Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
My first book was a long time in the making. It’s inspired by my professional background as a journalist and then as a political consultant. In one of the campaigns I had worked on, a friend kept saying “someone should write a sitcom about this stuff.” I have no idea how to do that, but eventually I did sit down and try to put a campaign-themed story into novel form.
Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon?
No. When I started writing it was a “just for fun” thing and remains so to this date. Kindle, Smashwords and Lulu have allowed me to take this project further than I ever thought. My original plan was to simply publish it on a blog—a few chapters a week. Then a friend in Wales (UK) sent out a Facebook message this summer about his new novel on Kindle. The rest is history.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
It was always the plan, but as I got further into it I did learn a lot more about the options available to me. I’m really happy with how it has turned out.
Did you design your cover art? If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information? How involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
A friend from a couple previous political campaigns designed my cover. I told him roughly what I was looking for and he turned my request into actual art. Beyond that, my involvement was limited to saying “looks good,” “thank you” and “I owe you dinner at El Loro (a local Mexican restaurant).”
How did you feel when you got your first sale? Are you pleased with sales so far?
My cover artist was the first person to buy my book. I posted to Kindle on a Friday night and it went live early Sunday morning. It was exciting to have a sale, even if it was accompanied by a text message saying “dude, I just bought your book.”
Overall, I am pleased with sales. It’s been pretty exciting to get beyond selling just to people I know.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I think the actual publishing part is relatively easy. It was the writing—getting to a finished product—that was an incredible experience. I hate to sound really cliché, but I honestly learned that I could start and finish a long-term project.
What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I’m new to Kindle Boards. I’ve also used my own Facebook and Twitter accounts. Honestly, I’m not great at marketing myself, which is weird since I’ve spent a lot of time marketing other people.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
What’s next for you?
This book is the first in a series. That wasn’t the plan when I started writing in June of 2009, but very early on I realized I wanted to go beyond just one book with these characters.
I have completed multiple drafts of the second and third books. They’ll be released in the spring and fall of 2011. I’m currently writing the fourth and have an outline for the fifth. They’ll be released in the spring and fall of 2012.