Interview with Alyssa Hubbard

Why do you give your books away?
I went to a public school once where I was presenting as a guest speaker, and after the pictures and the powerpoints, a child came up to me and said they couldn't afford my book, but they would like to read it. The child offered me what money she had for the copy I had brought with me. Something about that moment struck me so deeply, I went home and start researching to figure out what platforms allowed authors the freedom to give their books away. That's how I found Smashwords. I haven't regretted it since. One day, I may go back to selling them, but I'll never charge more than what that child offered me.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The best marketing technique I've found is to not market at all. I let my readers decide if they want to read me or not, and the best way to do that is to not shove it down their throats. I write blog posts that draw in a certain readership, then if they like me, they can easily find my books on my website. I suppose that is a type of marketing, but it's not marketing heavy.
Describe your desk
Messy, cluttered, and wood. I have papers everywhere, stacks of notebooks all of over the place, and a never-ending supply of office supplies. I'm surprised I get so much done with all that stuff around, but I do. As my mentor says, clutter gets the creative juices flowing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small, small, small town of Alabama. My family literally knew everyone, and I think that shows in my writing a lot of the time. I forget not everyone is so willing to get to know a stranger. There are no such things as strangers where I'm from, so my characters often feel the same.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in elementary school. I had just gotten the first book in the English Roses series by Madonna. I was so in love with the idea of a picture book that I made my own spin-off series. My mom still has it somewhere in her desk.
What's the story behind your latest book?
_Apocalyptia_ was conceived during my junior year of high school, some three or four years ago. I want to say it was inspired by all the December 21, 2012 talk that had been going around, but it has been so long since I actually wrote it. Basically, the idea of the end of the world fascinated me, and I wanted to write what I thought would occur if the world was to end.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Control. I wanted complete control. If I want my book to be free, I'll make it free. If I want to release a book tomorrow, I'll release a book tomorrow. If I want a cover with a half-naked, alien woman, then I'll get a cover with a half-naked, alien woman. Indie publishing is giving all creative control back to those who create, which I think is a wonderful thing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Well, it allowed me to give my books away for free, which is awesome. I was a part of the KDP program prior to Smashwords, and when I decided I no longer wanted to make profits from my books, KDP wouldn't allow my books on their site. Smashwords has allowed me even more freedom than a previous indie platform, which I believe is a huge success.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love creating ideas, dreams, and characters that mean something to somebody. All of these things mean something to me when I read, and I want to do the same for others. Plus, writing is just fun.
What are you working on next?
I actually have a couple of different plots on the back burner. I'm the type of person to be struck with an idea at the most inopportune times of the day, which forces me to scribble down whole plots and ideas onto and in different things. I have to compile all my napkins, sticky notes, and scraps of paper together before I decide which to work on first.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kim Edwards, Suzanne Collins, Richelle Mead, Stephen King, and Aprilynne Pike.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm usually either working, in class, or napping. Napping is good.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually read in genres. I'll be in, for example, a horror mood, so I'll go on different book retailer sites and search through all the books in that specific genre. Most of my favorite books have been discovered that way.
What is your writing process?
I plot. I'm a plotter and a planner. I like to know the entire plot, all the characters, and an approximate length before I even start writing. My plots hardly ever follow the outlines, but it's a good place to start. I write at least 1,000 words every day on a project until it's done. Then I will rewrite my work three times before I feel it's ready to go out into the world. It's long, time-consuming, and can be frustrating at times, but I love it all the same.
How do you approach cover design?
I try not to approach cover design. I'm too anal for it, but when I do find myself with a particular image in mind, I start out on sites like I'm a creator, and I want to support others. I do simple searches for things pertaining to the work, and when I find the right image, I send the creators/artists emails requesting to use their work with compensation and acknowledgement. Some charge a pretty penny, which I don't mind paying for all their hard work. Then I take the image and run with it. The cover usually evolves pretty quickly from there.
Published 2013-11-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Mind, the Body
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,380. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Perhaps what people fear isn't hiding in the shadows, but standing in the light. The Mind, the Body reveals that fear is more than monsters and ghost stories. What we fear most is often times what lurks within us.
An Austrian March
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 28,060. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Gay & Lesbian
Klemens Reinstadler is a passionate musician. However, pressured with the unknown prospects of a duet, a concert, and the mysterious Dominik Engel, he must learn more than just how to play a new score. At the end of it all, music isn’t just about the notes.
Series: Apocalyptia, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 42,180. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(5.00 from 1 review)
A star. It hadn't been a war, a government takeover, or even an earthly disaster. It was a star that had ended the world, with Crystal right at the heart of it, and all that stood between her and instant death was a desk.
Humans and Their Creations
Price: Free! Words: 14,830. Language: English. Published: November 8, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(5.00 from 1 review)
Through the eyes of a character in a novel, a metal soldier, a painting, a group of mannequins, the forest, a wolf boy, a creation lost in an ended world, and a living instrument, humans and their never-ending trials with friendship, acceptance, love, and survival come into the forefront. What will you think when at the heart of every creature, the love and hate for humanity grows?