Comments: 465 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

LFAB155 karma

How did your book get noticed? Did you promote it at all?

retro_rocket_bike228 karma

It sneaked up there by itself really, and then I told 'a few' people online about it and it snowballed a little. It's a mystery what works and what doesn't in marketing for me. I thought it was enough to write the story and peope would see it. Nobody ever told me that you had to talk to people and push the book. Imgur got behind the whole thing an I think that generated a lot of interest too.

sporite103 karma

Did Stephen reply? If so, what'd he say?

retro_rocket_bike107 karma

No not yet! :)

jdoyle8773 karma

Are you worried that King is coming to bash you up?

retro_rocket_bike142 karma

I hope he at least notices so that I can say thanks for inspiring me to pick up a pen in the first place. When I write it's a lifetime of his books that give me a sense of what sounds good on a page and what doesn't.

Fauxtrax71 karma

Are you going to answer any questions?

retro_rocket_bike84 karma

Yes of course. I am in a spot with little internet connection so it may go quiet here and there but I will answer questions for the next 12 hours! :)

retro_rocket_bike69 karma

and answer all of them, I promise.

stolemyusername29 karma

Can you tell me what your book is about in 6 words?

retro_rocket_bike74 karma

future soldier trapped in Old West

mrbooze29 karma

Wait...how did your story written in 2013 end up at the top of the Horror Classics list? Everything else on that list is many years older.

retro_rocket_bike34 karma

I discovered the reason to this by accident. Amazon classifies your genres according to a number of secret keywords. So you get to choose the main two categories and then their special algorithm assigns it to sub categories.


Favourite books?

retro_rocket_bike84 karma

The Talisman by SK because you don't just read it. You feel like you went along for the ride with Jack. Killing Floor by Lee Child. Couldn't put it down. Like reading a movie. And The Martian by Andy Weir. Showing us that we can do it.

VROF20 karma

If you're not a writer, what prompted you to write, then publish this story?

retro_rocket_bike47 karma

I love reading and sometimes feel that reading isn't enough. That's when I write. Some stories just want to be told, even if it is on an old laptop, with a free version of openoffice. :)

SIipB16 karma

Do you consider yourself to be a better writer than King? Has he inspired you in any way?

retro_rocket_bike54 karma

I'll never be anywhere close to SK. He breathes stoytelling. I just got lucky this time. He's already back on top and my book is graciously hovering the outskirts of the top ten again

friedbeef14 karma

Did you plan this, eg. Launch a social media/edm campaign, give preview editions away and ask people to read and rate, promo codes?

Or did you just happen to accomplish this?

Congrats btw :)

retro_rocket_bike23 karma

This just happened! I tried all the marketing stuff back in 2013. It went okay. But this just came from nowhere and snowballed very quickly! The best thing to come out of it (apart from being in the same chart as my inspiration) is that someone suggested I release the audio version and I am so excited to be working with an awesome voice over artist. Can't say too much yet. But aiming for an October release.

TruthfulOtter13 karma


retro_rocket_bike20 karma

I have absolutely no outline. I started with an action scene and then from there I couldn't stop thinking of the characters and each day I would daydream about where they were headed and pretty soon they were becoming a clear story, and I kept writing down all the little paths they wanted to take. I would fail miserably if I had to keep track of where the story should go and keep to a strict guideline. That's just work. I want to write because it's fun and I want to see where the story goes.

wikifry11 karma

What is your favourite word that you used in your book?

retro_rocket_bike21 karma

That's a good one! It would have to be 'hoot' because someone said it didn't belong and I was stubborn and left it in there because the person who used it has a sarcastic tone when he says it and if he wants to say it, who am I to stop him.

bahramuye11 karma

Did you edit your own work?

retro_rocket_bike22 karma

I wish I had someone to help but yes. It is a hobby so I have no budget for an editor.

WayneTrain110 karma

What were your inspirations for the book?

retro_rocket_bike12 karma

That's a very big list! Star Wars, Back to the future, Terminator, Dark Tower, The Talisman, The Neverending Story, Clint Eastwood, Jack Reacher...

canine_canestas10 karma

Pen or keyboard, or both?

retro_rocket_bike16 karma

Keyboard. Pen only for drawing and jotting ideas.

