For today's post I got something really special. I came across Jason Hein's book of poetry Poems of Varsian Lore and enjoyed what I found. Being a fan of fiction fantasy and poetry myself, this proved to be a great find. I enjoyed each poem's back story as it set the mood for the adventure to come. I found his writing to be very original and a breath of fresh air. The intriguing story-lines kept me hooked for what I was about to read. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I have. As a avid writer myself, I love getting into the brains of other authors and learning about their craft and way of thinking.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself not many people know?
A: Well, my poetry in my book, "Inspired Poetry" is the window to my soul. If you really want to know me, that book is me, in a sense. What most people, that know me, don't realize is a lot of this poetry is real. Even the poetry in, "Poems of the Varsian kingdom," though it's fantasy based. These things happened in my mind and I actually formed real relationships with the world, it's characters, it's events. Naturally, this is a little extreme, but that is the genesis of my world.
Poet Jason Hein
Q: How did you decide to start writing?
A: I wrote my first short story when I was 5 years old or so. I watched a movie about a young girl who wrote a story. I can't even remember what movie now, but it peeked my interest. Once I tried it I was hooked! I loved creating and living out the adventures in my head. As these imaginations took on a life of their own I began to consolidate it into the Varsian Kingdom. Poetry came easy and seemed a suitable method to construct the lore of my world.
Q: What motivates or inspires you?
A: In a word, freedom. The ability to create and do anything is a more enticing thought to me than anything. I've always felt as though I didn't belong in this modern world. I longed for adventure, and writing allows me a method to experience adventure, hopefully bringing some well entertained fans along with me on the ride.
Q: What do you feel your strong points are? Weaknesses?
A: Personally, I feel like my imagination could go on without limit. It's a bit of a task to get a vivid and accurate portrayal on paper at times. I know what is going on in the story. I live in the story and poetry as I write. So, at times my writing needs some clarifying edits to get the full vision across to the readers.
Q: What authors do you admire?
A: In spite of the fact my first two books are poetry, the authors that have influenced me the most are authors of fantasy such as J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis. Lewis Carol and the Jabberwocky also captured my imagination.
Q: Why poetry?
A: Poetry is like emotion put into verse for me. It flows out of my head and onto paper as easy as water flows down a steep mountain slope. There is little better, to me, than a good poem. Because of this I was inspired and intrigued by the idea of not just writing a poetry book, but using poetry to build the history and lore behind my world, The Varsian Kingdom.
Q: If you were to jump into another genre what would it be and why?
A: I have a solid set of books already planned in the fantasy genre, but further into the future I actually would like to write some science fiction. A neat idea I came up with was to, sometime in the future, write a series of books of the Varsian Kingdom thousands of years into the future.
Q: What are your goals and future projects?
A: The Varsian Kingdom Series, as I have it currently planned, will have at least five or six novels, another historical book of poetry, as well as a book or two of short stories and fables of the Varsian Kingdom. Once these are done I'd love to move on to a trilogy of Science fiction.
Q: Do you pull from real life experiences?
A: At times, yes. Some of my stories are from my own experience and some are actually based on historical accounts. Altering them into a fantasy genre, however, they are hardly recognizable to anyone who knows the original story.
Q: Use one word to describe you. One word to describe your writing.
A: Me? Daydreamer. My writing? Freedom.
Q: What would you want readers to get or learn from your writing?
A: My hope is that my writing will provide good clean literature that is entertaining and has a backbone of good solid morals for kids to learn as they read.
Q: If your writing could change one thing in the world what would it be?
A: If I could have it change one thing, I would have it change the feeling of hopelessness and confinement. I want my writing to present hope and freedom to people. Hope for tomorrow and freedom to enjoy life.
Q: How would you like your work to be remembered?
A: I would love my work to be remembered right up there beside epic stories like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Star Wars... etc... I want it to be remembered as a world in and of itself that is as vast as reality...or even more vast. A never ending avenue for adventure.
Q: What advice can you give to new authors or poets?
A: If you want to write, my advice is start by reading. Remember, though, every moment you read is a moment you are not writing. Find a genre that you love.
Q: If you had to pick one genre to read, what would it be?
