Author Spotlight: Steven C. Harms

Author Spotlight: Steven C. Harms

See full issue for 2018 09-03
Here at the Underground, our goal is to promote as many quality indie authors as we can. Toward this end, we’re continuing Author Spotlights. Get to know an indie author and learn from their trade secrets.

If you had a writing motto what would it be?
There's a saying in golf that 100% of the putts that are short of the hole never go in. And so it is in this wonderful world of books. The concept is simple... Write! And continue to do so until one day you have a finished manuscript. In other words (no pun intended), 100% of the words never written, will always leave you short of the goal. So write! And don't stop until you hear the sound of the final word, in your final paragraph, on your final chapter being tapped out on your keyboard.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
A few sources inspire me. For one, just seeing authors become great successes drive me to want to join their ranks. Also, when I conceptualize story lines, they originate from a "what if" proposition, and then if I believe the set-up holds great intrigue and is matched by an equally great or greater mystery story for my detective character, Roger Viceroy, to solve, then I'm inspired to write THAT novel. Even though GIVE PLACE TO WRATH is my debut, books two, three, and four are already fleshed out in my head. Sometimes the story line for a future book is so strong, that I've written the opening chapter (book 3 for instance) just to get ink on paper.

What is one interesting fact about you?
My "other" career has included executive positions in the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, and Major League Baseball.

Have you learned anything from the self publishing process and would you do anything differently next time?
By far the most eye-opening piece of the process was the depth and breadth of the marketing that needs to be done. In hindsight, my biggest miss was not garnering nearly enough buzz or awareness on the front side, prior to the book getting published. I've made up a lot of ground with great editorial reviews, but there's a lot of things an author can do to bring attention to your book prior to publication. Rest assured, my second book, which is nearing completion, will incorporate early marketing and awareness campaigns.

What has been your most successful marketing strategy?
A combination of social media campaigns and getting editorial reviews from entities in the genre (mystery/thriller). Sales spikes occurred with each review and I could track lift in my sales during the campaigns. Really, it all adds up - reviews, social media, book signings, book festivals, etc. The main marketing strategy I'm employing is to never have my book in a dormant marketing moment. Always have some strategic effort in play.

What is the best kept secret you have found in regard to indie publishing?
It's an amazing community of support and resources! As a debut author, it's a big, scary world of books with millions out there and you're trying to add your voice to a chorus that's already singing loudly. But you find out that once you have the courage to give it a go and take the step, that chorus becomes a welcome wagon of help and guidance and you're brought into the fold with unconditional support.


Visit the author’s website
Read Give Place to Wrath