Saturday, December 29, 2012

Need help with your book? These tips should help!

As an author, you can never stop learning or bettering yourself if you want to succeed. I'm glad I'm inspiring others to write and for those of you struggling, here are some helpful tips that might help. If they did, please leave a comment below.

Create the world first. Who are the bad guys? Who are the good guys? Who's in the middle? Where are they? Where do they need to go? What are their goals/motivations?

Everybody does something for a reason.  By creating the world/environment you are setting the stage for how the actors/heroes/villains act. Then just go with the flow.

The bad guy and good guy must be equally matched or on their way to getting there. They can have different powers that cancel each other out, leaving the hero to use something the bad guy doesn't have (kindness?)

If you have to go one sentence at a time, then go for it. Make it the best sentence possible with the least amount of words. Trust me, this will save you time down the road and it's something all authors must do.

Write for you. Write what makes you happy. Don't write what you think others want to read or what's trending. JK Rowling showed the world a boy wizard, who most never knew. Now there are a ton of boy wizards books.

Make the time to write. You have to force yourself or you will most likely procrastinate.

Enjoy what you're doing. If you're not having fun, trust me the readers will know. If you have to walk away, take a break, go for it. Sometimes if you get stuck somewhere, leaving and doing something else will often reset your brain to flow again.

Hope these tips helped. Have a happy and successful new year! :-)

Steven W.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One of the greatest feelings...

Is to see people buying your book, almost on a daily basis. Amazon gives you a means to keep track of your sales whenever you want. It's been almost 3 months since I first launched my book Got Ghosts and for some reason people are buying it like crazy, even long after Halloween. I figured once Halloween came and went the sales would plummet. Instead, they are rocketing upwards. To put it into perspective...

I launched my book on Sept 19th, 2012 so there was about 2 weeks left in the month. Amazon gave me a check for $16 bucks for 8 sales.

Readers Note: Amazon pays you 2 months from the end of the month. Since I started late September, my first check for $16 bucks got deposited at the end of November, my October sales ~ I get paid end of Dec, etc. I sell my book at $2.99 ~ Amazon keeps .99 cents for every sale so I make about $2 bucks per sale. (Woo Hoo!)

For all the books I sold in October - Amazon will give me a check for $54 bucks

For all the books I sold in November - Amazon will give me a check for $104 bucks!

See a trend here?

I'm already at $50 bucks on the 15th of December.

I was debating if a book like that would sell and it looks like people like it. One way I can tell is that the Refunds section is left alone (no one asked Amazon for a refund - Yay!) Since I have a bunch of other emails that weren't released, I'm going to put them in a follow up book called Got Ghosts 2 - More stories of real paranormal activity. Since I'm a digital artist and photographer I can design my own book covers so this is going to be the official cover:

Pretty spiffy huh? I'm saving $200 to $500 bucks by doing it myself. However, unless your pretty good like me, a book cover can make or break your sales. For example, I have my second book out - The Journey of Anica Storm and it's not selling like I had hoped. It's either the description or the eBook cover that isn't sealing the deal so I went on and hired someone who has a BA in writing to write up a description for me. That will help. 

I'm also going to go do a specific photo shoot with my best friend so I can make a new cover for my Anica Storm book. The nice thing about eBooks is that you can tweak and change things all you want. So I'm not doing so hot on sales, I'm going to tweak a few things and guess what? If I'm right, I'm going to start noticing results. Right now, I'm at 5 sales for the month of December. So next time we speak, I hope to have some news for you. Until then...

Stay Crunchy, even in milk.

Steven W.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why You WANT To Have A Mailing List On Your Site

I'm happy to report that I got my first customer (someone I don't know) who wanted to be on the mailing list to remind them when the follow up of my book Got Ghosts? Real Stories of Paranormal Activity comes out. It feels pretty good to have a complete stranger not only enjoy my work but want to be notified when there's more. It's very inspirational and motivating to know people like your work and want more. Imagine hundreds, if not thousands of these requests. It will happen, just give it time and treat your customers well. For me, this is my first but still it's a small step in the right direction.

