Category Archives: Book Media

A Misanthropes Interview

If you have been reading my author interviews, then you understand that authors come from all sorts of backgrounds and approach self-publishing in their own way.   This particular author credits himself on being a ‘Misanthrope’.  I like people to read every side and this one happens to be very honest, to the point and kind of mean.  I actually find the honesty refreshing.

Bruce “The Misanthrope” Gary

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Bruce:  I had no choice; I can’t not write and I think I have something to say.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Bruce:  Exoplanet Observing for Amateurs, First and Second editions, The Making of a Misanthrope, A Misanthrope’s Holiday, Quotes for Misanthropes,  Essays From Another Paradigm

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Bruce:  Word of mouth. It worked for my astronomy book, but not the others.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Bruce:  None.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Bruce:  Getting the money to pay for printing.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Bruce:  Don’t, unless you can’t not!

FROM THE AUTHOR

Sorry, but I can’t varnish the truth. Life is too short for pretending to be nice.  Your last Q reminds me of something Richard Feynman wrote: “Teaching is a funny proposition. You can’t teach the dumb ones, and the smart ones don’t need to be taught.” I have the same thoughts about advice for would-be writers: Don’t! There are already 1/3 million new books published every year, and the median level of their intelligence is sinking along with everything else in America. The writer with something to say will ignore that advice, and maybe someone with nothing to say will heed it.
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Word on the Street with Josh Frank

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Josh Frank is an author, trainer, and consultant with 20 years in the federal space.  He is a leading authority on small business government sales and speaks nationally on small business acceleration.

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Frank:  It started as a concept back in 2003. Before I ever considered the value of publishing, I recognized that my success in business had been the result of an academic approach to how I worked with colleagues and clients. Having worked for both Fortune 500 and small business, I found myself studying the techniques and strategies used by other professionals, identifying gaps, improving those strategies, and successfully using them to win new business. For ten years, I captured and developed thousands of techniques and strategies that simplified processes and accelerated the federal sales cycle. Then in 2006, I tailored these processes into what I later called ‘Realignment Solution Methodology’ (RSM), which became the name of my company two years later (RSM Federal).  I knew from talking with other authors that you don’t write a book to make money. In the consulting industry, my peers published in order to brand themselves and to increase their perceived level of credibility. So in 2008 when I decided to start my company, I made sure I had an emergency fund (one year’s living expenses) and I started writing the book. The first three months were focused on planning and organizing my thoughts. Like most industries, there are competent professionals and those not so competent. In the consulting industry, there are equal good stories and horror stories. Every client we’ve had the last several years was hesitant to hire a consultant because they had previously hired a consultant that provided little benefit. As a result, communicating the value of RSM Federal’s services was competing against the memories of past consultants.

 I realized that in order to differentiate myself in the market, I had to successfully communicate that my expertise and the expertise of my company was proven, valuable, and an industry leader. This also required that I communicate a highly ethical approach and that I do not simply work for clients, but actively partner with them. To achieve this vision, the thousands of techniques and strategies were communicated in a way that shifted the consulting paradigm. In effect, my book was designed and published to provide a level of credibility that facilitated instant trust and communicated a high level of thought leadership.  Of course, it always sounds easier than it is. It took a year to write the book while consistently asking the question ‘What value do my clients require and does this technique or strategy provide that value?’ Today, the manual does not simply provide credibility. It serves as the foundation for every client engagement. Why did I decide to publish? I published because it facilitates personal and organizational credibility while simultaneously differentiating the value of RSM Federal’s services.

I had to ask myself one simple question. Am I selling the book to make money or am I selling the book to differentiate and position in the market?  For me, writing the book was about value . . . not revenue. However, value leads to revenue. . .

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Frank:  I have published two works. The first is only known in the US Intelligence Community and within the United States Army; Techniques and Strategies for Virtual Teams, March 2000. I then published the 450 page federal sales guide, The Government Sales Manual in April 2009.

