Friday, October 26, 2012

Emily Tippetts - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Emily Tippetts. She is a YA Romance Author. Also she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy as Emily Mah.

Author Genre: YA Romance - Science Fiction/Fantasy as Emily Mah

Author's Blog: Emily Mah
Website: E. M. Tippetts
Twitter: @EMTippetts
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance as E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy as Emily Mah. She is a former attorney with degrees in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University and business law from UCLA.

Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. She is a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and thus often includes LDS (Mormon) characters in her work. When she isn't chasing her small children or writing, she designs jewelry.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Your work is pleasant to read. Switching back and forth between genres, is one more relaxing to write than the other? Do you ever work on both types of books at the same time?
I work on both kinds of works at the same time, but never do I tackle two books at once. I'll write a science fiction short story while writing a romance novel, for example, and I find that one becomes more relaxing after I've done a long spell of the other.

When I'm writing science fiction and fantasy, what will eventually grate on me is that I've got to work so hard on the world building. So I'll switch to romance in which I just use the world around me and that feels so much easier, until my characters start acting out and I don't have a ray gun to aim at them or a unicorn to lead them where I want them to go. Then I'll return to science fiction and fantasy and get enthusiastic about world building all over again. I am always somewhere on this spectrum, moving one direction or the other. I suppose my answer, then, is that writing both of them is more relaxing than just writing one exclusively.

You commented that you write to avoid housework. How do you manage your time with family, writing, jewelry business and social media to handle? Do you go my a schedule or is everything on a need to do basis?
I shut down my jewelry business when my indie publishing began to take off and so now my writing is the only small business I run, with one small exception. I started designing jewelry for my friend, Stephanie Burgis's Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson books (out from Atheneum), and I've finished off the jewelry set in the meantime.

I'm not much of a fixed scheduler, I'm a flex scheduler, so in my mind, I always have it planned out what I'll do in the next five minutes, hour, three hours and so on, but what those things change throughout the day. I'll plan half an hour of writing which will get cut down to fifteen minutes when a kid needs some help, but it might grow to an hour later on when they decide to play by themselves. I need to feel like I've got a plan, even if I don't end up sticking to the plan.

My joke about avoiding housework is partially the truth - I live in a very small apartment. I think people would be surprised to see how tiny my living space is, but this works well for me because my home is never more than an hour away from being spotless. We don't get a lot of clutter because there's no place to put the clutter. I live in a small place like this because my husband and I both choose not to have time to clean or maintain a bigger place.

You have a large twitter following (over 16K) and increasing over 1000 a month. How much does social media fit into your marketing strategy? Do you do any traditional marketing like book signing, conferences, etc.?
I've got two twitter accounts. @EMTippetts is the one with 16k followers, and I suppose it's for marketing purposes. My strategy is just to get out and get to know people and the more people I talk to the more likely it is that I've talked to a reader in the few days that I've been out socializing.

I don't believe that broadcasting my books are for sale on Twitter does much. I'll announce a new book, or a discounted price or something because people who are readers might like to know, but you'll never see auto-tweets from me about the fact that I write books.

I suspect most people don't care, and they don't need to in order for me to make a living. My goal is to find my readers, not go pester people and try to make them become my readers. Most of the time I just talk to people about silly pictures that they've posted or funny quotes. If they like me they can find out I'm a writer from my bio, and if that interests them, it's easy for them to get onto my site. But I'm only concerned about attracting people to my site who have that spark of interest. People who prefer to just talk to me, I'm most happy to talk to them anytime.

I also have @EmilyMah as another twitter handle, and that's for my science fiction. I'm not out socializing on that account, just broadcasting when I've got new stories out and that sort of thing and for my science fiction. I do go to conventions and will participate in signings. I bisected my career this way just to see which techniques work for me and @EMTippetts makes quite a bit more money. I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't experimented, though.

