Indie Author Interviews: J.D. Weston

Action thriller author J.D. Weston flew to self-publishing success through his Stone Cold Thriller Series.

His books consistently rank in the top 100 in Organised Crime, Hard-Boiled Mystery, and Vigilante categories on Amazon. They make a huge impact in the action thriller world and reach audiences far beyond the genre. Readers love it. The fast-paced, heart-racing story lines. The vibrant, complex personalities. And, of course, the brooding, enticingly dangerous Harvey Stone.

I’m used to chatting with John over Skype. Have been doing so since I first began editing his books back in 2017. But, when I’m not asking to see his dog on the webcam, we’re usually discussing and dissecting his stories. The action-packed events. Their thrilling, often shocking, moments. And the complex, enthralling intentions of his characters. So, it was really fun for me to sit down with John one Sunday morning and dive, instead, into the depths and developments of his personal story as an indie author.

Read ahead for the advice, insights, and anecdotes of J.D. Weston, and learn from someone who openly admits, he’s made many of the mistakes an indie author is to make.

Watch the full interview in the video above!

Hi, John!

Hi, how’re you doing?

Yeah, not too bad. Thanks for joining us. You’re our first Savage Edits interviewee for our blog series, which will interview indie authors, getting advice, getting insights.

So, all the mistakes go on me, yeah?

Yeah, exactly. You’re our guinea pig.

Sounds like my career.

Well, it’s going pretty well. So, I wouldn’t complain too much. Let’s start off talking about your Stone Cold Thriller Series. That’s what kicked it all off for you. Where did the idea for Harvey come from?

I’ve always been a Jack Reacher fan. Same as millions of people. And I always read that genre of book, among others. I wanted to do something similar. There’s lots out there. It’s not saturated because there’s plenty of readers. But I also wanted to do something different. And I’m not in the military. Never have been in the military. I’ve got friends who have, and I know plenty of people who could have helped me, but it’s not something I could have spoken fluently about.

But what I did have was a bit of a shady past. I messed around with the wrong people when I was younger. Not that I was a criminal or anything. But I knew people that were up to no good and I knew how it all worked. So, I wanted to write someone like a lovable rogue, if you like, which is exactly what Harvey turned out to be. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t talk about crime, as such, but I knew more about it than anything else. And I can make it work. I can write someone who has done wrong but is now doing good. Or he’s doing bad things for the right reasons. People get into that, a lovable rogue.

Definitely. It’s one of the best things about Harvey’s character, this complexity of morality.

Yeah, makes it really interesting. I can’t talk about the technicalities of a gun, for example. I can shoot. But I don’t know the different models of a gun and the scopes. I think I could have done the research and I could’ve asked people, but I wouldn’t talk fluently about that stuff. Unless you’ve got that kind of background, it really comes through. If you look at the reviews of other books by people who perhaps haven’t got the experience either, it comes through for the readers. When reading about guns, someone who loves guns will pick up on everything. Someone who’s been a cop for twenty years will know the ins and outs.

So, you have to tread very carefully. You have to get it exactly right. I don’t think you should limit yourself to writing what you know. You should always push yourself. But it’s great to have a grounding in whatever you’re talking about.

The series has been really popular. Everyone loves Harvey. Hugely successful. What did you do to become successful in the self-publishing world?

There’s a couple of factors.

First of all, I learned a hell of a lot. Literally every spare second of the day, I was listening to an audiobook or a podcast. There’s such a wide range of tasks you need to do as a self-published author, especially when you start. So, it’s not just about writing the book. It’s about the keywords you choose. Your covers. Whether you’re going to go wide or stay exclusive to Amazon. And it’s about learning the right things in the right order. There’s no point learning how to market a book before you’ve written the book.

Secondly, simply treat it like a business. I measure everything. I measure how many page reads I get on Kindle unlimited. I measure how many sales I get. I measure my read through. I measure my ad spend. I measure my return. I measure absolutely everything. Every week. Fortunately, I’ve worked for some of the biggest companies on the planet, Walt Disney, Facebook, top five law firms, and they all do one thing similar. They have a weekly meeting when all the different entities come in and share their results. It’s a process of continuous improvement.

So that’s what they do. And that’s what I try to do. I measure my results and give myself a target for the next week. Say, this week, I’m going to concentrate on revamping my book covers and raise the bar a little more. And then next week I might home in on ads and try to get a bit more out of them. Every week, try to achieve something else. It’s continuous. Never stops. There are small, incremental changes you should be making all the time.

