Kindle Author Interview: Erik Kopp

Erik Kopp, author of Why Does It Take So Long To Build A Treehouse? A Family Comedy, discusses his book, his journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Why Does It Take so Long To Build A Treehouse?

ERIK KOPP: Why Does It Take So Long To Build A Treehouse? is a family comedy which my kids inspired me to write. I always believe that laughter is great medicine. Grown-ups do not laugh enough. Since writing this book, my kids and I have cracked up laughing many times when we read this stuff. The underlying story is the building of a tree house and why it never seems to be finished because of how time is spent dealing with more important situations that require immediate attention. This time is viewed very differently by parents, older siblings and younger siblings. Each family member has a different slant on the daily routines and trials of typical family situations. This balanced presentation of all perspectives appeals to kids and parents, and it captures precious moments in time that pass by so quickly. By sharing these stories, this will enable the reader to look back on these times with a smile and a laugh and many happy memories.

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

ERIK KOPP: Our ideal reader would be busy parents (both working) with at least 2 children. Kids 10 and older would also be able to relate to these stories.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

ERIK KOPP: Writing is a hobby at this point. It is the creative escape I need to get away from the science and business world. I have published books in the past dealing with technical themes.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

ERIK KOPP: I start with a high level outline and then I carry around a journal to write down ideas as they come to me. When something funny or inspirational hits me, I stop what I am doing and then I write it down in the journal and assign it to a section of the outline. For this book, I sat down with my kids individually and we brainstormed some ideas. Then I put together a rough draft and gave a copy to each to get feedback.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

ERIK KOPP: Authors who did not start out as authors but who have proven to be able to create masterpieces. John Grisham's story always inspired me as he was a lawyer who started out by writing on the side and sold his first book out of the back of his car.

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

ERIK KOPP: How To Form Your Own Corporation Without a Lawyer for Under $50 by Ted Nicholas.

DAVID WISEHART: How did you create your cover?

ERIK KOPP: I came up with a basic layout and got some input from my kids. For this book we wanted it to look like kids artwork—the stuff kids bring home from school and you would see families put up on the refrigerator. We added in the shopping and to do lists and the school activities newsletters and lunches to support the busy families theme. We took a comic frame out of the book to provide a preview of the book on the cover image. Then I started putting it together using MS Power Point and a color scanner.

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

ERIK KOPP: I set up a website (, sent out press releases to local newspapers, provided copies of the books to local book stores to display, and submitted queries to book agents.

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

ERIK KOPP: Ebooks are the wave of the future. Sales of ebooks are exceeding printed books. The Kindle is a great way to promote a book to a very large audience through Amazon at no cost. Amazon handles all the ordering and financial transactions.

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

ERIK KOPP: Read up on Amazon's Digital Text Platform (DTP)—they have an online tutorial to help you out. You do not need to be a technical wiz to successfully launch a Kindle eBook. With basic tools you probably already have, you too can do this.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your book.


Erik Kopp was born in 1963 in Massachusetts but moved south the New Jersey to start first grade. Always interested in mechanical and electrical things and how to make practical use of these things, he completed his undergraduate degree in Engineering and got his MBA a few years later.

In working with clients and colleagues in the technical industries, he realized the value of communicating complex technical information in plain language so that all those involved could understand why this stuff is important. He compiled learnings from many startup projects into his first book for the pharmaceutical industry How to Sell Validatable Equipment to Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Published by Interpharm Press; September 30, 1999, ISBN: 1574910973.

When he is not working, he spends his time with his wife and three children. His oldest has helped him to publish a cookbook for parents dealing with picky eaters Food Dress-up: Crafty Ways To Get Kids To Eat What's Good For Them, Published by Author House; October 31, 2003, ISBN: 1410791173. And now all three have helped him to create his latest book Why Does It Take So Long To Build A Tree House? A Family Comedy, available on the Amazon Kindle and also in print (ISBN: 978-1456320386).

Visit his website.

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