Man-to-Man with Author and Self-Publishing Guru J.J. Hebert

Man-to-Man with Author and Self-Publishing Guru J.J. Hebert

Cameron Conaway talks with author J.J. Hebert about the changing nature of books.

J.J. Hebert’s Unconventional has been the #1 Inspirational Book in the Kindle Store numerous times and his latest work, a children’s book titled Weepy the Dragon, has garnered some good praise so far. But we’ll chat with him about his self-publishing company, Mindstir Media, a group using its position at the forefront of the book revolution to help aspiring writers fulfill their dreams.

It’s fairly known by now that all printed book sales are down by at least 50%.  A recent Mashable article was titled, “Ebook Sales Surpass Hardcover for First Time in US History”. Readers, no less voracious than before, are simply consuming information differently. Due to illegal torrent downloads and the rapid shift from paperback to eBook, many traditional publishing companies slow to evolve are now strapped for cash and afraid to publish new writers who may not make their company loads of money. Quality literary writing can suffer in this climate because it’s not usually the type of writing that sells. Vampires sell. Sex sales. Previous fame sells. Risks are riskier right now.

A few years ago I was astounded when I learned that a local bookstore (a huge chain) never carried copies of two books written by local authors – one book won the Pulitzer and the other won the National Book Award. Add to this that American MFA programs are churning out thousands of highly talented writers each year and we’re left with quite a problem: loads of great writers paired with scared publishers and dwindling bookstores. So what do the writers do? Some become police officers or bankers and if they’re lucky get a few days each month to write. Others become disenchanted and give up on the craft altogether. But others turn to self-publishing, a form of publishing that has throughout its history been considered low-brow and, in many academic circles, even despicable. Reputations are changing quickly, though, and I’ve caught up with J.J. Hebert to talk about these changes.

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