Thursday, July 18, 2013

Author Interview: L.M. Augustine

Hi, guys!

Today I'm interviewing author L.M. Augustine about his YA novel CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE, and his decision to self-publishing. Check it out below!

1. Tell us a little about your YA debut, CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE. Where did you get the idea, and did the final product turn out the way you'd envisioned it? 

Click was actually inspired by--yes--a YouTube video. I was watching a John Green vlog where he mentioned that two of his fans (one boy and one girl) met online and hit it off so much that they were organizing a real life meet up, and I thought it was so cool that they were falling in love through YouTube videos. Over time, the idea started to develop in my mind, and I kept thinking about how plausible that could be. I wondered all about what kind of person it would take to fall in love through the internet like that, what would happen to them, how the relationship would work, and then all of a sudden it was midnight and I was scribbling down the first chapter of what would eventually become Click To Subscribe.

2. What was your writing process for this novel? (Basically, are you a plotter or a pantser? And does that change every novel, or stay consistent?)

I am the most inconsistent writer ever, in that my writing process varies dramatically from book to book. I try to pants (*cough*) every book I write, but sometimes I find it not working at all and have to go back and write either a very vague or very detailed outline. It's mostly trial-and-error for me.

With Click To Subscribe, I only had a very basic idea of what the book was going to be about when I started writing. The characters sprang to life almost immediately, though, and they controlled the story and kind of ran with the plot which made for a totally awesome writing experience (but a lot of needed revisions).

3. Why did you decide to self-publish CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE? Perks? Downfalls?

I've always been fascinated by the idea of self-publishing. I'm kind of a control-freak (*ahem*) and there was something so appealing to me about the idea of publishing a book and doing it exactly how wanted to do it, getting the book cover and the marketing plan and the overall control Iwanted. Self-publishing is certainly not for everyone, but I always had a feeling it's something I would love given my DIY tendencies. Plus I knew some authors who had been having major self-publishing success, and I wanted to try it for myself. I had a book I thought would be a good fit, so I decided it couldn't hurt to self-publish it, right? But still, I wasn't certain I wanted to commit to self-publishing. I put the book, Click To Subscribe, up on Goodreads and got on Twitter and Facebook as an experiment, still not sure if I would go through with it all, but when a few excited readers trickled in and I met some amazing authors and bloggers, I knew I had to do it.

For me, I love the control self-publishing offers. There's something totally thrilling about being responsible for your own book. I knew I wanted to be in charge of how this book in particular was edited (I didn't want the book to be changed to someone else's vision--I wanted the story to be mine, although it definitely needed the amazing beta and editor feedback I got on it), the kind of cover the book got, the marketing, the release date, and I wanted to be able to be my own boss. I work fast, and as much as I love and appreciate the one book per year standard of traditional-publishing, I felt as though I would work better controlling the release dates myself, putting out more books per year but setting my own deadlines, and not having to worry as much about not finishing a draft in time. Basically, I wanted to publish my way, and self-publishing let me do that. Plus, the royalties are better, you get to see your sales real-time, and best of all, self-publishing lets you develop a personal connection with your fans that you don't get otherwise. The last one has been hugely important to me.

The major downfall of self-publishing, for me, is the fact that I don't get a professional industry-standard editor behind me and my book, and while there are plenty of incredible freelance editors out there, there is something about a great editor at a publishing house that I really wish I had. I also think publishing with a major house offers built-in distribution and exposure; although there is no guarantee you'll be stocked in a B&N, the fact that you have someone out there pitching your book to bookstores is kind of incredible.

4. Do you see yourself continuing to self-publish your novels, or traditionally publish as well? Why?

I am definitely going to continue self-publishing. I actually already have a second book ready for release. :-) However, I am really excited about the prospect of potentially being a hybrid author and traditionally publishing as well. As I mentioned, I would love having a professional editor and the wide distribution traditional publishing offers, and I'm sure I could learn a lot with a whole team of professionals behind me and my book. Still, after Click To Subscribe, I can't see myself completely abandoning self-publishing either. It's too much fun (although stressful and hard work!) and it's too practical for me to stop. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I can find a way to do both!

5. What are you working on next? Can you give us a little hint? 

Yes! I am actually finishing up edits on Two Roads, my NA romance releasing on August 26th. The blurb is:

The only person poetry-loving Cali Monroe hates more than herself is Logan Waters, the geeky kid who lives in the dorm building next to hers.
Ever since Cali's parents told her she would amount to nothing, she has felt entirely inadequate. Friendless and alone, she takes on the mean girl role in hopes it will make her feel better--and Logan serves as the perfect target. He infuriates her with his obnoxiously long lashes, his all too perfect dimpled smile, and his complete lack of personality outside of his intelligence. So she begins hating him, and he returns the favor. Thus, their prank-filled, insult-driven rivalry is born, and torturing Logan quickly becomes the highlight of her life.
But when Cali's parents set them up on a blind date, she begins to realize Logan might not be as boring as she always thought. He shares her love of poetry, takes a sadistic pleasure in making fun of crepes, and he makes her blush when he calls her smile pretty.
And hey, maybe those long lashes of his aren't that obnoxious after all…

6. Since this is The Secret Life of Writers, you have to tell us a secret. :) So spill. 

Um... *ducks for cover* Well, vanilla ice cream are Cat and West's major obsession in Click To Subscribe, so I guess my secret would be that I actually hate vanilla ice cream. I know, I know. I'm awful.

If you want to hear more from L.M. Augustine, check out his Twitter and blog, and add CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE on Goodreads!

Andrea Hannah is a YA writer represented by Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider. She writes stories about criminals, crazy people, and creatures that may or may not exist. When she's not writing, Andrea teaches special education, runs, spends time with her family, and tries to figure out a way to prevent her pug from opening the refrigerator (still unsuccessful). Oh, and she tweets a bajillion times a day, mostly about inappropriate things. 
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1 secret replies:

  1. This is great! Both of those books sound really interesting. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for Two Roads. I want to read it now!'s okay...vanilla ice cream gets boring after a while.