That’s where it makes a difference. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Interesting. So many writers will focus on the writing side and think that’s enough. But if you get into the business mentality, you think that’s just as important?

Yes. And it doesn’t have to be complex. A lot of people out there say they’re not good at the business side or don’t believe in ads. You can start off really basic. But if you’re not measuring anything, how do you know what changes you made? And how do you know where you’re improving or where you can improve? You’ve got to start somewhere.

The more data you’ve got, without sounding like a nerd, the better decisions you can make. If you’ve got six months’ worth of data compared to two years’ worth of data, it’s a big difference. Keep a journal. Anything. If you change your keywords on KDP, make a note when you change it. So, you can look back in a month or two’s time when you start to see the difference. Then you can see you’re selling fewer books now, and put them back to what they were before, or try something else. Or you might be really successful and sell twenty times more books. But if you’ve made three or four changes, what’re you gonna do if you don’t know what you changed to make that success?

If you don’t record that, then you’ve got no chance really.

Going back to the content of your books. Let’s exclude Harvey. Who is your favourite character to write?

Harvey is my favourite to write. But if I had to choose somebody else then it would have to be Frankie. There’s a difference between Harvey and Frankie. Harvey doesn’t say much. One of the biggest things in the book is, ‘Harvey didn’t reply’. It’s all about action. Everything is internalised. So, when I wrote Frankie, I couldn’t do that again. Because it’s really hard. You have to bring all Harvey’s expressions out through other points of view, which is interesting and quite powerful, but hard to do.

With Frankie, there’s a bit more emotion. It’s a bit deeper. He doesn’t sway on the wrong side of the law, for example. The language of the Frankie books has more prose, if you like, better prose. Frankie’s got a son and responsibilities. Harvey’s just the guy who wants to do his own thing and be left alone. With Frankie, his reasons why are far wider.

Which was your favourite book to write so far?

The last one. Always the last one.

So, there are 12 Harvey books so far, and two novellas, and three Harvey books being written. By the time you get to that stage in a series, you don’t really need to make decisions for the main characters. You’re writing the same guy for the fifteenth or sixteenth time. Because they’ve got such a strong personality, they would only really do one or two things in each scenario. You can go with the reader and do what they expect the character to do. Or, every now and again, throw a curveball, so he makes the completely wrong decision.

That’s what makes a story interesting, right? People making the wrong decision.

By the time you get to that point, you take out that element of needing to develop the character. Because he’s already developed. He’s got personality stronger than my own. So, half the battle is already done. Then you can put some energy into other areas and make them stronger and stronger. You can make stories deeper. Or improve the perspective of other characters. The main character is a constant. So, the other people around him get much more interesting and the plots get much more interesting.

So always the last one. If you ask me again in a year’s time, it will probably be ‘the last one’. I wish my last Harvey book was the first Harvey book. But obviously, it wouldn’t work chronologically.

Before Stone Cold, you wrote the Alaskan Adventure Series. It’s quite a different style and quite a different genre to Harvey. What inspired you to write it?

It was the first book I ever finished. I wrote the first chapter, and I really love the first chapter. It’s powerful. And I showed it to a few friends and they really liked it. So, I took it further, further than I’d gone before with any book I’d tried to write. And it got to the point where I knew I couldn’t stop now. I was thinking about it all the time. That first Alaskan book, it’s wild. It’s almost like Forrest Gump with all the different places he goes and different things that happen.

So, I was getting more and more ideas. And then it’s just about putting it together. I’d be halfway through a section when he’s in the war, for example, and start thinking about what would happen if he went to prison. There are lots of different ways to take it. So that was kind of how it started and how it finished.

I published it and it didn’t do anything. As with a lot of people’s first books. But, to be honest, I wrote it while I was doing my masters. So, I finished them both at about the same time, the masters and the story. And I had just wanted to write a book. I had no aspirations of being a writer. It was just that I had lots of life goals. I wanted to get a master’s degree. I wanted to write a book. I always achieved what I wanted to do. Finishing the book. Doing the degree. Okay, awesome. Two boxes ticked. But it gave me a writing bug that went on from there.

So, when did you first start writing? Was it something natural or was it more of a skill that you developed?