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Frank:  Marketing any product, let alone a book, is a difficult undertaking. I should point out that The Government Sales Manual is more expensive than your average book. The cost of printing a single manual costs twice as much to print as what it would cost you to buy a book on Amazon. The retail cost of the manual is more than a hundred dollars. As a result, when I first tried selling via Amazon, I found the price too high to compete with the average book. Without knowing who I am or what my company does, why would someone spend seven times what it would cost to buy what appears to be another similar book? I have two graduate degrees including an MBA and no matter how much content I included in the description or how I positioned that content, I realized that I was priced out of Amazon. I also tried Google Ad Words. However, the only way to generate sales required that I pay expensive pay per click rates. For my market and industry, I simply could not sell enough manuals to cover the cost of an extended Google campaign. Some months it paid off but there were more months where it did not.

It took four years to identify the best marketing strategies. As an example, I spoke at the National Veterans Conference this year.  Several hundred business owners attended my sessions. Unlike most authors, I didn’t simply put the book on the table in front of me and refer to it throughout my session. Conference attendees really dislike sessions where the speaker is consistently making a sales pitch. Instead, I took a very strategic approach. I spent two months preparing my sessions – based on a small subset of what is included in the manual.  When speaking at a conference, I don’t actively sell the manual – the credibility and trust that is generated from my session sells the manual. It’s also important to note that how I market the manual at a conference is a multi-tiered and integrated strategy. Similar to business cards, I developed a card with a picture of the manual and a dynamic QR code. I then created a landing page on the company website for this specific conference and session and linked the QR code to this page. The QR code was also integrated into each presentation on the last slide.  Additionally, I required an emotional trigger so in supporting the Veterans Business Resource Center, donated $20 from every sale to helping Veterans.  Additionally, and this runs contrary to today’s best practices, but I do not provide a digital version of the book. To obtain the most value from the book, it needs to be a true desktop reference. When you read the book, the average customer wants to take notes, tag pages, and be able to quickly find those techniques and strategies that will add value to their company. Furthermore, a hard copy becomes a sales tool and we make sales simply because one business owner saw another business owner using the manual. Finally, my web development team spent eight months redesigning our website in 2013. We had professional pictures taken of the book in a conference room overlooking the New York skyline and these pictures were used to develop modern and professional graphics for the website. There are another dozen strategies we employed to facilitate our multi-tiered and integrated marketing strategy but that’s for another time.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Frank:  Actually, no. I found my network and colleagues to be the most beneficial. Of course I researched this online. I looked at several hundred websites and purchased several dozen books. They all provided some level of value but none provided as much value as talking with other authors and colleagues.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Frank:  My greatest challenge has been the cost of goods sold (COGS). Ordering and printing fifty manuals would cost thousands. That’s several thousand dollars in cash flow sitting on my shelves waiting for orders. So my greatest challenge remains identifying a way to decrease COGS.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Frank:  I guess the answer depends on the type of book. I can’t answer this question for non-professional works. But if you’re a business professional looking to differentiate yourself and brand yourself as an expert, self-publishing a book is an excellent project. But before you go down this road, get feedback from your colleagues. Not your family. Not your spouse. Not your friends. Ask your colleagues if what you plan on writing is needed by the market? Are you truly qualified to write about your subject? Do you have at least half a dozen clients or past clients who will write a testimonial saying you are one of the best in your industry? This is why you want to bounce your ideas off your colleagues. And when you’re ready to start writing and you plan on six months to complete it – it’ll take twice as long! At the end of the day, the book is just a tool.

 

AUTHOR INFO

Author, trainer, and consultant with 20 years in the federal space, Josh Frank is a leading authority on small business government sales and speaks nationally on small business acceleration.  Mr. Frank specializes in the development and implementation of techniques and strategies for sales, marketing, and teaming activities. These techniques and strategies facilitate improved positioning, competitive advantage, and sales cycle acceleration to win new contracts and increase revenue. His seminars are consistently rated as being real-world, highly educational, and thought provoking.

Principal of RSM Federal (www.rsmfederal.com), Mr. Frank is author of The Government Sales Manual, one of the most comprehensive and educational resources on the market for small business government sales.  Since 2003, the manual has helped small businesses win more than 180 government contracts with more than two dozen contract wins in 2013.

Mr. Frank also serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC).  In this role, Mr. Frank provides oversight, mentorship, and recommends operational strategy in support of the Center.

An avid outdoor enthusiast and Boy Scout leader, Joshua lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife and daughter. A former Military Intelligence Officer, he is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in English and post-graduate degrees in Management Information Systems (MIS) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Webster University Walker School of Business.

