Larissa Hinton

YA writer Larissa Hinton is always working on both her writing and her marketing efforts.  Read more about some of the specific services she uses and her advice for finding your target audience.

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

An anthology that will quench your thirst for more than the ordinary.

Everblossom is a journey through poems and short stories that may seem ordinary on the surface but which digs a little deeper as the world not only shifts, but changes.

The author who brought you Iwishacana/Acanawishi now brings you a dash of everything from dark fantasy to the paranormal to even romance.  So prepare yourself to delve into the three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed; you’ll go through them all with a whole new perspective on what it all truly means.

2. Why did you become an indie writer?

Ah, the question everybody wants to know.  Well, before I self-published, I was a staunch traditional publisher junkie.  I sent out query letters to publishers and agents every summer.  And I dreamed of that one day of getting the dream contract.

When the dream became a reality, I could hardly believe it.  There I was, the email of my dreams congratulating me on obtaining a contract and all I could do is cover my gaping mouth and think, “Oh.  My.  God.”

But of course, the contract was faulty so I walked away.  That was the hardest thing I had to do but I survived and started querying once again.  The more I queried, the more I got frustrated that no one saw my talent.  If I was talented to get a contract once, I could get it again. That’s what logic says.

And during this time, a lot or people from Critique Circle loved my book and wanted to buy it and were wondering when I was going to be published.  And it wasn’t just one person, it was multiple people.

Yet no contract came.  Instead, a professor talked about self-publishing and spouted about how much more money an author could make, but I just ignored him until Amanda Hocking’s story came to light.  Then came JA Konrath’s blog.  I read it and I couldn’t help but agree with his arguments.  And he made me laugh.  So after puzzling over the logic and what I thought was my dream of trad publishing, I decided to self-publish.

In short: I decided to self-publish because I was tired of waiting for someone to give me the green light.  Instead, I decided to believe in my books and my readers to find them.  I decided to self-publish and not look back.  And I’m glad I did.

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Glenn Langohr

His time in prison, and the life he turned around afterwards, form the basis of Glenn Langohr’s writings.  Learn how he got all seven of his books in the top 100 of their categories and what you can learn by studying other authors.

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

Curious about the drug war, gangs, or the atmosphere in the hardest core prisons in California?  I take you on a journey from a runaway childhood, to addict and drug dealer, into the drug war for an inside look at Mexican cartel wars, corrupt narcotic detectives and a California Prison Union bent on breeding bigger criminals.  Here’s a couple of reviews for my crime thriller, Underdog (Prison Killers Book 4).

“Ex-con Langohr can describe the hell of life inside better than any other writer.  His vivid passages on just surviving in prison describe a nightmare we’d rather not know about.  He compares the plight of abandoned dogs, locked and horribly mistreated in rows of cages in animal shelters, to California prison inmates, locked and abused in the same cages.  Not a book for the faint of heart.  We who sleep peacefully in our beds at night, unaware of the savagery going on behind prison walls, can only thankfully say: ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’.”  John South, American Media

“With lazer-like precision Glenn Langohr lays bare the festering under-belly of our criminal justice system in a driving, graphic narrative that somehow finds the humanity in this most inhuman setting.” Phillip Doran, TV Producer and Author

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

My first novel Roll Call was written from prison and when I got out, I read the Publishing Guide for Dummies and studied a lot of other self-publishing guides.  What I learned excited me to the point I went with Amazon and Createspace to put it in print and on the Kindle.

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

For all seven of my books, I’ve gone indie.  I love the control and freedom of being able to lower the prices, personally engage with readers, and not have to give most of the profits away.  I have published a few articles about the drug war and prison conditions in magazines to build up the expert status on the subjects.

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James Strait

James Strait has authored two books and has a third on the way.  He offers some good, detailed advice about how to get on the radio to promote your book, as well as which marketing techniques to avoid.

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

Pretend that there’s a modern democratic republic that has lost its way. Imagine a society in chaos, a political structure compromised by power hungry sociopaths.

Fade to an ultra modern think tank, one whose expertise is genetics, and one that’s discovered that every human cell has a time stamp. And that having the ability to turn the time stamp on and off allows for a clone of any age to be rebirthed.

Picture a cabal of desperate modern times political operatives, with a brand new twenty-first century copy of Thomas Jefferson. Then think the predictable, that the modern Jefferson takes extreme exception to his being rebirthed, that he escapes the clutches of his new artificial deities, and that he goes on the run.

Such is the story line of the newly minted action-adventure novel, Thomas Jefferson is Missing.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Nothing more than the desire to have some of my thoughts go down in literary history.

