7 Questions With Author Dalton Smith
Dalton Smith is a non-fiction indie author. For as long as he can remember, he’s always enjoyed telling a story and takes pride in helping people out with his words. Dalton recently started his self-publishing career and has many books planned to publish soon. He specializes in writing self-help guides.
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What’s your own definition of an author / indie author?
My definition of an indie author is just an author who does it all and wears many hats. As indie authors we are the publisher, the writer, the marketer, the promoter. We then have to hire a cover designer, a copy-editor, a proofreader and developmental editor to check the flow before we can actually publish. The only difference between us and traditionally published authors is that they write, and they submit their work for approval before it gets published.
How does a day in your author life look?
A normal day for me is very hectic. I actually wake up every morning to write around 4:45 a.m. I get important stuff done in the morning before the kids wake up. So, my mornings can consist of marketing, writing, social media marketing, brainstorming, keyword research, creating mind-maps and just corresponding with people.
I am old-fashioned so, I still use paper as notes. At my day job no one knows I actually write, so I still carry around sticky notes, paper and a pencil.
What were some major setbacks of this profession?
Some setbacks were not getting a professional cover in the beginning. I learned this the hard way as I told the designer what to do and gave the designer a bad image to use at first. The designer did not care the image was bad or the wrong image, he just wanted to get paid for his work.
When sales decreased, I realized it was the cover scaring people away thinking I was an amateur. People do judge a book by its cover. Now I make sure to have a professional cover on all of my books. Also, do not tell your designer how to design your cover if you are publishing your first book. If you have no knowledge with design and try to just do it on the fly, it will be a bad look.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
Get as many reviews as you can in the beginning and build your brand before you publish. For example, write your book but put it on pre-order for like 8 months while you build your brand. Simply, just publishing cold turkey with no brand, no following, no one will know who you are and you will have no sales.
What would you do if you weren’t writing?
I would be watching independent movies. I really love watching a good action film or crime drama.
How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
Luckily, I write at midnight while the kids are sound asleep. I then wake up at 4 in the morning before the kids wake up for school, so I can do additional writing I could not finish at midnight. This may sound silly but I then continue writing at the day job in secret as no one knows I am a writer at work.
What are the steps you usually take from writing your first draft to publishing?
I write the first draft. I then reread and I also have a couple of different proofreaders read it too. I then rewrite some areas over that do not make sense. Eventually, I would like to have a few dedicated beta readers who would like to read my work before I publish and to give me some honest critique to make my writing that much stronger and help me grow as a writer. I am looking for beta readers so anyone who would like to be one please get in touch with me. Sometimes I give away free books.
My formula for writing is basically the same for each book. I introduce a subject, define a problem, I then talk about the solution to the problem. I then solve the problem with solutions I have offered. I then offer insight. I repeat this process for each chapter.
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She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.