Interview with
Orna Ross

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1.  What motivated you to self-publish your book/s instead of seek (or continue to seek) a traditional publisher?

I have to start by saying that you should not assume that every self publisher has not already been through the trade system. I am one of those. I was published by Penguin Random House but took my rights back and chose to publish my books myself.

I did this for reasons of creative freedom and control and I very much enjoy the process of working with editors and designers to make my books myself and publish them my way.

2.  Had you done any research on self-publishing before doing so, or did you simply choose to do it for fun?

When I started, self publishing was very new and those of us working then were pioneers. We had to learn by doing. From the start, I was very serious about the commercial and creative potential of self publishing.

3.  What genre is/are your self-published book/s in?

I write inspirational poetry, time slipped fiction and non-fiction guides for independent authors and other creative entrepreneurs.

4.  How many copies of your book were sold and/or downloaded?  How long did it take before your book gained momentum?

I publish on a wide variety of platforms and have sold hundreds of thousands of books over my long career.

5. Did you use any specific advertising avenues?  If so, what worked well?  What didn’t work?

I sell mostly through organic marketing, letting people know about my books. I am currently exploring Facebook and Amazon advertising – without much success so far.

6.  How many books have you published?  Which ones were self-published?  Which ones were traditionally published?

Five traditionally published.

15 self published and counting.

7.  Did you have someone professionally edit your manuscript, or did you do your own editing, or not edit?  Did you have someone professionally create your book cover, or did you create your own cover?

I always work with professionals and at the Alliance of Independent Authoress we encourage all our writers to do that. Every good book is a team effort.

8.  After successfully self-publishing, did you find people in the traditional publishing arena who were interested in your book?  If so, how?  Were agents or editors interested in re-publishing your original self-published book or only future books by you?

I have had expressions of interest from agents and publishers, yes, both in past and future publications. But nothing that has tempted me away.

9.  If you are legally allowed to say, was your book optioned for film or television?

Not yet, she says optimistically! But I have just adapted one of my own novels, Dancing in the Wind, for screen.

10.  Do you feel as though your experience was one-of-a-kind or something capable of being accomplished by any writer serious about self-publishing?

Any writer who is serious about self publishing and willing to do the work is limited only by their creativity and their ability to read readers.

11.  Do you regret originally self-publishing your first book?

I didn’t – but if I had, I wouldn’t.

12.  Do you have any advice on self-publishing for other writers?

Always, always use an editor.  Discover your micro niche and stay there until you are an expert.

13.  What is the biggest mistake you see other authors make?

Publishing too soon – it’s a mistake I made myself.

14.  What was your biggest mistake?

See question 13.

15.  Is there anything you wish everyone knew?

Writing and publishing are not short-term endeavours. They are lifetime dedications.

16.  Is there something I should have asked but didn’t?

I think you have been very comprehensive.