For more information on Josh and the RSM Federal, please visit http://www.rsmfederal.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Word on the Street with Cory Harris

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors. All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise. Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews. Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly. Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Cory Harris:

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Cory: To help parents protect their children, its always been a goal of mine.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Cory: Zipper LE Series One: Outlook on Leadership and Liability in the Criminal Justice System and The Child/Adult Safety Bible.

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Cory: The internet is how I market and has yielded the best results so far.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Cory: Amazon is usually pretty useful in searching for books I have found.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Cory: Marketing is very difficult and expensive.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Cory: Take your time and give the reader your best output.

AUTHOR INFO
Cory B. Harris was born in Camden, Arkansas, and has over eighteen years of combined military and law-enforcement experience. He has served with the United States Air Force, Little Rock Police Department, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the United States Marshals Service. He has training and experience in field training, crime prevention, criminal and fugitive investigation and apprehension, operations, firearms instruction, threat investigations, and judicial and dignitary protection, just to name a few areas. He is also a recipient of the Medal of Merit (LRPD) and has a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Doctorate Degree (DBA) in Business with an emphasis in Healthcare Management.

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Word on the Street with G.P.A.

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Greatest Poet Alive (G.A.P.):

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

G.P.A.:  I had written enough poems for other people that I felt it was time to put them all together.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

G.P.A.:  The Confessional Heart of a Man, The Book of 24 Orgasms, The Mind of a Poetic Unsub, and Revenge of the Orgasm. Plus, I have appeared in many anthologies.

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RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

G.P.A.:  I am a guerrilla marketer. Whatever methods will help spotlight my books, I use them.  Similarly, it is great to perform Poetry where it is. But the outstanding thing is to perform Poetry where it might not be.  And that is same with my books.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

G.P.A.:  Facebook is a wonderful tool if used correctly. Otherwise, I just surf for opportunities.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

G.P.A.:  The greatest challenge in self publishing has been doing it as an author of Poetry. I say this because some regard Poetry as a “dead art”. Also, with the advent and movement of spoken word, the written art is looked over, unless you provide some sizzle to it. This may come with the personality of the individual Poet, title and/or cover of the book, or material that invites attention.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

G.P.A.:  Write the way you want to and do what makes you feel good. If it touches many people and makes money, it is even better.

AUTHOR INFO

G.P.A hails from the south side of Chicago, IL. He has written four books of Poetry, participated in several anthologies, released one cd G.P.A. Experience, and has another on the way, GPApocalypse Forever.   G.P.A. has recently added acting to his repertoire of talents with stints in independent films “Persian Version” and “Animals” and tv shows “Chicago Fire” and “Crisis”.  Also, he won the Moth Storytelling Championship on two occasions, won all medals in the Poetry Pentathlon, and was a semifinalist in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards.

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Word on the Street with Larry Flinchpaugh

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Larry Flinchpaugh:

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Larry:  Nearly my entire life, I had serious questions about my religious beliefs, political ideology, our country’s banking system and even our educational system but never had the time to serious search for answers until I retired in 2005.  I had a sense that there was something seriously wrong with our country and with some effort; I could discover the truth that would improve the lives of not only myself and family but also the lives of all American citizens.  As it turned out, I discovered the secret to improving the lives of nearly everyone on the planet.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Larry:  The books I have published to date are: “My Family History Book, “Growing  Up  In  A  Zoo, “Secrets of Our Hidden Controllers Revealed, “Letters Home From Civil War Soldier Charles Gamble, “Against All Odds-President Paul Ronan,” “Billions For The Bankers-Debts For The People” and “Should I Start My own Business.”

