Welcome to Episode 3 of Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey.

In this episode we cover –

  • Failing to plan is planning to fail
  • The fact that you are an open canvas, time to paint your Monet
  • Everyone needs a support system
  • Having your life raft at the ready

The Publish Your Purpose Podcast: An Author’s Journey features the unique relationship between an author and their publisher. This podcast follows author, Mark David Gibson, through the publishing process of his memoir “Served in Silence.” Alongside him you’ll hear from Publish Your Purpose Press Founder and CEO, Jenn T. Grace, as she navigates Mark through this journey. This authentic, empathetic, and at times comedic duo will take you on the journey from having an idea in your head to holding a book in your hands. You’ll go through all of the emotional ups and downs with Mark as this podcast covers his experience in real time. You’ll learn how to be better prepared when you set out to write your story. Whether you are writing a memoir or any non-fiction where a piece of your story is shared, you’ll be better equipped for success after having listened to this show.

Jenn and Mark have volunteered and donated their time. If you’d like to support the show on Patreon you can do so for just a couple of dollars a month, which is less than a cup of coffee! Your contribution will help with the hosting and transcription of the show. Support us on Patreon at Patreon.com/PublishYourPurpose.

Music provided in this episode was provided by www.bensound.com.

 

Read the transcript below or download the PDF by clicking here.

Publish Your Purpose

Episode 3

Jenn: Hello Mark. We are back for another episode of our Podcast. How are you today?

Mark: Doing great! How are you?

Jenn: I am fantastic. Before we start, I do want to poke fun at both of us for a moment and share our little snafu in our previous recording of dousing ourselves with perfume for a video conference.

Mark: That was hysterical. That really was. As I was getting dressed and getting ready to come over to the office, I just grabbed the cologne and che,che and have that moment that you laugh at yourself.

Jenn: Exactly. You do have to laugh at yourself. Especially as we’re talking about the publishing process. The whole podcast is about going from start to finish. From having an idea in your head to getting a published book done. If you don’t find those moments to laugh at your own ridiculousness, it’s going to make the process a lot harder.

Today’s agenda, we’ve mapped out a little of what we want to cover. Again, we’re trying to stick within thirty minutes for our listeners and viewers. I want to just jump right into the good stuff.

Mark: Yeah… Let’s do it.

Jenn: Let’s think about you, six months from now or so, when your book is going to be launched. Right now, you are in the thick of it, in the editing stages, development stages. What is your vision? If we’re going to fast forward six months to your idea of success. How are you determining what success looks like? How are you saying, “this is what I set out to do. I accomplished my goal.” In all of your type A ways. Take us through what that vision looks like.

Mark: Wow. You know that’s hard for type A people to do. We are so focused on the checklist. And getting things done. I think it’s really important to focus on the end game. What is

your vision? What does this look like? I can almost daydream as to what it looks like. It’s getting that book for the first time, maybe in the mail. Or whatever you do that you feel the heavens open up and you finally did it and got it done. I really see a lot of proactive  and great launching points for the completion of the book. That in and of itself is exciting.

I have to be careful because then I’m like a shiny object squirrel. Okay, let’s go over there, let’s do this, so I want to stay focused on Served in Silence. I see the triumph or the victory, dinner that that I want to share with Mr. Wonderful. His undying patience for the craziness of my life. For the six months preceding to that moment. It’s just a real special time that I can have with him.

I also am cultivating a coming out party, if you will. Or a kick-off party for the book. I can hold it; I can feel it; you know you fan through it, and let it fan across your face. I don’t know.

Jenn: The smell of paper? All of that.

I’ve written five books and every time I do, I do like a happy dance in my yard. It’s ridiculous. It’s so cheesy. I make my wife take a picture every time. I look like a total fool. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing. It just happens to be the day the book arrives. I feel like that is the best day. You are feeling the reality of what you have just been spending so much time on.

