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Interview with Self-Published Author, Tom McQueen

For today’s self-published author interview, we talk to Tom McQueen, author of “Letters to Ethan: A Grandfather’s Legacy of Live & Love.” Here’s what Tom had to say:

Tell us about your self-published book and where it is available.

Patients who had come to see me for counseling for over 25 years who had lost a parent or grandparent motivated me to write “Letters to Ethan.” They said that while they may have been left a house, a car, or some other material possessions, what really would have been meaningful and helpful to them would have been to leave a letter or note from their loved one containing some affirmation of love or advice that they would have treasured as a legacy.

When my son was born, I began writing him "legacy letters" on his birthday, recounting the experiences we shared during the year and telling him how much I loved him and what faith I had in him. Then when my grandson, Ethan, was born those letters turned into a book which has been endorsed by Coach Lou Holtz, Dick Vitale at ESPN, Rudy Ruettiger (inspiration for the movie, Rudy) and others.

The book is available at,, and as of November 1st, at as well as other retail outlets.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish because I wanted control over my work. I also wanted to keep 100% of the royalties and use them to help fund projects associated with our not-for-profit, American Family Foundation, Inc.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

My biggest challenge was developing an effective marketing and PR plan. To respond to that challenge I sought endorsements from recognizable public figures that I thought would complement the theme of the book. I was actually surprised at the people who were willing to reach out and help after they had read the manuscript.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

The best part of self-publishing has been the ability to control the outcome of the final product and maintain both the integrity and the intent of the theme of the book. To me, this was the tipping point when the decision needed to be made as to whether or not to accept the offer of a publisher or to do it myself.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

My advice is that if you have a clear vision of what your book project needs to look like, and you have the drive and ambition to make that happen, then by all means self-publish. In addition, you have to be willing to partner with editors, cover designers, typesetters and others who may not always share your vision or who, in fact, may have a better idea for getting your message out.

Collaboration and cooperation is the key, and writers have to be of that mind set to be successful with self-publishing.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Sometimes I think that authors aren't aware of the tremendous power and potential that they have to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Being an author isn't a job or a career.... it's a vocation...and while the calling that we have is a special gift, it also carries with it a tremendous responsibility to contribute to the common good. Thanks for the opportunity to share these thoughts....

Your book sounds very interesting Tom. Thanks for your inspiration, and we wish you all the best!

How about you?

Do you have some inspiring information to share with other, self-published authors? Please write to me here or at I’d love to hear from you!