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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Andy Rane's Blog with "The Same Six Questions"

This morning, having bumped one of my four threads within KB’s Book Bazaar, I had the happy accident of posting just a couple minutes before “Come Meet Indie Authors.”  Since the Book Bazaar has 405 page loads, and each of those contain 25 threads each, I have not read all of them, not near half of them. So this was my first encounter with this particular post within the Book Bazaar.

For those of you unfamiliar with KindleBoards or Kindle Boards (whichever is correct, although the internet shows both versions), this particular one, the Book Bazaar, is for self-promotion.  I check it daily.  And each week, as my placement among my fellow authors differs and changes, I can do some market analysis and compare my book’s hits against another.  I compare my Week Three hits to some other author’s Week Three hits, for example.  If he has higher numbers, I see what genre he’s writing.  Or check out his title--is it catchy or entertaining or imaginative?  I try to see what it is that he (or she) is doing that could be bringing more people to their thread.

Now, remember, just because you have more hits does not mean more sales.  Still, getting someone interested enough to click on your link is a good thing, right?  I do this all in the vein of marketing, hoping to find what works to pique a potential reader’s curiosity.

So this morning I find that a blog can be among the Book Bazaar’s self-promo.  This particular one, “Come Meet Indie Authors,” works off Andy Rane’s blogspot, found at http://andyrane.blogspot.com where he poses the same six questions to each author and, if I understand his process correctly, two are highlighted within his blog each week, and then are posted within Book Bazaar.  He states it is a first-come, first-serve operation.  It is free publicity to us Indies and I’m all for that.

However, his “submissions” are closed until late February.  Still, I am posting this blog to let my other author friends know and plan ahead.  Plus, it is a great writing assignment for each of us to get to know ourselves a little better.  A little encouragement, a little insight into what makes us authors.

Besides, as I’ve posted about earlier, we are all basically nosy.  We love to see inside another person’s life.  So, here’s my answers to Rane’s Six Questions with an intro.  And I’ll hopefully be supplying them to him at the end of February.

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Hi, Andy!  I am a freelance copy editor for a big NYC publishing house when I am not writing both fiction and nonfiction and Indie-publishing same under my DBA, Living the Dream Publishing, plus blogging at LivingTheDreamPublishing.blogspot.com--which caters to authors, newbies or established, with helpful grammar tips and such for even the traditionally published, but leaning more heavily with info and instructions for the Indie-publishing author.  In my previous career, I worked for attorneys, but I took my attention to detail and grasp of English grammar and came on over to the creative side.  Love it!

The Same Six Questions

1. Have you published a book yet?

Yes, six e-books to date.  All Indie-published by me.  Five are found at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon, with the sixth, my debut e-novel, Good Ole Boys, being exclusive to Amazon until mid-March 2012.

My nonfiction e-offerings are:
  1. A Copyediting Checklist for Novelists
  2. Before-You-Indie-Publish Checklist
  3. Living the Dream Checklist:  How to Quit Your (Current) Day Job
  4. Words Rule the World ~~ A Collection of Quotations, Volume One
  5. How To Indie-Publish:  Tips, Instructions and Inspiration
Of course my debut fiction e-book is Good Ole Boys, a story about love and relationships.

Its e-prequel is coming out soon, as well as a Southern e-cookbook.

I hope to have more fiction e-books uploaded later this year.

2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I should have known since childhood or during my teenage years when I was fixated on reading more than being with my friends, when I asked for a Dictaphone for Christmas one year and when I easily composed a short mystery for my seventh grade English teacher who gave me kudos in front of my classmates.  I misinterpreted it as a calling to be a secretary which quickly morphed into a legal assistant position.

3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?

It was that homework assignment mentioned above.  And I wish I still had it.  I regret that I don’t.  But I do remember it was about finding whatever was hidden behind the fuse box, which our heroine stumbles upon one night as the lights blow out in a storm.  In her attempt to open the cover in the dark, she instead pulls out the housing, finding the whatever stowed behind it.  Amazing how the mind works, huh?  I remember that all these years later.

4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?

Always.  With every book I’ve read.  Sometimes my reaction was "I can do this better."  And I’m carnivorous, a cannibal to the written word.  It is not unusual for me to read 365 books in a year.  I don’t get to every year as sometimes I do have to resort to a day job on top of my own writing and my freelance copyediting projects.  Still, even during those periods with the three jobs taking the bulk of my time each of those days, I can easily read one book a month, while daily inhaling articles and blogs and emails about the writing craft.

I guess I brushed off all that early bravado as being too naive, too impractical to become a career in which to support myself.

However, I first called myself an author—albeit an unpaid author—when I completed a short story of 6,000 words, submitted it to a contest, and failed to win.  (Which in hindsight was a good thing.  I now focus strictly on writing novels, or nonfiction, not contests. Makes me efficient, prolific even.) 

In high school, I was an Honors English student, loving the whole school process and learning new stuff, enjoying homework and writing term papers, happily engaging in the research and carrying around heaps of composition books.  Which skills all translate easily into a writing career.

5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?

I’ve completed three novels, started another eight, but only have one Indie-published to date.  So, limiting myself to my sole e-novel as of this writing, Good Ole Boys, I would choose Holt Seville first and, if allowed a second, Pops, his grandfather, who was such a cantankerous, loveable character that I gave him his own novel, the soon-to-be-released “Good Ole Boys:  The Prequel.” 

6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?

Since I don’t submit those Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes entries so they would have no reason to be on my doorstep, I guess it would have to be my all-time favorite novelist, Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb, standing at my door to say she elects me to carry on her standard.  Either that or Ryan Gosling and Johnny Depp both asking to portray the male lead in the movie based upon one of my books.
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