Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Amazon Bestseller Author Eliza Green. She is the Science Fiction writer of The Exilon 5 Trilogy.
Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Eliza Green Books
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Becoming Human has received a COMPULSION READS endorsement.
'This book demonstrates why I read Indie books and have enjoyed doing so immensely. Yes, some self-published books don't deserve to see the light of day, but this isn't one of those. Far from it. It was exciting and it had mystery.' Masquerade Crew
'It's obvious this is the first part from a trilogy. This book covers most of the world-building and backstory (which is a huge plus) and introduces the characters to us. While doing all that, it makes me curious for the sequel. Very well done Eliza!' Istyria Book Blog
Eliza Green writes down-to-earth science fiction that has stemmed from her life long obsession with science fiction stories. She was born and lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Eliza has worked in many industries from fashion to sport to finance, but caught the writing bug several years ago and has now released her first novel, BECOMING HUMAN, part one of the Exilon 5 trilogy.
Since Eliza was young, she has always been a fan of science fiction television shows and films and is bringing that love to her new trilogy. She hopes to capture the imagination of readers who shy away from the genre with her new novel, set on Earth and Exilon 5.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
First things first. Congratulations on your book: Altered Reality. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Thanks, James. I’m currently working on the third book in the trilogy. It’s being heavily edited at the moment, so it’s still in draft form and without a title. Becoming Human (Book 1) and Altered Reality (Book 2) were released in December, a year apart. My goal is to release Book 3 earlier, in October 2014. It’s difficult to talk about the third book if people haven’t read the first two. Too many spoilers! But to summarise the trilogy, Earth’s ecosystem has been destroyed though years of abuse. The new planet, Exilon 5, looks promising but there is an alien race called the Indigenes already living there. Becoming Human uncovers a major secret that one side has been keeping from the other. Altered Reality examines the complexity of the Indigene race as they go through a period of self-discovery. Book 3 is about finding a solution that both sides can live with.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?
I’ve met some lovely people through Twitter and Facebook and I use social media as another way for me to connect with readers. It’s important to define how you’re going to approach tweeting and posting on social media. As well as sharing my own posts, I like to share other writers’ blog posts that I find interesting. There are people who follow me because of that. I’ve been blogging and on social media since July 2012, so building relationships anywhere takes time.
I produce a newsletter every so often to announce new projects or talk about what’s happening with the trilogy. People who subscribe to my newsletter are not necessarily the same people who are subscribing to my blog or following me on Twitter. Again, it’s another way to reach out to new, or interested, readers.
Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
Not yet! Maybe in the future. At the moment, I work full time, so I spend any spare time I have online and connect with people that way. Logistically, it’s what works for me right now. Readers can, and do, contact me in a variety of ways: through my ‘Contact me’ page on my blog, through Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads. It’s important to give readers a way to contact authors. All authors should be accessible.
You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
For my covers, I used a UK based company called Design for Writers. At the beginning of a new project, they ask me to complete a detailed questionnaire so they can understand who the target market is or what emotions I want the cover to evoke from the reader. They ask me what I like and what I hate about other book covers. The process is very detailed.
For both covers I had an idea of what I wanted, so I gave my designer istock photos to show him my concept. He worked on it, gave me back proofs, we deliberated, then thought of other ideas.
I love design. I always have. After you’ve laboured long hours over the words, it’s the fun, visual part! I trust my designer that he will give me the right feedback. If I’m on the fence about two proofs, I consult trusted friends to help. But that method has its downsides. When you have too many people looking at something and they’re split on which one they prefer, it can make the decision much harder. In the end, I have to trust my gut instinct.
You have a great book trailer. (See link below.) It looks very professional. Do you know how much impact it has had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailer?
Oh, I wouldn’t say it’s had too much impact. Research says that people don’t watch book trailers. I don’t look at book trailers myself but I wanted to do something fun for my newsletter subscribers. I gave them a sneak preview of it first, and then published it on my YouTube Channel. Again, I love visuals and I really enjoyed putting it together. I’ll have to look at doing one for Altered Reality!
