Kia Ricchi – Avoiding The Con in Construction

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Avoiding the Con in Construction-How to plan for hassle-free home building, renovation & repair. In this book, you’ll learn how to find and do business with qualified building contractors. The Library Journal summed it up nicely: “In this extremely useful book, Ricchi, a Florida building contractor, introduces homeowners to construction contracting in understandable language. She discusses how to avoid common pitfalls and survive the entire process. The purpose here is not to defame contractors but to make readers knowledgeable customers. Planning, pricing, and many other important factors are neatly explained. This specialized book is highly recommended.”

Tell us something about yourself.

I am a licensed building contractor. Since earning my license in 1998, I have completed numerous residential and commercial projects including several for the State of Florida.

What inspired you to write this book?

After hurricanes and natural disasters, unqualified contractors take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. I wrote the book to help homeowners make wise decisions when undertaking a construction project.

How did you choose the title?

It just came to me while I was walking.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Because I am a contractor and therefore experienced at hiring contractors and delegating work, self publishing a book was not beyond my capability. Instead of building a house, I was building a book! I read Peter Bowerman’s book “A Well-Fed Self-Publisher.” I did not encounter any substantial obstacles but I was surprised how difficult it is to write a book. It took me three years! But my efforts were rewarded. I won two national book awards-The Indie Excellence Award and the Independent Publisher’s Living Well Award. The flattering Library Journal review also helped me along.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

Although my book has been praised but notable professionals, I do not consider myself a writer. Writing continues to be a difficult and time-consuming process for me because I want to do it well. But I do feel very satisfied when I get it right.

Do you have any writing rituals?

No, but I need some! Please tell me it gets easier with practice.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Although my book is nonfiction, I do have one character I call the CONtractor. Since my topic, contracting, is complex, I wanted to incorporate humor to keep the reader engaged.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that writing is very difficult especially if a person is not formally trained. I have also learned that marketing is even more difficult! When asked what I do all day, I joke: “I am busy telling the world how great I am.”

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would not do anything differently because I learned a lot as a self-publisher. If I write another book though, I would consider pitching to conventional publishers. But I would want guarantees of performance on their part.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I generally read non-fiction topics, not authors, and my interests are broad. Some recent books provided me basic information about common law and US military history. Occasionally I read fiction if it is clever, unusual, and well-written.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

No, I am busy blogging and writing articles for national pubs. Marketing is my full-time job right now.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Create a professional website because it is your business card. I have gotten into very important doors because of my website.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

My reader is anyone who hires a contractor for home repair, remodel, or new construction. Contracting is 50% of every construction job, if you don’t get it right, you will have problems when construction is underway.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?