Who Art Thou Thursday: Benjamin Jones

My buddy Benjamin Jones, author of the H.U.B. series, returns for an interview. Let’s find out what he’s up to, shall we? 🙂

Tell us about your most recent publication.

My most recent publication has been Humanity’s Ultimate Battle (H.U.B.) Volume 2: Blowback which is a continuation of H.U.B. Volume 1 which came out last March.

H.U.B. is a series set around vampires who, long believed to be nothing but myth and legend, do in fact exist. For years they have lived peacefully amongst humans but all that is about to change. Not content with being considered an equal to the human race, a faction has arisen that is threatening to fracture the delicate truce and engage in a global war pitting humans against vampires.

Why did you decide to publish independently?

I decided to publish independently due to the freedom it allowed me to have. I like being able to put my work out WHEN I want and HOW I want, plus I get to keep all of the profit w/out having to split it with a publishing company.

What’s your favorite part about the publishing process and why?

My favorite part so far has been the book conventions. I attended one in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March and I had a BLAST meeting all the people and being able to talk about my book. And then, for those that actually purchased the book, it made me so happy!! I loved being able to take pictures with everyone that bought my book. It was truly an amazing experience and I’m looking forward to my next one which is in June.

What is your character development process?

When I initially start I have a general idea about what each character is going to be like but what I’ve found is that, as the story gets written, the characters start taking on a life of their own and they end up evolving as the story does. So, I sit back and let them grow and they usually end up being vastly different than what I had anticipated but it all works out in the end.

For you, what’s the hardest part of the writing process?

The hardest part of the writing process is getting noticed because, without that, you essentially have nothing but this great piece of work that no one knows anything about. This is where the frustration and stress comes in.

What’s the easiest part?

The easiest part to me is actually the writing part itself. It’s very easy for me to put pen to paper because I feel that’s what I was born to do. It’s everything AFTER the work is finished that gets hard.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice to writers is to KEEP WRITING – that is the single most important thing that you can ever do. After that, network with your writing peers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… Also, invest in yourself and you will always have a good return on your investment.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m actually working on two projects simultaneously, the first being H.U.B. Volume 3: The Tipping Point which is to be released on 9.10.11 and I’m also working on my romance novel entitled Head Above Water which will also be released sometime this year.

Who would you say is your biggest fan in your writing career?

My wife, most definitely. She’s been SUPER supportive in everything and always offers constructive criticism/feedback. She’s been great.

How about some quickies!

Pencil or Pen: Pen

Print or Cursive: Cursive

Pantser or Plotter: Pantser

Favorite Candy: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Worst habit: Eating too much ice cream!

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About the Benjamin Jones

Who am I? My name is Benjamin Jones and I’m what’s known as an independent (for the time being) author who is working tirelessly to make this dream of mine to be the world’s greatest writer a reality (right now I’m simply the greatest writer that 99.99998% of the world hasn’t heard of but I’m working to get that percentage a little lower).

All jokes aside, I’m a person who has a family (wife, kids, dog, cat, all that good stuff), who works a 9-5 (actually a 7-4) job by day, and writes whenever he can find the time. My goal in life is to be a writer, and it’s something that I take VERY seriously. Not having an agent at the moment I spend all my time either writing, promoting myself on Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads.com/etc…., or thinking of ways to get myself noticed by people.

Keep up to date with Benjamin Jones at his Author blog or Author Website.

 

H.U.B. Volume 1 & 2 by Benjamin Jones is available at the following locations:

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

 

 

Tuesday Teaser: H.U.B. by Benjamin Jones

Welcome to another addition of Tuesday Teaser. 🙂 Humanity’s Ultimate Battle continues in Author Benjamin Jones‘ saga, H.U.B. Today, he presents a piece from Volume 1. Enjoy!