This is why it's important to give people the means to contact you on your website. When people want to be notified, you're not spamming them, you're giving them what they want and they are giving you a guaranteed sale. If you have 10 books out, they are probably going to buy your 10 books and the 11th one when it comes out too, because they've made a connection with you. They like your style and work.

Treasure these emails and customers and reward them with special offers, discounts or exclusive things as your way of thanking them for giving you the time of day. There are thousands of other authors out there, but they chose you. Respect that and you'll go far.

Steven W.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Biting The Hand That Feeds You - Amazon Hurts Indie Authors By Pulling Reviews

John Locke admitted paying $3000 bucks for 300 five Star reviews on his books. This propelled him to the top of the charts and he made a little over a million bucks in five months.

He even wrote about it in a book called just that How I sold a million ebooks in 5 months, but having read the book cover to virtual cover, he neglected to mention that part.

When other authors caught wind of this, there were some heated discussions over ethics, practices, and what's right and wrong.

The term "sock puppets" derived from authors (and others) creating fake accounts and leaving positive reviews for themselves. Some even took it a step further and left negative one star reviews against other authors they don't like. 

In an effort to control "sock puppets" created a filtering system that is hurting more than its helping. Strict algorithms are intercepting and deleting reviews before the see light of day. I know because I have 4 unaccounted for reviews from customers who bought my book Got Ghosts? Real Stories of Paranormal Activity. Hundreds more are reporting the same.

As a new author, I depend on every honest review I get. If people write a long review and Amazon is just going to delete it, guess what? People are going to stop leaving reviews. If anything I think it only encourages people to leave "sock puppet" reviews because Amazon is denying the legitimate ones from being posted.

This knee-jerk reaction is like killing an ant with an atomic bomb because you have a few bad users. You don't level the playing field without the means to justify yourself. 

Here's an idea Amazon... If you delete it, say why or give the author or reviewer a chance to prove it by adding a capcha or means of proving you're a human and legitimately bought the book (or what ever item you're reviewing). Have them submit a picture or order number that your algorithms can verify. 

You're biting the hand that feeds you. Yes its your site, your rules, but if you piss off enough authors, guess what? There's Barnes & Nobles, Sony, Apple, Kobo and a few others who may treat us better. I'm just sayin' 

Steven Wolff

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Great Stephen C. Ormsby interviews Steven Wolff :-)

I am honored that Stephen Ormsby took the time and consideration to be the first author to interview me at the beginning of my writing career. Please click his link above to read the interview and share this with your friends.

Steven W.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Journey of Anica Storm - Part 2 is complete!

I'm happy to say that part 2 of my 3 part series (book 1) The Journey of Anica Storm is complete! It's going to be polished and formatted to be a eBook. I need to make a title for this one and part 1 as well. This is exciting news and my goal is to have book 1 - The Journey of Anica Storm complete by the end of November 2012! Wish me luck! Check back here and I'll keep you posted on the details.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This Sh*t Is Hard Work!!!

While anyone can slap some words together, add a pic for a book cover and upload to Amazon, there's nothing to fear from those who are career authors.

I say that because if you really are serious about becoming an author, there's a ton of things you need to do on top of getting your story down on paper (virtual or not) and that's already a feat in and of itself!

Example... say you get your book uploaded, like I said in my last post, most new books are invisible to the world. I could have the best story, editing and cover and no one would ever know.

Like a diamond in the ground, it's up to you to promote yourself like crazy in order for people to see your true beauty otherwise it'll just sit there.

One way to get yourself known is by adding a link to your email signature so you give potential readers a chance to find you. Write a blog, update a Facebook page with news of what you're doing.

Use Twitter and the search bar to find other authors... they will promote you if you promote them. They are not your competition, they are your ally. Trust me...

But how?!?

Because #Readers will often browse through an authors following list to find other authors. I know because over two weeks ago I had 65 followers. I'm now at 1,006 followers. The only thing I did was add the word Author to my last name.

#Readers enjoy discovering other authors similar to their favorites in hopes of finding one equal if not better to entertain them.

