I have a wonderful guest with me today. Deborah Dupre, author of Vampire of Macondo, is going to tell you what it's like to self-publish and give you a few tips to help you if you decide to self-publish your book. New Orleans native Deborah reports censored human rights news stories. With Science and Ed. Specialist Grad Degrees from U.S. and Australian universities, Dupré’s been a human and Earth rights advocate over 30 years in those countries and Vanuatu. Her unique humanitarian-based research and development work, including in some of the world’s least developed and most remote areas, led her to write articles appearing in dozens of popular print and Internet media internationally.
Thank you for this interview, Deborah. You self-published your latest book, Vampire of Macondo. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?
Self-publishing Vampire of Macondo was better for me. After it taking over two years to write, I figured this book’s public value would be better realized if I could distribute to people needing it as rapidly as possible.
That has definitely been the best choice because Vampire of Macondo is already in the hands of some of America’s greatest heroes. Noam Chomsky emailed me after receiving his copy of Vampire of Macondo last week that this is a “remarkable story.” An attorney defending the rights of Gulf victims has ordered a case of Vampire of Macondo copies. So far, one high-profile publisher has already asked to publish Vampire of Macondo.
What different online stores carry your book?
Aside from book orders derived from the book’s website, VampireOfMacondo.com, it’s also available at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Do you think that having your book self-published makes any difference to the media? Are they open to interviewing self-published authors or reviewing their books?
So far, I have more radio and television interviews requests than I can physically accommodate right away. I’ll therefore continue scheduling these programs that will feature me and my book Vampire of Macondo for months.
The media blitz is partly due to the effective work of Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up Your Books. Being a human rights reporter and covering human-ecology issues impacting humanity has also prompted many of my loyal readers to order copies of Vampire of Macondo.
Authors who go the traditional route have an edge over self-published authors in regards to distribution to bookstores. How did you handle that as a self-published author?
There’s a buzz happening about Vampire of Macondo already, and the virtual tour only started last week. For example, a Google research of Vampire of Macondo already brings over 60 pages of listings. There were less than a dozen only last week.
The Vampire of Macondo buzz already happening did not entail the lengthy process of getting the hard copy of the book into traditional bookstores. That source is still available and is likely, according to conversations with some stores.
Being what subscribers and other loyal readers call, due to my human rights news reporting, a “prolific writer” has made a huge difference, too.
On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control. I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it? If you had someone else, can you tell us who it is?
My best friend had the vision of the Vampire of Macondo cover. Not long after that, serendipity entered. At a human rights poster art exhibit in northern West Virginia, I was introduced to a world-class rights artist.
“You’ve got to meet Yossi Lemel!” another attendee who’d just heard about my book told me there at the event. “He’s the best and he’ll love your work!”
Lemmel knew about the Gulf atrocity and the cover up. He’d even given a presentation about this in Europe. He’s a favored artist by rights groups, including Greenpeace.
I just explained in detail what I wanted and Yossi’s first draft art was amazing. It took a few tos and fros, but he had the cover just as we’d envisioned within a week or so.
Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?
I worked with someone else to do the formatting while I was still going through the copyedit process with another professional.
What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?
Knowing people were suffering from oil and Corexit, shown in research to make crude 52 times more toxic was challenging. Knowing the real suffering by thousands upon thousands of people without a voice in this Gulf crime made this project more emotionally draining.
Having to take time to be meticulous with every statement in the 450 pages with over 1000 references in this fairly comprehensive book was another challenge in writing Vampire of Macondo.
What steps are you taking to promote it?
I’m appearing regularly on a radio and TV programs about Vampire of Macondo. I continue writing related human rights news articles daily. Although there’s already a buzz about the book, the Vampire of Macondo virtual book tour coordinated by Pump Up Your Books really doe not begin to intensify in January.
One of the most promising marketing strategies is that the virtual tour coincides with my coast-to-coast book signing tour. I’m traveling across country in an all-electric car, the new Tesla, to demonstrate that the fossil fuel industry, along with its human rights abuses, is not necessary anymore, is becoming obsolete in some countries already, and is the type of positive direction people can take after they’re empowered by reading Vampire of Macondo.
What has been the best marketing tool or method you have used that has resulted in the most sales?
In terms of book sales, it seems there’s tie between my efforts and those of Pump Up Your Book. Which tool is best is still hard to say, however, because we’re just starting to market the book now.
Being a human rights reporter followed by thousands of loyal readers in social networks has made a big difference, according to names of people placing orders. I write an average of at least two article each day and that alone has contributed to more sales.
That’s due to my byline:
“Deborah Dupré is author of "Vampire of Macondo," 450 pages of censored stories about Corexit and the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, continuing to cause catastrophic human devastation, that also continues to be covered up.
When online publicist Dorothy Thompson, founding director of Pump Up Your Book, first read my application for her company to represent me, she quickly replied, “Whoa! What a book! I knew there was more to that Gulf disaster than we’ve been told!”
Soon after sending to Thompson one of my Gulf victim interviews that I conducted, and a video demonstrating voices from the shattered Gulf, she replied, “Those poor people.”
Thompson showed the innovative and compassionate response I needed in a company coordinating my virtual book tour. According to what I’ve gleaned about her work on the net, my experience with her is typical – superb.
It was also great to work with Pump Up Your Books videographer who made my book trailer. By detailing exactly what I needed for that, he was able to create a powerful video giving people good reason to read Vampire of Macondo: glimpses of the covered up human suffering by real victims, amazing reviews people like political commentator Jim Hightower, EPA advisor and whistle-blower Hugh Kaufman, and What Really Happened? editor and show host Michael Rivero; and how to purchase the book.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?
Keep writing articles about the subject of you book and by all means, contact Pump Up Your Book to help with Internet marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Deborah. We wish you much success!
Thank you for this opportunity to contribute to a world based on human rights rather than glorified, petrochemical-militarized, corporate greed. Vampire of Macondo is available at http://vampireofmacondo.com/