Friday, June 4, 2010

Interview with WA Patterson

Next up in my series of author interviews is WA Patterson. Welcome WA!

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.

I've always wanted to write books but never took the time to do it. I got laid off in 2006 and my wife said to take some time and stay home with our daughter. I started to write my book and before I knew it - that was my job as much as anything. I got in a groove and didn't have to really stress anything too much and that got my through 80% of the first draft. Then I got employed again and I slowed down. By that time the book was almost finished and writing the rest of it was something I had to do instead of wanted to do.

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon?

Yes. I spent 4 years shopping the book, pitching it to agents and publishers, and trying different approaches with no results.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?

I turned 40 this year and then re-read the book for fun. My main Character - Carl - is doggedly independent and I realized I was dishonoring the spirit of the book I wrote, the character I created by leaving the fate of the book in other hands. I started researching the idea and in less than 2 weeks after turning 40 I had a plan to self-publish and market Future Useless in ebook and print, and make a profit! I got more money out of it in the first month than I put in, so I'm happy.

Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books?

I will always try to get a contract for my future books. In fact, my current book is with a publisher now under submission, but they know I've self-published the book already. I don't see self-publishing an "us or them" mentality. I think of self-publishing like the independent movie scene. You make a product and market it on your own, but can be picked up by a larger distributor later through that exposure or keep doing it on your own.

Did you design your cover art? If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information?

I did my own cover art. I liked the cheap dime-store paperbacks I remember from the 1970's and wanted to honor that. I also wanted something simple, bright and easy to see in a sea of photographic covers that now blend into the background. I can always spot my book in multiple listings and it's doing what I want it to do - standing out!

How did you feel when you got your first sale? Are you pleased with sales so far?

I was elated, sure, but I was elated with the sale of my 50th book and I'll be elated with my 100th sale that should happen this week. I'm just happy someone is reading my work is more of a thrill than the money.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?

I've adopted twitter, facebook, started a blog and forums for all that, but now I'm going to have to budget my time between them and actually writing to get some more done and finish my next book by my self-imposed deadline.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?

I am at and Barnes & Noble's web site through them. I sell my hand-bound copies through my website at and I've got a project at to get backers to make 1000 copies in print that's kind of stalling right now. I think I jumped the gun on that one and didn't have the network I needed to make that work quite yet. (but it's at:

What’s next for you?

Prometheus - The Ugly Boy - And Medusa! is the book I'm writing now. My 7-year-old daughter was upset that her older sisters had a book of mine they could read and she doesn't understand the first one I wrote just yet, so I'm writing this one for her. Her birthday is at the end of June and I have imposed a deadline on myself to have the first draft done then so I can read it to her. It's a kids book - sure - but it's got some themes in it I think parents will appreciate and something I've been working on for a few years. I am sure she will love it.