As part of our self-publish author series, today, we interview Christopher Hudson, author of “Northern Cross.” “Northern Cross” is an adventure thriller about a pilot who “piles betrayal upon betrayal in order to reclaim his life, only to discover that to win it all, he must be willing to risk everything.” It is available on jexbo.com at http://www.jexbo.com/items/58.
Tell us a little about your background and why you decided to write.
I was born and raised in the western suburbs of Detroit. I lived for several years in northern Michigan, where I developed a deep love for the natural beauty of the region, which is reflected in the novel. Better job opportunities lured me back to the metropolitan Detroit area where I became an “on-and-off denizen of cubeville.” I worked for several major training and marketing firms, producing scores of industrial videos and training programs. After my last lay-off, I devoted my time to creative writing, resulting in “Northern Cross,” a second book, “Headwind,” three screenplays, and several short stories.
What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book?
After several years of trying to find a publisher for my book, I finally stumbled onto a print-on-demand (POD) publisher who was interested in my manuscript. They were honest and forthcoming about their business and there were no upfront costs, so I signed with them. Nice people. Good editors. And the end product was great … I generally get good reviews from everyone who has read it.
So what’s the problem here, you’re asking? Well, they told me when I signed that they depended on the author to help with marketing. I knew that marketing was not my strong suit, but I figured I could do a few things, so I had no problem with that. But what I didn’t understand was that, other than creating a listing on Amazon, there would be absolutely no marketing on their end … no advance copies to reviewers, no press releases … zip, zero, zilch. ALL marketing efforts were left to me.
I guess I didn’t really understand that POD is just another name for self-publishing … and when you self-publish; you are on your own … totally and utterly. That may not be a problem for people who are naturally inclined to market themselves and their stuff, but I’m not one of them. In fact, I may be the world’s worst self-promoter. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I’ve sent out several web-based press releases … I created a website (http://www.northerncrossonline), I’ve done some book signings, and I’ve listed NC with all the search tools I can find.
What advice do you have for other potential writers and self-published authors?
Now, I didn’t expect to set the world on fire with my first novel, but I must admit that I was looking for a little more recognition. Of course, I can’t blame the POD publisher. They never made any promises, but I didn’t really understand that by “helping with marketing” they meant “You sell it … period.” With this experience, I’ve now schooled myself on the process. I bought a couple of books on self-publishing and did research on the Net.
But in the end, there is really no great mystery. If you want to get your product noticed, you better not be shy. You’ve got to pound the pavement, seek publicity, and not be sensitive to rejection … ‘cause there will be plenty of that.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
With what I’ve learned, would I self-publish again? Probably, because in the end, it was the only avenue open to me, and I’m proud of the book. But at least now I’d know what to expect. And that is, if you don’t promote it, it ain’t gonna be promoted.
Thanks for your personal insights and tips Christopher! To read more about his book, “Northern Cross,” please visit http://www.jexbo.com/items/58.
And if you need help marketing and promoting your self-published book, please write to me here or at http://www.jexbo.com. I’m here to help! Thanks!