Monday, September 3, 2007

Professional Art, Collectibles and Antiques Appraiser Scott Zema Talks Nonfiction and Why Author Branding is Important

We have a special guest author today by the name of Scott Zema, author of the book, THREE STEPS TO INVESTMENT SUCCESS: BUYING THE RIGHT ART, ANTIQUES, AND COLLECTIBLES here with us at Boomer Chick!

Scott Zema is a professional appraiser certified by the International Society of Appraisers and has been in practice for twenty years. Based in the Pacific Northwest, he has a national clientele. He has actively promoted the appraisal profession and includes among his clients the University of Washington, museums, local municipalities, corporations, and numerous other institutional clients, as well as numerous private clients of high net worth.

You can visit his website at

Hi, Scott, and welcome to Boomer Chick. That’s a very impressive bio. Why did you choose the appraisal profession?

Hello! I chose the appraisal profession because it afforded me the opportunity to make a good living utilizing my passion for art and antiques and to use little except my brain to bring in the bucks. Consultancy is a good way to make a living.

It’s obvious why you decided to include what you know about the appraisal profession in your new book, THREE STEPS TO INVESTMENT SUCCESS. Do you find this is an example of author branding and do you believe that authors need to create some kind of platform before writing a nonfiction book on a topic where they know much about?

It sure can't hurt! It may be unfashionably 'politically correct' in this day and age, but give me the true expert every time over the loud mouthed amateur. Whenever an experienced professional offers me advice about something which is at their core of experience and knowledge, accumulated over a long period of time and tested on a daily basis, no matter what their profession, I'm always all ears. They know what they are talking about!

I know your book is close to your heart. What kind of message do you want to convey to anyone who might buy it?

Pay attention to what you buy, learn about what you are spending your money on, or don't be disappointed when I come calling and tell you your art collection is worthless. Actually, good advice for any investment of your time and money, and that is directly, and simply, my point and message in this book.

In what ways have you expressed your expertise in the appraisal business as regards to public personal appearances (in other words, have you spoken in public)?

I have on occasion spoken in public, both to general audiences and to members of my profession.
Do you find nonfiction easier to write than fiction in your own perspective?

For this book, yes. Fiction is more art than substance and requires polish and show. Sober prose can stand in for artifice, although in this book I have tried to leaven things with humorous and instructive stories to relieve the text and instruct the general reader more easily.

Do you feel that authors who cross-genre often are not taken seriously?


Your book is self-published. Why did you choose to self-publish? Did you try mainstream publishers first or did you decide to do it your own way?

I tried mainstream agents and one publisher, was told I had writing talent, but found that a combination of bias against the topic and a lack of interest in this specialized area--even sans any submittal on my part--seemed to doom the effort. Keep in mind that except for one feeble effort published in the early 1980's, I believe that this book is truly the only book on the topic of art, antiques, and collectibles investment in the whole corpus of published literature.

After a fairly short period of dealing with rejection, I thought--what the hey--all the tools for self publishing and promotion already exist in the computer. Not only that, but assuming as an unpublished author I managed to land a contract through an agent for a book, my compensation for that initial contract would probably be in the low thousands of dollars (I make that in a few days as an appraiser), I would be in bed with several partners and have to jump through their hoops, and would receive fractional compensation on any copies sold.

In your own perspective, what’s the best thing about self-publishing?

See above!

Any last words?

If you have any interest in buying art or antiques, you would be foolish not to read what I have to say as an experienced industry insider!

Thank you for coming, Scott! Can you tell my readers where they might pick up a copy of your book?

You bet. is where its at!

Now's the time to win a copy of Scott's book! Leave a comment and you'll be put in the pot to receive a free copy. Winners will be announced at our blog at on September 30.

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1 comment:

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