A few weeks ago I was asked by a friendly bestseller J.W. Northrup to sit for an interview. I’m not averse to that at all. He caught me during a break from my usual schedule of interviews and posed some questions to me. I thought that was it… but, oh NO! The next day he came back and asked some more until we were totally questioned out. Now, this interview will be running on his new website when it goes live- I wanted to run it here first. If it feels good… DO IT!
A) Well, it feels like I am the one being interviewed, J.W. I am one nervous dude! Shoot away!
Q) Of all the interviews you have conducted, let me ask you which is your favorite?
A) Let me ask you a question, J.W. You have kids- which is your favourite? I don’t have a favourite interview or a favourite author. They are all my favourites!
Q) But there must have been one you didn’t enjoy? Right?
A) Sure, I didn’t enjoy the one that I didn’t get to do. I always hate missing out on an author because our schedules conflict or there’s something else going on at that time. I think it’s a shame that there are only twenty-four hours in a day sometimes.
Q) Surely, you need some time to yourself?
A) I can get all of that later. Right now, I need to create and do my thing. The wheels keep rolling and the interviews keep on coming.
Q) You don’t just interview though. You are actually a pretty well-renowned promotional consultant and certainly one of the guys growing fastest in the business.
A) I am doing just fine, but there’s room for improvement in all lives. I just feel happy to have a career that I enjoy.
Q) (laughs) What is the deal with the consultation?
A) Well, it’s for the people out there who need help getting to grips with social media, networking and marketing of a book. I do one hour sessions where I sit one-to-one with an author, and we talk about the importance of tags and hashtags. I also try to explain the rudiments of marketing on Facebook, Twitter and the rest. It’s important to know how to do it properly. I hear so many horror stories from writers who have bad experiences or, worse yet, no results. Rule number one– read the rules of any group you join! Rule number two–keep on looking for new groups you can advertise in! Rule number three– do not promote your book to other writers!
Q) Is that a common mistake? Do people try to sell their books to other writers?
A) Sure! People post advertisements for their books in the writers’ groups and it does nothing but tumbleweed! It can have a detrimental effect, as well. If writers get hacked off with what they consider to be spammed links, they will either give you their opinion (which may not be very encouraging), or they may follow the link through and give you a one star review! As a general rule, people pushed to the edge do some very nasty things. My advice is to advertise where it’s welcomed and you can escape all the drama.
Q) Do you really think people give one star reviews on purpose?
A) Certainly! You only have to realise that everyone is human and people just don’t like being force fed sales lectures everytime they sign into their writing groups. They want to talk literature, the art of writing or about the new book they read that inspired them. What they don’t want to read is that someone is selling their fantastic book for 99 cents, thirty three times as they scroll down the page.
Q) Have you ever been accused of spamming?
A) Sure! As a newbie I got abuse for positing in the wrong groups. Everything from being told my work was crappy to people asking me to only post interviews in groups where the members were being interviewed. Like many things in life, you just have to learn the ropes.
Q) It has been said that writers can be a pretty mean bunch. Would you agree with that?
A) The whole world can be mean if you cause that to happen. The way around it is to abide by the rules of communication. Defuse situations and move on. Don’t dwell on the negativity in life and certainly don’t let some pointy head bring you down.
Q) Do you think that your work is exceptional? It has been said that you are one of the best guys to go with for promotion and interviews. How do you rate what you do?
A) I guess what I do is good enough– I am no genius writer. Terry Irving is a genius writer, Tom Blubaugh is a genius writer, Paul W. Meier is a genius writer. I am just a dude who asks questions and thinks of ways to market books. I have proven my credentials and I have a reputation. Nothing more than that. I just do what I can do.
Q) So, who have your biggest clients been? What did you do for them?
A) Mike Trahan is a guy I am very proud of! He sold nearly 500 copies of his book, without a publisher and with minimal promotion. He sold 500 copies just by hiring me to do articles and then promoting them to his audience and targeting them. I was very proud of that. My biggest client is Lloyd Tackitt who has had a run of bestsellers- one every six months. He is a guy I love working for! I like being left alone to devise my own ideas and trusted to do the job well. He does that! I would say that Ken Farmer has been one of my biggest recent clients, too.
Q) You’ve worked with HOW many writers?
A) Oh, probably around two-hundred by now and I have to tell you, whether they sell a pile of books like Boyd Lemon, or a couple a day like Mike Walsh, it builds up. Now, there’s a dude I love! Mike Walsh is just a genius with words and he always entertains me.
In fact, I will be on a the Weekly Bookclub webinar with him tomorrow, Saturday, April 20th, where Mike, along with some other awesome writers, will grill me about interviewing. You should come along! http://angieharris.weebly.com/nick-wale.html
Q) Is the consulting working for you?
A) Certainly! It’s a growing concern and people like the idea of working with someone who has fresh ideas. It’s very easy to get suckered into paying huge sums for advice that doesn’t work. I do a 15 minute free session and then if you like what you hear, give me an hour of your time and an hour’s worth of your money. It’s all very well to be told to go and start a blog, but you need to know what a blog is and what a blog does. You need to know how to promote the blog and how to tag your articles. You need to know how to use Social Media. It’s all very well and good buying a book called “Social Media for Dummies”, but it’s a quicker process if you can ask someone about it and then follow up with more questions. “Etcetera, Etcetera…” as Yul says.
Q) What do you think is so important about tags and blogging and all that stuff?
A) Look, you need a platform to sell anything! Record companies use radio… Writers need to use blogs. You can write a blog article a day and keep low sales at bay! Seriously! Blogging is a way to build up a fanbase and all you need to do is maintain that fanbase and it will grow. I explain how all of this works and how you promote your work. It’s very easy when you know how and when you spend time talking to me, you will know how!
Q) Does teaching come easy to you?
A) Sure! I speak English and I don’t try to be cool. I am no IT geek– I couldn’t tell you a hard drive from a bath plug. I just know how to sell and it’s the same in any game. Get a platform, a product, a personality and drive it home.
Q) I heard recently that you turned down a professional position to maintain your independence with Novel Ideas? Any truth to that?
A) Sure! I did a couple of job interviews and the position you refer to was a pretty good job. I just had to turn it down because things are going so well with this business. People kept telling me “You can’t possibly be considering leaving Novel Ideas to go and run some stupid sales department.”
So, I didn’t!
Q) Well, I must admit you have a flair for your work! I’m glad you stayed on!
A) Me too, buddy.
Q) Thanks for your time, Nick.
A) You bet, bro!
J.W. Northrup has just released his book The Gold Slaves to rave reviews. He currently lives in Salt Lake City and enjoys a quiet life skiing, running and playing with Twitter. Catch his latest book here.