Great Article by Phil Hall in the Fairfield County Business Journal, March 2020!!
Marketing exec Jay Stuck taps his inner author via self-publishing
By Phil Hall
March 22, 2020
Jay Stuck. Photo by Phil Hall
Stratford resident Jay Stuck has a long and distinguished career as a marketing and public relations executive within the technology industry.
However, many people probably know him better as the author of a series of crime novels focused on Harry Dreme, a hit man with an advanced case of hypochondria.
Stuck’s career as a novelist did not come about through the traditional methods that many people associate with publishing — or, to be more precise, through the cinematic stereotyping of the publishing process.
“You used to see in the movies how a book is published, where somebody sits down and writes the Great American Novel,” he explained. “It just gets mailed to a publisher who yells, ‘Eureka!’ Right? And suddenly, you’re the next Hemingway. That only works in the movies.”
But even if an aspiring writer found a “Eureka!” shrieking publisher, the chances of becoming the next Tom Clancy or Stephen King are slim to nil.
“I read a statistic lately where the average published novelist sells an average of 700 books,” Stuck continued. “That is not a lot, especially when you think about the kinds of costs that a lot of the publishing companies are incurring.”
His path to becoming an author took him through the realm of self-publishing. Stuck brought his literary aspirations through Amazon, which makes his work available in a Kindle e-book format and a print-on-demand paperback.
“The Kindle editorial team will take a look at the manuscript,” Stuck explained, adding the review process can take between 24 and 48 hours to determine if the book is suitable for publication. “They want to see that it’s not some sort of screed that’s virtually unreadable or recognizable or incoherent, and not pornographic. And they will send you an email that says, ‘Congratulations, your book has now been officially published.’ ”
The Amazon publishing model also provides templates for cover designs on the books. Amazon’s system gives the writer a 70% share of book sales with the e-commerce giant pocketing the other 30%. Stuck noted that e-books tend to carry a retail price around $2.99 or $3.99, whereas the paperback editions go for $9.99 to $12.90.
Stuck’s novels help him address a literary creativity that is separate from his professional responsibilities. And that raises a question: why would a business owner or professional want to self-publish a book?
“It’s good publicity for your business,” observed Stuck. “Self-help books, how-to books are very, very big right now. Let’s say you own a hardware store in Fairfield County. Why not do a self-published book about how to do your own gardening or how to do your own plumbing?”
Stuck added that books about corporate and office management are “similarly very, very, very hot. Let’s say you’re a middle manager in a large Fortune 500 company based in Fairfield County. It’s very possible that you could write a book about what it’s like in terms of being a middle manager. There could be an audience for that. And it’s another way of getting the word out about your business.”
Stuck has written five novels and he said he sold “several thousand” copies of his works. It has helped him break the ice with current and prospective clients.
“If I’m reaching out to a particular prospect in business and if they see I am also an author, it is intriguing,” he said. “And they may be much more inclined to take my call and read my email.”