I wouldn’t say it was natural. I did write stories as a kid. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor writing a book about a kid who found a lost dog. That kind of stuff. Obviously, it wasn’t about character development or plot points. It was three pages long. From then, I ventured into a career in music. I did a lot of song writing. So, I’ve always been able to write. It wasn’t until I started writing the Alaskan books that I really got a bit more of a thirst for it, if you like.

But you always had an artistic instinct?

I like to think so. Some people might disagree.

What do you enjoy most about being an indie author?

The freedom.

So that Alaskan book actually won a prize. I was one of the winners of the Emirates Literature Festival a few years ago in Dubai. The prize was a nice fountain pen, editing feedback, and a dinner with the managing director of Montegrappa, the publisher, editor, a few other winners, and some of the winners from previous years. By that stage, I had written two Alaskan books and four or five Harvey books, and I was starting to make money from my writing. Which was cool.

So, I was at this dinner and the previous year’s winner was so overawed by it. She was talking about the process of writing her book, and having the publisher and editor, who were seated at the table, throwing it back at her, saying, ‘Make these changes, make these changes, this is your deadline’. And she wrote the book four or five times to the point where she wasn’t even happy with the book herself. It was the publisher and the editor who were happy with it. So, it changed so much. It lost her voice almost. She was working on a second book, still not making any money, but a published author. And there’s me with about seven books and actually making money.

Then the editor and the publisher came to me and said, ‘Okay, we can do something with the Alaskan book, Where the Mountains Kiss the Sun. We can do something with that. We need to start talking about developing it and creating more of an arc…’ And this whole list. And I just fuzzed out. I wasn’t interested in making the changes. By the time I’d done all that, I could have written two or three more Harvey books, instead of spending a year working on something that was more of a passion project.

It really reinforced where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. It’s not always easy to know what you want to do. But if you know what you don’t want to do, that’s a bit of a guide.

The debate between traditional publishing and self-publishing is so interesting. I think there was a stigma for a while against self-publishing, which is definitely going down now. People are realising how much freedom and control you have over your own story, your own writing, and your own publishing journey. I guess it depends on what you want. If someone wants to go for traditional, then that’s also fine.

There’s nothing wrong with either. I’ve got a friend who just wrote his first book and he’s not interested in the self-publishing route. He’s just going to push and push and push. And fair play to him. I hope he does well. But it’s different for everyone.

No right or wrong. Just options.

What would you say is the biggest challenge of being an indie author?

The biggest challenge isn’t particularly a challenge that’s unique to being an indie author. The challenge is the same for any entrepreneurial type. It’s uncertainty, staying positive, staying focused, and always pushing. Always pushing. Everyone knows stories about entrepreneurs who failed 100 times. Richard Branson types. I don’t expect to be a Richard Branson type, but I’ve failed a few times before. A failed music career, for example. It’s a fickle world. But you have to accept that things aren’t always going to be rosy. You have to roll with the punches.

So, the biggest challenge is staying positive and having a plan. You’ve got to have a plan. If you’re treating it like a business, how can you not have a plan? We don’t even have to be talking about self-publishing. You could be a photographer, you could be an artist, a builder. It applies to any business. Let’s say you’re a builder building a house and 10% of your profit is going on waste material. Would you try to reduce your amount of waste material? There’s lots of things you can do. It’s exactly the same as writing.

In terms of planning, what’s your plan for when you have writer’s block? Do you have a certain strategy that you put in place?

I don’t really get writer’s block. Sometimes a story gets to a point where I have to go to someone like you and say, ‘This could go two ways. What do you think?’ But usually, I just jump onto another book. I do think you have to write yourself out of it. You just need to get the creativity flowing. So just write. Write anything, even if you know you’re going to delete it. Just write and get your fingers moving. Get your mind into the person and the point of view that you’re writing. Or just move on to another book.

And if I still can’t get anywhere, I’ll draw the story out on a big bit of paper, with the story arc and all the plot points. Typically, I know the last few scenes. So how am I going to get there? I’m here. I’m going to get there. How? And a lot of time that’s by knowing the reasons why. So, you’ve got to know your character’s ‘why?’. Why are they where they are? Why are they doing what they’re doing? If you know the reasons why, you can usually find some kind of way through the block.

