Joshua Price, author of books such as A Drizzle of Zombies, talks about his approach to writing and his plans for the future.
Why do you write? Is it something you’ve always done, or always wanted to do? Or is it something that you started fairly recently?
You know how some people say they were born to write? That wasn’t me. If anything, up until the age of 21 or 22, I thought I was born to play video games. It was about then that I decided I should probably do something with my life, and somehow I turned to writing. It sort of blossomed while I was in college, and I ran with it from there. I still play a heck of a lot of video games, though.
Tell me a little about your books.
In a word, they’re comedies. Superhero comedy / adventures in 2.5 words. And I suppose they draw influence from my interests in life. Comic books. Video games. Humor. Okay, I guess I don’t have that many interests.
The books follow the misadventures of Captain Rescue and his arch-nemesis, Dr. Malevolent. Despite not-so-mutual hatred (he thinks they’re friends; she wants to kill him), they end up having to work toward a mutual goal.
Are there any authors who inspire you?
I suppose my biggest influence – aside from myself – is Terry Pratchett. He gave me the idea to start a long-running series.
How do you write? Do you make yourself write a certain number of words per day?
After waking up at the crack of whenever, I usually play it by ear. I try to get a fair amount of work done each day, but that doesn’t always include writing. A lot of the time, it’s revisions or rewrites (I do suppose that includes writing). When I’m working through the first draft of a new book, I try not to set goals for myself. Some days it’s only 500 words, other days it’s 10,000. More commonly, it’s somewhere between the two, usually in the range of 2,000 to 4,000 words.
I try to focus on one thing at a time. I don’t like to be in the revision stages of one book and actively writing the next one the side.
Did you try to get a conventional publisher or agent interested before you opted for self-publishing?
Very briefly. I sent out a handful of query letters before deciding to dive in heard first. Then I drowned, dragged myself to the shore, invested in some editing and proofing, then dove back in.
What goals have you set yourself? Do you want to sell a certain number of books in 2012? Is there some way you measure success, on your own terms?
My ultimate goal is world domination, but I don’t exactly have a time-frame for that. So I usually just get work done and let the cards fall where they might.
How have you marketed your books?
I have a website and Facebook page, but I haven’t put much effort into any major marketing campaigns. I’m mostly trying to gather reviews. As other people have learned, no single marketing effort is guaranteed to work. Taking that to heart, I think the best strategy is to simply be patient and keep writing. A nice dose of luck doesn’t hurt, either.
Have you signed up for KDP Select?
I did sign up for KDP Select. My sales through other outlets were about as close to non-existent as one could get, so it seemed like a no brainer. The free promotions do seem to inject some momentum into sales, but how long that momentum carries through still remains to be seen.
Do you worry about Amazon gaining a monopoly in the ebook market?
Honestly? Not really. But competition is good for everybody. So while I think it’s best if Amazon remain an ebook leader, I hope other outlets aren’t forced to close their doors.
What’s next? Are you working on anything at the moment? Do you have anything new coming out in 2012?
Well, since Captain Rescue and his friends don’t rest (they can’t; they’re fictional) neither should I. So I’m hoping to release two more of their adventures later this year. One in the fall, and one in the winter. Though, I guess winter could include early 2013, but I’m hoping to release it in December. You know, before the world ends.