Maggie Plummer interview with David Alan Binder

Post date: May 2, 2016 12:46:43 PM

Maggie Plummer interview with David Alan Binder

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1. Where are you currently living?

I live in beautiful northwest Montana, which inspires some of my writing.

2. How many books have you written?

I have written three published books – two historical novels and one non-fiction title.

3. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Instead of trying to outline a plot, I like to list scenes, shifting them around and changing them as I go. Making the scene list helps me create a fast-paced, suspenseful narrative.

Also, I do most of my writing on a laptop computer, in my recliner. I realize this is probably not the best habit. I wonder how unusual or quirky it really is…

4. Why self-publish?

For me, it’s a matter of refusing to let my fiction sit around in a drawer. I got sick of the indifferent, unresponsive, disrespectful world of traditional publishers and literary agents. It was time to take charge of my own publishing, thanks to Amazon’s self-publishing platforms. I’m very glad I did, although being an independent author is a LOT of work!

5. Any insights about eBooks vs. print books?

I like to think that eBooks are inspiring a literary renaissance. I sell many, many more eBooks than print books. Probably ten times more.

When I self-published my first novel, SPIRITED AWAY, I went to the trouble of formatting it for Nook and Smashwords. However, for the sequel, DARING PASSAGE, I stayed with Kindle only. Formatting is a lot of work, and Kindle was by far my bestselling eBook outlet. It didn’t seem worth it to do all that extra formatting. This may differ from genre to genre.

6. Do you have any suggestions for new writers?

Yes, I do!

First, writing WELL is extremely difficult work.

Aim for the best writing you can produce. NEVER settle for having mistakes of any kind in your books.

Hire a professional editor and follow his/her advice.

Invest in the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Study it.

Then celebrate the end result of your discipline, happy in the knowledge that you’ve done your best to raise the standard and reputation of self-published books and authors.

7. What’s a surprising thing you learned during your creative process with your books?

I was amazed when my writing flowed through me, as if the words and scenes and characters were coming from somewhere else. I love that!

As I wrote SPIRITED AWAY, the Birdie character grew and grew, taking on a life of her own. It was incredible. I had not planned on that, but I’m very happy that I simply went with it. I love Birdie so much, and she wound up being a key player in the Spirited Away Saga (two books: SPIRITED AWAY and the sequel, DARING PASSAGE).

8. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?

I think it’s a combination of elements.

A book stands out when the cover, title, and story concept are carefully, skillfully conceived. And original. Please, no more dragons, vampires, werewolves, and billionaires. Enough already!

The writing must be clean and concise.

For me, a good story is character-driven with tons of human interest. I don’t want trivial detail about technical things that don’t mean anything to the story. I want people, relationships, and context. If I cannot escape into it, I don’t want to read it, whether it’s romance, historical fiction, or contemporary women’s fiction.

9. What are some ways in which you promote your work?

I spend a lot of time on Twitter, building my following and reciprocating other indie authors’ retweets. I don’t spend money on advertising, so I have to find free ways to promote my books. Twitter is time consuming, but it seems to be effective.

9.5 What would you do differently now and why?

I would like to do a better job with my book launches. Once I’m finally finished writing, editing, and revising a novel, I cannot wait to get it out there. I don’t have the patience to do the preparation work needed for an effective book launch.

Also, when I released my first novel, SPIRITED AWAY, I wanted to make a splash as a first-time, unknown historical novelist. I used KDP Select’s free promotion days and publicized them as much as I could. A two-day weekend free book promotion followed a week later by a three-day weekend free book promotion. In a way, it worked too well: on that three-day free book promotion, I gave away so many Kindle copies of SPIRITED AWAY! It succeeded in getting my name out there, but I gave away about 40,000 eBooks! I couldn’t believe it. It’s hard not to think about all the royalty income I forfeited. I try not to think about it. I suppose that is the cost of doing business. While I’m happy that those promotions worked, I have not done that again. Who can afford to lose that much book royalty income? (Not me, that’s for sure.)

10. What saying do you live by?

I love this Thoreau quote: “Our lives are frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify.”

I try to simplify my life. I’m determined to keep simplifying. For example, I have never owned a cell phone and I hope to never own one.

Please contact me at dalanbinder at gmail dot com or ab3ring at juno dot com

If you a published author or in a band with or without a book or an up and coming celebrity and want to garner following or get your message out there then I’d like to interview you and feature you and your book(s) or message on this web site in one of my blogs.

Of course, I’m always looking for authors to interview. If you know of one, send them to me, please.

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