Blog

Welcome to my blog!  I’ve interviewed more than 150 authors about their work, their experiences in publishing, and their advice about marketing and selling their books.  Here you will find those interviews.  It is my belief that authors can learn from each other, and that is the goal of my blog.

I’m always looking for new authors to interview and promote.  If you’d like your work to be considered, check out the terms of use and then send me an email.  Please note that I do not review books and there are certain genres I do not feature on my blog.

Thanks for reading, and keep writing!

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Geoff Turner

Archie'sMirror.jpgGeoff Turner sought several literary agents before landing with a publisher.  He discusses his journey and explains why even traditionally published authors need sound marketing strategies.

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

Archie’s Mirror is about a young boy’s search for his missing father. It’s a journey that takes him through the magical mirror of the title and into the mysterious Land Beyond. It’s a book for older children along the lines of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy or Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. I also wanted to write a story that explored the idea of story-telling itself. So, for kids, there’s what I hope is a rollicking fantasy adventure, but there are additional levels there that adults might want to explore, alongside a heady mix of jeopardy and humor.

2. How have your sales been?

Put it this way, I won’t be quitting my day job just yet. The thing I’ve realized about being an indie author – and I guess the same is true with self-published writers – it’s very much a marathon not a sprint. It’s very rare that you’ll find instant success. You have to keep at the marketing, you have to keep at the promotion, and you have to keep searching for your audience. Keep the faith and, with a bit of luck, that audience will be out there, somewhere.

3. You’ve gone the traditional publishing route. Tell me more about that and how you got into it.

By chance I saw that Prospective Press was looking to increase their roster of writers and was asking for speculative submissions. Archie’s Mirror was finished, and I was toying with self-publishing, having received a raft of rejections from literary agents. I figured there was nothing lost by sending Prospective the manuscript. At the very least I thought I might get some feedback on what was wrong with it – the agents had just sent me their standard letters – but, as it happened, the book struck a chord with them and they offered to publish it.

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S.P. Jayaraj

imgp3554S.P. Jayaraj knows the hard work it takes to make it as a self-published author.  Find out how he uses book fairs and Patreon to attract more readers.

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

My book is a story about Gradni, a young elf orphan boy who blames dragons for all the pitfalls in his life. He is determined to destroy them, but he struggles on this journey when he learns that the dragons are not the villains he was brought up to believe. It is a coming of age story in a high fantasy world that is influenced by global mythologies.

2. How have your sales been?

Initial sales were pretty decent considering that I’m still learning about how to market this book in a way that suits me.

3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Tell me more about that and how you got into it.

I did initially start sending my book out to agents, and though I got some positive responses, ultimately agents did not think it was a good fit for them. I understand that an agent really needs to feel a unique connection with a book to be able to represent it. I wonder if part of the problem was the vastness of the world that the story is set in which might have seemed overly ambitious and thus hard to trust which I do understand. I could have continued to look for an agent and believe that I might have found one that way; however, I wanted to get this book out there into the world so that I could work on following it up with more stories of Adijari.

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R.L. Walker

41KJmi11IcL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_R.L. Walker believes authors should start early in their marketing efforts.  Learn which networking techniques she’s used to get her books into readers’ hands.

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

My latest book, Kai’s Secret, is about a Navajo girl, Kai, who gets an internship to help discover her heritage. While she was working at the museum, she discovered that artifacts were being stolen and that she had the ability to shape shift into a hawk. She must use her abilities to stop the thief as she uncovers that there is a connection between the artifacts’ disappearance, the pipeline, and her parents’ disappearance years ago.

I was motivated by current events and my own experiences working on an archaeological dig site. I wanted to help more with the plight of the Native Americans and the pipeline going through their land. I thought that by writing about a reservation that was going through something similar more people might show more empathy towards their situation.

2. How have your sales been?

My sales are better than I expected, but not quite where I would like to be to make a living off my writing. I sell more in person at book signings and when I get media coverage. Sales seem to go hand in hand with promotions and media attention. However, it is hard to balance my job, writing new stories, and sending out press releases.

3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience with traditional publishing?

