Bill Crider interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Mar 7, 2016 2:11:40 PM
Bill Crider interview with David Alan Binder
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Crider/e/B000APCYPY
Twitter handle: @macavityabc
1. Where are you currently living?
I live in Alvin, Texas, not far from Houston.
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
I’ve learned that persistence pays and that good luck is even better than persistence.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I don’t have any real quirks other than finding that I can’t do any writing until evening. That’s probably more of a habit than a quirk, but it’s all I’ve got.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I’ve published a lot of novels with conventional publishers. The advantage is that the publisher does all the work of editing, printing, distributing, and selling the book. Sometimes they don’t do much (or any) publicity, however. Books from conventional publishers tend to get more reviews in media outlets, and they get into libraries where readers can find them. I’ve self-published a few e-books, but I don’t have a great deal of experience in that area. The benefits are that I get most of the royalties from them, paid monthly. Publication is almost instantaneous, no waiting. It can be a rewarding experience.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
I’ve been published by Dell, Zebra, Walker, Harcourt, Dutton, and others. My current publisher is St. Martin’s Press (New York).
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
See above answer to #5.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
I don’t think there are any secrets, other than hard work and perseverance. As I said above, self-publishing an e-book can be rewarding, and it avoids the problems of looking for a conventional publisher.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I sold my first two books without an agent, but I think that’s become a lot more difficult than it was 30 years ago. I think the best way to get an agent is through networking – attend writing conferences and meet the agents who attend. A good many conferences now invite agents who will meet for authors one-on-one for a short book pitch. That kind of thing helps a lot.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Read as much as you can in the field you want to write in, and read as much as you can in other areas, too. I don’t think you can be a writer if you’re not a reader, though there are bound to be exceptions. Learn proper grammar and punctuation so you can be professional in your work. Go to conferences and meet other writers.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
Before I started writing, I used to laugh at the idea that characters can take over a book. After I started writing, I found out that I was wrong. Sometimes a walk-on character can play a major part in what I’m writing even though I never intended it to happen.
10. How many books have you written?
I don’t count, so I don’t really know. I’ve written many books under pen names, not to mention the ones under my own name. I suspect the number is between 75 and 100.
11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
As I said above, being a professional is the important thing. If you don’t know grammar and punctuation, have your manuscript read by someone who does know. Learn from their corrections. And read. Always read.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
No. I wish I did, though.
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
It can be anything – the setting, the quality of the writing, the characters, and the plot. What you see in your book as important might not be what someone else sees.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I’ve pretty much given up on promotion. I still do signings and talks when asked, and I attend conferences when I’m able. I’m on Facebook and I have a blog. I’m not at all sure that those things have increased me sales, however.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
If I had it to do all over again, I’d make a few different decisions about agents and publishers. I stayed with two different agents for too long, and it was detrimental to my career.
16. What would you like carved onto your tombstone? Or what saying or mantra do you live by?
I’ve already bought a tombstone and put it on the family plot in Mexia, Texas. It will have my name and the dates of my birth and death. That’s all. I’ve never had a mantra of favorite saying other than one from a poem by Frank Lebby Stanton. Henry Gibson recited it on Laugh-In many years ago, and the refrain was “Keep a-goin’.” I’m trying to do that.
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