Indie Authors: It’s Your Way or the Highway! 

 

You’re Crazy!!

 
  
Indie Authors: It’s Your Way or the Highway!
By Rob Watts. Follow @RobWattsOnline
Undoubtably, you—my indie author friends, have scowled the internet over such time in search of the magical words of wisdom from the self-appointed experts on the “proper” ways to publish and market your books. You’ve no doubt stumbled upon countless blogs that tell you YOU HAVE to be on such and such social media site. YOU HAVE to publish exclusively on Kindle. YOU HAVE to have your books available digitally accross every eBook distribution platform. YOU HAVE to design your book cover this way or that way. YOU HAVE to market yourself on Twitter between the hours of 8:43am- 11:27am. YOU HAVE to offer giveaways and special promotions, all before sundown on a certain date—and on and on and on! 
Look, there is a lot of great advice out there from authors who have dug through the trenches and fought the good fight in the publishing industry. I’m currently digging and fighting alongside the rest of you out there. The one thing I’ve learned along the way is that advice obtained from “experts” should be taken with a healthy dose of discretion. They don’t always have your best interest at heart, but rather your attention—especially at the end of their blog posts which direct you to the “this program is a $750.00 value but available today for just $250.00” link at the bottom of the page. 
My point here is to be cautious. There are many bloggers out there looking to take advantage of hopeful authors in search of professional publishing, agents, Bestseller lists, and so on. Beware of the click bait. I don’t begrudge anyone making money, but there is a fine line between legitimate author services and charlatanism. 
Bottom line? You yourself know what’s working and what’s not. If your marketing on social media has grown stale on Facebook, try getting aquatinted with Twitter or GoodReads. If you only want to market and make available your book to Kindle exclusively, go for it. Many indie authors have found great success by doing this. If you want to branch out and use other ebook distribution platforms, by all means, try them out—as many as you can. Kindle is perfect for genre fiction and freebies, but iBooks is popular with fans of books with illustrations, graphs, and other useful reference material. EBSCO is a new service that makes your material available to libraries. FlipKart distributes to ereaders in India. It’s worth researching the marketplace. Your particular book might have an untapped audience elsewhere in the world—places where Kindle simply isn’t reaching. 
Don’t be a facsimile of someone else. Take the reigns of your writing career and be an individual who stands out. Pave your own way and do things that ultimately work for YOU…not what someone else claims will work for you. You’ll save a lot of money, time and ultimately, your sanity by carving out your own niche and comfort zone in the world of independent publishing. Good Luck!! 

The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove: F.A.Q.

 

