YA Self-Publishing Series: Interview with C.E. Diamond

Welcome to the third installment of my YA Self-Publishing Series. Today, I’m interviewing C.E.Diamond, author of The Lost Legacy series. She’s here to tell us about the research involved when one decides to become a self-published indie author. Additionally, she loves witches (her Lost Legacy series is all about them), and she’ll give us a sneak peek into her indie-author marketing secret of Instagram.

Welcome to my blog, C.E.!

LET’S START WITH YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR WRITING PROCESS…

I: Please introduce yourself to my readers and tell us a little bit about you and your books.

C.E.: My name is C.E Dimond. I’m 26 years old and Irish-Canadian. I currently have two books published. The first in my series A Lost Legacy: Awakening and the prequel A Lost Legacy: Wandering. The Lost Legacies series is an Urban Fantasy about a young teenager name Finn who discovers she is descended from the ancient Irish Monarchy and the first Witch to be born of two magical bloodlines in centuries.  It is a tale weaved with, magic, history, folklore, and a great deal of imagination.

Ingrid Note: Get yourself a free copy of Awakening here: Free Copy of Awakening!

I: On your website you have a quote that says: “Don’t read to find adventure. Read to find yourself.” What does this quote mean to you? How does reading help one find themselves?

C.E.: This quote means a lot to me because, I feel that my love of books played a big role in shaping the person I am. When I escape into a book, I often find myself in a character, or a familiar situation and it helps shine perspective on my own life. Books are a beautiful escape and they pull you away from your own troubles for a little while which I believe helps you deal with them later on.

I: Your Lost Legacy series is about witches. What fascinates you about witches? What drove you to write a whole series about them?

C.E.: I have always had a fascination with magic. From a young age I found myself drawn to stories that features witches. I was interested in runes, spells, broomsticks. I even went as a witch for Halloween four years in a row! I found the concept mysterious and never had that ‘fear’ that often came with them. To me witches weren’t scary old women with warts, they were exceptional, magical beings. Like us but with a kick!  

I: In the Lost Legacy series your character is running away from a fate prophecy. What are your thoughts on fate? Can we out run it?

C.E.: I am a big believer in free will. I think the Universe is certainly a force to be reckoned with, but some things ARE in our control. I don’t think that anyone can truly outrun their fate. I do believe that everyone has a choice in how they deal with it.

I: Give us a glimpse into your writing process … Are you a plotter or a pantster? Do you write fast drafts or slow perfect drafts? Do you write every day or in wild inspired spurts?

C.E.: I am definitely a pantster. I write fast drafts in wild inspired spurts and never in order. Sometimes I will be on a bus, or in the park and it just hits me. I always carry a notebook around for this very reason. Sometimes I find a bench and just site for hours filling up the pages of a notebook. When I start a story I write the beginning, usually a first couple of chapters and skip strait to the ending. I need to know where my story is going before I can fill in the middle.

I: What was your favorite part about writing the Lost Legacy series?

C.E: I love the research. Immersing myself in my Irish heritage and getting to re-explore the history and folklore in a fresh way.

Okay, now let’s jump into the self-publishing aspect…

I: Where are you in your self-publishing journey?

C.E.: I have already launched my first book and a prequel novella for my series. I am currently working on completing the second book.

I: Why did you choose to self publish? What appeals to you about being an indie author?

C.E.: Well I had a great deal of support for my first novel from friends and family, so they encouraged me to do a kickstarter campaign in order to see if there was interest. The campaign was successful so I used those funds to complete and publish the first in my series. I think what is great about being an Indie author is the connections you get to build with your audience, and total control you have over your story.

I: What are your goals as an indie author?

C.E.: Ideally I would love to become traditionally published someday, but I haven’t even started exploring that process. I publishing Awakening the way I did due to backer support, so I intend to continue the series in the same manner. However, I do have a few other novels I have completed/am working on that I would love to pitch eventually.

I: What was the best surprise about self-publishing?

