September 6th, 2012 | Add a Comment
Michael Zarocostas is a lawyer and writer who lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife Lianna, their amazing daughter Vesta, and two obese rescued cats Vito and Luca.
He is represented by Penn Whaling of the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency, which represents world renowned authors such as Dennis Lehane and CJ Box.
Michael’s work has been honored by theAcademyofMotion Picture Artsand Sciences Nicholl Fellowship, the Chesterfield Writers Film Project, and the Rupert Hughes Prose Writing Competition (at the former Maui Writers Conference).
His last book, PLUMMET was made available on July 4, 2012. It was the #1 free legal thriller on August 15-16, 2012. It’s currently #2 Drama and #11 Legal Thriller.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs being published?
The advantage is you control everything, and you get a bigger royalty.
The disadvantage: money to market the book. If I had Grisham’s budget, I’d feel a lot better when I look at my sales figures every day.
What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Blackmail and extortion work pretty well. If you have embarrassing photos of family and friends and threaten to post them on Facebook, I find their willingness to buy and review your novel increases dramatically. Other than that, you have to send your book out into the world and trust that it will be reviewed fairly by strangers.
What do you think of “trailers” for books? Do you have one/ intend to create one for your own books?
I don’t get them. People are going to be reading your book not watching a movie. I think they’re a waste of time, but then I’m a little old school like that. If you sell the film rights, someone else is going to do a trailer anyway.
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
Yes, my mother meets her friends at a coffee shop every weekend, and she’s been bragging to them about me. She passed her cellphone around to about 20 people so I could try to get them to buy my book and explain how to do it on Amazon. I promised them a frappuccino for each download.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I edited it myself, but then I also asked Penn Whaling, my agent at the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency, to look at it. My guru and professional agent Kevin Smith also read it. But they did not do intensive line edits.
I’m a lawyer, so I usually write 10 drafts before I let someone else “edit.”
Thank you Michael for taking the time to answer a few questions for us and best of luck with your writing career.
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