If you know me at all you know how much I care about family. Family comes first, period.
You may also know that I work my ass off to be successful. I'm constantly looking for new resources to help me be more effective. I'm a student of business and I am absolutely fascinated by guys and gals that break from the norm and find a new way.
Well, my current #1 resource for all things self-publishing is Joe Konrath. So this blog post is a big fat thank you to Joe Konrath aka J.A. Konrath aka Jack Kilborn aka Mr. Thriller aka Mr. Self-Publishing.
So here's what I love about Joe. (can I call him Joe or should it be Mr. Konrath? Screw it, Joe it is.) This guy is amazing. First, checkout his main site HERE. On his main site you'll find his books, bio, etc..
But that's not the exciting part. You see, Joe's been writing a blog for the past couple years called "A Newbie's Guide to Publishing." Can I just say, "WOW."
I have no idea how I found it a couple months back. I will say, however, that now that I've found it I read it almost daily. I know my wife loves it as I stay up late reading post after post on my iPad as she tries to sleep.
So what is it? It's only the most informative and practical guide for current and budding self-published authors. Hold on a second. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take a step back and tell you why I love Joe Konrath.
He makes me laugh: Besides his writing, Joe is known for his humor and his honesty. He takes an absolute beating sometimes on his posts but he always has a little quip to snap back. Whereas I might pull my hair out, Joe seems to take it in stride and calmly (but not always politically) explain why he's right. You'll see what I mean after you read just one of his posts and the follow-up comments.
He's been there: Joe's been with traditional publishers. He's had the legacy deals. He's submitted to countless agents. He's logged countless miles on book tours. Then he took the plunge into self-publishing. You talk about a guy that's walked the walk, it's Joe. When he talks, people listen (even the ones that don't want to)
He gives practical advice: If Joe could give one piece of advice for aspiring writers (I will say again that I don't personally know Joe but I have a clue) it would be "Keep Writing." I have a feeling that if I met Joe on the street and started asking him for publishing advice it would go a little something like this:
"Hey, Joe, how do I become a successful writer like you?"
"Just keep writing."
"Hey, Joe, how do I sell more books on Amazon?"
"Just keep writing."
"Hey, Joe, how do I write better books?"
"Just keep writing."
"Hey, Joe, do you know what time it is?"
"Just keep writing."
"Hey, Joe, can we be friends?"
"Only if you keep writing."
Yes, I'm simplifying just a bit, but honestly, as a new writer, what should you be doing? Writing!
Joe's helped me look past all the other BS and focus on getting it done.
He gives stuff away: So not only does Joe write a fantastic blog, he's also packaged all his advice into 360,000 words and gives it away right HERE. The fact that he's taken the time to compile such a resource, and then give it away, tells me that, contrary to what many of his naysayers write, Joe wants to improve the publishing landscape for us little guys. Thanks for the free stuff, Joe.
I've blathered enough.
I'll sign off by saying, "Thanks for the great insight, Joe. I hope you read my book one day and say it's not crap."
...I'm still writing...
Marines: What do we have in common?
So I've been pushing hard these last couple of days to wrap up the new book. It's a labor of love so really the only thing that hurts are my eyes. I was in the middle of describing the background of one of the main characters, MSgt Willy Trent, when I started laughing. Why? Because it reminded me of all the different stories we've all heard from fellow Marines.
Think about it, we're all Marines but we're all SO different in our backgrounds. I served with guys from New Orleans, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, etc.. No two Marines had the same story.
But when you look at a Marine in uniform, standing in formation, holy crap! We all look the same! High and tights, serious expressions, perfectly creased cammies...you remember.
The thing that we all have in common is that we've all earned the title of Marine. It's a beautiful thing. We all come from different towns, different races, different economic situations and different families. Yet, we come together and share the same bond. The bond of being a Marine.
The same holds true when you leave the Corps. How many times have I bumped into a former Marine (they come in all shapes and size too: young, old, fit, fat...) and you either just nod a silent salute or throw out of quick "Semper Fi." It happens to me a lot. Maybe it's the license plate with the EGA on it. Maybe it's the sticker on my window. It doesn't matter.
We subtly make ourselves known to each other and the bond grows on.
I'll finish with a quick tangent. I remember back in the 90's when there was all the talk about how spoiled young Americans were getting and that we'd never see the likes of the amazing courage and sacrifice as "The Greatest Generation." I remember thinking that while I was immensely proud of the WWII generation, I knew that our younger generation would step up to the challenge when called.
That's happened and then some. Those same kids that spent hour playing Nintendo and XBox. Those same kids that ate two out of three meals at McDonalds. Those same kids that so many wrote off as a burden on our society.
Those same kids stepped up to the challenge of the Post 9/11 world and now shine for the world to see. They now stand on that wall and ensure our safety and freedom. They've been unleashed.
Let's not ever forget the sacrifices of any one of our generations.
Let's not ever forget that first and foremost we are Americans and that freedom is NOT free.
Let's not ever forget the sacrifice of Marines and their families on a daily basis, doing what they do to keep the wolves at bay.