His time in prison, and the life he turned around afterwards, form the basis of Glenn Langohr’s writings. Learn how he got all seven of his books in the top 100 of their categories and what you can learn by studying other authors.
1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book. Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.
Curious about the drug war, gangs, or the atmosphere in the hardest core prisons in California? I take you on a journey from a runaway childhood, to addict and drug dealer, into the drug war for an inside look at Mexican cartel wars, corrupt narcotic detectives and a California Prison Union bent on breeding bigger criminals. Here’s a couple of reviews for my crime thriller, Underdog (Prison Killers Book 4).
“Ex-con Langohr can describe the hell of life inside better than any other writer. His vivid passages on just surviving in prison describe a nightmare we’d rather not know about. He compares the plight of abandoned dogs, locked and horribly mistreated in rows of cages in animal shelters, to California prison inmates, locked and abused in the same cages. Not a book for the faint of heart. We who sleep peacefully in our beds at night, unaware of the savagery going on behind prison walls, can only thankfully say: ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’.” John South, American Media
“With lazer-like precision Glenn Langohr lays bare the festering under-belly of our criminal justice system in a driving, graphic narrative that somehow finds the humanity in this most inhuman setting.” Phillip Doran, TV Producer and Author
2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?
My first novel Roll Call was written from prison and when I got out, I read the Publishing Guide for Dummies and studied a lot of other self-publishing guides. What I learned excited me to the point I went with Amazon and Createspace to put it in print and on the Kindle.
3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?
For all seven of my books, I’ve gone indie. I love the control and freedom of being able to lower the prices, personally engage with readers, and not have to give most of the profits away. I have published a few articles about the drug war and prison conditions in magazines to build up the expert status on the subjects.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
I love it. I’ve been at it since August 2009 when I put my first novel Roll Call in print, but didn’t get into Kindle until the middle of 2011. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to meet the right people and learn the right things to get all seven of my Kindle books into the top 100 of their categories. At times I’ve had 5 books in the top 10.
5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
I’ve used press releases, video trailers, radio interviews, book signings, newspaper articles, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. I’ve found that by focusing on social media that pertains to my target audience and niche, I get the best results. Author interviews with other authors and bloggers work well.
6. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I’ve taken a break from the press releases. I had the pleasure of doing three radio interviews, the last one with Sista Soul at KHSU NPR radio on Easter of 2012. The downside of the press releases is they distracted my focus. I became consumed with getting radio or TV spots for instant success. It doesn’t seem to work like that anymore. It is great for the resume, branding and expert status, but in the end it took me away from writing.
7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
How much competition there is. There are so many great self-published writers out there fighting for visibility!
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
Every time I publish another book, I realize how important it is to launch it through the right channels for maximum exposure. I’m working on this preparatory stage constantly to attain some powerful reviews first, before the launch.
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?
Study authors who are doing well in your category. Look at their book covers, how they set up their product description and everything else. Hook up with other authors to cross-promote. Get involved in forums like the Kindle Board. I’ve learned a lot there in a short time.
10. What projects are you currently working on?
I’m in the last stage of launching my seventh book, the crime thriller Underdog.
11. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Crime thrillers that focus on redemption, from the inside of the criminal justice system out.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?