"You can sit and think about it and think about it, but it isn’t going to happen until you start writing."
J.L. Robb - author of The End: The Book - Part One reminisces on his publishing experience with WestBow Press and his decision to publish sequel, The End: The Book - Part Two, again with WestBow.
The End: The Book Continues!
My name is J.L. Robb and I’m the author of The End: The Book - Part One and Part Two, and I’ve been working on number three. It’s about Islamic terrorism meets the Bible belt and the Bible belt reacts to that. It’s an action thriller that’s biblically based.
I like to think God inspired me. I’ve been thinking about it since I was a kid. One of the first things I read was the book of Revelation because it was so scary. I’ve always liked it and I kept getting a message, “Write a book. Write a book. Write a book.” All my friends kept telling me, and I never did it. When I got to 63 I decided I would.
Returning to WestBow Press
I’ve always believed “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” WestBow Press did a great job for me on my first book; I didn’t have a clue what I was doing other than I was writing. They held my hand. I did a lot of research before I chose WestBow Press. They’re also a division of Thomas Nelson, which is the largest Christian publisher in the world. So I just kind of felt like I couldn’t lose. They never got tired of me asking questions. I’d say, “I apologize if I’m being a nuisance but I’ve got questions,” and they said, “No, ask all the questions you want. Call us anytime; we’ll be calling you.” I think the hand holding made me feel very, very comfortable with them.
What I’m concentrating more on this time is I’m doing a lot of coffee shops. Bookstores – people go in and there’s all this competition; there’s a million books in there to buy. I figured if I go to a coffee shop or a café of some type (I did a book signing not long ago at a restaurant ), what I found is if you go to the independent bookstores, family owned bookstores, small Christian stores, used bookstores, you just get a lot more interest and traffic. Most authors that self-published are like me - they have a very low budget, they don’t have a publishing company going out and spending a hundred thousand dollars on them. So you’ve got to figure out, “What am I going to do that doesn’t cost a lot of money?” There’s a lot of things you can do – Facebook, Pinterest. It doesn’t cost a lot to make bookmarks – make a bunch of them and give them out. I go to restaurants on Sundays for breakfast – I always take bookmarks and leave them on a little table. I give them to everybody I can. I have a wardrobe with my logo. I have bottled water that I had made with my logo on it. It’s not expensive. I have golf shirts, long-sleeved shirts and jackets so I’m kind of like a walking billboard.
The Time is Now
All I would like to say to authors that are thinking about it is, “Get off your butt and do it.” You can sit and think about it and think about it but it isn’t going to happen until you start writing. I would recommend WestBow to any author. I guess I kind of feel like they’re family, I mean I know them by first name and I can call them when I want to and they call me and give me ideas of things to do. I like them. They’re good people. I recommend them to anybody.