Today on Indie Spotlight I would like to welcome fantasy author E.G. Radcliff, who is sharing some of her amazing personal artwork at the end of the blog, so keep reading to make sure not to miss those!
E.G. Radcliff is a part-time pooka and native of the Unseelie Court. She collects acorns, glass beads, and pretty rocks, and the crows outside her house know her as She Who Has Bread.
Her fantasy novels are crafted in the dead of night after offering sacrifices of almonds and red wine to the writing-block deities.
You can reach her by scrying bowl, carrier pigeon, or @egradcliff on social media.
Welcome to my blog, E.G.!
What made you decide to publish your books independently?
For me, independent publishing was the way to go, for a variety of reasons. It allowed me to control my own schedule, arrange my own sales, and market the way I chose—not to mention keep a larger percentage of royalties. But I wanted to make sure I produced a piece that was as high-quality as any book that had been through the works at a traditional publishing house, so I spent a long time with professional editors and artists to ensure that it was up to snuff.
Well it certainly paid off. I love the gorgeous covers of both of your books.
What are the benefits of being an indie author?
The benefits of being an indie author are largely the same reasons I chose to publish independently. I particularly appreciate being able to keep such a significant portion of the book’s royalties, as well as having a great degree of authority over my own schedule.
What challenges do indie authors face?
One of the biggest challenges is marketing. Publishing houses have broader marketing resources for the authors whose books they publish, but indie authors shoulder that responsibility on their own, or, as I do, with a business partner. Another challenge is simply perception; indie books can be overlooked or ignored by skeptical readers. It’s an assumption that only books that are ‘worthy’ get traditionally published, but there are many factors that determine whether a publishing company will pick up a book. And many of those factors have to do with market saturation, what social following an author has online or from other works, etc. Not being traditionally published does not mean a book is not good, especially since many indie authors jump through all of the same hoops before publication that a traditionally published author would: beta readers, multiple rounds of editing, all that. A vast network of services has sprung up to support and cheer on indie authors, not the least of which are reader/bloggers who elevate independently published books. Readers have every reason to explore the many excellent offerings by indie authors. Great stories, well-told… that may have never seen the light of day had the author not self-published. I’ve read quite a few of them myself!
I have to agree I’ve read many books written by indie authors in the last six months and they have been of great quality. What advice would you give to aspiring indie authors?
You don’t have to be perfect right away. Don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s a trap that I fall into all the time. But expectations of perfection won’t encourage you to write, and that will ensure that you never improve. More specifically targeted toward indie publishing, don’t be discouraged by the perceived saturation of the market. You can be seen with time and effort, and a lot of research. There is a huge learning curve when taking on all the moving parts of publishing—good cover design, excellent editing, publishing platforms, web sites, book formatting, reviews, social media, ads—take your time to learn from what is a very generous community, and deliver the best product you can. I guarantee you’ll make mistakes on your first effort, but you can learn and refine as you go.
What have you learned from being an indie author?
That managing social media is a bear and a half. You don’t have to be on every platform if you don’t have the bandwidth for it. Do what you can, and grow your range as you gain confidence.
And finally … What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2021?
I’m currently working on the third book in The Coming of Áed trilogy, which I plan to release in late spring or early summer. My cover designer is on deck, and my developmental and proof/copy editors are scheduled! Plot-wise, it’s a lot grander scale than The Hidden King (book one) and The Last Prince (book two). I’m very excited to share it with you!
One thing I love to do is to draw… it helps me imagine my characters. As I draw them, I think about how they might move, or behave, and of course the details of how they look. Music is also key part of my identity. Before Covid, I had been part of a huge choral group for years (which I hope to rejoin when Covid is gone), and I love making music with my talented brother whenever we have a chance to be together.
Here is a sketch in anime style of Áed, the main character in The Coming of Áed series.
Here is another key character, from my books, Ninian, in a street fighting scene.
My artwork for the #SixFanArts drawing prompt:
Thank you very much for joining me today and for sharing some of your amazing artwork! Good luck with part three of your trilogy – I’m excited to read it!
The Hidden King (The Coming of Áed Book 1)
From “a talent to watch” comes a “beautifully written” fantasy inspired by Celtic fae mythology.
Hidden truths. Hidden power. Hidden destiny.
On the shores of a rusty sea, in the streets of a starving city, a young man named Áed scraps to build a life for himself and the makeshift family he loves. Scarred by a trauma he cannot remember, and haunted by the brutal damage it left behind, he has no idea of the courage his future will demand.
When a heart-wrenching tragedy shatters his family, a desperate Áed risks a treacherous journey to seek a kingdom of legend—and a new beginning. But an ancient legacy smoldering within him is about to turn deadly, and neither he—nor the legends—will ever be the same.
Add The Hidden King to goodreads here:
Buy The Hidden King here:
The Last Prince (The Coming of Áed Book 2)
The Last Prince is the full length prequel to The Hidden King.
In a hellish city, the fate of a young boy rests on the very thing he fears most…
Robbed of his childhood by tragedy and betrayal and forced onto the streets, only fury makes young Ninian feel whole – and in a world of gangs and fae, Ninian is more than willing to fight for his life.
But it doesn’t take much to topple a life which is already balanced on the edge of a knife. And by the time a desperate Ninian realizes he’s crossed the wrong person, it is much, much too late.
In his frantic struggle to right his collapsing world, Ninian’s furious, bloody efforts are dredging up history he’d rather forget – the past is tired of being held at bay, and even fighting cannot protect Ninian from himself.
So when he meets a crimson-eyed stranger, a boy so broken he refuses even to speak, Ninian does not believe he has the capacity to care.
He is wrong.
And that will change everything…
Add The Last Prince to goodreads here:
Buy The Last Prince here:
Who’s next on Indie Spotlight?
Next week I will be joined by Dan Fitzgerald. Dan is a fantasy author living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When he is not writing, he might be gardening, taking photographs of nature, doing yoga, cooking, or listening to French music.