Monday, June 12, 2017

Joe Compton From GoIndieNow!!!

My Interview with JOE COMPTON!

Being an author, I understand the demands on a writer’s time.  I am always grateful when I’m able to meet with my colleagues and introduce them to my readers.  I am especially excited for them to learn who you are as you also own/host/maintain GoIndieNow – not only is this a wonderful tool for showcasing authors and books, but it is also informative about the indie publishing world for readers and writers alike!
1.     Please tell us how you’d describe yourself?
I am a creative, passionate person who loves to be involved in the arts and loves everything about the arts.
2.     This first set of questions will be focused on you as a reader.
  • As a reader, what do you look for in a book?  Is it the cover, blurb, or topic that will draw you to pick up a novel?
    • Combination of the cover and blurb. I think the cover grabs me and the blurbs lures me in.
      • What about reviews – do they matter?
        • Oh yes. I  think both as a reader and a writer you can gleam a lot from them.
      • Do reviews affect your decision in whether or not to read a book?  Why or why not?
        • Somewhat. I mean if there is a pattern of the same reviews, saying the same thing, whether good or bad, I do pay attention to that.
        • I also love to support books I find a lot of trolls for, to me that probably means the books are pretty good because those are jealous bitter pills who can’t handle people can write like they do.
      • Has your view of reviews changed since you became a published author?  If yes, how and why?
        • No.
  • In your opinion, what makes a book great?
    • I bet a lot of people say strong characters, and to a certain extent, I agree, but I love books that challenge me, that don’t treat me like I am stupid, that have deep sub-text and allow me to discover things about the characters instead of getting these rich descriptions.
  • What do you hate to see in books you read, and has this impacted your writing choices in anyway?  If it has, how?
    • Over simplification. Look, if you have to explain it to the umph degree, I won’t enjoy being taken along for that ride. I will bore of it real quickly.
3.     For this section, I would like to discuss you as a writer.
  • What motivated you to not only write, but to publish?
    • It’s the only thing I was ever naturally good at. I have been writing and telling stories forever. The publishing part of that seems like the natural progression in my evolution as a writer.
  • Did you try to go the traditional route, querying literary agents?  Why or why not?
    • Yes, I was there, in a room with a contract. It’s a very long story I don’t really want to type, and that I have told in interviews before, but I was essentially given a choice, do it this way or not at all. I chose not at all until self-publishing became a viable way to get your work out.
  • What lead to your decision to not only self-publish but to start your own press: Never Mind The Fine Print Publishing LLC?
    • Because of what I went through with my traditional publishing experience.
    • I knew I wasn’t alone, and I just think there is a lot of great work being ignored or being tampered with because Publishing houses feel like they can, or feel like they have the magic formula.
    • Change is not something that the publishing industry embraces very often. So I like poking the bear and seeing what we can do to lead that charge to making this industry evolve and getting these incredible, talented writers out to the world.
  • Do you only publish your work or do you have other authors signed to your label?
    • Right now, I have only published my book, but that was the starting plan. I do have intent on expanding.
  • Can you give us a high view of what it takes to start your own press?  It seems like a daunting endeavor with a lot of responsibility.
    • Perseverance, acceptance. You have to accept there is a lot that goes into publishing a professional product, you have to not only respect that process but you have to accept that you are going to spend money and make mistakes. Once you reside yourself to those 2 principles, the rest is learning and trusting your business savvy.
    • Do not skip a step from incorporating your company to getting marketing materials. Budget for everything realistically, don’t try and cut corners if the product will suffer or if your sanity will suffer. I would also say trust your out-of-the-box ideas, stand behind them, and let it be what it will be. You will make mistakes and you will have successes too.
      • How does your press handle covers and editing?  Do you do this yourself or do you outsource?  
        • Oh no, I hire professionals in that field.
      • Do you have a street team for your press or does GoIndieNow fill this need?
        • I do not have a street team, per say, and GoIndieNow and my writing are really truly 2 separate things.
        • I don’t have a street team though because i have only published 1 book. I think a street team is much more effective for someone who has developed a fanbase following. My book is not a book that can really do that.
  • Do you use beta readers?  If so, how do they make a difference for your book(s)?  What advice would you offer a novice writer about beta readers?
