Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! My guest today will knock your socks off. She's the one and only Inger Iversen! I'm super thrilled to have this lovely utopYAn for a visit. You can meet Inger at the con, but you have to get your tickets. It's not too late! UtopYA has been expanded to a four day con this year, with a full Saturday signing. Dates are June 17-21, 2015. Get your tickets here. You don't wanna be the only one left out of the party, do you? Anyway, grab a cup of coffee and let's get going!
Jo: Welcome to the blog, Inger! I’m so excited to have you here and have so much to ask you! Here’s hoping we don’t get too lengthy! You ready?
Inger: I am super ready!
Jo: Awesome. Let’s get this party started! So, I know you must have music on while you’re writing (kudos to you for being able to do that, first of all), and I have to know: What does it do for your creativity? How do you think it’s shaped your books?
Inger: When I first started writing I noticed there would be times when my creativity would lag or I just wasn’t in the mood to write a scene that really needed to be written. When I was writing Few Are Angels there was a scene between Kale and Ella that needed them to connect on a more emotional level, but I was just NOT in the mood to write a romantic scene (totally PG-13). So, I put up the laptop and threw on some headphones. I listened to Lili Hayden’s Come Here. It is super romantic and BOOM the emotions and creativity I needed was there in spades! And from then on out I used music as a muse.
Jo: Great track! I can see music as a mood setter/muse. That's a great story, and hopefully it'll help someone if they're stuck. Thanks for sharing! I know you do a lot with audiobooks. Would you mind sharing a little? What avenue did you use, what are some of the struggles you’ve faced with narrators, and do you market the audiobooks differently than the e-books or paperbacks?
Inger: This is a great question and it seems a lot of authors are now curious about it! I used ACX or Audiobook Creation Exchange. ACX is an Amazon platform used to create Audiobooks for iTunes, Amazon and Audible. The first step is making sure you have the audio rights and then you add your information to the site. On ACX you are trying to snag a producer to narrative your novel into audio. That being said, there are a few struggles I faced while working to get my novel turned into an audiobook. Here were my main two issues.
1. Cost. You can pay two ways: PFH (you pay a set amount per finished hour) or royalty share (split your earnings). All of the narrators that I fell in love with had high PFH. One told me her starting rate was $375 and my book was 8 hours long. That would have cost me $3,000!! So, it took me a while to find a narrator that I was happy with that would agree to share royalties with me.
2. Time. It takes about 60 to 90 days with some narrators and it seemed all the narrators I hired needed between 60 and 70, that wasn’t too bad. However, if took the narrators of Few Are Angels nearly seven months due to issues with her equipment.
Jo: Wow. That's amazing information. $375 PFH? Holy... *recovers* Talk about an investment, huh? So, you do a TON of author events each year. Where will you be over the next twelve months? How have those events helped you in your career? Is there one you love more than the others? Why?
Inger: I do seem to attend a lot of events! I really enjoy them. I honestly think that attending events helped my career. They are helpful even if you don’t sell out of books. As an author it is important to interact with your fans as well as other authors. Doing so helps you feel good about the indie community and helps keep you motivated to read and write more. And YES UtopYa is and will always be my favorite event. UtopYa is the first event I ever attended and I learned so much. I met authors who have become my best friends online and offline. The event changed my career for the better after I attended a few of the classes, too. Meeting Cameo Renae, Christy Foster, and Dan and Rachel from Timid Monster was amazing. All because of this event I had a trailer created and made lifelong friendships.
Jo: I agree 100%. I so wish I'd seen you last year, but there were so many people there, it was hard to meet everyone you wanted to. I'm hunting you down this year. *grin* You’re a voracious reader in addition to being a writer. Do you write in the same genres you read in? Which author do you feel has impacted your career in the biggest way? Why?
Inger: I don’t get to read nearly as much as I used to and that’s a shame. Oddly enough, I write New Adult Romances, but I don’t read New Adult stuff that often. I read a lot of contemporary romance and I hold true to my paranormal romance. I will never in this lifetime or the next tired of reading about vampires!
Jo: I know the feeling. Paranormal, eh? Great genre! Time for rapid fire questions! Cats or dogs?
Jo: Pink or Blue?
