Anyone who’s into Indie Publishing and who wants to be successful in Hubpages should know Nicole Canfield.
First and foremost, Ms. Canfield is a dedicated wife and mom. If she is not busy with her domestic chores, she’s writing articles for Hubpages and writing books under three different series including Hungry Spirits, Familiar Spirits and the Cotton Family Series. Interested readers can purchase her books through Amazon.
Kindly share some information about yourself.
My name is Nicole and I live in the beautiful sunshine state of Florida in the United States. I am a wife, a mother of two amazing children, a Registered Nurse, and a reiki practitioner in addition to being a published author and online writer.
I found out that you are the author of the acclaimed book series such as Hungry Spirits, Familiar Spirits, and the Cotton Family Series? How did you first get involved with indie publishing?
Yes, Familiar Spirits and Hungry Spirits are the first two books of The Cotton Family Series. I’ve always wanted to write a novel since I was a little girl. One day I decided to stop dreaming and start executing. I’ve self-published three books through Amazon CreateSpace and KindleDirectPublishing. The reason I’ve chosen to self-publish as an independent author is because I didn’t want to wait to get my work out to the public, not to mention I didn’t want a publisher telling me how to write. I like doing my own thing.
Kindly share some basic information about the books you have finished.
My first book ever published was The Dream Canvas, published in 2015. I call it an urban fantasy contemporary romance. It is based in an urban setting and is rather realistic, but it also has elements of fantasy and magical realism throughout. It is a novella, so it is a quick but fun read. If you’re into unexpected romances, dreaming, tarot cards, and artwork check it out!
Familiar Spirits, Book 1 of The Cotton Family Series, was published in February of 2016. This book was my baby. I had so much fun writing this book. It is a supernatural thriller / magical realism (full-length) novel. At eighteen years old, Lucy Cotton left her childhood home and all of her nightmares behind her. Over a decade later, she has no other choice but returns to be the executor of her grandmother’s will. Little does she know her entire logical world is about to be turned upside down. Her estranged mother reveals a centuries-old family secret that shakes Lucy’s sense of reality. Not to mention, the terrifying nightmares that once haunted Lucy as a child seemed to be just waiting in the shadows for her to return. Now Lucy must try to settle the restless spirits in her ancestors’ Colonial home and sell the estate before she loses her sanity…and possibly her life. If you enjoy gothic fantasies or supernatural thrillers, you will find yourself pleasantly lost in the dark world of the Cotton Family. A world full of witches, restless spirits, folk magic, and shapeshifters.
Hungry Spirits, Book 2 of The Cotton Family Series, picks up where Familiar Spirits left off. Lucy Cotton lives in her ancestors’ old Colonial plantation with an endless stream of restless spirits and her shaman-boyfriend Maddox. Supernatural thriller meets magical realism in the addictive Cotton Family Series where a woman learns alarming secrets about her family’s past and discovers she is no longer a normal person with a normal life. She is a witch, and the powers of her ancestors have been handed down to her through her bloodline. In Hungry Spirits, Book 2 of the Cotton Family Series, we continue Lucy’s story following her initiation into the craft. Lucy rises to greet her newfound powers and life seems to be falling into place. She’s running her ancestors’ colonial plantation, cultivating a beautiful romance with her childhood friend, and learning the ways of her witch-ancestors. But loose ends were never tied up, and Lucy has to come face to face with reality – the spirits at the Cotton Plantation do not rest. The spirit that haunted her as a child and tried to take her life refuses to give up his vendetta.
In search of the truth, Lucy discovers it’s not just the spirits who have it out for her, but another family whose ancestral roots run as deep as her own. Will she be able to protect herself and her home from her enemies? Will she finally solve the mysteries that held her family in turmoil for centuries? Or will she succumb to the pressure of a town’s hatred, a spirit’s malice, and another family’s revenge?
How did you come up with the content of those books? What is your inspiration for writing those series?
The Cotton Family Series is inspired by my love for the paranormal. Since I was a teenager, I’ve studied ghosts, witches, werewolves, and vampires, and so I knew when I began writing a series that I wanted to include my favorite supernatural creatures. I am also a huge fan of American, Irish, and English folklore and weave much of our ancestors’ stories into the Cotton Family Series. This series is a culmination of my research, and it is also inspired by some of my own experiences with the paranormal as well as a few vivid dreams I’ve had over the years. The setting is based in a fictional town that reflects my small rural hometown of Mechanicsville, Maryland.
Why did you choose Paranormal subjects for your Hub and books?
