Interview With Author Scott Hastie
- Scott, what is your latest book about and what inspired you to write it? Although I’ve been published in the UK for over twenty years now in a variety of genres, including fiction and historical research, I would best describe myself now as a spiritually philosophic poet. I regard the over-arching theme of the most of my current creative output to be a personal and poetic investigation into the positive potential of the human spirit itself. A big enough theme for any writer, methinks! And it is this that lies at the core of my new collection, Meditations due to be published in April this year.
- Why should someone invest their time and money in reading your book vs literally a million-plus other options out there? Very good question! First and foremost, because I believe I have a unique voice that has been a long time in the making… I also write about the very business of living itself - in what I hope is a powerful, persuasive and insightful way, which encourages you to reflect on your own experiences, emotions, hopes and dreams. So what could possibly be more relevant to your life? And equally practical to enjoy too… in the form of short poetic pieces that allow you to just dip in, whenever there is time to reflect and the mood takes you.
- How have you been marketing your writings? Since mid 2012 there has been a deliberate and probably long overdue attempt to properly exploit the platform the worldwide web offers and also to jump fully into social media – in terms of marketing my work. In the context of my career, this is all a pretty new departure for me and was, to be honest, something I was initially rather reluctant about. However I was very much encouraged to take the plunge and get fully involved by the people at Raygun Indust. who designed and launched www.scotthastie.com here in the UK.
Having said this, I am glad I did listen to Raygun and we have since developed approaches that make this work for me, without literally taking more than a few minutes of my time every day… Even from my limited experience to date – and (like it or not!) there can be no doubt that options like Twitter & FaceBook (for general public) and even LinkedIn – 20 million members worldwide! (for peer group connections) are immensely powerful engines of international communication, who all do a great job at pointing to your work…. And as a result the web site, which also has a built in blog, for both general comments and responses to individual poems has exceeded all initial expectations, since it was launched in September last year.
Only four months in, and we are already trading at the level of around 250,000 hits a year – and this from a standing start and with no real marketing spend to speak of… There can be no doubt that the use of social media and also involvement with peer group promotion has played its part here.
- Where do you see book publishing is heading? To be honest, I am pretty clear and very positive about all this – and, despite the potential risk to copyright posed by global initiatives like Google Books, what a brave new world we are fortunate to live in right now as authors! Just twenty years ago, when I first got started, it would have been totally impossible for me to even dream of reaching the audience I do now, without huge investment from a major corporate publishing house. That is simply a fact!
- Any advice to a struggling writer? Depends on what you mean here really – struggling to write, or struggling to be noticed? For those beginning on the journey, the two most important elements are just to keep writing/refining your craft and also to be brave enough to just jump in the water and give your work early and consistent exposure to see if it has a resonance beyond your own life.
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