Mark: Absolutely. It is time and it is energy and it is effort. Although we’re multi-taskers, it’s just a way of life. Even though you might be focused on making that grilled cheese sandwich, you’re still thinking about “Oh, I’ve got finish this on chapter 3.” And, “Oh, by the way, the chapters aren’t even numbered at that point.” It really is exciting. I’m looking forward to it. I’m a little apprehensive. It’s almost like I’m bracing for impact. I know that there’s a lot more to do. Just listening to the different steps in the process, it’s a bit daunting. From time to time, I lay down like this and I’ll come up for air. “No, No, I’ve got to continue to write.”

Jenn: I just love that we decided to start this podcast before, you know you’re going through the Author Academy right now, you’re one of our featured authors as a publishing client of ours. It’s fun to be doing this now as you start to get into the weeds of things because it’s going to be an emotional roller-coaster, as it is for most people. We’re really

chronicling this in real time for people to benefit from. I think it’s going to be a really awesome experience.

Mark: Me too. It’s been pretty incredible.

Jenn: Want to go back in time. We started working together in June. As part of the Author Academy, I request a lot of things from the authors to do. Everything is intentional. Everything is strategic. I don’t ask for anything to be done that is not worth your time or energy because I recognize that everyone, that at least PDP serves, are business owners, busy professionals, people who are purpose driven, they’re out to make an impact. That doesn’t mean they have a plethora of time to be focusing on this. One of the many exercises is to send you off into a bookstore to find a book that is inspiring to you. I would love to hear, because we haven’t talked in detail about what your experience was in doing that exercise, I would love if you could just walk the listener through doing this exercise. The listener can take this as an action step from this episode and go off and do it on their own.

Mark: Yeah that was very interesting. I don’t think you gave those disclosure notes that everything has a purpose. I’m just a good student. I’m going to do my classes on Sundays. This particular week something happened and I didn’t have enough time on that Sunday to actually go out and do the exercise. I don’t even know if I’m rolling my eyes and mumbling, (mumble, mumble … “like seriously? Now she wants me to get in the car, drive across town and whatever, all the excuses come up).

One thing is for sure though. I’m really hard on myself. I would not be at Tuesday’s classes at 2 o’clock, I don’t care what has to happen, I’m going to the bookstore before then! Because I’m not going to be that guy in class that didn’t get the homework done! It’s just the kind of person I am.

It’s Monday (everything just busted loose at work) and it’s a crazy day. On my task bar, I have got to make time to go across town to the bookstore. (And that’s not easy to do; to find a bookstore these days!) I found a bookstore in midtown Atlanta, and I think I’m on my bike, networking, leapfrogging through midtown (you should get a combat badge just for that). I’m on the phone with work. I get to the bookstore, you’ve got to put yourself in the right frame of mind, it was amazing. The exercise was amazing. Once I could turn down the chatter of life going on in my head, and just walking through… hard to do but if you can picture your name on the front of a book. If you can picture your title (if you already have a title), I was pretty lucky in the process that I already had my title. The

exercise is to go through and whatever the first book that jumps out at you, grabs you, just take a photo or mental note as to why.

Was it the color(s)? Was it the script? Was it the block letters or what have you? Hold it. Feel it. Put it in your hands. Now, later on, after being a couple of weeks into the Academy, I realized the value and the importance of that.

You’re right, it was just kind of “Oh really, I don’t have time to do this!” But I’m really glad I did. It gives you a whole different perspective in going to the bookstore now and to be among literary and authors and that is your overall goal and that’s where you’re going to end up. Very encouraging.

Jenn: I will say that I actually spared you a much larger exercise that you could be doing. I actually had coffee with somebody just this past week and just talking to him… he might go through the author Academy; has an awesome idea around meditation. To help build his practice as a shaman. He came with a book that was sizable. It was thick. He had made his own cover. He taped front and back and made his own spine. “This is what I want my book to look like.” I could, in theory, have that as the exercise where I’m having you physically cut and paste things and glue them to a book. I could totally make it an arts and crafts exercise.

