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Member Spotlight: Ben Myhre

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Feb 12, 2013 5:51:51 AM

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Showcase/BenMyhre_m.jpg Ben Myhre is reaching two passionate audiences with his new book: those who love 2012's breakout erotic novel and those who love bacon. As a pop culture blogger, Ben knows what people are buzzing about online, which is how he came up with the idea for his cookbook, Fifty Shades of Bacon. Ben answered a few questions for us about how he tapped into pop culture and internet trends to create his own publishing success story.

 

Tell us about your book.

Fifty Shades of Bacon is an erotic cookbook that delves into the full bacon experience. Ok, it is not erotic at all, but it is a tongue-in-cheek delivery of some great bacon recipes. Everything from basic bacon bits to bacon ice cream to bacon au gratin and alfredo. If you are into bacon, want an interesting conversation piece, or are looking for a present for the meat-lover in your life, this title is for you.

 

The idea for this book came about as I was having coffee one Saturday morning and trying to think of a topic for my work blog, which is about popular culture on the internet. Bacon has quite the subculture on the internet, and I had been thinking about writing on that topic for quite some time. At the same time, my wife had the Fifty Shades of Grey book series on the counter. The name just came to me in a flash. As soon as I thought of the parody name, I knew that this cookbook had to be made. Literally within minutes, I contacted my co-author, Jenna Johnson, and by the end of the day we had started putting together recipes.

 

Care to share your author bios?

Benjamin Myhre's love of food and popular culture has culminated in a passion for bacon and is the fire that sparked this book. While Ben loves bacon, he also enjoys home canning, innovating his homemade pizzas, and home brewing. Outside of cooking, Ben works in the technology industry, reads comic books, gets geeky about Star Wars, tries to make it to the gym to work off all the delicious food, and blogs about popular culture on the internet. He lives in Fargo with his lovely wife, Ashley, and three cats he lovingly calls "cat."

 

Jenna Johnson's love of cooking, food, photography, and bacon has helped her create a successful food blog called recipe-diaries.com. She is married to her wonderful husband, Ben, and two cute furball children, Colin and Jerry Lee. Ben gets to sample all the recipes and ideas Jenna has created for her blog and sometimes the children do, too. She resides in Fargo and met Ben Myhre through a friend, Ashley Myhre.

 

Why did you initially choose to independently publish?

Access, cost, and speed. First, I had no idea how to begin with publishing and knew that traditional publishers were not quick or easy to employ. When I learned that some self-publishers enabled you to be up and selling in days, it was a no-brainer. Second is cost; my upfront cost is almost nothing, and that is very attractive. I have talked to people who have had X number of books published and then are left holding the bag when it does not work out. With CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, there is no bag to be held. If you don't sell, you don't pay anything. As far as speed, I thought of the concept for Fifty Shades of Bacon and in less than 60 days I was selling books. I worked my tail off and knew that this was a timely concept, so it had to get out of the door fast. CreateSpace helped to make that happen!

 

How did you choose CreateSpace and KDP?

I originally started off with a CreateSpace competitor. I found, however, that they just could not compete in price. I was three-quarters of the way through the process when I decided to change, and I'm glad I did. CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing have been easy to work with, and the products KDP and CreateSpace give customers are some of the best on the market.

 

Tell us about your marketing efforts for your book. How did you get the word out?

We created a webpage, a Facebook page, and began utilizing Twitter. I also began interacting with readers on the internet. When someone leaves a negative review on Amazon.com, I reply to them. How many authors reply to their customers? When I find a tweet mentioning my book, I might also interact with that person. I do not have a big marketing budget or the backing of a bottomless wallet, so I try to take a very personal approach with how I market. I also understand the nature of viral marketing, and a parody product like mine is perfect for viral trending.

 

What were your goals with your book project? Have you met them at this point?

You mean other than making a million bucks? Well, my goal was to simply get it out there! I sort of stumbled into this and am an accidental author, but I'm loving it. I think there will be a market for Fifty Shades of Bacon as long as Fifty Shades of Grey is popular and people love bacon. The first book has inspired us to continue making cookbooks, and we have already completed a second cookbook named Chocogasms!http://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Showcase/BenMyhre_cover_m.jpg

 

What would you consider your biggest success so far?

I think my biggest success to date is just getting the book out there and CreateSpace and KDP made it happen! Beyond that, the press has been encouraging (front page of our local paper), and our book is even going to be featured on a popular BBC variety show this year. We also have been interviewed on the Seattle Kitchen radio program and featured on several popular websites, such as eater.com.

 

Any advice for your fellow authors?

DO IT. I was at an event promoting my book, and the local keynote speaker talked about the publishing process. I asked him how he felt about self-publishing, and he said that nobody will take me seriously without a real publisher. Very nice guy, but he pretty much put down the path I chose. Well, I watch the rankings of this keynote author's book on various sites compared to mine; he might not take me seriously, but I bet he would take my royalty check seriously. This silly little book about bacon is putting some bacon on the table! Had I taken the traditional route, I would probably still be twiddling my thumbs waiting for a response from a publisher instead of collecting a check every month and reaching readers around the world.

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