Author, Life's a Witch
There's no denying that the market for supernatural fiction aimed at young adults is on fire. Author Brittany Geragotelis is a promising new talent in the genre today. Her book - Life's a Witch - has gained millions of fans, and publishers, agents, and Hollywood are all taking notice. But Brittany didn't achieve this status overnight.
A writer since the age of 15, Brittany endured many years of rejections from agents and traditional publishers before deciding to take matters into her own hands. She published Life's a Witch, a magical reimagining of the Salem witch trials, piece-by-piece in Wattpad, an online social community for readers and writers, and quickly gained a loyal following of readers. When her fans began demanding a print version of her book soon after, she turned to CreateSpace.
"I'd endured many years of rejection but never gave up on writing," she said. "I asked myself why I was waiting on publishing when there was obviously a demand for my work. For a long time, I thought traditional publishing was the only way a person could become a successful author. As soon as I opened my mind to the other options, opportunities began to present themselves."
After looking at many independent publishing providers, Brittany chose CreateSpace because she "felt like it was cutting out the middle man." She appreciated the expansive distribution options and lack of set-up fees, and she was pleased with the hands-on customer service she received.
"Any time I ran into questions or concerns, CreateSpace's service team was available 24/7," she said. "The people on the other end of the line were always so nice and helpful that it actually makes you feel good to contact them. I really appreciated CreateSpace's 'call me now' button, which connects you directly to a person. What great customer service!"
Brittany attributes much of her initial success to the word-of-mouth publicity that came from building a large audience of readers in the Wattpad community. She posted the book for free, but in turn she gained millions of reads and the opportunity to interact directly with fans, which made them more connected to her and her story. She also has received positive media attention from influential news outlets like Publishers Weekly and Huffington Post, which resulted in an inundation of offers from agents and publishers.
"In less than a year, Life's a Witch garnered nearly 18 million reads, and I was averaging 1 million more reads every 2 weeks until I took it down from the site," she said. "Seeing my numbers hit the millions was pretty exciting, and it changed my whole attitude on writing."
Soon after Brittany published her novel with CreateSpace, she signed with literary and foreign rights agents. In January 2012, she found herself in an auction with several major publishing houses, which ended in a 3-book deal. She also recently signed on with a movie and TV agent to sell the rights to the Life's a Witch franchise. Foreign rights to the novel have already been sold in Italy and Romania, with more expected to follow. Brittany will continue running her blog, www.thebookslayer.com, where she documents her writing journey and provides tips for other authors. What's one of the biggest pieces of advice she has for her fellow indie authors?
"Don't let anyone tell you that there's only one way to be a successful author," she said. "The world of publishing is changing, and self-publishing allows authors to put the product straight into the hands of consumers and let them decide what they want to see become popular. Don't let anyone stifle your dreams."