Heather Hildenbrand began as a self published author and quickly advanced to the point that she could live off her income. These days she’s a hybrid author who coaches others who want to follow in her footsteps.
Even her publishing company, Elephantine Publishing, shows new authors the ropes to better equip them for self-publishing or finding a good traditional publishing deal.
I had the pleasure of chatting with her over Skype on her career to date, how she got where she is, and what advice she has for others starting out.
Interview with Heather Hildenbrand
Conducted and Edited by Emily Mah, November, 2015
Below the video is a timestamp guide to the interview, so that you can jump to the section that interests you the most.
Heather’s Journey from Self-Published to Hybrid Author
0:28 Heather talks about how she got started as an indie author – beginning with advice from traditionally published author, Warren Murphy.
2:00 Getting advice from J.A. Konrath’s blog. To date, he’s sold over 3 million books.
3:05 List of reasons why she chose to start out as an indie author.
3:40 From initial mistakes to full time income.
5:25 Heather lists her books and how they are published – some are now with traditional publishers, making her a hybrid author.
7:14 How not to negotiate a traditional publishing deal.
9:23 The top three mistakes she made, starting out.
11:03 On publicity and publicists
12:26 Graphic design and hiring a cover designer (this was a little self serving, as I designed some of her covers.)
13:51 Her three best decisions, starting out.
Coaching Other Indie Authors
14:44 Heather explains her decision to help other authors. You can find out more about her services at: http://fictionauthorcoach.com
18:09 The Connective Collective, an excellent resource for authors of all business models to learn from each other about the ever changing face of publishing.
19:27 Hiring a good coach, don’t look for someone who does it all for you, and do your research.
24:09 The meeting format of the Connective Collective and what a new subscriber can expect.
Elephantine Publishing, a Unique Publishing Option
24:50 An introduction to the company and how it came to be.
26:00 Helping authors learn the ropes of publishing.
26:52 How to find a reputable independent publisher.
29:27 Submitting to Elephantine Publishing.
30:38 The publishing process with Elephantine.
32:11 Comparing small publishers to the large corporate publishers and what is expected from the author.
36:52 Heather discusses her latest release, Generation, and other upcoming projects.
Emily Mah is a writer and the owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, a company that provides formatting, cover design, and editing services for independent authors and publishers. Her last interview for Black Gate was with Laxmi Hariharan.