The Alexander G Public Relations blog has a fairly lengthy interview with self-publishing writer Jason McIntyre, whose works have been downloaded over 33,000 times so far. McIntyre has worked as an editor, writer, communications professional, graphic designer, commercial artist, webmaster, and more, and still works at these jobs in addition to his writing.
Like so many other self-publishing writers, McIntyre went into self-publishing over disillusionment with the traditional publishing process after traditional publishers said they liked his books but admitted they could not figure out how to market them. When the iPad came out, McIntyre realized that he could reach readers directly, and started with Smashwords then added his works to Amazon’s Kindle and other major e-book sites.
McIntyre explains he puts a lot of effort into marketing his work:
The biggest thing I do for marketing is one-on-one communication with readers. I use Twitter and Facebook and Goodreads to connect with people I believe will have an interest in what I’m writing, then I offer discounted copies and discuss the books directly with them. After years of hearing other authors and agents and publishers telling me what I was doing wrong, it’s a breath of fresh air to hear directly from a reader who has had heart palpitations from reading a particularly engrossing scene or chapter. They are the audience. I believe in letting them decide what’s good and what isn’t. For the most part, I’ve found tremendous enjoyment in interacting on such a close level with these readers. They’ve made short stories better when I’ve offered them beta copies to read and told me that an idea sucks when it actually did. Generally, they get very excited over small discounts, free copies, and especially advanced access to a story as I’m working on it. You can’t pay for the kind of publicity you get from a genuinely interested reader who tweets or brags about a book they liked.
And also like many others, he sees books retreating into a niche market, much as vinyl records and record players have.