Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Stephanie grew up with a love of books that she inherited from both her parents. It was at the age of ten that she began to write, and the dream of becoming an author began. Most of her days at school were spent daydreaming and scribbling down notes until she turned fifteen, when she finished writing her first novel – now published as Sage, The Power Within. Stephanie studied a course in professional writing and editing once she finished high school, and learnt to dabble in areas of writing outside fiction; but her passion stays with writing stories that can let the reader's imagination run wild – as well as her own.
You started writing Sage when you were 14. Where did the idea for Sage come from?
The idea for Sage’s world was inspired by a few different things, but the heart of Sage’s story comes from the journey lots of teenagers (and adults) go through when deciding on the type of person they want to be and want to be seen as. I began with Sage’s character, and then the story and the other characters came to life as a result of Sage’s personality, wants, fears and choices.
How did you find time to write a novel during high school?
Well, I certainly didn’t win Student of the Year I’ll admit to that. I knew from the age of fourteen that I wanted to study writing, so I put more energy into writing a novel than I did my homework. I’d come home from school and get straight into writing; nothing else mattered.
What was your journey from finishing your manuscript to getting it published?
Even though I dreamed of getting published, I wasn’t actively trying to. I guess I was more of a closeted writer, because even my parents didn’t know I had written a novel until I came to them one day with the idea of publishing. It all unfolded because one day, when I was seventeen, I put aside my shyness and opened up to a friend that I had written a novel and, coincidentally, her dad was in the publishing industry.
My friend told her dad about me, who then asked for a copy of the manuscript, which he then passed over to a published author who lived locally so she could review it. She offered a full letter of recommendation, which then prompted by friend’s dad to speak to a publisher he knew.
The publisher took the manuscript, handed it to an editor without explaining who I was, and the editor really enjoyed the story.
So, finally, the published asked to meet me. We had a long discussion, and then within a few weeks I was signing a publishing contract!
What lead you to self-publish your books after Sage?
I had done a fair bit of research on self-publishing and jumped on a few forums as well, and decided it would be something interesting to explore.
What was involved in that process?
A lot, to put it simply. You have control (and responsibility) over everything, from the editing, to the cover designing, to the typesetting, establishing a retail price for the novel, and of course the marketing.
From your experience, what would you consider to be the pros and cons to self-publishing?
The main pro and con, funnily enough, stem from the same thing. Like I said before, you have full control over every step of the self-publishing process and it’s amazing. You can move at your own pace, have the final say, and change things at your own leisure.
In the same vein, you have less support from professionals. You have the expert opinions and advice when you’re with a publishing house, as well as their resources when it comes to marketing and pushing your book into the hands of consumers.
If you’re going to self-publish, then you need to be dedicated and willing to put in a 110% in order to make the self-publishing option worth it.
Overall how do you find the experience? Challenging, difficult, rewarding?
Challenging, absolutely, but also rewarding because you learn a lot about the publishing process, about the industry, and about yourself.
Finally, do you have any advice for those wishing to self-publish?
I think it’s a good idea to establish yourself in the online community first, even on a small scale, before embarking on the self-publishing process. There are many websites where you can post novels, novellas and short stories for free and earn readers who will then be hanging out to buy a brand new book with your name on it when you choose to self-publish.
A big thank you to Stephanie Holder for sharing her publishing journey and self-publishing experiences. If you would like to find out more about Stephanie or her novels go to www.stephanie-holder.com