“The Last of the Seals” and “Deadly Plunge” are my fourth and fifth novels. I’m currently working on my sixth novel “San Francisco Secrets” which will be a continuation of the story. I try mightily to make each novel work as a stand-alone novel or as a continuing story in a series.
I began self publishing books since 2008. I found that I would rather spend my time marketing and writing books than trying to get a manuscript through the publishing houses. The odds seem to be going down that an unknown author can get a manuscript through the maze of traditional publishing.
Certainly I would like to have a big retainer from a traditional publishing house. However, I know several authors–one who even had a New York Times bestseller and was on Oprah’s show–who would submit a manuscript, wait ten months and then be rejected.
The self publishing world has changed so much since I began with my first novel in 2008. The focus then was trying to get your books into bookstores. I had some success and landed book signings at three Borders stores, Costco and signed books at the Los Angeles Book Fair. Those were great experiences but had a very limited reach.
Since then, on line marketing and social networking is the name of the game. I get communication from readers in Ireland, UK, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Canada, all over the US who tell me they have enjoyed my books. It’s extraordinary. I remember vividly when I heard from a woman in The Netherlands who told me she enjoyed one of my books and that she looked forward to the next one. That was extraordinary and it shows the power of on line marketing. My focus is now marketing my ebooks, even though all of my books are available in softcover traditional format.
The trade off is that I can continue to write. I have freedom to create the book I want. I also work with professional editors and designers. I think it’s important that self published authors are professional and maintain standards of excellence.
The rap on many self published authors is bad editing and tacky design on covers. Unfortunately, that criticism is true for too many self published authors.
I had been trying to come up with a concept for a continuing series of novels which use the same characters. I hit upon the idea of having a private eye in San Francisco in the 1950s. I love the time period and I think I have a great cast of characters which will maintain interest in the series.
The idea for the story line came a couple of summer ago when I was at the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark. At the baseball stadium are several displays about the history of baseball in San Francisco.
It was then that I began to remember the old San Francisco Seals baseball team and Seals Stadium which all pre-dated the move of the Giants team from New York.
I was only a child–albeit it one who passionately loved baseball–at that time but I remembered it was a very interesting time.
What if my private detective were be an aging Seals baseball player who now needed to find a new job? I went with that concept and I’m now working on my third book in that storyline.
Find out more about Deadly Plunge and Last of the Seals on Amazon.
Greg Messel has written four novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by Expiation in 2010 and The Illusion of Certainty in 2011. Last of the Seals is the first in a series of mysteries which are set in 1957 San Francisco. The second book in the series Deadly Plunge will be published around Christmas of 2012. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist while working for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.
Visit Greg’s website at www.gregmessel.com.