TheRoseOfSolidarity7 karma

What's your best tip for somebody who's still in school and wants to write a book?

retro_rocket_bike13 karma

Start out with just a short scene that you would love to read as the opening pages of a book. Try to write something that would make you want to read the shit out of that book. EDIT: Then watch the video on http://kdp.amazon.com and realise how easy it is to get your book out there. You only need a word document. You don't even need microsoft office. You can get OpenOffice for free at openoffice.org

greyjackal5 karma

How come you deleted your previous entries and re-posted this AmA 4 days later?


retro_rocket_bike4 karma

I was tidying up my account. I like to keep track of what is 'live' and what is older/archived.

kfloppygang5 karma

Boxers or briefs?

retro_rocket_bike9 karma

Not too healthy to have anything on too tight is it. Boxers.

JoeyGlowey3 karma

How much time did you spend actually writing your book? Where did you find time?

retro_rocket_bike6 karma

It was after finishing work for the day and then when it was picking up steam, before going to work too. I wrote the first chapter at midnight one night and couldn't sleep the whole night.

ASongInSilence3 karma

Please answer more questions! We are truly interested in your book and your personal story!

So here's my question: I've not read your book yet, but plan to now, but without giving any spoilers - how would you feel if you were the main character of your story and you experienced the plot first hand? Emotionally and physically? I'd like to know how I should feel going into the story!

retro_rocket_bike4 karma

My internet is wobbly! Please check back often and I promise I will answer every one of your questions at some point through the day. I would feel despair, but have a very strong sense of purpose and need for vengeance.

AraBeyonce3 karma

Do you read Amazon reviews? If so how do you respond to the praise/criticism?

retro_rocket_bike8 karma

I enjoy reading the ones that take the time to leave an honest review. Good or Bad. Good is better of course but I value people taking the time to tell me what they thought.

RainKingOfPain3 karma

Any advice for wannabe writers?

retro_rocket_bike5 karma

I still think of myself as a wannabe. I would only suggest keep writing and get a nice looking cover and don't read too many of the bad reviews.

NotHomo2 karma

can you actually make a living wage writing a book and self publishing like this?

retro_rocket_bike5 karma

You would need to be a lot better at it than I am I think! Amazon take 65% of 99c books so that would have to be a hell of a lot of sales. Or a bigger price tag! But of course, it can be done. People do it every day.

obamas_arsehole2 karma

How do you feel about a wide audience of people knowing your name?

retro_rocket_bike3 karma

There are so many others with my exact same name that they already knew my name before.

CobeySmith2 karma

Do you now consider writing books as a full time job?

retro_rocket_bike2 karma

I wish it was! Although I love my day job too. I get to make mobile phone apps and games.

xbenzerox2 karma

Has it been finished? I remember I read this awhile back but it was just the beginning of a story. Is it still just that one or have you added?

retro_rocket_bike2 karma

It is much longer now than it was when it was first released but there is still a lot to come from the Black Book world. There is another book due out before the end of the year. And I can't wait until October to hear the audio versions. You can keep track of all those updates on my twitter account http://twitter.com/WhatisBlackBook

GuyFauwx2 karma

Do you plan to write more books now?

retro_rocket_bike3 karma

I have been writing and re-writing a follow up to Black Book for way too long. So inbetween my real job and my other commitments I need to finish that and then get onto my children's book when I have time to draw the 12 full pages needed for that one! :)

dualshock72 karma

Any epub version for us non kindle users?

retro_rocket_bike2 karma

I'll try to do that later, but there's an online converter you can do it on.

mimiincognito2 karma

What scares you?

And congrats! I'm excited to give your book a read :)

retro_rocket_bike2 karma

Ironically, any scary movie. I won't watch them before going to bed.

ubongo11 karma

Any reallife references in your book?

retro_rocket_bike2 karma

Yes. But it is a spoiler sorry!

ghost314151 karma

Are you a fan of Stephen King's books?

retro_rocket_bike2 karma

NO! Joke! :) Of course! 'On Writing' is the book that gave me a kickstart to get this done.

PrincePound1 karma

Serious question: why did you decide to do an ama, and do you like the attention?

retro_rocket_bike7 karma

The main reason, to see if any one would like to know a bit more about how these things happen, because a lot of people have asked about the magic formula and there isn't one that I know of.

Penis_Blisters1 karma

That's a great achievement! How long have you been writing stories and which writers would you consider an influence?

retro_rocket_bike1 karma

Apart from SK, it has to be Lee Child.(From that very first sentence in Killing Floor!) Arthur C Clarke too. I can re-read his short stories every week and never get tired of them!