I used Video Blocks for royalty free video content and music and Windows Movie Maker to put it all together. I also sourced a couple of stills from a photography site and asked the photographers’ permission to use them. Once I had the idea in my head, it took me about a week to put it together.
What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
The main one I belong to is Alliance of Independent Authors, or ALLi for short. There are so many business minded authors and industry professionals in the group. I learn so much from them. I’m mostly interested in marketing techniques that others have tried but I haven’t. We share our results with each other. It’s all about collaboration. I love that word. We help each other out. We each have a place in the market and the members are incredibly supportive of one another. I learn more about the writing process from physically writing, coupled with feedback from my editor and beta readers.
Living in Ireland creates a unique selling and marketing situation. Where is your biggest audience? Does marketing online help in this situation?
Would you believe my biggest market is in the US? I thought when I released Becoming Human (Book 1) whose two main characters are from Scotland and Ireland (and being Irish), it would resonate most with UK audiences. But I’m selling the most copies in the US, and that’s across all platforms, not just Amazon. Online marketing is crucial for me. It’s too expensive for me to travel around the world, so I have to be smart about how best to apportion my time to various tasks.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
I had minimal success in giving my first book away for free through KDP select, and had more success with paid promotions like Book Bub when I offered the book for 99c. Now, I only give away free copies to targeted reviewers. Goodreads Giveaways are good for drawing attention to your latest release. It doesn’t guarantee reviews and I don’t use it for that purpose.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
My goal for the blog is to inform other writers about things that have worked/not worked for me. When I started out, I spent a lot of time trying out things. It was a great education, but I also wasted a lot of time.
I use my time wisely. My main priority is writing. If I’m not doing that, either writing new material or editing existing work, then, I won’t get what I need to done. Everything else takes second place. I try to blog once a week, but only if I have something useful to share. I use Buffer for social media (Twitter and Facebook), because if I didn’t, I would forget about them. The tweets and posts on FB may be automated, but my responses are not.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
I am proactive in seeking professional reviews. I also ask for them on Goodreads. At the back of my books, I ask customers to consider leaving a review if they liked the story. Between the reviewers and customers, I get a reasonable amount. Before the release of Altered Reality (Book 2), I asked some of my newsletter subscribers to review the book early. I don’t sit back and wait for reviews to come to me. With every new positive review on Amazon, you rank a little bit higher for that day. Also, reviews give me access to quality promotion sites.
Author's Book List
- The Exilon 5 Trilogy, Book 1
An Intriguing Dystopian Thriller and Science Fiction Bestseller
Two Worlds. Two Species. One Terrifying Secret.
In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied. Having already begun a massive relocation programme, Bill Taggart is sent to monitor the Indigenes, the race that lives there. He is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. His surveillance focuses on the Indigene Stephen, who has risked his life to surface during the daytime.
Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human. But one woman holds a secret that threatens Bill’s and Stephen’s plans, an untruth that could rip apart the lives of those on both worlds.
BECOMING HUMAN, part one in the Exilon 5 trilogy, is a science fiction dystopian adventure that you won’t want to put down.
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
- The Exilon 5 Trilogy, Book 2
Being different is accepted. Being special could get you killed.
The Indigene Stephen is forced to leave Earth without Anton, who is captured by the military. On his journey back to Exilon 5, he’s haunted by a series of disturbing dreams. Are they a manifestation of his fear for his friend’s safety, or a psychological link to Anton?
Back on Earth, Bill Taggart focuses on two things: the search for Anton, and deciphering the coded letters from his wife. What he learns forces him to change his focus. He must find a way to warn the Indigenes.
The programme to transfer people from Earth to Exilon 5 becomes much more 'selective'. Under orders from Earth’s World Government, a clinical biologist studies the imprisoned Anton’s genetic code in detail. But when a colleague turns up on the table in her medical facility, her curiosity about the Indigene soon shifts to fear for her own safety.
ALTERED REALITY is the mind-bending sequel to BECOMING HUMAN in the Exilon 5 trilogy.
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
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