Master Storyteller, Sevastian Winters, has something new up his sleeve. He is in the processing of publishing a series of e-books that will not only give you tips on writing better, but on how to self-publish your works as well.
This series will be extremely helpful if you are looking to get that book out, and promises to make you “as sexy as” he is (because we all know how sexy writers are!). I was able to catch up with published author, Sevastian Winters, to ask him a few questions about his informative new “Indie Author Series”.
Jolynne: Jolynne M Hudnell
Sevastian: Sevastian Winters
Jolynne: Would you tell readers a bit about your ongoing “Indie Author Series”?
Sevastian: The Indie Authors series is designed to help independent authors to improve their chances of making it with their writing endeavours. Independent publishing is here to stay, but because there are so many people involved in indie publishing, it is nearly impossible to stand out from the crowd unless you have some sort of edge that makes you look like a real player. The Indie Author Series gives authors that edge. It’s an ongoing series that is in some ways in its infancy, but has been 5 years in gestation. From the very first book, “Book Covers 101: Because Books are Judged by Their Covers”, I make it clear that this is a different sort of information than you will get from buying any one of the gazillion books on self publishing available in a bookstore…and published by a big house. The bite-sized information pieces are packed full of flavor and straight forward instructions. Others offer advice. I tell you what to do, how to do it and why it matters that you do it that way.
Jolynne: What is your motivation for publishing this set of helpful e-books?
Sevastian: Its tough building a name for one’s self within a market that has been largely marginalized, as a protective measure, by the mainstream, and the Indie publishing market is strangely void of any real experts when it comes to basic marketing theory that people without business degrees can understand. I spent nearly 20 years in business, 10 of those years in marketing, and it gave me the tools necessary to have noticed some of the things about the big boys in the book business that maybe someone with less experience would miss. For example… Answer me this: What should be the biggest thing on a book cover and why? The big boys know the answer, because they pay marketing companies to know the answer. Indie authors can’t afford to hire multi-million dollar marketing professionals, and all too often their work product reflects that. I created this series to give independent authors the leg up they need to brand themselves like they belong at the party.
Jolynne: At the risk of a spoiler, I would like to mention a line from the third edition in your Indie Author Series, “Anyone Can Write a Book…(Even You!) for the readers. You mentioned that this part in the series was to help other authors become “as sexy as” you, a published author. I really enjoyed that phrase and was wondering if you would tell readers a little more about why you chose that phrase.
Sevastian: HAHAHA! On my website, http://sevwinters.com it says that I am part philosopher, part heretic, part jokester, part businessman and just the slightest bit insane. I think the hallmark of writing that people want to read, especially when it comes to things that are typically dry and boring, is writing infused with the writer’s personality quirks. I like to make self-effacing and self-aggrandizing jokes in my work, because frankly if you’re laughing, you’re with me and if you aren’t, you’ll probably miss something important. I think work of this nature has to be conversational in nature. I write like I speak, imagining what the reader might be thinking or how they might be responding as they read. It’s the only way I know how to engage. If you chortled at that line and kept reading, I did my job!
Jolynne: You definitely did your job! I found the first three parts in the series to be very reader friendly and full of useful information. I can’t wait to find out more. Would you care to give readers a preview of some of the other topics you will cover in your Indie Author Series that are different than what is already out there?
Sevastian:There are a number of new topics coming up fast…some about writing and some about marketing. The order of topics is a bit scattered, but I’ve done that on purpose. Not everyone is in the same place in their writing process or their marketing process, so I’m doing my best to hit on topics from a variety of angles. One of the upcoming topics (as I answer this) is “How to Sell Your Finished Product” and it includes quotes given to me personally by a number of famous authors with whom I stay in contact through e-mail and Facebook.
That topic deals more with marketing, but future topics will also include things like how to choose an editor, how to trim the fat from your writing, tips for self editing, and actual writing style clinics where we talk about how to paint word pictures that jump off of the page, what words or phrases to avoid like the plague (that phrase being one of them) which rules are set in stone, which rules you can break, and under what circumstances. By the time I write the final page in this series, which I assume will be greater than 100 e-books, a new writer ought to have all of the tools they need to find success. When I’m finished, I plan to review them all, using some of them to create a 2-3 day seminar that I can use to fund future book tours and to get 1 on 1 with my readers and fans. I hope this project will prove to be of real value to those who take these books in and digest them.
Jolynne: From what I’ve seen so far, this series will be a real value. I like how you offer them in small, concise sections. Not only are writers in different phases of their art, but they may choose to learn about a specific topic prior to others, and having these available separately really fills that need. How much can readers expect to pay for each of the parts available in this series?
