David Beshears

David Beshears is a writer with a mission.  After his son was severely injured in an IED blast in Afghanistan, David started his own publishing company to raise funds for a community center for others who are disabled.  In this interview, David tells his story and discusses his extensive and insightful marketing experience and advice for indies.

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

First of all there’s Climb the Mountain, the story of our struggle to bring our son back from severe traumatic brain injury after he was injured in Afghanistan.  We spent six weeks at Walter Reed in Washington, DC, seven months at the Polytrauma facility in Palo Alto, California, and now home in Washington State.

While our focus these past few years has been our son, my literary interest is primarily science fiction, though I occasionally drift to fantasy, horror, young adult, and even dark comedy from time to time.  I’ve been writing since I was twelve.  I wrote a short story for extra credit when I was in the sixth grade.  The next day, my teacher handed me an empty theme book.  She told me to fill it up with stories.  The purpose in writing Climb the Mountain, and in publishing this and all my titles through our own company, was to support the creation of a community center for people with disabilities and their families.  After bringing our son home, we found there to be a critical need for such a facility.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales rise and fall depending on how actively I’m marketing.  When I’m pushing, I sell; when I’m not pushing, nothing.  So we’re in the 100s, not the 1000s.

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Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb has taught writing at the University of South Carolina since 1991, when his first novel was published.  He is now an adjunct professor in the university’s journalism school.  Not only is he an experienced writer, but he’s a publisher who years ago recognized self-publishing as the wave of the future.

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

My first novel, Striking Out, is a coming-of-age story set in the South of the 1950s.  It was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award and, though published in 1991, is still in print.  My second, Atlanta Blues, is about the search for a missing coed by a newspaper reporter and two cops.  The search leads through the underbelly of urban Atlanta to murder and heartbreak.  The book was a Southern Critics Circle Selection and cited in one newspaper’s year-end roundup as “one of the best novels of 2004 by a Southern writer – and maybe the best.”

My third, A Majority of One, came out this past September and is about a high school English teacher who gets into deep trouble when she resists an effort by local preachers to ban some classic American novels from the classroom, foremost among them The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Six of One, Half Dozen of Another (Stories & Poems), also only recently published, represents my writing life (thus far), with stories and poems virtually from yesteryear and yesterday, with an afterword on their origins.

I am motivated in everything I write by the glimmer somewhere in my mind of a good story that wants to be told.  I will never live long enough to write all that petition for a hearing – which is strange because until I was about 40 I had not a single idea for a good novel, and no idea how to write it if I did.  I’ve often said that I knew how to write long before I knew how to write a novel.  Novel-writing does require some know-how, which means it is a craft.  Get good enough at the craft and you might elevate what you write to the rarefied level of art.

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Gini Graham Scott

Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., owner of Changemakers Productions, has vast experience in writing, publishing, and film, as well as consulting and marketing work.  I decided to talk with her about her background in these areas and how indie authors can market themselves and their brands.

1. You’ve written over 50 books. Tell me briefly about some of them.

My books range in subject matter based on what I have been interested in at the time. Some of my earlier books deal with social issues and lifestyles, then with marketing and sales, after that creativity, success, resolving conflict, and personal and professional development, improving relationships in the workplace, and most recently with promotion, using the social media, and writing and producing indie films.

The most recent, coming out Nov. 29, is The Complete Guide to Writing, Producing, and Directing a Low-Budget Short Film, based on my experience in writing, producing, and sometimes directing over four dozen of these.  I also started my own publishing company, Changemakers Publishing, which features mostly self-help and popular business books.  The two most popular ones are The Complete Guide to Using LinkedIn to Promote Your Business or Yourself and The Truth About Lying.

2. How have your sales been?

Some of my most popular books have sold 10,000-20,000 copies, such as Mind Power: Picture Your Way To Success; The Empowered Mind: How to Harness the Creative Force Within You; and Success in MLM, Network Marketing, and Personal Selling.

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