Interview with Hank Quense
In this interview: After 20 years of writing fiction and 12 years of self-publishing, Hank Quense shares what he has learned.
Tell us about your background. Who you are and from where you are.
I write satirical fantasy and sci-fi stories. I live with my wife, Pat, in northern New Jersey, a mere 20 miles from Manhattan, the center of the galaxy (according to those who live in Manhattan). We have two daughters and five grandchildren, all of whom live nearby. For vacations, we usually visit distant parts of the galaxy. Occasionally, we also time-travel when I’m researching a novel.
For non-fiction, I write about fiction writing, self-publishing, and book marketing. I also lecture on these topics in schools, libraries, and webinars.
Tell us about your latest work and what inspired you.
My previous book, How to Self-publish and Market a Book, was unique in that it integrated publishing and marketing into a unified project. However, I realize many authors aren’t interested in the publishing part but need assistance with the marketing tasks. So, I write Book Marketing Fundamentals to help these authors.
It targets three groups of authors:
- Authors who have a publisher but now have to market the book.
- Authors who self-published a book and need help with marketing.
- Authors who plan to self-publish a book but need to know more about book marketing.
What themes does your book explore, and what do you hope the readers will take away from this interview?
My latest book Book Marketing Fundamentals will be available on October 1. The central theme is that no one buys a book of which they never heard. Hence, the need for marketing: to tell the world about the book. For most authors, marketing is a vague concept that is slightly repellent. My book explains the marketing concepts and defines the tasks so the author can understand what they are doing. I also explain how to accomplish the task, something that is missing from many marketing books.
My hope is that the authors who read the book will experience a degree of confidence that they can indeed market their book. A second objective is the authors will understand the financial danger they face from all the scam artists who proliferate the web searching for authors who are struggling with book marketing.
What prompted you to be an author, and were you influenced by a particular person, artist, or genre?
At the time of my 50th birthday, I was a sales manager for a large corporation with an office in mid-town Manhattan. I started thinking about a second career and decided on fiction writing. I began writing stories during my morning commute. When the corporation came out with a lucrative retirement offer, I took the money and ran.
I belong to a few writing groups — one a physical group, the other a virtual one — and I’ve noticed that the newer and the inexperienced members struggle with creating fiction and also with the concept of self-publishing. Since I have been writing and publishing for more than 20 years, I decided to start writing non-fiction to share my expertise with other writers and first-time self-publishing authors. I also started lecturing on the same topics.
If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would they be and why?
Most marketing books that I have read are vague about exactly how to go about accomplishing a task. My book goes into detail on the “how” part. Three groups of authors are the target audiences for the book. Well, the marketing needs of each group are different. Most marketing books assume a one-size-fits-all approach. My book identifies which tasks apply to each group. I think these differences and the “how” details make it unique.