About Alaric Longward:
I am Alaric Longward, a dad, a husband, and a writer. I have studied history, religions, and myths all my life. I mainly create furious adventure stories within the historical fiction and fantasy genres, though I plan to try my hand in mystery, sci-fi and horror as well. I’ll do that as soon as I find an alternative dimension, where time stands still. There is just never enough time to get it all done.
The stories can be violent and where some writers like to make the difference between good and evil very clear, my characters are very much flawed human beings. Except in my fantasy stories, of course. There you will have giants and other mythological creatures, but you know what I mean.
To learn more about the stuff I dabble in, visit my website (see below). Make sure to sign up for the newsletter, which is one monthly event, and a very gentle one. I also like to reward my readers, so check out our competitions as well.
BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR:
THE HRABAN CHRONICLES – NOVELS OF ROME AND GERMANIA
THE OATH BREAKER – BOOK 1
RAVEN’S WYRD – BOOK 2
THE WINTER SWORD – BOOK 3
BANE OF GODS – BOOK 4 (COMING 2016)
THE CANTINIÉRE TALES – STORIES OF FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEONIC WARS
JEANETTE’S SWORD – BOOK 1
JEANETTE’S LOVE – BOOK 2
JEANETTE’S CHOICE – BOOK 3 (COMING LATE 2015)
TEN TEARS CHRONICLES – STORIES OF THE NINE WORLDS
THE DARK LEVY – BOOK 1
EYE OF HEL – BOOK 2 (COMING FALL 2015)
THIEF OF MIDGARD – STORIES OF THE NINE WORLDS
THE BEAST OF THE NORTH – BOOK 1 (COMING FALL 2015)
What inspires you to write?
Life. Past failures and successes. News and stories. Wind and rain, sun and heat. Past books. People I love and the few I loath.
Tell us about your writing process.
I generally have a board I build the classical five act structure with at least four chapters each and each chapter has four scenes. I plan the character and story development with ups and downs for each chapter. You have the intro, the middle part, the solution.
Then, when I write, I generally notice what is missing and let go of the structure’s details and let the creative part take over.
I edit in the end, which means it will be tears and pain to see my way through the first draft.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I curse them time and again for being one dimensional and then I make them complicated, and then dumb them down again. It’s harrowing.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is a huge list. Email me, if you want to hear all of it. Let me just blurt out some of the things in here.
1. Write a great story.
2. You don’t need one of these pseudo publishers to make it. Get to know the horizon a bit first. Fail. Try stuff. The main goal is to get your great story in front of people trying to find a story. You got to trust yourself. You have grown up thinking about the five big publishers and then when you don’t get them or an agent, you start looking into anyone who has the word “publisher” in the name to help you out. It is a lot simpler than that.
3. Copyedit and proofread your story. Ask for a good one, use Goodreads, Google them, use Upwork. They are out there waiting for you. If you cannot afford one, get the money somehow.
4. If you have published your book already and are getting flak for bad proofing, redo everything and start over. Pull it, proofread it and serve it again. It’s a book, make it shine and it will flicker out there for years to come.
5. An old book can be a bestseller years from now, when you know what to do. You can always rewrite it if you know how to make it crucially better.
6. Don’t give up.
7. There is a crowd for all the books. Your sales will go up, they will go down (less if you have a good series) and don’t let this put you down. The next promo will help it again and you will have more stuff out there by then.
8. Spend money on the book cover and on the promotions.
9. Get ten reviews to get into the top promotion sites. Make sure you know what these are, as they change. Google stuff, like “Amazon Kindle Promotion Sites.” Make sure the web page advice is current.
10. After the reviews, set up a 99 cent promo, or a free one, if you have a follow up book(s). Get the word out for the promo, pay 150 to 200 dollars for at least four to five better promo sites. You should, if your book looks great, and is in a popular genre, get a bestseller. Possibly your money back for the promotions. Don’t use money on promotions, and it won’t sell.
11. Sure. Use social media, but don’t expect it to sell lots of books. It will eat your time right up. This part is for building your brand. I suck at this. I rather just write and it sometimes hurts me.
12. Learn how to set up FB and Google ads.
13. Hold competitions.
14. Sell inside your book. That is the one thing they will read. Make sure your other books and coming books are mentioned and linked. Make sure your story ends with a line mentioning what the next book is and when it is available.
15. Get a mailing list. Build it and weep, but grow it. Free books might or might not grow it. It’s seasonal. People like free stuff. And free stuff after the free stuff. It’s simple. Give and you shall receive.
16. Write a series. Possibly launch two at the same time and then promote them with weeks in between They sell each other.
17. Write sister series, get them connected somehow.
18. This one should have been the first one. See where others are succeeding.
19 Finally again: don’t give up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have yet to try to get an agent or a traditional publisher for most of my books.
In the November of 2014 I was much more interested in trying the indie side first. The plus side here is that you will find out if your stories are good. You will soon know if they are better than good; they might be great. You will find out if you have your own voice. And you can fix the issues people do not like. You should never take an attitude where you know it all. So far, I have thanked even the obnoxious reviews, and I have learnt tons from the ones who loved them, but wanted something changed. And I have spent weeks changing things. Thats great with indie. You are always at beta stage, and can take feedback and implement it. Of course, in order to test your stories, you have to know how to promote the books during KDP periods, how to build great looking cover (use money on this) etc. But that is all just work and you can do it. Now that I have lots of good reviews I know which of my stories are something that might interest agents.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have a background in ICT business.I was a product manager on a wide variety of subjects, and while I had my fair share of failures, I did learn a lot. I used a crystal ball on many occasions, so I think I’ll try to use it again.
There will be technological advances. I guess story telling will evolve on many levels. There will be increasing amount of interactivity in the books, audio books will open up globally and will be accepted as a great way of telling stories. You will have plenty of music, sound effects, and new ways of making it interesting, almost like a movie, but with more time to show deeper parts of the story. You should try Amazon Studios to push a screenplay of your book. Who knows? It might work. Apps and books. You might make an app these days. Perhaps of your story?
Asian markets and translations services will open up many possibilities for indie publishers.
Indie publishers are agile and getting more agile. Traditional publishing will have to dip into the pools of wisdom of those who have cut their teeth in years of learning how to not only write quickly, but well, and also know how to make the sales. It’s not all good, of course. Author should be careful of these too agile indie publishers. There will be many indie publishers who will sign up less tech savvy authors. They will dazzle them with promises of quality that is not there. They know how to get a decent book cover. Its not hard, by the way. Use Google to find services that can get it done for you. They promise a “bestseller” badge, which is really only about getting a good amount of promotion tools to support you for a promotion period and a good category and a compelling story. Like in Amazon’s case, this will mean a publisher might take sixty to seventy percent of author’s earnings for twenty minutes of submitting info on promotion sites once per book, once in three months KDP period. Some of it is even automated. This is work an author might have done easily on their own, including SEO. Its all in the net. Anyone can learn it. The good thing is that the great stories will still get out. I think the traditional houses might want to create sub brands to pick out the raisins from the indie bun and sign them up on their marketing and editing machine and learn from their interaction with the customer that the traditional house might have never met.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.