    • I did. THEY MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE! No matter if it’s just 1 or 2, they always seem to catch something you didn’t see because you are so close to the material, or have read it over and over. You need a fresh perspective and fresh eyes.
    • While you may write for you, if you want to make a living at this, you have to accept that an audience will have an opinion and will have their own thoughts on your subject matter. It’s beyond valuable to listen to that, it’s good business sense.
4.     There’s a big controversy in the industry about indie vs traditional publishing.  I’d like to hear your opinions on this topic.  I feel this is a good lead into discussing GoIndieNow (which will be covered in the next set of questions).
  • Why do you think this is such a hot topic?
    • It’s hot, and will always be hot, because traditional publishing is always evolving, growing into smaller presses, niche publicated sections, and if they can show you a door that you can enter and not be labeled one way or the other it’s hard to say no because this is a hard way to make a living.
    • This is a lot of work and most people have the impression that Traditional publishing will alleviate a lot of that burden.  The days of Self-published authors being outcasts is gone to a certain extent, but now it’s an over-saturation of those flood gates opening.
    • Having a traditional publisher behind you means you were accepted by industry standards, and thus, you garner instant credibility. Which of course is car salesman trick.
    • Quality, no matter where it comes from, is still always quality.  The question is how much of that do you want to share when it comes to success. That’s the true difference.
  • Why did you decide to go Indie over traditional?  Was it related to this debate in any way?
    • Big time. I have a long ass story as to why I am self-published. I have told it quite a few times. Essentially, I had a traditional publishing deal, back when that’s all you could get, and it fell through, but because of the manner in which it fell through, I was blacklisted from many publishers  
    • I never thought of publishing after that experience again, and then, I discovered self-publishing as it became viable. So I dusted off the manuscript and got it out there.
  • In your opinion, what are the obstacles in the way for being an Indie author?
    • The truth is, the only obstacle is YOU.
    • I am a firm believer in ‘you get what you put into it’. I think this day and age, we see instant fame and fortune as this ‘why not me’ type ideal. When truth of the matter is, you don’t want that. That’s a ‘flash in the pan’ type success. You want long term, sustained, ‘I do this now for a living’ type success. Most of us do anyway. So it takes a lot patience, perseverance, and above all, a lot of effort. Those will equate to success, however you define it.
    • There is no shortcut, there is no lottery ticket, it’s all on you. Some people like that and thrive, some don’t. We all get frustrated, depressed by results, hurt by lack of interest of response at times (maybe most times), but you have to weave through it and know there is always tomorrow, and you will have days you won’t feel that. Then, before you know it, those days of yuck, get less and less.  
    • Stephen King goes through it. He has spoken about several times. I think most would agree he’s a success.
  • What are the benefits you feel Indie authors have?
    • I know control and freedom are the most common answers to this question, but I propose it is a different benefit that drives us Indies….you find out who you are and what you are made of, as developing human beings.
    • There is nothing more valuable than being able to test yourself and find yourself in this process. You will because, like I said, there will be dark days and light ones too. Your effort will be tested, your patience will be prayed upon, and your fortitude will be stretched. However, if you stand your ground and stay upright through that, you will not only be a better artist, better writer, but a better person. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want that.  
  • How do you think this will shape the future of literary publishing?
    • It already has to a certain extent. Like I said, Indies, good indies, have forced the Big 5 and all its minions to change their approach, to evolve. They lose more battles daily now than they ever had to fight.  If they don’t change, they will die like the music industry did. They saw that, got scared and now, you have a real choice on your hands because those meetings have changed. Not like when I went in there. That’s a great thing because it also has spawned and validated who aren’t driven by greed but by content, and brand, and what they represent is who they are. It’s not about just making money anymore.
  • Does any of this have an impact on readers, do you think?  Why or why not, and how?
    • Yes, it does. If for nothing else, you have more options now.
    • Moreover, all writers have discovered they have to show you who they are, not just what they write.  I think that is helping Indies understand how much they are needed in this landscape.
5.     Let’s talk about GoIndieNow!!!!
  • And the questions of the day – WHAT IS GOINDIENOW?
    • It’s an Online platform that fosters, highlights, and supports Indie Artists of all art forms.