One of our authors that already published, Nancy Wiest (She wrote the book “What Are You Waiting For? You don’t have nine lives”) she and I started working together. She was in the Academy, went through the Academy, decided she wanted to hire us. She, in one of our first calls, came with her book. When I asked her to do this exercise, she said “I’m already ahead of you. I’ve got you beat. I’m ahead of the game.” This is what I have and she totally went through the arts and crafts exercise. But, she started working on her book 5, 7 years ago. And it was having this book with the cover she had created herself, just kind of sitting on her desk, that was her constant prompt and reminder, of I need to do this. I need to make time for this. I need to find the time in my schedule to publish this book because it’s that important to me.

But, as we discussed in the last episode, life happens, right? So, you have to find that time for, how do we actually make the time to get all of this done? Because there are a million little logistics that go into this process. Whether we like them or not, they’re there.

Jenn: If we were to think of some of the ways in which you’ve been successful, in terms of, I know that, I think that you’ve been successful through the Academy because you’re

totally type A, A+ student who will not show up without the work done, which I have to say I so appreciate, because I would bet 90% of the people who have gone through the Academy are exactly that type of person. Which I am as well, which maybe that’s why it  happens. I attract other type A “get shit done”, purpose driven, I’m on a mission, just give me the information and I’m running with it. It’s good that there’s a very clear type of person that I work best with, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways in which things can be done.

One of the things in the Academy is talking about keys to success. I have a few things that I consider to be my top, top things that are just going to set you out to be prepared for this process the best that you can. I’m curious (and we can talk about my couple that I teach are) if you have anything so far. We’ve been working together a couple of months, and we’ve still got many more months to go, as of right now, to date, is there something that you’re finding that is giving you better chances of success? Even if it’s a micro-moment of success, not the bigger picture yet.

Mark: Absolutely. I take this with a lot of my life experience, with my jobs or in my military career, so I’ve got pieces and parts of tools in my tool kit that help me get to where I am today. I would say the biggest thing for me was having that hard discussion with yourself. Make that commitment, do that contract with yourself. But what does that look like? If you’re honest, then are you going to do this? Is this an idea or are you going to do it? Once you get done with that, let’s make some assumptions, you’ve done all of that successfully, then for me personally, what I had to do, I had to clear the battle space. I had to make sure I planned for success. For me personally, it was down to “All right, if I’m going to do this and I’m going to put this in my schedule, then I will have better chances of succeeding if I work out, if I go to the gym before-hand, if I make sure because then I feel better about myself, I have a clear mind about myself, so it was the little diet (meal plan to be?), you can then… our mind plays tricks on ourselves. “Oh, it’s okay to grab something from fast food, because I’m actually living up to my commitment over here.” So, I wanted to bring everything to the starting line. I wanted to clear the battle space. That wasn’t the time to figure out the budget and bills for the month. There’s a certain time for that. It wasn’t going to be Sundays. Or when I dedicated my time to take a deep dive into the lesson. It wasn’t going to be Tuesday, at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon. I think preparation is a lot to do with it.

In your first intro email that comes, almost like Christmas, couldn’t wait to see what the curriculum and syllabus were going to be, but that was a part of my planning process. Planning I think is critical. Planning to plan. Plan for your success. Planning for how does this look? You’re going to find in the Academy that with that planning (if you’re already

in that frame of mind), then it’s going to be very easy for you to do the exercises. You’ll get the most value out of this. The planning was one of them.

Then sticking to the commitment. Why are you doing this? Why is it so important? You were just talking about publishing her book and she had it sitting there, and she went to arts and crafts, and she did her book… that’s really important because then you have the goal in front of you. You can see it.

Or, we talked about we’re both runners, you’re not going to compete in a triathlon without planning on how many miles it’s going to take you to run. Or how far of a distance you’re going to be able to swim or bike ride. And so, it’s like anything else in life. The more the time you spend in planning, and of course in the military I spent a great deal of time perfecting the planning craft, so if you’re not good at it… it’s alright… just take the time to think about how are you going to do this? This is your show. This is your blank canvas and you get to create your Monet.

