Advice from IR Approved Author R. Scott Boyer: “…learn the business of publishing and marketing, not just creative writing.”

Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author R. Scott Boyer.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy. Released Date: May 24, 2019, Koehler Books ISBN 978-1633937451

What’s the book’s first line?

The earthquake that woke Bobby Ether from his nightmare wasn’t a typical Los Angeles tremor.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch.” 

Adventure, suspense, and spirituality.

When sixteen-year-old Bobby Ether is abducted and brought to the secluded Jade Academy in Tibet, monks teach him and other special students how to tap into their Anima—the universal energy that connects all living things. But the headmistress of the academy is secretly exploiting the students, looking for genetic triggers to create a new breed of humans with metaphysical abilities. As his powers increase, Bobby is thrust into a cesspool of conspiracy, lies, and betrayal. A jade amulet left by his clairvoyant grandfather may provide answers, but what exactly is his family’s connection to this mysterious place?

Can Bobby master his talents in time to uncover the truth? If not, his fate—and the fate of the entire Jade Academy—may be sealed.

Wat inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of high fantasy. I loved all of the action and adventure. But, as I got older I started to find that I wasn’t taking anything of value from the genre.

Later in life, I began reading new-age/spiritual fiction. I love the sense of depth and purpose in this category, but wasn’t impressed by some of the storylines. I started looking for a book that blended the two—fun and fast-paced, but also spiritual and profound. When I couldn’t find anything that fit the mold, I began to envision it. This exploration led to this first book and the series that follows.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

It’s a fun, fast-paced adventure with spiritual and emotional depth, and it’s the first in a series, so there’ll be more adventures to come from Bobby Ether and friends.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

In regards to characters most people know, Bobby most closely resembles Harry Potter. He is flawed, but fearless. He looks for the good in others, but is also guarded and protective of both his friends, and the emotional trauma that brings him to the Jade Academy. His most distinctive characteristics are his compassion and willingness to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I was thirty-five when I decided to publish my first book. I’d spent months working on the basics of a storyline. At that point, I knew that, even though it wasn’t finished yet, I needed to see it through to the end. I took writing classes and learning about publishing. However, it wasn’t until I finished the first book and saw the path toward the series that I knew I wanted to be a professional author and write for a living.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Yes, it is the first book, but not the only one. I have already finished the second and third books in the Bobby Ether series. I am currently halfway through book four, which has been delayed due to the projects surrounding the rest of the series.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’ve been independent insurance agent for the past 20+ years. I got into the business because of my father, who has been a life agent since 1969.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

As much as possible. I write mostly in the evenings and/or on weekends. However, only part of that time is spent on crafting new stories. These days, I spend a lot of time editing existing scenes, working on new scenes for stories I thought were finished, as well as writing queries, cover text, blogs, and, of course, interview questions.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is definitely the collaboration—having a publisher and other people around me who are engaged with my story, interested in my ideas, and vested in making everything as good as possible. The hardest part is the loss of my sister, who was my first reader and editor.  She helped me breath life into my characters and scenes. Without her, it’s only my voice during the creation process, which makes it tougher to know which direction to go and if what I’ve written rings true.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Two things. First – be prepared to edit and rewrite A LOT, especially on your first project. I went through roughly twenty drafts of this first book.

Second – learn the business of publishing and marketing, not just creative writing. Crafting a great story is only one piece of the project. You also need to know how to edit, write query letters, synopses, back cover text, and all sorts of other copy. You also need to have a strong understanding of social media and marketing.

Before I signed, my publisher, Koehler Books, gave me a copy of their Pocket Guide to Publishing; 100 Things Authors Should Know. This little book was invaluable in helping me understand everything I need to do just to give my books a chance at success.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

Being told that someone enjoyed my book is always nice. Hearing that it meant something to them, or made a difference in some way, is even better. I have volunteered with various kids programs my entire adult life and have found that few things are more rewarding than making a difference in someone else’s life. Books aren’t exactly the same, but knowing that a complete stranger got value from something I did is a truly amazing feeling.

I’m also motivated by the memory of my sister, who always believed in me. A part of me wants to be successful because of how proud she would have been.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

There are tons of books I would have loved to have written. Tops on that list include Life of Pi, The Celestine Prophecy, The Alchemist, and the Harry Potter series.

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