PD Alleva

PD Alleva has used self-publishing to craft his vision of what science fiction and horror should look like. Read about the trial-and-error approach to marketing he recommends for new authors.

1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

My latest novel was released in October. It’s a dystopian science fiction thriller titled The Rose Vol. 1. It’s the first in a new series that features a sophisticated although ravaging species of alien vampires. The story begins after the end of World War 3 and follows an unsuspecting safety camp survivor, Sandy Cox, who’s been thrown in the middle of a human and alien war most human beings are unaware has existed. Sandy quickly discovers the vampires’ diabolical plot to turn human beings into easily controlled zombies in an effort to take control of the planet and achieve interstellar domination. The human elite are on the side of the aliens and have turned the military against their own people.

My motivation for writing The Rose was twofold: write a book that was intelligent,
mythological, mysterious, and action-packed; and, satisfy my creative itch while paying homage to the science fiction novels and movies that I’ve indulged in over a lifetime.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales have been really good.

3. You’ve chosen self-publishing.  How have you liked it so far?  Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.

I enjoy self-publishing and the freedom that comes along with it. I don’t have to be concerned with whatever narrative or cookie cutter stories traditional publishing is attempting to push. I work at my own schedule and enjoy connecting with other indie authors.

4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?

I participate in many book fairs, promotions, and newsletter builders and have met a considerable amount of indie authors through websites like BookFunnel and StoryOrigin and within Facebook groups such as Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus, and Fantasy and Scifi Readers Lounge. Both have been great for connecting with other authors and readers.

5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books.  Which ones have been most successful?

I take part in multiple book fairs, promotions, and run Facebook and Amazon ads. I’ve also advertised with Locus and Scream Magazine and have tried Bookbub and Goodreads ads with little success. I’m about to tip my hat over to facilitating book signings throughout the local area. It’s something that was in my original marketing plan, but since Covid this is obviously difficult at the time.

I also plan on joining conferences like Comic Con, and Alien Con once we get back to some normalcy. Until then it’s social media time.

6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?

Goodreads giveaways. I tried it once with a previous book and saw just about zero results. Big waste of money. I should have heeded the warning from other indie authors.

7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?

Indie authors can put out just as good a product/book as traditionally published authors.

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

I would have marketed from the very beginning with my first published book Indifference. When I published Indifference I had just opened my own business and had little time to market. If I could have a do-over I’d spend more time marketing and building my author platforms.

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?

Try everything and then adjust as you receive more feedback on what works, what hasn’t worked, and what you enjoy doing the most. Then, master what you love to do and move on from that point.

10. What other projects are you currently working on?

I have a few projects stirring. The Rose is the first in a planned series of seven books over three interconnected series. So, I’ll be knee deep in alien lore, theories, and conspiracies for a long while.

But I’m also writing horror thriller novels. I have two I’m working on currently, the first is my work in progress, Golem, which takes place in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s New York City. It chronicles the desperate act of a socialite and sculptor who incarnates a demon into her statue (Golem) who wreaks havoc on every aspect of New York’s infrastructure with the help of possessed orphans in an attempt for supreme power and control over the human race.

I’m also writing a second horror thriller, Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect. Carnivals, cannibals, and clowns! Oh my. Once Jigglyspot is completed I’ll jump back into science fiction mode and write Vol. 2 for The Rose followed by the second Rose-connected series and trilogy, Indigo.

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?

You always get more than you expect.

12. How can readers learn more about your books?

I can be found across social media, although signing up for my newsletter is the best way to stay up to date and in contact with all that’s happening in PD world.

Here are the links:
Newsletter (Mailchimp)