Apr 15, 2015
Kobo Writing Life Director
Mark Lefebvre interviews Alex P. Berg, author of the
“Daggers and Steel” sci-fi mystery series. In the
interview Mark and Alex talk about:
- Meeting at the Superstars Writing Seminars in Colorado Springs,
- What Alex calls “The Superstars Effect”
- How, when Alex had finished his novel and
started querying agents and publishers, he ended up getting nowhere
fast. That was when his wife gave him a proverbial kick in the
pants, telling him that if he was serious about this writing thing,
he better figure out a way to get it done.
- The effect of seeing how hard the pro writers
presenting at the Superstars Writing Seminars worked to achieve
their success combined with their passion for it and how that
inspire Alex to keep at it.
- Starting out as a fan of science fiction and
fantasy, then watching Brandon Sanderson’s online workshops, and
following David Farland’s online and daily email writing tips as a
way to get started
- The commitment to finding and making the time
to write while balancing a full time job and a family. How giving
up other activities that weren’t progressing Alex down the writing
path he had wanted helped in this regard.
- The realization that anyone who says the
cover doesn’t matter is a whole lot of B.S. and how Alex found
experts to assist with the professional touches in his
used South African
based cover designer: Damonza,
and for an editor, he relied on a personal recommendation from an
author friend at Superstars Writing Seminars.
- The business plan approach that Alex took in
which he worked at putting some money aside in order to afford some
of the professional services for his books; with a highlight that
he knew this would be a long term plan rather than just looking for
some sort of short-term payback for his work. (IE, the income stream is going
to last for a long time) If you’re looking at trying to earn your
$2000 back, for example, right away, you’re likely to be
- How, even though the success for his first
few books came a lot sooner than he had planned or expected, his
long term goals and plans haven’t been altered or changed.
- The fact that it is absolutely true what they
say about your second book.
- The importance of accurate and specific
metadata in helping the right readers discover your books
- The music Alex listens to while he is
writing, including something called “melodic death metal” which is
not a lot like regular death metal.
- The band Alestorm and their
brand of “True Scottish Pirate Metal” which Alex is listening to
while working on a forthcoming project.
- One thing Alex wished he had learned a bit
earlier and it was that there are great options out there for
writers and that self-publishing can be a very viable option.
After the interview, Mark discusses the
concept of productivity that Alex spoke about and reads a short
piece from Kevin J. Anderson's book Million Dollar Productivity and
provides a coupon code allowing authors to get the book for $0.99
(rather than the $8.99 USD / $9.99 CDN price it is listed
for). Use coupon code MILLION99 during checkout.
(Please note that the coupon is only good until the end of May