My first book was written 50 years ago when I was thirteen, and I wouldn’t really call it a journey, but more an exploration of an old upright Underwood typewriter that my grandmother gave me. The journey is really the dozens of works that I have written between then and now, one of which has taken 37 years to write. And the journey continues. I have fifteen published books and ten in progress. I’m racing to that clearing at the end of the path where the journey ends — at least for me. Hopefully, not for my books.
Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon?
Yes. I had an agent, who was a better editor than agent. She trained me up on revision processes. I had a publisher (non-traditional – an online website), who also clued me into industry norms and the traditional lay of the land. I had a professional editor, who beat the heck out of me — best experience in my writing career. I submitted my works to traditional publishers, and although I received rejections, most validated my talent and qualified the rejection with corrective actions — rare rejections indeed. I even acknowledge one of those publishers in my novel, The Jade Owl. I do not have the woe-is-me wall of rejections and have not found traditional publishing brutal. I have just found it . . . illogical, if you want what is written in the hands of readers. Readers are treated as statistics by traditional publishers. Indie authors treat them as gold.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish.
My works were vetted by my peers and by professionals, like my tough editor and my first publisher, so since I’m wasn’t getting any younger, I decided that if I didn’t start getting my works into the hands of readers, they would just be tossed out when they cleaned my apartment. Then I met April Hamilton on-line, the pioneer of pioneers for Indie publishing, and my life changed. Now there’s an interview for you.
Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books?
Garner? Not as a goal. If a traditional publisher should come my way (and stranger things have — shades of Christopher Paolini), I’ll not kick them out of my bed. We all dream of seeing our stories told on the silver screen (and in 3D). Of course, the chances of Indies being picked up by Traditional Publisher went up 1,000% with Boyd Morrison’s The Ark. If you have the goods, and I believe I do, and you are engaging readers, sometimes an acquisition editor trips over your book and sees $green$.
Did you design your cover art? If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information?
Yes, fourteen of fifteen of my covers I've designed. I design my covers while the book is in progress. It’s an organic part of the work, and in my case, very painterly. I do my covers to satisfy me, and not to pander to the crowd. I’m an ex-Marketing Director for a fortune 500 company, so my soul is at stake here. If I do all the right marketing gizmos, my artistic spirit will join Dante’s in the Underworld.
How did you feel when you got your first sale? Are you pleased with sales so far?
I thought, well, someone has taste out there shebangit. It was exhilarating. Now as I approach the 6,000th sale, I must say it is still exhilarating to have others partake of your cup. In fact, when I finish this interview, I’ll go check my reports.
What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I blog a bit, although I prefer to guest blog. Blogging can sap the creative spirit, but I did codify one of my blogs, published it and have nearly 2,000 copies in circulation. I use twitter and post on the ubiquitous Amazon shameless plug forums, which I helped create. My favorite place to swim on-line is at Kindleboards.com, because it’s a friendly crowd, chock-filled with readers, writers and authors. I can talk about writing, novel-craft, my books, what I had for dinner, books I like, Christopher Walken (that’s the latest rage on the Stephen King thread), and make many friends. I use Facebook – I have a fan club there. On the whole, networking is important, especially if you’re not going to leave the house and sell books on the street corner.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
All my e-Books are also available on Barnes&Noble, kobobooks.com, the Apple iPad store, mobipocket.com and Smashwords.com. My paperbacks are available at all Amazon stores worldwide, Barnes&Noble and whereever Ingrams distributes.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on the fourth Book of The Jade Owl Legacy Series (The People’s Treasure) due out in September. I also have a Gothic novel in the works “The Road to Grafenwöhr,” plus Book 3 of The Southern Swallow Series (Swan Cloud). For 2011, I have a Sci-Fi Fantasy trilogy beginning entitled “Belmundus” and a modern mash-up of the biblical David and Jonathan romance called Green Folly. There is the last Jade Owl book (In the Shadow of Her Hem) and two more Southern Swallow Books (The House of Green Waters and Vagrants Hollow). What 2013-14 will bring . . . well, the journey continues . . .
Edward C. Patterson, Author of:
The Jade Owl http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J54AWO
The Third Peregrination http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001Q3M9QI
The Dragon's Pool http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028RY7BQ
The Academician http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UE7D96
The Nan Tu http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00322P1N4
Turning Idolater http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001FWZ92Q/
Cutting the Cheese http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0010K2ER6
Bobby's Trace http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00150Z5HC
No Irish Need Apply http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012NOW44
Oh, Dainty Triolet http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003BEDVSU
Look Away Silence http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002HRER5S
The Closet Clandestine http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0018V3WBO
Come, Wewoka http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001A7HMT4
Surviving an American Gulag http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001BOST1G
Are You Still Submitting Your Work to a Traditional Publisher? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001O9BERY