A: Usually that is the genre you want to write in. Read a few books to get an idea for a style you like. (Not content ideas) Then day dream...day dream to your hearts content. When your head gets so full that you can't keep track of anything start taking notes. When your notes get so cluttered and you are having to start a small library on your computer...it's time to start writing. This will give your story and poetry a good solid foundation to sit on. From that point, just let it flow and live out that dream.
Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to reading more of your future releases.
Facebook and google: https://www.facebook.com/jason.hein.5 https://plus.google.com/u/0/106755306...
Poems of Varsian Lore https://www.createspace.com/5140042
Inspired Poetry https://www.createspace.com/5114701
I would like to provide a quick update and thank my fans for sticking with me while doing website additions, adding a new blog and a first attempt at a book trailer. Currently in the very near future I will be adding distribution channels to serve my present readers and reach new ones. I will also attempt starting a facebook page and finally get on to Twitter, God willing. Being an author has so many masks that must be worn as most are aware of. I would love to just keep writing away and getting my next book in the Fallen Beloved series completed but I must show discipline and balance between writing and expanding a writer platform as it is called. Mostly everyone who knows me personally will tell you I'm very humble and have avoided "tooting my horn" so to speak. Hence, the reason for not being the biggest social butterfly in the world or being on Facebook or Twitter. I will use this blog post as a combination for my fans and other indie authors and self publishers. I would love anyone to chime in with their two cents as this whole process of publishing has a learning curve, whether it be communicating with your present fan base, adding distribution, formatting or marketing.
As my readers have noticed, all my books to date are available as a print version. This I accomplished going through Createspace. I'm not the best formatter in the world or the best techie, but was able to eventually get through the hurdles using Createspace templates. The covers were also done by using an open source software program called Scribus. This of course had another learning curve to overcome. This included such things as converting to PDF, determining binder size and using bleeds. And I thought writing was going to just be a bed of roses. Writing seems to be the easy part. You will never hear me ever complaining again about not knowing what to write next or about having writer's block. This is the smallest of my present day issues. My main goal is to keep books coming out for all my readers as is with all author's objectives. Once I was already published on Createspace it was made so convenient to get into Kindle Direct Publishing. The only problem with this (if its even considered a problem at all) is that I was very tempted and bit the bait to join the Select program. This program has many good features to it, but as everyone knows requires exclusivity. It's an easy way out of doing the hard legwork and not expanding distribution or growing a long term career as a successful author (Once again God willing). This program however in combination with other channels for specific projects may prove to be a great alternative to using it exclusively for all my books. I grew concerned with my long term potential and realized I wasn't reaching all my fans when a reader that didn't have access to any of my ebooks contacted me. I know amazon presently has the biggest reach, but missing out on that one reader really got to me. Who knows how many other people are out there in the same boat. I would hate to not be exposed to as many people as possible. Because of this I have decided to expand my reach and break out of exclusivity. It's like a baby being let to walk for the first time. Everything seems great while crawling, until of course the potential of standing on two feet is finally realized.
So what were my options? What's out there for me and other self published or indie authors to expand distribution of ebooks. I can't possibly list them or even remember them all but I will list some major players. Please add to the list as well. Being I'm not the best formatter as previously stated, The easiest way out may be to get over one hurdle and bite a bullet by using an ebook distributor instead of uploading directly to Ibookstore, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, Scribd, Page Foundry and the many others out there. The only problem with using a distributor is giving up a percentage cut of course, which might not be a bad thing for authors pressed for time or computer illiterate. Distributor changes will be slower as well compared to uploading directly I imagine. The main distributors I have come across were Bookbaby, Draft2Digital, Smashwords and also another one I just located called BookTango. My exclusivity will be up before year end so my decision must be made soon. I figured why not use a combination I can live with. Ones that are easy to upload direct to and combine that with distribution services adapted to my computer skills. For me personally, it seems like Draft2Digital is the way to go for my skill sets. I also find their reporting to be optimum. Seems like this is the easiest of them all to convert files into the correct format. This distributor hits Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, Scribd, PageFoundry and Createspace (which I already have so don't need) presently while attempting to add more in the future. Once I'm going to do this though I (We) can't stop there. It will bother me knowing I still haven't hit all possible channels. Smashwords is another biggie that has many more channels already open to people that can pass their formatting process. Reading all the horror stories has made me try to attempt them second. I might spare myself the learning curve and have to pay someone on this one. I will definitely be trying to add them to my arsenal to get into their store and enjoy their many advantages. Not only is it hitting the ebook stores out there, but now libraries are even getting involved in the mix. A couple are out there but Overdrive is the one I can presently recall. Ok so just a little summary of what I have done and what I'm deciding to presently do.
