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Interview with Randel Quandros

Today we’re talking to author Randel Quadros about his book Necessary Evils.  This is what he has to share with us:

NECESSARY EVILS is a mystery and drama about betrayal, lies, and the dark side of people.  A young ambitious U.S. Army lieutenant in Vietnam gets court-martialed and kicked out of the military.  However, he was completely innocent of the charges.  As someone who had dreamed of a life and career in the military since he was a young boy, the incident destroys him.   

Years later, after he becomes an attorney, he inadvertently discovers that his court-martial had been rigged and that he never stood a chance of proving his innocence.  He then realizes that his psychological scars from the incident have never healed and starts investigating the matter with the hope of exorcising his demons. 

He struggles through numerous dead ends, twists, and turns in the investigation and learns that the people he trusted most during the court-martial had mercilessly betrayed him.  They had been part of a conspiracy to ensure he was found at fault in the court-martial.  When he discovers who instigated the plot against him he is horrified and outraged and swears he will bring him to justice.  However, it won’t be easy because he has dark secrets of his own that would ruin him if revealed, and his adversary knows about them.  Nonetheless, the former lieutenant doesn’t give up and devises a clever plan to ensnare his nemesis, and in an explosive and surprising ending he springs his trap.   

Presently, NECESSARY EVILS is available through Amazon’s Kindle ebooks and Barnes & Noble’s Pubit!  I also anticipate it will soon be available on jexbo’s website.    

My decision to self-publish the novel as an ebook was based on the exorbitant costs involved with traditional publishing.  Additionally, traditional publishing is a long involved crapshoot where authors compete against each other to persuade publishers that their books will outsell the next guy’s.  Realizing that new and unknown authors probably don’t farewell against the likes of established authors with proven track records, I decided that self-publishing was probably the better option.  With self-publishing no one stands in the way of getting the book published and it’s relatively fast, easy, and low cost.  

However, self-publishing has its drawbacks too.  Authors have to do everything themselves, and if they are new authors with little or no experience, publishing a book can be a daunting and confusing experience.  Unless one is knowledgeable about computer text and image formats and publishing formats accepted by the various publishers, a lot of time can be wasted re-formatting and reediting manuscripts.  Also, designing book covers and interior layouts, registering copyrights, obtaining ISBN numbers, finding book printers, etc. can be time-consuming and confusing tasks.

While numerous self-publishing companies are available on the internet to take care of these tasks for you, obviously you have to pay them.  But the internet is also littered with complaints about these companies for long delays in service delivery, failures to respond to customer complaints, and failures to answer questions or explain the status of work in progress.  
Furthermore, it seems like every company is trying to hustle you.  They want clients to buy “packages” they offer, which range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.  The problem for new or inexperienced authors is that they don’t know what’s necessary and what’s not.  They also don’t know what reasonable charges for various services are.  And finally, I seriously doubt that any self-publishing company will tell authors that their books are lousy or that there is no market for them.  The old saying, “buyers beware” is as true as ever in the self- publishing business.   

The best part of self-publishing my book was what I learned in the process.  It forced me to talk to friends and acquaintances with knowledge and experience in the publishing field.  I also read dozens of articles on the internet about self-publishing and visited numerous website of self-publishing businesses.  In the end, I found and hired my own editors, book formatters, cover designers, and interior book designers.  I also registered my book’s copyright and obtained and registered my book’s ISBNs.  Now, I’m working through the marketing and publicity phase of the process.  These experiences have given me a lot of contacts with people who have considerable knowledge and skill in the publishing and writing fields, which will make things go smoother and faster the next time around.

My advice to those considering self-publishing their book is to contact a friend or acquaintance with experience and knowledge in the publishing field and ask them to guide you through the process.  Pay them for their time if you have to.  Also, look for articles on the internet about self-publishing to learn what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and what it generally costs. 

It’s okay to hire one of the self-publishing services, but I wouldn’t go into it blindly or let them be your advisor.  A self-publishing company will make your initial experience much less stressful, but it will also be more expensive.  And remember, some of these services are hustlers.  Therefore, take your time to find sincere people who are willing and capable of helping you.  This way you’ll learn a lot and won’t get hustled out of a ton of money. 

Perhaps the least appetizing aspect of self-publishing is marketing and promoting your book.  After it’s published, your book will be in competition with all the other books of the same genre, and the books that get the most effective publicity and exposure will be the ones that sell best.  You will be alone in this aspect of the process unless you hire a publicity agent.  So, be thinking about it because it is probably the most important aspect of publishing.

Finally, be prepared for setbacks and delays, and don’t get too OCD about the publishing process.  There are many things that can delay the publication of your book that are unavoidable or inherent in the business.  Just try to relax and keep putting one foot in front of the other, and eventually everything will get done. 

Thanks for telling us about your book, as well as sharing your tips for self-publishing Randy.  Good luck with book sales!