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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K. Ford K.

K. Ford K. went from freelance writing to indie publishing, finding frustration along the way with traditional publishers.  Now enjoying the freedom of self-publishing, K. discusses the varied tools she uses to reach readers.

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

What if a timid, sexually-inhibited woman suddenly developed the psychic ability to see what everyone else needed to be blissfully happy in bed?  And what if she started blurting out sexual advice against her will?  That thought was the seed for my new novel, The Concubine’s Gift, and the poor, long-suffering character of Bernice Babbitt was born.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I became an indie author by choice.  I was a freelance writer, publishing articles and short stories in newspapers and magazines and had several near misses with major publishing houses.  Many times they decided to publish my novels and then changed their minds at the last minute.  I was starting to feel like I was in an abusive relationship.  Editors told me they loved my work; I cozied up to them and then they slapped me with a rejection. After awhile I was back and the same thing happened all over again.  ‘Indie-authorhood’ has been wonderful.  I love being in charge of my own career and being able to make all the editorial and marketing decisions about my novels.  I’ve been lucky in that readers have been very supportive.

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

Some of the marketing techniques that have been the most successful were getting book bloggers to review my book and being active on the Goodreads site.  I have hosted lots of book giveaways and those are always fun.

4. Are there any marketing techniques you intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?

I have my novel listed on Amazon’s KDP Select.  The best thing is the free days of promotion but I think I will discontinue after one more month so that I can list the book on other sites such as Smashwords.

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Lisa Winkler

Lisa Winkler is a journalist, educator, and of course indie author, having self-published her debut book, On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America.  She discusses her experiences with both the Kindle Select program and book promoters.

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

Growing up black in Brooklyn, Miles Dean wanted to be a cowboy.  He galloped through the streets on his bicycle, ambushing outlaws on street corners, imitating the heroes he watched on television westerns.  More than three decades later, Dean, a Newark, NJ schoolteacher, rode Sankofa, his 11-year-old Arabian stallion, from the African Burial Grounds in lower Manhattan to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.  Dean used an unpaid leave of absence to follow his childhood dream: his 5,000 mile- journey through12 states took six months.

Conceived to celebrate the contributions of African Americans in US history, this inspirational story brings the reader into large cities and small towns, connecting with the horseback ride and the many people Dean met.  Through his daily regimen of riding his horse, the reader witnesses the physical and emotional discipline required to complete such a journey.  It’s a story about an ordinary man who accomplishes something extraordinary.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I had submitted my book proposal and sample chapters to over100 agents.  After researching self-publishing, I felt this was the way to go.

3. Have you been traditionally published?

I have had articles and essays published.

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

It’s been an enormous learning experience.  I am finding that the marketing can take control of your life—but traditionally published authors need to do their own marketing these days as well.

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Alice Sabo

Alice Sabo chose self-publishing for the speed and creative control it offers.  Read why she chose the Kindle Select Program and why authors shouldn’t rush to publish.

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

Asher Blaine was an actor with significant star power before destroying his career with drugs. After years of cycling through rehab and relapse, he finally had his epiphany and chose sobriety. While carefully piecing together the ravaged scraps of his life in a quiet suburb of LA he is arrested for murder.  The victim, his ex-business manager, was shot with a re-fitted prop gun from one of his movies.  A coincidence proves his innocence, but subsequent violence casts doubts.  Asher realizes he must mend all his burnt bridges a lot sooner than he’d planned.  When he turns to the people he trusted most, he discovers he must convince them not only of his sobriety, but of his determination to stay that way.

A series of calamities raises the stakes and he uncovers a stunning lie from his past. He must track down a man he thought long dead: a man who’s been planning Asher’s death for years.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I have always been a do-it-yourself kind of person.  When I started writing seriously, I intended to go the traditional route.  Self-publishing was considered vanity press back then.  But little by little praise of self-publishing crept into the writing advice blogs I frequent.  I was reading a lot of agents’ blogs and it was getting ridiculous trying to sort out what was allowed and how to approach them.  Then you were at their mercy of when they might respond and if they would require rewrites and if they would approach certain publishers.  When I got to the final edit of my mystery novel I started looking into self-publishing an e-book.  I found Smashwords and was impressed with the distribution channels.  I started with an illustrated flash, to learn all the ropes.

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

I had queried about a dozen agents for my first novel, a science fiction doorstop with a cast of a thousand.  They all turned me down and I totally understand why.  It wasn’t ready.  It’s in rewrite now.  When White Lies was ready to go, it just made more sense to do it myself.

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