I’m pleased to welcome fellow writer, London Cole, today to talk about his upcoming novel Whisper Walker due for release this month.
London Cole is a YA Paranormal author living in East Texas, US. When he’s not writing or outlining he can be found doing laps in his large pool, playing a rock concert, or any of a variety of outdoor extreme sports.
London’s debut WHISPER WALKER is a Dystopian Paranormal based on the island he was raised on, Whidbey Island. Only, it’s the island eighty years after the Third World War, and everything is a lot different…and a lot meaner.
You can find London out and about on the Internet here: Twitter Website
Take it away, London…
My debut Paranormal Thriller WHISPER WALKER will be released in the second week
of March on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, following shortly on iTunes and most
other online retailers.
The choice to self-publish this book was not one that I made overnight. I started writing
a full novel that I committed to finish in four months, while working fifty-sixty hour weeks
at my day job. My intent for that book was ultimately publication from a large publisher.
I finished that novel pretty close to on-time, but knew it was awful. I learned a lot on it
and found, even though I may love “pantsing” it and not plotting, I need direction. I need
a plan. Next I plotted out a novella with the intent of making it around 22k long. The only
problem with writing a novella is that there is virtually no possibility of publication. That’s
when the first idea of self-pubbing entered my head. But, self-pubbed author’s all suck,
right? All that I had ever heard and been lead to believe was that self-pubbed author’s
were sub-par, the rejects that never made it through the slush pile on agents/editors
desks. The ones who could only make it through a first draft and thought they were
above hiring an editor.
Once I plotted this new novella out, I wrote the entire first draft in two weeks, before
realizing it was missing something big, something major. I bought a bunch of self-editing
books and ripped apart my novella, scene by scene.
After all of the work I was putting into a book that had no way of being traditionally
published, I started to wonder about the self-pubbed books on Amazon and Barnes and
Noble. If I was putting this much effort into making this the best that I could, wouldn’t at
least some other authors also? I started searching through popular books on Amazon,
checking the “credentials” of the authors. What I found surprised me.
Three of my favorite authors that I possessed eBooks from, were self-published. There
were others that I had read too, that even though I didn’t like them, they were well done.
The lightbulb switched on when I stumbled upon J.A. Konrath’s blog which goes through
his journey of switching from a Big 6 author to self-pubbing his back-list and his future
work. (If you haven’t looked at his Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, I honestly recommend
I went from being strongly against self-publishing, to becoming an advocate. I learned
that with publishing myself, I would have complete control of my cover art, book
title, and a larger percentage of the royalties, as well as everything else that many
traditionally published authors griped about having no control over. I knew it was going
to be work, having to come up with the money for a decent editor and cover designer. I
was also going to have to handle all of my own publicity and seller accounts.
I found a reputed editor and sent off my new novella to her for a good shredding. I got
it back with surprisingly few changes to anything aside from the usual grammar and
proofing. Feeling good about it, I go started on all of the other steps to self-pubbing. I
setup a Twitter, bought a domain, started a blog, and found a new cover artist that had
only one project under her belt. I took a risk with her, but in seeing how great the work
was that she had done on the single project she had, I took the dive and have been very
happy with the results. I should have the final draft back in a few days.
I’ve spent hours and hours on Twitter and Goodreads and most any other social
network (except Facebook, I’m delaying that as long as possible) working at building
connections with book bloggers, and other authors (both trad published and self-
pubbed) to get publicity buzzing.
I didn’t want to be that person that just added a million people on Twitter hoping they
would follow back. I wanted more of a connection. I tweet with many of my “followers”
on a regular basis, and try to make contact at least occasionally with others. Those
are the ones who will help with the word-of-mouth about my new book. If I retweet
someone, or mention a book on my blog, or mention a blog post of someone that
follows me to my followers, they are very likely to help me out when I need it. If you’re
looking to promote yourself (whether it’s a book, blog, website, game, etc), please,
PLEASE don’t use an auto-tweet, or follow me just to get me to follow back and then
unfollow me to increase your ratio. It’s something that will get you unfollowed by many
Tweeps in a hurry. Take the time, build a relationship.
Ultimately, in all the things that I learned about the publishing world in the last couple
of years, I believe I will continue to publish myself. I believe that I will be able to put out
as high quality material myself as I would with a Legacy Publisher, AND I won’t have
any advance to earn back before I see royalties as well as I have complete control over
Be sure to check back here for details as soon as the cover is finalised and the book becomes available.