I’m quite visual. So, drawing it out really helps me to see where the gaps are and see how big a gap I’ve got to close. A friend showed me an idea of having post-it notes on the wall. Or sometimes I draw the arc out like a flow chart. See the empty spaces that I need to fill. Just anything to get that story moving. But you’ve got to write. You can’t stop and say, ‘I can’t do it today. I’ve got writer’s block’. Just work on a different story. Work on something else.

Imagine it’s a factory, right? If you only had one machine in the factory, and it was broken, production would just stop. So, you have two machines that do that job. You’ve got to be productive somehow. And if you’ve only got one thing that you’re working on, you’ve got to just get through it. Or you can move that energy and produce something on another book.

That’s such consistent advice from successful writers. Write every day even if it’s not good. Even if you’re just going to delete it. You can always edit something, but you can’t edit nothing. There are also very good programmes out there. A friend told me about one where you set a timer for, say, five minutes and you have to keep writing because if you stop, it deletes it. (NOTE: Here, I’m talking about Squibler’s The Most Dangerous Writing App – check it out!)

Yeah, I’ve tried that a couple of times.

Did it work for you?

No. You’ve got to know what works for you. That’s key. Throughout self-publishing social media groups, someone will say, I did this, and I earned $100,000 in the past year. Which is great. Doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

Writing at home and making a living from being an indie author is obviously quite consuming. How do you separate writing from your time off?

I don’t. So, if we’re walking the dog and there’s a lull in the conversation, I’ll always be thinking about it. My wife is pretty good. I can kind of bounce off her. She comes up with ideas too. But I rarely switch off. Even when we watch TV, if we watch movies, typically it’s movies or series that will inspire me. Like crime series, which there are plenty of at the minute. But switching off from it? I rarely do.

It’s the first thing I think about in the morning. Making coffee, I already know what I’m going to be writing. Usually the night before, I will make sure I’ve got a couple of sentences on my next chapter. That’s going to give me a kick start in the morning. So, I don’t just sit down to a blank chapter. I know what’s got to be in that chapter already, and I’m thinking about that while I’m making coffee. I’m thinking about the emotions. I’m thinking about the scene. I’m thinking about the other people in that particular scene.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not constant. Like when I’m with family, I’m not this bore who only thinks about writing. When I am sociable, I can switch off. But most people who know me, they know that I’m always thinking about something, something that needs to be done.

So, you roll with the consuming spirit of writing rather than separating it from your day to day life?

Yeah. A lot of people say that’s wrong. They turn off at five o’clock and don’t think about it. But it’s like any kind of any business. And it is a business. It’s entrepreneurial. And until you’re very successful and in a position where you can just step away from it, you have to keep investing time.

Let’s go back to the builder we were talking about a while ago. He just started building a firm. He doesn’t finish for the day, pay all his men, then just go home and not think about it. He’s got a business to run. Got things to do. He’s thinking, ‘Right, okay, what’s going to happen tomorrow?’. And until you’re super, super successful, I think you constantly have to be building a business.

That’s my opinion. There’re people out there who won’t agree with that. But that’s what I do. Always thinking about it. It’s not a chore. I love it. Why wouldn’t I want to think about it?

And if you are starting a business, hopefully, it’s because you care about something and you’re passionate about it. So, of course, it’s going to naturally fill your mind.

Yeah exactly. If you enjoy doing it, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Last year, you launched the new series, The Frankie Black Files. Where did the idea for Frankie come from?

The Harvey books are very fast-paced, and I wanted to write something slower. I couldn’t write a slower Harvey novel because it would **** off the readers basically. So, I wanted a new series. But you can’t just go from writing action thrillers to, say, romance. Well, I mean, you can, but it’s not gonna work, is it?

So, I like mystery books. There’re mysteries in the Harvey books. They’re not mystery novels, but there are elements of who’s who and twists. So, I figured, okay, mystery and psychological crime is not too far away from Harvey that I’m going to need a completely new readership. Most the people who read Harvey like the Frankie books too.

I wanted to be able to actually express myself in the writing, without sounding cliché or hippie. I wanted more prose. I wanted to describe what Frank is feeling. All the stuff I can’t do with the Harvey books. Harvey is action. Full on. He doesn’t have time to look at the brickwork. He doesn’t care. There’s a little more poetry to the Frankie books. Really nice to write. They’re longer books so more time goes into the structure of the sentences, making sure it flows and has a rhythm. Don’t get me wrong, I do that for the Harvey books as well. But for the nature of the genre and the type of book, you can’t do that as much.

