I’d say I’m just a normal guy who’s passionate about living life purposefully. During the past thirty years I’ve invested a lot of time into thinking about life and helping others along the way. I’ve been a life coach, business coach, management trainer and even a church minister. I’m married, have two great kids and wake up every morning thankful that I’ve been given another day in which to do something worthwhile. I’ve been a keen motorcyclist, toured Europe several times and even taught myself to ride a unicycle.
What inspires you to write?
I believe our time on earth is limited and I want to do something purposeful with my life while I still have the opportunity. I enjoy helping others to think seriously about life and how to make the most of it. As a coach I’ve helped individuals, working as a trainer I’ve supported small groups, then I’ve had the chance to connect with larger groups as a public speaker. My hope is that as a writer I will be able to reach out to a worldwide audience.
Tell us about your writing process.
I wish I could say things like “little and often”, “continually flowing”, “effortlessly and joyfully”. The truth is I’ve found writing this book one of the most challenging things I’ve done. If I’m honest, I nearly gave up several times. I’ve had to push myself (and benefitted greatly from my wife’s encouragement) so that I could finish the book. Setting myself a deadline helped. Also, in the early stages I took a course in Professional Writing at University College Falmouth. Now that was very useful – especially the ‘critical feedback’ I received from my peers.
When it came to writing this book I started by capturing and developing my thoughts relating to key themes I had in mind. Then I decided I needed to create a structure. My initial chapter headings were a bit stiff and starchy so I tried to think through what my audience would want to hear. That led me to develop a more conversational tone. This shaped the feel of the whole book and resulted in some significant rewriting. People who’ve read it tell me they find it easy to read and it makes them think. That’s been my aim.
Having finsihed the book and gone down the self-publishing route I’ve discovered I’m only half-way there. Helping connect readers to my finished work looks like it’s going to be just as big a challenge. However, as I’ve come this far I don’t intend to give up now…
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
Write about stuff you’re passionate about. Don’t waste your time and your life trying to make money from writing about things that aren’t meaningful to you. Don’t try to write like other people; be yourself and let your own personality shine through. Make the most of today and take to heart the reminder that “tomorrow is promised to no-one”.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The course I took helped me prepare to approach mainstream publishers and agents. However, I could see that it would take ages for my book to get to market, assuming I could keep going after getting a series of rejection letters. Also, I’d started hearing about the success of a number of self-published authors (and the higher royalty rates they enjoyed).
I thought about just going down the e-book route but could see that having a print book would improve my ‘professional image’. Having decided on a print-on-demand approach I then explored several options. At the time Amazon was the ‘800-pound gorilla’ so to make things easy for myself I chose to use CreateSpace and Kindle. I hired a professional via Elance to work with me in designing a cover and laying out the print pages. I tought myself the wonders of html for e-books to create opf and ncx files to get my ebook to look like I wanted it to. (Yes I know Amazon say you can upload Word documents but when I did the formatting of paragraphs, bullets and lists just didn’t behave the way I had planned.)
It’s been more work than expected but I’ve learnt a lot, found a great freelancer who saved me time, and feel much more confident when talking to others about the whole self-publishing game.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s in a state of flux but I guess it will settle down a little at some point. I’d expect to see a lot more people self-publishing e-books in the immediate future as Amazon (and others) have made it so much more accessible. Unfortunately, as well as enabling previously unknown people get some great works into print, I think it’s also resulted in some poor quality material being put out there on the shelves.
Some have predicted a growth in ‘author services’ to support emerging self-publishing authors over the next year or so. I’ve noticed some mainstream publishers setting up subsidiaries in an attempt to tap into this market. (It’s probably a combination of both seeing the opportunity to make more money as well as recognising the very real threat of losing their traditional income stream.)
Maybe within a year or two the current interest in self-publishing will wane a little as the majority of new authors discover that writing isn’t the ‘get rich quick’ scheme that some people are currently making it out to be. Those that survive are likely to be the ones who continue to work hard at developing their skills as both writers of good quality material and also marketeers who understand how to effectively reach their audience. Then again, this is only my perception from my own particular perspective.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you for a few minutes. Now where was I? Oh yes, promoting my book, that’s right. Well, if you’re thinking about life, your future and what you could do with the rest of your life, why not check out my latest book, “Find Your Life Purpose: The Secret for a Successful and Happy Life”…
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
non-fiction, self-help, how-to, mind/body/spirit
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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