Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Flurries Unlimited had a chance to chat with bestselling fantasy author D.P. Prior to discuss his new releases and work.  This is what we talked about:

FU: Our predecessor, FLOW, spoke with you back in 2012. What has changed since then then?

DPP: I’ve spent the past three years in Florida, writing and editing full-time. During the spring of 2015 I was signed by Fuse Literary and asked to put together a complete Nameless Dwarf story arc for submission to publishers. I pretty much spent every day for five months writing 8-10 hours, and the novels were submitted on 1 September.

FU: So what has your experience been of indie publishing, having an agent and sending things to publishers?

DPP: Indie publishing has been good to me, thanks in large part to Amazon KDP Select. I had moderate success on the other platforms, too, but KDP has given me a consistent income that dwarfs (pun intended) anything I earned when I went out to work full-time.

There was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, and I wasn’t exactly business-minded. I put books out there, and one or two of them broke through and kept selling.

I have mixed feelings about submitting to publishers, but my reasons are purely financial. During the submission process, my wife's work contract unexpectedly ended, and our income was slashed massively, just after we’d committed to major home renovations. Royalties from my books paid the mortgage and bills,

but our situation had gone swiftly from stable to precarious.

We kept telling ourselves just to muddle on through and wait for a big advance, but the waiting went on and on.

Some of the editors were pretty good and got back to us within a few months. Some still haven’t responded to my agent. Out of those who did, the vast majority loved the writing and the character, but there were a few responses that showed the editors hadn’t even read the pitch letter, never mind the book. That’s just the way of things in publishing: you can never guarantee getting your book in front of a diligent editor with an eye for what will sell. Many are simply looking for emulations of what is currently topping the charts in the genre, and others are looking for a piece of the pie when indie books are already selling like crazy.

Eventually, the field was whittled away to two publishers who expressed serious interest and requested an extension to the deadline we had given them. The only reason we set a deadline was due to the very real danger of losing our house if these books didn’t start making money anytime soon. To cut a long story short, they missed the deadline, so I made the very difficult decision to release the books independently.

The instant I did, it was a huge weight off my shoulders. I hadn’t realized how stressful it was facing financial peril, and yet having to wait around passively for a decision on four books that have the greatest potential out of everything I’ve written to do really well.

Thankfully, I had already started laying the foundations of a monster launch, and had sent out offers of ARCs to dozens of bloggers and magazines. All but one requested a copy. I suspect this was in large part due to the cover and the blurb.

I’ve also benefited from the enthusiastic support of a great bunch of readers who’ve gotten in touch with me via email and social media. Not only had these people encouraged me to keep writing the Nameless dwarf stories, but they have been tireless in their feedback and promotion of the project. Just having these readers in my corner makes the whole torment of writing and promoting worth every drop of shed blood.

The main thing I learned form the experience of pitching to publishers, is to only pitch what you can afford to live without... for a very long time.

FU:  You've written so many more books since we last chatted with you. Which is your favourite and why?

DPP: My favorite is CARNIFEX, which is the first book of the new series. The main reason is that it is such a focused novel with tight point of view, but I also discovered new depths to this character that surprised even me. It’s a tragedy of Macbeth-like proportions, but it’s got its fair share of humor, adventure, and even romance. This was one of the rare times I’ve written a book has not only met my expectations, but exceeded them. For me, at least, CARNIFEX, is the perfect launch pad for the rest of the series.

FU:  They say that every character has some of the author in him/her. Which of your characters is most like you? In what way?

DPP: Dr. Otto Blightey, Man of Science and Lich Lord of Verusia. We share the same sick sense of humor, and you just can’t beat impaling as a hobby...just kidding.

FU:  So what is on the horizon? What are your new projects? When is your next new release?

DPP: For the next few weeks, I’ll be putting all my energy into getting CARNIFEX in front of as many readers as possible, so for once I’m getting down to the business end of indie publishing.

A big part of this has been having a website designed to act as a hub for all my ebooks, print, and audiobooks. For the first time, I will actually be promoting print copies.

Next up, I’ll be returning to work on a new novel set in a new fantasy world: Snaith and Moonshine (Sorcerers of the Weyd Book 1). I’ve already done a lot of work on this. When it’s finished, my agent will be pitching it (and this time we’ll have the financial security of Legends of the Nameless Dwarf to sustain us).

FU:  Thank you so much for chatting with us and good luck!

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