And when it came to the character, I needed another vigilante. But I couldn’t step on Harvey’s toes. There’s only one Harvey Stone. I had to come up with someone with new problems. That’s where the family comes in and the new background. Someone who would actually compliment my whole collection of works but not go against what I’ve already done.

In terms of creating a story, does it all come at once? Or do you have a strategic process for the plotting?

It’s different for each book. I’d like to say that I sit down, and I write, and I outline chapter one, and so on. But it doesn’t always work like that. I typically have a theme. So, for Harvey, a few of the books are very organised crime based. Then there’s a couple of books that are more like a heist or a robbery. Or a serial killer. And I try to mix them up. You don’t want five books in a row about robbing museums. Just gets samey. You want to keep it interesting. So, I will pick a theme.

Then I might see something in a film that’s triggered something in me. I don’t know. I’ll just have an idea. So, I’ll draw a story arc out. And I like to write that big final action scene. I like to have an idea of what that would be, and how I would get to that, and try and work out some twists along the way. It all depends on the book. So actually, one of the books at the minute I’m writing, I just sat down and wrote chapter one. I had no idea what the book was going to be about. I just put Harvey in a particular position, and I went from there.

Stephen Leather, for example, I know, in the past, he’s bought some pre-made book covers and just written the story to fit the cover. And if you’re as good as he is, you can do that.

But you use some plot points along the way? Like a call to action and rejecting the call to action, stuff like that?

Yeah. So, I use a three-act structure. Some people use a four act. I don’t understand that. Three is enough for me. And I just add some plot points in, see what can happen, start filling in some gaps. I’m working on an outline at the minute, so I have a big whiteboard here with two stories outlined. There’re gaps in them, but the gaps typically get filled in along the way. And rarely do I ever follow an outline so regimentally. Something will happen by the time I get to chapter 8 that changes all the rest. But it’s good to work to an outline and know what you need to write.

You talked a bit about authors who have inspired you. Do you have a single favourite author who’s really influenced your writing?

Actually two. Stephen Leather, who’s an incredible writer of action thrillers. And Wilbur Smith. His writing is quite different from what I write. That’s more where the Alaskan novels came from, but he writes about Africa. It’s just his prose, the language he uses, his sentence structure, how descriptive he is. He’s not afraid to venture into territories that other authors might not venture into. The books appeal to a wide range of people.

Also, these books typically span a couple of generations, or a generation at least, of the characters’ lifetimes. And that’s super interesting. He’s the master of character development. By the time you’ve finished his books, you love love love his characters. So, one particular character, Sean Courtney, is a lovable rogue. He does wrong but typically for reasons of good. But with the background of the African landscape. It’s just stunning.

He’s an incredible writer. He has to be my favourite.

That’s impressive doing character development over generations. Such a difficult thing to do. I think it’s easier for writers to snapshot a character at one point in their life and do a slight character development arc.

Yeah. So, the Harvey books are typically a week long. Sometimes less. And in Wilbur Smith’s Courtney series, he actually goes through, I think, four or five generations. There are about twenty books, or maybe more. Three of them are about Sean Courtney, then his daughter takes over. It goes through the Boer War, First World War, Second World War. It’s very cool.

It’s all intricate. You get to book 10 in the Courtney series and it makes a slight reference to something you read in book 1 or 2. If I hadn’t read the whole series, I wouldn’t think anything of it, it wouldn’t have made the story any less, but because I had read this earlier book, it’s a moment of, ‘Ah, I know that. Cool’. So, you feel part of this whole massive thing.

And that’s what I’m doing with Harvey. What I’m writing now is a prequel series to the Stone Cold series. So, I’m able to drop things in that anyone who’s read the earlier series will know and feel that connection. And even just to write those connections is amazing. But for a reader, hopefully, it’s awesome for them too.

So, your plans for the future. What are you working on now? What’s coming next? What can we expect from J.D. Weston?

The new Harvey series, the prequel, a bit later this year.

The idea is that when I wrote the Stone Cold series, I planned out the first four or five books, and I planned out Harvey’s arc and those of the other characters. But there are quite a few main characters who were killed off in the first few books. And that’s what makes the series, I think, very cool. All the people who were close to Harvey all die in the first four books.

