Friday, February 27, 2009

Interview with Justyn Perry

Recently, you've been reading a lot about a new Publishing House called Absolute XPress. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to the energetic, creative, and talented young man who is the driving force behind this exciting new publisher. Justyn also holds down the title of Marketing Manager for one of the largest publishers in Canada, and has written a fabulous guide to help authors both new and established to get more exposure for their books and themselves. The guide is an invaluable tool, and one most authors should have in their collection. So, take a moment to read what Justyn has to say about this booming business, then pop over to the website and see what Absolute XPress is offering you in the way of quality books, both print and electronic!

Justyn Perry,
A brief Interview:

Q. As the marketing director for a traditional print publisher, what is the primary difference you've discovered between that style of marketing and what is needed in promotions for electronic publishing?

A. I have noticed a variety of changes. With E-Books, you are able to promote anywhere to anyone and in return, they can enjoy the book without having to order it from a bookstore. Most of the marketing efforts needed for E-Books are done on the internet. I have found that print advertising for an electronic product is a hard sell because most people generally are not reading a magazine or newspaper while being on the internet browsing. The material needed for promotion and marketing needs to be geared more towards digital and less towards physical.

Q. What made you see the need for a book like this one for authors?

A. I saw a need for first time or beginning authors who do not have a clue on how to promote themselves and their books, to get the information they need for a base. I think of this book as a starting point for any author. There are things that I learned over the past few years that some authors overlooked, missed, or thought they couldn't do it because they weren't big enough. I also saw that current authors (both EDGE and Absolute XPress) were scared of this word Marketing. Some thought that it was something that a degree holder can do and not them. But that isn't the case. Anyone can market, and anyone can promote their book. All it takes is some guidance, encouragement, and elbow grease. Marketing isn't easy, but it does get easier with time.

Q. What do you see as the biggest need for authors in e-publishing today?

A. The biggest need I think is an author who is willing to get out there and promote their book and themselves. There are very inexpensive ways to make up printed things such as bookmarks, postcards, magnets, etc. Authors should also have awareness. They should be current (or as current as can be) with various blogs, forums etc.

Q. Electronic publishing is clearly the way of the future, but the speed of product delivery is flooding the market with so many books at such a rapid pace - do you feel quality is being sacrificed for quantity?

A. I do see a diminishing quality in the books produced. I was doing some online research and came across quite a few places that had some great product initially, but then sacrificed quality to get the quantity up. With Absolute XPress, we are keeping the same level of quality and trying to push up the quantity. We are doing this with strategic release dates. Currently, we are doing 2 E-Books a month, but we started the process about 4 months prior to the release date. This gave us enough time to do editorial, layout, and get the covers done. We have a great group of staff members who are currently volunteering to help us out, but will be moved to a paying position once Absolute XPress grows.

Q. Are authors of eBooks more recreational in your opinion than authors who go the traditional route, because many ebook authors are totally unaware that print books can take several years to reach the market from submission to finished product?

A. The life of an E-Book author is somewhat short lived. Because there is so much published each month, their book may only get 2 or 3 months before it becomes old. This forces the author to recreate their marketing efforts and plug their book(s) even harder so that they can have increased sales.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you can offer to anyone who is interested in submitting to the various divisions of Absolute XPress?

A. The best advice is to make sure that what you submit is as polished as can be. I am not suggesting getting an editor to look at it. But instead getting a few friends to look it over and proof read it. Another good tip is to not get hopes up too much.

To order a copy of PROMOTING YOURSELF
visit Absolute XPress HERE


  1. "Another good tip is to not get hopes up too much."

    In response to this last line, which surprised me after reading such an upbeat article, I have to say that hope is not a strategy. Hope is what you have after putting a strategy to work.

    If you submit to a publisher without hoping for much, why bother at all? I've sold 7 books and 2 short stories, and it never once occurred to me not to "hope."

    However, I also had plans in place for where I would send the manuscript next if they didn't buy it. If you submit to one publisher and think this is your only chance, your only opportunity, and they say no, your hopes are dashed.

    Always have a strategy for two things before you submit.

    1) where do I send it next if it's rejected?
    2) if they buy it, where do I start promoting?

    Remember, hope is not a strategy. It is the result of having put a strategy into place.

  2. The book itself is wonderful. There are a number of resources that I hadn't even thought about and there is a workbook included for authors so that they can track and see what they have done, what works for them and if they are best promoting themselves.

    Great job Justyn.

  3. Great interview! I recently read the book and think it's going to be a helpful asset.



  4. Kayelle,

    In response to your point, I would like to comment. The question was about advice, not strategy. The part about not getting to high of hopes was that I have seen many authors get very excited that a publisher is reading their stuff, so excited that they start advertising that their book WILL be published by the publisher when in fact the publisher has not said yes or no. It was a simple piece of advice to tell authors that even though the publisher has agreed to look at it, they shouldn't get their hopes up too much that it will get published because when that dreaded rejection letter comes, it's a worse blow. I agree that the author should turn right around and ask, where can I submit it too now, but at the same time they should revisit their manuscript to see why it was rejected and how it can be improved.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!


  5. Justyn,
    in that context, you were absolutely right. It seemed like such a forlorn way to end a piece of advice that it really bothered me. Perhaps adding a line with a more positive note would have made a difference in how I took it. The last line of an article is often seen as a summary of content, and that one was such a bummer I had to put a positive spin on it. I'm glass half-full kind of person. Can you tell?

    btw, I now have a copy of your book and will upload it to my pda tonight so I can start reading.

    Thanks for taking time to do this interview, and for responding to my comment. It was gracious of you, and I appreciate you taking the time.

  6. Thank you Kayelle for purchasing the e-copy of my book. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them.




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