He's an author and entrepreneur, serving up free and bargain books to readers while promoting self-published and published authors. Van Heerling is a BUSY guy. Founder of PeopleReads, Van found a need, formulated a plan and voila, his website was born. You'll want to check out his books, too, and follow the ribbon of truth this powerful writer expertly threads throughout his storytelling. And don't miss the PeopleReads Kindle Paperwhite and Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY!!!! Subscribe to PeopleReads using the link near the bottom of the post, and you're automatically entered.
What is your name?
Describe your business, PeopleReads, to our readers.
PeopleReads is a free and bargain eBook website where the reader can sign up for eBooks right to their email.
How and why did you begin this website?
I am an author as you know. I built PeopleReads because I was getting frustrated with the larger book promotional sites. After being rejected a few times (despite 100+ reviews with an average rating of 4.3 or better), I realized that I should take my fate into my own hands and build a site that would be more amenable to the Indie Author (traditional books are welcome too of course). So I jumped in and built a site. It has been and still is a labor of love. If I may be candid, it is a tough go. I generally work into the night. As of right now it is 1:03 AM. It’s a good thing I am a night owl. (I should note that I do not harbor any ill will toward the larger promotional sites. I use them and will continue to do so).
You're also a published author. Describe your books/genre to our readers.
My stories are character driven as opposed to plot. I seem to convey the human condition in all its glory and folly, or at least this is what I have been told. I consider myself very lucky to have had over 120,000 copies of my books downloaded. The majority of these being KDP Select downloads, however I am proud to say I have sold thousands of paid downloads as well. I never pursue the money. I always seek the reader. It is my philosophy that if I keep this mindset, the latter will come into focus.
You have a personal and professional touch (which I appreciate) when dealing with your PeopleReads authors. What else do you believe sets you apart from other book promotion websites?
Thank you for noticing that. I hear this from time to time. The bottom line is we are all human beings and we should be treated as such. I would say that there are two services that set me apart from most other sites similar to PeopleReads. The first is that I have an unpaid non-guaranteed listing. This means that the author may submit their eBook at no charge. I make room for at least one unpaid listing per day. I do this because it allows almost anyone to secure a listing. Now I must note that the unpaid listing is not as far reaching as a paid listing). Another service I provide is the New Release listing. This enables an author with zero reviews to be listed. Generally in order for a book to be listed on PeopleReads it must have at least 10 reviews with an average rating of 3.9 stars. I know it takes time for some New Releases to grab an audience. This is one way I can help that process. I should mention that if a book has less than 3.9 stars, I won’t list it. That goes for New Releases as well. I do have standards that must be met. (All of the listing requirements are in the Guidelines).
What advice do you have for indie authors?
Besides the common knowledge of keep writing, find an editor or two that wants you to succeed, and hire a great cover artist, I would say, write because it is your passion. Write not for fame or money. Write to touch your reader.
On your blog, you ask authors 3 unusual questions. I'm turning the tables on you using one of your own questions! "If you had one hour left to live from this moment, who would you seek? What would you do? Why?"
I’m pretty big on family. I am a new father of a two year old. I would, like most, spend the hour with my family. This would include my mother on the phone. We would share a great meal and I would tell my wife to have a good life, to find someone, to be happy and pursue her path without regard to me. To my boy I would make a video to express my love and acceptance of him in whatever path he chooses in life. And to my mother I would express my gratitude. I have brothers too. Oh boy there just isn’t enough time!
What are 3 things most people don't know about you?
If I told you then they would be known. Nice try. ;)
Are you working on any new projects this year?
I am heavy in a project at the moment. What I am about to disclose may come off as prideful, or perhaps pompous, but I assure you it is neither of these. I don’t share my projects with anyone until the first draft is finished. I do this as a focusing measure. Not even my editor knows what the story is about until he has the pages in hand and reads the story. I’ll take it even further, not even my wife knows what I am writing until I am done. Do I do this because I think I am the best at what I do? Nope. I do this because to do otherwise throws me off my intended path. I always tell my writing friends if you don’t want to finish your story the best way I know how is to join a writers’ group! Oops! See I just offended someone. I find nothing wrong with writing groups in theory. I only take issue with them if they sabotage the writer into inactivity. I say write the first draft as intended then seek opinions as needed. Bottom line, FINISH the first draft!
Connect With Him
For your reading public I wanted to let them know that PeopleReads has a Kindle Paperwhite and Amazon Gift Card Giveaway happening right now (ends March 30th 2014). It is easy to enter for a chance at winning these prizes. Just subscribe here: http://www.peoplereads.com And for your writing public, PeopleReads currently has a February Author Special Promotion that will run to the end of the month. Here is the link: http://www.peoplereads.com/february-special-promotion Thank you very much M.L. You have been kind to me.
by MRH, CMO