I have a wonderful guest with me today. Richard Blunt, author of Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic, 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. Publishing under a pen name to keep his personal life separate from his writing life, Richard was raised in the heart of Europe, in a nation where English is not the native language. Like his heroes, Richard blunt is nothing more than a shadow – a specter that whispers a story for everyone to hear. You can visit his website at http://www.lucastrent.com/ and his blog at http://richardblunt.blogspot.com/.
Thank you for this interview, Rick. You self-published your latest book, Lucas Trent 3 – Grand Theft Magic. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?
There are two reasons for that. First, if you are not a well-known author to begin with it is pretty hard to find a decent publisher. But more importantly, Second, I want to stay in control of my work, even after I am done writing it.
Take us through the process. You had an idea for your book, you wrote it, then you decided to find a publisher. What were your experiences with that? Or did you decide to self-publish without looking any further?
I tried for a little while, submitting reading samples to publishing houses, but the responses were everything but encouraging. So in the end I just gave it up and decided to do it myself.
What different online stores carry your book?
Pretty much all of them I guess… The ebook is online at Whispernet (Amazon), iBookStore (Apple) and Book (Barnes&Noble), I have seen the print version at Amazon as well already and also at Barnes & Noble.
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?
Yeah, I think it makes a lot of difference. Large publishing houses have the necessary media contacts to get you the attention, as a self-publishing author you are pretty much out of luck.
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?
Honestly I didn’t. There isn’t much you can do about that, and that’s even worse than the problem with the media.
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?
I am a writer, not an artist, so doing the cover myself would have been suicide. This time I chose to bring in the big gun for it, Duncan Long, one of the best there is in cover design. And it was amongst the best decisions I made for this book.
Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?
I used a lot of formatting tools to do it myself for the ebooks, especially for Amazons Kindle, but for the print version I again brought in professionals, this time it was Lulu.
What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?
The publishing is just a lot of work, but it is not really hard. The hard part is the marketing…
What steps are you taking to promote it?
Yeah, that’s the hard part… I have a pretty broad online presence, including the book tour that I am on now. I also went through the trouble of creating a video trailer for the book. Let’s see how it works out. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
What has been the best marketing tool or method you have used that has resulted in the most sales?
The best was most likely having Pump Up Your Book do the virtual booktour with me. It grabbed a lot of attention…
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?
The biggest thing is: Don’t set yourself hard deadlines. Things take a long time to do right, you don’t want to start doing half-ass things just because you need it done.
Thank you for this interview, Rick. We wish you much success!