Essays from a Fed-Up Middle Aged, Middle Class American, discusses his book, his writing process, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Essays from a Fed-Up Middle Aged, Middle Class American?
ANDY STRUM: The book describes our current troubles, how we got here and solutions to these problems. It does so in a series of essays; each dealing with a specific topic. The topics range from career politicians, the drug problem, education and government spending, and intrusion in our lives.
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
ANDY STRUM: Individuals who are concerned about the direction our country has taken over the past few decades. The decline in personal responsibility, the increase by government in our lives and the idea that politics is an industry instead of short term service to our country are concerns of the readers. It is especially meaningful to the Baby Boom generation.
DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?
ANDY STRUM: About a decade ago I realized many people I spoke with shared my concerns about the direction of our country. I began taking notes and started writing editorials. Two years ago, my concern reached a peak. My notes and editorials took shape into individual essays.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?
ANDY STRUM: Like many of us my thoughts on subject matter occur at all times of the day. I jot down notes and later put those notes into print. My first draft is random. I just write what’s on my mind. Later, I fine tune my writings and research my work. I do not have a writing background nor was I an English major. I am fortunate to work with a wonderful editor. She reviews all my work.
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
ANDY STRUM: Jeff and Michael Shaara, Michael Lewis, Dale Carneige, and John Stossel
DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
ANDY STRUM: Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media... by John Stossel
DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?
ANDY STRUM: Crudely, I designed a front and back cover that I thought would express my book’s theme. Working with a local graphic designer, my idea was transformed into an expressive cover.
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
ANDY STRUM: I have done some promotion on Facebook and other social networks. Our local bookstore has been kind enough to offer my book for sale. It is my intent to actively promote my book early next year.
DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?
ANDY STRUM: Kindle is transforming the way we get our information and reading material. It is an avenue of marketing that cannot be overlooked. The features and ease of using Kindle makes it a valuable tool.
DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?
ANDY STRUM: Many in my generation think of the traditional book, magazine, or newspaper when they consider reading material. That is a mistake. An author should use a Kindle before writing and be comfortable with the idea that readers will be using a Kindle to read the material. The first-time author should also design a separate marketing strategy for Kindle users.
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"I have spoken to groups on numerous occasions, getting a sense of their frustrations about how to make a better life for themselves. I have listened with a great passion.
"I have been fortunate to coach children of all ages on how to play baseball. I learned from these ballplayers that living up to the expectations of their teammates was important. They knew they needed to work hard to better themselves and therefore bettering the team. Their parents shared the same goals.
"I have volunteered my services to many organizations throughout the years. I have served as a constituent, board member, officer and president of these organizations. While a manager of a financial services company I participated in a television production highlighting the role of an advisor.
"Leap ahead to today. After over 30 years in the Financial Services Industry, working with clients from all walks of life, my frustration with the states of affairs in America, reached a head. I talked with many of my friends, family and clients regarding how they felt about our country. After listening to their thoughts, I wrote a book. The book is composed of essays dealing with the changes in America that were the greatest concern to the people I spoke with. I enjoyed every minute of the experience."
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