Welcome to the first episode of Publish Your Purpose: An Author’s Journey.
In this episode we cover –
- How we will take you behind the scenes of an Author’s relationship with their Publisher
- The making of ‘Served in Silence’, from idea in your head—to manuscript in your hand
- The high highs and low lows of the publishing process
- The wild ride – you are in for an emotional roller coaster
- Illustration of the conceptual idea of bringing ‘Served In Silence’ to life
- How the Author’s Academy can help you decide your purpose and tell your story
- How active listening is critical in publishing
- Taking action – planning the plan – then working the plan for success
The Publish Your Purpose Podcast: An Author’s Journey features the unique relationship between throughout the entire publishing journey and process—from manuscript to book in your hand. 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.
For more information on how you can Publish Your Purpose through the Author’s Academy, visit http://publishyourpurposepress.com/academy. #PublishYourPurpose, #AskMeAboutMyBook
Publish Your Purpose
Jenn: Okay so welcome to the first episode of Publish Your Purpose. I’m Jenn T. Grace. I’m with my co-host Mark D. Gibson. Mark said, I’m so excited to be doing this. I want to chronicle my journey as an author. I said, Hey I want to start a podcast. It was quick…. within a few days it was like, let’s do this. And I said … 11 pages of notes, points, etc.
Mark: Happy to be doing this. I’ve been talking to aspiring authors on regular basis. They don’t understand the journey, the process of going from having an idea in your head, all the way through holding a book in your hand.
Jenn: This was your idea. You’re writing a memoir and you wanted to chronical how this all happens. And it’s just such a perfect marriage of what we’re both accomplishing.
Mark: Songs play big role in my life. Aerosmith song “I don’t want to miss a thing”. I got so excited when I got the first email for the Academy. I’m like a dry sponge, and I want to absorb everything. Thank you for inviting me along to do this podcast.
Jenn: We’ve got a whole bunch of these planned. Our goal is to show you all the behind the scenes of working with Mark. Basically, start to finish of the entire book publishing process. Our goal is to talk about the highs the lows, the roller coaster, the logistics of it, the minutia, the emotions. Give you a full, comprehensive understanding of what this is all about.
Jenn: Mark, why don’t you share what the name of the book is that we’re working on together. And how we came to be. We’re brand new to faces in our audience.
Mark: Well this is a project that has been ruminating for quite some time with me. It started on my first deployment to Afghanistan. I’ve been talking to other authors and other people that are in the process. A lot of them don’t have their titles. Or, they know what they want to write about, but they’re not really sure about their outline or the structure. That, oddly enough, came to me first. I wanted to publish a book, the title is Served in Silence. It is the life story of me growing up and living in the military, in the Air Force under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Talking about the pros, the cons, the good, the bad of what the DADT policy does to a person. It really gets to the heart of authenticity.
I’d been fumbling and I was writing… I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’m not a writer, per se. I had solicited assistance from some friends of mine; friends of my family. We had just gotten to the point where the goals weren’t aligning, life just wasn’t aligning at the same time. It wasn’t until early summer that I reached out to a dear friend of mine, Sam McClure, from the NGLCC. I had worked with Sam, two years prior. It was a pretty awesome experience. I learned so much from being on the road with Sam and working on a program together. From the US Small Business Administration to her being the Senior Vice President at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. I developed a great deal of respect and love for Sam. I trusted her opinion.
Out of the blue, I just texted her one day. I was really frustrated. I didn’t know what else to do. I said “Hey Sam, do you have a minute?” And very graciously, I’m sure she didn’t, she always makes time. She said “Yes, I have a few minutes. What’s going on?” I explained to her what was going on. I think she knew that I had been toying with the idea of writing a book. I asked her if she knew if there was anybody I could talk to about getting some assistance. You know how you can see the little bubbles when someone is texting… she fires back really fast…”Jenn T. Grace; Get you the number. Hang on a minute. Will make introductions. Talk to you later.”
I thought “What was that? What just happened?” I immediately jumped on the internet, googling Jenn’s name.
Jenn: Stalking at its finest.
Mark: Cyber stalking. Anyway, later that afternoon Sam had made the introduction on email and Mark fashion, I had already gone on Jenn’s website. I saw an opportunity to schedule a one-on-one appointment with the publisher. “Wow” I thought. I jumped on the very first one that was available. And so, here we are. It’s because of our dear friend Sam.
Jenn: We love Sam and I can’t wait for her to see. We haven’t told anyone that we decided to do this. The spark… It was like just “DONE”. No real thought about it. No idea about execution. No anything. We were like “Let’s do this!”
I use Zoom video so I said “Let’s get this done” and we went on Zoom to start recording. So it will a surprise to Sam as this comes out. We should give Sam a head’s up. Sam and I go back a good seven years or so when I was running the local CT chamber. She’s part of the national organization. We instantly connected. She’s a really good friend of myself and my wife.
