Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview with Al Boudreau

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
My mystery/thriller In Memory of Greed is a modern day morality tale that addresses what can happen when greed and lust for power takes over man’s ability to reason. My hope is that stories like mine will contribute to an increased awareness of abuses by big business and government, as my fiction deals with real-world issues. My goal is to entertain readers while helping to shine a spotlight on those who believe dollars are more important than integrity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
No, the traditional route to publishing was never my desire, as I’m a huge fan and supporter of indie and small press authors. I’ve been my own boss with my day job for decades, maintaining a high level of control in my work. My name is associated with every project I take on, so I always strive to deliver quality. I maintain the same philosophy with my written work. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to provide my readers with the best novels I can possibly deliver. Having complete control over all that goes into my books allows me to achieve this end.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I feel critique groups are a fantastic way to help improve a manuscript. Nothing can take the place of fresh sets of eyes on a work in progress. Different writers can pinpoint problems that you may not see, as they possess different skills and perspectives. I didn’t take advantage of this while writing my first book, but knowing what I know now, I’ll certainly do so for the next.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
The main reason I self-published was to eliminate the middle-man. An unknown author with representation will end up doing just as much self-promotion as a self-published author, yet the author with representation will receive a much smaller percentage of sales royalties. Further, rights to your work are given up when represented, and decisions about the book’s cover, title, and release date are all controlled by someone else. When self-publishing, successes and failures are your own—I like that.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I didn’t hire an editor to review my manuscript before publishing, and it was a mistake. Due to my initial lack of experience, I rushed the process of getting my book out there. I’ve learned a great deal since those early days, and have had the good fortune of receiving sound advice and guidance from some very savvy author friends. I’ve since had a substantial re-edit done, and In Memory of Greed is a far better work due to the effort. As a result, I’ve now released the book in paperback format.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
The lessons are many, but the most important one for me is that writing is the easy part. The hard work comes after the fact: beta reader’s critiques, re-reading, re-writing, editing, and more re-writing. A writer should take whatever time is necessary to produce a quality work, ensuring that a manuscript is ready to become a novel. Self-imposed time constraints are foolish and counter-productive. As authors, we owe it to our readers to provide the best work possible.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
In Memory of Greed is available via Barnes & Noble for the Nook e-reader platform.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I blog, and spend a great deal of time on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I also devote a fair amount of time to getting the word out, locally. I find that people tend to support local authors, and word-of-mouth is a great way to gain exposure.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
The balance between marketing and writing is always a challenge, especially when simultaneously working a day job, which many of us do. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. My usual response is “how badly do you want it?” When I’m developing a manuscript, it’s not uncommon for me to rise at 4 a.m. to get down some words before heading to work, then writing well into the evening after work.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I would tell them to write what they know with passion then take the time to get proper critiques and re-write. Once this stage is complete, get your work edited by a professional. Reading the works of others in the genre you write, as well as studying grammar/style manuals, is also beneficial. Most of all, learn to enjoy the process, don’t rush through it.

What’s next for you?
I’m about to start writing my second novel, another mystery/thriller, of course. The book has yet to be titled, but I have a detailed outline prepared to serve as a roadmap. I’m very excited to get started.

In Memory of Greed buy links: 

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