Cedar Sanderson: Why do you write?
Archer Garrett: I started writing last year because I always thought I could write, but had never acted on it. One day I just decided to give it a shot. Fortunately, and through no skill of my own, I had some level of success. That success has sustained me through several books. Had my first book flopped, I probably would have given up.
ASM: Why did you decide to self-publish?
AG: After reading about the trials of others and stumbling onto Amazon’s KDP, I decided it was my only chance at ever selling a book.
ASM: Where did you publish? Amazon, Smashwords, B&N? What made you choose the platform(s) you did use?
AG: All. Everywhere. Sometimes I stand in the intersection and wash windows and sell books for the odd nickel or dime. No sense in not putting your books everywhere you can.
ASM: How did you format your manuscript?
AG: Format? Hmmm, I wrote it in Microsoft Word with spacing and indentions that seemed appealing to me. When I uploaded it into KDP, it looked good enough (perfect is my enemy — ask my wife). For Createspace (Amazon Print on Demand for paperbacks), I use their templates. For Smashwords, I paid someone to format my first book and then used it as a template.
ASM: How has it worked in terms of sales (I do not need specifics)?
AG: Sales have been good, but I think I’m an exception. I broke into and wrote for a community that is supportive of their “own”. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way too. My flagship series is a little dystopian and western, set in an economic-collapse America. So like, it takes place two weeks from now. 😉
A sample of Book 1 in that series is available for free Here.
ASM: Would you do it again? Or would you prefer to publish through traditional routes?
AG: I would’ve spent more time proofreading my work early on. Other than that, I wouldn’t change much.
ASM: Do you call yourself self-published, or an independent publisher? And why?
AG: I’m just some dude, selling words to shady characters on a faintly-lit street corner. Sirens wail in the distance. Smog hangs heavy in the air. This is the place no self-respecting literary type would ever tread — for long. Maybe one day, when I’m comfortable in my skin as a writer, I’ll give myself a title. Until then, I think I’m just a word hustler. Speaking of which… psst — you over there — looking to score a word or two?