It’s Author Interview Thursday! First of all, I’d like to wish all readers of my blog based in the U.S., a very Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you’ve had a fun day with your family and didn’t overdo it at the dinner table 🙂 Today’s featured author in the hot seat is from my neck of the woods. She comes from the United Kingdom and lives in London. One of her books has consistently been in the Top 10 of a very competitive category on the Amazon store for the last few months. I was very delighted when she agreed to the interview with her as I believe she has something special to share with us. Please join me in welcoming Lily Lala.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up being a children’s book author?
I am a qualified chef by trade but my heart was never quite there. As a young woman, I used to tell my nieces and nephews a story about a character that I made up for them called Mr Toot-A-Loo, a magical owl who could speak. Now they are all grown up, they have been trying to get me to publish it as a book, so “watch this space”.
What can a reader expect when they pick up a Lily Lala book?
Hopefully lots of laughs and great illustrations which are drawn by my eldest son.
What inspired you to write the Grandma Fartybutt books and are there any more books to come in the series?
My beautiful grandsons were my inspiration. I was playing with them one afternoon and Sean, the eldest let out a bottom pop which made us all laugh. I started saying funny little things which related to that, but in rhyme and so, Granny Fartybutt was born.
What in your opinion makes a great children’s book?
It has to be something which holds their attention. I think that books which are educational are wonderful things but I also feel that they should also be allowed to read a book just for the fun of it.
How do you handle bad reviews?
To be honest, I haven’t really had that many, but in the beginning I really used to take it to heart but have since learned that you can’t please all the people all the time, besides my good reviews and wonderful personal e-mails I get from my readers and their parents far out-weigh the bad ones.
You offer a free audio version of your book when readers download the eBook on Amazon. Can you tell us the process in creating an audiobook and if this has helped sales?
My husband and I lock ourselves away in a room to do the audio (which is narrated by me) and giggle uncontrollably. My husband deals with the technical side of the recording process, that’s his department, it definitely helps to sell books, and an added bonus is my readers are added to my list which allows me to contact them when my new books are released.
What has been your most successful marketing method for promoting your books?
I would say the most important thing is to get the launch right. Again my husband is in charge of this part of publishing, but I know there are certain ways to approach marketing, for instance choosing a relevant category and making sure your description is good, once the book is live I then promote it using Twitter and Facebook. I also promote my website which features my books via a fun little video on YouTube.
What were some of your favourite books as a child?
I loved Snow White and Sleeping Beauty which my parents used to read to me at bedtime.
What mistake(s) have you made while publishing your books that you would advise other authors against?
I think that my only mistake would be that at the very beginning, I let a not so good review get me down and almost gave up. How silly I was.
How do you reward yourself on completing a book or achieving a specific publishing goal?
I like to read my personal e-mails from my readers. They really spur me on.
Toy Story or Shrek?
What do your grandsons think of Grandma the writer?
They call me Granny Fartybutt. Their Dad does the illustrations so they get to see the work in process and they absolutely love it.
What do you love best about living in London and what should a first time visitor do?
I grew up here and parts of the city still fascinate me. London is such a diverse place, full of life, I would advise new visitors to definitely visit the Tower of London and Madame Tussauds.
What can we expect from Lily Lala in the next 12 months?
I have three more Granny Fartybutt books planned and I think I may start working on Mr. Toot-A-Loo in the New Year.
Where can fans and readers of your books discover more about you and connect with you?
I love to hear from my readers, they can find out some more about me and connect with me at my website www.lilylala.com where they can find all my contact info.
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the publishing industry?
My advice to new authors would be that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Take one problem at a time and blast right through it.
Thanks for sharing with us today Lily. Sometimes writing a book and publishing it and then marketing it can be like an impossible mountain to climb. However, I agree with your statement to take one problem or challenge at a time and in due course you’ll be standing at the summit of that mountain. Lilly released the latest book in her funny books for kids series earlier this week. You can grab it along with her other books by clicking the link below
Enjoy this funny video of Granny Fartybutt and leave a comment/question for Lily below plus also remember to share this interview on your social circles by clicking one of the social buttons.
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