Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interview with Hamilton C. Burger


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. NO EXIT, the first in The Apple Grove Gang series is a middle grade chapter book. While it is set in 1960, I believe that there is relevance to today’s children, in that the one thing that kids of any era have in common is imagination. I try to help my readers set their imagination free through my writing. I take pride that it a wholesome book, that represents a more simple time. It was a time before cable television and video games. I like to think: The Boxcar Children meet Leave it to Beaver.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
No, writing and publishing are all quite new to me. I began this journey sometime in late March. A dear friend suggested that I should consider writing a book. Here, I am three months later, published. I’m sure at times I have the deer in the headlights look, it all has happened so fast.

I decided to use the straight line method: the shortest distance between two points, rather than the traditional method. I believe that while traditional publishing is great, it has prevented many marvelous authors from ever being published. That is quite sad.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?
To be honest, I stumbled into it. Originally I was going to publish on Smashwords. I consulted a freelance formatter, and they could not furnish a file that I was able to upload. The file for Creatspace was good, and I was able to massage the other. I uploaded to KDP, with little effort. I am participating in the KDP Select program, so I am exclusive to Amazon for 90 days. I have the file for B&N ready to go, when the time is right.

What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
I have learned there are some amazing authors/editors/marketing gurus et al, who are willing to help you understand the process. I have an immense amount of respect for indie authors and the peripheral support mechanism.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
The hard copy is available on Creatspace. Of course if you visit my website, there is a link to buy the book.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I’m on twitter: @hamiltoncburger I’m a Goodreads Author (Pinch me!!) I write a snippet of a blog on hamiltoncburger.com. That’s about it so far.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
My guess is that my experience is consistent with many other authors. I work a full time job, and I try to write every day. Marketing consumes a considerable amount of my time. I’m a husband and father, as well. I am working on the balance point still.

I’ve found that any worthwhile business venture is difficult. Writing is no different. You need to at least have a business plan in your head. Juggling is part of the entire process. You’ll drop a flaming bowling pin once in a while, but keep practicing!

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
The first thing I would tell you is to get a mentor, if possible. Do not expect them to do the work for you or to lay it out step by step. Prepare yourself with research, and work hard to learn the process. There are many great people that are willing to help you. I was very blessed to stumble into the path of a brilliant author and amazing person. When you hit the wall, go to your mentor for some guidance. More than likely they have been there, as well. When you learn something, do not hesitate to pay it forward to someone else.

What’s next for you?
I am tying up the loose ends on GOLD FEVER, which is book #2 in The Apple Grove Gang series. I’m shooting for release in late July. Book #3 is started, as well. Shifting gears, I am working on a thriller in my free time.