The Paranormal Playground Author Interview – April Kelley

aprilHere is my author interview with April Kelley for the The Paranormal Playground Event. Make sure to check out her book Leave It All which is a must read. Grab your copy today!

What made you decide to write in the paranormal genre and is it also your preferred genre to read as well?
I decided to write in the paranormal genre because it’s what I most like to read. I’ve been a reader most of my life and the paranormal genre for the last fifteen, so it seemed like a natural fit.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
Probably my dad. He’s never been afraid to put himself out there and try new things. He’s definitely the reason why I decided to finally submit my stories in the first place.

When it comes to writing and reading do you prefer standalone books or series and why?
I prefer series to standalone in both writing and reading. I love revisiting the same characters and setting over and over again. It makes each book in the series feel like I’m reading or writing about friends.

Are you self-published or with a traditional publisher and what do you think the pros and cons of each are?
I am both self-published and traditionally published. I was traditional published first though. Being with a publisher for my first releases definitely gave me validation, which is always really nice for a new author to have. Not only that, but I knew nothing about what it takes to get a book published. Traditionally publishing first gave me a chance to learn how to market a book, not that it’s not an endless learning cycle, but I did learn the basics because I didn’t really have to focus on finding a cover artist, an editor, and a proofreader. Traditional publishing is also a lot less money initially as the publisher dishes out the initial cost. Of course, you do pay for it by giving them a certain percentage of your royalties later on, but it’s not hundreds of dollars right from the start.

With Self-publishing you do have all the expense up front and marketing becomes even more important because you don’t have a publishers established readership. At least if you go with a publisher that has been around a while, you’ll sell your first release because that publisher already has a readership that comes back to them every time the upload new books. If the first release is good, than you’ll keep them and probably gain a few more. That’s not to say you won’t have to market because you definitely will. With self-publishing you have to market harder and make sure you’re spreading the word as well as possible. It’s all up to you when you self-publish, which isn’t a bad thing. Calling the shots gives you more control, so if an author wants those print or audio books the first month the books been out than go for it. I’d say those that self-publish do it because they like making all the decisions for themselves.

There are several benefits to both though.

What is your favorite selling platform for your books and why?
I sell more books on Amazon than anywhere else, honestly, and I should say them, but I rather like All Romance eBooks. I like them because they do one thing and that’s sell romance books. They don’t do anything else so when I go there as a reader I know exactly what I’m going to find. When I go there as a writer I know my books will fit in and be easier to find.

If you could co-write a book with any other paranormal author who would you choose and why?
I’d pick one of my favorite authors to read and go with Charlie Richards.

What can new readers expect to find when reading your books?
First of all, I write M/M Romance-Contemporary and Paranormal. While I have a couple standalones out there, I mostly write series. None of my books are angsty at all. I’m more on the fluffy side of romance. So if you’re looking for a fun romance to escape into for a few hours, my books will give you that.

How do you think social media impacts authors and what would you like to see changed?
I’d say the biggest Impact social media has for authors to the personal connections I can make with my readers. Without it, this would not be possible. I’ve become friends with some of my readers. I think often times the readers that stick with an author and gobble up every book they put out gets to know the author through the works itself, but the author doesn’t have that same experience. Social media evens that a bit for us, so personal connections can be made all the way around.

Social media also has given a select few people a platform to bully. Even authors aren’t exempt from this. So if I had to change one thing it would be that I suppose.

When you aren’t writing what are some of your favorite things to do with your time?
I love to hike. I live down the road from a nature preserve and love to go for walks there. I also live five minutes from Lake Michigan, so going to beach is definitely an all year around thing for me. Yes, even in the wintertime. I have a million pictures of the lighthouse and pier.

What advice would you give to new authors that are just starting out?
Probably the single best thing I ever did was connect with other authors and ask questions before I ever even sent my book in for submission. I was able to make some good decisions because of the advice other authors gave me.

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