I have sent out a few query letters, but have not spent a ton of time trying to find a publisher or agent. I like the freedom that self-publishing gives you. You can write about things that you want to and not have things edited out due to a publisher’s demands.

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Randall Moore

Welles Lang's Magic Box Cover_edited-1.jpgRandall Moore is working to make the switch from self- to traditional publishing. He shares his experience with the querying process and explains why book giveaways are not a preferred marketing method.

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

My latest published book is Welles Lang’s Magic Box. It’s about a genius cinema auteur who’s employing an innovation in performance capture with a side effect: not only are the actors’ performances captured but their souls are as well. It comes from an idea I had years ago about performers dying to be in a movie that will truly immortalize them. It’s a hybrid of horror and science fiction with action adventure and romance thrown in.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales have been tepid at best. I did a Goodreads giveaway of 100 digital copies and a Freebooksy giveaway of 1,300. I got one great review and some terrible reviews from people who failed to finish my book.

3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Tell me more about that and how you got into it.

Self-publishing started as a lark. It was exciting to see my short story for sale on Amazon. I made it free and had hundreds of downloads. I then expanded my short story into a novel, which became a trilogy. By now writing had become an all-consuming passion and I haven’t let up to this day.

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Tony Flood

41rVOGuQpfL._UX250_Multi-talented Tony Flood has written about celebrities and created his own fantasy adventure book. Learn how he’s used press releases and a variety of social media platforms to market his books.

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

My celebrity book My Life With The Stars contains revelations and amusing anecdotes about famous people I have interviewed and/or written about as a journalist. It features Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Joan Collins, George Best, Bruce Forsyth, Britt Ekland, Muhammad Ali and a host of others. I was encouraged to write it by my wife and fellow author Heather Flood, who pointed out that I had met so many famous people who people would be interested to read about.

2. How have your sales been?

The sales have been good but the best sales have been achieved by my fantasy adventure book Secret Potion, which June Whitfield says is ideal for Harry Potter fans. Like Harry Potter, it is for both children and adults.

3. You’ve used both indie and traditional publishing for your books. What has your experience been like with both?

Traditional publishing has probably brought me in more regular royalty payments from Andrews UK with the e-version of The Secret Potion.

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Vincent Formosa

51e+WDmB0SL._SY346_British author Vincent Formosa combines his background in history with his love for aviation. Read about how he navigates a crowded self-publishing field and why Twitter is not the platform best suited for him.

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

My latest book out is a novel titled Run The Gauntlet. It follows the life of an RAF light bomber squadron from the outbreak of World War 2 to the end of May 1940 and the fall of France.

I was inspired to write it after reading an article in an aviation magazine about the air war in France during the German Blitzkrieg. It related a few details about a Blenheim bomber squadron (the Blenheim was a twin engine light bomber in the RAF at the time, 3 men per crew) that lost 18 out of 21 crews in 10 days and that figure did not include the replacements who had also been shot down.

I was staggered by this. The thought of a squadron that had fought and trained for years before the war to be almost casually wiped out really brought home to me the cost of war. So I started the novel, doing a lot of research along the way, trying to encompass that press on attitude while conveying the harshness of combat.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales so far have been slow. My first novel came out in 2011. My second novel came out at the end of 2016.

I’m playing the long game on this one. I’m writing for a bit of a niche genre (aviation military fiction) and while there are lot of aviation magazines, they don’t review fiction, so it’s proving difficult to get myself out there and known. I realize that when someone buys your book and then looks to see there are no more by you, you miss an opportunity for a secondary buy. So as time goes on, I’ll have more books out there and it will naturally blossom. A reader will read one, say “I enjoyed that,” and then see there are others they can buy. So one sale can turn into four or five.

3. You’ve chosen to use indie publishing for your books. Can you elaborate as to why you made this choice?

About 8 years ago I came across Joe Konrath’s blog where he discussed what had led him to self-publish and I found his argument very reasoned. 99.9% of new authors will not get much in the way of promotion from a publisher, so for the virtue of getting my book physically on a bookshop shelf, I’m giving away quite a percentage of royalty.

So if I’m not getting any promotion help, why not do it myself and get more royalty for me?