Jo: JFK or Reagan?
Jo: Now I’m gonna ask the time travel question! Because utopYA 2015’s theme is time travel, I’ve been asking folks random questions focused on that. Here we go: If you could go backward in time and talk to your younger self (without them knowing who you are), what would you say, and what impact do you think it would have on the way your life is now?
Inger: Wow, great question. I would tell myself to stop second-guessing my choices and never live with regrets of things you cannot change. I’ve spent a good portion on my life regretting time not spent with family I’ve lost or second-guessing every choice I make.
Jo: Thanks for the compliment! Wonderful advice for many. I heard you were looking for an author assistant/publicist not too long ago. Did you ever find one? What all do you need them to do? Basically, I’m trying to show folks what all an Indie author has to do besides write and why we need assistants haha!
Inger: No, I never found one. I don’t know if people understand the amount of work that goes into writing, publishing, and then promoting a book all while working fulltime or raising kids. I think a good assistant would be an active leader on the author’s street team, willing to post in groups, help host release parties. It doesn’t seem like much, but authors could produce more books if they weren’t constantly online gathering new readers. I know we have to be online promoting ourselves, but it is a lot of work to juggle. A little help never hurt anyone!
Jo: I don't think readers know, and I wonder if they'll ever care. Most don't seem to realize we aren't J. K. Rowling and don't make billions off our books to support our writing full time. haha! I noticed a little disclaimer on your Goodreads page concerning librarians and changes to your novels. I gotta know what prompted that and if the note has done any good.
Inger: Ugh! I don’t understand Goodreads. I can’t become a librarian because I am an author, but I constantly have to change incorrect information on there about my books. Luckily, I have Stephanie who is a librarian who updates and adds my books to the site. I haven’t checked Goodreads lately, but last time I checked my release date was right and the synopsis wasn’t wrong. I’ve had that happen twice now.
Jo: Oh my. Well, I'm hoping they worked out the kinks in the system. Librarians rock! *grin* What are you working on right now, and when can we expect to see it hit the market?
Inger: Right now I am writing the last book in the Few Are Angels series and that is due out June 17th. After I finish that I start working on a short for Hot Ink Press. The story for HIP is a short that follows Teal and Trent’s from my newest release, Inevitable. I am also working with Dan from Timid Monster and Regina Wamba from Mae I Design on a little project for Incarcerated! I can’t wait to see what we all come up with.
Jo: EEP! So it's a utopYA release, eh? That's so exciting! I can't wait to see what you all come up with either. How cool! Is there anything I didn’t ask that you wish I had?
Inger: Hmm… I think I want to send a shout out to my awesome readers. Thanks for being so supportive. You guys rock. :D
Jo: Fans are lifeblood! Great exit, Inger! That’s all the space we have for today. Thanks for visiting with me! You rock! I can’t wait to meet you at utopYA in June!
Now, it’s time to tell you all about the featured book of the week!
Author: Inger Iversen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length (print): 342 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle 2.99
Synopsis: One of the few white kids in a rural Kentucky town, Logan Whyte always kept to his own kind out of self-preservation. He never considered himself racist, but that didn’t stop him from falling in with the wrong crowd—who celebrated hate as much as he fought it—or from ending up in prison for eight years on an armed robbery charge.
A successful, educated black woman, Katie Andreassen was tired of being accused of betraying her own race. Her lonely isolation, coupled with her grief over losing her mother, inspire her to create a new pen pal program at Capshaw State Penitentiary, where her father is a warden.
The program brings the unlikely pair together, but Logan and Katie soon find themselves forced to overcome past fears and prejudices. Their friendship doesn’t come easily … threatened by a crooked lawyer with a grudge and a best friend who betrays her promise to help.
When faced with a world that forces them apart, Logan and Katie must show everyone else what they have discovered: that love is, in fact, colorblind.
While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give Ms. Iversen a follow on every social media platform I could think of when writing up the template for these interviews (plus some)?
Google +: Inger Iversen
Facebook: Inger Iversen
Goodreads: Inger Iversen
Amazon Author Page: Inger Iversen
If you have any questions, pop them into the comments below. My lovely guest will be around to answer and/or respond!
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!