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Self-Publishing Authors Series: Interview with Patrick Snow

Want to create your own destiny? Well, today, we interview self-published author, international speaker and publishing coach, Patrick Snow of and Check out what he has to say about successful self-publishing…

Tell us about your book.

”Creating Your Own Destiny” was originally self-published in July of 2001 as a 10 chapter, 140 pages soft cover book. Today, nine years later, I have published nine consecutive editions of the book with new content. As a result, today it is hard cover, 320 pages, and 16 chapters. The book has been featured as a cover story in USA TODAY, has sold over 150,000 copies, has been translated into five languages and is now an international, best-seller. Recently, John Wiley and Sons have purchased the rights of this book (via a two book deal) and will republish the book in spring of 2010.

Why did you decide to self publish?

I made this decision because I had no other choice. After 300 volunteer speaking engagements between 18-26 years old, I knew that if I was ever to turn my passions for speaking into a business, I knew that I needed publish as book so that I could successfully market myself as a professional speaker.

After getting some early rejections from both agents and publishers, I realized that self publishing was my only option.

What has been your biggest reward as a result of self-publishing?

I have two that are both equally big:

1. My book has allowed me to become a highly paid, professional keynote speaker. Since 2001, I have been able to do 900 paid professional speaking engagements. This has allowed me to quit my day job five years ago and pursue this passion full time.

2. The success of my book has allowed me to become a publishing coach and help other speaker, coaches and entrepreneurs get published as well. As a result, I have helped over 150 entrepreneurs pursue their publishing dreams. And this has given me a lot of balance in life and allowed me to stay home more than many other speakers who have not developed additional streams of income.

4. What was the most challenging part of self-publishing?

Without question, the most challenging part has been the financial investment required to pursue this business. This is a very expensive business to get involved with, but if you do it correctly you can and will prosper. The other part of the challenge is to continue to believe in your self even when all others (including your family) tell you to give up on your business/book and go back and get a job.

What advice do you have for other self-published authors?

My best advice is to NEVER ever give up and spend at least one hour every day for the rest of your life promoting your book (I am talking about a 20-30 year book marketing campaign). Also, do everything you can to protect your seed money, day job income. This is an expensive business so definitely keep the day job until you are consistently making more from your book/speaking/coaching than from your day job. Again, I repeat NEVER give up!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

For more information on my book, “Creating Your Own Destiny,” visit For more information on my unique self publishing coaching system including seeing covers and testimonials from actual clients, visit

Thanks for your inspiration and great tips Patrick!

Are you ready to sell your self-published books and have questions? Please let me know here, at, or at I’m here to help! Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Self-Publishing Author Series: Interview with Hazel Wagner, Ph.D., MBA, CMC

Have questions about writing a self-published book? Check out this interview Hazel Wagner, Ph.D., MBA, CMC, the author of the self-published book, “Power Brainstorming: Great Ideas at Lightning Speed,”

Tell us about your self-published book.

It took me over two years to write Power Brainstorming®. During that time I was also doing keynotes, delivering seminars and facilitating power brainstorming® sessions for business clients so I had the advantage of trying out ideas and getting feedback while I was in the writing stage. It kept my thinking fresh. It also caused me to go back and do a number of rewrites. That was good.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

When I submitted my book idea to the first publisher on my list, the response was that they wanted me to write something slightly different. By continuing on my own, I was able to write the book that was in my head and heart, not the one they had in their head. I also knew that some friends who had published with a publisher paid high prices for their own books when they needed them.

What has been your biggest reward in self-publishing your book?

I worked with wonderful people for the illustrations, editing, internal design, and other essential parts. For example, I never met my internal designer, Joel Friedlander at Marin Bookworks in California. We were able to do everything by phone and email and he did a fantastic job.

What has been the most challenging part of self-publishing your book?

There were so many details I didn't know would be required when I started out. I thought you just write, edit, and design a cover and you're good to go. There were dozens of choices and decisions to be made. Not every choice I made turned out to be the best. I learned a lot and hope that my next project (coming up soon) will be even smoother. Another challenge was making sure that I handled legal matters like copyrights, my own and quoted, correctly. There is always a nagging feeling that I might have missed something in that regard.

What advice do you have for other self-published authors?

Get the whole first draft completed and then pull together a team of all the specialists you need. Get several different people to read and comment and edit. Make sure they have different perspectives so they will notice different things. Get several references on each outsourcing you will be doing.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

When those first completed books arrive at your home or office, the feeling is fantastic. That feeling gets replicated every time you see your book in a book store or library or online store. One little story you might find interesting: When the first box of books arrived at my home, I wasn't there, but my mother lives with me and she accepted the boxes. She told me she cried she was so happy and proud to see them.

