It’s Daniel Adorno on my blog this time. He is the author of “The Blade Heir” and “Thy Kingdom Come”. Mark my words, this guy is going to become real big in the next five years.
1) Tell us about yourself and your books.
Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed on your blog! I’m a fantasy and scifi author who started writing at the age of 9. I wrote most of my stories on a typewriter when I was a kid and then abandoned it until college. In college, I took a creative writing class and began penning short stories and poetry. I was unhappy with most of my work during this time and even more frustrated that I couldn’t figure out how to write a book. Then I came across NaNoWriMo and learned to just write without editing as I went. In the spring of 2005, I completed my manuscript for my first epic fantasy novel, The Blade Heir. I sat on the unedited draft for 8 years and didn’t write much of anything throughout that time. In 2013 I caught wind of a writer’s contest that I wanted to enter. I submitted a short story and didn’t win the grand prize, but I was considered a finalist. All finalists got the opportunity to meet with editors from a publishing house. That meeting was the beginning of my writing career. I polished off my manuscript, queried it, and when I didn’t get any takers, I published it myself. A year later, I self-published my first young adult sci-fi novel, Thy Kingdom Come.
2)’Thy Kingdom Come’ sounds like a pretty Christian title. Did religion inspire you to write it?
Thy Kingdom Come has Christian themes interwoven in the story, but it’s not specifically aimed at Christian readers. The main character, Dex, was raised in a Christian home by very strict parents and throughout the story, he struggles with his faith. As a Christian writer, I like to incorporate spiritual dimensions to my characters by creating an inner tension amid the external struggles in the story. It makes the story more meaningful to me.
3) I read a book cover designing article by you in March perhaps. At that time you had some 15 votes in goodreads, now you have over 60. Can you share your strategies to get more popular?
On Goodreads, one of the best ways to garner more reviews is to create quarterly giveaways. The more people who add your book to their “to-read” list during a giveaway, the more likely it is they’ll read it and post a review. I have also found that joining groups on Goodreads and genuinely contributing to the discussions, helps your books gain more exposure. Don’t just self-promote because everyone hates that and views it as spammy. Try to build relationships online on social networks and don’t be afraid to give your book for free. Sales should NEVER be the focus of an author who’s just starting out. Getting more readers invested in your work is much more valuable than a quick sale on Amazon.
4) You apparently used Headtalker.com to launch your new book. Can you tell us about your experience?
Headtalker was a great promotion tool during my launch. It helps you get your message to a larger audience by crowd-sourcing shares and retweets. I think my promotional tweet was shared and retweed by almost half a million people! The downloads I received on that launch week numbered in the hundreds and allowed to reach the #1 spot for my category on Amazon. So my experience was largely positive and I’ll likely be using Headtalker again 😉
5)The self publishing business is maturing, with the ‘gold rush’ days long over. What do you think the industry would be like in say, five years?
I think in 5 years the industry will gain a lot more credibility in the mainstream. Traditional publishing is hanging on by a thread and once Barnes and Noble closes down (and it will eventually), the old way of publishing will go by the wayside. I foresee self-publishing becoming even more simple to do in 2020 and hopefully, we’ll have a true competitor to Amazon by then. Either way, it’s an exciting time to be an indie author!
6)There was a blog post on David Gaughran’s blog some months ago about two authors, Nick and Matt, promoting each other’s works. What are your views on such author collaborations? I wholeheartedly welcome it! Authors need to be helping each other out and not competing. We all need help and community is important for exposure. I’m actually in the process of seeking out collaborators in my genre for cross promotion. Every connection that can be made among indies is crucial getting more readers interested in your work.
7) How do you prepare your book for publication?
I’m still nailing down the process, but it goes something like this:
– Write first draft
– Self-edit and rewrite
– Self-edit second draft
– Send draft to editor and make necessary changes
– Create proposal for cover design and send to designer OR create the cover myself
– Send edited draft to beta readers and proofreaders
– Send pre-launch emails to readers on my mailing list
– Fix typos and make final changes to draft
– Schedule marketing campaigns through Fiverr and other sites
– Publish final draft to Amazon, B&N, Apple, etc.
– Send out launch email to readers and social media blasts, blog posts, etc.
8) What books are you reading currently?
Currently, I’m reading Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan, The Art of Work by Jeff Goins, and various books of the Bible. I’m very scattered in my reading habit probably because I’ve got so many books on my reading list!
9) If you are given a chance to question your favorite dead author, what would you ask them?
My favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien and if he were alive I’d ask him how he managed to keep everything organized in the histories and mythology of Middle-Earth!
10) When is your next book coming? My next book release will be to the sequel to The Blade Heir, but I’m incredibly busy at the moment, so I don’t know exactly when I’ll be done with it. I’m conservatively shooting for the second quarter of 2016.
11) Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, if anyone reading this is interested in getting a free copy of my first book, The Blade Heir, please visit this page to get it! http://bit.ly/1Ukzw5x
A. J. Chaudhury is a young author from India writing mostly in the fantasy genre. His historical low fantasy short “A Song of Blood” releases shortly. Click here to download his fantasy novella “The Drabird” for free.