Deck of Lies author Jade Varden talks about 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 started writing — though the term can only be applied loosely — when I was 11, but I knew at age 9 that I wanted to write. I hope my writing is a little bit better now than it was back them.
Tell me a little about your books.
I got the idea for Justice from a TV show, actually. There’s a show about two girls who were switched as babies and put into the wrong family. This isn’t what happened on the show, but it got me to wondering what it would be like to be taken out of one family and put into another. In Justice, this is just what happens to Rain, my main character — and her new family isn’t at all like the one she left.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
All of them! Every time I read another new book I feel inspired. Each writer has their own unique voice and vision, and it never ceases to amaze me how different they all are.
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
No I’d go crazy trying to do that, because some days I’m just much slower than others. I do write every day, but never for any specific length or amount of time. When the words stop coming easily, I usually stop for the day.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
No, not with this book. I have been down that road before, so I started out with Justice knowing I would self-publish it.
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?
I’d like to make readers have some sort of reaction. That’s success to me, a strong reaction. If I make them laugh or cry, gasp out loud or even scream out loud, then the book is a huge success.
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?
Yes, you can find me on both Twitter and Facebook. I also offer updates and info about my book projects on my blog, where I write tips for other indie authors. But no, I can’t afford to pay for any advertising.
Have you signed up for KDP Select? If you have, how has it gone for you? Do you think free promotions are helping with your paid sales? If you haven’t signed up, why not? Are you worried about the exclusivity clause?
I can’t sign up for KDP select because my books are available elsewhere, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about the program. I may release one of my future books into that program because so many authors rave about it. I have used the free coupon feature through Smashwords, and I have had some sales from this.
Away from Amazon, have you had much luck with other outlets? Do you use Smashwords, Barnes & Noble etc?
Yes to both, but if you define success by selling books then I’ve had very little success. However, I don’t measure it that way. I had a user on Smashwords add me as one of their favorite authors, and I almost threw a party to celebrate. That’s better than book sales. Now, tell B&N to add a similar feature to their site and I can be a success there too, maybe.
Do you worry about Amazon gaining a monopoly in the ebook market?
No, and frankly I don’t think that’s possible. Amazon may always be the giant in the ebook market, but I’m confident it will always have a certain amount of competition out there.
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
I do! My next book, Death (Deck of Lies #3) will come out this summer, so I’m furiously working on that at the moment. The last and final installment in the series, Judgment (Deck of Lies #4) will be out in the winter if all goes as planned.