Jake Prytherch

Jake Prytherch uses the responsibilities of his daily life to motivate his writing ventures and to keep himself on his toes.  He hopes to keep his readers on the edges of their seats too, and Jake talks about that, his marketing strategy, and why free giveaways are important.

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

Heal The Sick, Raise The Dead is a horror mystery about a journey from relative safety tinged with depression into a land of blood and violence. Although there are walking corpses in this book, it is not a “zombie” book. There is very little firepower, there is no army taking out waves and waves of corpses… it is a story about close quarters, grime, and the true terror that a return from the dead would elicit.  The protagonist, Guy, is helped (and hindered) on this journey by a strange set of companions, including a huge man with an insatiable hunger for everything (including violence), a small vicious man with an odd ability, and a silent child who watches everything with cold grey eyes.  It is a story about unraveling the truth before their sanity unravels instead.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I have always wanted to become a writer but have never had the confidence to pursue projects, and even though I actually finished my first novel The Binary Man in 2010 I simply left it to stew on my computer, not wanting any negative feedback.  That feeling changed when I recently turned thirty and my wife gave birth to my second daughter. I’ve got a lot of responsibilities now, which feels very empowering!  I think I’m doing alright as a father even though it’s a pretty hard job to do well, so I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and try and get a writing career off the ground, as it surely can’t be any harder!  I’ve decided to pursue the indie route at the moment as it best suits my current circumstances.  I can set my own hours around my job and family (generally very early mornings fueled by coffee), and I have no one to answer to if it all falls flat.

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Florence Osmund

Florence Osmund self-published her first book, The Coach House, earlier this year.  In that time she has picked up a lot of great marketing tips, and she shares them here.

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

1945 Chicago.  Newlyweds Marie and Richard Marchetti have the perfect life together.  Or at least it seems until Marie discovers he secretly attends a mobster’s funeral.  And when she inadvertently interrupts a meeting between Richard and his so-called business associates, he causes her to fall down the basement steps, compelling her to run for her life.  Ending up in Atchison, Kansas, Marie quickly starts a new life for herself in a coach house apartment.  Ironically, it is the discovery of the identity of her real father and his ethnicity that changes her life more than Richard ever could.

2. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?

One thing is for sure: books don’t market themselves, so we indie authors have to be diligent and creative in our marketing efforts.  Two ‘musts’ I believe are creating a website and maintaining a blog.  People just expect it, and if you want to get the word out about yourself and your books, you have to have these.  Some other methods I’ve used are the creation of Amazon and Facebook author pages, adding links to my website and blog in my e-mail signature block, participating in online discussion groups, seeking out book reviews, subscribing to book promotion sites, sending out a good press release, including testimonials in my website and blog, participating in online interviews such as this one, contacting book club members, and networking with family and friends.  If all my Facebook friends were to re-post my book announcement, I would reach close to 10,000 more people.  That’s a lot of potential book sales!

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Rodney Page

Rodney Page first published a book in 2005, and seven years later has learned just how much the industry has changed.   Learn about the hybrid indie publisher he went with and which vendors he chooses for his marketing efforts.

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

Powers Not Delegated is a fast-moving political thriller set in current times. The reader will recognize many national challenges and circumstances in the book; they are based on reality.  And, though fiction, the book highlights the type of leadership and policies we, as a country, must embrace to effectively overcome those challenges.  The characters are vivid representations of the best and worst we have in our political system today.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

Honestly, I first tried the traditional route for Powers Not Delegated, but soon learned the publishing landscape had changed dramatically since 2005 when my business book was published.  I was determined to get the book published, thought it was pretty good and that a large market existed for the genre and theme.  I researched the various self-publishing models, paying close attention not only to the relative costs, but the processes themselves; what I could do myself and what I would have to contract.  When it was all said and done, and I assessed my skills, I settled on a hybrid indie publisher.

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Guy Portman

Guy Portman is relatively new to the self-publishing world but is already picking up a lot.  Find out what he’s learned about effective use of social media and what he would do if he could start the process again.

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

The following is the blurb for Charles Middleworth: What happens when Adrian, an actuary, has his banal and predictable existence turned upside down by sinister forces that he can neither understand nor control?  How will he react to a revelation that leaves his life in turmoil? Will he surrender or strive for redemption in an altered world, where rationality, scientific logic and algorithms no longer provide the answers?

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

It seemed like the most rational decision considering the current publishing situation.

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

I have not attempted to go down the traditional route.  Charles Middleworth is not what I imagine publishers would necessarily consider a commercially viable commodity, like a vampire and/or erotica book for example.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

It’s been a rewarding journey into the unknown.  I have a great deal yet to learn and appreciate the fact that it is going to take time to generate sales.

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Lee Barrett

Lee Barrett believes in the inevitability of self-publishing, embracing the new power that authors have to shape their own destinies.  Learn more about his novel, how he embraces social networking, and the sort of marketing you should be doing as you write.

