Thursday, July 14, 2016

PUYB Chats with Sean Dow, author of 'A Leafy Green World'

Sean Dow is a pulmonary and critical care physician in Great Falls, Montana. He started writing thriller novels in 2011, and has three titles, one of which, Debridement, is in its second printing and is being made into a feature film.

Sean was born in Iowa City, but was raised on a small farm in Kansas before leaving for medical school, and the adventures beyond. His career was largely in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a town that still feels like home. He did a brief stent in Las Vegas before moving to the paradise of Montana. When not working or writing, Sean can be found in the kitchen perfecting his New York cheesecake, or on the mountain streams with Bailey, his beloved (and perfectly behaved) Mastiff and his favorite 2 weight fly rod-a parting gift from a dear friend and patient.

His latest books are A Leafy Green World and Al-thar.
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About the Book:

Title: A Leafy Green World
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 449
Genre: Thriller

A Leafy Green World is a fast paced, action packed thriller set in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Brent Holcomb has moved to Portland in hopes of resurrecting his life and his career. There, he meets Robyn-the girl from his dreams. All is going smoothly until he realizes Robyn and her friends are not what they seem. Now, wrapped up in the murder of an innocent man, and with nowhere to turn, Brent forms a bold plan-a plan that will put him on a dangerous course, aligning himself with domestic terrorists and ultimately, a deeply hidden cell of Islamic terrorists. 

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

I did extensive internet research on eco-terror groups, doubtlessly putting me squarely in the sights of NSA. I joked about that, until the Edward Snowden revelations, now I look for black Suburbans and stealth helicopters!

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

After hearing horror stories from others who had spent months trying to go the traditional route I decided to self-publish. Very glad I did, though the marketing of an established publisher would be nice.

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?

I did my own formatting, using the guidelines put out by Smashwords. Not being very computer literate, it was an adventure, but there is a sense of accomplishment when achieving something that doesn’t come naturally to you.

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

I set my price to be as low as possible without losing with each sale. When faced with competition from well known and loved authors with major publishers behind them, who can sell thousands of books at $7.99 or $8.99 it seems foolish for an unknown author to charge two or three times that, and hope to sell any books.

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

No, I was eager to get it out as soon as possible. I had hoped to have it out in time for Christmas shopping, but missed by about a month.

How did you choose your cover?

For A Leafy Green World I wanted a cover that would reflect the natural scenes of the story, and yet be a little sinister. For Al-thar I searched for weeks for the right idea. Nothing seemed right until I came across a stock image of a turbaned head with a hidden face-it was perfect, the hidden, mysterious terrorist inviting the reader to question what was within. A little tweaking by a favorite graphic artist, and it was done.

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

I wrote the story and then went back and revised several times before sending off for a detailed edit, then revised again with those well thought out recommendations.
Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

I am thinking of making book marks for my next event, but so far have not ventured in that direction.

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

I have done a few giveaways. Have gotten some feedback and a few reviews, hard to say if they have made any appreciable difference in sales. Discount pricing through Amazon Kindle, however, has been quite successful.

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

1-Buy the best quality edit you can afford.
2-Use social media to alert friends of the upcoming release
3-Have a marketing plan in mind, including a good quality website.

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

1-Join Goodreads, it is a great resource for exposing your book to the reading public.
2-Make in person visits to local books stores in your area, especially independents.
3-Don’t be afraid to bring your work to people’s attention, be proud of your accomplishment and give them a chance to know it is out there. Some will want to read it, others won’t, but word of mouth has been my best advertising, and odds are good you will come across others who have written, or would like to, and who would be happy for advice and encouragement.

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

I had an audience built up after my first novel, Debridement. That made it easy to use social media to promote A Leafy Green World and Al-thar before their release.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

I am still exploring marketing options, looking for ways to gain more exposure. So far, no plans for further sequels, but who knows…?

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

Thanks for reading my stories, and I sincerely hope I have provided a few smiles.

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