Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a personal growth specialist, small business consultant, the creator of the award winning life design blog, IGG – Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas, and I have written and published 6 books on various aspects of living life by design.
My professional background includes a successful 20 year career in international sales and marketing, followed by a decade as a life and small business coach working with new and emerging entrepreneurs.
I make my home in Maui, Hawaii and my mission is to inspire readers to embrace that we are each as powerful as we allow ourselves to be … that we can choose to create our own life experience.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Boost Your eBook Sales Success and it was inspired by my own self-publishing experience, as well as my background coaching entrepreneurs. Again and again I’ve come across new authors who get as far as publishing their first book, only to then realize that if they want to become known as an author and get their book into the hands of readers, they will have to manage the marketing themselves. They end up getting bits and pieces of information from around the Internet and in forums and struggle to make sense of it all – it’s like trying to piece together a giant puzzle not realizing you only have half the pieces.
Boost Your eBook Sales Success is a book about is putting all the pieces together and applying entrepreneurial strategies and mindset to bridge the gap between the art of writing and the business of being an author.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure how unusual they are, but I prefer to work in silence (no TV, music, etc.), and I tend to think through what I’m going to write about before I put words to paper. When I’m working on something new I often have this running dialogue going on in my head working through the story line.
I have a favorite quote by Gore Vidal that says it all: “Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.”
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Most of my books are about personal transformation and my favorite authors include John Maxwell, Jack Canfield, Peter McWilliams and Seth Godin. Seth isn’t normally considered a “self-help” writer, but he is all about innovation and personal accountability. As far as writing overall, the author who has inspired me the most is Stephen King. I love his thoughts on the writing process.
What are you working on now?
My next book is due out mid-June and the name is Beyond Your Book, A Practical Guide to Building an Author Platform. Just prior to that I will be launching a new blog, The Business of Being an Author, and my mission for that site is to help authors cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset and view the entire process of publishing and marketing their books as steps to building a foundation for their business as an author. Since I know a major concern is how to find time for all the activities involved with marketing and building a platform, I’ll be sharing plenty of information and resources to help with productivity and work-life balance.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My blog serves as my home base for my writing and is a great way to connect with readers. Building a list of devoted fans is the #1 way to strengthen an author’s business foundation because when you have a ready-made audience for your books you don’t have to worry about how to get reviews, you have people who trust that you provide a quality product and are willing to pass that trust on to those in their sphere of influence, and you’re far less affected by every new trend or change in the market.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My answer to this question has evolved over the past few months as I’ve worked with so many new authors, and at this point I’d have to say that before you do anything about branding or marketing take the time to decide what you want to achieve as an author. There are basically 3 main reasons people write books. 1) As a promotional tool to establish credibility for their primary business. 2) The writer has a single compelling story they are driven to tell, and once that story is published they may or may not ever write another book. 3) The writer has a goal to become known as an author, plans to keep writing books, and dreams of someday making a living as an author. Effective branding and marketing will be handled differently for each of these goals and having a clear vision for what they want to achieve will serve as the basis for their marketing plan and help to keep them focused on the things that matter.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Like many writers I’ve written my whole life, but always for employers or for community organizations, never anything under my own name because I didn’t consider myself a “writer.” Then one year at the Maui Writer’s Conference I was chatting with author/speaker Sam Horn who’d I’d become friends with and out of the blue I uttered those fateful words, “Someday I think I’d like to be a writer.” I will never forget the look on her face. She shook her had and said to me, “Marty, you are already a writer! All you have to do is figure out what it is you want to say to the world.” That simple statement created such a shift in mindset for me!
What are you reading now?
I just finished Into the Wind – My Six Month Journey Wandering the World for Life’s Purpose by Jake Ducey. It’s really an amazing book that I could relate to on a very personal level.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Short term I’m writing content like crazy for my new blog and working on launch plans for the new book. After that I’ll be switching back to my personal growth niche to make a life long dream come true of publishing a book I’ve written and illustrated. Should be quite an adventure!
What is your favorite book of all time?
Just Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Buts by Peter McWilliams. It’s fundamentally a book about comfort zone. I regularly pull this book out and tap into Peter’s wisdom – in fact, I’m on my third copy because I keep wearing them out! This is not a book for my eReader because it is filled with sticky notes and highlighted passages.