I have had several Spotlight blogs with authors from the UK. Can you tell how much your audience is split between Europe and the US? Do you have a different marketing approach to the readers by location? How do you get exposure in the US?
I'm an American and given the wonders of modern technology, I have most of my reader fan base in the US. I can print books and publish stories from here that can be ordered through any US bookstore and all the major online outlets.

The UK market is much more of a mystery to me. My sales here are substantially lower. I think that Americans read what I write because I write about Americans living in America. The one novel I have set in the UK is told from the POV of an American who comes over here to visit her aunt, who is also American, but who married an Englishman. So I've never told a story from a British point of view, as I suspect I'd be very bad at it. I've lived in the UK for eight years in total, long enough to have some clue of the volumes of information I do not know about what it's like to be British.

I finished high school and did college here, and now I'm living here again while my husband (also American) does his PhD. If you saw me and spoke to me, though, you'd see an American with an American accent. Americans and Brits alike are surprised to find out where I live.

You have released a book in German. Are you planning on releasing other titles in different languages?
The only actual deal I have, signed and executed is for the German, so right now that's all I can talk about with certainty. I've talked to other people about other language rights, but those deals are still up in the air. When I did the German deal, I did it very differently than how it is normally done in publishing. I contracted independently with a translator who is making a business for himself translating indie books. I helped him set up his pricing model and hashed out the details of the first contracts.

To my knowledge, he's one of a very small group of people trying out a new business model specifically for the indie author who wants to break into a new language market. It's all very experimental, but the book is selling well enough that I hope, in a few months, we can call it an unreserved success, and if it is, we may very well have achieved a first in publishing and proven a whole new business model, which would be very, very cool.

Author's Book List
Castles on the Sand
Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She's not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget. John Britton has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents' divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art. When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he's got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can't possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?
Amazon Buy Page
Paint Me True
Eliza Dunmar is about to turn thirty-one and fears her best days are behind her. Soon she'll be too old to attend church in a singles ward, her career as a painter is no longer considered cool, and she feels too old to use the excuse that she's "just starting out" to explain why she still can't pay the bills. The only man interested in her is a scruffy, video game addicted nerd who is the first to admit that they are all wrong for each other. When her beloved Aunt Nora calls from England and begs her to visit, Eliza leaps at the chance. Even better? Nora had the perfect romance with her late husband and is eager to share the tale. As Eliza sets out to immortalize this courtship in a series of paintings, she learns a lesson that will change her outlook on life and love forevermore
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Polar Shift
When Amber DeSoto sees northern lights on Ganymede, she knows something's wrong. No one will listen to an eighteen year old, though, even who's lived on Ganymede most of her life. But if anyone can survive the unexpected, it's Amber, and if the base commander won't listen to her, she might as well figure out how to save the base and its inhabitants on her own.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Someone Else's Fairytale
Jason Vanderholt, Hollywood's hottest actor, falls head over heels for everygirl, Chloe Winters, who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. She becomes the woman every other woman in America is dying to be, but it just isn't her fairytale.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Time and Eternity
When Alice O'Donnell joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she thought her life could only get better. She hoped to marry her boyfriend, Darren, who had baptized her, and live happily ever after. After all, her prayers had confirmed that a proposal was coming. But Alice's faith is tested when her plans are turned upside-down. Her father files for divorce, her company decides to relocate her to another state, and to top it off, Darren starts acting strangely and accuses her of being a "Molly Mormon"-whatever that is. When Spencer Sharp enters the scene, he seems like a good prospect. He's attractive, gainfully employed, a returned missionary, and seeking an eternal companion. But something is just . . . missing. Follow the chaotic but exciting life of Alice as she deals with being a new convert, learns to have faith in the Lord's plan for her, and comes to know who she wants to be with for time and eternity.
Amazon Buy Page
Beulah has the worst luck with computers. They lose her files, corrupt her data, and in her more sleep-deprived moments she feels they conspire against her. When she begins to see little fox-faced demons spring out of the CPU of one machine, she fears she must be losing her mind, but what if they aren't hallucinations after all?
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author's Corner

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