Sharing his publishing secrets today is Florida-based suspense author Robert Lane. His latest novel is Cooler Than Blood. He is also the author of The Second Letter. Connect with Robert on the web:
Greetings, Robert! Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Robert: I wrote short stories in college and always felt as if I returned to writing, not as if I just started. I enjoy the creative process, and, like most writers, write compulsively. I don’t dwell on the root of those compulsions; I enjoy what I do and am thoroughly challenged by it. That’s enough for me.
Is this your first book?
Robert: No. The Second Letter came out last year. That’s not counting the two in the drawer.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Robert: I set up Mason Alley Publishing, LLC to publish all my work. It allows me to own, control, and to profit from my work. I believe the short-term disadvantages are greatly outweighed by the long-term benefits. One thing that digital and on-demand publishing has done is to immortalize all books. Time horizons have grown exponentially.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Robert: The con is the myth of self-publishing. Great, I’m self-published; I outsource social media, traditional media, copy-editing, cover design, web design and maintenance; nearly everything other than writing and marketing dollar allocation. It is a steep learning curve and I’m still climbing. The pros? I own this baby, good or bad, forever.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Robert: Keep in mind that there is more money being made telling you how to write, publish, and market than you are likely to ever make writing. With that inside your head, choose your weapons carefully. How best to market yourself? Who to listen to? Where to spend those precious dollars? Do not let the publishing industry decide those, or other issues, for you. No one will match the passion you have for your work. That’s not cynicism; it’s the simple truth. Embrace it and move on.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Robert: Certainly, but bear in mind, with any publishing venue, you need to vigorously engage your business side. Segregate your time and energy—for you need to approach the business end with the same madness in which you write.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Robert: Read about the lives and journeys of other authors. I have a list I continually update of authors’ struggles, work habits, lessons, and victories and defeats. Take console in those who have gone before you as well as those who travel with you. If you think you’re alone, remember Harry Truman’s words; “The only think new in the world is the history you don’t know.”