Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book. How long did it take you to finish that manuscript?
Roughly 8-10years ago I started writing this idea I had for a new superhero. The name changed several times but the story always remained the same. I was in Community college and working late nights at a movie theater so I spent many late nights working. I had finished the book some time ago but like any good author will tell you that’s only the beginning of the process. I spent my time after that editing my mistakes and researching how to proceed. If I knew what then what I knew now about the world of publishing I think my decisions would change in several ways. But I am a writer and I kept pushing through the constant rejections to reach the primary goal. Then late 2009 a POD publishing house, Dreambooks, agreed to release the book and the rest is history.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did but I didn’t have all the facts about query letters, agents, and publishers. So when I started the process of shopping my manuscript around I received many form letters, and even more that didn’t respond at all. I still don’t know how known authors have a shot at getting noticed with the climate that exists in this world.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
I guess it was more about trying to role a lucky seven with only one chip left. I used this comparison because after so many rejections I was lost. I had almost given up and didn’t have a direction. Then I came across self-publishing and it seemed to open doors I didn’t expect. I know the feelings people have on the self-published world. However, in my short time as an author I have met talented writers who are much more talented then I who went the same route. I felt like I was in good company because I had found a world of talented people who sought an audience that traditional publishing would not open for them.
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?
Honestly, I was the writer for Dawn of the Shadow. If I knew anything about drawing or design I might have done something else. My POD publisher Dreambooks had a designer who showed me several designs. When the current cover came across my desk I was floored. Superhero books are all about stimulating the imagination of the reader. This cover spoke to me about the hero Shadow and his new journey.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Nothing is what it seems in the world of publishing whether it’s self-publishing or not. In the last month books from reality stars like Snookie have made the bestseller list. I’m not putting down fans of hers I just go by what I see on Tv and it makes my head hurt. A book from a friend of mine called, The Flesh Statue, is ten times the book she put out and her book made the bestseller list. I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is there are people who write books and authors. They exist in both contexts of publishing self and traditional. I just believe traditional publishers are looking for the next book from Snookie because she was on MTV. While self-publishing authors write because they have a story to tell and don’t want to leave it as a file on their computer. It’s about telling a story that’s what I learned about self-publishing.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The book is also on sale in print at:
What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Book blogs: http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/PeterKelly
What’s next for you?
Currently I am in the process of editing the sequel to Dawn of the shadow with a book titled Shadow of the Night. The book moves two years into the future and examines the fate of the heroes and the choices they made. I am also again searching for representation for another book I wrote titled It’s a Family Thing. In this book I decided to try and write a story more about family. However, I couldn’t get away from my love of action and adventure. The story is about a family of cops who since birth were trained to be the best. The two brothers Pete and John are detectives who discover a conspiracy that has routes In everything from the cops they serve with to the government itself. The story shows the strain the family suffers through as well as the strength of their bonds as a powerful force, the conspirators, threatens to destroy everything they fought for. Both books I hope, by the end of next year, will be released. It is my intention to make both of the books, the shadow series and the family thing, a series of books.