Indie Insight with Felix I.D. Dimaro

Indie Insight with author Felix I D Dimaro

Indie Insight is a blog series about book marketing and social media for authors.

 Reader, Writer, Weaver of Nightmares Felix I.D. Dimaro (INTERVIEW)

Author name: Felix I.D. Dimaro 

Website: ThingsThatKeepMeUpAtNight.com

Bio: Born in Nigeria, raised in Toronto, Felix I.D. Dimaro is an author of dark, psychological fiction often centering around morality, mental health, and the real-life issues he has experienced. He has released nine books to date, including the eco-thriller, Black Bloom: A Story of Survival, the uncomfortably dark revenge horror novel The Corruption of Philip Toles, and his latest, the extreme horror novel Humane Sacrifice: The Story of the Aztec Killer.


1) If you could travel back in time to chat with your novice-self about how to market a novel, what advice would you give?

I’m still waiting for a future version of myself to come back to the present and tell me how to effectively market a novel. Marketing is by far the most challenging part of being an indie author and is something I struggle with. Much of what I have to say comes from my failures and what I know I need to improve upon.

My advice would be to be consistent and persistent without being pushy. Keep people in the loop about your upcoming project without harassing them or flooding their feeds with it (I find that tends to turn people off). Also, reach out to people to read and review your books, and don’t be afraid of disappointment when you do so. Some will say no, others will be too polite to say no and they will accept your book and never read it, others will just never get around to it, while some will outright ignore you. You can’t let any of that dissuade you. If you persistently and consistently reach out to enough people, you are likely to get the result you are looking for.

The important thing is to try to get people talking about your novel in an organic a way as possible. You can tell everyone how great your novel is, but there is no better marketing than word of mouth. And it’s up to you to get those conversations started.   

2) New writers are often told they need to "build their platform." What does this mean to you, and how do you envision your platform today? 

To me, building a platform means building a presence online that is accessible to readers specifically interested in you and your work. Your platform can span across several social media sites and applications, but most authors generally have a sort of home base of social media where they are most active and accessible. For me, it’s Instagram. But I am aiming to focus more on Substack in the near future.

3) Do you have any advice for new authors about how to convince potential readers to sign up for their newsletter?

People need to feel like they’re gaining something when they sign up for anything. Make that subscription worth their while. Use “reader magnets” such as free stories, insightful reviews, and thoughts on issues related to your work and genre(s) of choice. Allow your subscribers to feel as though they are benefitting in ways others who only follow you on social media will not by giving them access to things like early cover reveals and synopses, art, chapter previews, beta reader and ARC opportunities, anything that makes them feel as though they are part of the process with you. And, if possible, encourage your subscribers to interact with you regarding your subject matter.

4) What's the latest insight you've learned when it comes to book promotion, and how will this impact your next marketing efforts? 

I’ve recently come to appreciate that being organized is a huge part of being successful. Not only as an indie author, but in general. As my career progresses, I find myself busier and often scrambling to get things done, which impacts my preparation and how I market. I am someone who flies by the seat of my pants, both as a writer and in general. And while that can work in the short term, if you want long-term success, if you want an audience that will return to you, know what to expect from you, when to expect it, and actually look forward to it, you have to be organized. And that means planning out releases in advance, figuring out the best strategy that works with each book ahead of time, consistent blog posts and newsletter releases, reaching out to friends and reviewers to spread the word in advance of and after the book release, knowing what your promotional posts on social media will be and when you will post them. These are all things I’m currently trying to improve upon.   

5) If you could change one thing about the publishing world, what would it be?

Gatekeeping is a big part of the publishing world that I find troubling. You’ll often see the same names and same types of stories being promoted. And even when minority authors are given an opportunity, or their work is pushed aggressively, it is often stories that play into stereotypes that are given the spotlight. For example, as a Black author, it is bothersome to me that so many of the heavily promoted books by Black authors feature slavery or (North American) Black struggle, or the perpetuation of negative Black stereotypes. I would like to see different stories from different perspectives be allowed to get some shine.

6) How important do you think it is for indie and self-publishing authors to pay for editing services?

I can’t state enough the importance of editing. Not only when it comes to grammar and typos, but also for cohesiveness and consistency. You can generally tell when a book is unedited, and the result isn’t usually positive. Indie authors are in a unique situation of being independent while also being very much in it together. The more poorly edited indie books that are out there, the less the reading audience as a whole will trust independent authors in general. There are a ton of amazing independently published stories out there, and it is always a shame when they are overlooked because people are worried they might be of poor quality.   

7) As a writer, how has your process changed in terms of drafting and revision since you first started out? 

I’ve never really had much of a process, and that is what I am currently attempting to change. I’ve always been a binge writer. For weeks or even months I may write nothing new of significance, and then, when I get a story idea, it will often consume my mind for weeks or months, and it will be all I work on until it is finished. This approach makes it so that I can write a novel in a short amount of time, but it also means that I have wasted a lot of time not being productive at all in other areas.

That process worked for me when I wasn’t as busy as I am now (much of what I have published was written during the pandemic). But now I am realizing that I have to be more organized with my writing as well as my marketing, and other aspects of my life. So, instead of not writing at all until I have thought of a story enough to write a novella or novel in one burst, I’m realizing that I have to write a bit at a time, over time, whenever I have time. And give my attention to different projects even when they aren’t my main focus. This allows me to spend more time with each story.

Ultimately, the goal is to chip away at any one of my projects each day, whether it's only adding 500 words to the story or retooling something that I’ve already written. And this all ties into what I’ve been saying about consistency and organization.     

8) Please tell us a bit more about your latest novel or work-in-progress! 

My latest novel is called Humane Sacrifice: The Story of the Aztec Killer. It’s a story about a man who is about to lose his cat, his only friend, to cancer, and refuses to accept her fate. He is given an alternative treatment method by a mysterious stranger after his veterinarian tells him there is no hope. All he has to do is change his cat’s diet. What she needs to stay alive is a feast of human souls…

This is an extreme horror novel, so there is a lot of blood and gore, but there is also a lot of humour and heart. I wrote Humane Sacrifice after I had to put my cat, Cat, to sleep due to a malignant tumour. It was cathartic to write. And I’ve been told it’s a really fun read. You can find it on Amazon or most other major online book retailers. 

In the near future, I will be serializing a dystopian novel called The Day of The Dust for free on my Substack. In it, people all over the world wake up to empty cities, billions of the planet’s population have vanished in seemingly the blink of an eye, and all that remains is covered in dust.

9) Particular to the genre you write in, what tips would you give someone starting in that genre?

Read. Read a lot. Read in your genre, and read outside of your genre. Because reading (in as many genres as possible) makes you a better writer regardless of what genre you are writing in. And I personally like to write in more than one genre. I don’t like the idea of feeling boxed in or limited to one type or style of story. And I encourage others to branch out when it comes to their own writing. 

Thanks for the great questions! 


Indie Insight with author Felix I D Dimaro

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