peeps: Douglas Dorow
During the day, Dougles Dorow is an information technology manager. But at night, he turns into Douglas Dorow, author. With his family, he lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and writes at night after everyone’s gone to bed or tries to steal slices of writing time at coffee shops. The author thing, in other words, is his second job, and so far, it seems to be working out pretty well.
In 2011 he released his first thriller, The Ninth District, and is currently working on the second in the series featuring FBI Agent Jack Miller. He also has plans to spin off a novella series from The Ninth District and has started work on a new and separate action/adventure series.
How Douglas Got Started Self-Publishing
Back in the Spring of 2010, Douglas was working on agent query letters with the members of his critique group when he read a news item on Amazon’s move to let authors self-publish on the Kindle and pay a royalty rate of 70% to boot. That was it — “I decided then and there to self-pub on the Kindle,” he remembers. “My wife had just bought me a Kindle for Father’s Day a few months earlier, and I was an ebook convert.”
He initially aimed to publish a book by Christmas that year, just in time to feed the latest holiday batch of new Kindle owners, but he took no shortcuts. “Knowing I was competing with all of the other authors out there, I knew I needed to hire an editor and a cover artist since those areas aren’t my strengths.”
He was on his way to finishing his book when his mother fell ill, delaying his plans until June 2011, when he was finally able to release The Ninth District. He released the book on multiple platforms and markets — Kindle, Nook, iBook, Sony — but in the past year, he decided to join and work with the KDP Select program and publish exclusively on Amazon. Did that decision limit his market reach? Doesn’t seem like it. “Readers don’t all read ebooks,” he notes, “so this last year I also used CreateSpace to make a paper version, ACX for an audiobook version, and I hired a translator to make a Spanish version.”
In 2013, Douglas will be busier than ever. “I’m focusing on more content since it’s easier to sell a fan a second book than it is a new reader a book from an author they don’t know. I’m working on a second thriller in my FBI series, a novella series spin off from my first book and I’m plotting a new action/adventure series.” Makes you wonder how long this will all stay just a second job.
- “This industry is continuing to change so it’s important to stay in touch with what’s going on. There are some great blogs to follow besides keeping in touch with what other authors are doing.”
- “I like the term authorpreneur. Not only am I an author, but I’m also a publisher and a marketer.”
- “Publishers are trying to figure out how to partner with successful indie authors, and are taking on paper distribution with some. Amazon is leading the pack while Barnes & Noble is trying to figure out what it wants to be and Kobo works on filling the gaps it sees in Amazon’s distribution globally. But the readers are still out there, so I’m going to focus on creating great stories for them in the formats they want to read it in.”