This week I am honored to host indie author Lizzy Ford who is seeing tremendous success with her work.  Reading the comments on her blog gives me goose bumps…it’s that kind of readership success I would love to have one day.  She is funny, smart, and an inspiration to me as proof that it’s possible to make it in this business.  Everybody say “hi”!

So, I know about your “free” project, but give me a quick and dirty version of it.

I have a two part marketing strategy: the first part entails me giving away all my books for free for 12 months.  The second part entails keeping the initial books free then charging for all future books.  My goal was to e-publish 12 books this year, but it looks like I’ll make 10!  I’m also looking at adding a Lizzy loyalty service for my mailing list where I’ll offer my books to them for steep discounts or even free during stage two.

What kind of numbers have you seen with the freebies?

From what we can verify and/or estimate, between 10,000-17,000 free books a month are downloaded.  It depends on the site and the popularity of the book.  Katie’s Hellion is free on Amazon UK and has had about 7,000 downloads in July so far.  My books are free in all other major ereader libraries.  I also post my books on other websites dedicated to free ebooks, some of which don’t have any way to track downloads, and readers post them random places, too.

How has this translated at Amazon where your books aren’t free?

Very well, so far!  From January – April, I had about 30-40 Amazon purchases a month.  In May, that leapt to 468 books sold.  In June, 805 books sold.  So far in July, I’m over 900 and on track to sell about 1400-1500 by the end of the month.  I also have 5 of my books free on Amazon (2 in the UK and 3 in the US.)

Tell me a bit about what promotions you do for your books.

Mainly, I use word of mouth and easy access to my work.  I use Twitter, Facebook, and my blog for announcements and connecting with my fans; Goodreads giveaways; send out emails to my mailing list; post my  book to multiple websites (where the readers are!); respond personally to comments/fan mail; host a Goodreads group; participate in the Neverending Blog Tour, things like that.  My husband does SEO work for me, like feeding my site map to Google every day so we’re indexed regularly and therefore easier to find.  I don’t pay for advertising or marketing.

Like me, you stated in comments at your site that you don’t have a long attention span.  I’ve got ten active projects at the moment.  What about you?  Tell me about a few of them.

I have about 60-65 projects.  About 50 are started in some form, even if it’s a page to remind me what I want to write down the road.  The rest are one-liner reminders or floating around in my very cluttered mental storage bin.  Haha!  I have a few more books I plan on writing and releasing this year, to include:

  • Late July/early August: Kiera’s Moon, contemporary sci-fi/fantasy
  • August: Katie’s Hope (Book Two, Rhyn Trilogy)
  • September: Rebel Heart, futuristic romance
  • October: A Demon’s Desire; contemporary paranormal
  • December: Damian’s Immortal (ebook version)

I may be able to eke out another one in November, but I wanted some time to spend on Damian’s Immortal, which is the third book in the really popular Damian series.  I’m also having my first two novels, Damian’s Oracle and Damian’s Assassin, revised with new covers made for re-release this fall, September and November, respectively, prior to the release of Damian’s Immortal.

After bouncing around your site, I really just want to know who Lizzy Ford is.  Who are you?

I have no idea how to answer that question!  I guess I can break it down like this:

As a professional writer: The Lizzy Ford team consists of: myself, my hubby, my cover artist, and my editor.  I’ve added a Spanish translator, Toni, to the team.  We’re experimenting this fall with tapping into the Spanish book market with my most popular book.  My team is made up of people who work either for free or near-free compared to what they could command on the open market.

Every book I’ve released since April has been a team effort.

  • Me: I write
  • Editor: Christine grumbles about my overuse of the word ‘then’ while managing my monthly spaz attacks and repairing my abuse of the English language
  • Cover artist: Dafeenah rightfully ignores my awful ideas for covers and creates beautiful cover art using fairy dust and raw talent
  • Hubby: Matt does magic SEO and IT work to make sure anyone out there interested in my books or me can find me.

As for me personally: I’m just a writer who knows failure isn’t an option.

(Heather sez: Joe Konrath sez a successful author is one who never gives up! Failure is NOT an option, I agree, Lizzy.)

You have some killer fan “mail” at your site.  How did it feel when the love started flowing in?

I thought they’d made a mistake and meant to leave comments on some other author’s site.  I’ve always been that little girl with mis-matched socks sitting in the back of the classroom playing with imaginary unicorns while everyone else learned the alphabet.  It was neat to have people join me in my world – and appreciate it as much as I do.

(Heather sez: Best answer EVER.)

Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite contemporary author: Lynn Kurland
My favorite all-time author: Jane Austen

Heather sez: I am addicted to Lynn Kurland’s time travel/ghost story romances!)

What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated?

I remind myself that the alternative to succeeding as a writer is retiring from my full-time job in 20 years.

I think what we all are striving for is to give up that ridiculous day job and enjoy success doing what we love.  Lizzy, I wish you all the best!

Find Lizzy Online:

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Guerilla Wordfare (her website/blog)

Check out her guest posts at David Gaughran’s site and Jack Wallen’s site (both great posts about Lizzy’s endeavors).

Find Lizzy’s books listed here at her site.