Author Highlight: Jim Moran

This is the first in a series of author interviews that will be featured on my blog. These are authors I have the pleasure of workshopping with and who have their own works to present.

According to Jim, he is a random guy on the Internet who accidentally fell into this whole “writing” thing. He is terribly inexperienced in virtually every aspect of the writing endeavor, and is currently just making things up as he goes. What fun! He has a blog.

I’d add that he is a new author working on a epic space opera. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his process and the industry in general.

Jim, for your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I don’t really have a preference.

I certainly don’t fetishize paper books to the extent that some people are wont to do. But I do like a full bookshelf. And I like the permanence of traditional books. I also like the idea that, if I drop what I’m reading into the bathtub, I’ll only be out like six dollars.

On the other hand, ebooks are incredibly convenient. And easy on the storage! Once, when I moved across the country into a house with less storage, I ended up donating like eight boxes full of old books. It was a little heartbreaking, and something that didn’t need to happen if they’d all been on a little chip.

I also enjoy audio books, for those tasks that require physical effort but not a lot of mental effort. Like yard work, or the treadmill.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Heh. “Average” implies more than a single data point. And since I’m still neck-deep in my revision process for Book 1, I’m not sure I even have that single data point yet. I don’t think I’m the guy to offer insight on this particular question.

Do you proofread and edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Doesn’t everybody proofread their own stuff? Does anybody just knock out a first draft and then immediately fire it off to their agent or click “Upload Story” or whatever? Am I naïve to ask?

As for getting somebody else, my personal adventure started in a critique group, and they’ve done a good and thorough job with critiquing at both a high level (concepts, motivations, plot points, etc.) and a low level (spelling, grammar, word choice, etc.)

Is that the same thing? Something tells me that’s not the same thing. I haven’t hired out a professional editor or anything, if that’s the question. I don’t really intend to, as I’m not entirely sure what kind of value an editor would bring, beyond my critique group and my own revisions, that would justify the expense.

Perhaps I’m not as educated in this part of the process as I should be. And I’m certainly not perfect. So I guess I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Having yet to go through either process myself, I don’t really have any experience to draw on when answering this question, and I think noob conjecture probably won’t be very helpful. Given that, I think both methods are totally viable, and it’s fantastic to have such a wealth of options available.

What do you think of “trailers” for books, and will you create one for your own work?

Speaking as a member of the audience, I was never really one for book trailers. Perhaps it’s because my book buying decisions have never really been subject to marketing influence in general. At least, nothing noticeable, and certainly nothing so overt as a trailer. I generally just peruse a bookstore, read the backs of a few books, maybe select a random page and glance at the writing style. Every once in a while, I’ll read a book that somebody gives me, or I’ll buy a book that somebody recommends (and who’s taste in reading I know and trust.)

But I’ve never seen an ad for a book and thought “I’d better go buy that.” From what few book trailers I’ve seen, they just seem like louder, more colorful, and more obnoxious versions of the ads that I already ignore.

Perhaps I’m not part of the demographic that this kind of thing speaks to.

See more insights from Jim Moran on his blog, “An Executor’s Work.”

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One thought on “Author Highlight: Jim Moran”

  1. I can’t imagine having donate eight boxes of books… Thankfully I don’t think I even have that many yet. Ebooks definitely have a convenience factor regarding storage!

    It’s never naive to ask questions about an industry you’re in. Many people proofread their own work before sending it off; others who don’t yet know better will send the first draft in all its raw glory; others will hiring a developmental editor to help them make the story better before they start submitting it. It just depends on the person and how well they understand the industry and what they think works best for them.

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