Welcome to Day 9 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @KarlJMorgan #RiddleOfSatansCube @RRBC_Org #RRBC @NonnieJules
At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing! Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!
On the 9th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…
AUTHOR, KARL MORGAN!
I am an accountant by profession and have been writing since high school. With those experiences, I like to say that ‘words and numbers are my life.’ Outside of my day job, I try to focus on family, especially with grandchildren around. I try to save some time for writing, but that is often difficult.
NJ: Hi, Karl! My apologies for being so tardy for this interview. I still have 3 more interviews to do after yours. Ready? Here we go! Is your author name a pen name or your birth name?
Karl: It is my real name, although I considered using my mother’s maiden name (Soderberg). That sounds more literary than Morgan.
NJ: Soderberg does sound more literary, Karl! Well, here’s an idea – should you decide to one day go incognito under another name, K. J. Soderberg is it. Although we’re having this conversation now, everyone reading it will know that it’s you, but with total strangers, you’re secret will be ultra-safe! How long have you been writing?
Karl: I have written for business at least forty years. My novel writing is limited to the last ten.
NJ: Karl, you write a lot! Which of your books is your favorite and why?
Karl: I tend to favor my most recent story, which in this case is Carl Prescott and the Riddle of Satan’s Cube. As to why, I believe my storytelling improves with each tale. Another long-time favorite is The Old House. Both speak to love surviving through multiple lifetimes.
NJ: Please give us just a little background on that book. What is it about?
Karl: The Riddle of Satan’s Cube has two underlying themes. The basic plot is that Carl is spirited away to Limbo in the next instance of our universe. He must find a way to escape and get back to his family and friends but must also stop Satan from forever ending the cycle of universes. Like most of my books, it is action packed. The primary theme remains our personal relationship with God. That is the theme of many of my stories, and I consider that the core of my existence.
NJ: Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?
Karl: Paperback and e-book versions are available on Amazon. The Kindle version is $2.99. My older books can also be found at different online retailers through Smashwords. I am transitioning more of my books there to reach a broader audience.
NJ: I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?
Karl: Perhaps I am wrong, but Amazon has a tool that suggests the optimal price, which is what I charge for the e-book. Since the cost to make a paperback is much higher, I try to keep my share about the same. As we all know, Amazon makes most of the money.
NJ: As far as I can tell, Amazon is making (and taking) all the money! Am I right? Ha! I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there. What was your main reason for getting on Twitter? For support? For fun?
Karl: I think I am like you. I read something that said writers, agents, and publishers were big on Twitter. That is why I joined, and of course that lead me to #RRBC, a true win-win scenario.
NJ: Our awesome members love us, don’t they, Karl? Let’s pat ourselves on the back for just belonging there! What other social media platforms do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?
Karl: I primarily post my literary things on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have a large following on LinkedIn, which I why it is included. As to my success, I would say mixed. I have never been outgoing, and that likely works against me.
NJ: Karl, we love your reserved nature. You’re awesome just the way you are! Supporting others is a huge part of my identity. I believe that when you invest your time and support in others, you find that your circle grows by leaps and bounds of others giving the same to you. When I first got involved heavily on Twitter, I was pushing others more than I was pushing myself – I continue to do so. Do you support others on social media? If so, how? Mind you, I know the answer to both these questions already, but, there may be some who don’t.
Karl: I am very proud to be a member of the RRBC Tweet Support Team. That keeps me busy. I also follow other writers, as we need to stick together.
NJ: Yes, we do, and we do a great job of that within RRBC! We are just wrapping up our short story writing contest and yesterday and today, members were on our Books Down Low WhatsApp channel announcing their new releases. You should have seen the other members chiming in with “I just purchased mine!” and “Got my copy!” This is the power of RRBC, for those of you who haven’t joined us yet! We have a built-in reader base for our books! Karl, do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?
Karl: I generally read each tweet. Sometimes, a tweet I see is only a couple of words long, so reading is not an issue. Since tweets are limited in length, it only takes a moment to respond and retweet.
NJ: You’re right, it only takes a moment to read, respond if necessary, and retweet a tweet. If you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, Karl, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you. How could they best support you? What would you have them do?
Karl: Getting the word out about my stories is the best support. If someone has read and reviewed a book, a link to that review is also helpful. Overall, anything supportive is great.
NJ: We all learn something new almost every day while on social media and I like sharing what I have learned with other authors, in hopes that it will benefit them in some way. Have you come across any writing resources that might benefit other authors? If so, share 2 or 3 of them with us, please.
