1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My latest book is titled City of Tears. It is the first novel in the new series, Rise of the Thrall Lord (ROTL). The plot revolves around a tower harboring enormous power, shrouded in mist, surrounded by an ancient city that has fallen under a terrible curse. All who once lived there walk the earth as undead, ruled by the former empress of the once great Naradon empire.
Though Heroes ended at a rather climatic point, it did not resolve everything for the characters of that series. ROTL takes up where Heroes left off, following the further adventures of Glo, Lloyd, Andrella, and the others as things take a far more serious turn. Demons have once again crawled up from the Abyss, undead are roaming the earth, and someone has appeared who can exert control over dragons. All these signs point to the possible return of the dread Thrall Masters, a group of mega-powerful mages who nearly decimated the world over a century ago.
2. How have your sales been?
I’ve found you have to market to sell. I had been doing well with AMS until about a year ago when they made major changes to their format. Since then, sales have been up and down. Recently I’ve been working with Courtney Cannon – she is absolutely amazing and I highly recommend her builders and book fairs for garnering readers. Also, I’ve been trying FB ads with some success. Still, it’s a work in progress.
3. You’ve chosen self-publishing. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
Self-publishing makes it quite easy to get a book out into the market. I use KDP for ebooks. For print I was also using KDP, but for my last release I tried Ingramspark and they were great!
The pros of self-publishing is being able to get your book to an audience. You can also write at your
own pace since there are not deadlines. The cons are numerous. First, you have to edit the book, a process best done by someone else—it is so easy to miss your own mistakes and I do not recommend it. Second, you have to get the book in the proper format to be rendered into a published product. That can be tricky if text or pictures bleed out over the margins. Also, you need an appropriate cover. You can do this all yourself, but again I don’t recommend it. There is so much competition out there these days, that if your book doesn’t look professional, it will get passed over. Finally, you have to market for yourself which can be a daunting and time-
4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
I’ve tried a few things. I’ve gotten some professional reviews, tried a few book tours, joined some reading/reviewing clubs, tried some retweet groups on FB, and various book promo sites. The book promo sites had gotten me the most attention, but that typically only lasts for a few days, so you constantly need to redo it. I’ve had my most luck building a newsletter following and through the builders, book fairs, and ads I’ve mentioned.
5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
At the moment, newsletters and FB ads have proved the most successful. I am still pursuing the “holy grail” of getting a Bookbub promo. I’ve heard that can do wonders for your reputation.
6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
AMS ads are the worst these days. I’ve found it almost impossible to make a profit as an indie author. Also, the book promo sites tend to be a trap of continued marketing and not enough sales to justify it.
7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
The importance of having a good editor, cover artist, title artist, and formatter. All that is key. Also, premarketing new releases to get a good running jump on things. And just marketing in general. That is so key to get your books out in front of people.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I’d have started off with a professional cover artist in the beginning. It truly makes such a difference in how books are received. Unfortunately, in a market saturated with indie books, people do tend to “judge a book by its cover.”
9. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Get your book looking as professional as possible. Get a website up and build a newsletter following ASAP.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
I am planning out the next book in the ROTL series. Other than that, I’m kicking around ideas for a fantasy series with some new characters with my coauthor from the last two books of the Heroes series.
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?
Magic and Adventure with a Twist of Humor (because fantasy should be fun).
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
There are a ton of places readers can check out starting with my website: