Kindle Author Interview: Aaron Niz

Aaron Niz, author of Compelled, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Compelled?

AARON NIZ: Compelled is a chilling psychological thriller in the tradition of Silence of the Lambs and Dexter. It's the story of Mason Winters, a seemingly "average joe" who—underneath his facade of normality—suffers from terrible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Mason lives under a repressive set of rituals and routines that he carries out on a rigidly timed schedule throughout the day. One night, Mason is attacked by a drunken man and during the ensuing struggle, kills him in self-defense. After this incident, Mason feels like he has been inexplicably freed from the chains of his OCD. Until he realizes only too late that the compulsion has returned with a vengeance. Only now his ritual is very simple: kill a new person every night.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

AARON NIZ: My ideal reader would be someone that enjoys thrillers and a fast-paced, creepy read. I think people that enjoy "police procedurals" would also really like Compelled.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

AARON NIZ: My journey has been a long and winding road. I've been writing all my life, and have thus far completed six books. Five of them are currently self-published on Amazon and B&N. I've had established agents in the past and three of these books have gone out to New York publishers, a couple even might have been published had the market been healthier. But no dice going the traditional route so far.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

AARON NIZ: My writing process is pedal to the metal. I get a bee in my bonnet and write in a hyper-focused trance for hours at a time. Sometimes I'll write five to ten thousand words in a day when I'm "in the zone," so to speak. But always there comes a point where you just stall out or hit a rut and have to push through. I tend to write without doing a lot of outlining, so my books go through multiple, significant revisions before being completed.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

AARON NIZ: Stephen King, John Grisham, Ira Levin, Mario Puzo. All these people just could tell a great story and their writing voice was so unique and wonderful. Each of them are different and amazing in their own ways.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

AARON NIZ: Probably The Firm by John Grisham. I've read that book about twenty or thirty times and it never gets old.

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

AARON NIZ: My wife made it using simple software. I think we need Photoshop!

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

AARON NIZ: I started a blog recently called An E-Publisher's Manifesto. It chronicles every aspect of what it's been like to self-publish. I try to stay really honest and open about my sales, my trials and tribulations, what I think about the business. Also I try to interact a lot with other authors on their blogs. It seems to be working and a lot of people visit my blog now, it's caught on very quickly!

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

AARON NIZ: To me, Amazon is hands down the best thing going for new authors. The thing that separates them is their lists which make it possible for your work to be found by browsing customers. It's huge. My parody book (7 Habits of a Highly Ineffective Person) has been hovering at number 5 of the Amazon UK parodies chart for a little while now and it's definitely had a big sales impact. Also B&N doesn't do such a good job of keeping authors up-to-date on their sales numbers on an hourly basis. It's been days since I've gotten accurate reporting from B&N, which is frustrating.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

AARON NIZ: My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you're in it to win it. Doing this takes hard work, study, perseverence, and craft. You'll be very disappointed if you think it will just be money falling from trees because you put a book on the web.


Aaron Niz has written five books, including Compelled, which can be found on Amazon Kindle. Aaron’s blog, An E-Publishers Manifesto, chronicles his successes and failures in e-publishing and he would love to talk more with you there. Please visit!

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