Where I Am
About Kevin Rau
I'm the author of the H.E.R.O. series of novels in the SciFi/Superhero genre. I also do character art (as seen on the rest of the page here).
I've launched the Author Interview pages to promote my fellow authors, and hopefully create some cross-links back to their websites or social networks within the interview.
Interview Date: 3/29/2012
Christine’s debut novel, Treasure Me http://tinyurl.com/7ttq5lt enjoys a 97% approval rating on GoodReads and many 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon, including a 5-star rating from Amazon Top Reviewer Betty Dravis. Her latest release, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge http://tinyurl.com/cepcwjo was released in March. Visit her at www.christinenolfi.com and @christinenolfi on Twitter.
When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?
I didn’t start out as your typical Indie novelist. I spent several years working with literary agents. Both Random House and NAL expressed interest in my novels. When an offer never materialized, my critique partners urged me to go Indie to build my own readership.
Going in, I knew my debut must stand head and shoulders above many of the independently published books flooding the market. Treasure Me was heavily edited and flawlessly proofed. The plot was fast-paced and amusing. The eBook went live in April 2011 and I immediately began querying book blogs for review. Those great reviews posted on Amazon, GoodReads and FaceBook drove sales.
The same has held true for my latest release, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge. I’d received enough great reviews immediately upon publication that, when I ran the book free in the KDP Select program, Squidoo and other sites tagged it as a bestseller. Those endorsements drove the book to the #8 slot on the Amazon bestseller list during the promotion, resulting in thousands of new readers.
Kev's response: I agree, errors will be pointed out by readers and reviewers. Good reviews definitely aid in sales.
Are your books available in print? If so, how did you select a printer for the hard copies?
The paperback of Treasure Me didn’t hit the shelves until November 2011 for the simple reason that I was busy selling my house in Ohio and moving to new digs in South Carolina. Now that I’ve settled in, the process is more organized. All of my upcoming novels will probably appear in tandem—eBook and paperback—to ensure a wider readership and allow for submission to national and international contests.
Who builds my paperbacks? I use Amazon’s CreateSpace, based in my new hometown of Charleston. Of course, there are several quality publishers to choose from—CreateSpace doesn’t have a lock on the market.
What has worked best to boost sales?
Every time a book blog prints a positive review or invites me to write a post there’s a surge in sales. I’m now experimenting with a giveaway on GoodReads and other promotions. Not that I’m focused on short-term results. I write contemporary fiction bordering on literary and strive, with every book released, to expand a loyal readership. As any financially secure novelist will tell you, it’s all about building a backlist.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Funny you should ask. I just told a friend that my parents called me Peter Pan when I was a child. Who wouldn’t want the ability to fly?
Kev's response: I imagine a person who is afraid of heights wouldn't be overly pleased at the power, but the rest of us would rejoice!
How has social networking and blogging affected your sales?
Social networking is an important driver of sales. I believe firmly in Good Author Karma and try to give back every day. Other authors will help you succeed if you do the same for them on Twitter, GoodReads, Facebook, Google+ and your blog.
Kev's response: I agree, I'd rather help others than try to harm them or their work.
One caveat: As your readership and following grow, social media can get out of hand. Limit your exposure. Know that you can’t respond to every post in which you’re mentioned. Always respond to your readers, of course, but fiercely guard your writing hours. You must continue to produce. If you don’t, readers will quickly forget you.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The ability to become someone else throughout the creation of a novel. I suspect the average author possesses a vaporous sense of self. We’re perfectly content to slip beneath another’s skin.
Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule?
I’m like the Marines. Early to rise, stick to a schedule. I break at midday to work out at the gym.
What are you current projects?
I’ll release my third novel, Second Chance Grill, in May. It’s the second book in the Liberty series and follows the characters introduced in Treasure Me. In the autumn I’ll release another stand-alone novel set in Istanbul. I enjoy writing both the lighter Liberty series with a large comedic cast, and producing darker, more literary stand-alone novels. Perhaps deep down I’m a superhero with both light and dark qualities.
Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital eBooks?
Remember LPs? 8-track tapes? I recall a time in the late 1970s when people thought the idea of personal computers was a passing fad. Cell phones and the Internet? Both caught on like wildfire in about ten seconds flat.
Here’s my prediction: by 2014 virtually everyone on the planet who can read will read on a digital device. Print runs will be reserved for knowledge repositories like libraries and universities, and the occasional bibliophile who wants a hard copy for sentimental reasons.
Kev's response: I agree, the only thing in question is the when, not if.
What advice can you lend new Indie Authors?
Don’t publish a novel that’s thin on plot, littered with clichés and poorly edited. If you’re serious about a publishing career, become familiar with the superb Stein on Writing by Sol Stein and the equally informative Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass. Strunk & White’s Elements of Style and Elements of Grammar should sit on your bookshelf. And if you’ve been writing in a cave, consider joining a critique group. You need the encouragement and feedback of other serious writers to help you achieve your dreams.
Kev's response: I'd like to thank Christine for joining me on the interview, and wish her the best of fortune!comments powered by Disqus