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Friday, September 15, 2023

What Works For One Author May Not Work For You: Author Interview with.Aminata Coote

You’ve now published several books, but what inspired you to write that first one?
The desire to write fiction actually started in high school after a classmate challenged me to write a book. Up to that point, it had never crossed my mind, but the second I started writing, I knew it was something I wanted to do.

His Perfect Match, the first story in my Orange Valley series, came from the spark of an idea: what if a blue-haired girl fell in love with a pastor? Initially, I'd envisioned the female character as a bit of a rebel, but she turned out to be so much more. 

What made you choose contemporary romance? 
They always tell us to write what we know, and while I'll read almost anything with a romantic subplot, I primarily read contemporary romance. Also, I'm a little intimated by the amount of research involved in writing historical or biblical fiction, but you never know...

How long did it take you to write your first book that was published?
I think the first draft took me about four months. I started in November of 2021 for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) and kept going until it was done.

You publish as an indie author. Did you personally design the full book, or did you have assistance with formatting, cover design, marketing etc. from them? H
ow did you find those people to help you? 
I use the Reedy Book Editor for formatting. I write my books in the editor and then it's simply a matter of exporting it as an Epub or print-ready PDF once the manuscript has been finalized. 

My husband designed the covers. Our process starts with me combing through the Amazon storefront in the categories where my books will be and then identifying the commonality that covers in that genre share. Then I decide what I'd like the cover of my books to look like and show them to him so he has an idea of what I want.

Then we pray about it. 

He does a preliminary design and I give him my opinions. He adjusts the design accordingly. Sometimes, we go back to the research phase until we have a cover that gives me the tingles (for me, that's usually a sign that we got it right).

At that point, I let it sit for a couple of days and then revisit it. Sometimes, I'll share the covers in a writing group to ger feedback from cover designers and other people writing in the genre.

Marketing is the biggest key to making sales. What is the best marketing source you've used that has produced more sales rather than just clicks?
Marketing is something I'm still learning which I means I'm always listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos. I'm in a gazillion Facebook groups. I attend online conferences and webinars. I've done Bryan Cohen's 5-day Author Ad Challenge multiple times (still haven't created all the ads, but I'm working on it). 

Apart from ads that are somewhat trackable, I truly have no way of knowing. The way I've been approaching marketing is to remind myself than some of what I'm doing is just to make myself visible in the space.

Also, if I try something for awhile and it doesn't give me joy (or I really hate it), I give myself permission to stop.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
I listen to a lot of writers and so many of their words have been a source of encouragement to me. But I'd have to say the best encouragement I've had in my writing have been people:

My husband who's always willing to listen to me work out a story idea or talk about my characters (even when I don't take his suggestion, lol).

My son who does random check-ins to see how I'm meeting my goals.

I have a friend who checks up on my progress regularly. She stays abreast of what I'm working on and periodically checks in to see if I'm meeting my goals. When I get discouraged, she's ready with a word of encouragement. 

I have another friend who beta reads for me. She's been a book blogger for years so I value her opinion. She's always ready to read and make suggestions and when imposter syndrome hits, she speaks life into me.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
I wish I'd known that learning how to market my books was almost as important as writing more books.
What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
Don't stop writing. While it may not be feasible for you to write every day, get into the habit of writing regularly. The more frequently you write, the more you'll realize what you're capable of creating.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
Just that writers should enjoy the process of writing. Not everything will be easy or fun, but if it ever gets to the point where you dread everything about writing, it may be time for a break. Or maybe a change in what you're writing. 

I'd also encourage writers to pay attention to their process and what works for them. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things, but understand that what works for one author may not work for you.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
I have a few Christmas novellas releasing this year. The first book is A Husband for Christmas which releases on October 13, 2023. It's a twin switch story (which I love). Here's the blurb:

Can you find true love while pretending to be someone else?

Mackenzie Porter finds herself at a crossroads after a humiliating encounter with her handsome boss, Cameron. To escape her embarrassment, she agrees to a twin switch with her sister Madison for the holidays.

Cameron Grant is shaken out of his comfortable routine when his favorite hostess resigns. In an out-of-character move, he tracks her down to see if he can coax her back.

Things get complicated when Cameron falls for Mackenzie. Can he convince Mackenzie that he loves her for real? Or will she believe he’s falling for her twin?

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Aminata's books, here are some links to get you started. 

Amazon Author Page: 

And here's a bonus for my readers, leave a comment on this post and we'll pick one reader who'll receive an eBook copy of Aminata's latest release, His Perfect ChoiceSo do that now. It can be as simple as I want to be in the giveaway. We'll chose a winner next Friday.


  1. What a great interview! Marketing is so hard for me. Good to know other authors have the same learning curves to maneuver. And yes, I would love to win Aminata's latest release.

  2. Enjoyed this post. Especially agree that marketing is very nearly as important as writing, and that's something I had no idea of when I started out!