I had the pleasure of reading a dark-fantasy novel by author Andrew Peloquin. His book, “Blade of the Destroyer,” was just launched today, and I am pleased to say that I was one of the first few readers to post a review! If you are a lover of fast-paced and suspenseful fantasy books, I would definite recommend checking his novel out-
Prior to reading the book, I asked a few interview questions that I found helpful both for myself and other aspiring writers out there. I hope you all find it helpful!
What are your thoughts on writing a book series? Do you think series are more successful than stand-alone novels?
Andrew: As a reader, I gravitate more towards series than standalone books. Once I come to like or love a character, I’d hate to have to give him/her up once the book ends. I think series do have a better chance of succeeding, as it gives you more time to develop a character and story more fully.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
Andrew: I went with International Book Promotion as the editor, as they came highly recommended by a few of the people in my circles. They did a decent job, but I’m much happier with the editing work done by the awesome people at J. Ellington Ashton Press (my publisher).
How do you market your books?
Andrew: That is a fascinating question, and one I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer. I’m terrible at marketing, and I’m very much learning as I go. I’ve added an email sign-up to my website for people would like a FREE copy of my debut novel, In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent (if you’re interested, you can find out more here…).
I’ve tried to expand my following on social media sites, and I’m looking into book festivals, signings, and other methods. I’ll have to see how successful these things are in the future!
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Andrew: Start now! Don’t wait until you have your first book published, but start reaching out to other people now. The more people you connect with, the more likely you are to find others to help you promote your book, readers for the book, and reviewers. Expand your circles as much as possible, and start today!
What do you do to get book reviews?
Andrew: I’ve reached out to a lot of fellow authors, which, as it turns out, are some of the most voracious readers on the planet. I’ve also offered book reviews on my own website, and ask those submitting if they would be interested in doing a review of my work. It’s not a “review exchange”–I’ll read/review their works no matter what–but it’s a good way to get reviews.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Andrew: Well, it looks like things have gone pretty well. If you check out the Amazon page for Blade of the Destroyer, you’ll see that there is a pretty decent number of reviews. I’m willing to say that 90% of those are NOT immediate friends and family, but they are other authors and reviewers who were willing to take a chance on my work.
What are your views on social media for marketing?
Andrew: I know social media is a great way to get your books in front of people, and that’s the biggest struggle for most authors. I feel that if my product is good enough (which it is) and the packaging (the cover) is good enough (which it is), social media can help you to reach a wider audience.
Is social media the “ultimate” answer? Probably not. But it’s just one more tool in the arsenal of a writer.
Which social network worked best for you?
Andrew: Facebook has, so far, been one of the best platforms for me. I’ve found most of my author and reader friends there. I’m not very good at any social media sites, so I tend to stick with Twitter and Facebook–with a bit of G+ just for the heck of it.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Andrew: Make friends above all! I’m a pretty friendly guy, and I feel like I have made a lot of friends in my efforts to find people to help me with my marketing. Perhaps not all of them reciprocate the feelings of friendship, but I feel good about what I’ve done leading up to, during, and since the launch of this new book.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Andrew: If the book is good enough, it absolutely could work. Everyone loves free stuff, and if the book is good enough to hook you, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to find out what happens next. That’s why series are often some of the easiest to market–you can give away the first book in the series and use it to entice people to keep reading.
I love giving away books, as I just want to get my work in front of other people. If they like it, they may pass it on or recommend it to someone else. That’s great for me, and it’s great to know that they enjoy it!
How long does it take you to write a book?
Andrew: From start to finish, I’d say about six months of solid work (about 10 hours per week). It all depends on how many changes I need to make once my amazing beta readers slice and dice it, as well as how much extra time I have to dedicate to it.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? Do you have any advice on how full-time workers can balance time between careers, family-time, and writing novels?
Andrew: It’s hard to find that work-life-writing balance! I was talking about it with my wife a few weeks ago, and she was saying something along the lines of, “You’d better curb the activity, buddy!” The weeks leading up to the book launch were pretty stressful, and I think she’d had enough.
To balance a job, a family, and a side career of writing is not easy, but it can be done. I’m pretty sure most people can find an hour a day to write, and perhaps a bit more on the weekends. As long as your family understands why you’re doing it–both for them and for you–it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, provided you can keep it in check.