Did you do all the illustrations yourself?
Ken: Well, you did do some shading, David. And you colored in the pig’s snout on that one page. So I’ll give you credit.
David: Oh, then, yes.
Is Ken Tanaka a Buddhist and does he believe that there will be a sequel book about reincarnation?
Ken: I don’t identify as a Buddhist. I live by the code of “Maximum Pleasant”. I don’t think we will do a book on reincarnation, but we are working on a second book.
What are some of the methods you’ve been using to market “Everybody Dies”?
Ken: We collaborated on three funny book trailers.
David: Yeah, some with “Breaking Bad” cast members. Here is a playlist where you can see all three. Don’t forget to share them with everyone you’ve ever met.
Ken: Also, we’ve been lucky to get many of our YouTube friends to talk about the book, do interviews, and do contest giveaways, including OlgaKay, TheFu, KatMcdowell, Mimei, Sharla in Japan, GimmeaBreakMan, and many more.
David: Yeah, actually, if anyone reading this has a large YouTube subscriber base and would like to do a giveaway contest they can contact me via the contact page on the website. I’m happy to do interviews for people’s vids too about the book, “Breaking Bad,” or whatever tickles your fancy.
Ken: That phrase “Whatever tickles your fancy” always makes me uncomfortable.
What advice do you have for YouTubers who want to become authors (also non-YouTubers, we suppose)?
Ken: I made the book first and self-published it in 2010. It was a good way to test the book out. It got a fair amount of media coverage and sold quite well and that helped us get picked up by HarperCollins. Self-publishing is a good route for YouTubers because you can sell directly to your audience. I took the extra expense of having my book printed and I then sold it at comic conventions and book shows, but you can also just sell online without ever having to put money into printing and storing the books. If you really want your book to take off outside of your built-in audience it takes a lot of work. I constantly was driving around to bookstores and novelty stores asking if they’d carry the book. I also spent a lot of time researching and contacting people online who might either wholesale the book or write about it. Like anything, if you want it to be successful, you have to do a lot of hard work.
David: Also, you shouldn’t be under the impression that getting a book made or published will lead to lots of $$$. Unless you are famous, it’s hard to get an advance from a publisher that actually compensates you for the amount of time you put into a book. It has to sell a whole lot of copies for you to actually make a decent amount of money.
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