My Interview with JUDE OUVRARD!
Jude, you are both a friend and a colleague of mine, and I thrilled to introduce my readers to you! You’re simply an amazing human being; kind, generous, and loving. I have great respect for you, so thank you for meeting with us today!
1. Not only am I fascinated by the way people view themselves, but I think it’s also very telling about them as well. Therefore, please tell us how you’d describe yourself?
Funny, insecure and honest.
I think honesty is the key to building a good friendship or business relationship. I also believe humour can influence the connection between two persons. People tends to be more themselves around someone who has a good sense of humour compared to someone who takes himself/herself too seriously. Insecure, because I always doubt myself.
2. This section of questions, I’d like to focus on you as a person.
· I know you love tattoos. What about them draws your intrigue?
o The meaning behind them. Individuality and creativity. I've always been a fan of Art and I love having the possibility of wearing it on my skin.
· Your first language is French. How’d you come to learn English and what made you decide to publish in it instead of your native tongue?
o When I was in my first year of high school, I could barely make the difference between how are you? and who are you?. I was terrible at it until my English teacher told me about a program where I could buy discounted book in English. I remember buying a few of them and I started reading more in English.
o I also was a huge fan of 90210 and hated to wait for the episodes to be translated in French so I started watching them in English and slowly, it started making sense. Then came Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill. I started watching TV or movies in English only. Same for books or the radio.
o I can't say that my English is perfect but I'm getting there. I decided to write in English because writing in French didn't feel natural. I have been reading in English for so many years that my brain started to think in English. Maybe one day I will but not now.
· Do you have any publications in French? Why or why not?
o I've started translating two of my books but I'm far from being done.
· Do you prefer to read in French or English, or doesn’t it really matter?
o In English. When I read in French, I roll my eyes all the time. The words they use. For me, it's like watching a movie with bad actors. I know what they meant but I would have said it differently. It's hard to explain...
3. I’d like to speak to you as a reader in this set of questions.
· I know you write romance, but what is your favorite genre to read? Why, and what do you prefer about it?
o As long as there is romance in the book, I'll read it. I need a love story, passion or some kind of connection.
· What do you look for in a book? What makes you want to read it?
o Sometimes it's the cover, the author or the blurb. I will pick anything Colleen Hoover or Jamie McGuire publish and I'm sure I'll love it. I love their style. They also happen to have nice covers.
· Do you have any ‘pet peeves’ as a reader? If yes, what are they, and have they changed in any way since you’ve become an author yourself?
o I don't like when I feel like the author is trying too hard or when a book gets too trashy. I don't mind erotica but it doesn't mean every character needs to be called a whore or hooker.
· What authors have influences you?
o Nicholas Sparks, Jamie McGuire and Colleen Hoover. Colleen once said, “Don't write what people want you to write, write what you want to write. Be different and step out of your comfort zone.” That's what I try to do. EL James also makes me believe that a dream can become reality.
Ø What authors or books continue to pull you back to them as a reader? What do you love about them?
ü I can read the same book over and over again. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire, Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, The Driven series by K. Bromberg, This man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas or Fifty shades of Grey by EL James. I have read them all so many times, I've lost count.
Ø What authors or books inspired you to become a writer yourself? What about them sparks your creativity?
ü I always love writing books but the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer is the reason why I decided to work harder and make it happen.
4. The next questions will be focused on you as a writer.
· You’ve said words have haunted you for years. As a writer myself, I know what you mean – you’re saying the stories live inside you. What I am curious to know is how those voices and tales not only got written down, but became published works. What led you to pursue being an author?
o It was a dream. I started writing Fanfiction and next thing I knew, I was sending a manuscript to a small publisher and it was accepted.
· Though I’m an international author, I lack some of the same challenges you have. For example: I can easily gift ebooks through Amazon and being in the United States (or if I were in Great Britain), the Kindle Countdown Deals are valid in my region. In your opinion, what challenges do you face, and how do they different from US and UK authors?
o The result is that I give away many copies of ebooks. MANY. In hope of having new reviews or a new follower.
o Amazon is difficult to work with, and they won't change for me, so I have to adapt.
