As I write this, my kids are mourning the end of summer and preparing for their first day of school tomorrow. So before I head off to wipe a few tears and pack a few lunches, here is this week’s featured author in my Debut Author Q&A series: AG Fredericks.
Name: AG Fredericks
Name of book: The Troy Standard
Book genre: Literary fiction
Date published: May 5, 2012
What is your book about? This is always the most difficult question for me, because the book touches on so many themes and topics, and I just want to get into all of them. The proverbial “nutshell” is never adequate enough for an author, and it’s always tempting to give away too much. But I’ll give it a stab.
The book follows the life of Troy Mulligan as he works hard at achieving a perfectly honest and noble life after an awakening of sorts. In his search for fulfillment, he slowly realizes that he has been at the mercy of the world around him, and he desperately wants to be in control of his own life. As part of this search, he donates his time and money toward charitable projects. Over time, he develops a belief that the base form of finance, the U.S. dollar itself, is unstable and could potentially lead to dangerous circumstances that people just haven’t realized because their heads are just too far in the sand.
A billionaire philanthropist/rogue investor approaches Troy with a plan – to establish a new global currency using a solid base of precious metals. Troy is intrigued and feels that this project may very well be his calling in life. But there are a lot of powerful and ruthless people standing in their way who do not want to relinquish their control over the status quo. Hilarity ensues. (Not really, I just love saying that.)
Why did you want to write this book? I am deeply disturbed when I look at our country’s political and economic situation and the way we arrived at where we are – from both sides, left and right. In particular, I am fascinated about the history of money and its current state in world affairs. The “history of money” seems like it would be a very important topic for everyone to understand. Yet not many people do.
Yesterday was the last day of my three-month exclusivity agreement with Amazon’s KDP Select (Baby Grand made its debut as part of the program on May 23). For those who don’t know about the program, when you sign on to KDP Select, you agree to sell your eBook only in the Kindle format (you can continue selling your paperbacks anywhere you wish). In exchange for this agreement, you are given some marketing assistance, including several free promotional days, where you can basically give your book away, and also your book is included in the Kindle Lending Library — every time an Amazon Prime member (and there are oodles of them) “borrows” your book, Amazon pays you a royalty.
When I agreed to participate in the program, I looked at it as a limited release of my novel, much like an independent film might be first shown in New York and Los Angeles before going wide, and as a way to cultivate a following in the Kindle community while taking advantage of additional promotional help from Amazon.
Overall, I was satisfied with the results of KDP Select, particularly with a mass email intended for thriller lovers that included my book. Yippee!
But, in the end, I decided to leave the program after my first go-round. Here’s why:
Two weeks ago, I announced that I’ll be self-publishing Baby Grand as an ebook through Amazon’s KDP Select. Last week, I blogged about why I decided to self-publish my novel. Today, I’m discussing why I’m using KDP Select.
For those unfamiliar with KDP Select, it’s a new option at Amazon in which, in exchange for exclusivity on your eBook for three months, you get some extra marketing/royalty help. For instance, as part of the program Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle device can “borrow” your eBook from the Kindle Lending Library (even though members read it for free, you still earn $$$$ based on several factors — how many times your book has been “borrowed,” the number of total borrows for all KDP Select books for the period and how much has been invested in the program by Amazon in that given month).
In other words, Baby Grand, for the first three months of its publication, will only be available to Kindle customers, who will be able to buy the ebook for their device or Kindle Apps during the period of exclusivity, or “borrow” it from the Lending Library if they are an Amazon Prime member with a Kindle device.
This means I have had to tell more than a few non-Kindle e-reader users (including my sister-in-law) that, no, they couldn’t buy/read Baby Grand until August, when the exclusivity deal is over, especially now that I don’t plan on making a POD paperback available until later this year. And every time I say that, there’s this undeniable lump in my throat as I hope that these people will indeed stick around and wait the three months and that I can maintain some excitement for the book in the interim.
Why do it this way?
Today’s featured debut author is Sabrynne McLain who offers a truly insightful and in-depth look at the road to publication for her novel, When Red Is Blue.
Name: Sabrynne McLain
Name of book: When Red Is Blue
Book genre: Contemporary drama/literary fiction
Date published: February 2012
Publisher: Elevin Books
What is your day job? Proofreader and editor
What is your book about? The theme of the book deals with how children are affected by parents who suffer from some form of dysfunction – in my book’s case, mental illness and alcoholism. The story is based on my own childhood experiences. The “in a nutshell” description is:
Kate Faraday, a young woman from a small town in Michigan, dreams of leaving her past behind her and moving to California. But when her schizophrenic mother is found dead in a ravine, Kate is forced to examine her conflicting emotions over her mother’s death, while coping with the demands of her alcoholic father and local residents who witnessed the shame of her childhood. In the end, Kate discovers that the most difficult relationship to reconcile is the one she has with herself.
Why did you want to write this book? When I turned 30, I realized I wanted to be a writer. I bought and studied numerous books on writing and, about six months later, began writing my first novel. I opted for the romance genre, which I thought would be a lighthearted way to start my new passion. My first attempt at a book was loads of fun to write, but then I decided I wanted to apply to the University of Iowa’s MFA program in Creative Writing. The application asked for 75 pages of a manuscript. I was too embarrassed to give them the opening chapters of my little smut novel, thinking it wasn’t serious enough. Then I recalled all the people over the years who had suggested I write a book about my family, so I started When Red Is Blue. I got to page 75 and kept going.