peeps: Scott Pratt

Wordpreneur Peeps logoIndie author Scott PrattWhen he was only thirteen years old, author Scott Pratt was forced to move to Tennessee from Michigan, where he was born and raised. He majored in English at East Tennessee State University, winning the McClellan Award for outstanding writing, and later worked as a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor for dailies in Johnson City and Kingsport.

He says it took him twenty years to finish and get his undergrad degree, though, but when he was 38, he started law school, finished at 41, and proceeded to practice criminal defense law. That ended. “[A] judge put me in jail back in 2005,” he says. “Long story.”

That’s when he started writing books. Scott started pumping out some very popular — surprise! — legal mysteries and thrillers (such as his Joe Dillard series) from what I can see. Work that noted hard-boiled and noir crime fiction author Ken Bruel described as, “Scott Turow and Grisham,” with the opening chapter of the book he was reviewing as “maybe the most compelling” he’s read in a decade. Hmm, I think I’ll pick myself up a copy.

How Scott Got Started Self-Publishing

An Innocent Client by Scott PrattPenguin’s New American Library published Scott’s first three books. His editor, however, resigned and left the company, and Scott was orphaned. “Once she left,” he says, “my books died on the vine.”

Scott, however, wrote a couple more, and last September, the rights to his first three reverted back to him. That’s when Scott decided to dive right into the indie publishing waters. He “removed the profanity, designed covers, and started releasing a new book every two weeks,” after deciding to go exclusively with Amazon and its KDP Select program.

Apparently, that was exactly the right thing to do.

“I’m selling about 30,000 of them a month right now,” he reports. “All five of my Joe Dillard novels are among the top 10 bestselling legal thrillers in the Amazon Kindle store. I have another one almost finished and a standalone literary/historical fiction novel that I’m going to release next week. Needless to say, it’s all (very) good.”

Self-Publishing Tips and Observations

  • “I don’t have much respect for the international conglomerates that make up the traditional publishing industry. They gouge their customers and they pay their writers squat. I see them and their fat stockholders falling by the wayside in the near future, victims of their own greed and self-importance.”
  • “[S]elf-publishing is an incredible opportunity for writers these days. You have to have a good product, of course, but if you do and you price it reasonably, there’s a bunch of money to be made.”
  • “My experience has been that social media like Facebook and Twitter aren’t important, the website isn’t all that important, and book signings and publicity tours aren’t important. What’s important is good stories.”
  • “My advice to others is to write good stories, write a lot of them, get them as clean as possible, put them on Amazon in the Kindle Select program for a low price and be patient. Good things will happen.”

Learn more about Scott and his work by visiting his Amazon author page and his website and blog.

Originally published: June 3, 2013