She may be young but what she has achieved is incredible. Author of eight books, publisher and speaker, Aderonke Moyinlorun is our guest on today’s #WriterSpotlight. Enjoy.
Hello Aderonke. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?
My name is Aderonke Moyinlorun. I’m a writer, a publisher and a motivational speaker. I’m also the CEO of Starling Empire which birthed Starling Books and Starling Films.
At what point did you decide you wanted to become an author and why?
I knew I wanted to become an author since I was a child. I started writing short stories and poems when I was eight years old. I would write stories in all my school notebooks and I’d get in trouble with my teachers but it never stopped me. I’ve always known I wanted to write. I was born to do this.
You are a one-time best seller on Amazon. What book achieved this feat and how were you able to achieve this?
Yea, my book ‘When Love Hurts’ was an amazon eBook bestseller. I wish I could tell you exactly how I achieved this, but honestly, it was a bunch of different things that I did. The most important is that the story sold itself. It was my first attempt at romance story and if there’s anything reviewers say about my romance stories, it’s that they are emotionally intense, and heart wrenching. So I think the story sold itself as did every book I wrote after it.
Besides that, I did a lot of marketing. I gave out a lot of free copies. I approached well known book bloggers and asked them to read and review my book. And I did some few paid adverts. I also have the best and most supportive readers. I had a Ronke team on social media which consist of ten of my loyal readers and their goal was to repost and share everything about the book. In exchange for their support, they are always the first to read my next book.
You have authored eight books! This is no mean feat. How were you able to achieve this?
By being disciplined, dedicated, persistence and patient. And also thanks to the fact that I never run out of stories to write. There’s always a story in my head all the time. But I do a lot of things and run a lot of businesses, I only have little time to write. If not, I would have more books than that.
Let’s talk about getting published. Why did you decide to float your independent publishing company Starling Book?
Honestly, there are more than one reasons why I chose to start Starling Books. First is I believe that my destiny is in my hands. That I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it. That I can be whoever I want to be if I work hard at it. That I can touch the skies if I’m willing to take the leap. More than anything else, this is why I like making things happen for me instead of relying on anybody else or any organisation.
Second was that I had approached one or two publishing company and they rejected my manuscript because they thought I was too young and I didn’t have a lot of readers yet. They didn’t give me an opportunity, so I created the opportunity for myself. That was how I started Starling Books. I was barely 20 years old when I started.
What difficulties did you face in getting this company to start off and how were you able to overcome them?
I had a lot of difficulties. I was entering an unknown territory. I knew how to write but publishing was a whole different ball game entirely. I made a lot of mistakes. I did a lot of research and I had to learn on the job. One major difficulty that I faced was marketing. I was able to overcome this by always coming up with a new idea to market. And I realized that marketing is a continuous process. You are never done. But really, I’m glad I was able to get better at this publishing thing.
There is a common belief that getting a book published is expensive because of the different elements it involves. Is this really the reality?
I would say Yes and No. Maybe in the past, it was expensive. But presently, things keep getting better and I know they will continue to get better. We can publish a book as an e-book and people can read on phones and laptops. Last time I checked it cost zero Naira to publish an e-book, both on Amazon and Okadabooks. And e-book sales are really encouraging.
Getting a book in print used to be very expensive because you are required to have hundreds of thousands of Naira to print one thousand copies. But these days, there are print-on-demand printing companies everywhere. If you need to distribute fifty copies and fifty copies is all you have money to print, you can order the fifty copies. If you have money for another ten copies, you can order again at another time.
So, really, in my opinion, things are getting better. You just have to know where to look and have access to the right information.
What advice do you have for a writer who really wants to get published but is low on funds?
Start with eBooks. It is completely free to publish an eBook. Don’t stop trying to get your books in print either. Work hard. Save. Approach people for sponsorship if you have to. Contact publishers. Good publishers don’t ask you for money to publish your books. They pay you to publish your books. Just keep trying. It will happen for you.
Can you tell us what you love most about being an author?
What I love most most about being an author is the opportunity to touch people’s lives and make a difference. I’m amazed by the number of people that send me messages everyday about how my books touch them. I find a sense of fulfillment in that.
What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?
Writing has taught me that words are powerful. With words you can build, you can give hope, you can ignite and you can destroy too. So I’m extra careful how I use words.
What do you love about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub?
What I love most about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub is the blog posts, especially posts that revolves around creativity and getting inspiration to keep writing.
Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?
Aderonke Moyinlorun. Yea, I’m full of myself like that. LOL
What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?
What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of what you need to do. Do it now.