She sent me a text after you two connected, “Mark’s going to be contacting you. He’s amazing.” Sam doesn’t make connections unless she knows they’re going to make sense. I feel like I’m strategic with connecting people myself. I totally respect her so anytime Sam says “you should do this”, you should do it. It is what it is. I replied “He already has! He’s booked an appointment on my calendar.”
Little fun fact, probably embarrass her… my son calls her (even to this day when he’s now 9), when he was three he used to call her “the grand old Sam” he ended up making up this whole song about “This Grand Old Sam”, like the “Grand Old Flag.” It still sticks with us today. He hasn’t called her that in a while.
I adore her. I’m so happy that she did connect us.
You just alluded a little bit to it… Sam makes the introduction, this all happened within a three day time frame.
It’s a Saturday morning. Saturday morning in my household tend to be a little chaotic with children 10 and under. I’m sitting out in my car, having a conversation with you with my coffee. I was thinking “This is such a beautiful way to start a weekend. I think it was ten in the morning. Anyone who is like you, to say I’m going to have a ten am call with someone, I said “let’s do it”. I talk to people who might be in a different country or different time zone, so I try to throw in random availability.
So, we talk and I want to hear your impression of that first conversation. Where we went from there.
Mark: There was a lot going on in my mind. I’m not really a writer; I don’t know very much about this process; and all kinds of emotions are going through me. I felt very safe with Sam. Sam is a trusted colleague and trusted friend. I knew that she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction. I’m really happy that I took that leap of faith.
Because that’s a little exposure… I didn’t tell her who I was… Now I’m tipping my hand… I’m really writing a book… that’s accountability. Anyway, I threw it out there. I took the first opportunity on your calendar. So the night before I cleared the distractions, I cleared the space, I’m up early anyway, I had my coffee ready, I had my list of questions, all organized, at my kitchen table so I was really excited to meet you and talk to you because of the Sam connection, I felt trust there.
I had this preconceived notion of my interactions with publishers up until this point and it wasn’t that great. This is the Hail Mary Pass, the last-ditch effort, I’m just super excited about this call. I was going to rattle off these questions as if I was going to grade them later, because of the mindset of what I had with other publishers. That quickly just disintegrated into this beautiful, comfortable conversation, of Mark and Jenn. It wasn’t the new author and publisher. You were very encouraging. You said “Tell me what’s going on.” “Tell me, where are you?” Just very actively listening. It was quite remarkable. After I hung up, Mr. Wonderful (my partner) came downstairs and he said “Uh Oh, some thing’s going on. What happened?” It was pretty amazing!
Jenn: I talk to a lot of people, being a publisher. For a long time, I had a consulting business. I had to very pro-actively hit the ground hard trying to get people to listen to me. For me to say “Hey, you have a problem. I can help you fix it.” But now I run a publishing company, people come to me because they’re in some various stage of the publishing process. Or the writing process. Or they’re JUST starting to think about. It’s exciting to me when I talk to somebody like you. I remember hanging up the phone… I get so energized talking to people with high energy. It’s Purpose Driven Publishing, publish your purpose. So, it’s all about people who are trying to change the world in whatever way that looks for them. So, for you, it’s a matter of bringing awareness to serving in silence, don’t ask don’t tell, so that can be applied to any one serving in their own version of silence. For me, it’s like “Holy Shit! This is so someone who is perfect for us!” I have a vetting mechanism and we’re really kind of particular about who we work with because you have to fall into the criteria of being purpose driven.
I’m not the one to decide what your purpose is. That is for you to decide. But it has to fit into the mission of Purpose Driven Publishing which is to impact the greater good, by telling your story. Whether it’s a diverse story or adversity; any number of things.
After we hung up, I get super excited. I go skipping into the house. “We have a new author. I just know it!” I don’t know what yet, but we’re going to do something. My wife is, at this point, because I’m so like the excitable dog, I have to talk to another human! Having just finished summer break recently, it’s one of those things where she’s been in my personal space because I work out of the home, and so when I have really exciting things, like us, when we decided to podcast, I go skipping down the stairs. “guess what we’re doing!” I don’t know how either of our spouses handle us, but it is what it is.
Let’s bring the viewer further along. I strive to be an active listener. I really figure out where you are in the process of writing a book. I will strategize with anyone, just talk to me. Tell me what you’ve got going on. And I’ll tell you what I think is going to be your best bet. There are plenty of conversations I have where working with me or going through the author Academy is not in their best interest and I just say it right up front. “I would love to work with you; I don’t’ think we’re a right fit here. Here’s this resource, here’s this one, here’s this one.” You know we work on non-fiction, memoirs specifically. Fiction marketing and non-fiction marketing could not be any different if you tried!
I know nothing about marketing fiction. But I know resources. I was able to point her in the right direction. She went off on her own. If I was trying to wedge what she was trying to do into our company, I feel like it would water down what our purpose is. I don’t’ want to over-use the word purpose.
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