Service Interview with Dan Buri

Today we're doing a different type of interview, and it should be enlightening to both writers and readers following the blog.  
My guest today is Dan Buri.  Hello!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you here again. 

As always, Marie, thank you for having me on your site and for all you do for the indie community. You are a great resource for us all and a great author.

Wow! Thank you! :) That's very kind...
Can you tell us a little bit about your writing community venture and how Writing in the Modern Age readers can benefit from it?
Sure! Nothing Any Good is a website designed to inform and support the indie author community. I think experience is the best teacher, but a lot of good can be gained by learning from other people’s experiences too. I slogged my way through trying to navigate getting my book to publication. When I was done, I realized I had inadvertently gained a wide range of knowledge on the self-publishing process, and a large community of author friends that have a wealth of knowledge as well. I figured, why not try to leverage our collective knowledge to support other indie authors on their own journey to publication.

Oh, how inspiring!
Dan, are you also a writer? What genre or genres should we expect to see you in?

I am, or at least I pretend to be. The public at large is still undecided on whether it agrees with me that I’m a writer. I’ll keep you posted.

Your readers can, of course, see my blogging on Nothing Any Good, but that is mainly web-style writing and far from what my published content aims to be. The main genres you can expect from me are literary fiction and memoir-style essays. Although I was encouraged recently by an author of cozy mysteries that I should try my hand at writing a genre-based series. She seemed to think I would be good at that. I’m not so sure.

LOL! Well, if there's one thing I've learned on my writing journey, it's that I shouldn't box myself in. The muse has a mind of its own. Heck, I never thought I'd write children's fantasy or sci-fi, yet here I am. ;) 
But, I digress...

So, what gave you the idea for your site? And can you elaborate a bit on your premise, "making sense of the difficult world that is indie publishing"?
Self-publishing and indie publishing are difficult. There’s writing the book, editing the book, designing the layouts and cover, coding the book for ebook sales, then publishing the book, and marketing book. This doesn’t even address submission of short stories or essays to literary magazines, or agent queries, or any other host of difficult subjects. It’s not always obvious what the best option is. Many authors love to write, but they don’t love the other stuff. It can be overwhelming.

The idea behind the site is to create a community where authors, editors, publishers, and readers can share their war stories with the goal of trying to help other indie authors learn from our collective experiences. Getting a book published is easy as pie now. Just write it down and upload it to Amazon. Getting a high quality book published is an entirely different animal. Nothing Any Good aims to helps indie authors understand and make some of the decisions they need to make in the process, while also supporting indies in their writing endeavors.

Well, it sounds like a great project! 
How do you intend to expand 'Nothing Any Good'?
An immediate goal is to share more short stories, book excerpts, and essays from authors. I think we too often tend to think of writing as something that is done in a vacuum, when a lot of good can be gained through feedback throughout the process. We have had a few short stories published on the site already and I’m looking forward to publishing more. I would love for authors to utilize the platform to beta-test ideas and provide each other feedback.

A longer-term goal that is broader than Nothing Any Good is a minor publishing label. We’re at an inflection point in the publishing industry. The previous world of the Big Five publishers reigning supreme is being dismantled slowly, but the world of Amazon dominating the market is not sustainable either. I suspect we’ll start to see trusted labels in different genres that readers rely on implicitly for reading recommendations. We already have this on a small scale, but I could see this becoming much more prevalent and influential on readers’ book-buying decisions in the future. Depending on how my own books do, I may explore expanding DJB Publishing to include other authors.

Wow, that's great!
I see this site going places, for sure! Readers, you can not only find essays and stories in the Writings & Ramblings section, but check out the author interview section here
as well as the Author Resources section for writers at any stage of their careers!
This is very exciting, Dan!
Let's try some general questions. Do you have any favorite authors?
I feel like this is the question that readers and writers always ask in a judgmental way. It’s as if your readers are going to judge me by the authors I enjoy. “Oh no, I don’t agree with that at all. John Grisham? This guy clearly isn’t serious about his writing.” 

I am constantly inspired by writers and I have a lot of authors that I love, though. A few, in no particular order: Gertrude Warner, Shell Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, C.S. Lewis, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, John Buri, Cormac McCarthy, Bill Bryson and Mark Twain. I could probably list another hundred whose writing I enjoy with wonderment.

If you forced me to choose one author, I would select one work specifically and it would be because of the circumstances surrounding the first time I read it. I would choose The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I have read it a half dozen times or so, but the first time I read it was with my mother. I think I fell in love with storytelling hearing my mother read this book to me. It’s a beautiful fable. I can recall lying up at night before bed as she made the world of C.S. Lewis a reality for me.
Great! :)  My mother read to me as well, so I know exactly what you mean.

Let's try another question.
When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks? And why?
Good question and for me to answer earnestly, I need to provide some background. See, my lovely wife and I have ventured into the world of parenthood recently. (Trust me, this has a point. Just be patient.) Our now two-year-old daughter loves to sleep in our bed many nights. I, on the other hand, love to read in bed before I fall asleep. This created a predicament. I could either read somewhere else and then come to bed when I grew sleepy—not ideal because I start to wake up as I’m walking to bed. Or I could not read at all—not an option. Enter the Kindle.

