Larry Sweitzer is a writer, musician, and avid baseball fan. He was born and raised in western Maryland and now lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. The Ghost, the Eggheads, and Babe Ruth’s Piano is his first novel. Visit him at www.larrysweitzer.com.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Larry. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: My recent release is my first novel.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: None. I never submitted my book to any mainstream publishers. I decided to self-publish it from the start. That doesn’t mean I would never go the mainstream publishing route, but at that moment in time, I felt it was the right decision.
Q: When your book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: I decided on iUniverse for a number of reasons, but a big part of it was for the opportunity to get into their recognition programs. Fortunately, I did! My book received their Editor’s Choice designation and then became one of their Rising Star titles.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: I felt a great sense of pride just finishing the first draft of the book, so you can imagine how I felt when it was released and I held an actual copy in my hands!
Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: I set up a website to serve as a base for my online marketing and promotion. Everything branches out from there: my blog, a list of my events, links to various online bookstores to purchase my book … everything. Having a website is a basic and essential part of being an author these days, so that was the first thing I did.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: I don’t think so. Everything has worked out well. In the short time my book has been out, feedback has been positive and sales have exceeded my expectations. iUniverse has been a good fit and they have done all that they said they would do. I’m very pleased with them.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: I am just starting to work on my next manuscript. Yes, I feel I’ve grown as a writer, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning or trying to improve on my writing.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: My book has only been out for about a week, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one. I can say I hope the book is one that teen boys will enjoy and get into—especially if they aren’t ‘big’ readers yet. If it’s something they enjoy reading and it entertains them until the end, then I would consider that an accomplishment on both of our parts.
A: Wow, there are so many fields that interest me—maybe a scientist or something to do with outer space.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
A: Even if I could have any non-writing profession, I would always write, tell stories, and pursue publication. I could never give those things up.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: I hope to have written many more books by then. I have a number of story ideas and works-in-progress that I hope to publish in the future.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: Work hard, never stop working on your craft, never give up on your dreams, and never forget those that helped you along the way.