Author Tim Baker recommends publishing independentlyPosted: February 9, 2012 | |
Independent author Tim Baker has published four novels, under his own personal brand, Blindogg Books, and has at least three more in the making. He published his first book, Living the Dream, in 2009: a story about a kid-napping plot that takes some crazy twists and turns along the way. Since then, he has published Water Hazard, where a stolen set of CDs leads the unwitting hero into more mayhem than he ever imagined; No Good Deed, in which an embezzlement scheme drags unsuspecting characters into the mix to combine forces and outwit the bad guys; and Backseat to Justice, where an effort to find a murderer leads to a web of intrigue that is full of surprises. In fact, all of his books hold surprises in store, making readers feel as if they are on a literary roller coaster at times.
For Tim Baker, writing is a way of life, or as he puts it, “That first novel was a long and arduous process but the dam had burst and I couldn’t hold back the flood. Now I’ve gotten to the point where I am always writing in my head.” His delightful stories begin with “what ifs”, not unlike bestselling author Stephen King (Danse Macbre). Baker’s imagination, however, may not be as bizarre as King’s. Tim likes his readers to feel as if the situations in his stories could possibly happen to them, which he feels is crucial in having them relate to his stories.
“The one key factor I strive to maintain is something I call “the real-life” factor. In a nutshell it works like this…sometimes our lives can be seriously altered by a seemingly insignificant event. A guy forgets to set his alarm clock…the next morning he wakes up late and he’s driving to work but his normal coffee shop has a line a mile long at the drive-thru. He’s running late so he goes to a different one. While he’s there he gets caught up in a hold-up and gets himself shot. All because he forgot to set his alarm clock.”
Tim would recommend becoming an independent author, (what some refer to as self-publishing), for writers trying to get published, as long as they realize that becoming an independent author is a lot of work, with no high paying advances, and no high powered marketing firm to tell the world about your book.
“It’s all on you – and believe me, it’s a full time job. If there’s somebody reading this who thinks they have a book inside them, I say write it…but understand that writing it is only the beginning. Once it is written, edited, re-written, re-edited and re-written again, then formatted and printed – the real work starts. Promoting it.”
When he is not actually writing, he is promoting his work, as all independent authors must. Baker says that he spends countless hours on spreading the word and generating sales. He has reached out successfully to readers through newspaper articles, blog-talk radio and personal appearances, but about 85% of his advertising is done through social media.
“Unless you have a large marketing firm behind you (which is rare) social networking is your bread and butter. You can potentially reach millions of people for practically free. I would say that for every hour I spend writing I spend two hours promoting myself one way or another.”
In addition to the time he spends on writing and promoting his work, Tim holds down a day job in civil engineering and donates time to a local charity, Christmas Come True (www.christmascometrue.org ), that provides Christmas to needy families that are unable to provide Christmas for themselves. He cherishes leisure time, when he can ride his motorcycle along the Florida coast and frequent all the places where his characters hang out. Tim is also interested in martial arts and is a wiffle ball champion, as well as being a huge animal lover.
Tim’s love for animals is apparent in his Facebook “Likes”, which include books about dogs, animal rescue resource pages, animal oriented non-profit organizations, dogs trained to surf with individuals with disabilities, Misty the Dog and Friends, Guiding Eyes for the Blind. In fact, in the 90’s Tim Baker raised Labrador retriever pups to be used as guide dogs for the blind, which may have a lot to do with him calling his brand Blindogg Books, and half the proceeds from his e-book, Back Seat to Justice, will be donated to a non-profit animal rescue organization, Golden Hugs Rescue Inc., (http://www.goldenhuggs.org/index.htm ). Though he considers himself to be “primarily a dog person”, he currently has two cats, Philbert and Blaise.
One might wonder how Tim finds time for all of these things, but somehow he does. His next book, Pump It Up, is due to be out this coming summer and promises to be as fast paced and exciting as all of his previous books, and delves into the realm of black market silicone treatments. He is also planning two others: Unfinished Business, which will explore the connection between this existence and the one beyond death; and Full Circle, which deals with “karma, fate and the forces of the universe.”
As a final thought, Tim would like to add,
“Thank you offering me the opportunity to discuss my work. For anybody who might have more questions, I am more than happy to answer them. I enjoy meeting new readers and exchanging thoughts and ideas – so feel free to connect with me on Facebook, start a discussion, email me – whatever. You’ll get a response from me (not an intern or a flunky) I promise.”