Interview with Silas Longshot

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had dabbled in 'self publishing' many years ago, finding that even a tiny amount of printed books, even less than 50 pages in length was outstandingly expensive. And to market them, ship them and all that added to the cost and personal time for pennies per copy in return. Then, to approach a 'real' publisher, one faced a catch 22 kind of thing. You had to be known to be published, but to become known you had to publish. Writing the book was the so called easy part. Indie publishing, breaking into the publishing world was the way to go, especially in the electronic format market.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is one hand of a two fisted approach into the electronic marketing of my book, the other hand is the really big one in publishing and in general online marketing, Amazon. Interestingly, Smashwords sells a bit more copies of my book than Amazon!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I find myself a bit of a teacher, in that I like to show people how to do things. My book, 'Surviving Urban Crisis' is just such a thing, an instruction manual for dealing with things most people don't want to consider: crisis type events, be it personal or nation wide calamity, and how to best deal with the events.
What do your fans mean to you?
Do I have 'fans'? I couldn't tell you one way or another about fans. I'll wager however, that people who have read the book have had their knowledge increased, made preparations and have a survival mind set, they are likely to cope with crisis far better than 99% of uninformed people. If that makes them a fan, then I suppose I may make a fan with each book sale.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a 'destructive testing engineer' at the company where I work. I develop machines to purposely abuse our products to see if they meet our self imposed quality standards. This challenges my creative mechanical aptitude, in that I must develop a unique device to run a particular product, say a freezer door latch, through at least 250,000 cycles of operation for it to qualify as suitable for our product line. When not at work, I'm constantly evaluating various 'survival gear' and working on my blog at where I publish that information.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Like everyone else, I use online search tools, or browse sites like Smashwords or Amazon. I read a lot of other 'survival authors', strictly on a personal view, to see if they are putting out useful knowledge or BS....but I keep the opinions to myself as no one has asked for my opinion of their work!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I'm not a novelist, so I don't write stories. As far as personal recreational reading tastes, I like sci-fi.
What is your writing process?
Choose a subject of interest, dissect and study, research subject discarding the baloney and keeping the gems, organize the information, write down the 'how to', making it understandable and interesting. Then read it, tweak it, read it again, repeat until up to my best efforts, then publish, usually nowadays, on my blog page:
How do you approach cover design?
For my book, that was a long process of DIY graphic arts experimentation, judging the impact and the message the book buyer may perceive from a glance at that cover. The existing cover is the third or fourth iteration, the first few being too busy, confusing or less communicative. A busy cover has too many things for the browser to skip over, a brief glance not 'grabbing' their attention. Such as a 'romance novel' have a sexy babe and a 'hunk' man in a certain pose that says "romance within this book". Mine refined down to a solitary candle of knowledge, lit to dispel the darkness and fear of crisis.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Science fiction, because it leads to so many frontiers way past our normal existence, out there with sheer imagination mixed with logic and science, at least around the fringes. If you look back through history linked to science fiction you will find many of today's common machines and items sprang from an inspiration of someone reading science fiction, from H.G.Wells onward. Submarines, travel to the moon, cell phones even. Well, that was TV science fiction, Star Trek.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science fiction, adventure / war novels, true survival stories of individuals.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindles of all types, I own the early one with the keyboard for making notes.
Published 2015-02-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Surviving Urban Crisis
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 57,230. Language: English. Published: April 29, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Terrorism, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Security
Vital information to guide those wishing to prepare for major crisis. Details for gathering, preparing and storing food, storing your basic items, implementing your personal and family defenses and weathering financial upheaval of modern society. Packed with informational links, sources of informative books and equipment and plain old common sense, ideas and advice for the novice prepper. Survive.