Interview with Jason Matthews

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Mom was a single, working parent when I was in diapers, and we moved around a lot. I lived in six different houses and three different states by age 10. These included Chapel Hill NC, Lexington MA, Cincinnati OH and Medford OR.
I adopted the local accent wherever we went and learned slightly different American cultures. This probably gave me an open mind to ways of thinking about things, but it also fostered some resentment to moving around and having to make new friends. I just wanted to stay in one place and grow roots.
When did you first start writing?
Mom used to take dictation when I was 4 or 5 for story ideas, very basic stories as you can imagine. After that my writing career was on hold until about age 21, when I began The Little Universe. I had no idea where it would go, but the premise was enough to keep me attached.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest book is the third in line of the novels. It's about two girls with the same father (Jim from Jim's Life) and different mothers. The daughters each have advanced crystalline cell structure, which gives them enormous powers compared to average people. Will they use their powers for good or evil? You decide.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was never very patient so when self-publishing became an option I ditched the agent/publisher query thing in a heartbeat. I also like being in control of the projects :)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been my friend since 2009, when I first uploaded and began selling books through them. Back then it was the only way to get into places like Barnes & Noble and Apple, so I feel a loyalty to the company.
Mark Coker has been incredible. He used to answer my emails within an hour or two back in the early days. Now he needs a team of assistants. Glad for him and for Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Occasionally I'll get an email or read a review from a perfect stranger who really enjoyed one of the books. It's the ultimate reward to hear how much the book helped or entertained someone, especially people from countries around the world. That's the greatest thing about being an indie author these days, the global potentials to reach out and touch someone's life.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything. I love hearing from fans who liked my books and even from a fan who didn't. Being realistic means knowing not everyone will enjoy your books, and so I appreciate that they took the time to read and to write a review regardless. All of the readers are important.
Some of them have even become my friends. I recently had dinner in New York City with a fan I met this way and it was great fun!
What are you working on next?
I'm working on two books: one fiction and one non-fiction. The fiction is the third book in a series and the non-fiction is a self-help book, something that helps me too.
Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy a variety authors, both new and old school. I loved the Richard Bach books years ago, especially Illusions and One, and also books by Carl Sagan like Cosmos and Contact, and books by Hawking and Stephen Jay Gould. Anything that mixes personal growth with an attempt to understand the world around us captures my interest.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Love the fact that I can wake up, make a morning beverage, click on the computer and start working immediately with emails and social media. Blogging is a joy because it enables me to write other things than books, and more people discover the books through blog posts than anything else. I usually work until early afternoon, then take a break to get some rest or exercise and then work again in the early evening or after dinner until bed.
I love the flexible hours of working at home.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live by the beach in California with my wife and daughters, and sometimes we head down to the sand to relax in the sun. I also play soccer, work out and enjoy games like chess and scrabble. I cook dinner almost every night and enjoy that. We grill a fair amount on the barbeque, make pasta sauces, stews, soups, roasted veggies, simple and good things like that. Also watch sports or good shows on TV, movie nights.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I interview Indie Authors for my weekly show and these days primarily read their works. Otherwise I read books recommended by friends or family. Sometimes I'll see a book online that catches my eye and read it.
How do you approach cover design?
I've done them myself and also hire out to Victorine Lieske. She's great. Surprisingly, the book with the most sales to date has been one of my own covers. The content really was more important so that book did well even with the worst cover imaginable. Go figure.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Blogging and networking on social media have been the main things.
My blogs:
Facebook group, Google Plus and Twitter:
Published 2013-08-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Self Publish to a World of Readers: with Amazon, Apple, Google and Other Major Retailers
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 35,840. Language: English. Published: February 11, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Publishing business, Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Desktop publishing
Welcome to self-publishing made easy, an A-Z guide with dozens of tips to give your book advantages over millions of others. Written by Jason Matthews, self-publishing expert and author of multiple fiction and non-fiction titles. His books have been translated into 8 languages, and his video courses have been viewed by students in 123 countries. Accomplish publishing goals fast. Get started today!
