Fred Gordon

fredgordon1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

My name is Fred Gordon, I’m a C5-C6 quadriplegic.  I wrote an autobiography of my life called Still Looking Up.  I wrote the book in hopes of inspiring any reader but especially people with spinal cord injury.  In my years of being in a wheelchair I’ve heard horror stories of depression, not wanting to live and the hard times of adjusting to a new situation.  I’ve been blessed to have not gone through any hard times with adjusting, and I want to give back to those that do.  Not just SCI or wheelchair individuals but anybody that has gone through something that had the potential to stop their progression through life.

I try to give a picture of my life before the chair, so when they see my life after the chair they can see not much changed as I grew from a misguided teenager into manhood.  I tried to tell my story as it happened, from going to jail, to losing the love of my life, to the initial accident, to getting saved and married.  I put it all on the table, good and bad.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

It’s funny you asked that because I wasn’t sure what an indie writer was before this interview.  I don’t know, when I used to get sick and had to go to the hospital, I would talk to the nurses and share my life with them, and a lot of them would say I should write a book.  I heard that for years and then one day, a quiet voice said, you need to write that book.  So I started writing.  I didn’t have a real plan, I’ve been winging it for real.

3. Have you been traditionally published? Why or why not?

No, I haven’t.  Like I was saying before, I came into this with little direction.  I’m learning more now, but I like the fact that these are my own words and thoughts and I didn’t have to change anything for better sales.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

It’s okay because I have creative freedom, but it’s definitely hard work.

5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?

Social media, book festivals, book signings, and passing out cards.  But so far social media has brought me the most success.

6. Which services or vendors do you recommend for the marketing methods you used?

Facebook is my biggest media outlet and Vistaprint has great promotional deals.

7. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?

Having a marketing and promotions budget.  You can have the best product in the world but if no one knows about it, it does you no good.

8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?

Find a literary agent.  I didn’t know all the work that comes into play when you’re self publishing.  I knew nothing about the amount of pixels that needed to be in a book cover before it’s accepted on some e-book sites or e-pub formats.  It’s just a lot I didn’t know, but I’m learning now.

9. Indie authors face the challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie just starting out?

Have a plan in place, research your audience and how you plan to reach it and, most important, have an initial budget.  Winging it is not the way to go.

10. What are you currently working on?

I’m not working on any new books right now.  Even though I plan to publish more, I’m still getting my education on how to be successful with this first one.