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For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
Some of you may recognize me. I am 4-LAN and I have been posting book reviews up on this site for a couple of years now.
Today, I would like to do something a little different. I am starting this new forum because I thought many of you would be very interested in how one of our fellow TBMN members and indie author, Ken Magee, was able to achieve some pretty notable success.
So, please, have a read of my interview with Mr. Magee and then feel free to post your own comments and questions. I am hoping that this interview will turn into a lively discussion that will benefit all of the members of The Book Marketing Network.
Okay, so without further ado, here is my interview with Ken Magee, author of the fantasy novel Dark Tidings.
Q) Ken, you have had a lot of success over at Wattpad-over half a million reads now. Can you please share with us how this came to be?
It’s taken a while to rack up the reads, but I must say, I'm delighted that so many people have taken a look at Dark Tidings. How did it come about? Well, in my view Wattpad is the same as any other platform in that you get back what you put in. Here are a few of the things I did which I think paid off.
I’ll stop there, but I hope you get the picture. I had to put time in to get the visibility, because as far as I know, there’s no short-cut to getting noticed.
Q) How has this popularity on Wattpad interpreted into your success with Dark Tidings on other sites?
One of the reasons I joined Wattpad was to get feedback on my writing and I got plenty. This allowed me to dramatically improve my books – specifically Dark Tidings, but also my style improved for the other books in the series. This is bound to have a long term effect on the success of the trilogy. In terms reviews, I've had four or five which are from Wattpad readers. As far as sales are concerned, I reckon maybe 40+ readers went on to purchase book #2 (and some #3 as well). It’s not big numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but every little helps. It’s all part of the game, and hopefully some of those readers will generate further sales through word-of-mouth.
Q) I originally found you on Indies Unlimited. I believe Dark Tidings was featured on their Thrifty Thursday list. Do you know how many book sales you get from advertising here? Will Dark Tidings be featured again on Indies Unlimited?
I have no idea how many people have noticed me on Thrifty Thursday! I believe that’s where you found Dark Tidings, so I guess the real answer is at least one. I do post there regularly, so hopefully I'm not wasting my time.
Q) Dark Tidings is not the usual type of fantasy story one might expect. Can you please share with us how the story came to be? What inspired you?
I worked in the computer industry for many years so I was always interested in technology and the Internet. As far as leisure was concerned, funny fantasy was always my passion. It seemed natural to me to push all those things together… the Internet, ancient magic and humour. I think it works really well (I would say that, wouldn't I?), and it was a lot of fun to write, I literally laughed out loud time and time again because the characters kept coming up with funnies which I’d never heard before.
As far as inspiration is concerned, I think I have to thank the late Terry Pratchett. It was his first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, which gave me the burning desire to write a fantasy with wizards, magic and adventure, I just wish I had finished Dark Tidings sooner… before JK Rowling stole my limelight!
Q) You have sequels to Dark Tidings out now. Without giving out any spoilers, can you please give us a brief glimpse into these?
All I'm going to say is that each sequel continues from exactly where the previous book leaves off. This means if you’re a binge reader, you could settle down with all three books and blast through a thousand pages of fun and adventure.
Q) Finally, from my time here on The Book Marketing Network, I have gathered that most of the members on this site are indie authors, such as yourself. As an author who has managed to get so many to read his work, would you be so kind as to offer some advice to those who are struggling to achieve this goal?
I think you have to put the time in and engage. It’s not about ramming the ‘buy my book’ message down everyone’s throat, it’s about meeting people and taking an interest. This interview is a perfect example, I've enjoyed doing it and I hope some people get one or two useful pieces of information from it. I'm not expecting anyone to rush out and buy my book(s), but mind you, it would be nice if one or two did.
And finally, thanks to 4-LAN for the opportunity to share.
Thank you so much for your time, Ken. I am sure that I am speaking for many others on The Book Marketing Network when I say that we wholeheartedly appreciate you taking the time to do this interview and for sharing your success story with us all.
Okay, well, that was a heck of a lot of fun! And, marks my first author interview, by the way.
So, please, feel free to be the first to post a comment or ask Ken or myself a question :-)
very interesting! I've heard from a couple pf other authors who had great success at wattpad too! For people with the time to engage with others it seems like a great platform!
Time is always the problem. I try to limit my total social media/networking time to 30-45 mins a day. I find drawing a line like that stops 'the Internet' taking over my day.
Joleene, I think you are right. As Ken said, you do have to take the time to engage with others. My book is still just shy of 1200 reads. So far, I have been taking advantage of the fact that every time I post an update on my story (ie, add a new chapter), it pushes it to the top of the 'what's new' list. This is a nice feature that helps a book get more visibility. However, it only takes a few moments or minutes at best before somebody else takes that spot when they update after you.
Thank you both for the interview - some good stuff packed in there.
Ken, did you use the feedback to make significant changes to Dark Tidings, or was it more of a fine-tuning exercise, with future works foremost in your mind? I can imagine all those different comments from readers could get confusing and muddy the waters where the first approach is concerned.
Congratulations on your success.
Thank you, Martin, for your comment and inquiry. I'm sure Ken will be back in due time. I was actually wondering the same thing, as I have been getting some suggestions on my own work on Wattpad :-)
Thanks Martin, I am pleased with the exposure Wattpad gave me, but my original target was a million reads so I've still a way to go!
The feedback I got was fine tuning, but it did highlight some bad habits which had been creeping into my writing style e.g. the overuse of adverbs, run-on sentences and too much foreshadowing. I had the main storyline well thought out by the time Dark Tidings hit Wattpad, so major changes would have been hard. Indeed, I'm not sure I would have accepted major changes unless someone had pointed out a major flaw in my story.
Ken, I think it turned out great. You have just the right amount of humor to add flavor to a very exciting and unique fantasy story.
The sequel is even better! Seriously, thank you for the kind words.
Well, it might take me a little while, but I will pick up a copy and post a review. Looking forward to what happens next!
Meanwhile, Marilyn has started reading Dark Tidings, so be on the lookout for her review on amazon :-)
Terrific interview! Thanks to both of you! :-)
Glad you could stop by. If you have not met Ken Magee yet, allow me to introduce you two.
Ken this is Eric, Eric this is Ken.
And Eric, thank you for posting over at your Wordpress blog. We both appreciate that very much :-)
It really was an informative piece, man. No problem.
It's great to meet you, Ken. Congratulations on your success!