Saturday, October 15, 2011

Indie Insider - Michael Rusch

How are your book covers designed?

I am lucky enough to have a brother, Jeremy Rusch, who is a graphic designer and was interested in reading and critiquing my books “Overrun” and “Overrun: Project Hideaway” as well as creating the cover art for both.

What do you do when you get writers block?

I do something else. I don’t think anything beneficial comes from forcing something. Forcing things just makes you frustrated, upset, and sick of the project and the people around you. I just take a step back and stop working on it for a few hours or days. I find getting some sleep and some time away from the project and easing back into it slowly is the best way to reenergize and get through whatever stumbling blocks I’ve come across. Unless of course you have a tight deadline, and then lots and lots of coffee and a conscious effort not to panic is what I recommend.

How many hours a week do you spend writing? Editing? Procrastinating?

Not as many as I would like. To be an indie writer means…to pay the rent you also have to be something else. I am a marketing and public relations person in the public sector. When I was writing and editing “Overrun” and “Overrun: Project Hideaway”, I would work full time, and then work on this project for 3-4 hours a night. If I really got going, it often was much longer. When they were written, I would then spend the same amount of time editing. I am very excited about both of these books, and therefore I focused my time and energy into making these two projects the best they could possibly be. Once I was finished editing, I started making them available as e-books. I received reader comments on the e-books, and I went back and edited some more. I have them the way I want them, and now I spend my time promoting them.

How long does it take you to create a book from start to finish on average?

I’ve been very dedicated to my two books Overrun and Overrun: Project Hideaway in terms of making them the best action/adventure books they could possibly be. It took at least a year to write the rough draft of each. Then countless months of editing. And re-editing. And then editing those edits. After that, I let some friends look at it, and after those critiques there was always still more editing to do. I would love to take the time to work on several books. However, I would like people to enjoy and appreciate what I’ve written rather than being bogged down by typos, obscure paragraphs, poor sentence structure, etc. I am interested in people being enjoying and being immersed in the story and not being turned off by my mechanics of writing.

Where do you get your ebooks formatted?

I formatted my books myself. I had already done this when I started noticing there were services out there that can do this for you. The amount of time I spent on figuring out how to format was excruciating. If I was going to start from scratch (before figuring out how to format on my own), I think I would have researched one of these services.

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I have a degree in journalism and my career involves a great deal of copywriting, so I have not used a professional editor. Though, I would not recommend ruling out these types of services. I do utilize beta readers made up of friends and family mostly, all of whom are as interested in the action/adventure genre as I am.

Which is the most important social media platform and why?

I’m a fan of Facebook and Twitter, because both are easy to use. I believe they are the most popular ones out there due to the fact they are easy to use.

What are three resources/web sites that are indispensable for authors?

I think Kindle Direct Publishing (at Amazon),, and either Twitter or Facebook are the most indispensable for authors. With e-books and social media, indie authors now have opportunities more so than ever before to easily publish their works without a publishing house or agent and then effectively promote it on a world wide scale almost instantly and with little to no cost.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I whole heartedly recommend focusing your efforts on editing your books as much if not more so than writing it. After you’ve completed your writing and editing process, I then recommend being open to criticism from your beta readers and be prepared to go back and edit some more.

My goal has not been to churn out a large quantity of books, but to be excited and proud of the projects I’ve produced. We’d all like to write the next bestseller or Hollywood movie some day. I think the revolution of the e-book has provided an opportunity for thousands of indie writers to be discovered by readers like never before. It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that now you can write your book and simply get it out there. You can distribute to a worldwide market at minimal to no expense.

But with this new opportunity, you want to make sure you put out an excellent polished project so that you will be taken seriously, so that other indie writers will be taken seriously, and more books by indie writers will find their way into the e-book devices of eager readers.

My projects are “Overrun” and “Overrun: Project Hideaway”, a two-part sci fi thriller available on Kindle and Smashwords.

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