Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Agented and Indie--Interview With Author Leigh T. Moore

Our writing journeys are personal and varied, and I'm always curious about the paths other writers take--the events and thought process that got them where they are today. That was true with Leigh T. Moore, author of The Truth About Faking, Rouge, and The Truth About Letting Go.

Leigh opened up about her own unique path to publishing success. She's an energetic force in the writing community, and a true testament to calling your own shots and making things happen. I hope you all enjoy the interview!

1. You had signed with a literary agent but eventually self-published your novels. How long did your agent shop your books before you came to this decision? What gave you the burst of courage to self-pub?

The burst of courage actually hit me in Jan. 2012, when my agent had shopped my book Rouge all through the fall of 2011 and had gotten lots of compliments, no deal. 

I was ready to go then, but she wanted to shop The Truth About Faking. I agreed, but by early June, it was clear no one was going to buy it. I spent the summer working on another project, but then in September, when Faking was still just sitting on my computer, a few writer-friends convinced me to take the plunge.

2. Once you decided to go indie, what were your first steps? What was your go-to Bible for learning what to do?

I have one great writer-friend in particular, Susan Quinn, who I had been emailing and following along her self-publishing journey. Susan self-published Open Minds, the first book in her super-popular Mindjack trilogy, in Nov. 2011, and she documented all her experiences on her blog. (Highly recommended reading!)

As for your question, the first step, of course, is writing the best book possible and then editing, revising, and polishing. Second most important step is hiring a great cover artist. From there, it’s all about networking and getting the word out.

3. Did you have your manuscripts professionally edited? Or, because you're a freelance editor, did you edit the books yourself?

In the case of Faking and Rouge, I had already edited the books numerous times, my critique partners had read them several times, and even my agent weighed in on Faking. Being able to edit my own books is extremely helpful, but I do recommend hiring a professional editor. One great source of names is on the Indelibles’ blog.

4. Your book covers are gorgeous. How did you connect with your cover artist? How did you choose the perfect covers?

Thank you!!! In the case of Faking, I worked with great writer-friend Jolene Perry. I knew covers were important, and I had always loved the covers of her self-published books. So I emailed her to ask who did them, and she said she did! And then she offered to help me with mine!

Naturally, I said yes

With my newest book, The Truth About Letting Go, I had found the cover image when Jolene and I were looking for covers for Faking and saved it. Jolene was swamped, so my other lovely writer-friend Allison Brennan of B Design made that cover. I actually contacted the photographer directly through Flickr, and he kindly let me buy it from him. (Juanpablo’s website)

5. When it came to marketing, what worked for you and what didn't? Any tips you can pass along?

Marketing is tough, and it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Different things work for different people, and sometimes, success is simply hitting what the readers want at the right time.

For the newbie, the most effective free things to do are have stellar reviews ready to go for release day and have a good group of bloggers ready to help announce and praise your book as close to when it hits the shelves as possible.

Book bloggers and book reviewers are super-busy, and even book tour hosts get booked early. So at least one month before your release date, you need to start contacting those guys.

They usually want to see your cover at least and read the book description, so you’ll need those. And try to have as close to a polished Advance Review Copy (ARC) ready to send them.

6. What's next for the great Leigh Talbert Moore? Will you ever pursue traditional publishing again? Or has your indie success encouraged you to continue forging your own path? 

I don’t know about the “great” part—LOL! My indie journey has had its ups and downs, and it can be exhausting doing it all by myself. I haven’t sworn off traditional publishing. I actually have a new book with a different literary agent at the moment, and we’ll see what happens there. But I’m happy to know self-publishing is a great, legitimate option.

The most important thing for writers is to weigh all their options and make the best decision for their books based on what’s offered and what their goals are. It’s really a great time to be in publishing!

7. Finally, what's the most important writing lesson you've learned?

Just keep swimming! I’ve been saying that for years, but it’s so true. This is a tough, tough business, and it’s easy to get discouraged and want to throw in the towel. But like my good writer-friend Matt MacNish says, the only people who never make it are the ones who give up. You can do it—just keep working hard and keep swimming.

Thanks so much for having me today, Julie! I hope I was able to help your readers, and I hope you all like my new book!

Enter to #WIN a signed print set of The Truth About Letting Go AND The Truth About Faking! (US only) *For international entrants, win a digital copy of both books! a Rafflecopter giveaway

by Leigh Talbert Moore

Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life.
Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes.
Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side.
Jordan wants to follow his heart... but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make.

Up until now, Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, and then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly. 

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, the rules, faith, and then she meets Jordan. 

Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, he's a great kisser... but he's also safe. 

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or iTunes 

About the Author
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.

Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello:

So, friends, what do you think? Aren't her covers gorgeous? Have you read any of Leigh's books? If you haven't been published yet, have you considered going indie? If you're indie, tell us about your own experience!


  1. Yay for Leigh - she's awesome! I love her writing :)

  2. Very beautiful covers. I've been wanting to read Rouge.

  3. This is exactly the opposite of what I did. I self published a short story last year and I have a self published novella coming out next month, but my YA novel will be traditionally published. I agree with Leigh. I'm glad self publishing is a viable option. If you set realistic goals for yourself, make a plan, and keep writing, you can be successful. The key is persistence.

  4. Thanks so much for having me here, Julie! And yep, like Beth said, writers have so many options now. It's a great time to be in the business. It's still HARD work, but at least now we can still get our books out if the gatekeepers pass.

    BEST of luck to everyone reading~ <3

  5. Leigh, thanks so much for sharing your story with us!

    Marcy, Beth, and Jemi, thanks so much for the visit!

  6. Leigh is an inspiration. One of my best writer friends.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story, Leigh!!! (And for having her story here, Julie!) Indies unite! :D


  8. Thank you, ladies. This is a great interview. :)

  9. Always keep your options open!
    For book tours, I know how fast sites book up and I'll start asking six months in advance. (Which reminds me I need to complete my schedule for September...)
    Congratulations, Leigh!

  10. Awesome advice. I wasn't sure when you should contact book review blogs. So excited for Leigh and her awesome books. Can't wait for her new one coming out in the Fall.

  11. I agree, it is a gorgeous cover.

    Leigh, it shows how many different paths there are to publishing. You got an agent, but you're self-publishing at this point. I wish you the best!

  12. Wow, so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  13. A very interesting interview and chock full of excellent links and advice. Great job you two! Congratulations to Leigh on her persistence and her success.

  14. Lucky me, I just got to meet Leigh in person and ask her all kinds of questions face to face. What a great gal! Thanks for this interview, julie! Leigh is an inspiration.

  15. I LOVE the cover for THE TRUTH ABOUT LETTING GO. So gorgeous! I applaud Leigh's courage.

  16. Great interview! I love that there are so many options out there to us writers now. And I love hearing stories about people like Leigh who use multiple avenues. Thanks for sharing, ladies! <3

  17. yep, such a tender and romantic book cover filled with warmth

  18. Thanks again, guys! We have such a great, supportive group of writer-friends here--as shown by these lovely comments. I wouldn't be where I am today without your encouragement through the years!

    I can't wait to see all of you find success in the way that works best for them and their writing! :o) <3