Karl: Probably the best resource I have found is RRBC. You cannot overstate the value of a group that supports each other and gives us kudos when we do good, and gentle advice when we fail. I belong to other online communities, but rarely get anything valuable from them.
NJ: This bears repeating – support, that’s what we do at RRBC! RRBC has helped SO MANY. MANY authors, even those who are no longer on our roster, are where they are today and know what they know and who they know today because of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! I’m extremely proud of our contribution to the literary world. They have been and are still, huge! Authors are always seeking good formatting services. Who do you use to format your books, and would you recommend them?
Karl: My first publisher did the formatting of my early books. Since then, I do it myself. I always follow a standard format for paperback formatting. E-book formatting is not complicated since each reader can change the fonts to suit their devices.
NJ: That was a very simple yet great advice to share, Karl. Some people don’t know that. Can you share with our audience 2 or 3 of the top methods you use to market your books?
Karl: Unfortunately, promotion is one of my weaknesses. I have always been shy and introverted, so it is difficult for me to say great things about my stories or myself. I hope to become better at that when my workaday job goes away.
NJ: What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?
Karl: For new authors, the most important lesson is to finish the book. Some people want to reread and edit as they go along. All that does is cause self-doubt and internal criticism, which is why many never finish their manuscript. When I start a story, I accept that I will do several edits and rewrites (not including comments and suggestions from my editor). Finishing the rough draft gives you confidence because you have successfully written a book. Finishing is very empowering and a source of pride. All writers know the rewrites and editing take much longer than the original draft. It is just part of the process.
NJ: Karl, is writing only a hobby for you or do you write full time?
Karl: I still work fulltime, so I try to find time for writing. When I am in the mood, I can create very quickly. Again, the goal is to finish that draft. I have chosen writing as my job after leaving the rat race. I wish I had the courage to do that now. The soul is willing, but the flesh is weak.
NJ: Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?
Karl: No brawling for me. I realize some people will not like what I write. That is totally okay. If they are not jerks trying to attack me personally, I let it go. None of us can change another person’s mind. Sometimes, those readers are correct too. A poor but honest review is hard to take, but the medicine we need can be a bitter pill.
NJ: Good, good. In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old?
Karl: There were great writers in the past as well as today. The advent of Indie publishing has enabled a lot more people to publish, which is a very good thing. In the past, publishing companies decided which stories they would tell. If you were rejected, you were out. The big publishing houses have become so bloated and corrupt, they mostly publish garbage by television talking heads. I doubt most would recognize a modern Ernest Hemingway unless he had a show on television. Since we cannot trust the publishing houses, it is up to readers to decide which stories are valuable. The law of supply and demand is a wonderful thing.
NJ: Karl, do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?
Karl: I dislike any unprofessional behavior anywhere, having been a business professional all my working life. I think I am fortunate because I spend very little time on social media. I mostly interact with family and friends, and of course look for photos of the grandchildren. All the reckless blather in social media probably made me ignore it more. At some point, we must accept that haters are going to hate. Those are the folks to block out of your life.
NJ: If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?
Karl: Yes, and I did not like it, but people have their own opinions. A conversation about blasphemy comes to mind. Some negative reviews have helped me fix big mistakes in my earlier books. So, I was grateful, but still the rebuke stung. I am smart enough to know it was my fault, not the reader’s.
NJ: Karl, would you please repeat that, and louder this time for the authors who haven’t learned to embody the full spectrum of what being a published author entails, and who also throws tantrums when someone points out (ISSUES with a huge “S”) with their books and with their writing? THANK YOU! Now, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?
Karl: I prefer honesty, but reiterate that negative reviews do hurt, especially when the reader is correct. I generally do not read reviews and cannot recall any just mean nastiness in one. Still, if someone is nasty to my book, at least that makes them feel better for a little while. Imagine how miserable their lives must be.
NJ: Appreciating the honesty is the only way for us to grow and the only way to go, Karl! Thanks for joining me in this series!
OTHER QUICK FACTS ABOUT KARL…
- “I write science fiction and fantasy. I am especially fond of stories involving spiritual themes.”
- Indie author
- Has published 22 books so far with more on the way
- Random blogger
- “I do look at Instagram, but have not actively posted there.”
FOLLOW KARL ON…
Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Karl on Day 9 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series! It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of his book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon. Ensure that you leave him a comment below, and also LIKE his feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above! We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.
To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page! There will be a new series beginning in July! I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJules, as my truest joy is in service to others. I’d love to support you, too!
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series? Click HERE to sign up!
DISCLAIMER: Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted. It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.