Sevastian: (Sev does his best ginsu knife guy) Well normally for a series like this, you would expect to spend hundreds…even thousands of dollars, but for unlimited time, they can be yours for just $2.00 per e-book. That’s right folks… You get all the information you want and none of the stuff you don’t, for just $2.00 each. But wait that’s not all!
Uh… um… actually… the producers are informing me that indeed that is all. My bad. lol . Actually Amazon charges $4.99 but all of the other venues sell them for $2.00.
Jolynne: Where can readers begin to purchase parts of the “Indie Author Series”?
Sevastian:I sell them directly on my website http://sevwinters.com or they are also available at youpublish.com, smashwords.com, or for an inflated price on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store. I prefer the ones ordered directly through my website because it gives me the opportunity to have personal contact with my readers..and I don’t have to wait for payment thresholds in order to get paid (lol), but I understand that some prefer anonymity too.
Jolynne: In one of the parts of your Indie Author Series, you talk a bit about payments offered at different venues. Do you think you will devote an entire part explaining the payment process and options a little more in-depth?
Sevastian:Undoubtedly financial matters will have to be a part of the series. After all, while we all do this for the adoration, the money matters matter too!
Jolynne: If scientists discovered a new star and gave you the opportunity to name it, what name would you choose?
Sevastian: I think maybe Larry. Larry would be a good name for a star, or maybe Denise. I don’t know. I just don’t think enough people are naming stars after people anymore. On that note, what do you feed a star? Do they have to be exercised? Are they social creatures or do they prefer to be left alone? Those sorts of things matter. I mean if I’m going to name it, will I also be its godfather? Does that mean it’s going to call me asking for money when it’s parents say no? These are all very important questions to ask…I mean… I have a lot going on right now… I don’t now if I have room in my life for a star? Are we just talking a name here? or Do I have to commit to something? How much is this going to cost me? What’s the catch? (winks)
Jolynne: Ah…how sweet it is what one question can induce in a Master Storyteller! I don’t think they let you keep the star…though one of your pheromone-wafting admirers may promise you the stars!
Would you tell readers a little more about the anticipated seminars based on the “Indie Author Series”?
Sevastian: It’s really too early to say, but one thing you can count on: I don’t do anything half way, so if it’s not something I know to be of tremendous value to those in attendance, it won’t happen. I’ll know more in the Spring.
Jolynne: I look forward to see if the seminars happen! Is there anything else you’d like to add about the “Indie Author Series”?
Sevastian:Yes. I am offering a money back guarantee on book 1 in the series for any reader who purchases directly from me on my website who then finds the information useless. “Book Covers 101: Because Books ARE Judged by their Covers” is so far the most ignored and yet most important book in the series. 99% of the Indie authors I know say they have a handle on their book covers, but then I see their covers and clearly they do not. 85%-90% of the interest in a book is derived from what a person sees on the cover. Most authors put months into their writing and less than a day into their covers…and that’s fine if you actually know what you’re doing. But let me ask you this? What’s should be the biggest thing on your cover in fiction? In Non Fiction? Why? How about the back of the book? The spine? Why? In terms of the marketing, what are the hard and fast rules about photographs? What’s the logic behind your answers? Did you have to think about the answers you came up with, or were they right on the tip of your tongue? The bottom line is this: If you don’t know the answer for certain without taking the time to think about it, you need to buy that e-book. Nobody that’s bought it has asked for their money back and my guarantee stands. Whether you have already published or not, this volume is a MUST HAVE.
Jolynne: Are there any words of wisdom that you’d like to leave readers with?
Sevastian: Writing is not something anyone gets good at by accident. Every writer that finds success has invested both time and money into learning the craft elements required to do it well. I’ve spent 5 years learning and plying my craft as well as countless dollars I didn’t have but found anyhow buying books and other learning materials, attending seminars, and testing the waters to see what works and what doesn’t and I’m still learning. I hope others will benefit from my experience and dedication to the business of writing and self publishing.
Jolynne: Thank you for the interview. It has been a pleasure speaking with you on your new series.
END OF INTERVIEW
I’ve had the opportunity to read the first three e-books in the “Indie Author Series” and have found information I never would have considered if I chose to self-publish a book. Sevastian Winters’ writing style made it an enjoyable read and the advice was easy to understand. I look forward to more titles in the series.
The fact that this series is available reasonably priced and in parts makes it possible to learn more without making a large initial investment. Readers who are considering self-publishing may want to consider looking into the e-books. Even if you aren’t considering this option, you may change your mind after reading a few parts of Sevastian Winters’ “Indie Author Series”.
Jolynne M Hudnell; Interview with Sevastian Winters, Master Storyteller, on the Upcoming Release of “The TroubleMaker”; Associated Content