My ex-girlfriend was an avid reader, sometimes taking home a dozen books from our local library that she would read front to back in no time and want more! I honestly didn't think the library had enough new books to keep her busy.

Point being - there are hungry readers out there who will probably give your work a shot AND if they like it, they will join your team by promoting you to their friends, family & probably tweet or blog (because in this day and age, word travels fast... good or bad.)

That being said, there is a certain level of criteria you have to meet, set by the publishers of old. That is, you must have your spelling, grammar, sentence structure, plot, and characters all in order or they will potentially unleash the Criken on your ass! This can be in the form of bad reviews, videos, blog posts, etc.

So like I said, not only do you have to write, you have to please your audience by giving them something they like, hopefully original enough -(most stories or ideas someone, somewhere came up with. The more original and entertaining you can be, the better your odds of being discovered.)

Remember, if you can do that just by itself, then readers will go up to bat for you and also help promote you. That's one of the incredible things about the net... if you release it to the world, it takes on a life of its own. Fans will email you, fan fiction may pop up with your characters you created (which can be a good or bad thing.)

Oh, and you can't just spam your book like crazy either because that will backfire on you as well. There's a very fine line to walk.

That's why I'm saying this shit is hard because if you really want to be good and succeed, you need to play by the rules other successful authors are following. Study them, read lots of blogs, ASK QUESTIONS and know who your target audience is.

They are the ones you are writing for. Is your vampire zombie hybrid cross dressing werewolf written for conservative seniors or for young adults between 18 and 35 who like Twilight? Know what they like and write about it.

To sum up everything... to do this right requires dedication and unbelievable commitment of your free time and mental energy.

On top of that, you can't just give people one good book... you've got to plan on a second book because statistically you will get more sales if you have more books.

People who like you are most likely going t buy your other works because you've established trust and now a BRAND. This also takes time and effort.

So I'm not trying to discourage anyone, I'm sharing what I've discovered on my journey one month in now. To do it right, its going to be a while.

I welcome your comments if you'd like to add to this.

Steven W.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The greatest time in history... is now!

I'm learning that now is the greatest time ever in history to be a writer. eReaders and eBooks are destroying the death grip once held for the longest time by the Big 6 publishers. They were the gate keepers who said YOU SHALL NOT PASS! To thousands of great authors of the past.

They were the ones you prayed to for favor and blessing in hopes they will give you a contract and hog most of the profits, giving you mere morsels and a reminder to be thankful you got anything at all. There are some that say "but now anyone can publish anything and there's gonna be crap now."

While there is a fraction of truth to this, as an author who's on the road to success right now, I can say that almost by default, all books are invisible. You'll be lucky if anyone finds you and that's a good thing.


Because I'm discovering that being a successful author is not about writing a great book (even though that's your main objective)its about growing and nurturing a fan base of followers who will buy your books sight/title unseen because they trust and know you through your work. JK Rowling's latest book sucks according to the reviews but read them, many will buy just on name alone, even at $17 bucks for a digital download.

I'm learning I need to market myself, grow my readers, earn their loyalty & trust, all which takes time. Word of mouth is going to make me successful, even in a sea of crappy books. :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012 & Why You Should Care... is a website that requires you to meet (or exceed) a certain standard of formatting - which they will show you, step by step - and if you follow their rules and apply it to your book - they will submit your book to Itunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Amazon and so many other places for FREE.

On top of that, they will give you all kinds of neat things that can only help you grow as an author. One of the things I like is the ability to make coupons! These coupons expire - which gives the holder a sense of urgency (Use it or lose it!) These coupons can be for cents off, dollars off, or for 100% off!

They can be given away in exchange for book reviews so the person can go to ~ type in the coupon and download the book FREE and then blog about it - thus increasing your exposure and helping the search engines find you. The possibilities are endless!

I wish I joined Smashwords a lot sooner than later, which is why I'm blogging about it now. If you're just starting out or if you're looking to get better exposure (who isn't?) then sign up today - it's free!  :-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Twitter & Facebook Tips for Success...

