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Interview with Author Kim Alsup

Today were talking to author Kim Alsup.  Heres what she had to say:

Tell us about your self-published books and where they are available

-I began publishing a series called Caught Up! in 2012 which follows main character Shana Lakeman, a 13 year old girl who falls in love for the first time and finds out that falling in love too fast comes with a whole lot of consequences and drama.  This series was birthed from a dream that I had beginning ironically at the age of 13.  The dream went on every night until I turned 18, it wasn't until I started writing it down at 16 that I realized what an interesting story this was.

-The first two books in the series Caught Up!: The Life and Times of Shana Lakeman and the sequel focusing on her best friend Caught Up!: The Life and Times of Donna Brown can be found on (print and digital) as well as iTunes.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

-After searching for avenues to get my story our there one of my colleagues suggested that I try self-publishing.  Dealing with publishers and agents that would twist my story and make it into something I did not want just didnt feel like the right path.  Im not saying that I wont ever be interested in that route but not right now.

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

-The biggest challenge I would have to say that while self-publishing is a fairly easy process marketing is not so much so.  Before publishing I just knew that I would be able to sell it and fast but that wasnt the case.  A lot goes into marketing a book and getting your name out there, it doesnt just automatically end up in a bookstore or end up on a best-seller list.  This is where you have to be publisher and agent all in one.  I wasnt aware of all the research that I needed to do beforehand so that I could market it to the right people.  The first book sold fairly well but the second was more complicated because it was a sequel and needed to be marketed completely different which became very challenging. 

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

-The best part of self-publishing is it is all mine.  No one else owns it, no one else has input unless I ask for it, and I control everything.  I pick the cover, I choose when its finished, and when to release it.

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

-My advice is research, research, research! Researching who your book should be marketed to before publishing.  It will make marketing so much easier. Also to be confident in your project, because if you arent then no one else will. 

Is there anything you would like to add?

-My goal when writing is that if one person loves or is affected by what I write then I have accomplished my goal.  My desire is to inspire.  To launch the 3rd book in this series I am currently working on a cartoon web series.

Thanks for sharing your information with us Kim, and good luck with book sales!

Interview with Brian Starr

Today we’re talking with author and president of Starr Books, Brian Starr.  This is what he has to say:

Tell us about your self-published books and where they are available.

I have 50 self-published books. There are series’ based on Saints, Knights, Travel Journals, and Priests.  Most of my books are based on genealogy and research I have done.   They are available on Kindle, Kobo books, jexbo,, Barnes and,, and on my website at  

Why did you decide to self-publish?

So far I have not had an offer from a publisher or book agent and decided this information needed to be made public.  I have made some money in royalties so far and hope for more customers. 

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

The biggest challenge in self publishing is finding the market and the customers and finding the time necessary to make my books a success.

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

The prestige and comfort from knowing I am an immortal author and have proven I can write a book.  The idea that my books may help someone else.

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

Go to the City Hall and become a business.  Do not stay with any one company,  Publish many titles of the same book with different publishers.  Copyright everything.  Submit to the Library of Congress, and never give up!!!!  You are the author of your destiny.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Consider this a promotion of my books.  I am willing to entertain a book agent, business partner, etc., with royalty, commissions, and rights to the book to sell as a way to get past the single sale on the internet type of marketing I am experiencing.

Thanks for sharing your information with us Brian, and good luck with book sales!

Interview with Colin Bass

Today we’re talking to author Colin Bass.  This is what he has to say:

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

The book is titled The Last Dance, and it is about a father, Jake Stevens, who is in a constant losing battle with alcoholism. He becomes estranged from his daughter, Gabrielle, and thinks he is doing what is best for her by remaining out of her life. When the alcohol becomes a burden too heavy for Jake to bear he commits suicide. The book goes back and forth between Jake and Gabrielle’s perspectives, and after Jake takes his life it leaves the reader wondering what is next? Will Jake ever get the chance to tell Gabrielle how sorry he is? Or will she be destined to live a full life of wishing for just one more moment of her father’s time?
You can get the book for Amazon’s kindle for $1, and the price is the same for the Barnes and Noble Nook. I also published it in paperback through, and it is now available in paperback on Amazon as well. The price for the paperback is $8.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish mostly because I wanted to have complete autonomy over my work. I wanted to pick my release dates, choose how the book was set up, and surround myself with hard working individuals who I knew had my best interests in mind.

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

My biggest challenge would be patience. And that is because I want as many people as possible to read my book. For me it isn’t about the money I just want to change people’s lives with the gift I have been given. So I know the more people that pick up this book the more lives I have the opportunity of changing.

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

The best part, and this may seem silly, but the best part is making my dedication as long as I like. I am really into Hip-Hop music, so I like to listen to Drake, Jay-z, etc., and when I am doing my dedication it always looks like the booklet inside a rappers CD. I meet people on the street, and insert them into my dedication. I just love the fact that I can immortalize a thank you, and that person will remember that forever. They may not like the book, but they will always know they touched my life in some sort of way.

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

As far as advice goes I don’t really have much. I think the key when you are a self-published author is to make your own way, never give up, and realize that for every person that likes your book there are five more waiting to tell you they hate it.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would just like to add that I would be lost without these special people… My mom (Jeannie), Molly Bates, Katlyn Maxwell, Alana Wilkinson, Lee Musser, Sarah Bianchin, and Danielle Uppole.

I would also like to thank you for letting me do this interview. It truly means a lot.

