Interview with Albert J. Sjoberg

How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is one of the most important aspects of the Book. Despite the old adage about not judging a book by its cover, it is the only part of your book that you know someone will see. Unless they like what they see on the cover, they have no reason to look inside.
For my cover design, I selected a variety of images and gave them to a designer. I was thrilled with what result.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Incredibly difficult question to answer.
Fiction, I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld books and think that the Guards Guards and Men at arms were the highlights. The use of the language and his insights into the human condition are a joy.
non Fiction Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, and Lawrence Krauss' A universe from nothing. I enjoy learning how vast the universe is and how insignificant we are. And still how marvellous that we are able to grasp these truths.
Just recently I finished Hitch-22, the autobiography of Christopher Hitchens. This provided a window into a world I knew absolutely nothing about.
What do you read for pleasure?
Yes! yes, it is a pleasure. Just recently I discovered audiobooks and that has allowed me to listen to books while busy with a number of manual tasks that do not fully engage the mind.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on an iPad most often. I have also read on the Kindle.
My iPad is always with me, so most convenient.
Describe your desk
I work in a mess. I am always surrounded by pieces of scrap paper and bits of reference material or research. Occasionally I tidy everything up and start again with a clean workspace, but it does not take long to become chaotic again.
I have just published, so the initial frantic push has passed perhaps I'll find my desktop in the morning.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Africa.
The prevailing wisdom was one of problem solving. "'n boer mark 'n plan" is an Afrikaans adage that can be translated as "a farmer makes a plan". I enjoyed finding solutions and trying to teach others about what I had found.
If the desire is there, you can learn anything. This has always stood me in good stead.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in Chiswick in 2006. None of it was ever published. Thrown away because engineering is a real job, I'm not an author.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Solar on my Roof is the result of answering thousands of service calls from customers and solar system installers. The birth of the renewable energy industry has left many people wondering what it is all about. Manuals are so poorly written as to be useless. Usually manuals are written as an afterthought and will contain a spattering of specifications and a minimum of usage instructions.
Since the digital revolution, we have become accustomed to figuring it out as we go, which is why most computers and iPads do not have a user manual.
Unfortunately the equipment installed for your solar system is covered with warning labels and most people are to nervous to give it a go. This book was written to give the end user the permission to give it a go and learn their system.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have friends from university days that worked in the publishing industry. I got the distinct sense that to break through was particularly difficult.
Indie authors and eBooks provide very low barriers to entry. This allows an indie author to reach a niche and build a readership rather than receiving multiple rejection letters from the traditional publishing houses.
Published 2015-03-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Solar on my Roof
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 17,280. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Sustainable living, Nonfiction » Science and Nature » Environment
Make your solar system work. You have installed a solar system, now what? This book looks at your solar system in easy to understand terms. How it works and how it can save you money and the environment. Albert has worked as engineer with solar energy over a decade. He fielded calls from owners and installers across Australia. Solar on my Roof is a plain English manual to your solar system.