Monday, October 29, 2012

Otis G. Sanders - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Otis G. Sanders. He is a non-Fiction author and a professional photographer specializing in personal stories.

Author Genre:

Author's Blog: The Image Gallery
Website: Always & Forever, Love Success Stories of Marriages 20+ Years Strong
Twitter: @alwaysn4everlov
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: Otis G. Sanders has been a professional photographer for more than 20 years. His love for photography started at the age of 12. Reading has always been a favorite past time for Otis. His fascination for the written word coupled with his expertise in photographing people lead to the production his first table top book, 'Always & Forever, Love' subtitled: Success Stories of Marriages 20+ Years Strong.

This book demonstrates through 50 couples of different ethnic backgrounds how God/Spirituality, Love, Respect, Trust, Communication, Commitment, Togetherness, Forgiveness, Patience & Honesty, are the ingredients that help build strong, lasting marriages.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
When we first communicated I explained that so far the focus of the Author’s Spotlight had been on fiction writers. Your blog adds a different perspective to my audience.

Are you formatting the pictures for the ebook yourself or are you getting outside help? You can give credit if you outsourced this phase of your book.

Since this ebook was my first I was not familiar with how the conversion worked so I used to format the book. I paid extra since I had 50 images, but at the time it was the best way I knew of.

I also had to have the book redesigned as a vertical. The printed book is laid out horizontal (with multiple columns on each page that had text) and I learned that ebooks were (at the time) limited to a vertical format.

Your first project was a human interest story. Have you been approached by any other type of group to put together an ebook with your art? For example, travel groups and business organizations are starting to see the advantage in digital formatted literature.
I have not been approached by any other companies, but I'm working with a retired NFL player friend of mine on his upcoming book. It will be the same format as mine. I'll do the photography for the book, help with interviews, writing, publishing and printing of the book.

Since he speaks also, I will accompany him on some of his book signings and speaking engagements and help with selling the book at the events.

As I get further into the process of marketing my book I will approach other companies and businesses as you mentioned to sell them the idea instead of waiting until they discover the need for such a publication.

The future of ebooks will be in the use of color and HD pictures to enhance the reading experience. What kinds of writing projects do you have in the works? Are they different in nature? Can we shout out to your readers that something is coming in the near future?
As a professional photographer it's hard for me to think about doing books without photographs, so until I get to be a great writer, my writing projects will have photographs in them to help tell the story and create visual interest. I've started on the second edition of "Always & Forever, Love", I hope to be finished with that in about a year or so since I will profile couples from 15 different states, so as you could imagine the travel will take some time.

I'm also in the process of producing a book encompassing the last 20 or so years of my portrait photography. That will be produce as an ebook first. I also have a project that I've been writing about on my website It's a story about a homeless chair, "George The Chair". I write about its attempt to find a new home. This will also be produced as an ebook first.

Professional photography and ebook pictures and art, especially in the formatting part of it, is a new skill set. Do you have any plans to tackle other business opportunities with ebooks in general like back covers and in-book pictures?
I've learned from having outside help with formatting my current ebook that it's best if I knew how that process works. As I continue with this type of publishing I plan to learn the process myself so I can keep the price down and have control of the time line of having a finished project ready for publishing. (With Bookbaby it took about 2 months or more before we had a file ready to upload for sale).

During my research for your blog, it appeared you are doing all of the traditional author marketing activities like book signings, speaking and carrying copies with you. (I know several authors that have made the mistake leaving their copies at home.) How does social media fit into your marketing plans? Do you have a collection of your fine art online so your readers can get a peak, like Pinterest?
I have my foot in the door of social media in the areas of a Facebook account, a Facebook fan page, LinkedIn, Twitter, my book website, my blog site, and I market the book on both my photography websites. I get lots of hits on those sites, but thus far they have not been successful in causing viewers to purchase the book.

On my site: in the "Image Gallery" I've been uploading and writing about my images over the last ten years. There is a variety of photography there, but I don't have any fine art photography in a place like Pinterest. (I don't have an Pinterest accont)

I'm finding it difficult to stay on top of all the social media I have going now and be able to work, photograph and interview couples for the next book, write and work with others on their projects.

At the end of the day, word of mouth and being in front of my niche group is what has been working best for selling this book.

Otis, the beauty of what you do is that Art with a story reaches across all groups of people like your book. With that said what support groups are you involved with that help you tackle these new and big projects?
Unfortunately James, I'm a one man, one pony show. One of my initial interests and motivators for getting into publishing is that I wanted to continue to stay relevant in the photography profession. Since photography has changed a bit here in the last 5 years or more I thought writing along with photography would give me the opportunity to keep shooting while producing a different kind of product that could be sold to the general public.

Those products would then allow me to speak about the process of photography, writing, and the photography techniques used in the publications I produce. So, to answer your question, I'm going at it alone until I find the support groups and others that express a desire to be a part these upcoming projects.

Author's Book List
Always & Forever, Love: Success Stories of Marriages 20 + Years Strong
This is a book project titled: "Always & ForEver, Love" Subtitled: "Success Stories of marriages 20+ Years Strong"

This book is a celebration of the institution of traditional marriage. With approx. 50% of all marriages in America ending in divorce there is a desperate need to bring to light the other 50% of marriages that survive where the couples are happy and in love after 20 years or more of marriage.

This book, "Always&ForEver, Love" consists of approx. 50 married couples of different Ethnic groups that have been married not less than 20 years. Each couple was interviewed and photographed to produce this book. Each couple has the highlights of what they have done to make their marriage work, and a full page photograph of the couple.

Different Ethnic groups are used to demonstrate that there is no difference between the races when it comes to the institution of marriage. What makes a marriage work for an African American couple is the same for an Anglo, Hispanic, Interracial, or Asian couple.

What is that thing or set of circumstances that keep married couples together for 20 years or more, and how are they able to remain in love after being together for so long going through the ups and downs of life and marriage?? What does it take? Why are some couples successful and others are not?? What is the common thread, or glue that has kept these couples together?

Each couple reveals insights on what it's taken for them to remain happy and in love as they keep their marriages strong and lasting through the years.

As I shot the photographs of the couples featured in the book I attempted to show the love and connection they've built and maintained over the years, both with their comfort, closeness and familiarization with each other.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
James Owens

James Owens was a running back with the San Francisco 49ers from 1979 to 1981 and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1982 –1984. Otis plans on touring with him as they create a picture book and ebook.

Ray & Cindy Reding

Ray & Cindy Reding of Redondo Beach, Ca. Married 22 years. Ray & Cindy are both professional photographers, they operated a commercial photography studio together for 18 years.

This is some of Otis's fine work from his book. This blog highlights one of the problems ebook authors face as they to introduce color and pictures into their books especially trying to adapt landscape pictures to a portrait format.

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author's Corner

No comments:

Post a Comment