In the Spotlight: With Dan Poynter

The publishing landscape is changing and many authors have chosen to bring their own work to market as independent publishers.  According to Jim Barnes, of the Independent Publishers Book Awards, there are more than 1.2 million books being independently published each year.  He goes on to say that many authors are realizing that in a fast-changing marketplace, independent publishing offers the flexibility to succeed. Last month I had the opportunity to attend the first Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards ceremony in Santa Barbara, California.  Dan Poynter is a pioneer in book writing, producing and marketing and he is very generous with his knowledge which he freely shares with fellow writers about what it takes to be a successful author. 

He has written and published more than 100 books (wow!) since 1969 that includes Writing Nonfiction, The Self-Publishing Manual, The Skydiver’s Handbook and The Expert Witness Handbook and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).  He has created nine audio CDs, four video programs, a dozen eBooks and written more than 500 magazine articles.  This man has been busy these past years!  His seminars have been featured on CNN, his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal, and his story has been told in U.S. News & World Report. (Source: Smashwords Profile).

Dan Poynter is a longtime supporter of eBooks and many consider him the go-to man in regards predicting publishing trends.I had a chance to speak to Mr. Poynter at his Global eBook Awards ceremony and he was kind enough answers some questions about his work and his thoughts on books in the ever-changing publishing world.  Oh!  And I must mention that he is an avid aviation speaker and skydiver! 

You are considered by many to be a true leader in the publishing industry.  Tell us how you got into this industry?
 Like most nonfiction writers, I developed a specialty. Mine was parachutes. Parachutes and skydiving are my first love.
I wrote so many articles that I realized I had the basis for a technical manual on parachutes. 
By writing articles, or a blog, you are banking material, developing a readership, and perfecting your writing style.
 
I looked into the various choices for publishing and realized that self-publishing was the best way to go for a technical subject.
One book lead to to another for 131 so far.
 
Why do you feel eBooks are becoming so popular?
Amazon. We have to give Amazon credit for giving so much publicity to ebooks and for making the downloading of them so easy.
 
Now we understand the value of ebooks. They eliminate printing, inventory, answering the phone, doing all the paperwork, and shipping them out.
They are less expensive to produce, can be accessed at the speed of light worldwide, and do not saddle us with a bunch of read books to store or dispose of.
 
Tell us why you decided to host an annual Global Ebook Awards Contest?
The Global Ebook Awards bring attention to ebooks and honor their authors and the ebooks.
Ebooks are the future and our awards are bringing attention to ebooks and accelerating the movement into electronic reading.
 
What are some tips you can provide for writers as far as getting the word out their about their books?
The most expensive parts of book promotion are the mistakes. You do not have to make them. 
Read the books, go to conferences, read the blogs, and take part in forums.
 
You are an expert on your subject. We know that because you wrote a book on it. You have established your credibility.
But book publishing is a different industry. It is something else that you have to learn. So spend time studying publishing, learn from others, and don’t make the expensive mistakes.
 
What has been one of your favorite moments as a writer and leader in publishing?
 One of your favorite moments will be your second book. 
Imagine getting that telephone call from an excited potential customer who asks to buy your book.
And you get to ask “which one?”
 
Thank you so much Mr. Poynter for your time and for sharing your knowledge with fellow authors! 

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