I met Jaime Buckley just a few short months ago as he’s a friend of Kevin Duncan, and I was so impressed with a guest post he’d written that we struck up a friendship.
I’m thrilled to introduce him as the next guest writer in my series because boy, can he write!
He is so very talented, (smart and super nice too). I’m glad you get a chance to get to know him too because he has an important message I think he should share that I know you’re going to love…
I’m not quite sure why I’m here, to tell you the truth.
I know from this amazing blog that Carol certainly isn’t desperate or hurting for quality content or friends…so why me?
I’m charming, sure.
Good looking, my wife thinks so.
My kids are looking over my shoulder while I write this and whispering, “Cause you’re cool, dad.”
Uhhhh, ok. I like that one.
Truth is, I’m just an average guy who married his dream girl, had 12 kids together and makes a living doing what he loves: Entertaining youth through epic fantasy adventures and games.
How does this help you?
What? You don’t like fantasy…?
I know, you’re here to GET something, right?
Knowledge. Tips. Secrets.
A pink, left sided Chihuahua bookend perhaps?
Oops. Sorry. Drifted there for a moment.
Thing is, I’ve been creating for a looooong time, and during this process I’ve learned a trick or twenty that you might find interesting. Especially in the area of publishing.
Maybe that’s why Carol asked me to talk with you.
I promised to focus—which meant locking up all my fictional characters—so we could have a heart to heart.
She cares about you, you know. Carol.
She cares about your success.
In that, I believe I can help…by showing you how to expand and accelerate your own efforts—using the tools available around you.
Yup, I can show you how to do that.
…even though I am just an average epic fantasy dad of 12.
The moment I realized I wasn’t stupid
Last summer I attended the WesternCon in Salt Lake City.
I’d never been to a writers convention and I even had tickets to the FantasyCon across the street—but after 2 hours in line and a brisk 20 minute walk-through, I was bored stiff. So I spent the next 2 days having coffee with famous authors, enjoying questions thrown at panel guests and getting to know incredible people from around the world.
It was magical.
For the first time, I made friends within a field I had always felt alone.
You see, in 2011 I published my first book.
I’m saying ‘book’, but I mean book, book…because I’ve been a cartoonist/comic book creator most of my life. Along the path of success, a car accident ripped the fine motor skills from my hands and my wife (bless her) convinced me to take my Wanted Hero comics and convert them into a novel series.
The first book, entitled ‘Prelude to a Hero,’ took me over two years to write…just for a paltry 166 pages.
As I went through that process, not only did I realize I could write—I discovered it was enjoyable. I’ve written 14 more books since then—several over 500 pages each, and three more planned before the end of 2014.
Yes, just a little over 70 days away.
I knew how to write. I knew how to publish.
Yet for some reason, I was mesmerized by the thought of talking with some of my favorite authors at the panel sessions.
These were what I thought were the “successful” authors.
In many circles, they are still referred to as real authors.
…but that’s when it hit me.
During one of the meet & greet the author sessions, a handful of us Indie Authors sat around a table and talked with the “big guys.” We talked tips, money, contracts, you name it…and you know what I learned over those two days?
Nine out of ten of these “successful” or real authors still had a day job because they couldn’t make enough selling their NYTimes Bestselling Books! One of them, a Swedish writer who we’ll call Lasse for the purposes of this post, even took out a samla lån from Sambla to finance his day to day life – despite having the highly coveted best seller badge from the NYT!
This reality stunned me.
Many of the fans around the table were already making their living from their Indie published books. One man who sat beside me had sold over 40,000 copies of his latest novel in the last 90 days alone.
At the end of that conference I walked away with a realization.
I was not stupid.
Quite the contrary.
The event showed me that I had viable, professional skills and knowledge…and unlike my traditionally published counterparts, was not dependent upon a single soul for my own publishing success.
- 50,000 reasons why every blogger should learn to publish.
- Discover why every blogger should learn to publish.
- Do you know why every blogger should learn to publish?
My own goals set me apart from the herd.
I bring this up, because I think you’re most likely in a similar situation.
My goals with Wanted Hero have always been specific.
First and foremost my focus is to entertain and uplift. The stories had to touch the hearts and minds of youth, so that they not only desired to come back for more…they wouldinadvertently see the greatness in themselves. By cheering on Wendell, the main character, readers would be cheering for themselves—because they related to Wendell.
The second goal was freedom. Freedom to create. Freedom to publish. Freedom to sell, cross promote and support.
Freedom to GROW.
Thing is, you cannot enjoy freedom in ignorance.
It simply isn’t possible.