The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove

 
Follow Rob Watts on Twitter @RobWattsOnline

So it’s been a little over two months since my novel The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove was released and reader response has been very favorable and encouraging. When positive feedback is received, it makes what sometimes seemed like a draining and tedious process, well-worth the time and effort. Especially in light of the fact that I have other commitments besides writing a novel. 
As of late, I’ve been asked by many people to discuss and bring to light some details about the book’s history, the story ideas, the inspiration behind the soundtrack and the unconventional method of release. I will attempt to answer as informatively and efficiently as possible without droning on ad nauseum.  
Q: How long did it take to complete the novel? 
A: If you factor in the time it took me write each of the short stories within the story—the full conceptual story front to back, then I could say almost five years. I had started writing volume one in the story (Huldufolk) back in 2010 and from there I’d worked on CRABAPPLES in 2012 and Left-Hand Path in late 2013. The time it spent to piece the stories together and write the bridge material and additional chapters, then the answer is roughly eight months. It took almost the same amount of time to record the book’s soundtrack. 
Q: How did the concept of including a soundtrack to the books come about? 
A: It’s another piece of the storytelling and I feel it give the story a little more depth and contrast. Plus, there aren’t many authors doing what I do—adding a listening element to their story. I like going the extra mile and giving the reader a unique experience for the money they’re spending. 
Q: What happened to Huldufolk? Why wasn’t that story included in The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove? 
A: Simply put, it no longer worked within the context of the novel. I love Huldufolk and it’s one of my favorite stories, but as much as I tried to make it work within the novel, at the end of the day it had to be eliminated. It was an early decision and I believe it was the correct one. As much as I wanted to make it work, I quickly realized that a young couple coming home from a haunted honeymoon in Iceland wasn’t going to flow well with the accompanying story lines. A writer needs the ability to self-edit and self-govern his or her writing, and this was a case where I did just that. Instead of completely eliminating the story entirely, I re-wrote the characters and settings to accommodate the rest of the content within the novel. 
Q: Did you end the story with the intention of writing a sequel? 
A: I can certainly see how one could draw that conclusion, but right now it’s the furthest thing from my mind. There are characters in the book that I am very fond of and have some passing thoughts as to where I could take them in the future, but that will be further down the line. If and when, they wouldn’t be direct sequels—the type that pick up right where the action from the previous book left off. If I revisit a storyline from the Crooked Roads, it will most likely be a standalone story with some relation to the aforementioned novel. There are other projects I’m working on in the meantime which will begin to materialize shortly after the new year. 
Q: Will you be releasing The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove in paperback edition? 
A: Yes, sometime in 2016 when we’ve exhausted the hardcover sales. However, like most of my work, it will most likely be a limited number run.
Q: Who is your cover artist for The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove? 
A: Nicolene Lorette Design. One of the best in the business and easy to work with. 
Q: Are vinyl copies of The Gathering from the book’s soundtrack still available? 
A: The vinyl record of The Gathering was offered for those who’d pre-ordered the book back in June. With that said, copies are dwindling and for now, are only available at my table signings at the remaining signing dates I have scheduled. They are highly limited edition as each vinyl album was hand crafted—not mass produced, and once they are gone, they are gone forever. 
Q: Where did you draw inspiration from when writing The Crooked Roads? Where were you getting your ideas?
A: I drew inspiration from the fact that there are a lot of evil spirited people around us and the fact that a lot of people are idiots. One needs not to look much further than the local news every evening to realize that we are living amongst monsters in our neighborhoods. They hide in plain sight and blend into society quite nicely. That is horror in its purest form—in my mind at least. Vampires, zombies, whathaveyou—those are great characters for escapism. But what about the person who stands before you and poses as a friend, a confidant, a respectable police officer, et cetera—but turns out to be someone of the opposite? Those are the type of people I wrote about, and although my story is a bit sensationalized, I think it captures the true essence of today’s deteriorating society. 
Q: What is the genre of the book? What’s an appropriate age group for the story?
A: it weighs heavily in the genre of Suspense and Thriller. There are elements of Mystery as well. Age 17 and up is the popular consensus, but I’m not the parent so it would be better left to a parent’s discression. 

Purchase your copy of The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove directly at Ocean View Press. Download on Amazon Kindle.

  

Marilyn Manson: Live in Boston

 

Marilyn Manson at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion


Marilyn Manson: Live at Blue Hills Bank Pavillion. Boston 7-28-2015

Review and Photos by Rob Watts.   Follow Rob @RobWattsOnline

 Just over twenty years into his illustrious and controversial career, legions of dedicated and adoring fans stood loud and proud as Manson and his band took to the darkened and ominous stage. It was a thunderous entry as the band and frontman ripped into Deep Six from his recent studio effort The Pale Impaler. The clarity in the musicianship was apparent immediately as his band’s performance, especially Twiggy’s bass playing, was crystal clear and extremely tight. Manson, unlike many shows in the past, was in top form and highly active on stage as he moved on to Disposable Teens and mOBSENE. Highly animated, Manson engaged along with the crowd, especially the young females in close proximity. Obliged to perform the crowd pleasing covers Sweet Dreams (are made of this) and Personal Jesus, the band continued on with stellar originals such as No Reflection, Rock is Dead and The Dope Show. Theatrically, it was an amazingly visual set, although it was the same bag of tricks; the altar and burning bible, the crucifix, the stilts and so on. The set ended with the well-loved The Beautiful People, and Coma White was performed beautifully as an encore. So what you will, Manson still has it and brought it with him to Boston!  

