Welcome to another installment of the Student Spotlight.
Each installment highlights the cool things a current or past Stukent student is doing. Use these stories as motivation for reaching your entrepreneurial and marketing goals.
Meet Christian Freed
Freed recently retired from a 20-year career in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan three times. Since then, he has published many works, including science fiction and fantasy novels, combat memoirs, a how-to book, and a children’s book. Freed earned a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University and is attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for graduate school, studying communication.
He shared insights on his experience with digital communication. You can read his interview below:
Tell Us About Yourself
Q: Why did you want to study communication?
A: As a full time author, it is imperative for me to be able to take writing a book and [turn] it into a marketable brand that is recognized globally.
Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: There was a time when I used to love playing baseball, but age has gotten the better of me. I read almost as much as I write.
Tell Us About Your Cool Venture
Q: When did you start?
A: I started making goofy comic books when I was a kid. [I] wound up winning the Student of the Month award in 10th grade for writing a really, really bad horror novel and then wrote on and off through my Army career. Now, I have over 19 books published.
Q: Why did you start?
A: Who can say why? This is one of those things that is a natural talent. The stories are in me asking to be set free — either that, or I need to be checked into a hospital for hearing voices in my head.
Q: What is unique about what you do?
A: I take my firsthand experience fighting in two different wars, combined with my knowledge of military history and a passion for science fiction and fantasy to make believable works of fiction. Most authors get it all wrong when it comes to the fighting. I try to stay true to reality, even if there is an occasional dragon floating around.
Q: What has been the hardest part of running your business?
A: The hardest part for me, as well as most authors I would say, is what comes after the book is written. Marketing and branding is difficult, especially when you have had no training.
Q: How are you marketing your business?
A: I use several small services on Twitter and Facebook, along with a few promotion experts to market my brand.
Q: What advice would you give to a college student looking to start down a path similar to yours?
A: Start thinking of your writing as a business, not a hobby. Writing a book is easy, what happens after is more complicated and takes a lot of experience to navigate successfully.
Q: Do you have a favorite book, website, or online tool / service that you’d recommend for Stukent nation?
A: Any site dedicated to enhancing the writing [of scenes in] your particular genre is great to get involved with.
Q: What Stukent product did you use, and how did your experience using it help you with this new venture?
A: We used Stukent’s Mimic Pro for our digital analytics course. The tool was invaluable and exactly what I was looking for in understanding how to create digital ads and use keywords effectively.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about your venture?
A: I’ve been writing for almost a decade now. I have 19 published military fantasy and science fiction novels. I was a fourth place finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest in 2012 and have had the overall, #1 free book on Amazon four times.
My books are read worldwide, but there is always room for new readers. Stop by a festival or event, and you might just find me there.
You can always find me here: Christian Freed on Amazon. I welcome everyone!