Temujin Hu is a hard-working American living rather like a nomad. At 36 years of age, he’s moved about 36 times and at one time or another called “home” California, Texas, Colorado, or five other states as well as Germany, China, and Kuwait. In 2003, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He served over four years in the US Navy in the 90’s and recently spent more than six years doing professional security in Los Angeles, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He also ran a small family-owned internet business for a couple years. He’s a Christian who spends a lot of time in the Word, and his interests include mixed martial arts, international relations, and dogs. Hobbies include hiking and shooting guns, but mostly he loves being an American and wants everyone to believe they can climb mountains.
His latest book is the inspirational crime fiction, The Rage.
Visit Temujin on the web at http://www.temujinhu.com.
This is the first book I’ve published.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
I chose to self-publish mostly to get my book out there in months rather than years, but it also allowed me to keep the price of the eBook down. I like the challenge of entrepreneurship as well. It is proving to be a huge challenge! Marketing a book is as difficult as writing a good book.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
Being self-published, I never really signed a contract. It took me two months to write the book and four months to rewrite and edit it, and during those four months I worked on the publishing and publicity aspects. I quit my job in February to write my book and was published by October.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
Getting published was easy because I did it myself, the hard part is marketing. I knew this when my book went live on Amazon, and I’m still working to get my book known, so I still haven’t really celebrated. I suppose I’m a realist, I know it will take a while to build a fan base and I’m working at it one day at a time.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
The first thing was deciding to go with Amazon’s KDP Select, which gets you in their lending library and allows for a few free days to promote your book. Pricing it at $.99 makes it easier for readers to try me out, since I’m a new author. I also have a publicist who sent out press releases and placed me on a few radio shows.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I feel like I’m constantly growing and learning about writing, publishing, and marketing books, and there’s so much more to learn. I’ve had to write many different summaries of my story which has lead me to change the way I’m preparing my next novel. I want to be able to summarize my story before I write it. I used a less-developed outline to write The Rage, but next time I’m going to outline more extensively. I find it easier to write each chapter when I know where I’m going with everything.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
I didn’t realize how saturated the market is with new authors. It’s too easy to self-publish. I’m glad I hired a professional editor and layout person, and commissioned art for the cover, to separate my work a bit and make it as professional as possible. I also didn’t realize Amazon had such a huge share of the industry. I knew they were big, but apparently they’re making moves to become basically the only retailer available.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
I’m living my dream despite all the reasons to quit. I should have been doing this out of high school, but I spent over two decades trying to do what I thought I was supposed to when I should have been totally focused on what my heart most desired. When I was about twelve years old, I made a list of things I wanted to do, and when I was about thirty I found that list and realized everything was still true. Sometimes, it is amazing how much kids know.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Get with a local writer’s group and write, write, write. I wasn’t published until I quit my job, but I don’t recommend anyone do that without a well-developed plan, which I didn’t have. And start saving cash, it’ll come in handy. If you’re going to use a blog or social media to build a following, start today, because it’ll take time to get good at it. Mostly, though, don’t hold back! And be blessed!