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Larry:  My books are marketed through our local book store called “Hastings Books,” amazon.com books, local museums and the tourist bureau in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Also my books are available on my own personal web site and promotion through Facebook.  The local libraries also have my books available.  Actually our local book store, Hastings does slightly better than amazon.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Larry:  My own web site promotion is new and I haven’t seen any results here even though I am having 200-300 visits per day

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Larry:  My greatest challenge was learning to use Microsoft word in writing books.  It’s really not designed for book writing but other book writing programs are fairly expensive.   Huge files on word are hard to manage and I still haven’t mastered how to have separate page numbering for the index and the body of the book.  Trying to get an ISBN number and communicating with Bowker was nearly impossible.  Amazon did fix that problem.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Larry:  I always explain to people that few self publishes ever make any money; you will be lucky to at least cover your costs.  I personally did not write my books to make money but rather to inform the people how we can increase the living standard of everyone plus eliminate nearly all wars.  I have discovered the secret but few will listen.  I even had one representative state in private, “Larry, I agree with almost everything you have written, but if my constituents knew I believed that way, I would never get re-elected.  This is my biggest hurdle.  The masses of the people are asleep or suffer severe cases of apathy and our political leaders no longer represent the electorate; only the big money lobbyist, bankers and the military industrial complex companies.

I still encourage people to write because most will not be writing about so controversial subjects as I.

AUTHOR INFO

John Larry Flinchpaugh

J L Flinchpaugh Publishing Company

5500 Cape Court

St. Joseph, Missouri 64503

816-676-2565 cell 816-351-3107

Email: lflinch@stjoelive.com

Web Page: http://www.larryflinchpaugh.com

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Word on the Street with Kristina Blank Makansi

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Kristina Blank Makansi:

Kristina Blank Makansi

Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Kristina:  I co-founded a publishing company, Blank Slate Press, in 2010 and we’ve published 6 books—5 fiction and one memoir. I am also a partner in Treehouse Publishing Group, an author services company that works with both traditionally and self-published authors. For my own work, I queried and had some interest in my historical fiction, ORACLES OF DELPHI, and have one traditional publisher that would like to see a revised version. But because of my experience with Blank Slate Press and Treehouse, I asked myself why I should have someone else publish my book when I can do it myself. So when my daughters and I co-wrote THE SOWING, the first book in our YA/New Adult sci-fi trilogy, we decided to publish it ourselves. We are a family of do-it-yourselfers and self-employed types, and the lessons learned from each project I’ve worked on over the years for other authors—from editor to title consultant to interior layout designer to cover designer to event coordinator to chief cook and bottle washer—can all be applied to publishing and marketing THE SOWING. So self-publishing makes sense for us.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Kristina:  Books I’ve published through Blank Slate Press include: THE SAMARITAN (which will be republished by Picador in 2014), DANCING WITH GRAVITY, SLANT OF LIGHT, OFF THE LEASH, NEVER HUG A NUN, DRIVING ALONE, and the upcoming COUNTERFEIT. Through Treehouse, we’ve put out ROBOT+BIKE=KITTEN and DRAFTED is coming soon. Plus we’ve worked on a bevy of books that are being self-published by the authors. THE SOWING is the only title of my (our) own that we’ve published to date. We started by experimenting with serialization, but because many of our readers said they couldn’t wait to read the whole book, we gave that up. If we’d been traditionally published, we wouldn’t have had the flexibility to try something new. Now, we’re issuing the whole book and we’re excited about that process. The e-book is out now (or will be soon) and the print book will come out in September

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Kristina:  We love social media, of course, but we also love meeting readers face-to-face. I have wonderful relationships with the local independent booksellers and enjoy working with them to host author events. You may not always sell a gazillion copies, but you always have a good time. And as much as independent authors depend upon Amazon and online e-books, I believe in supporting other small business owners as well. Attending conferences and meeting other authors—who are usually voracious readers—is important, too.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Kristina:  Building an audience as an author is difficult whether you’re traditionally or self-published, but I think Facebook and even LinkedIn are good places to connect with other authors. There are all sorts of genre-specific groups to join on those sites. A lot of people are using Google + as well, but I’m not nearly as active there. As far as blogs/websites go, I subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, Publishers Weekly,  and the The Shatzkin Files, and I read Publishing Perspectives, Jane Friedman’s Writing on the Ether, and David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible religiously. I’m also a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Kristina:  Getting readers to buy our book, of course! Seriously, it is tough out there for debut authors whether you go the traditional route or the independent route. And just because you have a publisher—even a big five publisher—behind you, it’s still tough. The biggest challenge is marketing your book without being annoying. The number of people on twitter who simply tweet “Buy my book!” all day long makes my head hurt.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Kristina:  Be professional. If you want to be considered a professional author, if you want people to shell out their hard-earned money for your book and then precious time out of their busy lives actually reading it and then recommending it to others, you need to approach the writing, the editing, the interior layout, the cover, the marketing and promotions just like you would if you were opening a shop down the street. As we say at Treehouse, writing is an art, but publishing is a business. And running a business takes investments in both time and money. Hire an editor. Even if you’re planning to query and hoping to get an agent or editor to publish traditionally, you should hire an editor to get your manuscript in the best shape possible. Agents and small press editors get hundreds if not thousands of queries, and if your work doesn’t stand out, you won’t have a chance. If you’re self-publishing, hire a proofreader. Hire a cover designer. Be professional. If we all, as independent authors approach publishing professionally, the old stigma around self-publishing will disappear.

