#1 Best-Selling Author Nicola May in The Hub
The Hub is thrilled to host #1 best-selling author Nicola May. Nicola is the author of 11 romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named e-book of the week in the Sun. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the bestselling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019.
Nicola, welcome to The Hub!
You are a highly successful self-published author, what advice would you give to an aspiring author wishing to get their book published?
I would say check out everything that the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform has to offer. It is perfect if you are starting out as you can find all the tools and tutorials to help you get your book on the digital shelf. https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/
All your novels have been in the kindle best-seller charts – did you heavily market the books, or did they rise to the top on their own?
I constantly marketed them via Twitter, Facebook and to a lesser degree using Amazon Advertising. This doesn’t have to cost money, just time. A marketing tip is to follow every Facebook group you can that is relevant to your genre, plus general eBook groups. You can then post any news you may have to all these groups, thus covering a very wide reach.
You had a variety of jobs before writing full-time, would you say the experiences helped you write well?
It wasn’t the jobs themselves that helped me write well; but having a marketing background has obviously helped with promotion of my books. It is my many life experiences good and bad that have helped strengthen my writing; including bereavement, miscarriage and many bad dates!
Which of your fictional characters would you truly associate with Nicola May?
There is a piece of me in every single one of my heroines.
Do you find writing therapeutic?
Yes, very much so. Hours can go by and I’ve been in my very own wonderful world of fiction.
Do you find writing isolating? If so, how do you overcome this?
I do sometimes, so I take myself along to my local Costa to write; where even though I switch off from the world, it is nice to have stuff going on around me. I also am partial to a massage, so I have one quite regularly when I am writing as I write in bed and get very achy!
You have remained an indie author despite previously having had a seven-book deal with a traditional publisher, why?
Money and control. Once your books start selling well, the financial reward differs massively in the author’s favour being self-published. I also like to be able to set my own deadlines, which are much faster than those of a traditional publisher.
What would you say are the secrets to your success?
Persistence over resistance and hard work. I am always looking for marketing opportunities. I also make sure that my ads go out on relevant times of year, so Valentines, Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays etc. I never stop. I always put something out at the weekend.
Any marketing tips you can share with our readers?
Note the above re working to the seasons. Also, my note above re Facebook posting. I have an author page and pay to boost posts. That way you choose an audience that are not your ‘friends’ so expand your reach. This doesn’t have to be expensive. I find I always sell more books on Sundays.
Lightning Books have launched a new paperback edition of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay and you’ve signed a similar deal for its sequel, Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay. (Huge congratulations!) This will see the paperbacks go global, yet, to your credit, you’ve very cleverly kept the e-book rights – how did you manage to do this and why?
Scott Pack, who works for Lightning has mentored me from my very first novel. He knows my ability to sell books whether they be eBooks or paperbacks. Lightning are a smaller press; it works for us both to have this arrangement. Our working relationship is very open, close and flexible and that is also a big plus point for me.
Do you think indie authors today need an agent?
If you are self-published and self-motivated, then no. If you want to get a traditional publisher, then granted an agent will get you in front of the big hitters. I have an amazing Foreign Rights Agent in Lorella Belli, so I would say consider someone to help you with the overseas deals, once the time is right.
You describe your writing as ‘chick-lit with a kick’ – have you ever wanted to change genre and if so, to what?
If I did change it would probably be to crime. All the Cockleberry books have an element of cosy crime running through them and I really did enjoy writing the whole ‘who dunnit’ aspect of that. But I write love and relationships well, so it would be shame if I didn’t keep at it.
What are your hobbies?
I like to go horseracing at Ascot and I’ve just started baking again. I enjoy keeping fit and walk regularly in Windsor Great Park, which is beautiful.
Current favourite books?
I’m currently reading a book about the Law of Attraction, of which I am a strong believer.
What’s next for Nicola May?
The Gift of Cockleberry Bay is out on April 2nd so just preparing all my pre-marketing stuff for my blog tour. Then watch this space… Christmas at Cockleberry is calling and then maybe a completely new character is going to be popping up who is very far removed from foster girl, Rosa Larkin.
If a genie waved a magic wand and gave you three wishes, what would you wish for?
Find a cure for Coronavirus, ban plastic and to go on a date with Barry Atsma, who played Christie in The Split.
Huge thanks to the wonderfully talented author Nicola May from all of us in The Hub - we wish you continued success in all that you do.
(PS - we would all like to go on a date with Barry Atsma!)
Read Nicola's brilliant books and follow her here:
The Gift of Cockleberry Bay is out on April 2 and can be purchased here:
along with Nicola’s other novels