Vampires, long believed to be nothing but myth and legend, do in fact exist. For years they have lived peacefully amongst humans but all that is about to change. Not content with being considered an equal to the human race, a faction has arisen that is threatening to fracture the delicate truce and engage in a global war pitting humans against vampires.

The first volume of an epic series is here and the world will never be the same.

Santa Catalina Island, twenty-two miles south-southwest of Los Angeles. The place that some considered a paradise – visited by more than a million visitors each year – was now a paradise lost; it was if the island had fallen asleep and had never woken up from the nightmares that continued to plague it. The smell of the ocean was damned near non-existent now as it was drowned out by the aroma of death and despair that showered the island like the most acidic of rain.

What used to be a population of thirty seven hundred residents had been reduced to a little more than two hundred, the majority of which were not native to the island – they had been transported here against their will. Those that were physically able, roughly eighty of them, congregated on the beach, tattered underclothes clinging to their sunken in frames as they washed what little bit of clothes they had in the cold water of the Pacific Ocean. The darkest circles surrounded their eyes, eyes that had lost the little flicker of hope that they once contained; that flame had been extinguished a while ago with no signs of ever returning. Most had made peace with the fact that they had ceased living and now simply existed, if that’s what you would call what they were being forced to do.

Things were not supposed to be this way. How did they let them win? Buildings were eternally dark from the absence of electricity that had been shut off long ago. Decay was widespread with trash piled up everywhere and houses falling apart from neglect. Weeds and grass penetrated the cracks in the sidewalk and streets while trash barrels were kept ignited for warmth and to cook food. This was not humanity. There had to be some kind of resistance still going. Good is always supposed to defeat evil.

 

H.U.B. Volume 1 & 2 by Benjamin Jones is available at the following locations:

Smashwords

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

 

 

***************************

About the Benjamin Jones

Who am I? My name is Benjamin Jones and I’m what’s known as an independent (for the time being) author who is working tirelessly to make this dream of mine to be the world’s greatest writer a reality (right now I’m simply the greatest writer that 99.99998% of the world hasn’t heard of but I’m working to get that percentage a little lower).

All jokes aside, I’m a person who has a family (wife, kids, dog, cat, all that good stuff), who works a 9-5 (actually a 7-4) job by day, and writes whenever he can find the time. My goal in life is to be a writer, and it’s something that I take VERY seriously. Not having an agent at the moment I spend all my time either writing, promoting myself on Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads.com/etc…., or thinking of ways to get myself noticed by people.

Keep up to date with Benjamin Jones at his Author blog or Author Website.

Guest Post: Ben Jones on Online Presence + Blogoversary Giveaway 1[CLOSED]

A Writer’s Website and

Why You Need an Online Store

by

Benjamin Jones

For an independent/self publishing, author having a website is akin to having a drivers license – everybody should have one. Believe it or not, there are some of us who haven’t taken that necessary step and setup their own website so, if you’re one of those, stop reading this post and head over to www.weebly.com, www.webs.com or any of the other sites where you can setup your own site for free. We’ll give you a minute to do that before proceeding…..

Alright, now that that’s taken care of (and all joking aside), one of the first things I did when I seriously started pursuing this writing career of mine was to start my website and begin building my “brand” as your website becomes the main way that people really begin to notice you and your work and becomes a “one stop shop”, serving as nucleus of your writing world on the web. Something I have found useful (which I didn’t think of when I first got my website) was the ability to cross promote with other authors. I have linked up with fellow authors on Twitter and have put either a banner ad or a link to their book on my page in exchange for them doing the same thing for me on their site. It’s not only a good way to build publicity for your site but also a good way to link up/network with other authors.

