Randall 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.
Ethan Jones took some time away from his busy writing schedule to discuss his action-adventure series and why he chose the indie writing path. Learn why book giveaways work for him and why indie authors have to invest so much of their own time and effort to make their projects a success.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
Arctic Wargame is the first book in Justin Hall series. Justin has been demoted because of a botched rescue operation in Libya, which was not his fault. Now he’s a desk jockey. Eager to return to field work, he volunteers for a reconnaissance mission, when two foreign icebreakers appear in Canadian Arctic waters. His team discovers a weapons stash, along with a plan that threatens Canada’s security. At the same time, the team falls under attack by one of their own and is stranded helpless in the Arctic. It is now a race against time for Justin and his team to save themselves and their country.
2. Why did you become an indie writer?
I shopped my two novels, Arctic Wargame and Tripoli’s Target to agents and publishers over the course of 2009-2011. I received some great feedback. A few agents asked for a partial manuscript and two or three for a full. But no one was willing to make an offer or sign a contract. In the meantime, I kept writing.
I had not considered self-publishing because it seemed like a lot of work and I had truly hoped an agency or a publisher would pick up my works. Upon the suggestion of a good friend, I dusted off my first novel, Arctic Wargame. I found three great beta readers, all published writers, and we took a new stab at my gibberish. Then I worked with two great editors and proofreaders, to create the best possible work. After formatting it professionally, Arctic Wargame finally saw the light of publishing through Amazon.