1. CreateSpace (done for print version)
2. Draft2Digital (Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, PageFoundry if I decide not to go direct on certain ones. Having everything reported in one place would be nice though)
3. Smashwords (for their own store and the very generous list of channels they presently have that Draft2Digital doesn't. If I was great with formatting this may have been ahead of the previous option)
4. Bookbaby has upfront costs which I'm trying to avoid. BookTango however seems like an interesting option. Will look into them further. I just discovered them so sorry I don't have better info at the moment.
5. GooglePlay seems like another site to hit if its not in Smashword's channel at all.
I will list some more as I come across them. Please add comments and your experience or ideas as well. That would be greatly appreciated. I have mentioned Createspace as my print option. Another great option for authors to look into would be Lightning Source. They have a connection with Ingram so appears the only hope for indies, self publishers or small presses to get into brick and mortar bookstores. This though seems like another process in itself (purchasing ISBNS, formatting etc.) I will attempt this soon but hope the person I hire to format for SmashWords has experience with them too. So that's it on my agenda so far for gaining exposure and reaching more fans distribution wise.
The part I'm tackling now which should've been done many precious moons ago is social media of course.
1. Website (Check)
2. Blog (I think I can finally check that one off the list now. Looking into Blog Tours.)
3. Book trailer (For the fun of it. Not sure exactly how much exposure that will gain, especially with my great skills. Sarcasm. Will be doing one professionally with a buddy of mine soon with actual video this time)
4. GoodReads (Check. Great to gain exposure with contest giveaways. I'll also add LibraryThing to this list eventually)
5. Reviews (Working on those as I build exposure. Would love for you guys to help me out with those if at all possible.)
6. Interviews (Was just approached to do one. Will post the link once it's published.)
7. Facebook (I'm guilty of not being on there yet.)
8. Twitter (Guilty as charged)
9. Others I need to research include Pinterest, LinkedIn etc
10. To reach more readers I will hopefully get accepted by advertisers with mailing lists. Bookbub, Gorilla, Awesome Gang, Pixel of Ink etc.
11. Mailing List and Newsletters (Building a list. Please join if interested at http://www.Paul-Morabito.com )
12. KDP (Check. For those unaware the Kindle Select program allows you to do countdown deals and 5 free day giveaways every 90 days)
I hope this article helped other authors, self publishers, small presses or aspiring writers. I also wanted to present this so my readers and fans know I will be expanding distribution of ebooks in the future for better access to my work. I'm trying to keep pumping out new material as well so you have more to read and hopefully enjoy. I'm not a guru by any means and would love to hear feedback on how I can improve as well. What did I miss? How can I improve my books? What do any readers like to see more of from me? What readers have I left out? For more information about me or to view my work please visit Paul-Morabito.com
Have you been searching for the best fiction fantasy series and hottest new author in the genre but couldn’t decide where to start or what everyone's reading? What factors actually determine what the best current or past fantasy series is? Surely it can’t be based on just sales alone. Many books that have made the top sellers lists have been lost and never recommended again. Maybe it’s those really great looking covers that make our mind think the contents inside are just as good. Can it be the movies we loved growing up with and gave us great memories in childhood have made us biased towards a particular series even though the actual book themselves haven’t been read or are up to par with its counterpart? Who determines what the best fiction fantasy series is? Most turn to top reviewers or websites to get a feel for what they should be reading or what to waste or not waste their precious time on. The reviews must be the best indication right? I mean, nobody in their right mind today would post a review without even reading the book (Sarcasm). Nobody ever gets paid in the industry to write brilliant reviews to persuade readers (Yeah right). Readers or authors are never planted to create buzz and start up conversations about their own series. Huge amounts of money are never thrown into advertising a book to make it a best seller before it even hits the shelves. Can it be that we are geared toward particular books without us even knowing? What made you as a reader determine what the last fiction fantasy series or hottest author you read was? Was the last book traditionally published or self-published? Self-publishing has grown hugely over the past years. Many authors that have had countless rejection letters are now able to grab audiences and tell their own stories to the world. What is to say the best fiction fantasy series or hottest new author to ever write a book isn’t the most depressed person in the world right now because nobody will ever get to read his work? Who determined what should or shouldn’t be read? Do they represent the entire reading public and what we as readers would truly enjoy? I’m sure many best sellers were taken a chance on by publishers that didn’t even really think much of them at the time. Publish a handful and hope that one in the bunch rises and pays for the flops. Enough about what our thinking process is on the decision of determining our next read as the best fiction fantasy series of all time.