There are many things that people put on their websites but I find these to be the core pages that every writer should have:

  • Contact page – it’s imperative that people be able to contact you, be it via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc… It allows you a chance to interact and build a fan base, especially via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Reviews page – if you have gotten any reviews on your work then you need to show them off (even put a few on the front/home page of your site to entice potential readers/customers to keep reading). I don’t know about you but, if I read/see that someone likes something, then I’m going to be more inclined to check it out for myself. Be sure to provide a link to the original source of the review so that people don’t think you made it up. 😉  Also, you can use this page to provide little snippets/excerpts of your work to entice people to buy (or create a whole new page for this purpose). Give the reader a little bit to get them interested so they’ll want to buy the rest.
  • A page for updates – as you continue to build your fan base you will want to let your fans/readers know what’s going on with you and your work so update your site often to keep them coming back.

Besides the above things the other necessity is an online store which I feel is important enough to warrant it’s own separate paragraph. When I first decided on setting up an online store for my site I thought that it was going to be hard but it is/was surprisingly easy. After setting up my site I then headed over to Paypal where I already had an account due to my eBay usage and clicked on their “Merchant Services” link and from there it was setting up descriptions and prices for my items, copying the HTML code for the checkout button onto my site and then voila – my store was up and running! As a note: I’m sure there are other sites that will let you setup an online store through them but Paypal is the one I use and the only one I’m really familiar with.

Why would I need an online store you maybe asking? The real question is why wouldn’t you want an online store?  Yes you can have your books on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc… w/out having them listed on your site but let’s take a look at the benefits of having your own online store:

  • If people are already on your site then they are more willing to buy if the link/page is right there as opposed to having to go to a different page and find it. You can always post links to the other places where your book is located on your online store page but have the focus be on your site first because….
  • You keep more of the money! Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and the rest) can get your book in front of more eyes but they’re going to keep more of YOUR money for that service. Using Paypal I get to keep about 95% of the sale price where some places the royalty rate is anywhere from 35 to 70%.
  • You can sell stuff other than books. You can have posters, magnets, calendars, t-shirts or any other number of things to go along with your book and any extra income is good income.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should have an online store on your site.

In conclusion, if you don’t have a website, GET ONE! If you have a website make sure that you have an online store where you can sell your books (and merchandise). Remember that your website is an extension of you and should be looked at as a part of your “brand”. Make it accessible to the readers, keep it updated regularly and let the reader know about the author as well as the books you’re writing.

Good luck and happy writing!

Ben Jones.

Ben is the author of the H.U.B. series of horror books. Find more on him and his series at www.whatishub.net or send him an email at ben@whatishub.net

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Thanks, Ben. I definitely appreciate the time you’ve taken to share with us about the value of having an online presence.

To blog readers 🙂 If you haven’t done so, take some time to tinker around on the H.U.B. site.

Now I’m hijacking this guest post. 🙂

So last week I checked the calendar and realized my one year blogoversary was on the horizon. January 6, 2010 to be exact. What to do? What to do? A giveaway is always nice. However, I wanted the giveaways to represent the directly this blog has been going lately–a slant toward indie. So, in honor of one year blogging and Indie authors, we’re going with an Indie theme.

To kick it off, Ben Jones has offered 5 copies of H.U.B. Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Okay, here’s how it goes. Five winners, five prizes.

  • One winner will receive a copy of H.U.B. Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Ben Jones plus their choice of a book up to $10 from the Book Depository. *This prize is international to anywhere the Book Depository ships.
  • Four winners will receive a copy of H.U.B. Volume 1 and Volume 2. *International.

So how do you win? Simple. Fill out the Form.

The rules!

  • Become a blog follower. See Google Friends Connect to the left.
  • You’ll earn 1 point for completing the form and additional point if you tweet and leave the link.
  • You may tweet once per day after your initial entry for an extra 2 points. Use the same form. 🙂
  • Comments are appreciated, but only entries from the form count.
  • Giveaway ends Friday, January 7, 2011.
  • Please read the giveaway policy for the nitty gritty.

Remember to check back tomorrow for the next giveaway.
So share some of your favorite Indie Authors. 🙂

HUB is available at Barnes & Nobles || Amazon || The Book Depository || Kobo || iTunes