A brief interview with Jeff Thomason

1. How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published traditionally?

I wrote a book and was only going to publish it on the Kindle, but I was so pleased with how it turned out, I decided to offer it in print. I had very specific ideas about the format, the cover, the layout, and the illustrations I wanted in the book. Friends of mine who have published thru traditional routes have told me how little (ie. none) control they had over the actual design and printing of the book. I knew I could do what I wanted (for the most part) only if I self-published.

2. What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service?

I used BookSurge which has merged with CreateSpace as well as the Kindle Digital Platform and Smashwords. I have really liked all of them. My only disappointment is hardcover books are not yet feasible for print on demand so my first novel had to be softcover. And tip ins weren’t allowed, which I would have liked. Otherwise the companies were very easy to work with and gave me a lot of freedom and a nice cut of the profits

3. What avenues have you taken to market the book? Have you gotten reviews, interviews, TV, print media coverage?

My book has been reviewed and featured at several sites. I’ve also tried Facebook ads and Google AdWords but to no avail. I’ve also set up a website and used social media which has helped with awareness. The most successful marketing trick I’ve tried is to offer free short stories and comics books.

4. What drove you to write this particular book?

I’ve had an idea swimming around in my brain for 25 years, and one day I was talking to my brother and mentioned I wanted to write. He told me, “Then write. There has never been a better time to get your work out.” He was right.

5. Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?

It’s Young Adult Science Fiction in the vein of young boys adventure books like the Hardy Boys. These were my favorite books, so that’s the kind I wrote.

6. Who are your greatest writing influences?

Charles Sheffield and Orson Scott Card. I filled my head with many of their stories before writing my own.

7. What’s your writing regimen? Any tips for keeping focused?

I try to write 1,000-2,000 words a day either in the morning or at night just after I wake up or just before. I find I’m the most focused then.

8. Would you self-publish again?

Yes. I’m working on my second novel now.

9. Any final words of advice for those looking to self-publish?

Don’t get discouraged. It’s a long process. And don’t quit your day job.

  • Great interview with Jeff Thomason! My experiences with my debut novel, “Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner” are identical … with one exception. I agree that GoogleAds, Facebook and even YouTube did little to add to sales of ‘Jenkins’. However! I discovered Goodreads.com and joined their Authors Program! WoW! ALL on one platform you have Author’s Profile, bookGiveAways, Interest-tracking tools, advertising, reviews – the works. I teach IndiePub here in the Pacific Northwest and recommend Goodreads.com Author’s Program now in my ‘All Smart Cookies Can Self-Publish’ [on Amazon] workshops.