Then, when she picked one up to read it, she realized her eyes were not good enough (she is 97 years old) and finally asked me to read it to her. Of course I did it with pleasure. Then I realized I could record it as I was reading it to her and make an audio version -- a 5 CD set to be exact. I keep telling her she was the inspiration for the audio version.

That was true inspiration Hazel, and I’m sure your advice will give other self-publishers some great guidance as they move forward!

How about you? Do you have questions on how to sell your book and the self-publishing process? Please let me know here, at, or at I’m here to help!

Self-Publishing Author Series: Interview with Sara Morgan

Today, we are interviewing self-published author Sara Morgan, author of “No Limits,”

• Tell us about your self-published book.
The name of my book is “No Limits: How I escaped the clutches of Corporate America to live the self-employed life of my dreams". You can probably guess what it is about from the title, but it is not just a memoir. In fact, it is a cross between a business how to book and an inspirational self-help book.

I not only included my story on how I became self-employed, but to prepare for the book, I interviewed seven other people, who were also independent or small business owners. At the time I wrote the book, my experience was as an independent web consultant, but I wanted to represent other situations, such as small business owners with employees and from various industries. I think that makes the book well rounded and all the reviewers have agreed.

The book includes practical advice, but it also helps someone to decide if self-employment is even right for them. I spend a whole chapter discussing the kind of traits someone should possess. I also inform the reader of considerations, such as insurance, taxes, and creating a web presence. The one chapter everyone seems to love the most is the one on “Letting go.” I talk about letting go of the things that so often hold us back, like blaming other people for our problems or giving into a fear of failure.

Why did you decide to self-publish?
This is not my first book. In fact, it is my seventh. The other six were published with traditional publishers, and they were technical in nature. I decided to self-publish this book for two main reasons. One, I knew the material was timely, and I also knew the publishers would slow the process down way too much. I was able to write and produce the book in only three months. No publisher could have done that.

The second reason I chose to self-publish is because I wanted to retain full control over what the book included and how it was marketed. These days, even if you use a publisher, the only way your book truly has a chance of succeeding is if you take on a lot of the responsibility for promoting it yourself. If I was going to do most of the work anyway, I wanted to get more than a tiny portion of the profits.

What has been your biggest reward in self-publishing your book?
The control has been the best part. I hated having to give in to a publisher’s demands, when the decisions were based on what was good for business and not what was best for the book. Publishing is a business and the publishers do not care about you. It is nothing personal, but they don't. They just care about making money. For me, this was about so much more than making money.

What has been the most challenging part of self-publishing your book?The hardest part has been the promotion. I am a web developer by profession and very left-brained. I have never been a social butterfly, but I have certainly emerged from my cocoon as a result of all this. I have learned how to be personable and interesting in order to get people to pay attention to me. It has been a huge challenge but a ton of fun. I am having the best time of my life and learning so much every day.

What advice do you have for other self-published authors?
Never give up and write a good book. If your book is good and you dedicate yourself to it, you can succeed. You just need to hang in there and keep working your leads and changing your strategy, if necessary. Just do not give up, because too many people do and their books never succeed because of it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want everyone to know that they are completely in control of their life, even if they don't feel like it sometimes. Stay positive and believe in yourself, and there really are no limits in life. Just always remember to Work, Live and Have Fun.

Thanks for your inspiration Sara!

Do you have questions on how to sell your book and self-publishing? Please let me know here, at, or at I’m here to help!

Interview with BtoB Writer Mark Amtower

Today, we get a rare treat… an interview with one of the top, B to B communicators in the country, Mark Amtower. Mark is known as “The Godfather of Government Marketing.” He is a consultant, self-published author, speaker, social media and CEO coach, and a radio host. (To find out more about Mark, visit his various sites at,,, and
Here’s what Mark had to say:

• Tell us about your self-published books.

“Government Marketing Best Practices” (Jan, 2005) is about marketing to the government. It is a book version of a seminar I developed in 2002. The seminar was on the road and delivered in over twelve cities around the U.S. over forty times. This book went through five printings and sold over 9,000 copies.

“Why Epiphanies Never Occur to Couch Potatoes” (Nov 2007) started as a lunch speech at a business conference. Originally titled, “Amtower's Laws on Survival and Success,” one person who was at the original speech described it as “what happens when Stephen Covey meets Conan the Barbarian.” It is a straightforward look at the business and life rules I have developed and have chosen to live by.

