Jim Grieco entered the world of entertainment back in the 1990’s. In and around Manhattan, he worked his way up the television production ladder, becoming an Emmy award-winning Director of Photography. His dedication to artistic expression has inspired his outstanding achievements in camera work, music and writing…including his award-winning screenplay “Five Thousand Years” and his critically acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy novel Ephaidria.
Tell us about your book.
Ephaidria is full of rich world-building, vivid imagery and a deep, detailed sci-fi mythology that keeps the reader rapt and at attention. The story’s collection of teens — all of whom shine with intrinsic talents that they have yet to learn the true purpose of — draws us out of ordinary reality and into multiple worlds of extraterrestrial beauty, fabled history, ruinous wars, and life-and-death stakes.
We learn how the powers of Suki, Josh, Tahani, and Nicole will decide the fate of a generation of beings light-years away, connected to the human race of our current Earth through heart and heritage… yet separated by galaxies. The four young hero’s mastery over their paranormal gifts will hook you as they struggle to defeat an invasion of astral entities. Give it a read and be transported!
Why did you want to write a book?
I wrote Ephaidria because I love storytelling. The creative process is a healthy form of nourishment for my mind… and my soul. While writing Ephaidria, I often stopped to ponder—through the written word, I’ve afforded myself a chance to achieve a certain level of immortality. If I’m commercially successful, my thoughts will touch people long after I’ve left the physical world. I know that sounds narcissistic, but you’ve got to admit, there’s something magical about it.
Tell us about the genre you wrote in, and why you chose to write this sort of book.
Ephaidria is an epic sci-fi/fantasy, laced with tantalizing aspects of the paranormal. I wrote this type of book, because this genre leaves the door open for unbounded possibilities. Sci-fi/fantasy lets the writer explore themes far beyond the limitations of reality. It allows your imagination to run wild.
What tools or companies did you use, and what experience did you have?
The companies I used to self-publish are Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, and IngramSpark. As far as what previous experience I had… this is my first novel, so, I had no previous experience at all. That being said, learning to format my novel correctly for both the print-on-demand and the eBook versions was somewhat challenging. I researched online, and after some trial and error, I got both versions approved.
My journey as an author has just begun. As a first-time fiction writer, I’ve learned that even if your book has a compelling story, it requires a strategic marketing campaign to attract readers. There’s a plethora of books/authors to choose from in the modern marketplace, which makes finding an audience a challenge. It demands hard work, passionate dedication, and unrelenting effort.
What do you think are the main pitfalls for indie writers?
For most indie writers, several unavoidable obstacles await. Obtaining the funding for an effective marketing campaign, competition due to the substantial influx of self-published authors, and access to an “on-shelf” presence at brick and mortar book stores are at the top of the list. The key to overcoming these hurdles? Belief in oneself… and unfettered perseverance.
As a writer, what is your schedule? How do you get the job done?
As far as my schedule, I currently earn my living as a freelance Director of Photography, so… I set my own timetable. Freelancers such as myself, often have open days throughout the month, which I am currently utilizing to promote my novel.
What tips can you give other authors looking to self-publish?
My number one tip for other self-published authors… make certain you have a substantial budget for your marketing campaign. If you self-publish with minimal promotion, you will reap minimal sales, no matter how fantastic your book is. Here’s a helpful hint, which I learned on my first time out (so far). Submit your book for reviews BEFORE you publish it. It takes several week, (generally 3-8) to get your reviews back. Also, be sure to plan your marketing strategy in advance. Have everything ready to go BEFORE your release date.
What was your steepest learning curve during the publishing process?
My steepest learning curve during the publishing process was determining the best methods for marketing. There are lots of different ways to promote a novel. Finding which tactics work best for your specific story is a challenging aspect to achieving success. You’ve got to qualify your target audience, and focus your resources on that select group.
Who are your biggest writing inspirations and why?
My biggest writing inspirations are Stephen King and J.R.R. Tolkien. I greatly admire how King climbs inside the minds of his characters. His flowing streams of introspective thought are unmatched. Another effective aspect of his work is his inclusion of pop culture references, such as song lyrics, which tie in with his unfolding storylines. His allusions connect to everyday life, endowing his stories with a haunting sense of realism.
As far as Tolkien, the man’s imagination was nothing short of “otherworldly.” While writing Ephaidria, I strived to achieve a level of world building similar to Tolkien’s “Middle Earth.” At the same time, I made my best effort to encapsulate a sense of youthful adventure, which Tolkien mastered with untethered genius.