BEFORE WE GET TO THE AARON PATTERSON PERSONAL STUFF, HERE’S SOMETHING FOR YOU FROM HIS STONE HOUSE INK EDUCATIONAL ARM–STONE HOUSE U:
IN ADDITION TO HIS OTHER ENTERPRISES, AARON’S VISION INCLUDES
helping to train writers to market and promote their works. The webinars so far have included sessions on how to present and promote one’s work on Amazon, how to “work” the blogosphere and an interview with Thom Kephart of Amazon’s outreach department.
I CAN TESTIFY PERSONALLY TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THESE SESSIONS.
COMING UP: MONDAY, MAY 7–A Q&A WITH THOM KEPHART OF AMAZON ITSELF ON HOW AUTHORS AND AMAZON CAN WORK TOGETHER TO GET AUTHORS’ WORK OUT TO THE READING/BUYING PUBLIC. MORE INFO AND REGISTRATION?
NOW, ON TO AARON.
HERE’S HOW THE OFFICIAL BIO READS:
Aaron Patterson is the author of the best-selling WJA series, as well as two Digital Shorts: 19 and The Craigslist Killer. He was home-schooled and grew up in the west. Aaron loved to read as a small child and would often be found behind a book, reading one to three a day on average. This love drove him to want to write, but he never thought he had the talent. He wrote Sweet Dreams, the first book in the WJA series, in 2008. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his family, Soleil, Kale and Klayton. Aaron is the Co-Founder of StoneHouse University and the founder of StoneHouse/StoneGate Ink.
AND THE COLLECTED WORKS:
Sweet Dreams Airel
Dream On Michael
In Your Dreams The Craigslist Killer (Digital Short)
19 (Digital short) Breaking Steele (Coming soon)
Beyond that, however, Aaron and his publishing house, Stone House Ink have built themselves a unique niche in the Indie business. Straight from the man himself, here’s how it happened and where he sees it all going.
WW: Writer/publisher is an unusual combination. Most authors have neither an aptitude for nor an interest in the business side of the writing game. You describe a bit how you got into writing on your website. From whence came the entrepreneurial impulse?
AP: I have always had my own business from mowing lawns as a teen to a construction company before I started writing. I am very creative and I look at business as just another way to use that creativity. I really did start StoneHouse Ink just for my own books and it just sort of grew. Now we are not letting anything happen we are building something that I think in the next few years is gonna blow some minds!
WW: NYC, of course, is the epicenter of the publishing world. Even in the emerging cyber ecosystem, starting such an enterprise in Boise must have seemed a daunting notion. Did your location ever give you pause?
AP: Nope, online is the world. Besides, the New York guys are not doing that well, so I figure we can make Boise the new publishing place to be.
WW: Stone House University is doing a great job of helping writers learn to promote and market their work. Could you talk a little about the genesis of the project and describe how it’s going from your POV?
AP: Working as an author and with other writers I just felt like there was this huge gap in what is out there for writing conferences and such. The things that we all really need to know is not talked about or taught. I think it is because most people think it is all about writing a great book so they focus on the craft not the real way to sell: Marketing. 20% is your book and 80% is marketing. It is a harsh truth but once you see that your book is just one of many products to sell it can change your life. StoneHouse University is that tool, it is your education. If you want to be a Doctor, you go to school, well, you need to go to school to make it in the writing world. That is why we started SHU.
WW: You’ve mentioned in a couple of webinars that many writers are afraid of that dirty little four-letter word W-O-R-K when it comes to promotion and marketing. Obviously, that’s not you, but how do you find time for family, multi-genre writing, and a burgeoning startup?
AP: I take Meth, mix in a little LSD and smoke a ton of pot to end the day on a calm note! The short answer is I am not a control freak. I let other people do what they are good at. If I can do a book cover but I find someone else that can do it better, I let them do it. Delegation is key. So many self-published authors want to do it all, and control everything, but there is just not enough time in a single day. I have a lot of great people I work with to make me look good. It is not all me, not by a long shot.
WW: You often stress how important it is to keep up with trends, that what is a happening success today may be irrelevant tomorrow. Where do you see Indie (and for that matter, corporate) publishing going in the next few years?
AP: Indies look like they will cut their throats, many sites that are out to “Help” authors are scams, and all the experts will be tested and fall away. The real hard workers and writers that are in this for the long term will last and make millions. Traditional publishing will be around but will need to adjust. Small advances and most will drop them all together. B&N may last another year, maybe two and all printing will go the way of POD. Amazon or someone will get international distribution for print and Game Over big 6. In all I am on the 5 year plan, see how many fans I can con into loving my books, build a strong publishing house and by the time the Big 6 see me coming it will be to late. Maybe a villa in Bali…lol.