called ‘The Project’ and ‘Another Chance.’ My latest published work is another compilation of short stories by various writers called ‘Independent Author Index Short Story Compilation, Volume 1.’ The second volume of that series will be out shortly, and the third volume is more than half-way full.

Of my own books, I’m working a short story compilation called ‘Short Stuff,’ and I’m also in the process of publishing the first several chapters of many of the books I’m working on as sneak-peek, free previews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Smashwords. The first three sneak-peek, free previews will be of ‘Bragging Rights,’ ‘Short Stuff’ and ‘The Village,’ which is the sequel to ‘The Pride.’

{I’m using all the skills and talents that I’ve been developing over my lifetime to be my own boss on many levels; one of which is as an author and publisher.}

JC: In your opinion, are more authors publishing independently than before?

FD: Sites like Smashwords, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt and Apples’ iTunesConnect have made it possible for those who write to also publish themselves. The need to seek out one of the major publishing houses, only to face possible rejection, has become a thing of the past. While traditional publishing is not dead, self-publishing and publishing through small presses has become extremely popular and prevalent.

JC: What obstacles did you run into when you tried to be published through a publishing company?

FD: I actually never even considered going through a traditional publishing company or even a small press. When I was ready to publish my first book, ’30 Quotes 30 Days, Volume 1,’ I started my own publishing company, Sola Mente Publishing.

I also started an imprint of Sola Mente Publishing called SolaPress to help others bring their writings to readers. It’s a non-judgmental publishing company that is only focused on getting writers published. SolaPress doesn’t vet authors and turn some away while publishing others. My philosophy is let the readers be the judge of what’s good and what isn’t.

JC: What made you decide to publish independently?

FD: I knew I wanted to have total control over the entire process of bringing my books to the public. I also knew I didn’t need a middle man to help me make that happen. Publishing independently was the only choice for me.

In recent interviews, I tell people that I was born for such a time as this, and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way at all. What I mean is that at this point in my life, I’m using all the skills and talents that I’ve been developing over my lifetime to be my own boss on many levels; one of which is as an author and publisher.

Both my parents were high school teachers, and they insisted that my older sister, I and my younger brother do well in our English classes, and writing is

Click the cover to buy Faydra’s book for $2.99 on Amazon

something I’ve always been good at. Because I had to get excellent grades in English classes, my spelling/grammar/punctuation skills became well-developed. Therefore, I am able to write a decent story and then, for the most part, edit it myself. Just to make sure I don’t get too full of myself, I do have someone else look over my content to make sure I’m staying on topic and staying concise. I’ve also been doing web design/development since 1999, so I can create my own websites, and I have a respectable eye for graphic design, which allows me to create my own book covers. Since 2005, I’ve been a computer applications trainer, and I’ve also taught classes in social media marketing, search engine optimization, computer languages and even grammar. Ultimately, I teach what I do and I do what I teach. All that culminates in the ability to do well in the self-publishing arena.

JC: Why should others publish independently in today’s modern culture?

FD: I strongly encourage others to self-publish or publish through small presses because no one person or a small committee of people should have the far-reaching authority to deprive millions of potential readers of what you have to offer. Publish independently and let the readers decide whether you’re worthy.

In social media, there’s a lot of talk about finding your niche. I assert that it’s the same with publishing your writing. Of the millions of people on the planet, you may find your niche within about 500,000 of those millions of people. There’s nothing unimportant or insignificant about that.

Even if you only find a niche of 5,000 or 500 readers who enjoy your writing, your number one fan should always be yourself, anyway. I’m grateful that other people have expressed to me that they like what I’ve published, but I absolutely love everything I’ve published, and that’s the most important consideration for me.

When the first copy of each of my books was published, I was sated. Every sale or positive review after that has been gravy.

It’d be great to sell a million copies of every book you publish, but don’t allow someone else to keep you from publishing because they don’t believe you’re a million-book seller. Put it out there and allow the readers to decide. Cut out the middle man.

JC: What pros are there to being an indie author?

FD: The biggest pro for me is having total control over my work and the process of getting it out to readers. I like being in control of the things I can control. I also know I can’t control everything, but I’m not trying to control that which is beyond my grasp.

Click the cover to buy “The Project” for 99 cents on Amazon

JC: What cons are there?

FD: Personally, I haven’t found any cons to self-publishing. I can say that those who self-publish aren’t going to be successful in getting people to read their work if they don’t self-promote. You can’t just put it out there and then walk away. You have to draw your audience to you. You have to use the media we have today to get the word out about what you have to offer.

JC: What does it mean to you to be a part of the indie author movement?

FD: When I self-published my first book, I wasn’t thinking about being a part of a movement, so this is not a question I have an answer for. If others say that I’m a part of an indie author movement, then I hope they’re saying I’m doing the movement justice with my latest sites, the Independent Author Index (http://indaindex.com) and Indie Authors TV (http://indieauthors.tv). It’s where I showcase the work of other indie authors. I’m also in the process of standing up another site called the Independent Publishers Index.

JC: What advice would you give to those who are thinking about self-publishing?

FD: If you’re thinking about self-publishing, do it! Don’t try shopping your book around to get an advance from a traditional publisher, because that advance comes with strings attached. You don’t need the pressure of trying to please your publisher and your publisher’s boss or bosses. Do it yourself. Thousands of people have done it before you. If they can do it, so can you.

{Of the millions of people on the planet, you may find your niche within about 500,000 of those millions of people. There’s nothing unimportant or insignificant about that.}

JC: In your opinion, what could publishing companies do to adapt to today’s changes in publishing?

FD: The only way I can see traditional publishers adapting to today’s changes in publishing is that they totally dismantle their current business model. There is no adapting the old model, because there are too many facets of the old model in place to adapt to the current publishing trends. Traditional publishers will need to totally reinvent themselves to fit in the self-publishing world, because simply put the traditional publishers aren’t necessarily needed anymore.

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About julieschicklit

My book blog is dedicated to finding books, stories & ideas that redefine women's literature to be something smarter & funnier. More RAWResome lit for ladies. I am remaining some-what anonymous because I have a day job. My Man-Beast and I are soon going to live abroad in China, so that's why I'm a reblog-aholic.

3 comments

  1. Good interview with a grand lady.

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