• Why did you decide to self-publish your books?

The first book was self-published because I was in a hurry to get it out. The book was already written and ready to go, and the submission process seemed very slow. I also had little desire to be edited by anyone not familiar with the government market.

When I was ready for the second book, I had established relationships with my printer/publisher and again, decided I did not need editing.

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

Advantages are you completely control content. Disadvantages are you have to pay for everything.

How have you marketed your self-published books successfully?

I generate lots of publicity for myself (quoted in over 200 publications since 1995; guest on over 50 radio stations around the country since 2006). I make certain key people in the press and on the web (bloggers, web radio hosts, etc) get copies of my books with a "one-sheet." I also send copies to people I know who have large followings (enewsletter, social media, etc). For “Government Marketing Best Practices,” I also identified three bulk buyers (a conference, a government agency and a major government contractor.)

• What advice do you have for authors who are considering self-publishing their books?

First, make certain the book is really ready to go when you submit it. Have it edited by others for clarity, grammar, etc.

Second, be prepared and able to do your own publicity. If you publish it, no one will come unless they know it is there and there is a compelling reason to purchase it. Make certain all local press (local to you and pertinent to your title) get copies.

Third, start with a short run - no more than 2,500 copies. It is easier to print more than to pay for storage of too many copies.

Fourth, do not count on it being a profit center. Very few books generate serious income for authors, even if you are with a major publisher.

Fifth, select a printer that can do distribution as well. The printer needs to be able to support Amazon and the other online bookstores as well as any brick and mortar bookstores that want to carry your title.

Sixth, the title and the cover are the most important elements. Make certain your cover is designed to attract attention. Pay the cost and get it professionally done. For the title, take a pad of paper and go into a bookstore and start writing down the titles of books that get your attention. Look at the titles of books in your category that sell well. This is one area where emulation of others is a really good thing

• Is there anything else you would like to add?

If it is a business book, think of it as a great way to introduce yourself to prospective clients. If you want it to sell, be prepared to work hard - and smart- to get it out there.

Thanks for your excellent advice Mark!

Do you need help selling and promoting your self-published books? Please let me know here, at, or at I’m here to help! Thanks!

Interview with Self-Published Author Drew Stevens

In an effort to share insider tips and information from successful, self-published authors, I’ll be interviewing many new authors here and at SmallBiz America.

To start our new segments, here is an interview with Drew J. Stevens, Ph.D., president of Stevens Consulting Group and self-published author of “Split Second Selling.”

Tell us about your self-published book.

I have six, self-published books. My first and lengthiest is “Split Second Selling,” a book based on the need to have a solid selling methodology since 92% of most sales professionals do not have one, and this creates losses in sales closure. In addition, I developed a proprietary sales methodology known as PRACTICE©. I believe that athletes practice, as do physicians and attorneys; selling is a profession and they need to practice too.

I currently have three other books in the queue for self publishing they include:
“Split Second Selling Field Guide – Resources for the Selling Professional”
“Ultimate Business Bible – 12 Strategies for Ultimate Business Success”
“Little Book of Hope – Strategies to lead a Productive and Passionate Life”

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Two reasons, 1) I am able to control the inventory and distribution and 2) cost. The cost of going through a large publisher and an agent were most costly and time-consuming. And commercially produced books do not seem to have the advantage of five to ten years ago.

What has been your biggest reward in self-publishing your book?

The ability to see immediate results and cutting through much of the bureaucracy and foppishness of the commercial book industry.

• What has been the most challenging part of self-publishing your book?

Marketing and distribution. The hardest part is becoming a distributor and learning the variety of ways needed to get your book noticed. This is where commercial has an advantage. It is no difficult simply time consuming.

What advice do you have for other self-published authors?

Three things:

1. Do not procrastinate, depending on the type of book at length one might actually produce a book in less than three months.

2. Get over the comfort zone of sitting around, one must be actively engaged marketing to get the book noticed.

3. Similar to the way Google works, create community, alliances are great methods to create distribution.

• Is there anything else you would like to add?

Listen to your markets for unmet needs. My new book is being written and titled three ways to help create interest in the niches I serve. And with the prowess of the internet marketers can create pillars based on the books. I have created audio, video and articles simply by repurposing information from my books One needs to think how to take the content to create allure.

Thanks for your great insights Drew!

Do you need help selling your self-published book? Please let me know here, or at I’d love to hear from you!