Debut novel, ‘Where’s Unimportant’ by Daniel Shortell

Where’s Unimportant by Daniel Shortell:

“Jack Addington is stuck. A carefree life wandering the globe has morphed into a monotonous existence working for an oppressive Manhattan-based software company peddling products which destroy the lives of decent people. Jack struggles through soul-sucking affairs with despotic executives and eccentric scientists by mentally projecting himself out of the present and into past adventures. Avoidance, however, is temporary, and it does not take long for his overly medicated mind to lose perspective, causing him to act increasingly irrational in a brutally rational world. Jack attempts to reconnect to reality through the guidance of a colorful group of ‘advisers’, but, a bleak situation continues to spin out of control despite his best efforts. Ultimately for Jack, a slice of contentment is found only when luck stands amid the rubble of his failed attempts at perseverance. Sharply satirical, funny and painfully honest, Where’s Unimportant is a snapshot of one man’s failed attempt at the American Dream.”

Read more about the book on Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/books/23837148/Wheres-Unimportant

Learn more about the author’s other writing projects at http://www.danielshortell.com/


1. How did you come to self-publish?  Did you try to get published traditionally? Hmm, I’d have to say I was driven primarily by my desire not to, once again, be a cog in a big corporate machine. After ditching my ten year career in software to focus on writing, I thought it would be a fun journey to leverage my technical know-how in order to compete with the giants on a quickly shifting business landscape. NO, I didn’t try to, and didn’t want to, pursue the traditional route.

2. What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service? CreateSpace for print. Kindle and Nook formats on my own. Smashwords to reach the rest (Apple, Kobo, Sony, etc)

3. What avenues have you taken to market the book?  Have you gotten reviews, interviews, TV, print media coverage? Just getting into this phase now. Currently pursuing reviews both online and in print. Using my existing blogs and social networks to push out. Passing cards out around bookstores in nyc…

4. What drove you to write this particular book? Desire to let off some steam, focus my creative energies and bear down on some brewing ideas.

5. Is the book in any one particular genre?  Is it a genre that’s familiar to you? Literary Fiction with a heavy satirical bent

6. Who are your greatest writing influences? Kerouac, Vonnegut, Hemingway, Seneca, Huxley, Fitzgerald, Popper, Eggers

7. What’s your writing regimen?  Any tips for keeping focused? Start early, eat breakfast twice, finish mid-afternoon. Keep a pad nearby at all times to capture ideas as writing is a process which is continuous – some of the best ideas invariably come just before falling asleep – jot these notes down quick and shape them the next morning. Focus tends to be a given assuming I’m working on material that I am passionate about.

8. Would you self-publish again? Yes, most definitely as it has been a rewarding process. Projects currently underway.

9. Any final words of advice for those looking to self-publish? Do it. Do it now. But (and here is the big but), do it 100%, meaning, go all the way. You are deciding to be the agent/publishing company/editor/typographer/web designer/blogger/technical guru and, oh, yeah, writer. This means you have a massive amount of work ahead of you if you want to do this properly/professionally. You must start with a solid, well-crafted story (if this isn’t abundantly obvious, quit now). Understand your genre and the nuances that make it is what it is, who is the ‘best’ in your genre and what makes them so good and why you enjoy reading them. Edit the living shit out of your novel, then have as many people as possible read your drafts and provide feedback/proofing. Don’t rely on Aunt Jane because she’s a sweetheart and reads the hell out of some Danielle Steel (well, unless that is the type of material you are working on), find the literary minds (or English/Lit/etc majors) among your friends and get them involved in your project. So, you’ve just finished the third draft? Excellent start working towards the sixth draft now. Edit, edit, then edit some more. You have your final draft ready? Edit it again.

Now you have your final draft. Time to format. Don’t know about Typography or Indesign? Learn it…you want this to look professional, right? Not good with technology? This is a problem because as a self-publisher you are aiming to leverage all the wonderful new technologies available to compete with the big dogs at their game…you have a lot of technological studying to do. Don’t have a blog/website or anything else on the www to centralize all the fragments of ‘you’? Build a website/start a blog/get some material out on the web before you decide to birth your book. Need a cover, right? But you are not a designer…this is a problem. You have one little image to represent your book traveling all around cyberspace (or not) as the face of your writing. This face needs to look damn good/be meaningful/ATTRACT EYES. Hire a Pro if you are not one or do not know who will accept back-rubs and alcohol as payment.

Thank you for reading,

Daniel Shortell