About Andrew Christison:
As a new husband and father, an uncle to 8 nieces and nephews (and counting), and an avid reader and writer, Andrew has always been passionate about personal development. Through traveling cross country, achieving his MBA at Ashford University, and working in fields as diverse as higher education and marketing technology, Andrew realizes how critical personal development is to living a prosperous life, each and every day. With family at the forefront of his life, A Boy and a Bird is Andrew’s first Children’s Book, designed to stress the importance of willpower in life at any age.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration comes in amazingly numerous forms, however, I’d say that my wife, Megan, and my daughter, Maisie, have been the biggest inspirations in my life. Knowing that I have their love and support is second to none and has kept me focused on achievement, day in and day out.
Beyond family, I’ve been profoundly influenced by many other authors before me, including Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar and John Maxwell. I am extremely passionate about personal development, business, and interpersonal communication, so I find inspiration from those passions, but mostly from other people that have been able to influence so many people through the written word.
Tell us about your writing process.
How I write varies dramatically, depending on what I’m writing and how I’m writing. I cover a full swath of writing projects, from blog posts to non-fiction, to white papers and sales materials, and, of course, children’s books, and each one has a different process to it.
For A Boy and a Bird, I actually was laying in bed one evening next to my wife who had been fast asleep for hours and had the first lines of the book running repeatedly through my head, “There once was a boy who lived in the woods, who always wore sweatshirts with pullover hoods.” For some reason this line and the imagery in my head was crystal clear and I opened my eyes, grabbed my iPhone 4 (#oldschool), opened up a notes page, and began typing away, finishing a full draft of the story that night. The next morning, I read through it quickly and still liked it, and made a massive amount of content edits, including everything from spelling errors to sentence restructuring to removing whole sections and writing in new content altogether.
The main message of A Boy and a Bird is to never give up, and that having willpower in seemingly minute tasks can improve one’s willpower in every other aspect of their life. At the time of the writing, I had been thinking a lot about willpower and wondering if I had enough will to succeed at the tasks in front of me. It was relevant, dear to my heart, and much of the reason why this particular story has made is so far from its simple beginnings.
What advice would you give other writers?
As I’m sure every author says, write every day. Whether it’s good or bad or ugly, write every day. If you look at many of the great writers, journalists, authors, and media personalities, they have one thing massively in common- lots of practice. The more practice that you have, the better you are able to hone in on your craft to develop a story or a work that is high caliber and can be enjoyed by many.
I’m not quite sure if I would say I’m a great writer at this point, but I am a good writer, and I practice my craft, and I find fulfillment in it.
Since I write mostly to inspire, motivate, and instruct, I believe that, just like in the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, every time someone reads my books, an angel gets its wings. If you have a strong enough reason for writing, you’ll find a way to keep doing it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Guy Kawasaki’s book, APE: Authors, Publishers, & Entrepreneurs, was the main influence on my choice to self-publish my book, as, I believe, as he does, that self-publishing is the way of the future.
1. No Gatekeepers- In traditional publishing, there are a ton of people that say no, no matter what. With an ample background in sales, this doesn’t frighten me, however, I felt that self-publishing would eliminate any concern for having to deal with the naysayers.
2. Quick Turnaround- To publish a book via a traditional publisher, the process can take somewhere between 6 months and multiple years and may not even be published after that. From start to finish, utilizing my own capabilities and leveraging freelancers, I was able to go from edited manuscript to Amazon-available in 3 months, nearly to the day, including revisions from errors along the way. Not only is faster more convenient, it also ensures that momentum stays high.
3. Entrepreneurship- I love business, marketing, and promotional activities and strongly wanted to create a brand. Publishing myself gave me the perfect opportunity to utilize my skills in the marketplace to begin that process on a larger scale.
4. Skill Development- Writing a book, getting it illustrated and edited, preparing it for publishing, publishing it, marketing it, and building a brand are all skills and experiences that I wanted to have and to learn from doing it myself. Understanding the process, execution, and having the fulfillment of a job well done, was very appealing to me and made the entire project worthwhile.
5. Traditional Publishing is Dead- Although the aforementioned reasons are stellar, the fact is traditional publishing is an antiquated business model. Roughly 1/3rd of all books are purchased from Amazon, eBook reading is skyrocketing. We live in the information age and the age of unlimited access. Publishers are merely content curators, betting on the highest possible returns and struggling at that, too.
6. Control- As a self-published author, I have 100% control over my product and have always from the start. With traditional publishers, I would have run the risk of being placed with another illustrator, my content being heavily altered, and my story changing drastically. By self-publishing, I was able to control the entire process and represent it exactly how I envisioned.
Self-Publishing allows the opportunity for one to not only be an author, but a publisher and entrepreneur, as well. If RandomHouse calls, I may take a look at their offer, but I have truly enjoyed all of the facets of self-publishing, thus far, and believe I will continue to for many years to come.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is changing every single day.
As the world evolves, people are customizing their entire lives, more and more. From who people follow on Facebook and Twitter, to choosing media through Netflix and HBO Go, to listening to music through Pandora and Spotify, people are becoming more and more personalized in every aspect of their lives. Then, they’re creating communities around that. Publishing is exactly the same and in publishing, people customize by their browsing activity and by their pocketbooks. With self-publishing capable of delivering equally as professional books as traditional publishers, the competition is thick and numerous.
Self-Publishing will win the century and may even win the decade. It’s your choice.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Children’s Books, Personal Development
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.