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News, advice and conversation about the Self-Publishing book industry.

Friday, October 28, 2011

An interview with Joseph Rinaldo author of Hazardous Choices

Hello Joseph and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by Books and Novels to Read.com and taking the time to answer my questions. Are you ready, then we'll begin?
BNR - What is the title of your latest books and where did the ideas for them spring from?
JR: The title of my latest ebook is Hazardous Choices. The idea for it originally came to me simply because I live just outside Nashville, a city where gang violence is rampant and the "collateral damage" is monstrous. I wondered if a young man who was a member of such a gang could escape that life, and if so, how?
BNR - Have you tried getting your books published by the conventional route or did you go straight into self publishing?
JR: I tried for several years to get a book published going the traditional route. The only thing I accomplished by doing that was to make me think I would never be published and that I had wasted a lot of time writing books no one would ever read. Then, I discovered the wonderful world of self-publishing, and using Amazon's KDP program, I have begun releasing the books I've written.
BNR - How many books have you written, what are they and are they all in print or eBooks?
JR: I have written nine books so far, and I released one, A Spy At Home, last year. Sales have been slow but fairly steady. I am still promoting it as well as the new one, Hazardous Choices. These two are in ebook format only, and likely the others will be as well. I am addicted to my Kindle, and I see ereaders everywhere, so I am marketing my books that way, because I really feel that is the future of book-buying.
BNR - Would you say your writing career has been successful, have you sold many books?
JR: That's a difficult question to answer, because I'm not sure what standard to measure the sale of my books by. I have sold books, I feel successful when I sell a book, but am I where I hope to be? No. My goal is to have one (or all) of my books turned into a blockbuster movie that earns millions and makes my name a household word!BNR - Wouldn't we all, although I just want to be rich not famous!
BNR - How have you promoted your books, social media, advertising, book fairs? Which method of promotion would you say has been most successful?
JR: I have promoted my books very heavily through social media, including soliciting reviews from bloggers and others to "get the word out there". I did try traditional advertising: print ads, FB ads, Google ads, and passing out bookmarks at book fairs and putting them in bookstores, but none of those methods brought me the recognition I've gotten by working social media. The important thing about using social media to promote a book is that it's practically a full-time job! You really have to devote time to it every day, and it's not easy to find that time. I am grateful for the many reviewers and bloggers who have read and reviewed my books, and for other authors who give support by encouraging me and by helping me promote my own work through such sites as Facebook and Twitter. Of course, I am happy to reciprocate..
BNR - Do you have any new writing projects in the pipeline?
JR: Yes! I'm very excited about the next book I'm releasing (probably sometime early next year) called Mountain Meadows Aftermath. It's been re-read and revised by me and will very soon be in the hands of a professional editor. Because it is about the Mormon Church, I believe that the story will really resonate with readers in the period leading up to and including the presidential election. For a brief synopsis of the book pre-release, readers can go to my website, www.josephmrinaldo.com.
BNR - What do you see in the future for the book industry? Will print books disappear as eBooks take over?
JR: I wouldn't say that print books will disappear. There will, for at least the next several decades, be readers who prefer the feeling of holding an actual book in their hands. However, I do believe that as the number of younger, tech-savvy readers increases, ereaders will take over a huge portion of that market, and since I'm producing only ebooks, that suits me just fine!
BNR - Which authors in particular are you influenced by and what genre do you enjoy reading?
JR: I have read many books I enjoyed, but I wouldn't say that any other author has influenced me, other than the ones who have made millions off their books! That may sound mercenary, but I do want to be hugely successful with my books, and I do want to make enough money from them to offer my family the lifestyle they deserve. In saying that, I won't deny that I have truly enjoyed some books more than others. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn is a perfect book, and I would recommend it to anyone. Likewise The Count of Monte Cristo, a classic by Alexandre Dumas. These are two print books I enjoyed very much. I read in a wide variety of genres, and I don't care about the label, only the product. It has been very difficult for me to classify my own books in a particular genre, and there is a tiny glimmer of hope in my heart that at some point, other than the broad division between fiction and nonfiction, the whole obsession with "genre" will disappear.
BNR - In a desert island disc scenario, which book would you want to have with you?
JR: Wow, that's a tough one. Probably The Count of Monte Cristo, because it would take me longer to read than many other books, and would keep my mind occupied.
BNR - What age range are you in?
JR: I am in my early forties. Interesting question.
BNR - Where were you born and where do you now call home, have you had much chance to travel?
JR: I was born in Danville, Illinois, lived most of my life in Kentucky, and now call Tennessee home. I attended The Ohio State University for undergraduate work and Western Kentucky University for graduate work. I traveled quite a bit when I was younger with my parents, but I haven't been outside the U.S. in many years. My family and I like to go south in the summer and enjoy the beach, and occasionally I'll travel out of state for a football or basketball game, but beyond that, I'm pretty happy just being home.
BNR - Do you have any inspirational words for all your fellow self published authors?
JR: I don't know how inspirational these words are, but I would tell all self-published authors that the most critical part of writing a book, in my opinion, is hiring a professional editor to "polish" the work you've done. Self-published books have gotten a bad rap because some authors think they can do all the revisions and editing themselves and get a clean manuscript. It just doesn't work that way. If you have written something, you are far too close to it to be objective, and it is almost impossible to see your own errors. Cost is always a factor, but if you expect people to pay you to read your books, you need to be sure they are as professionally prepared as possible. You don't like seeing mistakes in other people's books, so why would you think differently about your own?
BNR: Joseph I've found your answers interesting.
To download an ebook copy of Hazardous Choices in U.S. Dollers click here.HAZARDOUS CHOICES

1 comment:

jenny milchman said...

This was a great interview, Joseph. I appreciate your thoughts about your publishing journey--I am always fascinated to learn how different writers find their paths. I wish you the best of luck on yours.