Barry, who will be on the panel Launching Your Book into Cyberspace, writes YA romance under the name of Storyheart. By mixing online book promotion with more traditional marketing methods, he has garnered over 100 reviews on Amazon.com for his debut novel ACROSS THE POND.
Let’s begin by having you tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
As you said my name is Barry Eva, though I do write under the name of Storyheart (long story about that name). I moved to the US from England in June of 2000, though I must say I miss my beloved England every day. After writing numerous short romance stories, many of which were included in a book called STORIES FROM THE HEART, I produced my first YA novel in 2009. I hesitate to say YA as I have had reviews and feedback from people from 8 to 80, so I now say for the young and young at heart. As well as my writing, I host the popular blog radio show “A Book and a Chat” with over 200 shows already under my belt since I started in February 2009. The shows have gone from one a week to four shows now, with a waiting list of guests three to four months ahead.
When did you decide to embark upon a career in writing? Did someone or some event influence your choice in any way?
I have always dabbled in writing; though having issues with spelling I was really glad when spell checker became available. Like many I started with poems which became songs, which became short stories and then novels. I never class myself as a writer, more a story teller.
What do you enjoy about writing YA romance novels?
ACROSS THE POND is more than a romance novel. It has adventure, first love, humor and even a little sports thrown in. Did I mention humor? As anybody who’s heard my radio shows will tell you, humor is very important to me. As for YA, it is one of the questions I often ask guests ‘why they think YA has become so popular?’ I believe YA novels tend to me more rounded, characters better developed, the story line more believable and you’re not going to get a shock by what you read when you turn the page. The YA bloggers and readers, I call them the “Sham Wow” of young adult literature, as they soak everything up, will tell you if a book is no good. So you know if the book is out there, it must be worth reading.
You’re a big fan of virtual book tours. You’ve even begun your own podcast (internet radio show). What can you tell us about these methods to promote books online?
The internet is the way to not just launch your book, but to get your name out there once you have the book published. Many authors think that once the book is published that the hard work over and done. Far from it. That is when the real work starts. Also don’t expect to be an overnight success. A lot of this work is just getting your name known; this I an important first step. As for virtual tours, it is another way to get your name known, like being a guest on blogs etc. I tell people all the time about my own virtual tour with the fantastic Pump Up Your Book (formerly Pump Up Your Book Promotion) group. I went on tour the week I came out of hospital after major back surgery. In the next month I was in Korea, Italy, England, Canada, and all around the US, without leaving my sick bed.
You’re sitting on the Launching Your Book in Cyberspace panel at this year’s Write Angles Conference. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re planning?
As stated, I’m a great believer in using the internet to spread the word about you and your book. However be warned, don’t part with your hard earned money without checking things out first. I recently produced a 5-day blog about “Promoting Your Book on a Budget.” In this I give an example about one “major” publisher who was “now proud to offer a ‘Social Media Setup Service’ that will help an author into ‘the world of social media’.” It included:
A blog on the popular and easy to use WordPress platform
A Facebook profile for your identity as an author
A Facebook page for your book
A MySpace page for your book
This was available at a “Special Introductory Price of $999.” Setting up these social networking options and locations costs “$0.00… Nothing… Zero.” Any person who has access to a computer can go on the internet and create exactly what these companies offer without spending a dime and achieve the same results in under an hour.
What are you working on now?
I get nagged all the time about where the second and even third book have gotten to. I am working on them … honest; but with the radio shows, a full time job, several blogs, karaoke singing and life, time for writing seems to not happen. I know… I have to make time, and it will happen one day.
Can you tell our readers where they can find you online?
You can find me all over the internet.
Across the Pond Blog
Blog Talk Radio Show
[Thanks to Cheryl Malandrinos for conducting this interview.]