B. Ivy Woods, author of the novella Love in the Capitol, is realeasing her novel Conspiracy in the Capitol on June 4. She took a moment to talk with me about reaching her audience, what she loves about being an author, and of course, her new book.
I would love to hear how you got started writing.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I went on a trip to Disney World with family when I was around six or seven, I think. My mom gave me a diary to write down everything I did on that trip and that was when I started writing. I then remember writing stories because I had so many ideas floating around in my head after reading a bunch of books, whether it was Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, etc. My head was always in a book and if not, a pen or pencil was in my hand ready to jot down an idea. I will say Nancy Drew definitely influenced my love for mysteries and suspense stories.
Please tell me about Conspiracy in the Capitol.
Conspiracy in the Capitol takes place several years after Love in the Capitol left off and it's technically the first book in the series because Love in the Capitol is a novella that was a prequel to the series. We meet Rae and Flint again, several years after their relationship has ended (spoiler alert!). As they test the waters of a second chance romance, the stalker that contacted Rae when she started dating Flint years ago reappears and they need to decide if rekindling their relationship is the right move for them.
What was your publishing process like for Love in the Capitol, and are you approaching the process for Conspiracy in the Capitol differently?
For Love in the Capitol, I announced randomly on social media that I would release it and just did. I was debating when to release it and in March just decided what the heck? I wanted to see what would happen and so far the response to it has been amazing. For Conspiracy in the Capitol, I have taken a more measured approach and tried different promotional opportunities to see what works for my brand and what doesn’t. A lot of what I’m learning about being a self-published author is you need to do a lot of research and some of it is just trial and error.
What has surprised you about the author business, and what is your favorite thing about it?
The comradery. When I first started, I was in the mindset that writing is lonely. I sit by myself in my office at a computer with a word processor open and type words. It isn’t just that. There is a vast community of authors that are so friendly and willing to help. The amount of knowledge that I’ve gotten just from talking to more experienced authors has been priceless. Plus, having writing groups and sprinting groups is helpful and keeps me on track.
You have another novel, Behind the Hill, coming out in July. Is it a sequel to Conspiracy in the Capitol? and did you write them simultaneously?
Behind the Hill is a new book in a different series. I wrote Behind the Hill in November 2019 for NaNoWriMo and it spurred my whole thinking that I should try to self-publish my writing. I wrote Conspiracy in the Capitol in February 2020. I’m working on the sequel to Conspiracy in the Capitol now.
How have you approached reader outreach and audience building?
I’ve focused on building my audience and reader outreach by building my social media profile and by offering Love in the Capitol for free. I’m hoping that being engaged on social media and by giving readers an opportunity to read my work at no cost will lead to more people wanting to know more about me and read more of my books.
How are you staying encouraged and connected lately?
I think my family and friends (including my new author friends) have been an enormous source of encouragement throughout these trying times. I’m lucky that my family is healthy and safe and have pushed me to keep pursuing my dreams. I also try to be more mindful about my self-care and trying to relax more.
Where can people connect with you online?
Conspiracy in the Capitol will be released on June 4th and can be purchased at Amazon.com. It will also be available in Kindle Unlimited. You can find out more about my books and join my newsletter on my website, BIvyWoods.com. I’m also active on social media and I usually post on my Facebook and Instagram often.