The Diplomat: Envisioning a United Nations of IT

This homegrown Aussie self-published author has always wanted to be a creator. Ever since she set eyes on the fantastical world of The Never Ending Story she has wanted to create her own vision, inspiring her to write a manuscript at the early age of 14. Now thanks to the support of the self-publishing community and sheer commitment and love for words, this Australian native has forged a career as a best selling author. Being a creator she believes her worlds should be protected and thinks very little is being done about it. But she has an idea - a United Nation of IT, where the international community team up to fight piracy. Clearly there’s much more than meets the eye with Kirsty Dallas, being both the diplomat and the creator.

What inspired you to get into self-publishing?

I guess I’m rather impatient, and the long winded process of submitting manuscripts to publishing houses was incredibly frustrating, so I took a short cut and self-published, and I’ve never looked back or regretted a moment of it.

Are there pros and cons of self-publishing?

The pros are complete control over your manuscript… freedom! You also retain a higher royalty rate. The biggest con is the hard work you need to put in, because you are doing this entire process ALONE. From the first word, to ‘the end’, editing, formatting, promoting and marketing. It can be a tiring process and you really have to have the passion and drive there to see it through.

What is your preferred online distributor (Amazon, Smashwords etc) and how has your experience been with them?

Amazon and Draft 2 Digital, and I have had a positive experience with both. They’ve always been helpful in answering questions and helping with problems, and my manuscripts are always uploaded on time…touch wood.

Do you think online piracy is a major problem in the self-publishing industry and will continue to be in the future?

It is a major problem for both self-published and traditionally published authors, and for the foreseeable future I don’t see an end to it. It will take a unified front between all political nations to gain control over this epidemic. It needs to be handled on a global scale, I envision some sort of United Nations for the I.T industry, taking down major piracy sites and players for the good of the creative-arts world.

Do you feel there’s more than could be done to prevent online piracy?

I’m no I.T professional, so I’m just speaking from a little ol’ writer’s point of view, but I wonder if our governments could create a task force to help get a handle on this problem, (maybe they already have one.) I would like to see blocks in place on access to the big piracy websites. It seems like an easy solution to me, but apparently it’s not.

What has been your personal experience with piracy?

My first published book, Saving Ella, was found on a piracy site within 24 hours of going live. It broke my heart that someone found something so incredibly important to me of such little value as to steal it and give it away. I’ve since learned to ignore the problem to a certain extent, because it really is an ongoing battle that will drive you to the point of insanity.

Any tips for on aspiring writers who wish to get into the self-publishing boom?

Just embrace your love of writing and make it your focus. Everything else can take a back seat, because it’s that love and passion that’s going to get you over the line and fulfill your dreams. Piracy will always be there, don’t let it consume you and control your literary world.

How do you see the market for authors developing in the next couple of years?

I’ve honestly been wondering about that for a while now. Self-publishing has come so far in such a short span of time, I simply can’t guess where it will go next. Wherever it does go, I hope it’s with positive strides for the independent author.

Finally, what book inspired you to become a writer?

It was actually a movie that inspired me to write. The Never Ending Story, released in 1984, blew my mind. I watched the video on our small screen TV box about 15 times in a row, and I decided right then and there, I wanted to do that! I wanted to create worlds like that! I was about 13 at the time and I was 14 when I wrote my first full length novel about dragons. I think I still have that manuscript somewhere…

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