We’re pleased to feature Victor A. Davis, author of multiple short stories including the Grains of Sand collection. Victor has lived in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Texas. He has been a short story writer since high school, despite studying mathematics and computers at university. He works freelance in the field of IT, and writes constantly. He now lives in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.
Victor, I like your covers. Short story authors often need plenty of covers. Who makes them? Up until now I’ve done all my own covers. I’ve only recently started reaching out to professional cover designers to try to find an artist with whom I can establish a long-term relationship. The main reason is economics. A cover for an ordinary book costs the same as for a 20-page, 99-cent short story. It’s hard enough as an indie author to recover your investment on editing, advertising, and art for a normal-priced book. It’s just not possible when marketing individual stories. I really think of them more like illustrations. Each story gets its own illustration, and the collection gets a bona fide cover.
Why did you start blogging? Peer pressure. All I ever wanted to do was write short stories and have people read them and love them. I was naive. Everybody blogs, and it’s the only way for an indie to become recognized enough so that people try to reach out and read your work.
How does your blog assist with your writing goals? Blogging is the only way an indie author can announce to the world that they exist.
Do you use Blogger, WordPress.com or WordPress.org? I use WordPress software on my own site. That is, I use WordPress software but own my own domain: http://www.mediascover.com.
Mediascover is different: how did you decide on the domain name? I hated it! As soon as I signed up for a hosting account I started trying all the domains I could think of and they were all taken. Those bastards! Finally, I settled on this silly-sounding mashup of the words “media” and “discover” and just decided to live with it. It’s grown on me. What I like about it now is that there’s nobody to compete with. I’m the first hit on google when you google “mediascover” because it’s a unique combination of letters. If I called myself “Victor’s Awesome Blog,” there’s less chance of accomplishing that because each word on its own is used so much out there.
What do you like about your blog? I like having my own little corner of the internet. It feels not unlike when you move out and get your own apartment for the first time.
What bugs you about it? The nice themes cost money, and you never really know if they’ll work until after you buy them and spend weeks tailor-fitting them. I think mine is a little simplistic, but I’ve invested so much time in setting it up. I’ll probably change it only if I make it big.
Victor, do you feel it’s important to capture emails? I’ve heard it’s important. I just started a mailing list recently and haven’t really spent a lot of time soliciting subscribers yet.
Do you run surveys or take polls? No, I don’t have nearly enough traffic for that.
How do you engage comments or attempt to, which can be so challenging? I don’t. My blog is my space, like a public journal. I am very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. I think of my blog more as a studio than a social medium.
Great to be OK with that approach! It took me ages. Might you create a book from your blog posts? No. My idle thoughts aren’t interesting enough for a book. My biggest two subjects are my short stories and my book reviews.
What’s a good link for readers to find your books? Goodreads
Anything else you can share with newbie authors? The name of the game is reciprocity. Nobody will care about what you do until you care about what other people do. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a book that helped inspire me to turn up the notch a bit in the blogging arena. If you want reviews, offer reviews. If you want to be read, read other indies. If you want to be famous, connect with other famous bloggers/authors and ask them questions. The writing process has such a “monk” feel, a meditative trance in a dark isolated room. Marketing is the opposite, and you must learn the concepts of the network.
Couldn’t have said it better. Thank you!
See Victor A. Davis books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Victor-A.-Davis/e/B00KQRJC92/