    • We do shows on youtube and have guest blogs, live panel discussions, q and a’s, and give Indies an avenue to connect with other Indies and a new fan base.
  • What services do you provide to authors, and how do they make a difference in sales, promotions, and for readers?
    • The most direct way is being interviewed through my shows. I do a more in depth personal interview for my flagship show, “It’s time to Go Indie Now.” Then I do another show that is focused solely on your current new release, called Coffee Break.
    • For the flagship show, I also do a segment, called New Releases, in where I do a little teaser trailer vignette for new books submitted to me for the show.
    • We also have a live panel discussion show we do once a month, and we talk about Indie Issues. As we grow, so will the shows we do, and so will the opportunities for Authors to be seen and sell.
  • How does GoIndieNow make a difference for you, personally?
    • I have to admit, I started it for selfish reasons. I wanted all my artist friends in one place. I know so many authors, filmmakers, and musicians and I wanted a place that fostered and supported their creativity.
    • Indie Authors do not realize how great they have it. Our community is fantastic, supportive,and it resonated with me. I have experienced the cold side of this art business and so have most of my filmmaking and musician friends. So I wanted to share the love I had been feeling for the Indie Author community and try to bring us all together because we can help one another and that’s happened actually.  
    • I never thought, though, that this would become my calling. I love what I do. I don’t make any money doing it, but honestly, it’s not about that right now. I would love to be able to do for a living and be GoIndieNow 24/7, but for now, I will give all the time I can to it and be happy with where it is going, as I work to make it more visible. I mean, truth be told, that helps not just me, it helps everyone who has been interviewed for the shows, submitted a new release, been on a panel, and have written things for our website.
    • The more people see it and know about it, the more it helps get those contributing Indies sales and fans. I love that collaboration. I hope more come and be a part of it.
  • What made you decide to pursue this amazing endeavor?  It is quite an undertaking; extremely demanding on your time and resources.
    • As I mentioned, I did it so all my artist friends can meet in one place.
    • I like production and producing things.
    • I like thinking out-of-the-box and just going for it.
    • You can’t have fear in what you do as an artist. You can’t have success without failure. “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” So I take shots.
    • I really love doing this, and it really has just started, so when it rounds into form, wow, I can’t wait.   
  • Do you feel that GoIndieNow can help to spotlight an author and connect them to readers better than something like Facebook author events?  Why or why not?
    • I won’t say it’s better.  I think it’s a companion to that. I think you got to do everything and anything to get seen and find a way to connect with readers.
    • It’s certainly another avenue and a different one. So why not try it. Why not be a part of it. Something that will be a little more prevalent in using GoIndieNow is that it will be there for as long as it can be and not hard to find. Where as, a facebook party, or something to that effect, is immediate gratification or not.  So if you are thinking long term, GoIndieNow will certainly be a very viable tool for you.
    • Not only that but it will present you to the world, not just your work, and thus, having that personal connection will give readers a much better feel for what you are doing and are about. They will feel connected to you.
  • That last questions leads into the real heart of what I seek – what is the purpose for GoIndieNow, and why should people join it?
    • The purpose is to get you seen and to help you make connections you may never have known you can make.
    • By building this community, we are fostering relationships that can only benefit you. You know the comfort in how others deal with issues, how others have been successful, and them sharing that, that’s an invaluable tool.  
    • It’s free, for the most part, to take advantage of that. If you don’t, that’s your choice, but I don’t see how you can lose in doing so.
      • As an author, how does this service benefit me?
        • It gets you seen and you are seen long after.
      • As a reader, what can I get from it?
        • It introduces to a world of indies everywhere, and hopefully, makes you realize no matter where you are there are great artists near you and who want to entertain you.
6.     What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
A lot. I have started SundayFunday where we engage as artists being artists, we are going out into the world and covering events, and I have a couple new show ideas that will connect readers and authors alike and really give Indie Artists a bigger platform to stand on.  
We also reduced our advertising rates so that Indies can afford to take advantage of more prominent spots and get some personalized touches from us.
Thank you again, Joe – it is always a please!  Thank you for your time and for all you do for readers and writers to connect through great stories!
Don’t forget to check out Joe Compton’s novel, Amongst the Killing!!
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