AUTHOR BIO

Kristy co-founded Blank Slate Press in 2010 to discover, nurture, publish and promote new voices from the greater Saint Louis area and beyond, and in 2013, she co-founded Treehouse Publishing Group to provide author services to both traditionally and self-published authors. She has worked as a copywriter, marketing coordinator, web and collateral designer, and editor. She has a B.A. in Government from University of Texas at Austin and a M.A.T. from the College of New Jersey and an opinion on everything. Currently, she is hard at work revising her historical fiction, ORACLES OF DELPHI, set in ancient Greece and is publishing THE SOWING, the first book in THE SEEDS TRILOGY, a YA/New Adult sci-fi series co-written with her two daughters.

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Word on the Street with Michele Hinton

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors. All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise. Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews. Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience. You will get the good, the bad and the ugly. Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Michele Hinton:

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Michele: Being a new and unknown author, I tried for years to find a traditional publisher or agent for my manuscripts. Twenty years ago, vanity presses were outrageously expensive (I’d received a quote for $40,000.00 from one of them), so my work gathered dust in a drawer. Six years ago, I rediscovered print on demand publishers and gave it a try. It is still expensive, but a far cry from 20 years ago. Two of my novels became available through different websites, however, book stores would still not carry them on their shelves. That’s when I decide to publish my work on my own. I could format my own books and sell them through different venues on-line. I then decided that other new authors might be in the same boat that I was, so I expanded on my thoughts and now offer to publish the work of others (who are unable to publish on their own) as either ebook or paperback and distribute where I can without the high price charges that some of the major POD companies charge. I only charge when a book sells and then I split the royalties with my clients after expenses, which in some cases might be more than the 8% to 10% that traditional publishers would pay.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Michele: Books in Print written by Michele L. Hinton:
High Seas: The Cabin Boy
High Seas: A Matter of Blood
Tales with a Twist & Tales Totally Twisted
The Sin-Eater’s Daughter
Princess Courtney and the Magic Suit
Humpty-Dumpty: A Fractured Tale
Michael Smith (ebook only)
Joshua Pennwrite: Ghost Writer (ebook)

Books Written by my clients :

Beauregard Blue by Betty J. Rees
Bring Me a Blue Bird – by Brian Durski
Winds of Sand by Brian Durski
The Four Year Hitch by Roy Reichelt, Jr. (Coming Soon)
Dontay’s Alphabet Book of Color by Evelyn Hall
The Masks We Wear by Stacie Cooper
Secrets of Asian Women by Crystal Tai
A Field Where Memories Grow II by Joyce Lawhorn
The Confidence Box by Roy Reichelt, III
Poetry for the Mind by Debra Stephenson
The New Order by Charlie Thrun

Plus more

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Michele: I’ve tried several local outlets: newspaper advertising, TV/website ads: Facebook; I have a book trailer for my book, The Sin-Eater’s Daughter;book fairs and events. Trying to find the right marketing tool is an uphill struggle with a limited budget.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Michele: Amazon Kindle has been my best venue, and I’ve had some sales through Smashwords as well as my own website, http://www.theseashellbooks.com

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Michele: The major challenge in self-publishing is finding a distributor that will be able to put books on book store shelves. Thus far, I am finding that unless you have hefty sales and a large bank account, finding a distributor or even getting into a major database is just as difficult as trying to find a traditional publisher/agent.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Michele: If you love to write, keep doing it. Have an open mind to suggestions made by other writers. You might find their words helpful. In these days and times, if you can’t find traditional means of publication, do it yourself. If you don’t have the technical skills to do it yourself, there are publishers out there, like me, who can give you a chance for your work to get out there.

