Author Lee Richards recently published his first novel, a crime-suspense-thriller on Foxy Fowler, a top London Detective. As a self-publisher, he set up his ‘author landing page‘ with Sunny Landing Pages. He intends to run online ads and capture lead information with a direct integration to the Mailerlite email autoresponder.
You can get your free download of his prequel here.
We caught up with Lee to ask him more about him, his writing and his plans for the digital marketing of his books.
Tell us about yourself and your journey as an author.
I am 55 years old, a father of three children, grandfather of six children! I currently live in Ireland as my mother was Irish and my father was Italian.
I was born and raised in the East End of London, Bethnal Green. To be honest everybody around me was a storyteller and I suppose in a way I have become one as well. My background is in sales and marketing and I spent 30 years in the industry. I started atthe lowest position in the sales and marketing industry and worked myself up to the position of sales and marketing director. I have been fortunate enough to basically become semiretired.
As this period of my life was approaching, and having been a voracious reader of mystery thriller and suspense novels, I wanted to write a book myself. It was an ambition and a dream really for 20 years or so to publish a book.
With the starting of the self publishing, independent author industry and its subsequent explosion through e-books, I saw an opportunity for someone like myself to put my stories out there to be read and hopefully enjoyed by the audience of the genre that I love myself.
I decided in August 2016 to investigate this industry. My advice to anybody wanting to enter this business is do your homework. Really do your due diligence so that you can minimise the mistakes that will undoubtedly be made. Make no mistake about it I have made a lot of errors in the start of my journey as a self published author.
First and foremost, one has to be able to tell a story and put it into words i.e. write a book. But as a self published author that’s only the beginning of the journey.
What are some of your goals and the biggest challenges you faced in self-publishing?
If anybody is looking to enter this industry my opinion, is that one should sit down and make a list of their strong points and weak points.
For example I can tell a story, write a story, and although mistakes will always be made I am able to recognise those mistakes and put them right. Because of my background in sales and marketing that area of self publishing will not be a problem for me.
My weakness, and any weaknesses that a new author may have, in order that he or she succeeds they must admit that they have weak areas.
My weakness as you well know in my dealings with your company is the tech side. And by tech side I mean building a website, landing pages, and even trying to learn and understand this side of the business I find an uphill struggle. And this is where companies like your own, Sunny Landing Pages with your outstanding patience with a newbie like myself, really come into play.
The biggest challenge for me is the technical side. So for me having a company like yours, educating me and helping me make the right decisions is priceless. Sunny Landing Pages and your attitude towards me has been invaluable and I will forever be grateful for the help you’ve given me and continue to give me. However you asked what some of my goals are and without question I would like to publish 5 to 10 books per year. For me this is no problem as long as I have someone such as yourself helping me.
I have content, I have ideas and I can create. The creation comes from 30 years in the sales and marketing industry. My goal is to become an author who builds a reader base who enjoy and look forward to new releases. At the end of the day this is the ultimate dream.
In a nutshell and I’m repeating myself my biggest challenges are tech problems.
Can you share some details about how you are approaching your digital marketing – what tools and techniques are you using?
As with any business, research is vital. So I have enrolled in various marketing courses. All with the emphasis on digital marketing which is a new arena for me to be involved with. Again my advice would be patience and revision of material that you either read or watch online.
This is a serious business as the very successful independent authors verify. The numbers that they produce mean that they most definitely take their businesses very seriously. I intend to use Facebook marketing ads, as well as Amazon marketing services and group promotions as well as cross promotions with other authors in my genre.
The key as I see it within the industry is to build your mailing list. Your mailing list is without question the most valuable asset that your self publishing business can own. In that respect I have taken it very seriously and will be in the future.
How did you find about Sunny Landing Pages?
I purchased my domain name and then started to use WordPress. I was getting confused and searched through WordPress for a company that would give me a plug-in for landing pages. The very first company mentioned, with superb reviews was Sunny Landing Pages. I contacted your company immediately, and proceeded to drive you to the brink of insanity with my hourly repetitive questions. I do apologise. But to anybody out there, your company is without doubt the most consumer friendly, customer orientated operation I have come across for many years.
..and how has your experience been so far?
My experience so far with your company is this, in a nutshell I feel supported, looked after and any request no matter how insane I think it is, you never look down at me. All you do is make me feel better about the situation and you always solve my problem. I don’t think any company could operate any better. I would personally recommend Sunny Landing Pages to anybody with or without experience, because the professionalism and service is second to none.
Get more such eBook templates from Sunny Landing Pages.
Now that you have a little bit of experience – What is your advice to fellow self-publishing authors regarding their digital marketing?
So within the next few days I will be publishing my first novel. It has been professionally edited and I have had it beta read. The feedback is good. I am getting good comments about the layout of the website that you created. So I am very confident for the future. My second novel should be published in the second week of April. And I aim to publish five or six weeks again after my second novel. Without your company’s support this definitely would not be the timeframe I would be working within.
My final opinion for any new self publisher/independent author is to do your research. Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Do not be afraid to ask for help from someone like Sunny Landing Pages, if you do ask for Vin. Make your book interesting and character driven. A series makes readers fans, as they follow the main characters in each book.
Lastly concentrate on your marketing and if you are not sure ask Vin at Sunny, where you will be well looked after. The self publishing/independent author marketplace is only going to grow exponentially over the next decade. If you are starting out, or thinking of embarking on your journey as an author I believe that we are all in the right place at the right time.
If you can’t write books, clearly you can’t be an author. But if you can write books and have a problem with the technical side of the business or digital marketing, or creation of landing pages and websites I would absolutely 100% recommend a discussion with Vin at Sunny Landing Pages.
He offers a very personal service where Skype calls a commonplace. His prices are very competitive and his service as I said earlier is second to none.
Good luck to everybody on their journey as a self published, independent author. It’s a fantastic journey and is the right time to start.
I hope these few words have been helpful and I hope they motivate people to achieve their dreams.
I personally wish to thank Vin and his team at Sunny Landing Pages for all their fantastic support without them, instead of being able to publish in the next few days I would still be scratching my head and miles away from being able to publish, because the technical side personally left me baffled.
You can keep yourself updated with his work at his website.
Thanks for the kind words Lee! We love working with passionate customers like you!