In the Spotlight is a new feature here at Second Run Reviews. I’ve invited authors, publishers and editors to take part in interviews, guest posts, giveaways and anything else that they can dream up that is appropriate for a blog.
Today Second Run Reviews welcomes author and consultant, Matthew Davenport, to In the Spotlight. As an author and consultant, Matthew’s view on the publishing world is quite unique and we are happy to have him here today!
In the Spotlight: Matthew Davenport
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Matthew! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started!
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
Author of Horror, Fantasy, and How-to’s, and President of Davenport Writes, LLC. Where I provide booking and consulting services for Local Iowa Authors.
How did you get started as an author? What inspired you to write your first novel in 2010 (if GoodReads is to be believed)?
I was writing long before 2010, and never truly had an agreeable outlet for that writing. I wrote silly adventure stories for my friends that followed our merry band through high school and college. I took a few courses in writing and even worked for the college paper, but it still didn’t feel like what I should be doing. Finally, in 2009, I joined my first NaNoWriMo experience and did my best to channel my own sense of adventure into my own sense of humor. I didn’t manage to succeed that year, but the following year saw me complete what I started in 2009 with the publication of Random Stranger.Ah, you are not the first author I have met that heard the call of the NaNoWriMo siren. I’ve heard it is a great tool for many authors.
In addition to being a published author, you are also the President of Davenport Writes, LLC. Tell us a bit about Davenport Writes, LLC. What services do you offer authors? How can readers assist you and your members in promoting authors?
Davenport Writes, LLC is a booking and consulting firm established to be whatever an Iowa author needs to get their book out there. We offer publishing, editing, cover art, career consultation, and tutorials on everything from social media to marketing and promoting your works in today’s online landscape.
The Silver (Free) Membership with Davenport Writes, LLC gets you invited to our local monthly marketing meetings, gets me adding you to the email list for upcoming events, and access to voice-actors, editors, and cover-artists through our website.
The Gold ($50/month) Membership, gets you all of the things from the silver, but also scheduled one-on-one career counseling and marketing strategy sessions, web-based tools such as the DW Sales Tracker, and Power Point Tutorials on using KDP, Setting Up MailChimp, and Using IFTTT.com to automate your social media presence. Authors on the Gold Membership also get retweeted by me and added to our monthly newsletter and store that promote your works. You also get access to a free copy of my book Self-Publish Without Spending Money.
Whichever membership an author chooses, the best thing that Davenport Writes provides is a community of authors with different skill sets. We have sales people, authors, book publishers, editors, and magazine publishers. And everyone of them steps up to the plate to offer their assistance to anyone who asks.
As for what a reader can do to help us promote our authors, that’s easy! Sign up for our newsletter, tell your friends about our works, and please leave a review. Readers might not know this, but reviews help us make sales.
You must stay very busy writing and consulting! I know that the author base here in Iowa is quite strong and very friendly.
What was the most difficult thing about getting published? What was the easiest? If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your stories or getting published that you’d change?
The hardest part was the self-doubt. I chose self-publishing and when I first dove into it, self-publishing was just coming into it’s own. It was a very lonely field at first and that can be a scary thing. The easiest was the telling people about my book. I have the fortunate birth-defect of being naturally attuned toward sales and networking, so when it came time to sell my book, I was more than prepared.
As for what I’d change, the benefit of being self-published is that I can change my books anytime. Case in point, one of my books had a fact that I got totally wrong and missed in my research. When the reviewers pointed it out and I recovered from my Earth-Shattering Facepalm, I went back, changed it, and all was well. If there was one thing I would change, it’d just be that the entire revolution of self-publishing, as it is now, had come to my attention sooner. I would love to be about ten books ahead of where I am now.
You are a rare breed of author, Matthew. Many authors I’ve talked have confessed to be not great sales people especially when it comes to their own books!
What type(s) of books do you enjoy reading most and what three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
Oddly enough, Urban Fantasy. Specifically, Kate Griffin’s Madness of Angels Series is the best of it’s kind. If they don’t make her books into a movie soon, I might cry.
Alternatively, Jonathan Wood’s No Hero series is also another great set that I’d argue is also Urban Fantasy. It’s very Lovecraftian, and reminds me, at times, of my own Andrew Doran series if I had written Andrew Doran to take place in our here and now instead of during World War II. And the final book that I recommend would be American Gods (UF, again). In my court of authors, Neil Gaiman and Kate Griffin are fighting over who gets to wear the crown while Jonathan Wood proudly hefts the Flaming Sword of the Court Knight.
Griffin and Woods are new authors for me. I haven’t heard of them before. I am no stranger to Neil Gaiman, but the only book I’ve read of his is Stardust.
What’s your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you want to share?
I’m a techy nerd and an insane DIY guy. I wear a Pebble Smartwatch, I have a Raspberry Pi file server, a RetroPi arcade system, and an Arduino EMF Detector. If I can’t figure out how to do something by looking it up on Google, then I don’t want anyone to do it. Ever. I’ve been known to obsess for weeks over one line of crontab code in Linux Terminal.
Wow! Impressive. I like technology, but you lost me after Pebble Smartwatch!
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
Most people usually say something like “Don’t give up, no matter what” or “Just sit down and write” at this point. I won’t. You know what you need to do, so just do it. My piece of advice is this: Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. If you want it bad enough, then Google the hell out of it. Look it up, learn everything about it, and then Do It Yourself. That’s how each of my books got started, that’s how my company got started, and that’s how every project I’ve ever worked on got started. Read About It. Do It. Teach It. Then Start Over.
Amazing advice for everyone, Matthew. Thank you for your wise words and thank you for stopping by Second Run Reviews today. I hope everyone will drop by your site and check it out. Good luck with your future projects! And I hope you’ll stop by again.