[19:00 – Commercial]

Jenn: I think in a future episode we’re going to talk about planning in more detail. And definitely talk about your process and what your writing ritual is and what my writing ritual is that I know of. One of the things that you just said, makes me wonder, as far as that blank canvas, that sky’s the limit potential. Everything that wide open… space right now. One of the things that I talk about as the keys for success is embracing your fears. If you have those fears, just going straight into them. Being fearless. Have you encountered that from an emotional standpoint? At this point. And how you are doing with that whole dichotomy of you’re doing something that not everyone does. Not everyone becomes a published author. That in and of itself puts you in a different class of people who have gone through the pain in the ass process to do that. But on the other side, it’s a very lonely, isolated, in a silo, type of process of actually doing it. So, how are you working through your fears, through this process?

Mark: Whooo. Uhm. There are many. First what I would tell you is get ready. No matter how bold you are or how prepared you are, out of the blue it just happens. And it hits. It’s a wide variety of things. For me it was the “who do you think you are?” “Really, you’re going to write a book?” And you’ve got to get through all of those fears. I think that the key to success is, for me, is making sure you’re aware that it could happen, so when it does happen, then you go back to the planning.

I planned, what was my plan going to be when I was having these doubts, or these kafluma dramas. My plan was/is to pick up the phone, dial a friend, or text to alert somebody that, this is hard for me right now. I don’t really know why. I can’t explain it.  That has been really helpful. I think that when you do your contract with yourself, the other thing that I would encourage you to do, is share that with your loved ones. Share that with your friends, people that you trust, because they’re going to be your champion. They’re going to be the person, that when you dial a friend “remember that contract I told you about, kinda cheesy, I did it for this class I’m taking…” “Oh yeah, yeah, you’re writing that book”, “Well, I don’t think I’m good” They will be very quick to throw you the life raft and reel you back in. Even though, if I could share real quick… just the other day I’m working and writing away; it’s great. And all of a sudden, I looked at everything and said “this is all crap”, “I don’t know what I’m doing; I’m not organized.” So, I called Mr. Wonderful right away and he’s busy at work. But I think he knows “all right, let me pause for a minute.” He let me wallow a little bit in my self-pity and he’s like “All right, we done now?” Are we gonna move on? Are we better now?” I’m like “Okay, Let’s go.” Anyway – I would just say prepare for those. I think the more, you might not know what they are at that particular moment, but you know that they’re coming, that you don’t let them totally [jog your day]. It might slow you down. I might knock you down. But you’ve got to know your plan to get back up.

Jenn: I want to talk about this in more detail, on the planning for those failures, or what could be perceived as failures. But to wrap us up… I know that you just mentioned that negative space that you found yourself in recently, and I also know that someone else who’s in the Academy with you, is kind of wrestling with, not the negativity but…, getting this done right now. The two of you had a lovely conversation on the author Academy call earlier this week. When you think about that safe space, I suppose we could call it, to be able to release all of that tension and worry about “I’m not good enough” but having a support system to be able to say it to, how important or beneficial has it been for you? Or not? To be able to say that to somebody else who’s in that process at the same time? Saying it to me, you texted me the other day, and I said, not quite this blunt, but basically “just go out and run.” I said something like “you’re fine, just go run.” That’s because I’m not in the thick of it with you right now, from your mindset. So it’s publisher/author relationship. I’m looking at it from a totally different vantage point, than being the author.

How is it in terms of having that other support system with somebody else who’s going through the same process as you are in the moment?

Mark: Yeah. We’ll use that one example. I’m texting you right away. I think the sky is falling, the sky is falling. It’s not. It wasn’t that bad. I can say that now, but in the moment, it was. I think it’s …something about… this is all crap. I don’t like it. Maybe I just need to  go for a run. And here you are, in the middle of your day, here’s one of my authors, “just go for a run, Mark. You’re going to be fine. Move on.” Well it’s the same thing at the Academy. I kind of felt bad for that day because I wasn’t in the great head space that I normally am on Tuesday’s getting ready. I’m excited for Tuesday’s at 2 o’clock. Because I was just gone through the morning kaflama drama. So we get to the class and I felt bad because I thought I hijacked it for a little bit, because we spent just a little bit of time on the lesson and then you opened it up for general questions and then it just all came out. That in and of itself the conversation with the other students in the class was just so empowering to know (1) you’re not going through this alone (2) you’re not crazy and (3) it just puts all of those things to be and rest. It’s almost like you get paid, you have to tell me it’s all going to be okay.

