Today we have Sean Platt stopping in to answer some questions for us, Sean was a ghost writer and is a published author. Sean has been a mentor to me in many ways, he is always willing to help to be sure I “do it right” but more importantly, Sean is a friend.
Follow Sean on Twitter
Please visit Sean’s Website
Check out Sean’s work on Amazons Website
Ok, let’s get to it.
Sean, I am told quite a bit by writers that they have a hard time finding the time to write, with family and work, what would you suggest to get around this issue?
MAKE TIME. It’s hard for me and I do it every day. Sometimes, I flat-out don’t want to write. There are two things that make this easier.
1. Make time no matter what.
2. Write things you’re excited about.
Making time might mean only 20 minutes a day, but if that’s all you have, make it your religion. Same time and same space, every day. No exceptions. Everyone has 20 minutes if they make time. Watch one less episode of whatever you watch. Our days have junk food. Get rid of a tiny bit of crap and make room for protein, every day. 20 minutes a day could be a short story at the end of the month if nothing else, or a book in a year. It’s all about consistency. Many writers have a difficult time hitting their word count because they’re not genuinely excited about what they’re writing. Big mistake, HUGE. Come to the blank page with enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm could make your 20 minutes feel like 40.
Sean, you are part of a writing team with David Wright. Could you tell us how this came to be? Also do the two of you have an office that you work together in or do you work together though the Internet?
I met Dave about an hour and a half after going online, four years ago. Seriously, we met my second week, and have worked together every day since. I live in Ohio and he lives in Florida. We’ve met in person twice. We use Google Plus, the phone, Dropbox, and a heap of email.
There has been a lot of controversy of indie authors doing their own copy editing or having a friend or family member do it for them. If you could, please tell us just how important copy editing is to an indie author.
Having a friend or family member do your editing, in my opinion, is a terrible idea, and only slightly better than the DON’T DO IT EVER NO MATTER WHAT idea of doing it yourself. 100% of books need an edit from someone other than the writer, and that edit should be as professional and impartial as possible. There are people actively looking for mistakes in self-published books. Give them as little to pick apart as possible. You owe that to your reader.
Sean, you and I have talked to varying lengths about various writing topics since we have known each other, and I thank you for all your insight. You have a saying “I did it, so can you” Where should an indie author start on that journey to publication in the digital age?
Stop thinking and start doing. Too many writers are looking for a magical formula: “THIS is how you do it.” There is no formula. The successful writers I know are successful because they’re writing every day, fueled by enthusiasm and the glee of their own ideas.
You recently have signed with Amazon. Congratulations Sean, you deserve it. Was that something you had set out to do? Or did Amazon come to you?
We definitely weren’t looking for a deal, though a deal with Amazon was the only one I would take. I’ve said for the last year that I wouldn’t take a deal with any publisher, even for seven figures, but that I would sign with Amazon for a buck and a half since they get where things are going. Amazon came to us after launching their Amazon Serials program. It was an ideal fit, so of course we said yes.
What would be your number one recommendation in preparing for a book launch on Amazon to an unpublished author?
Honestly? Ignore it entirely and start writing your follow-up. The best thing Dave and I ever did was ignore Available Darkness after we finished it, so we could start Yesterday’s Gone, rather than marketing AD. The second best thing we did was finishing an entire season of YG instead of marketing the series with the first book. A big mistake we made was spending a month marketing YG Season One instead of starting on Season Two earlier. Let Amazon do the marketing for you. This is easier to do once you have several quality titles.
Sean, I see a lot of unpublished authors selling their first e-book for ninety-nine cents online, do you think this is a good tactic to be able to sell the next e-book at a higher price?
It totally depends on how many books you have in the series, but for first issues, yes, I think that makes sense. It also makes sense for short works. For actual books, I believe .99 is a terrible, terrible idea.
Sean, thank you for taking the time to do this with us, I wish you nothing but the best of luck.
To all of you my dedicated friends and followers, thank you for your continued support, “The Teapot And The Trumpet” will soon be released I promise, and I am shooting to release my novel early spring 2013.