What about the best hottest new author? Many new authors pinned with this prestigious honor have gone on to never write anything of interest ever again. Just like in music. The industry is filled with one hit wonders that we go on to purchase the next book with high hopes of feeling the same way we did when originally completing the prior hit only to be greatly disappointed. This is so true with sequels. Are we biased towards traditionally published or self-published authors? Male or female authors? Our relative that just came out with a first book? It’s probably whoever has the best PR and best exposure. The best marketing expertise can probably even make the worst writer in the world a best seller if we are exposed to the same book repeatedly. So without further hesitation, let’s look at a list of best fiction fantasy, best series, or best hottest new authors that the major retailers are presently pushing on us. I’m sure past sales or publishing house backing had nothing at all to do with determining which fiction fantasy books or series got the spotlight that we should be reading (Sarcasm again). These are listed in any particular order. Would love all of you to give two cents on your top choice and why. Would like to know how you determine what the next big fiction fantasy series or hottest new author is as well. I will be putting up a poll on these selected choices to determine what the readers truly pick. Your favorite might not even be on the list at all. Now is the time to state your beloved author or series for the world to hear. Once again, this is just a short sample list to get the discussion going. The reader’s voice is what I want to hear. Don’t you hate when you are the first to discover great pieces of work then everyone jumps on the bandwagon without you getting the deserving credit? Announce it here so you have proof! Have you been searching for the best fiction fantasy series and hottest new author in the genre but couldn’t decide where to start or what everyone is reading? What factors actually determine what the best current or past fantasy series is? Surely it can’t be based on just sales alone. Many books that have made the top sellers lists have been lost and never recommended again. Maybe it’s those really great looking covers that make our mind think the contents inside are just as good. Can it be the movies we loved growing up with and gave us great childhood memories have made us biased towards a particular series even though the actual book themselves haven’t been read or are up to par with its counterpart? Who determines what the best fiction fantasy series is anyway? Most turn to top reviewers or their websites to get a feel for what they should be reading or what to waste or not waste precious time on. The reviews must be the best indication right? I mean, nobody in their right mind today would post a review without even reading the book (Sarcasm). Nobody ever gets paid in the industry to write brilliant reviews to persuade readers (Yeah right). Readers or authors are never planted to create buzz and start up conversations about their own series right? Huge amounts of money are never thrown into advertising a book to make it a best seller before it even hits the shelves correct? Can it be that we are geared toward particular books without us even knowing? What made you as a reader determine what the last fiction fantasy series or hottest author you read was? Was the last book traditionally published or self-published? Self-publishing has grown hugely over the past years. Many authors that have had countless rejection letters are now able to grab their audience and tell their own stories to the world. What is to say that the best fiction fantasy series or hottest new author to ever write a book isn’t the most depressed person in the world right now because nobody will ever get to read his work? Who determined what should or shouldn’t be read? Do they represent the entire reading public and what we as readers would truly enjoy? I’m sure many best sellers were taken a chance on by publishers that didn’t even really think much of them at first. Publish a handful and hope that one in the bunch rises and pays for the flops. Enough about what our thinking process is on the decision of determining our next read as the best fiction fantasy series of all time.
Please list other series or authors that are your personal favorites or that you are greatly insulted that didn’t make this random short list sample. Thanks for your time in sharing.
Paul Morabito is an American born fiction/nonfiction author of the fiction fantasy epic adventure series Plane Hell. The first two installments include Plane Hell: The Hell’s Plane Amulet and Plane Hell: The Amulet of the Dead.