Written by Daniel jones
“I had a lot of fun writing Hydra’s Wake, creating a vivid and fresh cast of characters and pitting them up against a life-or-death scenario that comes with several challenges and obstacles to overcome; at its heart, this is a survival story.” – Daniel Jones
About the author of Hydra’s Wake
Hydra’s Wake is the breakout novel from Daniel Jones. Born in California, US, he grew up in a military family and got to live in many places around the world. Including Okinawa Japan, Ramstein Germany, New Mexico US, and East Anglia England. Along with being the oldest brother of three, and a child of the 90’s, Daniel is an Eagle Scout; an Accomplishment he takes great pride in.
He currently lives in Maryland, US with his wife Robyn. He has a passion for nature and animals and can often be found wandering local parks, zoos, or aquariums in his spare time when he isn’t working on his next project.
Some fun trivia:
His Favorite Colors: Dark Green and Teal
Favorite Animals: Snow Leopard and Rhinoceros
Favorite Movies: Creature Features like Tremors (if Hydra’s Wake is any hint)
the journey to success
I chose the self-publishing route for many reasons. When you set aside the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing the truth is that taking the latter is an undertaking that requires a lot effort. Well, not really, but to be successful while doing it does.
I’ve set up several social media pages, this website, and drafted an entire marketing campaign to promote my work. A lot of the legwork that is covered by traditional publishers. It’s a major time sink. And it forces an author to get creative with various avenues. The goal is to gain as much attention as possible. Be excited, be exciting, be enthusiastic and encouraging.
This all started a few years ago when I was bored at work and wrote the first draft of the novel in a few weeks. Turns out I was onto something good. And decided to put it through some revisions, and the first draft went from 40K words to 70k. Then I filled in holes and developed my characters and this thing at one point was 120K words. When I was happy with it I needed to figure out how to edit it on a budget. And my skills are still developing. But I found a website called Autocrit. Turns out the paid version is affordable and packs serious punch for its cost. The draft went through a serious editing process. And came down to 94K words. (For those who are curious, the manuscript scored a 93 when I was finished with it.) Then I saved up and put it through an affordable editor. Had it polished to the best of my ability and so on.
The Most important tool you need to have
But for as amazing a story to tell I have, there is one thing I must admit. Books are judged by their covers. Big time, and heavily. Some books even sell just based on the cover alone. Any blog about book covers will tell you as much and despite the wise words saying otherwise… I agree. To any aspiring author who is on a constrained budget I say this. Save for a good book cover done by a professional. If nothing else this is the top priority if you want to make sales, or at the least get attention. And yes, professional artists are expensive for anyone living on a paycheck-to-paycheck budget, and it took me a while to save up for the wonderful artwork that’s all over this site.
The artwork was done by Ivan at bookcoversart.com the man was wonderful to work with, I had no idea what sells. All I know about book covers is that you want them to be simple. Have one thing to focus on because anyone in a bookstore or surfing amazon will glance at it. If there are too many details then it becomes a hassle to look at, as counterintuitive as that may seem. Also don’t expect the artist to read the book, they don’t have the time. but with a few details and ideas, they get the gist. In Ivan’s case, the man took what I gave him and came back with an idea that I had never considered.
AND IT CAME OUT AWESOME
I was thinking along the lines of the crashed dirigible with Rogue Whip waking up in a debris field or something, from the very first chapter in the book. But he came back with this idea of the Hydra attacking the dirigible. And the sketch he sent just looked incredible. Then came the drafts. And at each draft he gave me the time to process what I was seeing and calm down enough to think critically about it and look for errors. BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF! Don’t say yes the instant it comes back; because if you’re like me, he nailed it so good I almost did. But there were fixes that needed to be made and it went from good to great. And the end result Speaks for itself. Ivan my man, you are a critical part to making the dream of being a successful author come true. I can’t thank you enough.
So, I got my cover, got my manuscript. Why not shove it through amazon and go?
Well, as any Eagle Scout will say, be prepared! Cause just putting it out there is not enough. Doesn’t work in any industry. You gotta market the thing. So, Marketing plan. How can you advertise on a next to nothing budget?
THE INTERNET!!!! Is really great. Take advantage of social media. Take advantage of fundraising sites. Get creative! I won’t spoil all of my secrets on here but if you contact me and ask, I’ll be glad to give an opinion.
I wish every aspiring author the absolute best of luck!