Friday, January 19, 2018
Audiobooks have become the biggest aspect to the author business and it is crucial to readers/listeners. Most people either don't have the time to sit and read a book on their tech device or buy a paperback to sit and read a book. The business of audiobooks have taken off and that's a great thing. But...then there are cons to it too.
See, investing into paying someone to record an audiobook is costly. There's no getting around it, I'm going to be honest. By the time I thought about doing audiobooks, I was 5 books in and already knew that I'd be spending a good $300-$400 a book, so that's a good $2000 out of my pocket. Now, I'm 7 books into it so that's $2800 dollars give or take. That's a lot of money and that's promotion, investments and marketing money that I can use.
So...I decided to record my own audiobooks. After a lot of trial and error of apps I used, websites I tried to figure out, along with microphones, I was able to find what works best for me. As far as microphones go, I bought a good one from Amazon that works great. It's a small investment of $25 dollars but if you want to spend a little more, go for it.
The next challenge for me is recording my audiobooks with me living 10 minutes from one of the biggest airports in the country, JFK Airport. Let's also take into account I live literally steps away from a train station where I hear trains honking their horns every hour like clockwork. So I had to find a way to cut out that noise and get quality audio. The best place to record an audiobook without going to a studio, your closet.
Your closet is an enclosed space just as if you're in a studio. I use AVR recorder on my iPad (I don't think it's available for Android) to record my audiobooks. The app allows you to save your recordings on their app and pay for added features and no ads. They also allow you to move your saved audio files to Dropbox, Google Drive and other major storage places that you can utilize.
Also, you are also able to use a noise reduction feature (that you have to pay $3 once) to reduce any added noise to it. You can also pay to get the editing software (if you choose to go that route) and you can edit any mistakes that you make. It's a good app and there are plenty of good ones that can work for you so look around, try things out through trial and error.
It's a long and arduous process I'm not going to lie, it takes time. So be patient, have plenty of water and take your time recording everything. Your book is not going to be perfect, don't put that pressure on yourself. It takes me a good week to record my audio books because I record a few chapters a day and then I give myself a break. Here are some good tips:
1. Find a good microphone that will work.
2. Utilize apps on your android or Apple phone (trial and error).
3. Find an app where you can transfer your audio files.
4. Utilize a closed space to record your audiobook.
5. Take your time recording you books, pronunciate and emote.
You can sell your audiobooks on your own website and also on your Facebook page (if you have those things) by using a website named Ganxy. They allow you to post audiobook files and also eBooks. They take a small percentage of any sales that you make. For your eBooks you can add your major retailer stores to it (they don't take a percentage from there). The website gives you all of the information you need and they're very helpful.
That's it in a nutshell, it sounds simple but it's a process so embrace it. I honestly couldn't stand recording most of the time but I know that the end result will pay off in the long run. Always remember you have to think of the long run and long haul than right now. While it's good to get your content out, don't expect to see results right away. All of the time you spent recording may pay off further down the line when people discover you have audiobooks. Plus, nothing is more impactful than a person who buys your audiobook and hears the author's voice while listening to it.
You can subscribe to my blog and have these blogs sent to your e-mail every week. You can buy my audiobooks Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun and The Struggles and Growth of a Man.
Be good and go accomplish your goals!
#blogging #blogger #audio #audiobooks #howto #writing #writer
Whatever you choose to do with your life, the closest people in your life will NOT support you. If that's what you're thinking in your mind, that is not going to be your reality. I'm only writing this blog to forewarn you of the bullshit that's to come. You will get the people who will run their mouths and click like more on your posts than ACTUALLY supporting you.
See what people fail to realize is when you have a vision and big goals, it's not about self-gratification on social media websites, likes and comments. If we wanted that, we'd just do videos like all of the other attention seekers on social media websites. The biggest part of all of this is to stay focused on your goals. Don't let others keep you from continually striving for greatness.
It will be a very lonely road and it's going to suck. To save you the pain and anger that I experienced when I first published my first book, "The Struggles and Growth of a Man," I'll tell you now, just keep going. I remember when I posted my book all over my social media pages, especially Facebook and no one gave a fuck. Yup, I said it, no one gave a fuck. The crazy part is still no one gives a fuck and I'm nearly 2 years into writing books.
