Interview with Todd Michael

What is your writing process?
My writing process is more or less to keep to my own experiences as much as possible. Within the greater paranormal or supernatural fields, we most often encounter authors who were not present attempting to validate other people's experiences. I wanted to steer clear of that approach, so readers will enjoy first-hand accounts as much as possible. However, in my last book I needed to bring in a few other author's experiences/material, simply because it supported my own when my personal encounters seemed so unbelievable.
Have you done any radio interviews about your books?
Yes, I have done several radio shows, as well as spoken publicly at conferences and smaller, more intimate group gatherings. If readers would like to listen in on a couple of my more recent shows, they can copy/paste the following links into their browser.

1) California MUFON Radio, hosted by Lorien Fenton in October, 2013. This is a special 2-hour interview:
http://inceptionradionetwork.com/california-mufon-radio-reviews-todd-michaels-greeting-card-to-alien-visitors-part-deux-2/
2) Fringe Radio Show, hosted by Pat Daniels in August, 2013. This is a 1.5-hour interview:
http://radiorecast.com/ktalk/archive/Fringe%20Radio/20130805%20Fringe%20Radio%20Todd%20Michael%20.mp3
How do you approach cover design?
This is an interesting question. Regarding my approach to cover designs, there were a few different things floating around in my head about this. First, I wanted to use one of my own photographs if possible. Being so fortunate to have my own material 'inside' my books naturally flowed outward and onto the cover. For example, the special-edition cover of my first book is an actual photograph from one of my outings. The individual on the cover and myself enjoyed some fantastic and unusual activity that night, so being able to showcase one of those events on the cover image was an added bonus readers may appreciate. The second idea I had about cover design was to avoid ideas from other people's book covers. Again, having a volume of my own material meant I could come up with something unique. Lastly, I felt it important to use real-life material or concepts, not something imaginary or something the human race is unaware of. I wanted people to be able to relate to what they were seeing, even if they never had such an experience themselves.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
When it comes to my five favorite books within the paranormal genre, I would have to say 1) Impossible Visits, by Christopher Noel, 2) Teluke, by White Song Eagle, 3) The Psychic Sasquatch, by Kewaunee Lapseritis, 4) Monsters, Myths and Me, by Robert (JavaBob) Schmalzbach, and 5) The Daughters of Joy, by Deepak Chopra.

The reason for selecting each of these is how the author relayed a story and how that made me feel. Again, with a genre so completely full of books written by people which were not present at the moment in time when something fantastic occurred to someone else, I have always felt their opinion less impactful and oftentimes full of suspicion. In other words, might they have some agenda for criticizing someone else's experience or why do they feel it so important to write a book about or to include such opinions? The people I'm friends with prefer first-hand accounts.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
For e-reading, I naturally enjoy the Kindle. However, because my books contain color photographs, the Kindle Fire line of tablets or even the free reading app's by Amazon and Adobe work well. Using a computer + free app allows you to enlarge the font much more, which can be a relief when eye-strain gets to be too much from the smaller devices.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
In terms of pricing, the most beneficial marketing tool I've used is Smashwords' report on what books sell best and at what price point. For over a year I experimented with prices ranging from FREE, $0.99 and upwards to $15.99. Reviewing my sales report, I can see the most interest in my books when the price is between $9.99 - $12.99. Additionally, one of the major benefits for using Smashwords.com was their distribution channels to Barnes & Noble and Apple. Having Apple in over 50 countries was a huge incentive to publish and market at Smashwords. Their efforts have saved me a lot of time and energy!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Growing up in the mid-West, I also moved around a lot. Then when I was old enough to join the military, I enlisted and began visiting even more places. Combined, this background and the people I met while traveling and living abroad helped me to better understand others and myself. The experience I gained I consider invaluable and critical to the success of my books. Had my life not been full of such amazing adventures, I may have never decided to write a book.
When did you first start writing?
I first began writing while in high-school, but that was more or less a daily journal. Over the years, I have continued with my journaling (though not daily) and have also taken time to try my hand at song lyrics, poetry, and finally my own books, as well as reviews of other people's books and movies.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book is more-or-less the natural culmination of my contact experiences. I regard my three books as a Contact Trilogy and it concludes with the idea that mankind can and does interact with the Bigfoot or Sasquatch people in the same manner that we humans interact with each other on a daily basis. When I stopped to consider my own personal interactions with these creatures and those of some friends, I realized this and felt it important to share the idea. When readers learn of my own experiences and how to better interpret what's happening around them, light is shed on this great and enduring mystery that we call Bigfoot. First Nation peoples around the globe have for generations recognized this behavior and now others are too.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Before beginning my first title, I had never heard of the term indie, or at least not in terms of books, authors, or a genre. In the beginning I had been approached by the CEO of a large publishing house to write a UFO/ET-centric book for them, but after a few conversations with him I decided to instead self-publish on Smashwords.com. Learning how traditional publishers operate and what would be expected of me was a huge turn-off. On the other hand, with an e-book I could make corrections when I wanted, not after finally receiving a committee's budget approval. I also didn't need to go on a nationwide book signing deal. I've travelled more than enough in my lifetime and wasn't excited about packing my bags yet again. Additionally, I have an author friend who's published a couple books with a popular publisher and now finds herself litigating against them. The first time she contacted them to ask where her royalty checks were, she was told that she didn't sell enough to warrant a payment. Then a short while later, and after considering her options, she called back to find out how much they wanted for the remaining inventory. She was given a rather low dollar amount, prompting her to ask how many books were unsold. This second person told her she had around 200 books left in storage. This was around 9,800 copies shy of what the first person told her. So, the big question remained: Where were her royalty checks for the 9,800 copies sold? They never paid her a dime and have lied to her on more than one occasion, to include the sales from her other title. Smashwords.com lists all of my book sales on my account's dashboard for me to see when I log in. They also email me when someone has made a purchase. These are just a few of the benefits of being an indie author and I assure you, depending on who you are and what's important to you, there are likely many, many more benefits to being an indie author.
Published 2014-09-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bigfoot: 2012 Special-Edition
Series: Alien Contact Special Edition, Book 3. Price: $12.99 USD. Words: 72,710. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » New Age » Aliens and UFOs, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Spiritual awakening
The idea that Bigfoot has been interacting with humans on our level, is simply fascinating! With dozens of his own Bigfoot encounters, several of which were face-to-face, his final book shows how this was done and even compares our social structure to theirs, ultimately serving as a template for individual contact. Todd provides a perspective most people have never heard. Contains 100 photos.
Into The Wild: 2012 Special-Edition
Series: Alien Contact Special Edition, Book 2. Price: $12.99 USD. Words: 54,180. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » New Age » Aliens and UFOs
This 2012 Special-Edition includes some 50 photos and video! The second book of his contact series, Todd Michael takes readers beyond the initial contacts of book one and into the next phase: "relationships" with ETs and other beings. He's included another 50+ personal contact experiences out of the hundreds he's had to give readers an idea of what's ahead for Humankind.
Alien Contact: 2012 Special-Edition
Series: Alien Contact Special Edition, Book 1. Price: $12.99 USD. Words: 57,120. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » New Age » Aliens and UFOs
This 2012 Special-Edition includes nearly 100 photos and videos from the author's collection! The first book of his contact series, Todd Michael introduces readers to more than 50 real-world contact experiences as a UFO Night-Tour Guide and experiencer. This book documents 4 years of personal and group contacts with extraterrestrials between the years 2006-2010, and shares how it was done!