His book has been on IndieReader’s “List Where Indies Count” for quite a few weeks now. We thought it might be a good time to find out more about Simon Wood, author of the bestselling “We All Fall Down”.
Amy Edelman: Tell us about yourself…when you started writing…your first published book, etc.
Simon Wood: I’m an ex-racecar driver, a licensed pilot and an occasional private investigator. I’ve been writing since the end of 1998 when I came to the US. I used to have a very time consuming job in England working in the Oil and Gas industry. When I came to the US, I had a lot of time on my hands and I began to write while I waited for my work visa to be processed. So, I’m probably the only writer who credits the Immigration and Naturalization Service for their writing career.
My first thriller, ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN, was published in 2002. Some of my other titles include WORKING STIFFS, PAYING THE PIPER, TERMINATED, ASKING FOR TROUBLE, THE FALL GUY and WE ALL FALL DOWN. I also write under the name Simon Janus. My short fiction has garnered me an Anthony Award and a CWA Dagger Award nomination in the UK. Curious people can learn more at www.simonwood.net.
AHE: When did the notion of “self publishing” cross your radar?
SW: A couple of years ago, Gregory Solis, a writer I know, suggested that I should consider releasing some of my out of print titles as eBooks. He’d released an eBook version of his first novel and gained a new readership and said I’d be a fool to ignore a subset of readers. I must admit I was a little slow to climb aboard, but now I have, and I’m very glad I listened to him.
AHE: What are the circumstances of you deciding to go indie?
SW: I had a significant backlist of a dozen works, most out of print, sitting on my hard drive. Those works weren’t working for me and I’m a firm believer that stories are like energy, they can’t be destroyed, they can only change form. Readers were responding to eBooks and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t make my books available.
AHE:What did you like most about trad pubbing? What will you miss the most?
SW: Traditional publishing can reach the stores that I cannot reach when it comes to print books. Success with print books is distribution. A title with good distribution and promotion will do well. It’s something you can’t achieve as a lone wolf. Currently, I’m still working with traditional publishers for my print books.
AHE: Do you think there’s a reason to have your books both trad and indie pubbed?
SW: Personally, I don’t see why a writer has to choose one side over the other. I make publishing and business decisions that best serve my career. If it makes sense for me to work with a traditional publisher, I’ll do so and likewise when it comes to self-publishing a title. It’s all about what’s advantageous for my writing and career.
AHE: What’s your game plan moving forward?
SW: I’ll continue to work with traditional publishers for my print works and I’ll handle my eBooks catalogue. With the advent of eBooks, it allows me the opportunities to write things that wouldn’t be financially viable with a print book, such as novellas and story collections. I can also write things that might appeal to a niche group of readers. So, there’s a lot of freedom in my future.
AHE: How do you see the new world of indie and eBooks? Are there still brick and mortar bookstores? Are they B&N or indies?
SW: Vinyl records are still around, so I expect books and bookstores to exist for the foreseeable future. As long as people demand print books, eBooks and audio books, there’ll be someone to supply them.
From a creative point of view, I think the world of eBooks will be an exciting one because there’s so much scope for the writer to experiment. The low production cost of an eBook means writers can take a risk to write something that wouldn’t be financially viable with print books. This also means writers aren’t confined by word length or format.
I’m finding success with short story collections and novellas which are almost impossible to get published as a physical book. It’s quite exciting for me as I plan to take some chances with some stories and characters that wouldn’t normally get picked up.