Indie Paranormal Author Nikki Rae Carves Out an Online Niche

Aug 02, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds CULTIVATING HER CRAFT: Nikki Rae developed characters and storylines that absorb her fans. A knee injury that laid her up for months as a teenager was a blessing in disguise; it launched her writing habit.

By day, Nikki Rae Colligan edits books for her own editing company, Metamorphosis Editing Service. By night, she writes fiction with dark, paranormal and romantic twists. An indie author living in Mystic Island, she has been named among Amazon’s Top 100. Her pen name is simply Nikki Rae.

“Traditionally what you do when you want to write a book is you query agents with your book, meaning you pitch it, and they’re the ones that get you into publishing houses and published traditionally,” Colligan said. “Indie authors don’t have any of that. They do everything by themselves.”

Colligan uses CreateSpace, an Amazon company, where authors have the ability to format their book and upload their own cover. CreateSpace has a print-on-demand system, where the company will not print a book until it is purchased online, paying the author a percentage of that specific sale.

On top of publishing and designing her books, Colligan also handles all of her social media channels as well as her website’s blog, at nikkiraeauthor.com.

“I just write pretty much anything,” she said about her blog. “There are tea recipes on there, stuff about mental health, etc.”

At 13 years old, she wrote Sunshine, her first book of vampire fiction. With passions for both reading and writing, Colligan decided to get more serious with her writing as she was recovering from a knee injury.

Throughout middle school and high school, her friends would flip through the first few chapters and beg for more. Colligan was encouraged by the love and support from her friends, but was forced to set the book aside once she was fully recovered and had to go back to school.

Then came freshman year of college, when she enrolled in a creative writing course.

Colligan discussed Sunshine with her professor, who told her to try to get it published. After five years of editing, revising and sending multiple query letters to agents, she transferred to a different institution and took a different creative writing course. This new professor is the reason Colligan was introduced to self-publishing on Amazon. And so Colligan’s journey began, with Sunshine eventually being listed among Amazon’s top 100 Best Selling Ebooks.

Sunshine was originally written longhand, and Colligan recently decided it was time to give the method a second go. Her current longhand project has filled up an entire sketchbook of about 200 pages and just started a second one.

“Sometimes I get stuck just typing and it doesn’t flow as well, and especially now since I’m on the computer pretty much my whole day editing books, it’s nice to just write by hand,” Colligan said. “It helps me think more because you write slower when you write by hand, so there’s not as much going back, and you can’t really self-edit as much.”

To date, she has written and released three books in the Sunshine series; two in the Shadow and Ink series; two novels, Animal and The Donor; and one short story, “The Beholder.”

Colligan is currently working on a sci-fi story and believes she has an idea about aliens for a potential next book. She is always open to exploring new genres because she finds them challenging.

She has started querying agents for the sci-fi story because she is finding that the indie and traditional ways of publishing are starting to become more similar.

“With traditional publishing, they used (to give) you all the support and promote stuff for you, but now agents want to see you have a platform already and to see you can do it all yourself,” Colligan said.

She also believes that with traditional publishing, a story has a better chance of being considered if the genre is popular at the time, “and sci-fi is definitely making a comeback,” she said.

Starting in October, Colligan’s next few books will be released one month after the other for the remainder of 2017. She decided to try writing for the first half of the year and simply releasing books the second half of the year.

“That’s the first time I’m doing it that way, and I kind of like it better,” Colligan said. “You have to promote and contact bloggers a month in advance, so it’s easier to be in writing mode and then be in promotion and business mode.” She also believes people buy more books near the end of the year, so this method would be more beneficial.

Readers can also expect bookmarks, pins, stickers and book cards available for purchase on Colligan’s website this winter. Tea blends will also be featured on the site’s online shop, with each blend created by Colligan and paired with a main character from each book.

— Colby Alvino

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