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

Yes, my first book, Weird Missouri, was traditionally published by Sterling. However, Sterling does not publish fiction; thus, my second book, a novel, has been published independently. I chose an independent house that was within an hour’s drive from my home in order to have some physical connectivity, hoping for some hands-on control of the process.

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

While not perfect, it has been a learning experience, a chance to grow, so I’ve loved it.

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William Steele

In his engaging and well-reviewed autobiography, My Journey, Major General William Steele recounts his life and military experience.  He discusses why it was so important to acquire an editor and the specific, targeted marketing techniques he uses.

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

This is a unique autobiography and one worthy of your time.  Consider the following reviews:

My Journey is a wonderful story of one man’s lifetime of dedication to his family and to the nation.”—Howard “Bo” Callaway, Secretary of the Army (1973-1975)

“[It is] a story of his life in childhood, in the U.S. Army, in corporate America, and upon his retirement.  [It] includes many interesting and moving details in his life recalled with great clarity . . .”—General William R. Richardson, U.S. Army (Ret.), Commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (1983-1986)

“It is splendid, engaging, written in an appealing conversational style, candid, and told with becoming personal modesty.”—Dr. Lewis Sorley, military historian and author of Westmoreland

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

Actually I intended writing about my life to provide some historical record for my family and future generations.  But I wanted it to be written and printed in a professional manner.  I hired an editor to help me achieve that goal.  After looking at the draft, she thought that others might benefit from my experiences and suggested that it be edited and published with that in mind.  At that point we decided to do so.

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

No, because I did not start with publishing as a goal and did not approach a publisher for that purpose.

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KWB named 2012 Goodreads IBBA Finalist

My blog has been named a finalist in the 2012 Goodreads Independent Book Bloggers Awards.  The list of winners and finalists can be found here.  If you voted for my blog and/or asked others to vote, thank you for your support!

-Kris

Gary Goldstein

Gary Goldstein turned his personal struggles into an inspiring story about the wages of addiction and the mistreatment he endured in prison.  Learn more about his unorthodox and creative marketing approach and his advice to new writers.

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

Jew in Jail is the remarkable true story of the nearly six years I spent incarcerated for robbery, which was a direct result of my past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling.

If you are fascinated by prison tomes, this book is for you.  It deals with not only the ins and outs of the New York State prison system, but my attempts at recovery from a lifetime of alcohol, drug and gambling abuse, all the while dealing with the constant prejudice and mistreatment I experienced at the hands of the corrections officers and my fellow prisoners alike.  If you have ever been an addict, or know a family member, spouse, friend, or co-worker who is currently battling an addiction, then this book will open your eyes and provide insights into this dreaded disease, and what it takes to get clean and sober.  Read Jew in Jail today.  It just might save your life, or the life of someone you love!

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I had a story to tell, and wanted to help people avoid all of the mistakes and pitfalls I made in life.

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

No, Jew in Jail was self-published through CreateSpace.  As a first-time, unknown author, I found it difficult getting accepted by traditional publishers.

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

Being hands-on, I like the fact that I am involved in every aspect of the process.  But, by the same token, doing so much of the work pertaining to the marketing of my book leaves little time for anything else.

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Jonell Kirby Cash

Jonell Kirby Cash used something a little different than either self-publishing or the traditional route.  Learn about the innovative method she used and the one-on-one experience that came with it.

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

A Ring, A Dance, A Second Chance.  The book is Katie and Taylor’s love story.  They dated in high school, but married others, and both are now widowed and live alone.  Their odyssey begins when, out of the blue, forty-something years since they last talked, Taylor calls Katie.

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

As I grew older my responsibilities changed and so did my interests.  I noticed there were few works of fiction and fewer movies that caught my attention or offered a reading or viewing experience that was meaningful.  Often, my friends and I would whine that we couldn’t find novels with characters that had any resemblance to us (the 50 plus) and we’d say we wished that older people would become more active in the writing arena…and we’d wonder if writers just got tired or lost their creativity.

When I whine I usually look for an option.  Since I’d always planned to write a novel, but never had allocated time to learn how to write fiction, I decided I should give it a try—I’d never be any younger.

I’d published in my academic field (five books).  I enjoy writing, I understand communication, and I had the basic skills of grammar.  I’m also a psychologist; therefore, I understand human nature.  So, in the seventh decade of my life I decided I had the time to enjoy learning to write from a novelist point of view.  This decision was the motivator to get me started on this venture—the first step in the process of writing a novel.

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