I have a wonderful guest with me today. Wayne Hatford, author of Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood, 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. Wayne is a teacher, writer, editor and author dedicated to bridging the gap between the physical and non-physical worlds. To that end, he channeled a friend, Janice Horn ~ “Letters from Janice: Correspondence with the Astral Plane” and, more recently, the spirit essence of Rudolph Valentino ~ “Valentino Speaks: The Wisdom of Rudolph Valentino” and “Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood,” all of which are available via Amazon.com. Each of these works explores the “Other Side” while offering insight and practical suggestions on how best to make the most of this one.
A life-long student of metaphysics and transformation, Wayne has both taught in public school and been a personal property appraiser. Wayne Hatford now resides in Santa Rosa, California where he and the Valentino essence continue their collaboration.
His latest book is Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood.
Thank you for this interview, Wayne. You self-published your latest book, Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?
For a myriad of reasons! Familiarity with the process is probably number one (this is my second self-published book) ~ also, because of the low cost of producing an e-book, and in order to have complete control of the content. Finally, I wanted to make sure I got this material published because GFE is a really useful self help/personal growth tool for Seniors.
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 went through a long search for an agent and/or traditional publisher with my previous self-published book, Valentino Speaks, and was not successful. Agents thought my material too risky/unconventional and so did New Age Publishers. One traditional publisher did want to work with me, Cambridge in New York, but they require that the author put up half of the front money, which I ultimately decided not to do. Given that Going for Excelsior is based on the same premise as Valentino Speaks (channeled material) I decided not to waste time pursuing the traditional route, and immediately proceeded with self-publishing.
What different online stores carry your book?
For the time being, only Amazon.com. I decided to make it exclusive to take advantage of their giveaway program.
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?
I think it makes less difference to the media, incrementally so, every day. My impression, however, is that they still tend to give more weight/importance to books that are in print.
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?
I have not concerned myself with bookstore distribution, preferring to focus on Amazon. Again, GFE is an e-book only and, as of now, I have no plans to do a print version.
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 had someone else create the cover, using a photo I owned and based on my input. And, we worked together to come up with the final product. Her name is Shelley Schadowsky and her website address is goodlifeguide.com
Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?
Shelley also did the formatting. Her fees are quite reasonable, and she is quick on the turnaround, very professional. She guarantees premium acceptance for Smashwords. For my previous book, I used Kindle Wizards, also good but more expensive.
What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?
Working in a vacuum; knowing when, exactly, it was really ready to launch.
What steps are you taking to promote it?
Working with pumpupyourbook.com!
What has been the best marketing tool or method you have used that has resulted in the most sales?
Making GFE available as a free download on Amazon for five days in August. Approx 3,000 people took advantage of this offer, and there was a spike in sales afterwards. I had promoted the giveaway on several ‘giveaway’ oriented websites prior to the ‘free’ dates.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?
You can do it; don’t be dismayed by all the details, which at first can seem overwhelming. Edit your material to the innth degree and then edit again. Hire professionals to format and design the cover.
Thank you for this interview, Wayne. We wish you much success!