1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book. Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.
John Smith, an unsuccessful and unfortunately-named novelist, has his computer stolen and the only copy of his unsold latest novel goes with it – prompting zero sympathy from the police. Despite fear of his guru’s disapproval, John mysteriously acquires two handguns, a lot of cash and a crack team to reclaim his work. Together with beautiful mathematics genius Susie Bellavista; Biro, a Hungarian-born ex-RAF Regiment sergeant; and one-time activist and fellow-failed writer March Klossowski, John explores the power and wonder of mathematics in an attempt to solve an imponderable, real life mystery. Where will this whirlwind adventure lead? Back up your files and enjoy the ride!
2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?
When I left school back in the day I was writing poetry and short stories and getting them published, but not earning enough to live on. I went to film school because I saw that this was a way to be an artist and get paid! I became a successful film-maker. I made TV documentaries, TV and cinema commercials, pop promos, short films and one feature. After a while I began to think it was about time I wrote the novel, which I had not done way back in the day. One morning I woke up with an idea, which I thought was brilliant and I was motivated enough to get started. Once I was up and running I was unstoppable.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
Yes. Two popular science books: Introducing Fractals with Icon Books and The Colours of Infinity with Springer.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
I’ve liked it. It was easy and cheap enough to get the book out, but even though it’s Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and as an e-book it is proving difficult to let the world know the novel exists.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
I have told everyone I know about the book and sent out quite a few promotional paperback copies. I have set up a dedicated website, which includes a link to the promo vid I produced in which I describe the book and lay out the different ways the book can be purchased. This has produced some good results. I have used Facebook and LinkedIn contacts to spread the word too.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
How hard it is to promote the book with the funds set aside to do this. I should have learned a lesson from the feature film I directed called Remember A Day. The producers in their ignorance spent all their funds making the film and left nothing for marketing. So the film bombed. It’s not a bad film. It’s not a brilliant film, but it should have been seen by a much wider audience. It’s out on DVD.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
Work harder to find an agent and/or a mainstream publisher and be ready to take the rejections. I just got sick of this. And thought, well, screw you and the horse you came in on!
9. Independent authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie author just starting out?
Set aside several grand to promote the book.
10. What projects are you currently working on?
I am writing a screenplay based on Nothing and Everywhere. Trying to get another popular science book out with a publisher. Looking for an agent. Writing a second novel.
11. How can readers learn more about your books?
Go to this website: gordonbooks.co.uk. There’s stuff about Nothing and Everywhere there and a link to my other two books and to Gordon Films.