The people I thought would buy my books haven't and the ones I never thought would, actually did. Strangers and people that I don't know at all that follow me on Instagram have went out of their way to buy one of my books. Friends I've gone to school with and worked with in the past have supported me. It was humbling to have dealt with all of these experiences.
The only family members that have supported me are my parents, my aunt, my cousin and my uncle in California. So basically I can count the family members on my fingers that have supported me. Wild to think about and say but that's how life goes. What makes things worse is when you accomplish those big goals, then everyone wants to congratulate you and be part of the journey.
People that are closest to you don't support you until you're successful. So embrace the journey and enjoy developing new relationships with people who appreciate your work, your ambition and your vision. I support people I know because I know what it's like. I understand the grind of the process. I also support people I don't know because they're just like me, trying to establish a brand and vision that they have.
The biggest advice I'll give to you is to stop calling and texting people, then you will see who really cares and gives a damn about you. There will be people that will give you the, "congratulations, I'm so proud of you," then there are those who will take the time to ask you questions about your journey, seeing how you are, getting to know you better and your goals (which is few and far in between).
Trust me, congratulations is just the lazy way of saying, "I support you." Honestly, that's not supporting anyone, but that's the way of the world. I talk to very few people about what I'm doing and even when I do, there's behind the scenes work that no one actually sees. I hold those moments sacred to my mind and heart knowing that eventually, the end results will show.
Live your life the way you see fit, because when it's all said and done, you can reflect on everything and say to yourself, you did it your way. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog and check out more content on the side of my website.
#goals #vision #life #learning #liveandlearn #blogger #blogging #writing #thoughts #randomthoughts
Friday, January 12, 2018
Every once in a while, I talk to someone who really wants to know how my mind works. I was fortunate to be able to talk to a few people who ask me that one question, how do I get my book ideas? It's a process with how I get my book ideas, a lot of times it can be just thinking and brainstorming or it can be something that happens in the world. There are times where I'll have a conversation with someone about the world and then a light bulb goes off and then a book idea comes to mind.
If you don't know by now, there's a blue book that I carry with me everywhere I go. This book is where every idea, brainstorming session begins and ends and how I formulate chapters. Observation of the world, what has happened and what can potentially happen is how I get my book ideas. I'm not necessarily fixated on a specific societal issue. This gives me the flexibility to write about different subjects that I feel strongly about.
Let's take for an example Code Blue: An Oath to the Badge and Gun. The book idea was obviously a given because of what's been going on with police brutality against minorities and the senseless killings of unarmed black men. I didn't want to write a book sabotaging all police officers but still be able to discuss the real issues going on in America.
I decided to go down a route where I write it from a police officer's perspective while addressing all of the issues going on daily. The news will cover it whenever they feel like it but as you're reading this blog, chances are a police officer is mistreating a black man in this country as we speak. That's the realities of the world, the body cams don't mean a thing because these officers are still justified in their behavior no matter what.
I wanted to address whether good police officers who have good intentions do know who the bad ones are and what exactly are they doing about it. There's just no way you can be in a workplace and be that oblivious to what's going on in the department and in the streets of these cities everyday. So I had to hit head on what's going on with a good cop and how he handles all that is going on. I wrote it this way because chances are, there are thousands of good cops caught in this mixture of corruption and wrongdoings daily.
For me to have grown up in bad neighborhoods and seen cops do their share of wrongs but then also see good cops doing the right thing, I had to bring up the taboo subjects that go on in America. I'm basically a writer who punches people in their chests with my books, they're hard-hitting. I don't sugarcoat my writing and it's real and raw. A lot of people don't like the way I format my books and how I write it but I don't expect the whole world to like my writing and how I write my books.
I write this way because there are enough books and stories that have fairytale endings and everyone lives their happily ever after. The reality is, not many people have happily ever afters and get to live the life that they want. So that book idea that I came up with was bound to come up and I definitely do write books about the state of the world at the present time.
The biggest part of my books are these can be read now and in the future for sure. For me, it's the longevity game and impacting people now but also in the future. That's one of my books and how I developed my idea to writing it.
This is the first time I delved deep into how I think and sharing that with you. So I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, subscribe and get these blogs sent straight to your e-mail weekly. My books are available on my website for purchase directly from me or the major book retailers so take a look around. I am currently working on audiobooks that I'm recording myself so be on the lookout for those in the next few weeks. Also I am currently doing podcasts on societal issues, it's called The Aquarianmind Podcast so click and listen.