If you're going to be using the social media tools like Twitter & Facebook - Don't look at every person you follow or link up with as people you're selling to.


You heard me. Stay away from that! Instead, promote them and their works. Do a search for #Indie, #Authors, #YA Writers, #Writers, or whatever else. Find other authors and follow them. Send them a hello or at the very least a Thank You for following me. And from time to time, retweet their message or promote their book.

WAIT!?! WTH...

I know I know... you should be selling your book right and not wasting your energy on them.

But that's where the beauty of the genius comes in...

You see when you promote someone else, you're establishing good will. You're helping them. You're scoring brownie points. What if they are just starting out (like you) and boom they hit it big... guess who they are going to remember? You!

Okay - say they're not big yet, but they got several thousand followers. Guess what... they are probably going to return the favor. Hey everyone - Follow @Steven_Wolff - he's a great writer and his book got ghosts? is worth the read! Check it out!

Guess what? She just promoted you to 2000 of her followers! Talk about marketing! Especially if you have your twitter setup to go directly to your website or Amazon page and they want to buy your book! Let's say 1/4 of those 2000 like your book! That's 500 people who are going to tell their friends about you! "Guys, I just downloaded this book about real ghost stories!"

Hopefully you get my point. Maybe the person you promoted might even buy your book too and maybe the next big fan of yours! Now you've got 2001 people who will be listening when you tweet.

See... What goes around, comes around. Trust me, I'm banking on it.  :-)

Good luck!
Steven W.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

100% of All Ebook Sales Goes To Helping A 5 Year Old Boy

Join Team Jaxon - A 5 year old boy who's fighting brain cancer. What makes this kid someone you want to help is that he's taking the money people give for him and he gives it directly to other kids fighting cancer. If that's not the definition of a hero, I don't know what is. So while I maybe a new author and I have only one book - I want to donate all 100% of my October sales to Jaxon. We both can't do it alone which is why there's strength in numbers. Promote this blog, share it, tweet it... let the world know that if they buy the book "Got Ghosts? Real Stories of Paranormal Activity" (Kindle is $2.99, Print is $4.37) that they'll get triple Karma points for the month of October! Who doesn't like Triple Karma Points? Jaxon is a nephew of a close friend of mine and he's fighting for his life. Please, pass this info on. Thanks!

Steven Wolff
Author - Got Ghosts?

Readers Note: Steven has dedicated his life and has given selflessly to others by working as a Nation Certified EMT (Medic), Volunteer Fire Fighter, Hospice Worker and has donated his time to feed the homeless. He believes in paying it forward in hopes of making this world a better place for all. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What Motivates You?

What motivates you? What's in it for you? The Fame? The Fortune? The Celebrity Status? We all have a price... We all do things for a reason. What's your reason?

I'm embarking on this journey for several reasons. One of them is financial. I'm in it for the money and I'm not embarassed to admit it. I grew up in a poor family. I've watched my mom bust her ass for almost 25 years and just as she was about to retire with a pension, a young 20 something CEO comes in and lets her go... with only months left. It still makes me sick to this day. She taught me that hard work is the key... to never give up.

I'm tired of worrying about money. I'm also tired of struggling. For the last three years I was not living, I was "surviving" -- barely making enough money to eat or keep the roof over our heads. What drove me crazy is that I'm a man of many talents and skills and yet none of them were bringing in the income needed. Talk about frustrating. (It's like being a super hero but unable to use your super powers.) Something like that.

Well, in the last few years, the game has changed in the writing world. People don't need the big 6 publishers to write a book anymore. Also, Digital E-Readers are starting to come into play. More and more people are starting to buy E-Books and while there are more and more people submitting books, the field hasn't changed. 

Yes, newbies and people who publish crap are saturating the market (if not now, they will in the next 5 to 10 years) but the desire for quality - the need for good quality writers will still be there. For example... look how the internet has leveled the playing field for musicians. Now, any band playing out of their mom's garage can upload an mp3 and make a youtube video... but have they stopped or hurt the professional musicians? Not at all.