Thanks for sharing information about your book with us, Colin, and good luck with book sales!

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!

Interview with Author Jeff Bradford

Today at jexbo we’re talking to author Jeff Bradford.  Here’s what he has to share with us: 

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

My Coyote Creek is an honest and emotional memoir told by the youngest of three children (that would be me, author Jeff Bradford) about a mother’s creative struggle to provide a normal upbringing for her children while living with an abusive sociopath of a husband.
She shields her children from the truth that is her bizarre dark reality; all the while finding imaginative ways to feed and clothe them in the poverty stricken isolation of the vast prune orchards along the banks of Coyote Creek in Santa Clara County, California.

From 1957 to 1961, the children, Sharon, 7; Dave, 5; and Jeff, 4, wallow in the majesty of this wonderland their mother has created for them while being protected from the abusive horrors she endures.

This story shows a mother’s amazing resolve to create secure bliss for her children—a childhood filled with love and creativity. Readers can expect a mind-expanding experience brimming with adventures right out of a modern-day Huck Finn scenario.

That is until the day their innocence is lost and their lives are changed forever as their idea of heaven instantly turns to a confusing and distorted view of their mother’s hell. The children witness for the first time their father’s brutality when he leaves their mother for dead on the side of the road. Without transportation or a telephone, and living in the middle of nowhere, how would they save their mother and escape to safety?

Little did they know that their mother had seen this life-threatening situation coming and had devised a plan to secretly escape in the middle of the night. With the help of relatives, the family makes the move to freedom in the small town of Morgan Hill, California–ten miles south of Coyote. Here, their lives take on new adventures as the family of four, who stuck together during the worst of times, create and build better lives.

You’ll walk with them as they emerge from the isolation of low-end poverty to become one of the founding families of Morgan Hill. You’ll cheer them on as they become known, liked, and respected members of the community giving the three children, and mother, a chance for a better life; a chance to make something for them, and make a positive contribution to society.

Although there are many struggles and failures along the way, it’s not until the end that a struggle of a different kind emerges. When the youngest son, Jeff, at the age of 50, receives a voice message from his long-forgotten tormented father while the father lies on his deathbed, the agonizing question then becomes: should Jeff return the call?

My Coyote Creek is currently available through ( and has just been approved (by Smashwords after checking that the formatting was done properly) for distribution to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets that sell e-books. Smashwords takes care of the distribution to those outlets which makes it easier and less time consuming and frustrating for me. Any sales through I receive 80-85% royalty from the sale of each book and 60-70% when sold through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, that’s what I have been told but, as of yet, I have not sold any through those other outlets as the distribution process has just begun. If things work out well I will look at going through Amazon for print-on-demand printed books if the demand for the book is strong and warrants the additional cost of re-formatting and the additional creative design for the spine and back cover.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I originally tried to market this memoir, My Coyote Creek, to the “normal” publishing houses like Random House and others agencies that I’m sure you’d all be aware of, however, all I received back (if anything) were somewhat arrogant rejection letters. After getting input from others who were helpful in the publishing world (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) and doing my own research online I found that self-publishing would be the only way to make a go of this if I wanted by baby (My Coyote Creek) to be read and enjoyed by others. Perhaps a mother that’s in a bad relationship with an abuser can learn from the read and this will benefit the children of those relationships, and that’s been the cruxes of my determination to see this story be published and come to light. If you want to succeed, self-publish!

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

Lack of knowledge and experience of the entire process of writing and publishing was the biggest hurdle for me. My situation wasn’t that of an experienced writer who had a story, but of a powerful story that needed a writer. Everything was a roadblock of sorts, grammar, layout, spelling, thought process, publishing process and just the overwhelming task at hand was daunting, to say the least.

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

The possibilities are what I find most encouraging and continue to provide motivation, excitability and an uplifting positive drive. I’m not sitting around waiting for some letter to come in the mail or for some “form” email from a publishing house telling me a bunch of crap that I won’t believe anyway as their motivation and drive certainly isn’t me. So, I guess the answer to this question is “control” over my own success . . . not failure!

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

The best thing I ever did was to join the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA). This isn’t a paid endorsement or anything of that nature; it’s simply the honest truth. It’s what has worked for me. By joining an association of others who have the same goals as you and run up against the same roadblocks as you will make all the difference in the world with regards to enjoyment of the process and the completion of your project. I would imagine there are associations of this sort in every state that you can contact and join. Within these independent publishing associations you’ll find individuals and small companies for every aspect of the publishing world, and they want to help you as others have helped them. If you can’t locate one of these associations in your area you can check out CIPA ( and perhaps become a “distance” member or something.

Through CIPA I found Karen Reddick, The Red Pen Editor (, who was so helpful and caring that I can’t find the words to describe my gratitude. I couldn’t have done this without her. I also found forums and roundtables and seminars and so many other ways to learn about the industry with this group that I can honestly say that I may not have completed my project without their concern and help. I also found through CIPA, or who found me, was Gail Nelson ( who did the creative front cover work as well as the formatting and layout. If you need the help I’m sure they would be happy to assist, again this isn’t spam or a paid anything… it’s simply what and who worked and cared for me.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes, I’m new to all of this and I’m having difficulty understanding and utilizing Twitter. I could use some help, perhaps examples of how to send a “proper” tweet and not offend anyone or have people think I’m a spammer (I hate that too). I’m just trying to do what’s right, so if anyone can help me comprehend the protocol . . . I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jeff, and good luck with book sales!