2/2/15

Five Reasons Will Swardstrom is an Excellent Indie Author

I've been MIA for while, so let me get some housekeeping out of the way first. Desperate to Escape released at the beginning of August and had a great reception. The reviews have been phenomenal and I cannot tell you how much it means to me. Keep them coming. I've also had a short story, Repose, published in the anthology The Powers That Be. This particular anthology gives it's proceeds to charity. The money goes to a children's hospital, feel guilty yet? Good, go buy it.

I also have a short story releasing (hopefully) in February. It's all finished except for final editing and review by a very special beta reader. His name? Will Swardstrom, who happens to be the author I'm writing about today. See what I did there? Clever transition, eh?

Will Swardstrom is an excellent example of what an indie author should be. I asked him if I could feature him, he happily agreed...even after I told him I was going to write about what I thought of him, not ask him questions. So, here we go:

Five Reasons Will Swardstrom is an Excellent Indie Author


1. Will is Friendly: Let me get this out of the way. Will is one friendly guy. Go ahead, write him and see if he'll reply. If you write him right now, he's likely to have gotten back to you before you finish reading this blog post. After being a pretty good success in the indie market, his siblings, Paul Swardstrom and Betsy Baker, decided they wanted to do a book of short stories with their dear successful brother. Instead of telling his siblings to go get their own readers, he published Baking with Swords. Hey, if you are still talking with your siblings after the editing process, you've proven how nice you really are.

2. Will Gives Back to the Community: Some authors want to keep their "secrets" to publishing and selling hidden away. Will, however, would share everything he knows with you if you had the time. He has been one of the strongest proponents of charity anthologies and promotes books from other others much more than he promotes his own.

3. Will is Outgoing: As an indie author, I tend to admire those new indie authors who rocket to the top of the charts out of nowhere. While I wish I could sit down with those authors and have a conversation with them about the business, Will just goes ahead and contacts whoever he wants and often has a good relationship with people I consider beyond my reach. The thing is, he doesn't just reach out to the high-sales indie authors, he reaches out to anyone he reads and likes. Some of them shoot to the top, some of them don't, but he is friendly with them all (I refer you back to number one.)

4. Will is an Avid Reader: I can't keep up with this man. He reads everything you've heard of and twice as much besides. He's really in this thing for the love of literature and ideas. There are some authors that seem to be in the biz for the big payout, feeling that their efforts deserve a million dollar contract with Hollywood. Guess what? There is a ton of great indie literature just sitting around on Amazon not getting attention. Sure, it's a shame that no one is reading it...oh, wait. Will probably did read it, enjoyed it, reviewed it, and told his friends about it.

5. Will is Genuine: Out of everything on this list, I think this is the most salient. Will does not fake being friendly, nor does he reach out to other authors so he can use them to promote his own books. He's just a real guy having fun getting to know people and sharing ideas. If Amazon announced tomorrow that they no longer sold self-published works, I imagine he'd shrug his shoulders and keep reading and writing for free.

Now, you may notice I did not talk about his quality of writing. He is a great author and if you look around this blog you might find a review or two for some of his works. However, as much as I love his writing, I love his approach to being in the indie community more. The funny thing is, all the reasons I gave above are hard to fake. You would become a bitter person if you tried to use this as a to do list, but if you really enjoy the community aspect of being an author, you'll fly high like Will.

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