C.E.: When people genuinely and positively respond to your content and you have the personal interaction with them.

I: What has been the hardest challenge of self publishing?

C.E. The costs. Putting out the money for editing, formatting, designing, promotion AND hardcopy costs is a hard thing to do when you don’t already have the income. Particularly for a first book. Promotion is difficult as well, knowing where to promote and how to reach readers. It can be a trial and error process.

I: I’ve noticed the pace of self-publishing can be very fast. Are you an author who puts out a new book ever 2 to 4 months? If so, how do you keep up the pace?

C.E.: I do not! I admire those who do greatly. I over think my content perhaps. I know they pump out the content quickly to keep reader interest but I simply can’t seem to manage that I focus too much on the story. I did do that with my Prequel Wandering. I started writing in in February and had the release in June but that was a shorter story.

I: How do you balance all the demands of being an indie author? How do you balance book production, marketing, book launches, list building, and still find time to write?

C.E. It’s a struggle. I’m not at that point yet where I can hire PA’s who could manage marketing, list building etc while I write. I have to do it all myself and maybe that’s the reason I don’t write content quickly. I will admit it’s been hard to find time to write.

I: How do you combat the common stigma that self-published books are low quality?

C.E. I try not to think about it too much. Either people will like your content or they won’t. I try to have several people read and edit the content before I hire a professional editor but you still wind up with errors! I used to stress out about it, but then I pick up a book from a major publishing company and find errors littered through it and it puts me at ease. I recommend having several people, friends, family etc, read it at the same time because different people will pick up on different errors.

I: I often hear that indie authors have a very strong connection with their fans. How do you build a community with your readers?

C.E. I try to be open and honest. When someone messages me with questions about my book, I answer. However a fan reaches out, whether it is via Instagram, Facebook, E-mail, I take the time to reply.

I: Everyone I’ve been interviewing for this series comes from all over the globe (Dubai, UK, Australia). You are from Canada! Tell us about the self-publishing community in Canada.

C.E.: Well, to be quite honest, in my journey, I have not connected with many other Canadian Indie Authors! The majority of the people I interact will are typically from the US, UK etc. Where I live we do have a local book store that supports local talent and they even offer access to the Espresso Book Machine. They will format, print and carry your book on the shelves all for you! It’s fantastic. I wanted to make my content available internationally so I opted for another program.

I: There’s a ton of information online about self-publishing. What are your top three most useful resources?

C.E.: Largely Facebook indie author groups. You can avoid certain mistakes by learning from authors who had already been through it.

I: What is your number one book marketing secret?

C.E. Instagram!! A lot of people don’t think to use it but that is where I gained most of my mailing list subscribers, book reviews and bloggers.

I: What advice would you give to anyone considering self-publishing?

C.E.: RESEARCH. Going into it without the advice or support of those who have done it is a sure fire way to waste a lot of money. (Trust me) Also if you wanted to be considered as a professional your online presence has to reflect that. Spend the time to design a good website, logo, graphics and things like that.

Lightning Round:

  • If you could time travel, when/where would you go? Regency Era
  • If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you want to be when you “grow up”?: Film Director
  • If you were a super hero, what color would your hair be?:  A Combination of pink and purple.
  • Oddest thing you collect: Captain Americas
  • TV show addiction: Psych!
  • Favorite movie: The Wizard of OZ
  • Biggest fear: SPIDERS

C.E Dimond is an Irish-Canadian author. She has always had a passion for literature and from a young age indulged her mind in the fantasy fiction world. As a child her bedtime stories consisted greatly of Irish folklore and songs that inspired a true love of her heritage. She has a love of World Religions, psychology, languages and history and has put all of these inspirations to work in her writing. She is an alumna of St. Mary’s Academy and studied Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg. Currently she lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Get your hands on a copy of C.E. Dimond’s books here: Awakening and Wandering

Connect with C.E. on social media:

Read all the installments of the YA Self-Publishing Series:

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