Larry Montgomery

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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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Jenna Whittaker

13096190_1191304047568882_1555622748994703516_nAustralian author Jenna Whittaker stays busy but manages to make time for her writing.  In this interview she explains what self-published authors have to do to make their work a success.

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

My latest book is The Leavers. It’s a fantasy novel set in a marshland, bordered by an invisible barrier that nearly no one dares to cross. Novia, the main character, wakes up at the edge of it, and finds a Leaver – one of the ones who do cross the barrier, and never, until now, return. With his return comes desolation of the marshlands, the arrival of the beings from Beyond, and what you think is good and bad is turned on its head.

2. How have your sales been?

I’ve not gotten too much time for promotion lately; working on my current WIP, my part time job, and starting up my own pet sitting business! I get a few sales per month and I’m happy with that; I love every review that comes in!

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 decided not to go the traditional publishing route.  I’m not sure why; mostly because of my impatience to have my book released, I think! My mother is a traditional/e-book publisher, so I made sure to have a properly formatted/edited novel ready for publication, based on what I’ve seen of her requirements and some of the more questionable submissions!

Self publishing is great, but only if you know what you’re doing or willing to put in the effort to learn. It’s vital to get a professional book cover, proper editing, and work on promotion constantly.

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J.T. Joseph

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J.T. Joseph combines history with a touch of adventure. In this interview he discusses the pros and cons of using a hybrid publisher, plus the numerous social media platforms and websites he uses for marketing. 

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

My novel, The Adventures of Mary Nobleman, is about a girl who discovers she is a descendant of the legendary King Arthur. I was partly inspired by The Da Vinci Code.

2. How have your sales been?

I’m not exactly sure, because my publisher keeps track of the details.

3. You’ve described your publisher as a mix of both indie and traditional.  Can you elaborate on this?

They consider themselves a hybrid publisher. It combines self-publishing and traditional methods, but I hope one day I’ll be with a traditional publisher.

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Susan Mills Wilson

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Susan Mills Wilson has been self-publishing since 2013.  She explains how free Kindle giveaways and constant web presence have benefited her marketing efforts.

1. Tell me briefly about your books – what are they about and what motivated you to write them?

All my books are romantic suspense. Each is usually about a person who gets entangled in a dangerous situation and must use his/her wits or get help from someone else to escape danger. I started out writing romance, but I like keeping the tension, action, and suspense going throughout the novel; therefore, I added those elements.

2. How have your sales been?

Four years ago, I got a big boost with my first book, Good Gone Bad, because Indie Reader and Huffington Post did an article where they compared my book to Gone Girl. Kirkus Review’s excellent review of my debut novel helped drive the interest for this book. I have found that all my books are having sales, which hopefully means a reader reads one, likes it, and purchases another. I would say 90 percent of my sales are Kindle e-books. I have also had success with earning royalties on Kindle Lending Library.

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Crystal Reavis

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Crystal Reavis recently published her book through a small publisher.  Learn more about her marketing methods and the important words of advice she has for new authors.

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

My book is a fantasy set in our world. It’s the first book in my series. Areal, my main character, is a paralegal who begins to have strange things happen to her. A man calls her and tells her she is being watched; soon after she begins to see people with black eyes, people watching her at her house. She also starts to meet new people who may not be what they seem. She learns angels and demons exist and that she may play a big role in their war for the world.

What motivated me to write it was my husband. I have been writing for years and never published anything. He told me he would love for me to pursue writing as a career. I figured I was already writing and had the time, so why not? Literally a few days later I had the idea for this series. I wrote the book we are talking about, Areal, in about four months. I just fell in love with it and couldn’t leave it for very long.

2. How have your sales been?

My sales are climbing. I sold about 11 books in the first month (not great), but I am picking up momentum. Many of my readers are waiting for a signed copy and I am working on getting those out. Once the signed copies are sent out I will have sold about 50-60 books. I am slowly getting better sales.

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Jeff Rasley

Jeff Rasley’s experience with traditional publishing left him disillusioned and inspired him and his wife to start their own indie publishing company.  Read more about Jeff’s journey and how he learns the ropes of self-publishing.

1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

Monsters of the Midway:  The Worst Team in College Football? is my most recent book.

