‘Meet The Authors’ this time, would like to say Hi! and a very big welcome, to J. Frank James, author of the popular ‘Lou Malloy’ series and the new kid on the block ‘Indigo Marsh’, who makes his debut in Voodoo Moon Rising.
J. Frank James, is a relatively new to me author and I have only just begun my acquaintance with ‘Lou Malloy’, having recently joined him in his first case, Dead Money Run, which I thoroughly enjoyed!
DEAD MONEY RUN – (Lou Malloy Crime Series Book 1)
Whilst I gather my thoughts into the final review of Dead Money Run, I invite you to enjoy this insightful and well considered guest post, by J Frank James.
Hi! My Name Is – J. FRANK JAMES …
I am the author of crime thriller novels, with a passion for writing, communicating with readers and introducing new readers to my characters.
I am a graduate of the University of Florida School of Journalism and Advertising, where I obtained a degree in Journalism and one in Advertising, later going on to attend law school, where I was a member of the law review. I even went on to pass the state bar and started my own law practice which specialized in complex litigation.
My experience and extensive background in law, I hope helps lend credibility and authenticity to my crime fiction books, creating believable situations that have the readers wanting to find out what happens next, just like they would in any crime situation.
I have also traveled extensively worldwide, gaining new experiences from observing other cultures, which has not only given me much of the inspiration for my crime thriller novels, but has also helped me to infuse new life into my books and develop believable characters and situations, that readers can identify with and relate to.
My books have hard and soft elements simultaneously, to really capture the life of the hardened criminal who is still very human and struggles with the same human emotions as the rest of society. At the same time, to give the reader perspectives, I introduce private investigators to balance out the story.
There is even a hint of romance, when my characters come to care for each other as more than just friends. Then, crime and love mixes to create a dynamic atmosphere that is even more complicated than ever before, since characters care not only for each other but for their other family members as well.
Home for my wife and myself, is Atlanta, with a second home on the coast of Georgia that we shuttle back and forth to, along with our 90 pound boxer, named Jake. Six children and 13 grandchildren complete the family line-up, so, to say the least, life never has a dull moment.
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As an author, the decision to self-publish from my standpoint, is simply one of self-confidence. As early as five years ago, the concept of being a self-published author was a bit foreign. The access to readers was controlled by a few of the publishers on top making the opportunities to become a published writer difficult at best.
I began writing about ten years ago as a lark. My wife had some health problems and I had decided to stay at home as much as I could. In the process of that decision, I began to write. Being a graduate of the College of Journalism and Advertising from the University of Florida, I figured I might as well use my degree for something other than taking up wall space. As I cranked out story ideas, my wife got control of her health and I kept on writing. Eventually I decided to take a shot at getting an agent. To be honest, I would have had better luck trying to shoot a duck out of the sky at night. Then one day I was ordering a book from Amazon and I saw an article on being a publisher on Amazon and the rest was history.
One of the things that I learned early on was to be sure I understood the process. Being a self-published author requires that you wear a lot of hats and you have to be ready for it. Fortunately for me I have the time to learn the Amazon process. Trust me, it is not easy and I have been doing it now for almost two years and I am still learning and will probably never stop.
As a provider of tools for the self-published, you have to be ready to be disappointed at times. Not everything works like it should the first time out. The good news is that when you self-publish on Amazon you can earn up to 70% of the royalties and maintain control over the content of your book.
Now you have just finished writing your first book and you are ready to tackle the 500 pound Gorilla, Amazon Books. Be advised to stand in the box and take your swings. There is no other way to learn than to be prepared to make mistakes. Everyone who has self-published has made them more than once.
Now that the manuscript is complete and the book has made its way into the Amazon system, what’s next? Write the next book. To date I have written nine books and I self-published my first one in August of 2013. Unless you keep writing, all your effort will have been wasted.
In addition to writing my books, I am also a sold artist which basically means that someone somewhere has purchased one of my paintings. However, the best part of being an artist is being able to do my own book covers. It is not hard. If you are just starting out, don’t get wrapped up in the perfect book cover gambit. Furthermore, KDP Select has formats for book covers and I would suggest that you simply stick with those. Besides being very useful, they are free.
When I first started to publish my own books I engaged a proofreader who had a background proofing textbooks and manuals. That was a mistake. I learned the hard way that all proofreaders are not created equal. I now have secured the services of a professional who has experience proofing fiction in the genre that I write in. She is also an editor and has been a very big help in keeping me on the straight and narrow.
Last, but not least is the decision to hire a publicist. The answer is a simple one. You can’t afford not to. This is your connection to the world of reviews. No reviews, no sales. Reason being you’re an unknown writer. A good publicist can and should be able to change all that. Remember, being successful as a writer is nothing more than how you are perceived by the readers you seek for your books.
I hope my words of wisdom will be of some use.
J. FRANK JAMES