To gain freedom, you have to work for it. Educate yourself and apply what you learn…even if it’s not perfect.
Sadly, if you are not willing to act, you will be acted upon.
So I studied, learned, and put everything I could in motion.
My third goal was ZERO exclusivity.
The very nature of that concept, exclusivity, become chains preventing growth. “Restricted or Limited,” the dictionary says. From countless business dealings in other industries I’ve worked in, the moment there is exclusivity—your success is taken from your hands and rests upon the efforts of others.
Income suddenly becomes “IFcome”.
This is why I believe blogging and interacting within the blogsphere over the years has been so important. My goals and those of most bloggers I meet seem to have more in common than not.
So let me tweak your perspective just a bit, one blogging family member to another, alright?
50,000 words is the magic number (not really)
I like to tell people that 50K words is a special number. At 300 words per page using a 12pt font, you’re talking roughly 166 pages.
That’s not a pamphlet. That’s not a ‘report.’
It’s a book.
Just the sheer number of pages whispers, “This is a serious project and if you think it was easy to do…you try it.”
If you haven’t thought about publishing your own book, you should. One of my big personal goals was to write a 500 page fantasy novel.
So I did it.
Then I did it again.
And then a third time.
Now it’s more of a standard than a goal.
The amazing thing about 50K words, is what you can accomplish within the folds of that size of a project.
You can Teach: A writer can cover just about any subject in 50,000 words. You can create a course and set yourself apart as an expert in your field. Think on the subjects you blog about or the industry your business is in. What could you express or teach a client? How you could challenge a competitor’s perspective/product in such an address?
My Chronicles of a Hero novels are my passion—but NYTimes Bestselling Author David Farland encouraged me to write a book on Advanced WORLDBUILDING. It’s an obsession of mine and I have a quirky, yet effective system that helps me with each and every book I create.
So I wrote the book and self-published it.
David very kindly gave me a cover quote in support.
It now sells nearly 20 to 1 against any of my other books, and does so all around the world.
You may not be focused on teaching—but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be awesome at it.
You can Preach: I like to tell people “I have an opinion on everything. If I don’t, give me five minutes.”
Do you have a message you’d like to get out to the public? Maybe there is a personal, religious or political stand you want to take and/or express? Now is your opportunity, using a platform and within a medium that you completely control.
It doesn’t get better than this.
You can Council: One of the brilliant things about the internet, is it happens to be a hub ofsearchers.
Consider this: the most powerful aspect of the web isn’t entities like Google or Yahoo, Twitter or Facebook. It’s not a company, product or even a service per se—but the simple act of asearch.
People are looking for answers. So they come to web to find those answers. You now have the opportunity to provide answers within your field, niche and industry.
You can Guide: There is a whole class of people looking for those who know more than they do. Professionals…or those with experience, who know how to get where they want to go.
People willing to share those steps and experience with others.
Carol and I do exactly that.
Isn’t that why you’re on this site, reading this very article?
You can Inspire: On wantedhero.com and in all my books, I try to do two specific things:
- Show that heroes are those who do for others what they cannot do for themselves, and;
- Teach people YOU ARE MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE.
Writing books allows you to target the needs, emotions and perspectives of others on a larger scale than our blogs. In both digital and print, our words spread and can be shared among family, friends, coworkers and even in religious circles.
Keep in mind that print can still go where electronics cannot and exist long after battery life or internet connections are gone.
You can Entertain: A book allows you to take a reader on a journey, at their own pace. You can make them laugh. You can make them cry. You can provide wonder, adventure, mystery and mayhem…all without leaving their living room or office.
Take them around the world, to another planet or another dimension. Show them how to present like a Tony Robbins or win that exclusive contract.
I just used the ‘E’ word, didn’t I?
The wonderful thing about writing a book, both fiction and non, is you have access to a billion dollar FX studio…with an unlimited budget. So use it.
You can do All Of The Above: Now for those who dream and work BIG, this is where you can create what I like to call “an unfair advantage.”
Do it all at once.
Everything I’ve described above.
For one, it will set you apart.
Secondly, it will create such overwhelming value in your work, once a reader gets a taste,they will never forget you and desire to share with others.
This is what I strive to do in every work I publish.
(Yes, that’s a hint to Facebook, Tweet and Google+ this article…)
Key Advantages For Bloggers Who Want To Self-Publish
I used to have an odd job.
Around 2009, I taught executive classes for blogging. It’s not what I wanted to do—but there was a need and I wanted a job. In fact, before that, I was paid $29K a month to personally write for a national corporation. For a year after that contract expired, I was then paid $8K for roughly 90 minutes of work a month to keep that momentum going.