In 1969, amidst the culture of sex, drugs, rock and roll, the draft lottery, the anti-war movement and radical feminism, the University of Chicago resurrected its football team after it had been dead for 30 years.  A small town Hoosier kid who just wanted to get the best education possible joins the team to build his resume.  His teammates are jocks, pot smokers and nerdy intellectuals.  Along with his teammates he is swept into the tumult of the late 1960s.  He falls in love with a radical feminist who demonstrates against the return of football to Chicago.  He rooms with a secular Jewish kid taking ballet whose father has begun manufacturing something called a computer chip.

An assistant coach rides Jack for not fully committing to the team.  His favorite professor chides him to concentrate on his studies. What sustains Jack through the bewildering cultural milieu, and the pressure of balancing sports and studies, is the tolerant understanding of his head coach, reconciliation with his girlfriend, and the friendship of his teammates.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I thought I was very lucky to publish my first book the traditional way and the publisher even spent some money on a publicist.  But the publisher refused to use the title I had chosen and used one I did not like; issued the book on an “accelerated schedule” six months after it was finished; published with a few typos despite three levels of editing; demanded I engage in time-consuming and unproductive promotional events; let the publicist get away with doing nothing except mailing the book to reviewers and libraries;   and lost interest in promoting the book when sales did not quickly reach best seller level.

I have since published five direct.  The titles are my own choice and the books are published as soon as they are finished.  Now, I still find myself engaging in time-consuming and unproductive promotional activities and I might have missed some typos.  And I sure wish someone would pay me an advance.  But, the gain in control and responsibility is worth the sacrifice.

My wife, Alicia Rasley, has published twice as many books as I have.   We have become so jazzed about the process of direct publishing we started our own indie publishing company to help others through the process of direct publishing.  It’s called Knowledge Capture Publishing & Editing.

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Kenneth Weene

Kenneth Weene works through a small publishing house through which he and other authors do their own marketing.  Learn more about that, Kenneth’s book trailers, and his advice on how to properly use social media in your marketing efforts.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me one of your books in five to ten sentences.

Set in a small bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne tells the collective bittersweet stories of the people who make the place their home – people who have not fallen off the social ladder but who are hanging on desperately at the bottom. These integrated stories of men and women, who may not be successes but who still are so very human, offer laughter, pathos, and a sense of camaraderie.

2. Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

My books are halfway between traditional and indie publishing.  All Things That Matter Press is a small house so we, the authors, have to do the marketing ourselves.  But as a publisher they offer cover design and editing as part of the contractual deal.  They take no money but make their profit from our sales.  Would I prefer to move to a “larger” house, one that could provide more marketing service?  Sure.  But I do appreciate the sense of family that we have created.  The owners of All Things have been very supportive, and many of the authors work together and are wonderfully supportive.

I must admit that I would never want to self-publish or go with one of those “indie publishers” that sell their services.  That would feel like I was their mark rather than their valued writer.

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Katie Epstein

Katie Epstein found confidence in indie publishing and has learned the industry quickly.  Read about her experiences with traditional publishers and why self-publishing is a better fit.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me your book in five to ten sentences.

The Arranged Marriage is a romantic adventure set on the mythical Isle of Centurias.  It follows the story of Princess Rohesia who is fuming when she finds out her father has arranged her to marry the illegitimate son of a neighboring king, revoking the promise that she could choose her own husband.  Upon attempting to flee the island to seek freedom, Rohesia doesn’t expect to be saved by the very man she is running from, Sir Ison Mondar of Dondayas.  As they unite in their marriage, Ison and Rohesia have to find a way to work together to rid the island of a rebel group who is becoming more daring each day in its attacks.  They must learn to take a chance not only on their union, but on each other as the
fate of Centurias rests in their very hands.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

When you have finally put the last edit on your manuscript, there is a need for other people to read your story and share in the character’s experiences.  It can be frustrating waiting for that one letter that will take you to the next level via the traditional route, and indie publishing gives you the opportunity to put yourself out there to dedicated readers who will give you a true critique.

3. Have you been traditionally published?

I have only sent my manuscript off to a dozen publishers, because I put too much of myself into the process and took all rejections personally.  No matter what people tell you about it all being part of becoming published, it can still hit you hard if you let it, and unfortunately I let it.  Through this learning curve I have realized that no one will take you seriously as a writer if you don’t take yourself seriously first, and to do that you have to have confidence in your capability.  Going through the indie publishing route has given me my confidence, so I can try the traditional publishing route again in the future as I learn more about the industry.

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