Please tell us a little about yourself and your background? About You as a Writer
Emily Chantiri is a Sydney journalist and author of five books including three best sellers. She has interviewed many international and Australian successful identities, including Andrew Forrest, Napoleon Perdis, Simmone Logue and Geoff Huegill. Emily spent five years as reporter at Fairfax media working the Australian Financial Review and BRW. Today she is a contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and a number of magazines, including Marie Claire and Good Health Magazine and The News Daily.
Emily writes articles with a particular focus on work, money, finance, health and life balance. She also writes on travel, property and general business. She has appeared on numerous radio programs and on air in shows such as, A Current Affair, Channel 7 Sunrise morning show and has featured as a panel.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?To continue writing always.
How long have you been writing? For more than twenty five years.
Which writers inspire you? There are too many to list. Writers of fiction inspire me by taking me to places where I would not normally go. Non-fiction writers inspire me when I learn something new or profound from their expertise.
What is the easiest thing about writing? Anyone in the world can write. No matter where they come from, how old they are or what their belief.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? I have published 5 books, 2 of them have been co-authored. On average, it takes a year. I write in between my journalism and freelance writing work.
Do you ever get writer’s Block? If so, Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Generally no, though it is a fear I have. When I am ready to write a book, I do find the words come, but not without some challenges. The biggest block for me is that I write everyday and for a living; this does lead to fatigue. The best thing I find is to take a short break or time out from writing.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors. Yes, I tend to go through genres and I do not have a favourite author. There are too many good books.
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books? Easy, traditional.
What & whose book/s are you reading at present? Second Life by
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I always use a professional proofreader or when publishing via a publisher, they have their own.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? At times I have had time away, although only a few weeks. Most times I am on a deadline to deliver a book, so I always work towards that deadline.
When did you decide to become a writer? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? From a very young age, I knew I wanted to write. There were no writers or creative people in my family, this made it difficult to pursue a career as a writer. But, luck was on my side when I started working for an advertising agency, where I learned the ropes as a copywriter. The rest is history. I’ve written and continue to write for great publications such as, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Marie Claire Magazine, ABC Life etc, BRW magazine and many more.
Why do you write? It is innate. I do not know what else I’d do.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I’m currently working part-time. I prefer to write in the earlier part of the day until lunch.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? How successful are you at achieving that goal? When I am working on a book, yes I do. It’s important to set goals. If you have a publisher, then you need to have goals to reach your deadlines.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Do you use a special writing program, or just type away? Computer.
Where do your ideas come from? Mainly from being around people and reading.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I believe I am getting better all the time. There is still a lot more room for improvement. This is what I love about writing; you are never done! There is always something to write about and to stretch your writing techniques. I’ve been fortunate to write across different areas, non-fiction, journalism and a memoir. This mean I challenge myself to adapt to that style of writing.
What is the hardest thing about writing? Sometimes it is a lack of motivation and inspiration. When I’m on a roll, it’s great and the words come through.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I’m about to embark on the next in series of a book I wrote some years back called, The Savvy Girl’s Money Book. My book was published by Murdoch books and it became a best-seller. Murdoch books has been taken over by Allen and Unwin, this means introducing myself to a new team and new people who were not part of Savvy Girl’s Money book.
How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route? Thankfully, most of publicity has been done by my publishers. One book I wrote, The Voice of Intuition which I self-published, I was able to get a few articles/reviews in some magazines.
Would you or do you use a PR agency? A PR agency could really add value, but they are incredibly expensive. I’d need a guarantee that I can get the money which I invested in PR firm back in book sales.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? If you want your book to be a success – you need to put as much time in marketing as you do in writing
How do you relax? I start my mornings with a walk and coffee and most mornings I will also do a short meditation before work.
What is your favourite motivational phrase. Just do it
What is your favourite quote? Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Meher Baba
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time? In terms of writing, hopefully having another 2 books published.
About Your Books
What genre are your books? Women and Money. Although I have authored one book on Intuition
What draws you to this genre? Women haven’t always been very savvy when it comes to money (this includes myself) I started exploring ways to help women and in turn I helped myself.
How much research do you do? Plenty. I do as much research as I do writing.
Have you written any other books in collaboration with other writers? If so, with whom? Yes, the first book, The Money Club was co-authored. I had the idea for the book. It became a best-seller. It’s a book I am very proud of.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around. I have had four books published through the main publishers, Random House, Wiley Books and Murdoch books. Publishers do earn their keep. They take care of the distribution, publicity, design etc. I’ve only self-published one book, The Voice of Intuition. While I was able to get publicity and distribution, it was a lot of work. Today, my preference is for a publisher to publish my books.
What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I send a press release to the direct person. It’s important to do homework and get the right emails. I find it’s important to send a lot of press-releases if you want to get a review.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Thankfully, most of the reviews have been very positive.
What’s your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you? I’m still yet to really understand if social media works.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? My publishers have always sent the press release to the relevant media. However, I did write one for the The Voice of Intuition.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? No.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why? I tried this with the Voice of Intuition. I can’t say I saw any benefit in giving books away for free. I do believe you have to send free books to media/social media representatives if you want to get a review.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Never lose site of your dream and why you’re writing the book.
About Your Current Book
What are you working on at the minute? Another in the series of the Savvy Girl’s Money Book.
How are you publishing this book and why? The Savvy Girl’s Money Book was originally published by Murdoch Books. Since that time, Murdoch books have been taken over by Allen and Unwin. I trust that Allen and Unwin will consider my next book proposal in the Savvy series. (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
How can readers discover more about you and you work? www.emilychantiri.com