Spotlight on Hank Quense
Here at AdCritter, we love hearing about innovative entrepreneurs who are living out their dreams by starting their own businesses. We have a lot to learn from them—thinking outside the box, risk-taking and persistence! form businesses that provide solutions. Today, we shine the spotlight on Hank Quense, the founder and owner of Strange Worlds Publishing, a small publishing company based in New Jersey.
Hank started as a hopeful author on a quest to publish his first fiction novel. When his book was picked up by a small indie press house, Hank was ecstatic. But that quickly changed.
“While I was initially thrilled to have a publisher, the experience left me deflated,” said Hank. “Their work on my books was mediocre at best and my overall experience with it was negative.”
Hank decided to take matters into his own hands. He left the indie press house and became a self-publishing author, writing satiric sci-fi and fantasy novels. . He decided that starting a publishing company using his own name would be “more than a bit tacky.” He decided to call it Strange Worlds Publishing because he needed a name that reflects the unconventional nature of his books.
“My novels are inherently strange. And I created a fantasy world for my characters to romp around in, and that world is also strange,” Hank claimed during our interview. “Given those statements, Strange Worlds Publishing seems to be a natural fit.”
Hank has since published over 20 books, each authored by him, through the company.
Although Hank’s novels are strange, he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I refuse to write serious genre fiction because there’s enough of that on the front page of any daily newspaper and the news.” Writing these unusual, entertaining novels also provides Hank with an escape of sorts. Hank says, “I write some articles on fiction writing and book marketing but writing nonfiction feels more like work while writing fiction is fun for me.”
Hank’s ability to innovate doesn’t stop with his publishing practices. Since starting Strange Worlds Publishing, Hank continues to expand his skills to related areas. He loves writing and he enjoys helping others, and these two interests intersect for Hank in his lectures about fiction writing. He shares what he has learned to would-be authors at libraries and schools.
In addition to his lectures, Hank also writes books and gives lectures on how to self-publish, how to write fiction and best practices for book marketing. Most recently, Hank created a helpful website called “Writers & Authors Resource Center” that helps fiction writers and self-publishers get started on their own journeys.
Hank’s advice to small business owners? “Don’t stop. Adapt as you have to but don’t give up. The pandemic is a tough situation, but it also offers opportunities. You just have to keep looking for them.”
To check out Hank’s novels and writing resources, head over to HankQuense.org or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram @HankQuense. You can also take a look at Hank’s Goodreads and Amazon page to learn more about his writing. If you’re an up-and-coming author or are looking to self-publish, check out Hank’s Writers & Authors Resource Center.
- Why did you start your business?
My first two books were published by a small indie press house. While I was initially thrilled to have a publisher, the experienced left me deflated. Their work on my books (cover, editing etc) was mediocre at best and my overall experience with it was negative. So I decide to master self-publishing. Which I did. An early bump was finding out that putting my name as the publishing company looked more than a bit tacky. That lead me to start my own publishing company and since then I’ve self-published over 20 books.
- How did you pick the name of your business?
My stories are satiric fantasy and sci-fi. In other words they are strange. And I created a fantasy world for my characters to romp around it and that world is also strange. Given those statements, Strange Worlds Publishing seem to be a natural fit.
- What do you love most about your business or about being your own boss?
I worked in a large corporation for many years, so I know what it is to have a few layers of management to satisfy. I’ve always been self-motivated, so being my own boss feels quite natural. A big advantage is the ability to drop what I’m working on whenever I get a great creative idea that needs to be implemented quickly. And I can do that work shuffling without requesting permission from management.
- What makes your business unique or sets you apart from competitors?
The business started off as just a publisher for my novels, but it keeps expanding into related areas.
As a member of several writing groups, I noticed a need to share my fiction writing expertise. This led me to create a lecture that I give in libraries and schools. And that led to a non-fiction book on the topic. Lectures and books on self-publishing and book marketing followed. Next, I converted the lectures into video classes and installed them on Udemy https://bit.ly/3p9sc4I. My current expansion product is a new website called Writers & Authors Resource Center https://www.writersarc.com where I have a lot of valuable content. More will be added over time.
Where and when this expansion will end, I don’t know, but more books will be published and more classes developed. As to future expansion, I can’t wait to find out what I’ll think up next!
- What advice do you have for other businesses in the midst of this pandemic?
Don’t stop. Adapt as you have to but don’t give up. The pandemic is a tough situation, but it also offers opportunities. You just have to keep looking for them.
- Is there anything else you want to share about your business?
It’s open for questions. If want to discuss fiction writing, self-publishing or book marketing, try me.
- Please list your social media handles.
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B002BM76IE
Facebook fiction page: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline?ref=hl
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