 

Photo by Rob Watts

  

 

 
 

  

Rob Watts Signs His Latest Novel in Danvers, MA

Rob behind his table w/ The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove

Rob Watts appeared at the 2015 New England Author Expo in Danvers, Massachusetts on July 29th. Couldn’t make it out that night? The latest novel The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove can be purchased directly, signed by the author and delivered to you in a matter of a few days. Books can be ordered here! 

 

With friend Tanya Gold from Tanya Gold Editing


 

w/ friend and author Stacey Longo

  

Smashing Pumpkins: Live in Boston 7-28-2015

Smashing Pumpkins at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Smashing Pumpkins at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion July 28, 2015

Review by Rob Watts.  Follow Rob @RobWattsOnline

First there was the acoustic pre-show, where Pumpkins founder and frontman Billy Corgan laid down three beautiful renditions of Purr Snickerty, Perfect and Dorian (the latter two accompanied by guitarist Jeff Schroeder.) Followed by a Q and A between Corgan and the 17 of us in front of him. Corgan was in relaxed form and very gracious to the various fans and media professionals seated in front of him. No question was off limits as he gave explanations in his sometimes long-winded yet informative manner. As he’d made mention of his 25 years of coming through Boston, I’d asked him what his fondest memory of playing in Boston over the years. He told me it was an early performance at the tiny Cambridge, MA club called T.T The Bears Place, where the temperature was so intense, he poured a bucket of water over his head on stage. 
Later in the evening, as the Pumpkins took to the stage for their full-length show, they leveled the crowd with Cherub Rock, followed by Bullet with Butterfly Wings and Tonight, Tonight. Little on stage banter was shared with the audience, but rather a full-blown rock show filled to the brim with Smashing Pumpkin classics, something that dedicated fans haven’t heard played on stage in quite some time. Aside from Drum and Fife, One and All and Run2Me from their well-received Monuments to an Elegy album, the rest of the set played like a greatest hits album. From Ava Adore to Zero to Disarm, the band aimed to please with this rare live glimpse of the band’s yesteryear. As predicted, once 1979 was performed, many fans walked off and called it a night. As Corgan announced that since the fair weather fans and posers had left, they would continue on stage with some hard rockers, as was evident with the thunderous United States from the album Zeitgeist and Stand Inside Your Love from Machina
Adding to the excitement of the rock-solid performance was the inclusion of original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin who fit right back in behind the skins as if he’d never left. Complimenting his backbone beat was the inclusion of bassist Jack Bates, son of legendary New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook. He fit in very well and added an element of style and coolness on stage. The band ended the show with an encore of Today, which ended the party nicely.

 

Corgan during his Q and A Session


 

Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder performing “Perfect.”


 

Billy Corgan During “One and All.”

   

  

Rob Watts at Peabody Institute Library (Book Signing.)

  

Thanks to those who came out for the June 4th signing of Rob Watts’ The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove. Was great meeting so many nice people as well as many talented authors from the area. Couldn’t make it out that night? You can purchase copies of The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove (Book & CD) at RobWattsOnline.com and OceanViewPress.com

  

Out of their Shadows by Ranjana Kamo (Book Review)

  

Out of their Shadows by Ranjana Kamo

Review by Rob Watts

A wonderfully told story about faith, love, commitment and success. Two of the protagonists, particularly Nita and Sagar, are very well developed and are easily identifiable for the reader. The challenges that they face within the story are very relatable issues that anyone can attest to at one point or another in their life. Without giving anything away, Nita is on a journey towards success, but not the type of success one might automatically assume. Her personal journey towards her goal is one of dedication and drive, despite the pitfalls that lie ahead. Sagar has romantic feelings for someone (I won’t say who) and must gather up the courage to share his true feelings. He could be denied the happiness he’s in search of if he doesn’t. The story as a whole is very inspiring. It forces the reader to take stock in the gifts we’ve been given in life, as well as appreciating the tools afforded to us in life to go after what we really want. As cleverly implemented in the story, it’s patience, dedication, faith and loyalty that truly get us to the achievements we seek in life. Ranjana Kamo has a wonderfully unique way of getting this across to the reader in a very entertaining and subtle fashion.

Purchase Out of their Shadows at Amazon.com