Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
Life, Liberty. . . and all the rest involves robotic clones of the U.S. Presidents that escape from an amusement park exhibit and find themselves being hunted down by an unorthodox team of security agents.
Briefly describe your journey in writing your first or latest book.
It has been a long journey. I first got the idea for this book in 1973 after seeing a news story on television about a pastor condemning the Hall of Presidents exhibit at Disney World. He thought that, by creating humanoid robots, Disney was trying to play God.
Did you query agents and traditional publishers?
I did query agents. More than one agent told me that, although they liked the book, they found it too hard to categorize. It has robots so it must be a science fiction book, but the robots are more human than machine and the science in the book is really beside the point. The agents thought this mash-up of genres would prevent a publisher from building an effective marketing strategy around the book. I try to compare the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It could just as easily be called Patriotism and Capitalism and Robots.
What lessons have you learned being an indie author vs. being traditionally published?
It is a lot less pressure to hand a book to a publisher and let them take charge of the project. Honestly, I have never felt more stressed than working as an indie author. It has taken all of the courage and drive that I have inside of me to push forward every day and sell books on my own.
Did you design your cover art?
I came up with the basic idea for the cover design. I wanted to keep the cover simple and to the point. I remembered a white cover that had as, its only graphic image, a blue glass marble. It was a cover that got my attention without having to do much work. So, I came up with idea of a robot hand holding a little American flag. My son, Griffin, volunteered to actually create the cover. I am really happy with how it came out.
What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner publicity for your book(s)?
I started out my promotional campaign by creating a blog. I have been a blogger for 11 years. I was blogging before they called it blogging. The book blog treats the book's escaped robots as if they really exist. It features news stories, an amusement park brochure, and photographic evidence of robot sightings. A few days ago, I set up a Facebook page for the George Washington robot.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The book is only available in print format on Amazon and Amazon's CreateSpace. The ebook version of book is more widely available. It can be found on the Barnes & Noble site at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/life-liberty-and-all-the-rest-anthony-balducci/1031436106 and the Smashwords site at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/63918.
What is the best advice you can offer new authors?
Be brave and believe in yourself. Forget who likes the book and who doesn't like the book. That's all subjective. The one undeniable fact is that not many people have the creativity and determination to write a book.
What’s next for you?
I have a film comedy book that will be released in the near future by a traditional publisher, McFarland. I am especially excited about this book because I believe that it will appeal to a wide range of readers. I have three other books in the pipeline. The first is a humorous science fiction story about a nervous expectant father who finds himself having a break from reality and imagines himself to be a futuristic intergalactic warrior known as Slaughterhouse Frome (which is also the title of the book). The second book will be my third and final book on the subject of film comedy. I guess, that makes it an epic trilogy. The last book is a tragicomic novel about a man suffering from a severe anxiety disorder.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I love writing and I hate marketing. Whenever I am writing, I feel guilty that I am having too much fun and should be marketing. Whenever I am marketing, I get depressed and wish I was writing. I wish that I could build a robot to market the book for me. Some big giant Gort could show up at book signings and zap people with its laser-beam eyes if they don't buy a copy of the book.