What I love about our connected world is the opportunities it gives us to meet people from all over the world – people we would never otherwise have known even existed. PC Zick is a new acquaintance of mine. She’s American, and many of her novels are set in Florida. After a start in traditional publishing, she decided to go indie – I’m dying to find out why, and how she is getting on in the world of indie publishing. Let’s roll, PC!


Writing Whims by P.C. Zick

Welcome to my blog, PC Zick. First of all, please will you tell us what inspired your latest novel?

I started writing contemporary romances after taking an online class, Romance in a Month, taught by Rachelle Ayala, in 2014. Through my connections in this class, I started participating in romance box sets. When one came up featuring sports, I thought it sounded like a fun project. I’ve been an avid baseball fan all my life, and when I moved to Pittsburgh five years ago, their baseball team struggled to win half of their games in a season. However, things began changing about three years ago, and I became a fan of the underdog team scratching their way to wins. I decided to have some fun and write a romance that included a love story between a couple, and also a love story to the city and team I’ve grown to love. The box set, Score One For Love, will be out in August and features Third Base along with nine other authors and many different sports.

Wow, that sounds fun! I haven’t participated in a box set yet, but it’s a great idea. I’m already beginning to get an idea of your route to publication, but can you tell us more?

My first novel was published in 2000 by a small publisher in California. I continued to work with small publishers for six years, writing two more novels. I became disillusioned with the publishing world and the small return to me after the backbreaking work of first writing the novel and then marketing it. I dropped out for six years, although I kept writing. When I surfaced, the Indie Author route had exploded, and I started publishing novels as an Indie. Since 2012, I’ve written and published six novels and three works of nonfiction. I love the freedom afforded me as an Indie.

What do you the advantages are, PC? And the disadvantages?

I enjoy the complete control of being an Indie Author. With a traditional publisher, often the author doesn’t see royalties for a very long time. If there was an advance (rare), it will take forever to get that back in sales. The percentage is pitifully low to authors with traditional houses. Yes, there might be the potential for more sales because of the publisher, but the author still does much of the marketing, and I firmly believe, the stigma of self-publishing is slowly changing where sales won’t be impacted by the route an author takes. Here are the freedoms I enjoy as an Indie Author: 

  • I have access to all my files and can make changes at any time. For instance, I’ve recently published two books so I will go to the files for my other books and add them to my list of books at the back of the book. Getting something changed through a traditional publisher can take months.
  • I decide the price of my books and can change them for different promotions.
  • It’s my choice where to publish. Some of my books are in KDP Select with Amazon which means the book isn’t published anywhere else. This gives me options for running sales and promotions.
  • I see my sales immediately through my accounts with the retail publishers. When I was traditionally published I received quarterly reports and could only tell if there was a spike in my sales by going to my ranking on Amazon or other retail outlets.
  • I choose my editors and cover designers.
  • I format my own books so I have the freedom of design. Also if there is a glitch in a book file, I can correct it almost immediately.
  • I make a good percentage of the sale of each book. It’s fair and gives me the monetary reward that actually pays the author for creating the work!
There are challenges for sure to being an Indie Author. First and foremost, the marketing is a killer. The market is glutted with books right now, and some of the self-published books out there make it a challenge to be respected. I find marketing to be my biggest challenge. I’m grateful for eNovel Authors At Work group for helping me meander through the pitfalls. Scam artists are out there trying to get money from the Indie Author so it’s important to stay informed.

 

That’s a really useful answer, PC. I’m sure a lot of readers will be interested in your views. Moving on … do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Most all of my novels feature strong female characters. There’s a bit of me in all of them, but I believe, these are the women I’d like to be when I grow up.

Hah! I’d love to meet you, but I bet you’re all grown up already! Tell us what you’re working on at the moment.

Minty's Kiss draft 1_edited-1I’m finishing up a novella for another box set featuring Christmas stories with pets. I’m on the last two chapters of Minty’s Kiss. After that, I have four or five other books to write this summer and fall.

Five? That puts me to shame. Does it leave any time for hobbies or are you a complete writing obsessive?

I’m obsessive, yes, but I do have hobbies. I usually incorporate my leisure activities into my writing somehow. I love kayaking, boating, golfing, reading, and helping my husband with his gardening activities. I also love to travel.

Do you ever sleep? It all sounds great – leave out the kayaking and you’ve pretty much got me too. Please share your top tips for writers.

I have two: write and persevere. Those of us who do that will be successful.

Brilliant! Thanks you – and thanks for being my guest.

Thank you for having me today. It’s been a pleasure to visit your blog.


 

P.C. Zick describes herself as ‘a storyteller no matter what I write’. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

Many of her novels contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. ‘Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife – both human and animal – supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable,’ she says.

Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. All of her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.
Website    Blog    Facebook Fan Page   Twitter   Google


Third Base_low resolution for webThird Base – a contemporary romance

When Adriana Moretti meets baseball star Tomas Vegas, she’s surprised by his kindness. While Tomas puts all his energy into winning the World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he’s thrown off his game by the brilliant and beautiful Adriana, who owns a multi-million dollar business she started with her late husband. She’s determined to carry on his legacy, but she doesn’t expect to fall for the handsome Puerto Rican Tomas. His supermodel ex-girlfriend and Adriana’s tightly-knit Italian family threaten to tear them apart, which causes Tomas to disappoint his team and Adriana to ignore her business. The more they’re pulled apart, the more they yearn to be together.

Amazon US    Amazon UK    Nook    Kobo    Apple

 

American author PC Zick on the pros and cons of being an indie

23 thoughts on “American author PC Zick on the pros and cons of being an indie

  • July 20, 2015 at 4:29 pm
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    Jenny, Thanks so much for featuring me today. It was loads of fun. Your questions really made me evaluate the choices I’ve made regarding my writing and publishing routes. I’m still convinced I’m on the right track!

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    • July 20, 2015 at 9:45 pm
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      In the fast-changing world of publishing we live in – whether indie or trad – it’s great to hear what authors are experiencing, whatever choices they have made. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  • July 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm
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    Sounds like a fabulous read! Thanks so much PC Zick and Jenny Harper. Great interview!

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    • July 20, 2015 at 9:43 pm
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      Thanks, David. I’m sure you know most of it already, but it’s a constant learning process!

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    • July 20, 2015 at 9:46 pm
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      She’s good, isn’t she?! Thanks for dropping by.

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  • July 20, 2015 at 10:38 pm
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    Nice interview. I have to agree that marketing is the most challenging aspect of being an indie author.

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    • July 21, 2015 at 9:41 am
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      It takes a huge amount of time as a trad-published author these days too. I suppose it always did – all that trailing round giving talks in village halls to tiny groups of people (who then didn’t even buy the book)…

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  • July 20, 2015 at 10:54 pm
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    I loved “Third Base” for several reasons: The characters were very appealing and believable, the humor and love interest/sensuality very well done, and all the baseball lingo was so authentic, I felt as if I were in the locker rooms myself listening to the jocks shooting the bull…!

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    • July 20, 2015 at 11:18 pm
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      Sarah, you in the locker room? Never! Thanks for dropping by and for your kind comments.

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    • July 21, 2015 at 9:45 am
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      Baseball… isn’t that like Rounders (vbg)? I’ll have to read it to find out – I’m thinking I’ll learn about more than just the sport as well! ‘Jocks shooting the bull’? I’d read that as Scotsmen killing a male cow. Hmm – divided by a common language, as someone once said!

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  • July 20, 2015 at 11:00 pm
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    Hi, Jenny, interesting interview, and PC, I agree with all you reasons for choosing the indie way. 🙂

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    • July 20, 2015 at 11:19 pm
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      Thanks, Dale. I wouldn’t change a thing about how I’m doing it now, except it sure would be great to have a marketing director!

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    • July 21, 2015 at 9:48 am
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      I guess I’ll have to write a post soon on what trad publishing can bring to the table, just for balance! I’ve been both. One thing I’m enjoying about trad is seeing my book up in lights at London Book Fair (and soon Frankfurt), and hearing my latest paperback is going to be promoted in all WH Smith travel outlets in August – airports and stations. Woohoo! There’s no feeling quite like going into a shop and seeing your books on the shelves.

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      • July 21, 2015 at 10:22 am
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        Yes, I want to hear your results and experience. I know that can be exciting and it sounds as if you have a publishing house behind your work.

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  • July 20, 2015 at 11:07 pm
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    Five books this year? Blimey, that’s going some.
    Wish I could be that prolific.

    Best of luck with the titles. 🙂

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    • July 21, 2015 at 9:48 am
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      Me too, Kerry!

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    • July 21, 2015 at 10:24 am
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      Well, I’m not going to get five published this year. Two for sure and perhaps a third by late in the year. I like knowing there’s always something to write!

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  • July 20, 2015 at 11:27 pm
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    This is marvelous! Thank you, Jenny, and so much fun to learn more about you and your writing, PC. I’m a big baseball fan, too, and I’m looking forward to reading Third Base.

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    • July 21, 2015 at 9:49 am
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      Thanks for dropping in, Laurie.

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    • July 21, 2015 at 10:25 am
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      Thanks, Laurie. I hope you enjoy it. I had a blast writing it. I’m thinking of doing a Pittsburgh sports set. Next would be football – already set up a relationship in Third Base. And then one for hockey. It will be my farewell to a city that treated me well for six years. We’re moving this year.

      Reply

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