Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.
Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.
You can visit his website at www.conquerpublishing.com.
Thank you for this interview, Mark. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
The Staff of Rahgorra is a science fiction action-adventure. Thrull, a crime lord, wants to rule the galaxy. He knows the key to his plan is to find the mythical weapon known as the Staff of Rahgorra. Cam and his apprentice Kayo, agents of the Galactic Security Bureau, are determined to find the Staff first and avoid the war that Thrull threatens. Along the way Cam seeks the help of some interesting and questionable characters.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Well, in the first three months after the release of The Staff of Rahgorra I managed to sell only seven copies. I had to do something to let people know the book was out there. A virtual book tour offered the most bang for the buck.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
I had heard of virtual book tours, but I had no clue what they were or how easy they were.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
Sales, of course. But also to establish my name and brand for future books.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
I have a website, http://www.conquerpublishing.com
My personal blog is http://moetjens.wordpress.com
And I’m blogging as one of the characters from The Staff of Rahgorra, http://doinasandu.blogspot.com
Who maintains your website?
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
Because I’m a new author, I figured that most of my sales would be from online sources, so all of my marketing and promotion has been done online.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
Honestly? I’d make a two-minute trailer with all the trappings and special effects of a Hollywood production and I would screen it in every theater in the country just like a movie trailer, right before the featured presentation.
Thank you for this interview, Mark. Do you have any final words?
Thank you for having me. Final words? Life is short. Do what you love.
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