Interview with Yuwanda Black

What type of books do you write?
I've been a freelance writer since 1993 and I write fiction and non-fiction.

I've self-published over 50 how-to, non-fiction titles -- mostly covering issues related to freelance writing, self-publishing, SEO writing, small business and internet marketing.

This year (2014), I turned my attention to writing primarily fiction; in particular, romance.
Why write romance?
I've been a avid reader of romance novels since I was a teenager; I've read literally hundreds of them. They're my escape and balm for my soul -- after all, what could be better than reading about love. :-)

So I decided to write the types of romance novels I like to read, which usually involve flawed characters who are willing to put in the work (eg, go to therapy) -- to make love work.

My novels, in my opinion, are grounded in today's realities of contemporary living; particularly as a modern woman, I like to address love in a realistic manner. The road to "happily ever after" is not always smooth. It requires dedication.

But when you find the right one, there's not like putting in that work. It takes love to completely new depths. At least, that's what I strive to portray via my novels.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm an avid runner and have completed 10 marathons to date (April 2014); two full and eight half. So, I can be found running on beaches, a nearby track, a country road, a city street -- wherever.

Running keeps me sane and it's where I do a lot of thinking about writing, eg, plots, characters, covers, etc.
What is your writing process?
I strive to write between 3,000 and 5,000 words per day. I'm a Type-A personality, so crave structure, deadlines, goals, etc. This keeps me on track -- as I publish 2-4 new ebooks per month.

As a freelance writer, I still handle client projects, so it can be difficult to get time in on my own writing projects. It makes for some long days, but I really, really enjoy what I do. And, as I believe wholeheartedly that self-publishing is a virtual gold mine, I remind myself that if I want steady income that I control completely (ie, not having to rely on freelance writing projects), then I must make time for my own books, so I do.

I usually get up and put in 3-5 hours writing on my projects, then I spend another 3-4 hours working on client projects. Then I try to get a run in (3-4 days per week). Then dinner, a little TV and bed.

Like I said, it can make for some long days, but again, I love my "job" so most days I'm anxious to get up and log on.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I worked in publishing in New York City years ago -- trade publishing. So I had an idea of how hard it was to get a book traditionally published.

I didn't have the patience for that. Besides, as most of my titles in the beginning were non-fiction, how-to ebooks, it was information readers were clamoring for. As an aside, most of the ideas for the non-fiction, how-to ebooks I wrote came directly from readers of my blog. Many would literally write in and say, "Yuwanda, could you write an ebook about, for example, how to start a freelance writing career if you work full-time?"

So I would and as readers were asking for it, it would have been financial suicide to try to go the traditional route. They wanted the information like, "NOW!"

So I'd just convert word files into secured pdf files and sell them as ebooks directly from my website. To date, it's still where the bulk of my non-fiction ebook sales come from.

Fiction titles, of course, do much better on outlets like Smashwords. I can count the number of fiction titles I've sold via my website on one hand. In fact, I don't even list them there anymore because I wasn't making any sales.

Another advantage of listing your books on sites like Smashwords is that it drives more visitors to your website/blog. This builds brand (reader) loyalty, especially if you constantly put out new stuff.

I wouldn't be half as successful today as a self-published author without outlets like Smashwords. In my experience, to make a real go of it as a self-publisher you must, must, must utilize these outlets.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It's given me a way to reach outlets that I couldn't and/or weren't prepared to reach on my own, eg, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel. So it's increased exposure for me EXPONENTIALLY!

It was the main reason I signed up to be honest.
Published 2014-04-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Trapped by Desire
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,410. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Casual, 'to go' sex, as her friend Angelika had put it, definitely wasn't Karen's style. But two mojitos and one sangria later and she'd given in to the passion Kamar had awakened in her. "What have I done?" she chastised her reflection. Could the chemistry she and the handsome Kamar shared in bed translate into a successful relationship out of bed? Or would she face heartbreak all over again?