Jerry Knaak

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Jerry Knaak stays busy not only writing, but building a community around his work. Read about the numerous marketing and promotion methods he uses.

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

My latest book is called The Dark Terror, the third in a probable trilogy. My 12-year-old son came up with the title. It tells the continuing story of Elizabeth Danae Rubis, a newly-minted vampire who has been terrorizing the San Francisco Bay Area as she adjusts to her new existence.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales can always be better. As a new author I am constantly seeking ways to grow my audience.

3. You began your writing career later in life than many authors. Talk a little about this.

I have been writing professionally for 25 years or so, but mostly in sports. I started a blog almost six years ago. Writing isn’t new to me. I was the editor of my high school newspaper; I wrote for the cruise book when I was in the Navy; and I became a journalist and sports writer. I tried my hand at a few short stories but they have been lost to the wind. Vampires have always intrigued me and I fell in love with the genre at an early age. I always figured that if I ever wrote a novel, it would be about vampires.

I started the first book in 2011 but set it aside after some negative feedback. I really didn’t know what I was doing. In January 2016, I picked it back up again, rewrote it from the first person perspective and it took off. After complaining that I always felt like I was late to the dance (on trends, literature, music, etc.), my best friend told me: “Because you’re worried about what time the dance started.”

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R.L. Walker

41KJmi11IcL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_R.L. Walker believes authors should start early in their marketing efforts.  Learn which networking techniques she’s used to get her books into readers’ hands.

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

My latest book, Kai’s Secret, is about a Navajo girl, Kai, who gets an internship to help discover her heritage. While she was working at the museum, she discovered that artifacts were being stolen and that she had the ability to shape shift into a hawk. She must use her abilities to stop the thief as she uncovers that there is a connection between the artifacts’ disappearance, the pipeline, and her parents’ disappearance years ago.

I was motivated by current events and my own experiences working on an archaeological dig site. I wanted to help more with the plight of the Native Americans and the pipeline going through their land. I thought that by writing about a reservation that was going through something similar more people might show more empathy towards their situation.

2. How have your sales been?

My sales are better than I expected, but not quite where I would like to be to make a living off my writing. I sell more in person at book signings and when I get media coverage. Sales seem to go hand in hand with promotions and media attention. However, it is hard to balance my job, writing new stories, and sending out press releases.

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 with traditional publishing?

I have sent out a few query letters, but have not spent a ton of time trying to find a publisher or agent. I like the freedom that self-publishing gives you. You can write about things that you want to and not have things edited out due to a publisher’s demands.

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Tony Flood

41rVOGuQpfL._UX250_Multi-talented Tony Flood has written about celebrities and created his own fantasy adventure book. Learn how he’s used press releases and a variety of social media platforms to market his books.

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

My celebrity book My Life With The Stars contains revelations and amusing anecdotes about famous people I have interviewed and/or written about as a journalist. It features Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Joan Collins, George Best, Bruce Forsyth, Britt Ekland, Muhammad Ali and a host of others. I was encouraged to write it by my wife and fellow author Heather Flood, who pointed out that I had met so many famous people who people would be interested to read about.

2. How have your sales been?

The sales have been good but the best sales have been achieved by my fantasy adventure book Secret Potion, which June Whitfield says is ideal for Harry Potter fans. Like Harry Potter, it is for both children and adults.

3. You’ve used both indie and traditional publishing for your books. What has your experience been like with both?

Traditional publishing has probably brought me in more regular royalty payments from Andrews UK with the e-version of The Secret Potion.

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Vincent Formosa

51e+WDmB0SL._SY346_British author Vincent Formosa combines his background in history with his love for aviation. Read about how he navigates a crowded self-publishing field and why Twitter is not the platform best suited for him.

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

My latest book out is a novel titled Run The Gauntlet. It follows the life of an RAF light bomber squadron from the outbreak of World War 2 to the end of May 1940 and the fall of France.

I was inspired to write it after reading an article in an aviation magazine about the air war in France during the German Blitzkrieg. It related a few details about a Blenheim bomber squadron (the Blenheim was a twin engine light bomber in the RAF at the time, 3 men per crew) that lost 18 out of 21 crews in 10 days and that figure did not include the replacements who had also been shot down.

I was staggered by this. The thought of a squadron that had fought and trained for years before the war to be almost casually wiped out really brought home to me the cost of war. So I started the novel, doing a lot of research along the way, trying to encompass that press on attitude while conveying the harshness of combat.

2. How have your sales been?

Sales so far have been slow. My first novel came out in 2011. My second novel came out at the end of 2016.

I’m playing the long game on this one. I’m writing for a bit of a niche genre (aviation military fiction) and while there are lot of aviation magazines, they don’t review fiction, so it’s proving difficult to get myself out there and known. I realize that when someone buys your book and then looks to see there are no more by you, you miss an opportunity for a secondary buy. So as time goes on, I’ll have more books out there and it will naturally blossom. A reader will read one, say “I enjoyed that,” and then see there are others they can buy. So one sale can turn into four or five.

3. You’ve chosen to use indie publishing for your books. Can you elaborate as to why you made this choice?

About 8 years ago I came across Joe Konrath’s blog where he discussed what had led him to self-publish and I found his argument very reasoned. 99.9% of new authors will not get much in the way of promotion from a publisher, so for the virtue of getting my book physically on a bookshop shelf, I’m giving away quite a percentage of royalty.

So if I’m not getting any promotion help, why not do it myself and get more royalty for me?

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Cerynn McCain

Book cover 1.JPGCerynn McCain favors the control authors have with self-publishing. Here she talks about the challenges of networking as well as one marketing technique she avoids.

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

A brief blurb about the book: In a world where the Àraid have been nearly forgotten, The General remembers. He knows there are still a few hiding. He’s just waiting for one to reveal themselves so he can wipe them out.

Christa knows this. She knows he’s watching her. She knows she needs to keep up the facade of being human. For years staying hidden has been easy, but something has changed. The General lost something valuable, and Christa now must keep it out of his grasp. But how far is she willing to bend before she has no choice but to reveal her powers and risk him finding them?

I started writing it right after my best friend moved away. I was a rather lonely person after that, and the characters I created in the story really helped me get through, so I decided to publish it hoping it might help others as well.

2. How have your sales been?

Honestly? I try not to look. I published it because I loved it. I’m worried if I start checking my sales I’ll start obsessing about the numbers and not focus on continuing the story for me, rather than for publicity.

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 with traditional publishing?

I did try to get an agent for a while, I queried about 20 agents. However, I think I sabotaged myself because I’m not good at pitching my book. I love it. I stand by it. I have a very hard time telling other people they will love it because not everyone loves the same stuff so I had a really hard time writing my query. Also a lot of agents don’t want
to pick up first time authors writing the first book in a series because they worry I won’t finish the series. I plan to query again after the full series is out. A long shot, I know, but I might as well try.

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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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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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