Georgina Troy’s novels A Jersey Kiss (2013) and A Jersey Affair (2014) continue to receive excellent reviews on Amazon and were recently accepted for sale on the shelves of the Jersey branch of Waterstones. A seasoned self-publisher and self-promoter, here Georgina kindly takes time to answer a few questions on her experiences as a writer.
Tell me a little about your writing process. How do you take an idea from inception to finished novel?
I’m constantly jotting down ideas, but only end up using some of them in my books. For my Jersey Romance series I like to use the many different settings in this gorgeous island and each one inspires plot strands. When I think I have the basis of a novel I write an outline. I find this helps me if I reach a tricky point where I’m not sure what to write next. I write the first ‘dirty draft’, leave it for as long as possible and usually stop myself from going back to it by planning/writing another book. Then I rewrite the book, print out the manuscript and read it out loud, then edit again. After that, I tighten the novel as much as possible, then I send it out to my beta readers who tell me what they liked, but mostly what they felt didn’t work in the book. I then edit again and re-read it several times. When I think I’ve done all I can with the book, I send it to a proof-reader. After that there are more edits. I send it off to be formatted and then hopefully it’s ready to be published.
How important to you is Jersey as a fictional base? You seem to embrace it as a setting for your novels.
I was born in Jersey and love living in this beautiful island. I think it’s the perfect setting for a romantic novel and want to introduce it to people who haven’t yet been here and also remind those that have come here on holiday about some of the places they might have visited in the past. I’ve had readers contacting me about places they’ve recognized in the books and have met some lovely online friends this way.
You’ve been exiled to the Ecrehous and are only allowed to bring three books with you. Which books do you bring and why?
Only three? Okay, this will take some thought… I love Stephen King’s On Story, it’s one of the best ‘How To’ writing books out there and is also a fascinating read. I would have to take Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – I would take Pride and Prejudice but I pretty much know this by heart. For my third book I think I’d take Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. I haven’t read this book but I would need my third book to be one that lasts me a little while and at 1536 pages long this would probably do.
You seem to be highly proficient at promoting your books via blogs, tours and social media. Do you have any tips for aspiring self-publishing writers looking to promote their work?
I was told at a Romantic Novelists’ conference a few years ago that if I wanted to succeed as a writer I would have to move outside my comfort zone. I think that most writers are quite shy and as writers we spend a lot of time either writing by ourselves, or thinking about plotlines. So when it comes to promoting yourself and your work it isn’t that easy. I think that a writer has to have a good social presence, so Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, a blog, a website and having your books on Goodreads, are a must. I used the services of Fiction Addiction Book Tours to help launch my books. I like to help promote other writers too, so have guest posts on my own blog and occasionally act as a host for the Fiction Addiction Book Tours. I held a Facebook launch party for both books, which was tiring but great fun and met a lot of new people that way who have since read and reviewed the books.
Writers are incredibly supportive and I like to promote other writer friends if I can. I also share any achievements on my Facebook page, Twitter, or blog, for example, last year the cover of A Jersey Kiss won an award with Supportive Business Mums and this week Waterstones began stocking my books, so I’ll share this information online, which helps others discover my books. Promo takes up a lot of time, but it’s something that seems to be necessary.
What one thing do you wish you could change about yourself as a writer?
That I had more self-confidence in my ability to write.
Have you ever made use of KDP Free Promotions for any of your books and if so what was the result?
Both my books were up for sale on various sites, Kobo, Smashwords, etc, but I’ve found that most of my sales are through Amazon and so I’ve taken both books off all other websites and only sell the e-books through Amazon KDP. Last year I made the most of the KDP free days for A Jersey Kiss and had approximately 3,500 free downloads over the course of five days. The book reached #1 on the Amazon.com Kindle free books chart, which was incredibly exciting. It might seem odd to give your book away for free, but after the free offer ends, a lot more people have come across your book and sales picked up, so it’s certainly worthwhile.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on Book 3 in the series, A Jersey Dreamboat, which I hope to have out next winter. It’s the story of two women in their mid-twenties who go to a party and… Well, you’ll have to wait and see.