Make Paperbacks with CreateSpace: Sell More Books on Amazon
Price: Free! Words: 7,640. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Desktop publishing
(5.00 from 1 review)
CreateSpace is Amazon’s print on demand company, the best place to self publish paperbacks. Learn to do it fast and easy, save time and money. Install great fonts, handle front matter, use section breaks, insert page numbers, images and more. Watch an MS Word document formatted and uploaded to CreateSpace. Get 2 FREE TEMPLATES with the video course as examples that you can use for your books!
Blogging for Authors: Writing Blogs on Wordpress or Blogger
Price: Free! Words: 6,160. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Blogging, Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Desktop publishing
Create your very own blog at the best venues: Wordpress and Blogger. Geared for authors and newbies, learn how to engage readers interested in your subjects or products. It's fun and easy. Save time and money with a blog that helps the main objective: getting more people checking out what you have to offer.
Better You, Better Me
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,960. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » healthy living
There’s a better version of you ready to be energized. The ideas in this book are easy to add to your life, and they work wonders. You’ll be happier. Your body will be healthier. Your mind will be activated, creating the life of your dreams. It’s time to embrace the “new you.”
Extreme Skiing and Psychedelic Mushrooms: The Art of Chasing Fear
Price: Free! Words: 11,740. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Extreme skiing and psychedelic mushrooms don't normally go together, but after Josh agrees to join Sam and Rudy on a backcountry adventure, he quickly realizes the trek is more than he bargained for. When the guys are joined by Tess, a ski instructor and the girl of Josh's dreams, he knows he'll do anything to impress her, even losing his wits on mind-altering drugs as he seeks to ski The Edge.
Shep Dreams of Home
Price: Free! Words: 4,420. Language: English. Published: June 24, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
It's a bedtime story and a children's story for all of us. Shep, an unwanted puppy with a big head and long teeth, is rejected by his owners for accidentally bumping into things, including them. All he wants is a good and loving home. Instead, he finds himself out on his own in a dangerous world.
Get On Google Front Page: SEO Tips for Online Marketing
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 29,830. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Web / search engines, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Marketing
Get on Google front page. You'll learn to: -pick the very best keywords, short-tail and long-tail -add meta tags with meta description to page source -optimize the text and images within website pages -get your URL backlinks out to thousands of sites -monitor visitors trends -build online platform, increase visibility -and so much more.
How to Make Your Own Free Website: And Your Free Blog Too
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 29,150. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2010. Categories: Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Web / page design, Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Blogging
(4.00 from 1 review)
How to Make Your Own Free Website teaches how to: Make free websites and blogs, Customize Your Widgets, Sell with PayPal buttons, Drive traffic with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Maximize SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Rise in Google-Yahoo-Bing rankings, Submit free Online Articles and Press Releases, Grow an Email List of Contacts, And do it all for free. You'll save time, money and effort.
How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks - All for Free
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 44,080. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2010. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Digital publishing
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
Everything for self-publishing. Save time, money, energy and sell ebooks. Like ten books in one, the only source for what you need to succeed. Updated for 2014.
Jim's Life
Series: Little Universe, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 108,590. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2009. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Inspirational
A soul transfer has Jim awaken in the hospital in someone else’s body. He has no memory of his past life or awareness of the crime committed before the near-fatal accident, a felony done by the body’s previous occupant. Already a person of global interest due to the rape case, coma and miraculous recovery from brain-death, Jim still has a more stunning surprise.
The Little Universe
Series: Little Universe, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 99,730. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2009. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical, Fiction » Inspirational
Rose Adams, spiritual scientist, bets her atheist husband she will convince him that some form of God must exist. The only problem; now she’s dead. Webster, astronomer and inventor, carries out Rose’s final project. If it works, it will house a self-contained miniature universe. The project does work, and the discoveries Webster finds within are beyond comparison. His world is forever changed.