Mr. Wonderful has to say certain things to keep peace in the house. But here is my group of peers in the class saying “Oh wow; I’m going through the same thing.” Really great. I ended that call. We did talk about the lesson after we got done. But we were also able to talk about focus on the process, focus on the formula and the keys to success, and what you’re doing. And my formula is a little bit different than my classmates but it really re-grouped us. Those Tuesday calls, in design, can be the life raft.

Jenn: That’s kind of how they are. They’re very intentional. Because there are many programs out there that are similar to the author Academy. Here’s a program, go out and do it. You can write a book in 90 days. There’s a lot of variables. For, I know that if I provide you with all the information, and I just set you free to do what you please, you’re not going to be successful. It’s not anything personal to any one person, but there needs to be that circular opportunity to say “Listen, I know that you just told me that I need to do this, this, this and this, but I don’t get it.” Or “I don’t understand.” Or “This doesn’t apply to me.” Or it is that emotional thing where it’s like “Well, I’m not good enough.” But it’s “No, you ARE good enough. And here are all the reasons why.” I do think that the accountability in those calls is for accountability first and foremost (that you are going to do what you said you were going to do) but it’s also to troubleshoot. I think there’s so many places in the publishing process that you can just get really hung up. And those hang ups could last you years. And it’s not necessary.

Mark: The other resource that we have that has been really great is the Facebook page where I’m able to… if I’m stuck on something, like you said… you can take a very long time to get unstuck. Having, okay, it’s not Tuesday, but maybe it’s 1 a.m. and I’m stuck on

something, I could just fire out something onto the discussion page and then just put a pin in it and continue to move on. Other people will chime in and you come up with your solutions. That part of it has been a safety net. I know that I definitely have enjoyed that  throughout the process.

Jenn: Absolutely. I would recommend, to listeners that are not part of the Academy, are not going to join the Academy, it’s on their “to do list” down the road, it’s about finding their accountability person. So just find a friend who is also trying to write a book or wants to write a book, and be accountable to each other. I know that Lisa will join us for one of our episodes and she’s an accountability coach. I know that she and someone else on our team have an accountability program with each other. They will text each other in the morning saying “this is what I’m doing today.” And at the end of the day, they say “Did you do what you said you were going to do?” And at the end of the day, in this case with the two of us, author/publisher, it does impact me if you do or don’t get what you said you were going to get done. But most of the time, if somebody were to say “hey, send me a text in the morning; make sure I do it.” I would be happy to do that. It doesn’t weigh on me. It’s not impacting my day. 

A lot of our students, I just did this with someone in the class, I sent her calendar invites to just say “you said you were going to work on your book right now.” Because her seeing my invite to her on her calendar is enough for her to be like “oh shit. I told her I’d do it and now I have to do it” And it doesn’t even remotely impact my day. It’s those very simple tricks of getting someone else to send you a calendar reminder of like “this is what you said you were going to do.” It’s not your own. Because it’s easy to push back past your own stuff. “oh, I don’t need to do that. It’s just a promise to myself.” But really you just add one other person in the mix, could be anybody in your life, and I’m certain that there’s a good impact that could be had.

Mark: I’m sure we’ll talk more about the different exercises that we’ve done for accountability. It doesn’t have to be a negative… term (?)…either. It’s actually very positive and we’ll talk of some of those things… kind a fun… powerful/accountable?

Jenn: I like it. I think that we are doing really well today. We’ve given the listener some awesome advice. I’d say let’s do for now and we’ll come back soon with more information. Sound good?

Mark: Sounds great. See you next time.

Download the Book Cost Blueprint

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Regardless of where you are searching on the Internet you are going to find major discrepancies in the price of services. On one website you’ll see to expect to pay $5 for a book cover and on another website you’ll see $5,000. These ranges can be utterly overwhelming and stop a new author dead in their tracks from proceeding forward.

The information in this guide is based on the cost of producing your book going down a self-publishing path. These numbers are based entirely on our personal experience in helping dozens of authors navigate this space.

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