Article published on September 14, 2016.
After working as a project manager in the advertising industry for ten years, I came to a point where I was tired of the profession. I had written a number of articles in my carrier but writing articles means limited number of words. I didn’t want a limit, I wanted to write as many words as I wanted.
I have always loved reading suspense so once I really thought about writing a book, there was never a question for me about what genre I would choose.
Since I still worked fulltime, I had to make time for writing at night. Every evening at 8pm I sat down in front of my computer and wrote. I started in May and in September the very same year I held the first draft in my hand and I sent it to the biggest publishing houses in Sweden.
I waited three full months before I decided to call each one, and ask if they had had the opportunity to read my novel; I was told that they had not yet had the time. When I hung up the phone after each call, I was a little bit depressed. I had learned how difficult it is to get a publisher and what would I do if every publisher said no to me? Would I give up? No, never.
I knew there had to be some way to get my book published so I searched the internet and learned all about self-publishing. After six months I decided not to wait for the publishers any longer. I rang again and told them I was withdrawing my submission and would be publishing my novel on my own.
The most challenging aspect of self-publishing is to get people to take you seriously. Many critics say that self-published books aren’t as high quality as books published traditionally. But the readers don’t care whether a book is self-published or not. They are only looking for a good, entertaining story The big challenge though is marketing. You have to earn your place in the stores, and it applies to all writers, self-published or not.
I hired professionals such as an editor, a proofreader and a graphic designer. If you aim to be a bestseller it is vital to call for help. Once the book was printed I went out on a signing tour in Sweden, visiting as many retailers as I could in six months. I tried to convince as many as I could to buy my book and I think that meeting my readers face to face is a great way to market my books.
Today, I am the most successful self-published author in Sweden. My books have sold more than 500,000 copies in 29 countries around the world. I do hope that readers in the UK will enjoy MARKED FOR LIFE and the series about Jana Berzelius.
Marked for Life by Emelie Schepp is out now (MIRA, £12.99)