AUTHOR BIO

Michele Hinton was born in Louisville, Kentucky and now resides in Bowling Green. She was married in 2007 for the first time at the tender age of 50. She holds a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo and taught for many years (retired). Currently Michele is working on her Bachelor’s Degree and is expected to graduate in Oct. 2013. She won awards for her poetry from Mid-Continent University’s creative writing competitions. This year she won 1st place for her poem, Nature’s Serenade and will have several other poems published in their review magazine this year. Michele also started her own publishing company in 2008 and caters to the new author.

“Writing is my passion,” Michele says. Her newest books are The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, a novel, and a fully illustrated children’s book, Princess Courtney and the Magic Suit. Within the next few weeks, she will be launching an autobiography by Roy Reichelt, Jr. entitled, The Four Year Hitch on her website, www.theseashellbooks.com and it will also be available on Amazon and through Smashwords.

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Word on the Street with Jack McMilin

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Jack McMilin:

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Jack:  My children and grandchildren kept telling me my stories were better than many books in the book stores. Then, my mother published a couple books and that pushed me over the edge; I had to!

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Jack:  ‘Dodger the Dragon,’  ‘This One Thing,’ ‘The Adventures of A.P. Grace’, and ‘Fourteen Angels’ (at the editors now).

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Jack:  A.P. Grace is the first book I have put the effort into the retail market. I am going to Christian book stores, one by one, and getting the books placed. I am having good success at getting the books in but, it is a slow process. It has inspired me to put my other books out there in the market!

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Jack: There is a ton of information out there but, if you want to sell your book, you really have to pound the pavement, so to speak. Nobody is going to sell your book with more passion than you!

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Jack:  Not having an agent or publisher/distributor means you have got to put some time into your project.

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Jack:   Become relentless, when it comes to getting your book noticed. Go to the book fairs, every mom and pop book store you can find, use your friends and family to “Like” you on face book, tweet, I could go on and on.

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Word on the Street with Gabriela Jurick

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Gabriela Jurick:

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Gabriela:  I decided to publish my own story, because I have been through some bizarre situations.  Every so often someone would say to me “you should write a book”.  I’m happy to say that even though the obstacles that I’ve been through were not positive, the book shows that I still had faith and knew things could only get better.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Gabriela:  My first book is entitled “I’m Still Standing”.  Soon, I will have self-published “Deep in Thought”.

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Gabriela:  I’ve ordered some extra books and left them at some restaurants and doctors’ offices just to get my name around.  I decided to get the first book published; the publisher is supposed to set up book signings, etc.  I’m supposed to do the rest.  However, the books sold in bookstores don’t leave much of a profit margin.  I changed my business cards to show that besides an author, I’m a motivational speaker.  I’ve contacted three places to hear my speech “Recovery from Depression”; to no avail.  They did not respond.  So far, the best seller is using friends you have on Facebook to get the word out.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Gabriela: Truly, I’ve followed Jill Mettendorf on her journey through publishing a book.  That was positively the most useful information I had gleaned.  It was actually like Jill did the work, and I tried to follow her footsteps.

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Gabriela:  I thought it would be a difficult sell to self-publish; and it was.  Now that I know mirabooksmart.com can actually sell my book online, all I have to do is give out the link…it couldn’t be easier now.   

RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Gabriela:   I would tell an aspiring author to constantly read your own work over and over again.  But not day after day.  Sometimes you need a break from reading the same thing over and over.  I’ve changed my words, sentences, paragraphs, pages, etc. many, many times.  Have someone else look at it when you’re almost done.  That person should be able to tell you if the story flows properly, or give you some ideas on what might need be changed.

AUTHOR BIO

Gabriela was born in New Jersey where she and her husband, George, raised three children.  Gabriela is a secretary for a community college in the health, physical education and dance department as well as the athletics department.  She, along with her family, continues to encourage others, explaining through their own experiences that when one is down, the only way to go is up.

BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore

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Word on the Street with Bob Megantz

Through my years in publishing, I have worked with some really great authors.  All of these authors approach self publishing with their own agenda and expertise.   Since the whole point of my blog and book is to look at the reality of self-publishing, I thought it would be nice to do a series of author interviews.  Welcome to ‘Word on the Street’.