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

Barge Pilot is a novel exploring modern fatherhood (at least, modern fatherhood prior to the Great Recession).  Jack Webber is a mostly retired lawyer grappling with the dual burdens of chronic disease and a strained, almost non-existent relationship with his sons.  Faced with the apparent suicide of Jack’s friend, who also happens to be the town drunk, Jack and a well-developed cast of characters try to find their way through the pitfalls of modern manhood.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

With the exception of a few wild cards like J.K. Rowling and the like, there seems to be a real “career track” for becoming a professional, traditionally published author.  Although writing has always been vital to my personal sanity, that was not a career track that spoke to me.  In fact, I have sort of instinctively believed that I needed to reach a point in life where I finally had something to write about and that required that I have a career, a family, and engage in some of the great adventures that make up life.

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Nicholas A. White

Clemson University student Nicholas A. White stays plenty busy with classes and university life, but has recently added self-publishing to his resume.  Learn more about his novel, Forever in Carolina, and the multifaceted approach to marketing he is taking.

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

Jason Wyatt vowed that he would fulfill his deceased brother’s collegiate-football dreams.  Despite a growing number of injuries, he is willing to risk anything, even his health, to uphold that promise.  With recruiting underway and a football future imminent, he meets Riley, a green-eyed beauty, with a haunting and unforgettable past and an overprotective father.

Jason tries to balance young love with football, and as he nears high school graduation, he is confronted with a new set of life-altering obstacles to both.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

Since I am still a student and my schedule isn’t too flexible, I decided that the self-publishing route would be the easiest and most efficient way to get this book out there.

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

No, this is my first book.

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Ethan Jones

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.

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C.N. Bring

C.N. Bring writes in the military suspense genre and has stuck to her own style of writing despite pressure from traditional publishers.  Learn why she’s skeptical of Facebook as a marketing tool and why word of mouth is so important to promoting your book.

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

Commander Celia Kelly is a perceptive Naval intelligence officer rebuilding her life after the tragic death of her husband.  The suspicious suicide of a fellow officer has Celia questioning the mission she’s been assigned.

With the help of a one of a kind secretary, a by-the-book assistant, and a Navy SEAL, Kelly discovers she’s been set up.  Digging relentlessly, nothing is as it seems.  Someone is after twenty million dollars that disappeared when Kelly’s husband died and now that someone is after her.

2. Why did you become an Indie writer?

I was almost published traditionally, but I was asked to change the story too much.  The series is not a romance, but instead a military mystery, suspense.  The traditional publisher wanted to add a formula romance to the story. Though I wasn’t opposed to changes that might enhance the story, I was against losing my original audience. Truthfully, romance isn’t really my thing.  To be successful, we all have to find our own voice unlike anyone else’s. The hardest part about the business is they (publishers) want a safe sell.  They want a familiar story with a new voice.  It’s the publishing catch-22.  So I started to explore indie publishing.

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R.M. Kelly

Author R.M. Kelly enjoys the art of writing and was inspired by her work with a small indie press to go into self-publishing.  Learn why she focuses her marketing efforts on the indie community, rather than traditional media, and which vendor she favors for book covers.

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

My collection of short stories, Shorter Than The Wick, includes three about the Ghost Files team and their tales on a reality ghost hunting show run by idiots who happen to meet spirits from the other side. Another story is about a husband and father looking for any kind of forgiveness from his family during the Arab Spring after a tragedy.  One of my favorites is about the oldest vampire on earth loosing her ability to seduce blood from mortals after falling in love with a very modern man.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

Because telling stories, creating worlds for a reader to live in, really comes naturally to me.  Writing is simply a part of me and the way I look at the world.  It’s fun and enraging at times but always important for me to have the time and opportunity to tell stories.

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

Well I’m an editor for a small indie e-book publisher, nuever.com, so that was simply what felt like the best approach to publishing. Getting my books out in the new medium as the e-book market grows.

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Diana Nixon

Belarusian author Diana Nixon has realized numerous benefits with self-publishing and has begun her own fantasy book series.  Learn more about the sites she uses to promote her work and the one thing any author needs to ensure quality writing.

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

The name of the book is Love lines.  It’s the first book of a fantasy series under the same title.  It shows the inner world of supernatural beings, their talents and powers.  Love lines is a story about beautiful love and true friendship. It’s a book for all ages with some humor and complicated relationship.

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

I’m a self-published author and I’ve never published my books traditionally.  Before publishing my first book I read a lot of blogs discussing the advantages and the disadvantages of self-publishing.  The control over the process was the main thing that made me choose self-publishing.  I can create covers I like, I don’t have to make changes about the book which I wouldn’t like, and I can choose marketing techniques I’m sure will be successful.  And finally, I want to be sure I have done everything possible and maybe even impossible to promote and sell my book, as sometimes the authors are not satisfied with the same work most publisher do.  I know how I want things to be done and I’m sure no one else can do them better than I do.

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