Self-Publishing a Home Run for Author Chris Cloud
Voices of the Locusts
Christopher Cloud author of the award winning young adult novel, a Boy Called Duct Tape releases his latest young adult love story, Voices of the Locusts. He shares with us his journey on the self-publishing process, his successes, surprises and his home run.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you have faced with self-publishing?
To be honest, I have not experienced any problems, although my humble marketing strategy can never hope to compete with traditional publishers. I assembled a six-person team that I have used for each of my novels: photographer, graphic artist, formatter, website specialist, publicist, and editor. Editing remains the biggest challenge.
Q: What surprised you about the self-publishing process?
The ease of the process.
Q: Right now there is a stigma attached to self-published authors, that just because you can pay for the book to be published doesn’t mean you are a qualified author. Do you think self-publishing will ever become a respected industry?
For me, self-publishing has been a rewarding experience. Between Dec. 1, 2012 and March 20, 2013, I sold nearly a 1,000 copies of my third novel, a middle-grade story titled “A Boy Called Duct Tape.” By traditional standards, that probably isn’t that many books, but for me it is a homerun. I continue to believe that a good story will always make its mark in the literary marketplace. And yes, I believe self-publishing will find its rightful place in literature within the next two years. The industry is changing at warp speed.
Q: What is your advice to authors who decide to self-publish?
Roll up your sleeves and do it! Your expenses should run anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 depending on the length of your book, the complexity of your cover, etc. I live in Joplin, Missouri, and the cost of these services is low. If you live in New York City, your costs will be much higher.
About Voices of the Locusts
Sixteen-year old Jack O’Brien has never known the bittersweet stint of love, and romance is the farthest thing from his mind as he and his family arrives at a remote U.S. Air Force outpost in Japan where Jack’s father is base commander. The year is 1948. Jack’s life changes after a chance encounter with Fujiko Kobaysi, a beautiful and enchanting 17-year-old Japanese girl. Jack is immediately smitten.
Fujiko’s traditional parents are overly protective and monitor her every move, and Jack and Fujiko meet secretly at her garden, located some distance from her village. There is a good reason why Fujiko’s parents are so protective and Jack is devastated when Fujiko tells him that her parents have promised her in marriage to an older man, a practice common throughout Asia at the time. The marriage is only a months away. Jack devises a cunning plan, one that will overshadow her arranged marriage and bring Fujiko and him together.
Playing against a backdrop of swirling post-War social change, Voices of the Locusts tells the story of three families – one black, one white, one Asian. Told in Jack’s voice in vivid and sometimes haunting detail, Jack and Fujiko are frustrated in their romantic quest by story characters coming to terms (often violently) with the emotional scars of World War II.
About Chris Cloud
Chris Cloud began writing fiction full time after a long career in journalism and public relations. Voices of the Locusts is his fourth novel. A multi-genre author, Chris Cloud’s choice of novels to write is determined not by genre, but by the weight of the story. Cloud graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. He was employed by a Fortune 100 company as a public relations executive, and later operated his own public relations agency. Cloud attended high school in Japan, and much of his Voices of the Locusts is based on personal experience. Cloud lives in Joplin, Missouri.