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Cerynn McCain

Book cover 1.JPGCerynn McCain favors the control authors have with self-publishing. Here she talks about the challenges of networking as well as one marketing technique she avoids.

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

A brief blurb about the book: In a world where the Àraid have been nearly forgotten, The General remembers. He knows there are still a few hiding. He’s just waiting for one to reveal themselves so he can wipe them out.

Christa knows this. She knows he’s watching her. She knows she needs to keep up the facade of being human. For years staying hidden has been easy, but something has changed. The General lost something valuable, and Christa now must keep it out of his grasp. But how far is she willing to bend before she has no choice but to reveal her powers and risk him finding them?

I started writing it right after my best friend moved away. I was a rather lonely person after that, and the characters I created in the story really helped me get through, so I decided to publish it hoping it might help others as well.

2. How have your sales been?

Honestly? I try not to look. I published it because I loved it. I’m worried if I start checking my sales I’ll start obsessing about the numbers and not focus on continuing the story for me, rather than for publicity.

3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience with traditional publishing?

I did try to get an agent for a while, I queried about 20 agents. However, I think I sabotaged myself because I’m not good at pitching my book. I love it. I stand by it. I have a very hard time telling other people they will love it because not everyone loves the same stuff so I had a really hard time writing my query. Also a lot of agents don’t want
to pick up first time authors writing the first book in a series because they worry I won’t finish the series. I plan to query again after the full series is out. A long shot, I know, but I might as well try.

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Larry Montgomery

lm.jpg

Larry Montgomery is a prolific writer who is working hard to make his name in a crowded market.  He discusses a variety of specific marketing techniques he uses to try to do so.

1. Tell me briefly about your current writing project – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

My current project is titled The Case of the Persistent Widow. It is the first of a 12-book series entitled, “The Parables of Life.” I was inspired after reading a number of biblical parables from the King James version and wondered how these stories would play out in these days and times. While the original purpose of each of the biblical parables was Jesus’ attempt to simplify concepts for living a Christian life when you delve into them there is a lot of similarities to situations people, Christians or not, could find themselves in.  If you like mysteries, whodunnits, or stories where the good guy isn’t just interested in getting in someone else’s pants; and if you have ever wondered how a 2,000-year-old biblical parable could apply to your life today, then read this book.

2. How have your sales been?

My test marketing on Amazon.com, as a self-published author, had surprising results. Based on those results, I decided to dive into an all-out marketing relationship with my current publisher, Newman Springs, and take the project directly to the market.

3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience?

As I mentioned above self-publishing is a means to an end, the end being to get your work out into the marketplace. Self-publishing within the context of a limited campaign platform will only drive so much buying traffic to the author’s sales network. However, direct engagement within a multi-marketing platform is where the market separates the wannabes from the newbies. You can’t learn to swim in your bathtub but once you jump into the ocean, it is a sink or swim experience.

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Janos Meteo

janosJanos Meteo uses what he calls “grassroots guerrilla marketing” to get his books into as many hands as possible. Read about his efforts to overcome the challenges of self-publishing.

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

It’s about an actor on, what he feels, is the cusp of success. He is shooting a movie and documents each day. The book starts off as a journal with short entries, but eventually morphs into a novel with each consecutive date as a full chapter instead of the day summarized. The main character is well-to-so, but sociopathic and carrying baggage. No matter how hard he tries, things always tend to go sour.

I had a dream about it and wrote it down the following morning, like I do occasionally (I have a bunch of novel ideas based exclusively on my dreams), and decided there was enough meat for a story. So I wrote it.

2. How have your sales been?

I have no idea. I just published it in November 2018 (it’s early December as of writing this) and have been promoting it person by person and online for now. I believe at least a few people have bought it.

3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience?

I self-published just to start. I don’t really know anyone or have any means to promote on a grander scale. Also, it’s my first book and I’m unknown, so I thought it would be best to promote from the ground level. Grassroots guerrilla marketing, if you will, just for now until I get my bearings.

The experience has been good so far. I’ve met a lot of interesting people. I have not worked with an agent or sought a traditional publisher, but I’m not ruling it out.

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