Goodreads Author Spotlight
Here is the interview I did with Haresh, the admin for the Goodreads Self Published Authors group. If you’re an indy author and haven’t joined yet, you are shunned as of now.
1. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
“Ghosts of a Tired Universe” is about the monsters we become when passion is replaced with dogma and ritualism. The main character is a sculptor who suffers a personal tragedy. In looking for revenge, he realizes that it wasn’t just one person that was responsible, it was a chain of events beyond his reckoning. There is a crack somewhere in the soul of humanity, and he means to resculpt it, even if all the universe has to pay for his pain.
2. Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers, or did you jump right into self-publication?
I spent over a year querying. The process taught me several new and exciting ways to hate. There were so many strange close calls that I concluded the book had a voodoo curse.
One particular agent asked for the full MS, enjoyed it, then got into a nasty accident. When he’d recovered several months later, publishing was finally feeling the recession and he had to quit the industry.
He passed the book on to his boss, who was one of the biggest foreign rights agents in the world at the time. His boss died of a brain anuerism a week or so later and I decided perhaps it was time to self-publish.
3. What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
See above. Also, the creative control. Word counts, deadlines, offensive content and unmarketablity all became obsolete terms when I clicked ‘publish.” It’s intoxicating, just like it should be.
4. Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing? And if not, what method did you use for proofing?
I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to surround myself with book-gremlins and grammar-goblins and sorcerous bibliophiles, most of whom are willing to work for some booze and a batch of cookies.
5. What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey? Any advice you can give to burgeoning writers?
There’s no excuse anymore for not writing your next project. There’s no need to wait for anyone. If the work is awful, it’s awfulness you needed to dig through to find the precious metals beneath. If it’s great, throw it out into the ethers and see if any money bounces back.
6. Where have you put your work on sale? Is it available in only digital formats, or is there a physical edition available?
All the normal haunts, I suppose. Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, CreateSpace, Apple Bookstore, ect.
The paperback version is available at Amazon or Createspace (although I get twice the royalty at CreatSpace at the same cost to the reader).
7. What kinds of marketing are you involved with for promoting your book? Any promotional recommendations to new writers?
I’ve done the social media thing; you know the drill. Insofar as more interesting adverts: I was asked to talk for awhile on stage between acts during a local rock concert. Not being much of a salesman, I just hurled copies of my book into the audience and yelled “Read it, you pigs! Hear my warning!”
I wasn’t invited back, but all the charges have been dismissed.
8. Do you find it difficult to manage your time, shifting focus between marketing your current book and writing your next book, as well as any day-to-day responsibilities?
In the beginning, I did. Now the first book seems to be running on it’s own power and sales are coming whether I’m advertising or not. There must be some magic number of readers a book needs before the work is being done for you and you can focus more on the horizon.
9. What’s next for you? Any new books in the works?
Always. My next book will be a collection of short stories coming out later this month,”Tele-Peri-Kaliedoscope.” It’s some of the more abstract stories I’ve written over the last ten years or so, largely induced by insomnia.
In December I’ll be releasing “Gunfighter’s Highway,” which is book one of ‘The Holliday Chronicles: A Trilogy of Eulogies.’ These are more light-hearted, Tom Robbins-esque stories about a desert bandit named Holliday O’Raff -as told by his partner, Bogart Martini. They are the resurrection of the clever smash-and-grab. No computer hacking, no million-dollar equipment, just a bit of smarts and an over-active adrenal gland.
“Most of our plans were made of rusty old car parts, cheap magic tricks, and pasted-together crucifixes.” -Bogart Martini