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!! 

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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.

  

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

  

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

  

The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove by Rob Watts: Now Available! 

  

The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove, the new Mystery / Thriller by Rob Watts is now available at a discounted price of $19.99 and FREE shipping until June 30th. This special edition hardcover includes a 20 song soundtrack performed by Watts specifically for the novel. All orders between now and June 30th will receive a free limited edition 5″ clear vinyl album of “The Gathering” from the soundtrack (while supplies last.) All books come signed and will ship June 2nd. 

The novel will be available digitally June 2nd.

Purchase your copy at Ocean View Press or RobWattsOnline.com

The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove: Soundtrack Now Available

The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove by Rob Watts (Digital Version)

The digital version of the soundtrack to The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove by Rob Watts is now available on iTunes, Spotify and all other major download and streaming services. The physical version will be available with the novel of the same same on June 30th. 

Cover Reveal: The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove! 

Cover Design by Nicolene Lorette Design

My latest project, The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove, will be released on June 30th. This Thriller/Mystery is based on my previous three-book-at-a-time novella series, which started back in 2011. For those unfamiliar with that series, it consisted of three standalone tales set against the backdrop of Cedar Grove, Massachusetts, a fictional New England town. Each story focused on a different protagonist, faced with their own personal conflicts. Each story, however, tied together with the next in ways known only to me at the time, as each novella was left with a cliffhanger ending. Now, all the answers are revealed, and through this reimagined telling of those three accounts, you’re sure to enjoy your adventure through the crooked roads through Cedar Grove! 

The cover design was performed by Nicolene Lorette Design. Readers of my previous release, Left-Hand Path, will be familiar with Nicolene’s work as she had done the cover art for that project. 

There’s an unsettling anomaly dwelling in the picturesque New England town of Cedar Grove. Kathleen, a seventeen-year-old newcomer to the town, is harassed and bullied by her classmates. Alex and Bethany purchase a beautiful home for well-below its value, only to discover that the reduced price offers them more than they bargained for. Brian develops an infatuation with a girl he finds online, but she’s not who he expects. There is a sinister presence silently twisting their fates together on the crooked roads through Cedar Grove.

In addition to the story, this Casebound Special Edition includes a 20 song soundtrack of original music written, composed and performed by yours truly. If you enjoyed suspenseful film scores from the late 70s and early 80s (think Howard Shore, John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream), then you’ll most likely enjoy the accompanying soundtrack of hypnotic, kaleidoscopic music. 

“The Crooked Roads” will be available in select stores June 30th. Pre-orders for the book will begin next week online at Ocean View Press. Pre-orders will be offered at a discounted price before the official release date and will include a very special gift. Don’t miss out! 

Can’t wait until June 30th? 

I’ll be on hand signing copies of the new book/CD at the following venues beforehand:

June 4th- The Peabody Institute Library of Danvers in Danvers, MA

June 20th- Nashua Public Library in Nashua, NH

June 27th- New Jersey Comic & Anime in Morristown, NJ

If you live nearby, stop by and have your copy signed! Until, next post—happy weekend!