Interview with Simone Lucchesi – Founder of Indie Publishing Company the Black Sheep Indie

When it comes to connecting with others, nothing beats a solid interview to find out what makes a person tick and to find out more about the subject you’re interested in. Why discover everything by yourself, if someone else has already gone down that route? In this particular interview you’ll hear from Indie Publisher Simone Lucchesi of The Black Sheep Indie what her experiences are in publishing Indie books.

Publishing company The Black Sheep Indie is -as far as I know (and be sure to tell me if you know of any more!)- the only Indie Publisher in the Netherlands who offers a platform for Indie Authors to sell their books. I was intrigued by what led someone to choose the Indie Publishing as their main focus and so I sent Simone, founder of The Black Sheep Indie, an email to ask if she’d be willing to answer some questions for an interview. After all, she deals with a lot of Indie Authors and might provide some interesting details about the publishing part of being an Indie.

Simone, who has also published her own novel and whose mission in life is dangerously similar to my own, was happy to partake in this interview. *insert happy dance*

Let’s dive right in, shall we!

Simone: “Hi my name is Simone. I am thirty years old, writer and founder of The Black Sheep Indie; the online platform for self-publishing in The Netherlands. I’m a huge fan of chicklit and absolutely adore Sophie Kinsella; she’s my spirit animal. One day I hope I’ll write a bestseller like her.”

Simone: “I went straight to self-publishing, because I always knew I wanted to have a business of my own. It was only when I was older that I realized, being a writer and publishing and selling your book is an actual business (not just a hobby). What people sometimes fail to realize is that being an Indie Author is basically the same as being an entrepreneur. Your book is your product, and you will have to produce the best product there is if you want to conquer the market.”

Simone: “Well, haha. I think I have my Marketing teacher to blame for that one. He always told me to dream big and never settle for anything less. So, when I first started self-publishing my own book, I immediately knew I wanted to make a business out of it. Also, my background lies within Marketing and Sales and I have a fondness for everything concerning the online business. That, combined with my passion for books, made it easy for me to think: hey, why not help out others and let the world know how cool self-publishing and the Indie Authors are.”

Simone: “Actually, authors always seem to find their way to The Black Sheep Indie. I think mainly because it’s one of the few platforms which truly wants to do something for them (and it’s free of charge). Normally, you can just sign up via a sign-up form, but at the moment we’ve reached our capacity and I am currently not taking on any new writers. Something I really don’t like doing… but one of the things I find very important is that I can provide my authors with custom made service and personal attention. When the group gets too big, I can’t do that for them anymore. Which would be very sad. So instead, I’m currently focusing on the great group of authors who are filling my shop with their wonderful books!”

Simone: “Yes, when you are a member of The Black Sheep Indies, you will get free publicity on our social media channels. We help with finding betareaders, and we will turn your manuscript into a beautiful ePub, ready for sale. All free of charge. When you’re not a member of The Black Sheep Indies, but would like to make use of our services, you can always send us an email.”

Simone: “Dare to be different. Dare to try things, to be vulnerable, to fail, to climb back up and try again. Being a Indie Author, with all its prejudices, isn’t an easy road. And in most cases, it’s about having a lot of patience, because your book often isn’t picked up overnight. But that’s okay. Even though it’s not today’s bestseller, that doesn’t mean it can’t be tomorrow’s. Just keep going, and keep getting better!”

Simone: “The diary of a fat girl by Moira Mugweni. Funny thing is, I didn’t even know she was a self-publisher at the time. I was just looking for my next chicklit / feelgood and this gem came by in my suggestions. And I absolutely loved it. For me, that was the moment when I realized: it’s really not about publish or self-publish, it’s about captivating your audience. No one really cares about the publishing house, right?”

Simone: “Sigh, it’s a very shortsighted thought. My advice would be to challenge yourself and read a few books, without looking at the publisher and then decide who has what it takes.”

Simone: “The most untrue prejudice I can think of, is that Indie books are of lower quality. I really, really, really can assure you they are not. Self-publishers spend the majority of their time finding the right editor, illustrator, and so on, to make sure their books are near perfect. I’ve read the most amazing stories by the hand of an Indie Author and the most horrible ones coming from a traditional publisher. And in all fairness, I have also experienced it the other way around. In the end, whether a book can be labeled “good” or “bad” is up to the reader. And in my opinion, that’s how it should be.”

Simone: “For the same reason they read any book: because the title appeals to them, or the blurb, or the cover. “

Simone: “In five years’ time the world will view the Indie Author as an author. Don’t get me wrong, I love Indies and being an Indie; it has something rebellious about it, which I love. But on the other hand, it would also be very nice if there weren’t two sides: if we would all just be authors, trying to spread the books we poured our heart and soul into.”

Simone: “If you had to really choose? Publisher of self-publisher, what would you choose?

An my answer would be: Self-publisher, all the way!”

Thank you Simone, for your time and enthusiasm. Wishing you all the best with The Black Sheep Indie! Let’s continue giving books by Indie Authors the space and love they deserve!

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