I mentioned in my interview that I’m not very comfortable with self-publicising. It was about two years after publishing my first book that I decided to put a headshot on my author page. If I can give one piece of advice to a new writer, it’s to be conscious of your and your book’s image. Readers want to know who you are, what you look like and preferably what your pets look like too.
So here is a picture of Clicquot the cat, and me, reluctantly venturing into the limelight. He was also reluctant to dress up as a vampire bat, but mummy’s career demanded it.
Before you shout ‘animal cruelty!’ I’ll tell you that the wings and tie only stayed on a few seconds; just long enough for the photo.
It’s my little revenge for him getting us up at 4am most mornings.
The biggest mistake I made early on is trying to do everything myself. (Except editing, I knew I needed help there!) This is no problem if you’re good at everything book related. If you decide to go the self-publishing route there are so many jobs you then need to do. Graphic designer, web-page designer, blogger, editor, marketing and advertising expert are just a couple of skills you’ll have to learn.
I soon realised I was out of my depth. The best decision I’ve made, probably, is joining an independent writers’ group. This group was very open with sharing their experiences and when I saw some of the covers my colleagues were using I knew I had to change mine. My group recommended several avenues and after a few emails I went with Paradox Book Covers. If you shop and ask around you’ll find that professional is not always expensive. People really do judge a book by its cover, so make sure yours stands out.
I’m next hoping to tackle my website, because you’re not just a writer, you are a brand. If your reader loves your books they want to know more about you, so make sure you present you, the writer, in the best light.
Amazon author page: Author.to/authorpage
Angela Lockwood-van der Klauw was born in the Netherlands. She learned her trade as a jeweller and gemmologist at the Vakschool Schoonhoven before moving to Edinburgh as an apprentice jeweller. There she met and later married her husband Adam. Angela ran her own jeweller’s shop in Edinburgh for ten years before she and her husband moved to the south of France in 2011. Like her vampire character Cameron, Angela prefers the climate there, but often thinks about the town she left behind and its people. Cameron’s story was born in the spring of 2013, a very wet spring during which Angela found herself climbing the walls, frustrated that she couldn’t go out and have her usual long walks along the seafront. Seeing his wife’s frustration, Adam suggested ‘Why don’t you write a book?’ Angela thought about it for a few days, then switched on her laptop and started writing Language in the Blood. Blood Ties is the second book in the series and Angela has also published a collection of short stories Something Short with her friend, Elspeth Morrison.