Confident Reads Features Michael Pierce on the Provex City Blog Tour!

Hello everyone! Confident Reads is a feature I have here each week and is a way to open communication between readers and Indie authors.  This  is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish.

I have decided to do author interviews so we can get an idea of what authors are thinking and going through when publishing their books themselves.

I’m sorry about posting the feature two days in a row.  I stink at keeping a schedule sometimes but I had an abundance of posts for the feature so I guess this is how it’s going to go this week.

Today is the kick-off for the Provex City tour, hosted by me!  So I decided to combine the two and asked Michael Pierce to visit the blog and answer some questions about his publishing journey.  If you haven’t yet, please check out my review HERE.  Also be sure to check out the tour page HERE so you can follow the tour and enter the giveaway’s!

1. When, and how, did you come to being an indie/self published author? 

After a year of querying to agents, I decided to take Provex City into my own hands and researched how to go about self-publishing. So far Provex City is just on Amazon, but I’m working this year to get it on the other major online retailers.

2. Did you attempt to publish traditionally? What were your experiences?

 I queried to agents, but I did not query to small presses directly. Everything I’ve done has been trial and error, and I recognize that my first few query letters were not very good. I did receive several partial requests, but it’s such a long and frustrating process waiting for replies. I guess I got impatient.

3. If you were offered a deal with a traditional publisher, would you take it? 

If I was offered a deal with a “Big Six” publisher, I’d take it in a heartbeat. If I was offered a deal with a small press, I’d need to get more details and weigh my options.

4. What is the best part of being indie/self published, for you? 

I enjoy the control. The story is all mine, for good or bad. Even though it’s still a slow process to get a book to market with my schedule, at least it takes less time than with a traditional publisher. I’m also learning to market myself, which is an invaluable skill.

5. The indie/self published scene is constantly changing. Even quite a few traditionally published authors have ventured into the world of self publishing. What do you predict for the future? How do you think the indie scene is changing and where do you think it will go?

 Currently, the market is so flooded with indie/self-published books that it’s hard to not get lost in the crowd. The industry is changing so much with ebooks and indie presses and no one really knows what’s going to happen over the next decade or so. There is always great opportunity in times of transition. I’m just glad to be a part of it.

6. As an indie/self published author, what has been your biggest obstacle?

 Managing all of the stuff that the publishers typically take care of. When I started I just wanted to write and edit for myself. Now I’m juggling artists and editors, formatting and file formats, platform building and social media marketing. It’s a full time job. And writing’s a full time job. And I have a full time job. Haha.

7. In the world of indie/self published not everyone goes about things the same way. Many make mistakes (and hopefully learn from them). What are the biggest mistakes that you think authors are making and how do you suggest they improve? 

The biggest mistake is not making any mistakes, which usually means you’re not doing enough. You have to get out there, make mistakes, and keep going. The only way to get noticed is to get out there.

8. How do you approach reviewers? And what has worked best when doing so?

 I have not yet cold called reviewers, though I know that’s the next step. I’ve been approached by bloggers that have read and enjoyed Provex City, at which point I ask for reviews.

9. When it comes to sales, what do you think has worked the best for you and had the biggest impact?

 I’m still experimenting with what will have the biggest impact on sales. Any suggestions? :)

10. If someone tells you they are thinking of publishing a novel themselves and they would like some advice on where to get started or some tips for success, what advice would you give?

 Read The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing by J. A. Konrath. Publishing yourself is not the “easy way.” If you’re dedicated to putting in the time and hard work, if it’s your passion, then go for it!

11. We all know covers are important; can you tell us about your cover story? 

The cover art is what I pictured early in the writing of Provex City. It is Oliver walking down his southern California neighborhood street, entering the fade, and seeing the majesty of Provex City in the distance. It was important for me not to include his face, so each reader can create his/her own Oliver.

12. Bad reviews are inevitable; most every author gets at least some. How do you handle things when you get a bad review so you don’t get hung up on it or possibly lash out which could cause more damage in the long run?

 Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I know I can’t please everyone, nor do I want to. When I see that Harry Potter and The Bible have one star reviews, I find it helps put the sting of bad reviews into perspective.

