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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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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Fred Gordon

fredgordon1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.

My name is Fred Gordon, I’m a C5-C6 quadriplegic.  I wrote an autobiography of my life called Still Looking Up.  I wrote the book in hopes of inspiring any reader but especially people with spinal cord injury.  In my years of being in a wheelchair I’ve heard horror stories of depression, not wanting to live and the hard times of adjusting to a new situation.  I’ve been blessed to have not gone through any hard times with adjusting, and I want to give back to those that do.  Not just SCI or wheelchair individuals but anybody that has gone through something that had the potential to stop their progression through life.

I try to give a picture of my life before the chair, so when they see my life after the chair they can see not much changed as I grew from a misguided teenager into manhood.  I tried to tell my story as it happened, from going to jail, to losing the love of my life, to the initial accident, to getting saved and married.  I put it all on the table, good and bad.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

It’s funny you asked that because I wasn’t sure what an indie writer was before this interview.  I don’t know, when I used to get sick and had to go to the hospital, I would talk to the nurses and share my life with them, and a lot of them would say I should write a book.  I heard that for years and then one day, a quiet voice said, you need to write that book.  So I started writing.  I didn’t have a real plan, I’ve been winging it for real.

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Lynette White

Lynette White avoided the vanity press route and opted for self-publishing instead.  Find out which vendor she uses for marketing and the one thing she’d do differently if she could start over.

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

Betrayal is tearing at the very fabric of the twin cities and they are on the verge of collapse.  The frightened citizens are turning on the garrisons, the gods, and each other.  Commander Shadoe Van Ives discovers how to save them if he can stay alive long enough to find someone he can trust.  Shadoe must outmaneuver the enemies inside and outside the walls of the twin cities before time runs out for him and for them.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

I have wanted to publish my work for a long time but kept letting life get in the way.  It took my dying mother to make me realize I am the only one who can make my dreams come true.  Being an unknown, I was lured to a vanity press.  Fortunately for me I was pointed in the direction of indie publishing before I made a critical mistake.

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

Not yet.  I am still working on finding the way in.  I have the tools now to pursue that avenue and will begin the process soon.

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Keri Griffiths

Keri Griffiths self-published her book Unforgivable because she liked the control she had over her writing.  Learn more about how she reaches readers and the pros and cons of self-publishing.

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

Unforgivable: “They may be our family, our friends, and we may love them deeply, but some things are unforgivable; some things will haunt your every step, some things will get you killed, and it’s Sarah Costello’s duty to make sure every sin is paid for in blood.”

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

Short answer?  I’m a control freak.  Indie publishing gives writers complete control over the look of their books and a say in distribution.  This book is my baby, I’ve worked hard to get it to the readers.  So to have final say is a real treat.  That said, being an indie writer means that all the work, all the publicity and all the stuff I know very little about is on me.  I have to figure it out.  It’s both thrilling and challenging.

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

I’ve published several articles, mostly on travel, on various websites and news outlets, but never for my novel.  I’ve tried that route and it’s very difficult to break into, especially with your first novel.  Indie publishing helps establish a following and prove yourself as a viable writer.  I haven’t totally turned my back on traditional publishing but I’m really enjoying this journey.

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David Carroll

David Carroll has found a way around the boundaries of traditional publishing, going it alone as a self-published indie author. Learn more about his writing and which marketing methods have worked best for him.

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

Princess Nenji is named as the next queen when a dragon hunts down the royal family. But before she can claim her throne, she must resolve the politics about her being a Mage’s apprentice, and embark on a quest to stop the Dragon King from finishing the job. She meets fascinating creatures, and learns a lot about herself along the way.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

The publishing industry has been in chaos since 2009. Very few new authors are given the royal treatment anymore. No one can be “just an author” until they sell enough books to pay someone to do everything else. While distribution methods have been accessible to everyone, and marketing is required of authors whether indie or traditional, it seemed like a good time to go it alone.

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

I have not been traditionally published because the big publishers need me to prove myself first, and the small publishers might not survive long enough to get my books to print.

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Suzy Milhoan

Suzy Milhoan has managed to turn her grief into a learning experience, one she seeks to share with the world through her writing.  Find out more about her proactive marketing approach and how social media enhanced her networking.

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

The Healing Game shares Suzy’s journey of losing her beloved husband, Kevin, hitting rock bottom, and painfully finding her way back to her life. Suzy’s deeply personal writing reveals how she learned to grieve, work through her emotions, remember the good times, and once more embrace love.

For those who have lost a loved one, The Healing Game not only offers comfort and support, but also shows you that God is ever-faithful and always by your side.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

This was my first book, and I thought I could get my book finished and published sooner by going this route.  I didn’t have a platform yet to try to sell to a publisher or agent, so I went off on my own.

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

No, I didn’t have the confidence to seek out traditional publishing because I was just starting a new career (writing) with a brand new book, and a non-fiction at that.

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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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