September 8th, 2011 | 5 Comments
An ex private eye in Hollywood, J.R. Rain is now a vastly successful full time writer of paranormal mysteries and romance. He lives in a small house on an island in the Pacific West with his dog and shoots novels from the hip at breakneck pace, always hitting the bestsellers list in bull’s eye.
Your publishing history began as a published writer with Mundania Press in 2005. Today, you are self-publishing your books and a regular of the top 10 on Kindle. Do you feel that self-publishing has been a determining factor in your success?
Well, there are many roads to success. The question is: which road works best for you? In my case, I’m a stubborn cuss, and so I work better alone. Therefore, self-publishing is ideally suited for me. I have control over all content…from the editing, to the formatting, to the descriptions, to the cover designs. Yes, the extra stuff is a lot of work, but it’s also a fun distraction from the writing itself. For other writers, I’m sure they would rather stick a fork in their eye than format an entire ebook. These authors should be with traditional publishers who will do all that for them.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs being published?
Advantage for the self-published author: Total freedom. Total control. The indie author reaps the lion’s share of the profits, too. Instant publication. (My books will often be be published mere days after finishing the final drafts.)
Advantage for the traditionally published author: Advances from the publisher. Working with professional editors. Marketing budgets.
Your books have received innumerable reviews, how did you start the reviewing machine?
Well, I really don’t know. Truth be known, it took about 6 months for my ebooks to catch on. Once they did, the reviews started appearing. In the early days, I was selling 40 copies a month. (I believe I’ve now sold over 400,000 total books.) So I was happy to get any reviews back in the day! I guess the real question is: How did my ebooks catch fire? I would say the best answer is a more professional approach to publishing. I took my writing business seriously.
With 17 novels, 4 short story collections, and 2 screenplays, you are a very prolific writer, which means you spend a lot of time writing. What proportion of your time is dedicated to marketing and how do you market your books?
I always believe that the best marketing a writer can do is to write the best book possible. Books that resonate with readers will sell themselves. So, my best advice is to truly learn the craft of writing. A good book written from the heart will go very far. But to answer your question…very little time is spent marketing. I spend most of my time writing new books. With each new release, I will send out an email to all those who have signed up to my newsletter. I will then announce the publication on my Facebook, Myspace and Twitter accounts…and that’s about it.
What do you think is the main factor, other than writing a quality and professionally edited books, that differentiate a successful self-published writer like you from one who remains forever out of the limelight?
That’s the million dollar question, eh? I would say it’s attitude. This is where the Law of Attraction (a philosophy I adhere to) comes into play. One needs to remove that kind of negative thinking. One needs to believe that one’s books will be successful. Such positive thoughts leads one to inspired action. A positive, healthy approach to writing and publishing will open doors everywhere. Everyone has the potential for wonderful success. There’s some great Law of Attraction books out there. Go get a few!
You have penned a few novels in collaboration with other writers, Piers Anthony, Scott Nicholson and H.T. Night. Why did you do that and did that affect your sales figures?
I did it for the experience and to find new readers. Writers like Scott Nicholson and Piers Anthony have great fans, and I’m excited to be introduced to them. More important, I got to see first-hand how their extraordinary minds work…and it was fascinating. It took all my skill and a little luck to keep up with Piers Anthony’s incredible imagination. And with Scott Nicholson, more often than not I would read his passages in our books like a true fan…wondering what the hell would happen next–until I remembered it was up to me to figure out what happened next! HT Night is my brother, and he and I (along with Scott Nicholson), will be releasing Bad Blood in about two weeks (middle of September). My brother, quite frankly, is a wonderful plotter. Also, I will be teaming up with the hilarious HP Mallory in a few months to launch a major new vampire/romance/mystery series. Yes, I consider myself very fortunate to work with such amazingly talented people.
Your new book, Aladdin Sins Bad
, in collaboration with Piers Anthony, published on the 8th of August, is already in the top 50 on Kindle fiction/fantasy/historical, less than a week after publication. How did you manage to that?
Well, I can thank the success of the first book, Aladdin Relighted, which had been selling steadily all year long. Piers and I set that book up for a sequel, and so I think fans of the first were probably ready for the second. Not to mention Piers has many hundreds of thousands of fans, which certainly helps! Writing about Aladdin with Piers Anthony has been one of the great experiences of my life. We may write a third book next year. We’ll see how our schedules shake out. Writing a series is a great way to find success.
Well, thank you for having me!! Great questions! And I wish all your readers tremendous success with their own writing!
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