Cynthia Echterling is a science fiction writer with a variety of works, including one in progress. As someone who has both worked with a print-on-demand publisher and self-published, she has a unique take on writing and publishing. Take a look at this recent interview where she discusses her books, self-publishing, marketing, and more. Her Web site is http://www.welikehumans.com.
1. Tell me briefly about your books – what are they about and what motivated you to write them?
This may seem odd, but I actually dream up my books. Help Wanted, Human was a dream about a guy working in a spaceport, teaching aliens how to use the restroom facilities. Scavengers was a dream about a primitive looking person picking through ruins and picking thing up out of the rubble. Torq was a tricky little guy in a very rough bar trying to keep people from discovering he was an alien. When I wake up from something like that, I start asking who is this and what is their situation? If it generates a good character and a plot, it gets to be a book.
The Help Wanted, Human series is about a typical blue collar, truck stop cashier who gets a job as an interpreter trainee at the first alien embassy in the US, where hilarity ensues. They are autobiographies published under the name Stephen Wytrysowski, Alien Interpreter. Scavengers is a post-apocalyptic novel about an anthropologist forced to live with the scavengers who inhabit the ruins of the Southern US. Not for the squeamish. Torqed: The Quest for Earth is a hilarious young adult/adult science fiction, fairy tale, dark fantasy mash up about a half-human orphan whose parents’ last request was that he go to Earth, but all he knows about it is what he learned from the fairy tales his father told him.
Michael Meyer has published three novels – two humorous and one international thriller – for the Amazon Kindle. His Amazon page can be found here.
1. Tell me about your books.
Covert Dreams is set in Munich and Saudi Arabia. A series of frightening dreams is somehow linked to murder. The Famous Union is a rollicking romp through the halls of academia, where what is what is not. The Survival of Marvin Baines is a whimsical look at one man’s coping with midlife.
2. How have your sales been?
I hope they will grow. I depend completely upon word-of-mouth. Once people know about the existence of my books, I think sales will get much better. I have complete faith in my writing, but it takes time.
3. Have you tried to publish your books through traditional publishing houses? If so, describe your experience.
No, I have not.
4. How would you describe your experience with self-publishing in general and Amazon Kindle in particular?
I love it! I am in complete control of my own writing. My wife bought me a Kindle, and it was love at first sight. Amazon has been a terrific partner for me. Their support staff is awesome. They seem to always be there for me when I need help.
Brent Mann is the author of three published books: “99 Red Balloons… and 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders” (2003), “Blinded by the Lyrics” (2005) and “Lessen the Loneliness” (2011). He recently agreed to an interview about his books and experience with self-publishing.
1. Tell me briefly about each of the books you’ve published.
“99 Red Balloons” and “Blinded by the Lyrics” were put out through a Manhattan publishing house called Kensington under their Citadel Press imprint. “Lessen the Loneliness,” my first e-book, was self-published. I worked with a literary agent to sell “99” and “Blinded” to Kensington, while no agent was involved with my e-book.
As the title indicates, “99 Red Balloons… and 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders” is all about pop music one-hit wonders. Marc Cohn (“Walking in Memphis”), Dexys Midnight Runners (“Come on Eileen”) and Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs (“Stay”) are among the dozens of one-hit acts featured. When this book was released in 2003, VH-1 was, purely by coincidence, airing a highly-watched series hosted by William Shatner that was a countdown of one-hit wonders. That really helped the sales of my book.
And this is quite interesting: I received a number of e-mails from people who told me they were at their local bookstore, saw “99 Red Balloons” on display and bought a copy because they remembered hearing about it on those William Shatner one-hit wonder programs. Only thing is, my book was never mentioned on VH-1. Shows you the immense power of national television to create a buzz about a subject in general (like one-hit wonders) and put it out there in the pop culture atmosphere. And the funny thing is, I was living in New York City at the time. I had a meeting with marketing folks at VH-1’s offices in Midtown Manhattan about tying in “99 Red Balloons” with their one-hit wonder series as kind of a companion book, but nothing ever came of the meeting.
I’m pleased to announce that my first book, Love Train, is now available for purchase on Amazon.com! The link is here:
The book’s description is as follows:
When he boarded the 10:45 train, Vic Steelbrass had just one mission: learn PowerPoint by the time he reached New York. But when Anastasia Romanov walked into his life, fate handed him a different mission. Suddenly, he has to seduce a beautiful Russian, foil a madman’s bomb plot, AND learn PowerPoint. With countless – or at least more than a few – lives on the line, Steelbrass must prove love is worth believing in…and kill a whole lot of bad guys in the process. He woke that morning as just your average, ex-millionaire, alligator-wrestling, skydiving businessman. But his life would be forever changed when he bought a ticket on…the LOVE TRAIN!
And be sure to like Love Train on Facebook, too:
Thanks for reading!