Because everyone has an audience.

If I write a book about a psychopath knife slashing bunny rabbit that is terrorfied of traffic lights... guess what? Someone, somewhere is going to like it. Actually a group of people will probably like it. (Why - that's left for another debate) but the point being... someone is going to like your work.

And someone else is going to hate it. Even if your slasher bunny was made of pure gold and written so well that your librarian uses it as mommy porn - there's still going to be haters. Haters gonna hate. I hate to say that but its true. So ignore them, unless they have something constructive to say like

"This E-Book sucks because instead of being afraid of traffic lights, he should be afraid of carrots! Then we'd have a best seller!" Do you know what mr. grumpy pants? I think you might be onto something!

However that's not very realistic because rarely haters have anything constructive to say. They hate because it makes them feel superior over others. However, there are exceptions and sometimes it takes an outside observer to help point something out to us. Now, going back to the point of this blog... what motivates you? What ever it is, you need to reach deep down inside and channel it... pull it out and eat, sleep and breathe it. You need to surround yourself with it and obsess over it. It needs to be within your vision, your ears or in your thoughts at least several times a day.

Why? Because we live in a very distracting world. There are so many distractions that pull our attention away... Facebook, Work, Home, Money problems, Driving, Children, Animals, Friends... Pick one or add your own. Now... find some time away from these (if possible) and write. Write, Write, Write. Doesn't matter if your spelling sucks or its not formatted the right way. GET IT DOWN ON PAPER (Even if its digital paper - i.e. on the computer.)

I made me a mural... a desktop wall paper that shows me what motivates me. It's a collection of all the things that motivate me and also reminds me of all the REWARDS I'll get when I succeed. (Notice I didn't say IF I succeed but WHEN I succeed.)  I will succeed... it's just a matter of when. And when I do, there's so much good waiting for me. As I mentioned - money (finanical) is one of the motivators.

Why? Because with money I will be able to travel again. I miss my friends and family. I'm tired of being so far away and not able to afford the gas or the plane ticket to go see them. I want to plan something and then GO. My friends are very dear to me, the ones I've met long ago and the ones I still have yet to meet.

If I make $50,000 I'll be able to go to Helicopter school and I've already flown a helicopter. I know I like it... correction - I know I LOVE it. Once I get out of helicopter school, there's a huge demand for pilots because a lot of the Vietnam helicopter pilots are old and retiring. Starting pay for a helicopter pilot is $90,000 - if I go that route. Ultimately my dream job would be flying an air ambulance.   :-)

I also want a Delorean (the car from Back To The Future) which is about $40,000. (No problem).

All this IS possible... IF I focus on writing the best stories I can write. It's not magic, it's not rocket science... if you dig deep inside of you, you can and will succeed. I'm going to share with you my wall paper (my mural) that is my inspiration. Make one for you - if that helps. And with the laws of attraction - you're bound to make it come true.

Watch me and I'll show you.   ;-)

I'll sum up these images for you. 2013 Ford Escape. I want my own life size Tardis, I want to eat healthier (hire a nutritionist and personal coach), I want to go Storm Chasing with some professional gear, I want to fly a Bell 222 helicopter (Airwolf style), I want to go back to Monico/Monte Carlo, I want to photograph beautiful women again, I want to help the homeless, I want to pet a real wolf and have my photograph taken next to a beautiful one. I want to adopt a child, I want to see my mom and dad (often), see my friends in Texas and go ghost hunting with my friends. I want to have a beautiful smile and fly helicopters. (Also meet Jason Statham). Also I want to have my own home theater in which my girlfriend and I can watch with our friends as loud as we want. Joe Konrath is also in this photo - his success is also an inspiration to me. :-)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Seven Sales....

On Sept 20th, 2012 - I made my first sale from my best friend Rene. It was symbolic for me that she have the honor because she's also going to be with me way in the future when I'm on my 10,000th sale (or whatever number). Okay, so she'll be by my side when I'm making enough money I can hop on any plane and go anywhere - type of symbolism. In the past couple of days I was at three sales and then today for grins and giggles I found I was at 7 sales! SEVEN!

