Romantic Novelists' Association

#IndieApril Author Spotlight: Julia Boggio

5 April 2024

Romcom Books by author Julia Boggio, Shooters, pink cover; Chasing the LIght, blue cover; Camera Shy, Purple cover

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? As we all know, publishing involves a certain amount of luck and a certain amount of timing and, unfortunately, we had neither when my agent sent Shooters out to the publishing houses. Despite lots of positive noises, it didn’t find a home. The last straw for me was when my agent told me that one editor had said to her (off the record), that they were looking for young romance writers with a better chance of going viral on TikTok. When I heard that, I thought, “I can self-publish. I can do this on my own.” So I did.

What is the best part of being an indie author? Definitely the control I have over the process. I decide when the book is done. I choose the cover. I choose what marketing I want to do. I choose how quickly I put them up for sale (3 in 12 months last year!). Another benefit is that I can see my sales as they happen, which gives me some insight into what’s working and what isn’t, marketing-wise.

Also, I decide which stories I want to write. I’m convinced that my second book, Chasing the Light, would have met with objections at a trad publisher because of its themes of infertility/chronic pain, and because it has three POVs (including one from a character in book one, Shooters). But it works!

What is the hardest part of being an indie author? Well, it would have to be the double-edged sword of marketing. I’ve always loved marketing, having studied it in university, worked in advertising as a copywriter, and then run my own photography business for 15 years. But it is HARD. The hardest thing is probably the constancy of it. It never lets up and, when you do, you can see it in your sales—especially as a new author with only a few books out. I can sometimes find the social media side of it overwhelming, resulting in my sudden disappearance from platforms while I take a breath. But I’m slowly building my newsletter list and a following…

What does a typical day look like for you? Oh boy! Define ‘typical’. This probably isn’t healthy, but the first thing I do in the morning is check my Amazon numbers from the previous day and enter it into a spreadsheet. School run next. Then I come back, check off any urgent marketing tasks, and then write. I like to be writing by 10am and often write up until I have to go pick up the kid. If I’m in between books, then scratch the ‘writing’ part and insert ‘marketing’.

Please tell us about your books. I currently have three books out: Shooters, Chasing the Light, and Camera Shy. I write romantic comedies set in the world of professional photography (a space I know well as a photographer myself). Shooters, the first in the series, just won the prestigious SELFIE awards at London Book Fair, as well as gold in the Wishing Shelf Awards. 

How has being in the RNA helped you with your indie journey? My debut, Shooters, went through the NWS programme two years in a row and it came out stronger each time. The advice was always nurturing and helpful. Also, I just love being part of a community of writers who love romance as much as I do. The conference is a highlight of my year.

What advice would you give to somebody who wanted to go the indie route? Ha! How many words do you want this article to be? I suppose my advice would be not to put too much pressure on yourself when you’re starting out. It’s hard to make any sort of money with just one book. Studies by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi—which you should join if you’re an indie) say that ten books is where you really start getting some traction. But really? It’s 25-35. Writing is the most important thing. Just write, write, write and get those books out (with quality controls). Which brings me onto another bit of advice: never skimp on putting out the best book you can. There is a lot of snobbery out there against self-pub authors. I’ve been shot down by my local bookstores and my local book festival just because I’m indie and they perceive a ‘quality’ issue (without having ever read any of my books). But with every well-produced self-pub book we put out there, I feel like we help to chip away at that snobbery. Onwards and upwards!

Can you tell us what you are working on now? Right now, I’m working on Exposure!, which is the final book in this series. It takes place in Las Vegas and it follows the continuing story of the couple in book one. I’m also putting together a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record the audio book of Shooters. I’m keen to use a human for this instead of an AI narrator. 

Let’s share the love! Can you recommend one other Indie book that you’ve read and tell us what you enjoyed about it? We have so many talented Indie Authors in the RNA: Carrie Elks, Jo Lyons, Nicola May and many more. This month, I’m so excited to expand my repertoire of indie reads.

Author Julia Boggio. Woman with dark brown hair, smiling, brown eyes, dress with hearts on it

About the Author

Julia Boggio is a multi-award-winning photographer turned multi-award-winning romance author. She now writes romances set in the world of professional photography. Her debut book, SHOOTERS, won the prestigious Selfie award at the London Book Fair in 2024 as well as gold at the Wishing Shelf Awards. Julia also became an original YouTube star when her Dirty Dancing-inspired first dance sparked a worldwide trend in choreographed first dances. She’s appeared on BBC Woman’s Hour, Richard & Judy, Sky, ITV and BBC news—and The Oprah Winfrey Show where she famously danced with Patrick Swayze. (And yes, there is a news-worthy first dance in Shooters!) Julia is also the host of the popular book podcast Two Lit Chicks.

Buy the Books



Twitter: @juliaboggio

Instagram: @juliaboggio

Facebook: Julia Boggio Author


Podcast: Two Lit Chicks