I met Rob Kroese at a recent writers’ conference and was instantly struck by his pleasant ‘everyday man who knows what he wants and goes after it attitude.’ It was invigorating to find an author who was self-published, successful & proud of it. Not lurking in the shadows with an apologetic expression. Rob is the author of the humorous apocalyptic novel Mercury Falls and its sequel, Mercury Rises. Booklist said that Mercury Falls has “cult favorite written all over it.” Rob is next in my Inspirational Avatars series, and in his usual humorous yet forthright fashion, he has some great tips for many of us Indies.
a. Why do you write? I love telling stories and having people read and enjoy them.
b. What is your one personality trait which helped you on the road to Indie success? I don’t know my own limitations — and I can bounce back from failure. I guess that’s two, but self-publishers don’t let themselves be constricted by rules!
c. Was there one thing you did which made the difference when you started on the Indie route? Pricing my book as cheaply as possible. Removing the barrier of cost was what made a lot of readers take a chance on me. Of course, that was 3 years ago, and there’s a lot more competition now — but the UK e-book market is about where the U.S. market was 2 or 3 years ago, so aggressive pricing may still be pretty effective on that side of the Atlantic.
d. A key ’emotional’ advice you’d like to share with other Indies? Know how much negativity you can take, and what kind of critical feedback is actually helpful to you. There’s no shame in not reading bad reviews or negative comments if they aren’t helping you become a better writer. You have limited time and emotional energy, and there’s no point in wasting it sucking up other people’s negativity.
e. Any practical advice? Start building your network/platform early. Network with other authors, do guest blog posts, build your Twitter followership, etc. If you finish a book and then just throw it into the void, hoping someone will buy it, your chances of success are minimal.