To make a long story longer, I prefer reading ebooks at night when I am going to sleep. I prefer print during the day when I am sitting in my chair or on a park bench. Now do me a favor and wake up your readers that have been nodding off since I started answering this question.

Ha! Love it.
Can you tell us what you're reading for fun now?
I like to have a number of books in process at any given time. I never know what mood I will be in the next time I sit down to read, so I like to have options. Currently I am reading The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, The Big Short by Michael Lewis, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and The Seeds of Love by Jerry Braza.

A quick aside for your author-readers out there. When someone asks you what you’re reading right now or who your favorite author is, don’t say yourself. At best it’s eye-roll-inducing; at worst it’s a narcissistic conversation ender. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this from authors.

I hope I don’t offend anyone, but I just hear it all the time. I find it nauseating. Stop already. I get it, you have a book and you want me to buy it. I love that. You should be proud. I love to support you in your goals and dreams. But don’t tell me you’re currently reading yourself or that you’re your favorite author. That’s ridiculous. Unless you’re Dave Eggers, you’re not your favorite author.

Can I go off on another tangent while I’m here? (If you’re reading this, it means Marie didn’t delete it and has let me indulge in this rant, which I’m not entirely sure I understand why I started.) Why do authors that are writing a book say they aren’t reading anything because they don’t want it to influence their creative genius? Why is this a thing? I don’t get it at all. It could be the stupidest response to the question, “What are you reading right now?”

Hyperbole aside, the two best ways to become a better writer are to write and to read. What, you think somehow reading George Saunders is going to negatively impact your genius humor? You think you can’t read Ta-Nehisi Coates because your unconscious mind will inadvertently steal ideas from him? Don’t flatter yourself. They will impact your writing—positively. I get the idea of not having as much time to read as you would like, but the fact that you can’t read while you’re writing because you’ll unknowingly steal ideas is preposterous to me. What, do you also not talk to the barista at Starbucks because you might decide to create a character based off of her for a scene in your book? How is this a thing? How have I heard this response from dozens of authors?

Now I’m getting worked up. Dang it, Marie, why’d you let me go off on this tangent?!
LOL. I totally agree on both counts, Dan. I never say my favorite author is moi or that my favorite book is written by me. Only if I'm specifically asked which one of my published books are my favorite will I answer that question. And then, it's the one I feel is dearest to my heart (not that every character doesn't touch us in some way). 

Oh, geez. Now you have me going off on a tangent! ;)

But, reading helps us write better, for sure! We can not only enjoy the experience as a reader, but analyze techniques as a writer. Yes?

Well, to wrap this up, here's my last question, or questions, I suppose.

Are there any words you'd like to impart to writers? Any advice you can give us? 

Also, how can writers contact you to inquire about guest posts on your site? What is the best way for potential readers to follow 'Nothing Any Good'?

After that rant, I’m not so sure any of your readers want to hear if I have any thoughts. Really, I’m just a big dumb teddy bear, folks. I’m full of only love and support. Don’t be shy.

I would love to hear from your readers. They can get my contact information on the Contact page on the site. I am open to any and all ideas for supporting indie authors, so feel free to reach out. Readers can follow the wonderful articles we have on the site by subscribing via Email or subscribing to the weekly recap email. They can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram

Thanks, Dan. And he's right. He is really great to work with. I also had an interview on his site not too long ago.

So...'Nothing Any Good' sounds like a great service for writers of all stages, not to mention a way for new readers to find great authors, which is just about perfect for Writing in the Modern Age, isn't it?

About Nothing Any Good

Nothing Any Good is a community. Indie publishing is difficult. A love of writing does not mean we will see our work published, nor does it mean we will find readership. Not in the least.
This site offers advice for writers and recommendations for readers. The site aims to help make sense of the difficult world that is indie publishing. It supports indie authors. It provides compelling content in the form of essays and stories provided by a variety of sources.
In an homage to the most famous writer from my home state of Minnesota, F. Scott Fitzgerald, (with all apologies to poetic song writer Bob Dylan), “Nothing any good isn’t hard.” This is a difficult path we have as indie writers. I hope I can help.
Please send thoughts, questions, and requests to danburi777 [at] gmail [dot] com. I want to hear from you.

Service Link

Dan’s Bio 
Dan Buri is the son of an indie author. His father has two published books and countless article credits to his name. He has his father to blame for his passion for writing. Dan’s first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and redemption. His writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the search for meaning in life.
Dan’s non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print for over a decade, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, American Discovery, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.
Dan’s day job is as a lawyer in the Pacific Northwest. He has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World’s Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Author Links:




Amazon Author Page: 






Dan's Book:
Thank you so much for visiting us today, Dan, and telling us all about this great service you offer! :)

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