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How I became an ‘Overnight’ Success by Joanne Dannon

Dear friends,

Last month I started here at SavvyAuthors as a part of this fabulous community. I want to thank everyone who has either commented or emailed me, it’s been lovely to receive such positive feedback.

This post is a follow up to last month’s. If you missed it, here’s the link 

I am an Australian romance writer and am delighted to be able to blog here at SavvyAuthors about my experiences in becoming a self-published author. I hope my experiences will help those whether they’re starting out as writers or need validation in their journey to publication.

As I mentioned last month, my overnight success has taken ten years!!! It’s been a long process in learning my craft, interacting with other writers, but most importantly finding my voice.

Finding one’s voice is really important and, in my opinion, until you are comfortable in writing as you and not someone else, you can’t succeed as a writer.

“Writing as someone else?” you ask…that doesn’t make sense.

Nora Roberts is a fabulous writer and if you try and emulate her style you will “sound” like a Nora Roberts try-hard.

And with me, I really wanted to write for Harlequin/Mills and Book Presents line, so I tried to fit my heroes and heroines into this line. Did it work? Of course not. My heroes were stilted, and boring. My heroines were annoying and insipid. Once I found my voice and started writing as “me” and not trying to fit my writing in to a line, my books became much better.

I ended last month’s column about what pushed me into the direction of self-publishing.

I have to confess that I never had any intention of going down that path. I worked in a corporate career that I enjoyed and wrote in my spare time. And then, I went through redundancy. I no longer had my fabulous job with all its benefits. I planned to find another corporate role when my husband had a serious fall off his bike, injuring his vertebra. Then my father-in-law became seriously ill and later died.

Our family needed me. I needed to care for my husband, our children, and my mother-in-law. I couldn’t even think about applying for a new job when there was so much stress going on in my personal life.

I decided that during this time for upheaval I would self-publish my fun read, Falling for Mr Wrong. I’d heard how easy it was to self publish and how writers were raking in the dollars.

Since I had the time, I decided to try it out since it sounded easy.

I’d like to add that advice given to me was wrong, wrong, wrong!

Self-publishing is hard! Sure, you can stick a book on Amazon, but there is much more to being a successful self-published author.

If you want readers to pay money for your book then it had better be the best book you can write. It should be professionally edited and formatted with a professional cover. Cutting corners, in my opinion, denigrates your book. It looks cheap and may deter your readers from buying from you again.

You need to invest at least $1000 into your book to self-publish, and if you’re not prepared to pay for quality then I would recommend you publish through a traditional publisher, who will do this for you.

Many writers spend hours and days creating a book cover. What a waste of time! You should be writing not doing artwork (unless you’re an artist).

I recently bought a pre-made cover for my latest book for $50 and the artist made a print cover for $10 extra. What a bargain! The pics of the hero and heroine are perfect for my story. For $60, I have a professional e-book and print cover.

Check it out – Bidding on Love

I’ve digressed from my personal journey, but what I want to say is that self-publishing is hard work. You have to do everything. If you’re not organised or able to multi-task then maybe self-publishing may not be right for you.

I’m currently working on four books at the same time, which will all be launched before Christmas.

  • Book 1 – has been written and is currently being edited.
  • Book 2 – has been written and will be edited when book 1 is finalised.
  • Book 3 – has been written and will be edited when book 2 is finalised.
  • Book 4 – has to be written.

Not only do I have to worry about the edits for each book, but I’m working with an artist to develop the covers for each. I also need a marketing strategy for each book.

It’s a busy job and even busier as I’m launching seven books this year. I still juggle this in between my family, helping out at my sons’ school, and my charity work.

I’m fortunate to be super-organised.

To answer my own question, what pushed me to a self-published author? The answer is circumstances.

Once I published my first book, it did okay. There were sales and it was exciting to be a published writer…finally! But I was certainly not having the huge sales everyone talked about. I was deflated.

I loved writing but was questioning whether this was the right career path for me.

And then I got some advice which changed everything. Want to know more? You’ll have to wait till next month when I’ll be talking about marketing and how success comes from working collaboratively, rather than on your own.

Thanks again for reading!!!

Until next month, Joanne x

PS – If you have any questions or an area you wish me to talk about, please email me at [email protected]


[box type=”bio”]

Joanne Dannon is an Australian author who writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savour–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.
Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.


[box]Falling for Mr Wrong

As a nanny, Tilly Walker is more comfortable with her young charges than dodging the English press. But that’s exactly what she has to do when unwittingly caught up in a marriage scandal with a highly regarded Minister of Parliament. Fleeing to the safety of her great-aunt in Jerusalem, the last person sheFalling for Mr Wrong imagines becoming involved with is an undercover reporter who follows her all the way from England.

Lone wolf Nathaniel Morgan-Young is a political journalist who must break Tilly’s story to vindicate past injustices, deceiving her to get the information he needs. But when Nate unexpectedly falls for the very real woman behind the Naughty Nanny scandal, he desperately wants her to know the truth.
Will he be able to convince her to trust him again, once he has his story? Can he find the right words to make her come back, mend his wounds from the past and make him whole again?

Praise for Joanne Dannon – “A handsome, mysterious Englishman; a feisty nanny and an exotic setting – what more could you ask for? Joanne Dannon delivers a sexy, emotional story with a relatable heroine and a hero worth falling for.” – Leah Ashton, RITA Award winning author.

Currently, Falling for Mr Wrong is only available on Amazon


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