My author interviews will consist of 6 questions about them, their book and their experience.  You will get the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not all real self publishing stories are full of rainbows and butterflies – it can suck sometimes too.

Tell us about it, Bob Megantz:

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Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?

Bob: I am a musician and audio engineer, and I have a great interest in tube guitar amplifiers.  I found no reliable, accurate information in published books or magazines on the topic.  In fact, I found lots of misinformation, so I wanted to produce a clear, correct, and concise resource for interested musicians and equipment designers.

RARA: What titles have you published to date?

Bob: Designing and Constructing Guitar Amplifiers. This is the only self-published book I have written.  Two other books I wrote (How to License Technology and Technology Management: Designing and Implementing Effective Licensing Programs) were published by Wiley.

RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?

Bob:  I currently sell directly from my Web site and through Ebay, and indirectly through several vendors and through the Amazon Advantage program.  Most of my books are sold through Amazon.  I advertise in two guitar-related magazines (Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar), and participate in several related forums.

RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?

Bob:  Several useful related resources are listed in the bibliography.  There is a great deal of useful information on this topic available on the Web.  If you are referring to resources useful in marketing my book, Amazon has been the most useful (and also takes the biggest cut).

RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?

Bob:  Fulfillment.  While fulfillment services are available, they are expensive (and labor-intensive), so I have been handling fulfillment myself.  I make many trips to the PO.

 RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?

Bob:  Write about what you love.  Don’t worry about commerciality while writing.  I say this because writers will in all likelihood gain modest (at best) financial rewards.   Figure out for whom you are writing, and ways to contact those people.  If you want to sell books, promote and advertise. The world will not beat a path to your door.

AUTHOR BIO

I’ve been involved in music and electronics since the 60’s, when I electrified my ukulele.  My parents had a Magnavox record player, whose ceramic cartridge plugged into the amplifier via a RCA jack.  I bought a contact microphone from the local electronics store, attached it to my ax, plugged in to the Magnavox, and counted off “Memphis.”

That seemed to get my parents’ attention, so they bought me a Heathkit shortwave radio kit for Christmas, along with a Weller “pistol-grip” soldering iron.  I assembled the radio, attached the antenna, turned it on, and it started howling.  I couldn’t get it to work right until I resoldered every joint in the radio.

By this time we’d moved to Jersey, and I started buying my own equipment.  First up was a Lafayette amplifier, which, if I recall correctly, used two 6BQ5’s in its push-pull output stage.  I connected the amplifier to the 12” speaker in the console TV in my bedroom, and plugged my uke into the phono input.  I had no idea why it sounded so bassy…

I upgraded to electric guitar in ’67, when my folks bought me a used Fender Jazzmaster.  I joined a band with my friends, but I needed an amp, so I emptied my savings account and bought an Ampeg Gemini II at the local music store.  Luckily, it included the dolly, since I had to push it all the way home.

I took that rig to Cornell University, where I studied Electrical Engineering, including a couple of courses on electronic music taught by Robert Moog.  I also took every music class I could, and worked part time as an electronics technician at the Cornell Synchrotron.   My guitar never sounded quite right to me, so I started by changing the speaker in the amp, and then, in ’70, I sold the Jazzmaster and bought a Gibson ES-335, which I still play today.   The Ampeg went next, first for a Marshall Major, then a long string of other amps.

After graduation I headed out to Santa Barbara, where I worked for a couple of years testing integrated circuits for Burroughs.  I was still playing in bands, and I started building my own equipment, both amps and speaker systems.   I then moved to San Francisco, where I eventually ended up working at Dolby Laboratories as an audio engineer.   I learned much of what you will read in Chapter 1 at Dolby.

In the last decade or so I have been taking a more orderly and comprehensive approach to amplifier design.  I began, like most designers, by repairing and modifying various Fender, Ampeg, Marshall, and other designs.  Later, I began constructing new amplifiers, first using existing units, such as Fender Bassmen, as platforms, and then designing and constructing all electrical and mechanical parts of the amplifier.  Each amplifier was used in performances with various guitars, speakers, and effects systems.

This experience has provided the basis for the book you are about to read.

BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

www.amazon.com

www.tactec.biz

 

 

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