Author Spotlight: Brandon Zenner

See full issue for 2016 03-14

If you had a writing motto what would it be?
I've never thought much about what my writing motto would be, so I hope my response sounds genuine. I guess it would be, "Persistence and patience." I think just about every author will agree that persistence is important. Just like any muscle, the more it's worked the stronger it will become. And patience to deal with the long time frame it takes to finish each phase of writing: rough draft, editing, proofreading, etc.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Each story needs different inspiration from different sources. Some times the inspiration is there before I need to go looking, it just sort of appears. I typical start with just a rough outline, and the bulk of the story seems to write itself, like I'm watching a movie. A few tactics I use to clear my head, and help me approach a project or a difficult chapter, is first: I go for runs (usually with my dog, Wyatt), and two: I meditate.

What is one interesting fact about you?
If I had to choose one fact, It's probably that I'm a full time bartender, working for over a decade in a busy Irish pub. The odd people I've met and the strange experiences I've seen never cease to amaze me. For instance, I saw a guy try to drink a bottle of ketchup just a few months ago ... seriously, he picked it up and took a sip, had no idea what he was doing. That was a new one for me.

Have you learned anything from the self publishing process and would you do anything differently next time?
Absolutely, to both questions. I didn't know anything about indie publishing before I jumped in head first; so everything I've done, from finding editors, cover designers, etc., was all a learning experience. What would I do differently? I would have spent more time polishing my first novel before putting it live. There were a handful of grammatical errors and it needed a professional cover. I got those things fixed quickly, but a few of my early negative reviews could have been avoided, and they will haunt me forever.

What has been your most successful marketing strategy?
If I had to choose one strategy that worked for me, it was using Bookbub to distribute my novel and gain exposure. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a marketing strategy, so just to give a quick second, I found it is very important to have my website and all of my social media outlets professional looking and polished.

What is the best kept secret you have found in regard to indie publishing?
If there are any best kept secrets out there, I'm still looking for them. There is a podcast that I highly recommend, particularly to anyone new to indie publishing—The Author Hangout. I think there's something like sixty episodes, and they're all pretty insightful. I learned how to start up an email list, and some basic ways to conduct giveaways, discounts, etc.

Visit the author’s website

Contact Us    Visit the original Underground
Quality reviews of independent literature from 2011 - 2018