13. Can you list 5-10 indie/ self published titles that you recommend? Please include genre as well.

 Prison Nation by Jenni Merritt (YA dystopian); The Renaissance of Hetty Locklear by M. Pax (NA urban fantasy); The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan (YA paranormal romance); Hollowland by Amanda Hocking (YA dystopian); and looking forward to the 2013 release of Escapement by Ciara Knight (YA steampunk)

14. It’s your turn! Ask my readers one question that you are dying to know the answer for. 

What genres and/or storylines would you like to see in young adult over the next few years?

About the Book:

Fifteen-year-old Oliver Grain begins his school year fighting off bullies, learning about the boy who committed suicide in his room, and trying to understand why his history teacher, Mr. Gordon, has taken such a personal interest in him.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe you can make bullies simply disappear? Do you believe you can walk through walls?

Mr. Gordon tells Oliver: “When you truly believe anything is possible, you will be able to open doors where there were only walls.” And one of those doors leads Oliver to Provex City, which puts him in far greater danger than he can possibly fathom.

About the author:

Michael Pierce lives in Southern California with his wife, daughter, and two ultra-protective Chiweenies. Provex City is his debut novel and the first book in the young adult fantasy Lorne Family Vault Series.

Blog –; Twitter –; Facebook –; Goodreads –
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  1. I like how authors have so many choices now. Not getting in with a big 6 publisher does not mean your book won’t be as popular as any of their books! I mean, look at 50 shades who started out being an internet fanfic (ok terrible example that book can suck it). But I’ve read some seriously great self pubbed books! Great interview, guys!

  2. Candace, thanks so much for setting this tour up and being the one to kick it off! What a fun way to start the new year.

    Alex, good advice and, as always, thanks for the support!

    Giselle, 50 Shades is an interesting example and I read it, trying to figure out why it’s become so successful. Thanks for the comment!

  3. i’ve read PROVEX CITY, and i think it is a truly great novel. whether it were published by a big six (which it is good enough to be) or as it is, it is definitely worth the time and money to give it a read. thoroughly enjoyable! 😀

  4. Great interview!! I think it’s awesome how many options writers have now. Some of my favorite books are self pubbed. I also have noticed that a lot of traditionally published authors are also doing some self pub projects too.
    This book sound great. Thanks for the great interview and the chance at the giveaway.

  5. HA! He made me chuckle when he referenced having three full time jobs! It does certainly sound like a lot of work to be self published but perhaps worth it to have more control…as with the cover. Love that the MC is not shown so the reader can fill that in with imagination:)

  6. Giselle, I agree! I think it’s been proven that you can be successful without being published with a big 6. And I’m sure you make LOADS more money since you don’t have to give everyone else most of what you make.

    Michael, glad to have you on! And I haven’t read 50 Shades…

    Vic, I agree, it’s a great book!

    Amy, yeah, there are some very well known authors that are doing some self published projects while still publishing some with the big press. Kinda shows you it may not be so bad…

    The other Michael, I hope he gets legions of fans too! The book is definitely good enough, we just have to get the world to know about it and give it a try!

  7. Thanks for the interview and sharing your journey! Since we’re looking so much at space exploration, I think I’d like to see some YA storylines that cross into that.

  8. Vic, that is awesome of you to say! Thank you. :)

    Amy, thank you! For established authors with a backlog that went out of print, and if they can get the rights back, self publishing is a great way to bring those novels back to life.

    Sara, I’m excited to read it. :)

    Candilynn, thank you and congrats on your big news!

    Michael, you’re always so supportive and I always appreciate it. Thank you!

    Melissa, if I had known that ahead of time would I have done the same thing…heck yeah! It’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding. :)

    Melissa, hopefully one of those three can go away sometime soon, or so I’m working towards. Thanks for the comment!

    Susan, thanks for visiting me abroad!

    Erin, thank you!

  9. It’s kind of funny (to me, at least ) that I now actually look almost strictly to self-pubbed or small press/indie when I want to purchase books for myself. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of big pubbed books I enjoy, but I feel as if they’re behind the curve in terms of what’s hot. Look how NA blew up, with self-pubbers able to put them out quickly, while the large pubs are scrambling to awyire them.

    Anyhow, great post. I enjoy this feature.

  10. I’d like to see more sci-fi YA books, as there are a lot of Ya in paranormal genre, but few interesting books about aliens, exploring other planets, the future, except maybe some dystopian YA.

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