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Digger Cartwright Interview 2013: Question 3

Posted by Digger Cartwright
Digger Cartwright
Robert “Digger” Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versa...
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on Saturday, 02 February 2013
in Digger Cartwright

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

The most important thing readers can do to help make any of my books successful is spread the word about it. Post your thoughts about it on Facebook. Tweet about it. Get the word out there. If you’ve got the time, I’d really appreciate honest reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and wherever else you can put the word out there. Share it with people. Let your friends and family borrow the book and read it and ask them to keep passing it along. Encourage your local book clubs to read it.

There are tens of thousands of books being published as we speak by the mainstream authors, the first time authors, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there. Competition is really fierce, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of all these other authors. Readers who like my books can help by promoting my name, my brand, my books, etc. Get the word out there, familiarize other people with my name and my work, and get people interested. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising there is.   

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Digger Cartwright Interview 2013: Question 2

Posted by Digger Cartwright
Digger Cartwright
Robert “Digger” Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versa...
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on Thursday, 31 January 2013
in Digger Cartwright

What can we expect from you in the future?

The future holds a lot of really exciting things. My new book that is coming out in late spring is Conversations on the Bench, which is an inspirational or motivational book. Some people will find it more of one than the other, but this is a book that was inspired by actual events involving a couple of friends of mine. It was really an opportunity for me to step out of the box, step out of my comfort zone in writing and try something different. I’m so used to creating my own characters and places that it was a bit of an adjustment to write about real people and places, but I did it. I’m not sure there’s going to be another book like this, but I’ll keep that option open.

Later in 2013, I’ll be releasing Gems & Jewels Book II: The Restoration. It’s more of a drama with an element of mystery and centers around a wealthy family in the gold, diamond, and precious stones mining as well as the jewelry business. It’s sort of a modern-day Dynasty, Dallas or Falcon Crest. It’s got all the money, power, sex, greed and excess that were characteristic of those shows. It’s going to be a series, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I plan on continuing to write predominantly mystery novels. With Murder at the Ocean Forest, The Versailles Conspiracy, and The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance, I’ve got a lot of characters that I can work with and revisit for sequels or series, particularly with the latter two. I suspect there will be a couple of sequels to those. Then I’ve got a couple of interesting plans on the drawing board. I’ve got a hard-boiled detective story that I’m developing and a couple of political thrillers. I’ve got a futuristic book in the planning stages. It’s one of these what-if prognostications set about twenty years from now.

There are some really exciting storylines in the works. I just wish I had the time to write them all and get them done faster, but I’m just plugging along one manuscript at a time. One thing is for sure, I don’t plan on going away. I love what I’m doing, and I plan on continuing to write for a long time.    

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Digger Cartwright Interview 2013: Question 1

Posted by Digger Cartwright
Digger Cartwright
Robert “Digger” Cartwright is the author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels including The Versa...
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on Tuesday, 29 January 2013
in Digger Cartwright

Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

The publishing world is tough to break into for new authors. If you’re going the traditional route, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First, you have to have a good product to promote. If your book is just mediocre, you’re dead in the water. There are too many other people out there writing to pass off a mediocre book. Writing a really good book takes time, patience and dedication. If you’re just throwing your thoughts together and trying to get something done quickly, you’re wasting your time. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to get a manuscript where you need it to be so that you can successfully market it. Second, you have to find an agent willing to represent you. That’s like finding a needle in a haystack. There are a lot fewer literary agents than there are budding authors, and they’re getting swamped with query letters, proposals, and manuscripts. You’ve got to be both good and lucky to get an agent. Third, you’ve got to get it sold to a publishing house and they’ve got to be able to market it and so on and so forth.

The reality is that very few authors had their first manuscript picked up by an agent or a publishing house. The one that launches their career may be the second or third manuscript. Anyone can sit down and write one book. It may take a while and it may not be good, but just about anyone can do it. Very few people are actually going to sit down and write the second book. They’ll get discouraged that they couldn’t do anything with the first one and give it up. So, you’ve got a much smaller pool of competing authors once you’ve written the second book. Even fewer of those people will go on to write a third book then a fourth book. With each book written, you move higher and higher up the hierarchy of writers. That’s what really separates the wheat from the chaffe—the ability to write multiple books. They have to be good, of course, otherwise it’s just a waste of time.

If you don’t want to go the traditional route, you can try self-publishing your book. Of course, that comes with its own set of challenges that you have to be ready for. You don’t have the marketing power, budget, editorial staff, or distribution that the traditional publishing houses have, so you’re competing with the big names without the benefits they have in terms of name recognition, resources, etc. that comes from being published via traditional means. Thus, you’ve got to work even harder, be more creative, and more dedicated. You’ve got to make sure your manuscript is perfect before it’s available for sale. You’ve got to make sure it’s edited correctly. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got an eye-catching cover. However, I’d point out that more and more people are going the self-publishing route. There are even some big name authors that are going that route themselves. Despite the obvious drawbacks, there are some benefits. When you self-publish, you maintain control of pretty much all aspects of your work. You’re not subrogating any rights or responsibilities to anyone else, and you’ve generally got a higher profit margin.

My advice for people wanting to write a book is that you need to set realistic expectations for yourself. I don’t want to discourage anyone. I just want to be honest with them and want them to be honest with themselves. Very few writers make it. Very few people have the will power and the stamina to go the distance and write the second and third books. But listen, if you have a passion for writing and you’re committed to it, go for it. Work hard, keep disciplined, and be the best you can. If you’ve got to take some writing classes, so be it. Do what you have to do if you’re really committed to it. Writing is a lot like getting a puppy. A lot of people think it’s fun and cool to have a little creature around for the first few months, but the luster wears off when the dog starts tearing up the furniture or going to the bathroom on the floor or when you’ve got to get up early on a Saturday and take the dog out to the bathroom or for a walk, particularly if it’s cold out. You know what I mean? Much like having a pet, writing is a big commitment. Don’t do it if you’re easily discouraged or if you don’t have the time and staying power to stick with it through the rejections and criticism.

And don’t forget the criticism. There will be a lot of criticism along the way. You won’t be able to please everyone, so you’ll have to get some thick skin. Some people are going to like it, and some people are going to hate it. It’s hard taking the criticism when you’ve put your heart and soul into something, but you better get used to it. Even the biggest names have lots of critics. Just pull up their books on Amazon and look at the reviews. They’re not all five star.   

 

 

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