As mentioned previously, I have a passion for all things paranormal. I’ve been writing about spirits and witches since I was young and it’s a topic I know really well so it’s only natural for me to write about my passion. I’ve found when I try to write about other more mundane topics, the words don’t flow as well and the work itself isn’t as compelling to readers. So I stick to what I know.
Why did you also choose writing for Hubpages?
Over six years ago, I saw an ad on FaceBook for Hubpages. It said it was looking for writers and that you’d make money writing, so I took a chance and signed up.
How did you manage to earn $600 a month? Is it purely Adsense or through affiliate marketing?
I earn on average six hundred a month through Hubpages advertising. I also earn an additional one hundred dollars through the Amazon affiliate program once every three months or so.
How would you describe your writing style?
I like to think my writing style is down-to-earth, informative, but also haunting. My goal is to make my stories stick in the minds of my readers.
What do you do when you are not working on your book or Hubpages?
When I’m not writing, I’m chasing after my little ones, playing in my garden, or practicing my spirituality. I also enjoy traveling, cooking, and hiking.
What do you find most challenging about indie publishing? How did you overcome it?
Indie publishing is not easy. Let me elaborate. It’s easy to publish through various online platforms in that they make the formatting and releasing of your books simple and fast. However, the challenge is getting your book out there to the readers. Spreading your title and gaining attention. I wouldn’t say that I’ve fully overcome this challenge, but I use social media as an avenue to promote my books. I’ve also done local book signings to get my name out there.
Like any other writers, did you experience writers’ block when writing articles or books? If so, how did you overcome it?
I don’t believe in “writers’ block”. I believe sometimes writers have a lull in which they should step back from their work and take a break. Let their minds and imaginations rest. This is just a natural time to let your creative side regenerate itself. If I feel like I’m lacking for inspiration (which is hardly ever because the world is an inspirational place!), I go outside and let nature be my muse.
I realized that you wrote for some magazines. Did you face any difficulties before when looking for publications where you could publish your article and get paid for it?
I’ve written for a handful of magazines. A few I contacted directly while the others reached out to me. I wouldn’t say I faced any difficulties in this regard.
What networking do you do that you think which helps your writing business?
Mostly I use online networking through FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube as a means to promote my books and writing. I’ve also reached out to local businesses to do book signings and meet people face-to-face. Sometimes word of mouth is the best advertising.
How did you make your Hubpages famous? Is it through SEO, the content itself, Advertising or other techniques?
I didn’t know my Hubpages was famous! But if it is, I’m honored and blown away. As for how it gained popularity, I’d say it is just the content I publish. My topics aren’t mainstream and are a bit off-beat so this makes my articles unique. I don’t do any SEO for Hubpages, and even though I post my articles on my FaceBook page, most of my traffic comes through search engines. I will say a few of my articles have gone viral on FaceBook, but it is not a daily occurrence.
How do you keep coming up with content for your Hubpages? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles.
As I mentioned before, the world is a beautiful and inspirational place. There are so many topics to be covered! If I run out of inspiration, then I’m not viewing the world with awe and wonder any longer. When people lose ideas for articles, they are putting barriers up around their own imaginations. I’d say to just go outside and take in the beauty all around you, and you will be inspired to write.
What’s your strategy with your Hubpages in general? Is this your secret behind your success?
My strategy is to just remain true to myself. If I stray outside of my passions and interests, my writing becomes dull and uninspired. I stick to what I know and love and this tends to draw interest from others with the same passions in the paranormal and spiritual topics.
Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
I would have to say my favorite article I’ve written on Hubpages is Shapeshifting Witches: Legends from Europe and North America. It ended up winning a HubNugget award which rewarded me with extra money! Plus it was a blast to research and write. As for my least favorite post on Hubpages, I’d have to say I don’t know that I have a least favorite. I enjoy everything that I write. It’s not all perfect, but writing is a joy no matter what.
Name some of the writers/authors whom you look up to and why?
My absolute favorite author of all time is Neil Gaiman. I love his style, his effortless writing, and his passion for the paranormal and mythology. Some other authors I enjoy reading are Anne Rice and Sarah Addison Allen. I also enjoy reading Sarah Anne Lawless’ blog online.
What is your message to other people who want to engage in indie publishing and writing for Hubpages?
Go for it! Whatever your writing dreams are, make them a reality. Sit down, set goals, and adhere to them. Even if it takes you a few years to self-publish a book, at least you can say you did it. As for writing on Hubpages, in the beginning it is rather difficult to gain traffic and earnings, but keep at it and eventually you will build a following and views will come naturally to your articles.
How about a message to your fans?
I’m currently working on Ancient Spirits, Book 3 of The Cotton Family Series and plan to publish and release it late summer or early fall 2017. Thanks to everyone who has followed me and been a support of my work the past six years!