listen to feedback but stay true to your voice - meet Jennifer R. Jensen, Fiction author
“Six books. Three perspectives. One woman at the center of it all.”
Why did you decide to self-publish? Did you have any doubts?
I decided to self-publish, mainly due to the thought of losing any creative control. My book series is such a huge part of me that the thought of anyone telling me I had to do anything with it was just not feasible. I wrote my series as a form of therapy I never knew I needed, and the characters are a part of me. I had an amazing editor and beta readers who made incredible suggestions, but nothing that tore my book babies apart.
I don’t know if that would have happened if I had gone the traditional publishing route, but I wasn’t willing to take the chance.
What did you like best?
I loved having control over everything. My covers, advertising, and content. It was all born out of my own vision of what I had imagined for my series.
What was the hardest part?
The hardest part was learning marketing. There is so much to learn, with so many different resources. It can get a bit overwhelming.
Would you do it again?
That’s a tricky question. But honestly, I think I would. While I have learned so much about traditional and independent publishing since then, I still think I was (and may still be) far too sensitive about my series to have anyone tell me if they think things need to be changed in it.
What advice do you have for authors just starting?
Where do I begin! I guess with the most important thing (in my opinion),
Write for yourself. Don’t write for others, or what you think others will love.
Write because you have a calling to tell a story that you just can’t get out of your head.
Second, learn marketing before your book is done. There are so many things to do before you release your book, so start early! And if you think, well I’ll just traditionally publish to avoid having to do the marketing…understand that you will need to understand and doing marketing on that side of the business too.
Lastly, listen to feed back, but stay true to your voice. Feedback can hurt, and sometimes it’s necessary to improve the story. But other times, it’s just a preference. You will never make everyone happy.
Bonus advice: If you get a bad review or someone says something about your books you don’t like, look up your favorite authors’ reviews. You will see they have one- and two-star reviews as well. Again, you will never please everyone.
Jennifer R. Jensen is a fiction author who dove back into the world of writing in 2019. She had spent a decade away from her passion becoming a wife, mom, and advancing her career. With six independently published books and two novellas under her belt, she is beginning to expand her love and knowledge for writing into the world of screenwriting, along with finding an agent for her newest thriller novel. You can find her books here.
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