Romantic Novelists' Association

#IndieApril Author Spotlight: Audrey Harrison

10 April 2024

Books by Audrey Harrison

We are delighted that you could join us to talk about your indie author journey. Could you tell us a little more about it? Why did you decide to go the self-published route? Hello, it is lovely to be here. I’ve been self-publishing since October 2011 and would have done it sooner if I would have realised just what a perfect fit it was to my publishing experience. I write Regency romance, with some other mixes thrown in, Victorian, time-slip. I initially went down the traditional route and kept being told that there was no market for Regency romance. It made me look at writing other genres, but my heart wasn’t in it so that when I found out about Amazon Kindle I thought I had nothing to lose. It turns out that there is a huge market for historical fiction, especially Regency and my readers appreciate being able to buy the books that they love.

What is the best part of being an indie author? I am a bit of a control freak, so being able to choose which editors/proofreaders/cover artists is an enjoyable part of the process.

What is the hardest part of being an indie author? Marketing! I have yet to meet an indie author who enjoys the marketing. Ask me to sell something for someone else and I am there, happy to do it. Ask me to sell my own books and myself?! The introvert in me runs and hides!

What does a typical day look like for you? Huge cup of tea before anything happens and then I go through the online reports to see what is happening. I will do admin (never enough to fully catch-up) and a little marketing (nowhere near enough!) and then in late morning/early afternoon I am either writing or editing. Length of the working day varies because of whether or not it is coming up to publication day. The few weeks before a book gets published are always the busiest.

Please tell us about your books. They are Regency romance, often inspired by something I have found out through research. They have people who are flawed, because none of us is perfect, but I believe in happy ever afters for everyone. Many books started life as a standalone, but as the story progressed other characters came to the fore and demanded their own stories.

I also write Paranormal Romantic Cozy Mysteries under the pen name Amelia Hopegood. It has been hard juggling the two names, but it was the project which kept me sane throughout the shielding months because of COVID.

How has being in the RNA helped you with your indie journey? I had joined the RNA because I knew no one in the publishing world and someone at a literary festival suggested it. I admit that I was floundering a little as to if it was a good fit and then COVID hit and the zoom meetings were formed, the indie chapter being one of those groups. I had finally found my tribe! I have met such lovely people on there, found out loads of information (you never stop learning in this business) and I know that whoever has a problem, someone on the group has been there and done it and got loads of useful advice. It’s an amazing group.

What advice would you give to somebody who wanted to go the indie route?  Be prepared for a long haul, success doesn’t happen overnight. You are not just an author, you are a marketer, publisher, brand person, strategist and financial controller too. The term authorpreneur sums it up perfectly. Just to put it in context, I know lots of traditionally published authors who now do more or less everything I’ve mentioned, so don’t think it is an easy ride if you choose the traditional way. Other than that, be careful with your money, there are a lot of people out there promising the world and delivering nothing. Seek advice from fellow authors before you buy any products or services. Guaranteed one of us will have already made the mistake, so save your money and learn from us!

Can you tell us what you are working on now? I am working on the seventh book in an eight book series. It is a group of Bluestockings who have been overlooked because their intelligence threatens the men who want a doormat for a wife. Each has their own story, but these are friends who visit and help each other out. It was supposed to be seven books and once again, one of the characters demanded that she get her own story, so hers is the last and due out just before Christmas.

Let’s share the love! Can you recommend one other Indie book that you’ve read and tell us what you enjoyed about it? Goodness! That is like choosing a favourite child, there are so many great books out there! When I am writing I don’t tend to read romance, that’s a treat for when I’ve finished a book. As I’m in the thick of writing at the moment I’ve just finished reading one of Helen Harper’s Urban Fantasies. It’s something completely different but fast-paced and funny, so I can wind down before bed. If I had to pick a romance, Hannah Ellis’s Loch Lannick series is lovely. It’s about families and the troubles they face but also the strong relationships and the love they find.

Author Audrey Harrison, dark shoulder length hair, black glasses, smiling, white shirt with lace at top
About the Author
I have had the fortune to live a dream. I’ve always wanted to write, but life got in the way as it so often does until a few years ago. Then a change in circumstance enabled me to do what I loved: sit down to write. Now writing has taken over my life, holidays being based around research, so much so that no matter where we go, my long-suffering husband says, ‘And what connection to the Regency period has this building/town/garden got?’
That dream became a little more surreal when in 2018, I became an Amazon StorytellerUK Finalist with Lord Livesey’s Bluestocking. A Regency Romance in the top five of an all-genre competition! It was a truly wonderful experience, I didn’t expect to win, but I had a ball at the awards ceremony.