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Meet the Author - John Ling

How do you feel about digital publishing?
If you are an author who loves colouring outside the lines, then digital publishing is a godsend. You’re answerable to no one but yourself and your readers. And, if you publish directly on Amazon, you get to keep 75% of your royalties.

The potential is enormous if you want to sell stories that would otherwise be ignored by the traditional press. Novellas and new forms of interactive fiction are good examples of this.

It’s no surprise, then, that even established writers like David Mamet are opting to bypass the gatekeepers in order to put out experimental works on their own.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Hands down, it would have to be marketing. With thousands of books flooding the market every week, it can be real challenge for any author stand out and be noticed.

Investing in a good cover, a good blurb and good advertising always helps. However, there’s a lot of trial and error involved, and what worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. It’s a dynamic environment where things are always changing. You have to be on your toes if you want to keep ahead of the pack.

Not surprisingly, writing and publishing a book is just 10% of the battle. The other 90% boils down to good marketing.

What marketing works for you?
Pricing one of my books at 99-cents for a short time and then being sure to announce it in advance in order to create awareness of the sale. The bounceback is always positive and helps lift sales of my other work as well.

What’s your next project?
My next project is a contemporary version of Casablanca set amidst the War of Terror—a love triangle among spies.

Do you plan to publish more books?
Absolutely. There are still many more stories I want to tell. But there’s never enough time to tell them all. There never is.

What’s the last book you read? Tell us about it.
The last book I read was Thief by Fuminori Nakamura. It’s a brilliant piece of neo-noir about a pickpocket plying his trade on streets of Tokyo. Part crime thriller, part surrealistic urban odyssey, Thief is the kind of fiction I love. It entertains, provokes and informs, and it packs one hell of an emotional wallop despite its deceptively short length.

Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?
It’s important to read widely and examine the works of other authors who have written in your chosen genre.
For example, why does a particular book captivate you? Why do the characters make such a big impression? How does the story make you feel once you have turned the last page? It’s amazing how much you can learn just by observing and dissecting the craft of other authors. It’s the key to finding out what works and what doesn’t.

What is your favourite quote?
In the eternal words of Winston Churchill, ‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.’

What social issues interest you the most?
Freedom of speech, or rather, the lack of it in today’s increasingly polarised world.

How can readers connect with you?
I maintain a website at http://www.johnling.net
I also maintain a blog at http://johnlingblog.wordpress.com
I’m always happy to hear from my readers. Complaints about how my work has offended them are especially welcomed. =)

What is your favourite movie?
My favourite movie is Heat. A brilliant cop and a brilliant thief collide against the backdrop of an emotionally charged bank heist. It’s a premise that’s been endlessly recycled yet seldom improved upon.
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are at the top of their game here, giving masterful performances, and director Michael Mann films the urban sprawl of Los Angeles with cinematography that can only be described as epic.
If you haven’t seen Heat, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s the crime drama to top all crime dramas. You owe it to yourself to rent it.

Fallen Angel
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG13
More details about the author & the book

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