Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Sam Boush. He is an author and an award-winning journalist. Sam writes Thrillers, and Science Fiction.
Thriller, Science Fiction, Fiction
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Sam Boush is a novelist and award-winning journalist.
He has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized marketing agency. Though he’s lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice.
He is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.
ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is his first novel, with more to come.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
Congratulations on your first book: ALL SYSTEMS DOWN. What do you have on the drawing board next? Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
I’m working on the sequel to All Systems Down. I can’t give you much of a tease, unfortunately, but I’ll tell you it takes up where the first book left off, and it’s going to be just as fun to read as All Systems Down.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
Twitter is a great way to waste time. I certainly spend too much writing time engaging with other writers (and the occasional fan). But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy communicating with all those people.
As far as building a following, my philosophy is to treat my die-hard fans really well. I give them books and let them know they’re important, because they are. That’s why we publish: to be read. And every one of the real fans is also a great brand advocate, and need to be nurtured.
Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
Mostly I don’t do signings. But just today my publicist asked me to set up a signing in Bend, Oregon as part of a bit of media coverage, so I’ll probably head over the mountains in a month or so. But I promise to put all my signings on my blog, so check that out to see if I’m around. There’s a link at the top of this interview.
You have great cover. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
My publisher asked me about ideas, then took those thoughts and brought in some of the other editors to brainstorm. There was a lot of back and forth, and some alternative concepts for the cover that I liked, though completely different.
I am happy with the final result, and I feel that the cover is probably the most important piece of marketing. If readers see an unprofessional cover they may feel that the book, too, will be sloppy.
What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
None, I’m afraid. A long time ago I was part of a writing group, when I was working on another novel that I never published. I also used to be a board member for Pacific Northwest Writers Association, though that was also long in the past.
What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?
To market to technothriller readers isn’t particularly easy, so I’d say I market to a broader range of readers, since the book has mass appeal, in the same way that JURASSIC PARK had mass appeal.
One bit of success ALL SYSTEMS DOWN had was being ranked by Goodreads as one of the top 100 technothrillers of all time:
Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do you sort of play it by ear?
Family is the most important of any of those. Fortunately, my kids are school-aged so I have a chunk of time when they’re out of the house. Otherwise, I try not to do marketing in the same days as I write. I’ll focus on writing most days, but some days I just can’t. Those are my marketing days.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
Thank you! Yes, I do try to give other writers exposure on my blog. I really feel like all of us authors are in the same place, in an industry we’ve joined for love not money.
To find the time, I just don’t stop. It’s amazing how much of our lives can be frittered away watching TV or surfing the Internet. My advice to anyone looking to find extra time is to cut those activities out as much as possible.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
Readers write all my reviews. I believe authors who write a page-turning book will generally be rewarded with positive feedback.
I’m also not above begging. If your readers want to review All Systems Down, I would be grateful. More importantly, I’d just like to get the book in front of as many noses as possible.
With your marketing experience, do you feel that gives you an advantage in the ever-changing book publishing industry or is it an entirely different ballgame?
My marketing background (including my background in publishing more than a dozen years ago) is certainly helpful. Mostly, it gives me the confidence to ask. My advice to any new author is to be assertive and willing to write to bloggers or newspapers or fellow writers just to tell them your book exists.
Author's Book List
All Systems Down
- The Cyber War
That's all it takes.
A new kind of war has begun.
Pak Han-Yong's day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he's labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.
And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.
Brendan Chogan isn't a hero. He's an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there's a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.
Brendan will do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.
In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.
Strangers whose survival depends upon each other's skills and courage.
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