There can be hardly anybody left on WordPress who is not familiar with the logo above, or has not heard of Chris, the Story Reading Ape.  Chris runs a promotional platform here on WordPress, and publishes valuable information and advice for Indie authors like myself.  Today for a change I thought I’d turn the spotlight around so that you can all find out a little bit more about Chris, the Story Reading Ape.

Thanks Chris, for answering my 20 questions!

  1. You say you’re not an author, but have you ever thought of writing a short story, poem or novel?

Yes I have posted several (very) short stories, you can find them under TSRA TALES in my blog NAVIGATION Tab ( http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/blog-navigation/tsra-tales/ )

  1. Whereabouts in the world do you live?

I currently live in Manchester, England, but I don’t originate from there (big furry pointy fanged grin)

  1. What made you decide to champion the Indie author?

In December 2012 I bought an eReader which had an app for Goodreads included, so I joined them, intending only to list all the books I could remember reading (I’m STILL recalling them lol).

I joined some readers groups and noticed how many Indie Authors placed requests for Guest Posts on blogs, etc, as well as reviews of their books.

Intrigued, I set about investigating how and where to blog, finally settling for WordPress because they offered the best media spread, free blog themes and took time to answer all my questions.

Regards the topic of my blog, I didn’t want to post my reviews there (they are not grandiose affairs), so I designed it to be an independent authors promotional platform.

  1. What genre do you like to read the most?

Science Fiction, Fantasy & Historical Fiction, but I will delve into other genre from time to time.

I have to confess a weakness for children’s books, they help me relax and it’s amazing how much can be learned from their educational books.

  1. Who is your favourite author?

The late, great Sir Terry Pratchett!

You could say he was my Blog Persona Creator (see my blog About page for details) ( http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/blog-navigation/about/ )

  1. Do you prefer to read an e-book or a traditional paperback?

I loved the feel and smell of traditional books, however, over the years of working in the Construction Industry, mainly in the Middle East where fine sand dust, as well as normal construction dust, is a job hazard, I have developed emphysema and can no longer read them due to the dust and ink fumes affecting my breathing, so rather than stop reading, I bought an eReader.

  1. What did you do for a living?

I was a Self Employed Mechanical / Electrical Consultant Engineer, working for various International Companies around the world.

Now I’m happily retired, busier and more fulfilled than ever.

  1. What is the one thing that you cannot do without?

My wife – she is one amazing Lady!

  1. How many views does Chris the Reading Ape’s blog attract every day?

It usually varies between 700 to 1200 views daily, but there have been several times this year where they have exceeded this.

  1. How can an author be included into Chris the Reading Ape’s Hall of Fame?  

Easy – Just check out my blog Submissions Guidelines at:


  1. What’s number one on your bucket list?

Enjoying whatever I do.

  1. Do you think surfing the Internet can be addictive?


  1. As an Indie author myself, I’ve always found your WordPress blogs informative and helpful.  How many hours per day do you spend gathering information for your blogs?

That depends on what other commitments I have for author promotions, Book Covers, Book Promo Trailers and of course, whatever non-blog related stuff my wife needs me to do, but it does run to several hours each day.

  1. Do you think it is better to self-publish rather than use the services of a small publisher?

I don’t have any personal experience of publishing, so I can’t answer that with any authority.

  1. In your opinion, which websites serve the Indie author best in regards to promoting their work? 

There are a multitude of blogs and websites out there who post book reviews and love to introduce new authors to their followers – for free – many of them are authors in their own right.

However (and I’ll probably get a lot of flak for this) I would caution against using sites who make promotional claims that sound too good to be true and charge fees for those services.

ALWAYS do your research thoroughly and get the opinions of anyone who has used them before even thinking of committing funds to those services.

  1. What should Indie authors be mindful of when selling translation rights?

I don’t have any personal experience of this, however, I always recommend you do thorough research and get opinions from anyone else who have done this.

  1. Is it just a money-making scam, or is it actually worth buying books which inform authors of how to go about selling millions of copies? 

No comment, however:

Check out the authors of such books.

Are they rich?

What other books have they written?

How many copies have they sold?

What do their book reviews say?

Do the reviews sound genuine, are they too praising?

Check out the reviewers themselves, what else have they reviewed?

  1. Should an Indie author spend time blogging, or should his/her time be better spent writing?

Nowadays you need to do both, but balance is the key.

However, authors need to decide WHY they write and publish books.

For their personal enjoyment and fulfilment, or to become famous and make money?

  1. What do you think is the best way for Indie authors to find readers?

Networking – I recommend you read this post by Author Shirley McLain who gives a comprehensive list of ways ( http://shirley-mclain.net/2015/12/10/this-is-blatant-advertising/ ) and also browse my blog Resources Tab ( http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/authors-resources-central/ ) and Information / Marketing Categories Cloud.

  1. Do you think the increasing number of self-published authors will cause traditional publishing to fall by the wayside?

Traditional Publishing has a ring of PRESTIGE that Independent Publishing doesn’t have (yet!) so I can’t see TP falling out of favour for many years

If any other authors / publishers are interested in answering 20 of  my questions, please leave me a comment here and I’ll be in touch.