Be good and go accomplish your goals.
#blog #blogger #blogging #writing #books #bookideas #author #authorinsight
Friday, January 5, 2018
Everyone wants to write a book. It's too bad a lot of you won't get it published...ever. Yes, that's right I said it and here's the reason why, you have too many distractions in your life. Let's just say I know someone and she has been writing a book for quite a while. This has been a process for nearly 2 years and I've published 7 books and she still hasn't published the one she has been working on.
This is not to toot my own horn or brag or be this cocky, pompous jerk because I'm nowhere near that. If you met me in person, I'm personable, observant and quiet mostly. I let my writing do the talking in a nutshell. I know what I'm doing in regards to my goals. So back to the subject matter of wanting to write a book.
Too many people will go to an author and say they want to publish a book, how do I do it? My first question is, have you written a book. When the answer is no, there's not much else to talk about. If you've started it, I'll tell you all that you have to do to go the self-publishing route. I tell people the self-publishing route because that's what I know and getting a book deal doesn't and will never interest me (and for numerous reasons which I won't discuss in this blog). Most get scared about the process and they realize, this shit isn't easy at all and reality slaps them right in the face.
The biggest part of this whole thing is content, what are you writing about that's going to appeal to an audience. Please please please for the love of the human race, don't go writing about some subject matter because you want to make money, be a bestseller and be famous, you will only be setting yourself up for failure, disappointment and doom. Write about what you know and are passionate about, that will always bring you fulfillment in your writing journey.
Also, please I implore you not to go writing about what's trending right now and what's in the market, I see it way too much and I just know that a large percentage of these authors are just emulating another author who broke into the market and has achieved success of their own. So then the next person thinks well why can't that be me? Please carve your own path and set the standard for your own vision.
If you're going to write a book to entertain, great. If you want to write a book that impacts others, even better. All I'm saying is, do it because you love it and the awards will reap itself down the line. There's nothing wrong with wanting a bestseller status (it doesn't take selling a lot of books to get there), but always focus on your audience, the readers/fans you will attain through your writing journey.
Since I've already written about the process of publishing my book from brainstorming to when it hits bookstores, I'm not going to go down that road and be repetitive in re-writing that in this blog. I'm writing this blog to tell you that it's all a process and developing a story that will appeal to others.
Don't feel pressured to finish a book fast, but do take a decent amount of time to write it. Now if you've started a book 3 years ago and it's still not published, you're basically not publishing it and never had any intentions on doing it. This blog is not for you, trust me because if this blog is for you, you wouldn't really be reading this, your book would be on all major bookstores around the world.
As I've said in my previous blog from a while back, you can basically ball on a budget and get a good book cover made, get it formatted to the size you want without having to break your pockets. On top of that you'll still have money to market it, get some book reviews, do a few radio interviews and do a press release.
So here's my breakdown of what needs to be done to write a solid book:
1. Eliminate all of the distractions (family members, pets, friends, obligations, etc).
2. Brainstorm, write everything in a book (I'm talking every single idea, no matter how dumb it is).
3. Format your chapters and characters (including a backstory).
4. Pick a good time to write (day or night, lunch breaks, etc.).
5. Decide how much you want to write daily (pick days of the week and amount of words or chapters).
6. Mental focus will be the key to writing good content (writer's block happens, don't stress).
7. Utilize websites that will help you to format your book, book covers and promotion (social media).
8. Decide what websites you want to publish on and if you're doing paperbacks.
9. Learn the self-publishing business (you'll make mistakes, I've made plenty).
10. Not every investment will be good (I've made some bad ones but not costly ones).
Marketing and promoting is definitely a given, that has to be done daily. You'll eventually learn all that you need to know and you'll always continue to learn new things along the way. Never stop learning and always adjust to the market and what value it will bring to you. I am still working on building my audience everyday and trying to find new ways to reach readers.
Do the work! No excuses! I hear too many excuses from people about why they don't get things done and I just look at them and say, if you only knew the half of what I have dealt with and deal with now, you'd go home and mentally focus. So spare people who are doing the work daily of the concocted excuses and go tell that to someone who will listen. We all have the same amount of time in a day, it's just a matter of how much you want it.
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Be good and go accomplish your goals.
#blog #blogging #writing #writer #writingabook #howto