JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Dee Lockett, founder of The National Association of Self-Published Authors
The National Association for Self-Published Authors is an organization focused on helping self-published authors, small publishing houses and vendors of the self-publishing industry to connect and provide resources and empowerment throughout each stage of the pre-publication, publishing and marketing processes.
Joey Pinkney: Where did I get the inspiration to start The National Association of Self-Published Authors?
Dee Lockett: Well, I have been a book publisher for twelve years this month and over the past few years, I have several independent publishers contact me asking some of the same questions that I had throughout my publishing journey. I wanted a formal organization that could answer those questions and provide resources for authors as well.
JP: What sets The National Association of Self-Published Authors apart from other organizations in the same market?
DL: NAOSPA really takes in consideration the publishing and marketing side of publishing a book. It is not difficult to publish a book nowadays because of the way technology has advanced and available to the public. Where the challenge comes in is understanding what it means to market and promote that book in a way that reaches the largest possible audience for the author and publisher.
Any self-published author knows how hard it is to stand out with all the noise of the newest book release. NAOSPA provides coaching for those who really want to develop a custom brand around their book and DIY resources to that can help authors develop the same when it comes to their titles themselves.
JP: What is your advice (keys to success) to an author getting their book out to the public?
DL: First, make sure you have your reader in mind while you are writing your book, not after. I have an author who writes erotic fiction, and it took her the longest time to realize that no matter how many people do, everyone doesn’t. Keeping in mind those people who do and not try to convert those who don’t will help any author in any genre to sell more books, because their energy is not spent on conversion but actualization.
Secondly, have a plan. If an author writes a book, he or she should not spend every dollar they have in the publishing of that book. They should have at least four steps they will take to market their book before the publishing process is complete.
Lastly, they must have a budget for marketing. Facebook and Twitter cannot be the only two points in their marketing plan. There is going to need to be some other aspects of marketing that can be implemented consistently. Relying solely on social media to sell a title is irresponsible, especially if you want to see revenue from the sale of your book. I always say, “A good book marketing plan includes both online and offline efforts for an author to be successful.”
JP: How long does it take to write a book from start to finish?
DL: My first book and most profitable book to date took me 24 hours to write. That is because I had the message of the book and a personal experience happening at the time, and I used writing to get my feelings out.
I have had authors that took seven years to write a 50 page book. It just depends on the individual. I tell my authors to write until they don’t have anything else to say, whether that be one page or one hundred pages. Once you don’t have anything else to say, “you have emptied yourself for that book.”
JP: What’s next for The National Association of Self-Published Authors?
DL: We have a workshop series called The Work Book Series which is designed around working the marketing for an author’s book. It is a four-part series, and we will start with social media and how to use it beyond just posting that an author has a book out or coming out.
The way we are approaching Facebook specifically is preparing authors for the new timeline that is current roll out. We are also doing a 30-minute news brief called The Book Digest for authors that focus on events and industry information. We will not have guests. This will be strictly updates and news for the publishing industry.
“We have just reduced our membership to the organization from $129 to $49. It is a great time to come and network and learn with those who are experiencing some of the same challenges and successes that come with being a self-published author and publishers.” ~ Dee Lockett, founder of The National Association of Self-Published Authors