Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview with Bradley J. Milton

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
It's called Huckleberry Milton. It's a retelling of the HUCKLEBERRY FINN tale, but for modern times. Huckleberry Milton and his sidekick (a robotic Jerry Garcia), along with a Jim Morrison look-alike, all travel back to 1969 to save America from an economic crisis.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Didn't happen. Was contacted by a publisher who advised the Amazon Kindle / Smashwords route. All good from there.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Not yet, but am open to anything. I'm on TWITTER where I talk to other writers all the time. It's a nice way to gain support, help others, and chit-chat. You can connect with me at http://twitter.com/@bradleyjmilton any time, even just to say hi. It's always on – quite amazing, really.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
It was simple. First I see that Amazon has dominated the market. Always best to go with a winner, and Jeff Bezos has proven himself to be a competent businessman here. Kindle can use some improvement, but it's definitely the best way to go. Also my novel is Experimental (avant garde), and the number of real publishers for that is small. Used to be Grove Press, Expanded Media Editions, City Lights, Citadel Underground, Hanuman Books, Arcade Publishing, High Risk Books, Evergreen Review, Black Cat paperbacks, RE/Search Publications, Loompanics, Shambala – in short, a whole world of publishers for new voices, experiments, writing that is over the edge. Not so anymore. Now the writer is stuck going solo. So, here goes.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
An editor (freelance) had contacted me, knowing I was interested in a book. They helped pull it all together. So for me, it was easy. All I had to do was figure out the software and write up the file. Had to approve final changes and so on, and be willing to do some more marketing.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
I have learned that Publishing as an Industry has changed dramatically. It happened slowly then quickly. Right now, agents and editors and publishers are caught with their pants down. They don't know what hit them. They don't know what's happening. They know that they have to be on TWITTER to be accepted and looked at as with it, but they aren't quite sure what to do. Meanwhile, the readers are out there. They're hungry for stories. They want more. And it is the visionaries like Jeff Bezos who are helping to bring it to them. Not the publishers or agents or editors anymore. The roles are changing. The next few years should be Interesting.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Yep. Barnes and Noble too. Always good to stay competitive. Huckleberry Milton is available in the Sony, Kobo and the Diesel eBook Stores, and also on Smashwords where you can buy all the formats: PDF, Plain Text. You can preview it there free. You can also preview for free on Amazon. So it's pretty much everywhere. Will be out in the Apple iStore soon too. Working out a glitch right now with the Apple formatting.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Definitely TWITTER. It's fun. And interviews. The book is out there with a lot of reviewers right now. Happy with all the comments. But the big thing I'm doing is a “Bradley J. Milton LIVE!” blog tour. I'm reading from the book live, and offering exclusive readings on various blogs. It's a big deal. There's t-shirts and everything. It's starting this week and will take me all over the country, so I'm very excited. I had to ask for some time off of work (boss doesn't know).

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Not really. I want to start my next book (I have ideas), but right now I am working only on this one (Marketing). It's a different aspect, different part of the job. I'm having fun. It's pretty nice.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Do your best work, don't be afraid to be Original. I believe that people like that – it's something different. They like to see someone doing something unique if it's what they believe in. Go for it.

What’s next for you?
The next book is going to be a big one. It's going to have all genres. I'm calling it The Everything Book. But right now I'm heading off on the Bradley J. Milton LIVE! Tour, taking Huckleberry Milton all over the country to the people. Let me know if you'd like a t-shirt.