From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writing World: Jessica Swap!

Hello blogger friends! I'm really excited to introduce to you, Jessica Sorensen. Today we'll be doing a "Jessica Swap." She'll be taking over my blog, and I'll be taking over hers. Fun idea, right? One Jessica for the other. Jessica has been really successful in self-publishing her books, so I thought you'd all be interested in what she had to say. Here is a little more about her and her books:

Jessica Sorensen lives with her husband and three kids in the snowy mountains of Wyoming, where she spends most of her time reading, writing, and hanging out with her family.
She is the author of the Fallen Star Series and the Darkness Falls Series.
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she’s around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life.

But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma’s life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn’t be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.                        
When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across. Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow: Rule #1—Never go out after dark. Rule #2—Always carry a weapon. Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bit. But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply?                      
The Highers run The Colony and accept nothing less than perfection. One slip up can mean death. Kayla has always worked hard to follow the rules and strive for perfection. But during a moment of weakness, she lets her imperfections show. Her punishment is worse than death. She is chosen for The Gathering and is thrown out into a world full of starving vampires.
No one has ever survived The Gathering, at least that’s what Kayla’s been told. But when she runs into a group who insist they were once part of The Gathering, Kayla discovers the Highers have been keeping secrets. Secrets that could lead to a cure.

Hi everyone! I’m Jessica Sorensen, author of the Fallen Star Series and Darkness Falls. I want to give a quick thanks to Jessica Therrien for having me as a guest!

I was asked to talk about self-publishing, so I’ll start with why I chose the Indie route.

After I finished writing The Fallen Star, I sent out query letters to agents, but it never went anywhere. One day when I was browsing through kindle books on Amazon, I stumbled across a few YA authors who had published books themselves. That’s when I began researching self-publishing. I discovered there were some amazing Indie Authors out there, who are really successful. But I didn’t jump right into it. In fact, my “researching” went on for months, but this was more because I couldn’t make up my mind. Eventually, I had to make a decision. I could either keep sending query letters or publish my novel on my own. In the end, I really wanted to get my story out there. So I went the Indie route. I’ve never regretted my decision. I love being an Indie Author!

I was also asked to talk about how I managed to be so successful.  When I chose to self-publish, I didn’t expect much. I knew it was going to be difficult to get my name out there, since I was doing it on my own. So I went in hoping, but not assuming. But I promised myself I would try my hardest.
It didn’t come right away. The first few weeks I sold a handful of books, but most were bought by family members. That’s when I began emailing review requests to book bloggers. I ended up with 20 to 30 book bloggers who were interested in reviewing The Fallen Star. So I sent copies out and my book slowly started popping up on blogs. This boosted my sales a bit. I owe a BIG THANKS to book bloggers (especially to Natasha and Delephina! You guys rock!). They really help me out by reviewing my books, reposting my teasers and release dates, and holding giveaways.
Here are a few more things that helped my sales:
1. When I first released The Fallen Star, I had it at $2.99. About a month before The Underworld (Fallen Star Series, Book 2) released, I dropped The Fallen Star to 99 cents. This increased my sales.

2. I added my books to Goodreads and listed giveaways.  This helped a tiny bit.

3. I try to release a book every 3-4 months. Yes, it nearly kills me to do it, but I love to write, so the sleepless nights are completely worth it.

4. I’m also involved with my fans. I hold giveaways, post teasers, and keep them updated on release dates and upcoming projects. Fans are truly amazing and they helped spread the word.

So there’s my story (well, the short version of it). I hope it helps. I also want to mention that Jessica is featured on my blog today. She talks about some fun writing tips, so you guys should check it out.

Here's a little extra juicy detail: Regina Wamba from Mae I Design does all Jessica Sorensen's covers. Jessica says she's really talented and great to work with.

So how did you like our Jessica Swap? Was that fun, or what?


  1. Great i just got a copy of darkness falls and oppression today so i will be doing some great reading tonight!

    1. Awesome! Thanks Joshua :) I hope you like our books!

  2. This is sooooo cool. I have read every single one of Jessica Sorensen's books and by reading the description of Oppression, I think I might get it and read it.

  3. It's always nice to see what works for people. :)

    1. I know, right? Thanks for stopping by, Carrie :)

  4. Thanks for sharing the short version of your story :-) And who your cover designer is. I'm always interested to know info like that. I think what I like the most about having chosen the indie route is the amount of control I have. I get to continue being a control freak! (Possibly not a good thing...)

  5. Totally fun! I like this idea, but I don't think I could find anyone with my same name...

    Great story -- I like that she researched and found all the options that were best for her.

    1. Hi Elana! Thanks for stopping by to read about Jessica's experience :)

  6. Great Jessica swap. :) It's very interesting to learn why and how people publish their books.

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