Those efforts helped the company make millions.
Truth is, I wasn’t an exceptional writer.
This author simply developed a set of skills that set me apart from other companies that required an entire staff and three weeks…for what I learned how to do in days, by myself.
That’s the kind of knowledge you, as a blogger or writer, should have at your disposal when it comes to publishing your own works.
So here are a few advantages bloggers should understand about Self-Publishing:
You already have a book completed. All your labor—from your outlines, to editing and posting—none of this has gone to waste. Consider your blog as a vault of expert knowledge. You’re just working on one chapter at a time.
It wasn’t long after letting readers, many of whom love to write fantasy themselves, look over my shoulder—that requests came flooding in.
“Could you create a simple book of your blog posts,” they asked me, “so we have all your material in one place?”
So I compiled the work I’d already done and published several books. Marketing strategies, worldbuilding, parenting tips and topics just for teens.
With very little editing and adding a bit of new content, new books can be born from your website too!
You already have established readers & email lists. Those who collect names and email addresses for their daily blogs have an established reading base, don’t they? This isn’t one of my personal strengths—but just about any site I go to, people scream, “BUILD YOUR LISTS—BUILD YOUR LISTS!” Right?
Then you have a way to explode your potential sales when a new book is created!
You have connections with OTHER Bloggers. If you don’t have established and solid relationships with other bloggers, you should be spanked.
Business and blogging is about relationships!
Did you get that?
You are not likely to succeed all on your own.
Sure, fate may smile upon you.
You may stumble upon a vial of Liquid Luck…
But DO YOU WANT TO RISK IT?
Of course not. You’re smart.
I don’t care what people say about you—I like you anyway =).
Here’s another truth about publishing: Traditional publishers are worried and stressed. Yes, there are many reasons why, some of those are in debate—but I’m not interested in having a Mac vs PC argument with you.
The publishing world will continue to shift, because people are taking more control of their own decisions in what they read. Devices, content, and how they choose.
More people buy books through a personal reference than anything else. That’s right folks, word of mouth is still the #1 game-changer. Not advertising, not media—personal recommendations.
Did you know that book bloggers are the new powerhouses of the publishing landscape?
THEY (and you, fellow blogger) are the ‘influencers’ now.
Thus your relationships with other blogger will benefit both ways.
Here’s a great example: Carol is a dear friend of mine.
We have similar beliefs and goals—even though our blogs might seem vastly different in content. We also have a growing respect and confidence in one another, built through conversations and interactions.
What does that do for both of us?
Well, she’s allowing me to tell you that a new book is coming out in two weeks, called “MADE FROM SCRATCH.” It’s a critical guide for authors & bloggers to successfully publish using what you have.
Why would Carol allow me to tell you about this on her site?
Other than being a wonderful woman, a professional, and as I said—she cares about you–she will directly benefit from this book.
She’s in it.
I refer to her and some key bloggers, whose content will specifically aid readers in reaching their goals faster.
The digital version will also be directly linked to this website.
That’s permanent advertising…and remember what I said about personal recommendations? My readers trust me to bring them value and to provide unfair advantages.
Carol and her website provide substantial value.
Thus readers will visit this site to discover what I’m talking about.
Carol in turn will talk about this book. She’ll not only use it herself, but she also knows by talking about it, others will come right back here to gain more knowledge from her.
THAT, my friends, is what I call a win–giggly–win.
You Already USE the tools and understand the process. You’re already 70% of the way through the process of publication right now!
Do you realize that?
You’ve developed content through outlining, writing in word processors, editing, scheduling and posting through your blog.
The internet provides the remaining tools to help you create covers, format, create eBooks, print on demand and even get your creations out to over 50,000 brink and mortar books stores and 20,000 libraries. heck—you can even automate the creation of T-Shirts for those amazing fans.
The ONLY answer is “YES”
In closing, I just want to say that anyone, with a little practice and planning, can publish a quality book and improve their chances of intermediate and long-term success.
I’ve not only seen it, I’ve experienced it.
Once a book is published, it lives forever.
You can make residual income…forever.
I hope you see the potential and probable success I’m seeing for you.
Notice I did not say possible, but probable.
None of this is a matter of if…it’s only a matter of when.
When will you choose to publish?
When will you make it a goal?
When will you start?
When will you realize that everything is available to you to succeed?
Will you succeed?
Only you can answer that.
As for me, the answer has always been “YES!”
Then I go about figuring out how to make it come true.
Whew! That’s the most serious I’ve been all year…
Hope it helps.