Doppelganger Experiment author Margaret Millmore talks about her inspiration, her approach to writing and her plans for the future.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
I’ve always made up stories in my head, but I never had the time to write them down. A few years ago the opportunity came up for me to write full time and I jumped at it. I’ve been going full steam since then.
Tell me a little about your book Doppelganger Experiment.
After more than four weeks in a coma, Jane woke up to find several things wrong; she didn’t remember the last three years, she was married to a man she didn’t know, and frightening dreams were infiltrating her sleep. But were they dreams or memories? As she struggles to recapture a life she doesn’t remember she discovers clues that lead to flashes of memories and the discovery of horrific experiments that end in murder… and something worse than murder. A psychological thriller based in San Francisco.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
Every book I read inspires me in some way, whether it be the story, the style or the author’s success. But I would have to say that Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Dean Koontz have been very inspirational to me over the years (especially Mr. Bradbury).
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
Unfortunately my schedule has been sporadic recently. Initially I set a goal of 6 hours per day to write and that worked out great in the beginning, but when Doppelganger Experiment was published I was thrown into the world of promotion and that takes a great deal of time, more than I ever expected. Now, I do my best to set aside at least 4 hours a day, it works most days, sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Life is full of surprises and unexpected events; I just roll with it and do my best to dedicate as much time to writing as I can.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
I spent close to a year sending out queries to agents, then publishers, it’s a daunting and downright depressing task. Finally I was picked up by a small press publisher (World Castle Publishing) and it’s been a great ride. Small press is a great deal like self-publishing in that you must do a lot of the leg work yourself, but the experience has been invaluable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
Naturally I’d like to sell as many books as possible, but I haven’t really set any particular goals. At this point I’m focusing on my next book and of course doing what I can to promote DE.
How have you marketed your book(s)? Have you used social media (Twitter, Facebook etc)? Have you paid for any advertising (Facebook Ads, Google Ads etc)? And how did it go?
I do use social media (Twitter, FB, Gather, Goodreads, Google, etc.) I think these are great tools to get the word out, post reviews, promos, etc. I set a very tight budget for myself that included any fees associated with the publishing of my book (i.e. Website costs, copyright fees, books/postage for reviews, and advertising). I think it’s important to limit your expenses and use the free social sites that are available. And of course word of mouth is a great tool, be shameless and ask your friends and family to spread the word. I did join Bookbuzzr, which is a promo site that costs $4.99 per month and I paid for a radio interview on the Author Show to air for 6 months, other than that, I’ve just been using free sites to promote.
How have found KDP Select so far?
My publisher suggested KDP as a tool for promoting the book, we’ve done two free promo weekends and I think it helped.
Away from Amazon, have you had much luck with other outlets? Do you use Smashwords, Barnes & Noble etc?
Initially the book was available on Smashwords and B&N, but now that it’s on KDP, it’s exclusively sold there (in eBook). Honestly I can’t say if those initial offerings on other sites were successful, but my publisher feels that KDP has been good for sales.
Do you worry about Amazon gaining a monopoly in the ebook market?
Not really, they’re huge and I don’t hold that against them, they have an excellent reputation and obviously they know what they’re doing. But I think as the eBook market grows, other companies will give them a run for their money.
What’s next? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
I’ve completed the first draft of my new book; it’s another thriller with some sci-fi overtones. Because it’s in the early stages of editing, I don’t want to say too much. I am hoping to see it released this year though.
Margaret Millmore’s Doppelganger Experiment is available from Amazon, and in paperback from Barnes & Noble. You can visit her website, find her on Goodreads, follow her on Twitter, and find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.