Indie Author Spotlight – B.T. Keaton

One of the most inspiring posts I see on my many author forums is when someone takes the time to share their story. Each Friday, I’m going to feature a different indie author to help inspire all of you! I got a little behind on these, so I will be posting them daily until I’m caught up!

What is your pen name?

B.T. Keaton

What genre do you write in? Why do you love it?

Definitely fiction. If you wanted to break it down further, my stuff probably belongs in the sci-fi/fantasy sort of “space.” I have always loved stories, and I guess that’s why I love telling them as well.

How many books have you published?

Just one book (Transference) under my belt so far.

What inspired you to become a writer?

My late mother and father are really my inspirations. They were such loving people. They really encouraged me to be creative when I was young. My mother took me to the comic shoppe ever week, provided I was doing well in school. Dad bought me a guitar when I was 13. And it was my dad who, well, let’s just say he had a huge library in the house which doubled as his office. I’m not exactly certain how many books he had, but I’d wager it was close to a thousand. Maybe more! Anyway, most of what he had in his collection was readily available for me to read as long as I cleared it with him first. He was a bit of a sci-fi nut to say the least.

What is your indie success story?

For me I‘ve come to realise that success does not necessarily mean sales. When I originally wrote Transference (between 2010-2012) I was really hung up on whether it would sell or not. After the editing process was finished, my editor Pat LoBrutto shopped the book around to a few of the big sci-fi houses, and it was getting some nibbles, but never really went anywhere. By 2013, I dropped the whole thing like a hot potato. I think I was afraid of some kind of mass rejection, and I didn’t think that was something I could handle. I wrote more stories in the years after that, but just kinda quietly tucked them away. After my mother passed away in 2016, I started realizing more than ever that, hey, you know, life is pretty damn short! So yeah, after turning 40, I suddenly I felt the urge to dust off Transference again in 2019. Having stepped away from it for so long I could then enjoy it almost as if I was not the one who wrote it. That was a wonderful surprise. I guess what I’m trying to say is because of the loss of my folks, I lost a lot of that fear that I had… whatever that thing was that was holding me back, you know? When Transference was released in January of this year, it really took off in a way I didn’t expect. I set a personal goal to kinda emulate Jeff Smith – the author/creator of the comic book “Bone.” I remember his indie success in the early 90s, and he sold about 3,000 copies of Bone #1 right out of the gate. Transference isn’t a graphic novel, but Bone was really just a benchmark for me internally, and being inspired by Jeff Smith for years, I figured I’d do pretty well if I could model what I was doing after him, even if only in some small way.

What are your marketing and advertising strategies?

I had no real social media presence prior to the book launch, but now I’m on Instagram, Goodreads, AllAuthor, Twitter – you name it! I’ve come to enjoy it because for me there was an unseen side-effect from publishing a book that I didn’t count on… you meet other authors in the same boat as you! And there’s such a loving, supportive community of independent writers out there. In terms of advertising, you really just have to be your own cheerleader. However the one thing that really worked for me in terms of “pushing units” was BookBub. I can honestly say they put their money where their mouth is.

What is the best piece of self-publishing advice that you’ve ever received?

To pay it forward. Robert J. Sawyer gave me an amazing quote for the cover of Transference, and you know… he didn’t have to do that. I mean, he’s been hugely successful in the sci-fi genre… he’s a Hugo and Nebula winner! I just feel so fortunate for that. And I can now say I’ve been able to do the same for a few fellow-authors lately, and let me tell you it’s so gratifying to help others. Probably the second best piece of advice is: don’t respond to reviews. Neither good or bad ones. Rarely does anything of value come from it.

Anything else fun or notable that you would like to share about yourself?

I’ve been told I do a pretty good Donald Duck impression! (laughs)

What are you working on right now?

The sequel to Transference. It started brewing during the publishing process, and that’s been both unexpected and really enjoyable.

Where can we find your work?

https://www.brandonkeaton.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51931590-transference

 
 

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Inspired by this author’s post, and want to start your indie author career? My podcast will give you all of the information you need to begin!

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