peeps: Keith Houghton

Indie Author Keith HoughtonFor the last 15 years, Keith Houghton has lived in a small northwest English town with his partner, Lynn, where they’ve kept busy at their regular day jobs. No surprise, what with the pair now having three grown-up children and four grandkids between them. For Keith, that previous working life revolved around electrical retail and home computer repair.

Did you get the “previous” part? Now, you see, Keith has managed to switch to a life of crime writing.

The career shift came courtesy of the success of his first thriller, Killing Hope. and, according to him, from finally taking the advice his 13-year-old-self got from his English teacher, telling him to quit writing the science fiction he used to write and try something else. “It took me thirty years to heed her advice and switch to another genre,” he says on his Amazon author page. “Why didn’t I listen to her sooner?”

How Keith Got Started Self-Publishing

B006BZIXZM Killing Hope (Gabe Quinn Thriller #1) by Keith Houghton“Until the last couple of years, I stuck to the traditional route of sending out chapters and synopsis to agents and publishers,” Keith recounts.

Then came the Kindle, and that all changed.

“It was only after completing my first crime thriller in 2011 that I even thought about electronic publishing. I didn’t really know much about it, so had to start from scratch.” Despite a bit of computer experience (see previous day job), he says it still “took some time” for him to get through the learning curve of figuring out how to get his Word files prepped and laid out properly, getting them ebook-ready and formatted, then ported over to the Kindle. But once he got through all that, “it was a simple matter of uploading everything to Amazon and then, of course, hoping that readers would buy my book!”

Which, apparently, they did. As of this writing, Killing Hope has an impressive 363 reader reviews on Amazon (and we all know only a small fraction of a book’s readers bothers to write a review). And his second book, Crossing Lines, whose print and Kindle editions were released just in the past couple of months, is quickly racking up good numbers as well.

Maybe Keith should go tell his English teacher.

Self-Publishing Observations and Tips

  • “With the rise of the ereader… [w]riters are literally a few clicks away from global domination. It’s an exciting time for indie authors. And there’s serious money to be made for those who do well — more than most advances on first-time authors.”
  • “I believe that in the not-too-distant future, mass market print publishing will decline in favor of ebooks. It’s inevitable. Mass market paperbacks will go the way of vinyl records — there will always be a small, niche demand, but the majority of books will be read on an electronic device.”
  • “If you’re not a wizard with Photoshop, pay for a professional to design your book covers. Your cover is your shop window. If it looks interesting, people will take a closer look and hopefully like what they see on the inside enough to buy your book.”

Learn more about Keith and his work by visiting his Amazon author page and his website. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Article by Eldon Sarte