Sunday, June 19, 2016

PUYB Chats with Charles M., author of 'The Jungle Within'

Despite growing up in a small town, I always knew I was destined for bigger things. At age eighteen, I enlisted in the US Navy, a move that allowed me to see the world and explore my passion for life. After 6 years and an honorable discharge, I settled into civilian life, earning my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Technology Management.

Always eager to challenge myself with new and different roles, I took on the role of “Author,” writing my debut novel among the roles of full-time engineer, local business owner, and family man. But, I have no plans to stop there!

I am an avid outdoorsman, enjoy camping, hiking, snowboarding, shooting, and fishing, making the Land of Enchantment an ideal place to call home.

I look forward to sharing my novel and experiences with all of you!

Charles’ latest book is the drama/suspense, The Jungle Within.

For More Information
About the Book:

When Evan and Katie said “I do”, they expected to navigate life together side-by-side. But when a car accident and a tawdry affair disrupt life as they know it, Evan and Katie are forced to venture on alternate paths, alone. In the darkest depths of an unforgiving coma, Evan fights to survive the
treacherous jungle of his mind. He embarks on a spiritual journey to understand the meaning of life and the beauty of death…forcing him to face his deepest fear. Meanwhile, Katie ventures through her own guilt. On a strenuous moral journey, she juggles the consequences of infidelity and the strain of caring for her unresponsive husband. But are their paths truly separate? Or are they simply on parallel journeys that are destined to converge?

For More Information

  • The Jungle Within is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Actually I did some basic research, not on the book itself, but on things like number of pages in a chapter and number of words in a book. I had the story for The Jungle Within inside my head and it wasn’t too technical, so I didn’t need any deep research on that sort of stuff. But I was new to writing, so I had to ask questions that a novice would ask. I learned so much, so fast. It’s amazing how much information we have at our fingertips with technology today.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I decided to go with the self-publishing route. I wrote a great story and I was proud of it. I wanted to world to have access to it immediately. The other reason I chose the self-pub route was because after I released it on Amazon, I could always send it to a publishing house afterwards. Which I have recently started doing.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the eBook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

Kindle makes it so easy for you to create your own eBook that the choice was pretty clear. You download an eBook creator from Kindle and upload your PDF or word document and it converts it all for you. It’s really that easy.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

After I finished writing my rough draft I put my book away for a month or so. This is when I had to start figuring out all the little details such as price. For a seasoned writer like Stephen King, you could pretty much name your own price. For an author that is just starting out, you have to be wise about it. If you charge too little, you cheapen your hard work. If you charge too much, readers might not take the chance on a write they’ve never heard of. I settled on the paperback price of $12.99 and the kindle price of $0.99. This is on par with what is considered reasonable.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I chose to release by book on my birthday, March 22, 2016. It was my present to myself. The Jungle Within is my first novel so I’m not sure if there is a hot month to release a book. I’m sure there is, but right now I’m focused on putting out good books and making a name for myself as an author. I don’t think the month that you release a book has a lot of bearing on that.

How did you choose your cover?

The cover to The Jungle Within was clear in my head before I even wrote the book. I knew exactly what it was going to look like. The cover to my book is at the heart of the story. When you read the blurb about the book and look at the cover it sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense, but after you get into the book you quickly realize how it’s related. It’s actually a really beautiful cover.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I actually did both with The Jungle Within. I revised as I went, but also did many, many revisions afterward.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

As an author just starting, I think it’s vital to give your book away. Some people say that if you work hard on something you shouldn’t give it away for free. I initially agreed with this thought but after doing some homework I found that there are so many books and authors out there. If you hang on to your pride you might find that less people hear about you. I want to get my name out there as a solid novelist and with my second novel I might choose to not give away the book as much.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

I think the first and most important thing an author should do is get their book edited. I know this sounds obvious, but I’m talking about getting it edited after you get it edited. One person may miss a few things that someone else will catch. Now I know it’s very difficult to catch every mistake, but the more times it’s seen, the less mistakes there will be. Secondly, an author needs to market their book before it’s released. There are many ways to do this now with social media. The first thing I did was created a website and Facebook page about my book. Get people curious about it. Make it a suspenseful so that it generates some buzz. Lastly, I would say the author needs to temper their expectations. Especially if it’s their first novel and they are self-publishing. I had it in my head that my book would be on the best-selling list within a month. I quickly realized the competition was massive and that I would need to do a lot of work to get the name out there. Good things take time.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Market, market, and market. I mean that. If you are a serious writer you might also want to be working on your next book. Or bask in the glory of having published your first novel. That is entirely up to you.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

See above answer.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

The Jungle Within is my baby. It’s my first book and it’s near and dear to my heart. The only long term plan I have is to hang it on my wall and be proud. I love writing and I plan on writing many more. I want The Jungle Within to be the one that got me started.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

To my fans, thank you for being a fan of my work. I’ve been told I have a unique writing style that they love. I do this partly for me, but mostly for them. If you haven’t the book, I ask that if you have an open mind about spirituality and morals, give it a shot. Most people have been surprised about the wisdom they found inside. Thank you for hosting me.

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