But by the time I got to book 8 or 9 or 10, I realised how much I really love those characters that I killed off. And you killed them. You can’t bring him back. That Harvey series is chronological. It’s not like Jack Reacher where you can pick up any book in any order.

So, what I wanted to do was create a Harvey series set before I killed everyone off, before Harvey leaves the world of crime. So, he’s still working for his foster father and all those old characters are still alive. But it also allows me to plant in the people from the Stone Cold books. For example, there’s a cop in the first few Harvey books, Frank Carver, and he sticks his head up the books I’m writing now. And little bits like that, I’m able to do now in hindsight. I think it’s going to be pretty cool.

I think it needed a new series. Harvey’s too good a character to give up. There will be more in the Stone Cold series, but there’s still so much more to be said. It needed a prequel.

Definitely. It’s so fun to read the old characters again. Also, Harvey changed quite a lot. He had quite a big serial character development from the first book to the twelfth. So, it’s cool to see the original Harvey from the first book.

That’s part of the fun as well. Because he’s obviously younger in the books I’m writing now, he’s…he’s not naïve, because he’s Harvey Stone, he’s not naïve, but there is that little bit of unprofessionalism in him that you would get in someone younger. By the time you get to book 12 in the Stone Cold series, he’s this polished killer. He’s been through so much, he’s a rock. But when he’s younger and first starting out in the world of crime, he makes mistakes.

So now I just want to get them done, out there, and see if people like them. But I need to take the time and get it right. Which is a message to any new self-publishing authors. Don’t rush it. I’m not going to release these books until there’s four or five of them. That way, I know that if I get a great idea for book 5 that contradicts something I wrote in book 1, I can go back and make an edit to book 1. It might only be very slight. But if it makes it work in book 5, it’s well worth doing.

There are people out there who will massively disagree with what I just said.

They’ll say that if you’ve got book ready, publish it, because it’s not going to make any money sitting on your hard drive. But I say, if you’ve got four or five books that all work and are seamless, for me, that’s well worth the wait. So, get them done together and release them together. And by the time you’ve finished releasing book 5, you’ll have a couple more ready to go. So, you can continue like that.

What is one piece of advice you have for new indie authors?

Learn. Plan. Measure.

Okay. Like your own version of ‘patience, planning, execution’?

Yeah. You’ve got to learn, and you’ve got to set yourself up to learn. You can’t just think, ‘I’ve read that book. That’s done now’. It’s a continuous process. Even some of the big guys out there like Mark Dawson, they’re learning all the time. Things change every day. You’ve got to adapt.

And you’ve got to plan. If you’ve not got a plan, what are you doing? What’re you doing tomorrow? What’re you going to write in the morning? When are you going to launch? And make the plan realistic.

Measure. You don’t have to particularly measure your performance. So, you don’t have to measure your word count, as long as you’re producing, I think. But measure results. When you release a book and you spend X amount, measure that. Just measure everything. If you’ve got data from day one, then come day 500, or even day 50, you’ll be in a much better position.

So, learn, plan, measure?

And enjoy. Always enjoy.

You can’t take the fun away from it. You wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t fun. So, don’t make things so stringent that you’re not enjoying it anymore.

Brilliant. Thanks, John! Good talking to you. It’s really useful to get insight from someone who’s done it from beginning to end, and still going. And you had success. Your advice works.

Yeah, well, my advice worked for me, right.

Right. As you say, it’s different for everyone. But still, great advice to bear in mind.

One extra thing. There are many people out there mentoring people through social media, maybe not directly, maybe as part of a group. I think you have to pick and choose the people that resonate with you. Or the language that resonates with you. Or perhaps they write the same genre, that sometimes helps. And you have to stick with them. You can’t take advice from 50 different people and expect to be able to make a plan.

So, when it comes to marketing, I choose to listen to Mark Dawson. As many people do. His advice is fantastic. When it comes to copy, like book descriptions and stuff, I go to this guy called Bryan Cohen. So, I listen to everything he says about writing sales copy. He knows his stuff. When it comes to book cover design, I listen to Stuart Bache. He’s one of the best book cover designers out there.

There are others. But I’ll listen to those three guys to guide me. It just allows their advice not to be tainted with someone else’s advice. It might all be good advice, but you can only take so much. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to anyone else. I always read the social media posts and take interest. I might not take any action on it, but it’s in the back of my mind as another way I could try later on.

But you have to stick with a direction. You can’t walk in two directions at once.