Interview, Stefan Vucak

Author Interview-2

Interview with Stefan Vucak

Congratulations on your new book!  Before we ask how you did it, can you tell us a little about your book?

A: Cry of Eagles is about a Mossad conspiracy to drag America into a war. Iran’s nuclear capability represents a clear national threat to Israel. Although concerned, the United States and Europe are reluctant to increase sanctions. Frustrated that nothing is being done, Mossad decides to force the United States into action. A black ops team sabotages a refinery complex in Galveston and plants evidence that incriminates Iran, confident that an enraged America will retaliate. Congress and the public urge the U.S. president to bomb Iran, but the administration lacks direct evidence. With carriers positioned in the Gulf ready to strike, the world waits to see if the Middle East will explode into open conflict. With tension mounting, the FBI uncovers a shocking truth. It wasn’t Iran at all, but Israel! A government falls and America forces Israel to confront the Palestinian problem.

Can you tell us who your publisher is and why you went with them?

A: After researching a number of publishers, I decided to go with Solstice Publishing, and never regretted it. They were prepared to negotiate their contract, and they released my books fairly promptly, something that doesn’t always happen. Although marketing has been left pretty much to my own devices, Solstice has been unique at offering plentiful advice and hints how to go about it, something I greatly appreciated.

Were they your original choice?

A: No, I looked at two others before settling on Solstice. It wasn’t until I delved deeper into the other publishers and how they operate that I decided they were not for me.

Did you go through an agent?

A: I tried getting an agent for some time, and still trying, but all my submissions were made directly to a publisher.

What are the perks of going with a traditional publisher?

A: I cannot say, never been published by a traditional publisher, and that’s not through lack of trying. But living in Australia is a formidable communications barrier. From what I have learned, returns from a traditional publisher are better than doing ebooks, and of course, they market your books, something an ebook publisher doesn’t.

Did you ever consider self-publishing and why or why not?

A: Although I researched self-publishing, I was never drawn to it, perhaps because I equated this outlet with vanity publishers. However, I am looking at this as an option now. The material I reviewed from self-published authors is mostly pretty awful, not that all ebooks from publishers shine either, although I am certain many fine books are self-published. But at least having your book released by an ebook publisher means it has gone through a selection process and was edited – most of the time. However, given the pressures authors live with these days to get their books out and the facilities offered by Createspace or LightningSource, self-publishing is starting to become a viable option.

What do you believe is the biggest obstacle authors face when searching for a traditional publisher?

A: Without a doubt, overcoming the slush pile. Traditional publishers are so wary of taking on a new author, they often miss out on great business opportunities, happy to stay with established ‘sure thing’ writers. And that’s sad, as many of those writers, having written two or three really good books, descend into mediocrity, but publishers stick with them because they will continue making money for them.

What does your publisher do in terms of publicizing your book?

A: Sadly, not much at all, leaving the marketing aspect to me. Although they provide excellent advice and tips how to go about it, it is a hard slog. A little cooperative effort would be good.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge authors face in promoting their books?

A: Lack of skill as a marketer. I like to consider myself a pretty good writer, having learned a lot in my time, and that takes certain skills and personality. Being a marketer requires different skills and personality traits. Unfortunately, these days, publishers seem to demand that you have two personalities, able to cope with writing and marketing.

Are you active in the social networks and which is your favorite?

A: I try to be active and I use several social network tools. I guess Twitter and Facebook are the major ones, although I do post on my website blog. I also belong to several writer groups on Linkedin. I don’t know whether these help my sales, but it does make other people aware that I exist and that I write.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors?

A: If there is one thing I learned over the years as a writer, if anyone is contemplating taking this on seriously, he should be prepared to spend many lonely hours with a pencil and paper, and sitting behind a computer screen. There will be disappointments, frustration, angst … and moments of sheer exhilaration and satisfaction when the words flow and the creative process produces something wonderful. Writing is a gift, but it can also be a curse. But once bitten with the urge to create, there is no cure.


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