3 S.R. Johannes: Guest Post: Elle Strauss (Clockwise)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Guest Post: Elle Strauss (Clockwise)

Okay so the very best part of jumping into indie publishing is all the wonderfully sweet people that have reached out to me and who I have a feeling will be the beginning of a long friendship.

Elle Strauss is one of those. She has dropped by today to give us some advice about indie publishing.

Tell us about you and your book journey
My book is called CLOCKWISE, a YA rom/com about a teen time traveler who accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

I began this book four summers ago, on and off and once I'd had it read by beta readers and did about a thousand revisions I began querying. It took a few months to land an agent and Clockwise went out on submissions. I was so excited. It was finally happening! I had an agent and surely a book deal was right around the corner.


Who can explain these things, but sometimes worthy books don't find a home. It could be a case of missing the "trends" or a recession, or game changing technology. (Or, as in my case, all of the above.) Once I caught on that indie publishing was proving to be a successful option for many authors, I decided to give it a go. 

What do you think is the hardest thing about indie publishing?

Shouldering the pressure to succeed alone. (Or feeling like you're alone.)

What is your biggest advice for indie publishers?

Community! I love that we are a collaboration, not competitors. People will buy my book AND yours. When we help each other, we help ourselves.

What do you like to do outside of writing?

Besides reading and hanging out with friends and family? I like to hike, bike and do yoga. I also like to watch movies and certain TV shows. (Ahem, Castle, anyone?) 

What is the biggest mistake you have made in publishing world?

What was a mistake for me may not be a mistake for another author. I hired a third party to format and upload my book for me instead of doing it myself. Hiring to save time and effort is not a bad idea except with this company I couldn't make changes after it was uploaded, or track sales, which I found to be important information I needed in order to assess my marketing efforts. I didn't realize this when I made the decision. I have since formatted and uploaded the files myself, and it wasn't that big of a deal. For some reason I'd come to believe that formatting was this big, hard, thing, when it's not, really. 

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

I think we'd all love a chance at a do-over in some part of our life, wouldn't we? I'd like to do high school over. I'd focus on my grades and my friends, instead of boys. I wouldn't care so much about what people thought of me and I definitely wouldn't get that PERM. 

What's the craziest writing idea you've had?

Well, I had this crazy idea to write a companion book for CLOCKWISE, which I'm totally doing now. I have half of a first draft. I plan to finish it during Nanowrimo, not as an official entrant, since it's half written, but just to ride on the nano energy, and git'er dun.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Oh, that's easy. LATE BLOOMER. 

You can also see Elle on Twitter and Facebook.


Luna said...

Thank you Elle and Shelli! I really enjoyed this interview. I've found many wonderful books through blogging that I wouldn't have found on my own.

Hope you ladies have a great weekend! :)

AMOffenwanger said...

Elle, you're doing Nano? Cool.

And, Shelli, "Johannes" is one of my sons' middle name. Good name. :)

Pamela DuMond, D.C. said...

Good interview with Elle. Thanks, Shelli. Signing up for your newsletter.


Jemi Fraser said...

I really loved Clockwise! It's a terrific story!! :)

I'm not sure I'd want to go back to high school - unless I had a LOT more confidence! And if I was able to get rid of that perm too!

DL Hammons said...

I've been following Elle for a long time now, and I still get a rise out of learning more about her. Great interview!! :)

Heather said...

You're not alone Elle, we're with you! :) And we are pushing for Clockwise to be a huge success!