Self-published mega successful author, Martin Crosbie, has hit the sweet spot. He knows his audience, he connects with them, and they love his books (including us!) His first book in a trilogy, "My Temporary Life," hung out with the big boys in Amazon's Top Ten Overall Bestseller list netting $46,000 in one month. And all this after 130 rejections from publishers. We love to hear stories about good people, like Martin Crosbie, overcoming the odds and coming out on top. Please take the time to check out his books. You can find "My Temporary Life" here.
What is your name?
Describe your books/genre to our readers.
Thanks for having me here and thank you for your great questions! I've written two novels that are the first two books of a trilogy-"My Temporary Life", and "My Name Is Hardly". These stories are considered Romantic/Suspense but have also been described as Coming Of Age. This year I released a collection of short stories-"Lies I Never Told", and a self-publishing guidebook (with a very long title)-"How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon's Kindle-An Easy To Follow Self-Publishing Guidebook 2014 Edition". And, I just published a Christmas romance-"Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Christmases".
How and why did you become an author? Do you write full-time?
I'm the guy who wrote stories in high school and wanted to be a writer. Unfortunately, that guy kind of disappeared for a while. When I turned forty I started working toward reaching some of my goals and one of them was to write a book. Now, several (yep, that was a non-specific word), years later I've reached my goals and because of the success of my first book "My Temporary Life" I was able to become a full-time writer.
You're in the middle of writing a very successful trilogy. Do you find it's more difficult to write a trilogy or a stand-alone book and why?
Writing the trilogy has been fun because I've written other things in between the "My Temporary Life" books. If I'd had to live with the characters one book after another I would have tired of them. But now, working on the third book I'm really enjoying spending time with them again. And, the more I've developed the characters, the easier it has become to write the story. In fact, at times the story writes itself. Having said that, I just tried my hand at writing a romance, a Christmas romance actually, and I really enjoyed it. This was a total departure from what I usually write and although it doesn't fit within the generally accepted template of a romance novel, it's pretty close. My challenge was to get it out before Christmas and fortunately I published it Nov. 29th.
As a self-published author, do you gather feedback from your readers when making decisions?
Yes. Totally. After I published my first book I had another in mind. I started on it and was enjoying writing about different situations with new characters, but my readers had other plans for me. I received countless messages via Facebook, Twitter and my website asking me to write more about Gerald "Hardly" McDougall, one of the characters from my first book. So, I did. That other book is still a work in progress but I'm glad I wrote "My Name Is Hardly" and readers seem to have enjoyed it, I was fortunate enough that it became a bestseller in several of Amazon's categories.
What advice would you give to indie authors?
Ask questions and be willing to make changes. If I hadn't received guidance from other authors at the beginning of my self-publishing journey I'd still be looking for ways to connect with readers. I was lucky. Thanks to honest advice from well-known Indie authors like Sable Hunter and Robert Bidinotto I changed my presentation and was able to find an audience for my books. Making those changes as well as trying to become a better writer are key. I attended a writer's conference several years ago and I listened in on a panel that included several bestselling authors who had sold millions of books. Each of them said that they were trying to become better writers. Well, if those established, talented authors are still practicing their craft I should certainly be doing the same. So, keep connected with your readers and continue to try and become a better writer.
What are 3 things many people don't know about you?
I run long distances. In the past three years I've run a marathon and about a dozen half-marathons. I'm a very slow long-distance runner due to the fact that I eat way too much chocolate, but I do always manage to cross the finish lines. I recently became a dog-lover. I used to be a dog-liker but I've changed. We adopted Brandy, a two-year-old black Lab earlier this year. She's the most gentle soul and I've learned a lot from spending time with her. I'm a movie snob. If a movie doesn't have sub-titles I'm usually not interested. I love attending film festivals and I have a movie buddy who has sat through hundreds of hours of foreign films with me.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
I'm committed to writing a romantic Valentine's Day novella for an anthology. It's a really exciting project because there are some very high profile authors involved. It was a great honor to be asked to participate. So, over the Christmas season I'll be putting the final touches on my tale of Valentine's Island for a January release. Then, next year is committed to finishing book three in my trilogy. Readers have been very patient waiting for me to finish it so I owe it to them. Plus, I now teach conferences helping enable authors to self-publish. We say that we're putting the "Self" back in "Self-Publishing". I have a couple of those lined up in beautiful Vancouver, Canada at the beginning of the year.
How can our readers contact you?
My email is email@example.com. On Twitter I'm martinthewriter. My website is currently under construction and early in the new year it will have a terrific new look thanks to a very talented web designer who's working hard on it. If you'd like to take a peek sometime in January it's www.martincrosbie.com. And, this is me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/martin.crosbie.3
My writing teacher tells me that it's a great time to be a writer, and I agree. The distance between me and my readers is closer than it's ever been. I've developed some very close friendships with folks all over the world who have enjoyed my work. I'm a very lucky guy! Thanks for having me.
by MRH, CMO