I'm posting this because I know in the future I'm going to look back at this and laugh. The important thing I'm remembering is that before I started I was at ZERO sales. There's only one way to go... UP!

Keep that in mind folks. Don't give up, no matter where you get snagged along the way. You are a WRITER... first and foremost. Don't worry too much about the editing or formatting. WRITE. Get it down, make it real. Once you're done writing - then figure out the formatting/editing part or get someone else to worry about it. You don't have to be perfect to tell a story... you just have to share what's on your mind and heart. Someone out there will like what you write. That's all that matters.

I'm still working on Smashwords - to get my book out to the many formats. My time is limited and getting it just right is critical. Thankfully I found a video on Youtube that shows me how to format my document:   WATCH IT - Get over this hurdle and make your book available to the world. YOU MUST. I'll let you know when I do.

Steven Wolff

Monday, September 24, 2012

Take my advice before you even begin writing your book...

Okay - I overcame my problem and figured out how to do page breaks, etc and I'm happy to report that my book is now live for sale on (Got Ghosts?). What I've learned over the past week is that formatting is so critical even before you start your book. Yes it's important to be able to write what ever it is you want to say but I could have saved me a whole bunch of time by following these steps...

One - Go to this website called It's a website dedicated to us independent authors who don't have any of the big six publishing companies behind us. Smashwords will publish your e-book in multiple formats (Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple Ipad, etc) AND will help with getting you exposure... BUT...there's a condition.

Two - You Have To Format It How They Tell You. Clicking this link will take you to a FREE ebook that will SHOW YOU STEP BY STEP what you have to do. It's incredibly easy and I wish I had found this before I banged my head on the desk several hundred times. Basically - they show you how to setup your MS Word Document so that once you submit it to them - it will do the rest of the work for you.

So - if you're like me - wanting to be an independent author and want others to read your book, it's more than just writing that you have to do. Read this ebook (remember it's free) and there's no hoops to jump through. Do as it says and then write to your hearts content.

I learned the hard way but I still learned nonetheless. I'm a lot more wiser and now I'm moving forward with the lesson burned in my mind. Hope this helps!

Steven W.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm Going To Hold Your Hand...

                     I'm going to hold your hand because no one took my hand and walked me through this part and it's really frustrating. What's bothering me is that I thought my Ebook would be up and selling by now but right before I did I saw Amazon had this cool program that shows you what your book will look like on a Kindle, Kindle Fire, Ipad, Ipod, etc.

I'm like... COOL!
Then I see it and I'm like... "Awwwwww! Really?!?"

My book looks like Crap... Literally! It's not the content that's crap... it's how the format makes the words look on a page. Like someone sneezed and scattered the letters all around.I didn't know why and I've come to discover critical things I needed to know (and wish I did before I started writing.

                   One of them is page breaking when you start a new page. The thing I noticed when using Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Open Source (Yes I'm using them all) is that when I save my doc and look at it on a Kindle, it blends all together like one long scroll.

I don't want it to blend together. I want it to stop and start on a new page on the next chapter.

Well then insert a page break! 
(Me talking to myself) I'm trying!!!

                    It's frustrating as hell because what is supposed to be easy doesn't seem to be. (Maybe it is, but I'm not seeing it.) I just want to write and do minimal editing. It seems like I have to know the secret Kung Fu art of Ebook design too.

REALLY? I don't want to learn some secret Ebook Kung Fu to get it to work on Kindle... but I have to.

                     I can upload it right now, as is, and those who get it will see it jumbled and get all pissed off and demand a refund and probably give me a 1 star review... all because I didn't take the time to make it right.

                    So that's what I've been doing... and it's already been several days of researching, studying and trying to find the pieces needed to figure out how to do page breaks and table of contents.

                     Good News - I learned how to do the Table of Contents (TOC) ~ That's one small victory. (Actually it's a big one ~ Most people can't do it.) What a TOC does is say it says

Chapter 1
Chapter 5

Chapter 10

You can click each of those and jump to the those chapters without hitting page by page by page by page.... click click click press press ARE WE THERE YET? Press, click....