Ø What do you feel are the benefits for being a Canadian author? Do you have other publishing avenues unavailable to writers from other nations?
ü Audiobooks are impossible to work on unless I'm a super amazing successful author and I'm not there yet.
Ø What most surprised you about the publishing world?
ü How many people care about my books.
Ø Is there anything you wish would change in regards to your publishing options and marketing reach? If yes, what, and why?
ü I wish marketing wasn't so damn expensive. Sometimes it's more expensive than my mortgage payment. Crazy!!!
· A street team is a great tool for authors and publishers to connect with readers and literary communities. In your opinion, what is a ‘street team’ and how does it work?
o A street team should be a group where readers and authors interact together. I don't think an author has the right to demand her/his readers to promote every day. Some do and I don't agree with this.
Ø Do you use your Facebook group, JUDE’S STARS, as your street team? If so, what benefits do your group members have?
ü It’s more a group where I share what I'm working on. I show my covers before they’re released or a short excerpt. It's a group where I get to be selfish and talk about my books or projects.
Ø What benefits do you feel you receive from your street team?
ü They are nice people. They give nice advices. Some of them are friends. I'm happy.
· Like most authors, you have a website. How does this differ from a street team, and what can readers expect to find on your site?
o My website is where you have all the information about me you might need when it's up to date. I'm not good at keeping it up to date. I try though.
· Can readers subscribe to your website? If so, how?
o I think they can follow it and subscribe to my newsletter. http://eepurl.com/bdKqpL.
5. I’d like to get your opinion on the Indie vs Traditional debate. Personally, I don’t understand the controversy. This is a tough business no matter how you become a published author. I see no reason to make it more difficult.
· Does this debate really matter? Why or why not?
o Of course, I would LOVE to publish with one of the top publisher but it's almost impossible. There are so many authors and it keeps growing. For now, I'm okay with the Indie world.
· What made you decide to self-publish instead of going a more traditional route?
o I didn't have a good experience with a publisher. It was a small publisher and one of the owners was difficult to work with. I decided to self-publish because it seemed to be the easiest way to put a book on the market. I also love the fact that I have full control over my books.
· Do you have any predictions for the future of the business? Anything you foresee for Indie’s in particular?
o Writing and surviving on royalties is almost impossible. I think, years from now, many authors are going to give up. Its A LOT of work, a lot of promoting. It's time consuming and sometimes the royalties don't represent the amount of time or love we put into it. I see many authors complaining but I'm not giving up yet.
· Is there anything you’d want readers to specifically know about the world of Indie publishing?
o It’s a fun world to be part but it's hard. It's not a game.
6. What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
Many books :) I'm currently working on a few projects.
· Do you maintain an annual writing strategy or do you sort of “wing it”, based on the characters and stories that dominate your mind?
o I don't have a plan. I bought an agenda for 2017 because I had too many dates to remember but that's it. I don't have a precise plan. I go with the flow.
· What is your current WIP?
o HER. It's a book I'm very excited about. I don't want to say too much about it but it's a romance.
· Do you have an annual marketing strategy? Why or why not, and what do you feel is the best promotional opportunity to reach readers?
o I don't. I go with the flow. It also depends on my finance. Marketing isn't cheap. FREE sales always get more readers. It also helps when I give away ebooks or when I get to talk with bloggers or readers. They like when they get to know YOU.
Ø Do your answers change if you’re answering about the Canadian market vs the American or International markets? Why or why not?
ü US is steady.
ü UK is my second best market.
ü Canada isn't much of a market. I sell a few ebooks here and there but it's almost nothing.
ü I promote all three of them equally. I mean I always have all three links when I promote my books. Amazon in the US offers a wider range of service, I believe.
Thank you for allowing me to pick your brain. You know I adore you and I’m certain my readers will too. I appreciate your time and pray you success in all you do!