No, with a TOC - you click and book you're there. (Makes ya look professional!) Remind me and I'll show you how to do it on another post.

                    Now if I can only figure out the page breaks/formatting I can save you guys the headaches. I'll let you know when I get it. I'm just venting because every day my book is not out there in Amazon land (and elsewhere) is another day where I'm not making money. So time is money - literally. So much time has passed, and I'm afraid so much more will have to as well.

Stay Crunchy - Even in Milk,

Steven W.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oh! The Places You'll Go....

          That's the name of a book that was given to me by a friend long time ago when I first moved to Alaska from Texas. I wanted to be closer to my dad so I went from extreme heat to extreme cold and didn't quite like the transition. 

            My next best thing was the Pacific Northwest and I fell in love with it. I call Portland, Oregon my home even though I live across the river in Vancouver, Washington. Hahaha. They're both connected pretty much that I can toss a stone and hit Portland from where I live.

          I've found a blog from a guy name Joe Konrath who has inspired me to self publish (vs. going the traditional route.) Joe is making so much money it's not even funny and yet, I'm struggling to keep food in the fridge and feed my animals. I live alone, with one cat, one dog, one bird and one beta fish. I have a girlfriend who loves me and is supportive and who's kind to my animals whom I consider my children (except the fish). Haha!

         This is my first blog entry to document my journey on this road to self publishing. About a month ago I came up with the idea of publishing a book called "Got Ghosts?" that is a collection of emails sent to my group - The Ghost Education & Research Center. I'm a paranormal investigator on my spare time and it's something I really enjoy. I've been doing it for over 11 years (since 2001) and I've got enough emails that I wanted to throw something together so I can get my Amazon account up and running.

          I have a book that is just about finished called "The Journey of Anica Storm" and it's going to be a long series.Over 89 thousand words, 475 pages and it needs some polishing. I still have work to do on it but I wanted to get something started on Amazon so I started with something simpler. 

          Come to find out, it wasn't as easy as it looks because I'm on my own - no one is holding my hand to show me how it's done. Figuring out how I was going to get my book edited and ready was quite a challenge... but I did it. Getting it uploaded and ready to Amazon has taken the most time (it seems)... at least at first.

          I know that if I am to upload another book I think it'll go by faster next time now that I have the basic concept down. We'll have to see when that time comes.

            But I wanted to make this blog to document my journey from being poor, always worried about how I'm going to pay my bills, always being jealous of others who drive fancier cars (I drive a beat up 94 Saturn) that needs an oil change that I can't afford. I am working as a security guard but I only get paid twice a month, one pay check barely covers my rent - the other my bills. 

             From what I read, there's a huge demand for E-books and it's possible that I might be able to make a decent living doing what I love... writing and being creative. I hope so... but that remains to be seen. From what I can tell, there's going to be more E-Readers than E-books available and if so then at the moment the scales are tipped in my favor. Imagine if I sold my book for $1.00 and a million people over a year's time wants to read my book... that's a million bucks!

               Okay, let's pretend I get 1 million downloads and make 1 million bucks. (Yes I know others get their cut but let's pretend). Well, it's just going to sit there... waiting for another million readers to come along... and so on and so on. Maybe a million readers is high, maybe it's unrealistic. I agree it has to do with the quality of the writing... the story you're telling that makes the difference but let me put it to you this way...

                 I bust my ass for 9.75 an hour x 40 hours a week working as a security guard. In 1 year, before taxes, I make $20,000 bucks (before Uncle Sam takes his money out).

                 If only 20,000 people bought my book on Amazon... I wouldn't have to work the rest of the year. Imagine that... the free time I'd have to write, travel or relax. Maybe that should be my goal... 20,000 downloads...

               Wow. I can't even imagine that. Later today I will publish my book and it will go live to the world. 

It should be interesting to see how it does.

               I don't even know if anyone will be reading this blog but if you do, I hope you join me on this journey and keep me company and I'll do the same. Thanks!