Monday Jul 24, 2023

Go Write Me a Book, Kid!

The ins and outs of books, publishing and their impact upon getting your story out there.

We are joined by RJ King – Editor of dBusiness Magazine of Hour Media - Hour Media is the largest publisher of city and regional magazines in the United States — as well as a multimedia production and digital distribution company.

Knowledge is Power, and in the middle ages reserved for the rich and royal – THROUGH BOOKS. Throughout the Middle Ages, books were made by hand. Much of the writing was done by monks working in monasteries. It wasn’t until Johann Gutenberg used the technology of movable type from China and Korea to develop the printing press, allowing common, ordinary people access to knowledge.

Suddenly, knowledge was portable, accessible, and available to the masses. Gutenberg’s printing press revolutionized communication, much like the Internet revolutionized how people communicated in the second half of the 1900s—although at not quite the same lightning speed! Plentiful, affordable books opened the door to a whole new world of learning and ideas.

 

Folktellers Universe

 

#Folktellers

#Storytelling

#Publishing

#Books

#Authors

#HOURmagazineDetroit

#RJKing

#StoriesToBeShared

 

All right,
everybody.
Welcome to episode five.
Go write me a book kid.
That's uh my best Frank Sinatra.
So this is,
this is gonna be all about storytelling through publishing and books and magazines and all these things.
But uh let's get our intros out of the way.
This is Joseph.
I am here with my two cohorts.
There's,
there's no adjective for me today.
Um The or what was it called?
Amphibious?
What was going down?
I was gonna say the no,
I won't say it anyhow.
Now I'm here,
Steve Sadler is here.
The stupendous Stephen Sadler and the KK here too.
I came back.
I,
I show up they don't have last names apparently anymore.
There,
they're so popular now.
They're just going by their first names.
They are.
Oh I thought you were referring that your,
that's your new pronoun.
Well,
how,
how many famous people are?
They,
you,
you hear their one word name and you know who they are,
right?
That's,
are we at that point?
You guys are so famous?
You,
you should just go by a simple,
that's what I think we're not quite there yet.
The,
the artist formerly known as the podcast known as Oh my gosh.
OK.
So,
yeah,
what a start.
So we're already going down the rabbit hole.
This is again,
I will this up.
So we're talking about storytelling in,
in books and in publishing.
And we actually have uh a guest a little later on.
We'll have RJ King who is the editor in chief of the business magazine of our media.
And I will tell you from my notes,
our media is the largest publisher of city and regional magazines in the United States as well as a multimedia production and digital distribution company.
So this is big time.
Yeah.
Yeah,
he's,
yeah,
he's a heavy hitter.
He's a heavy hitter.
So uh we're all authors.
We're all been uh we've been self published,
we've been with,
with uh major publishers,
independent publishers.
So it'll be interesting uh because we've all had different experiences there.
But I I open with this for your consideration.
So how long have books been around?
I mean,
originally books starting in the middle ages were handwritten by monks.
And uh it wasn't until Gutenberg,
I think it was like 15,
17 adapted movable type from the Chinese and the Koreans.
And you could actually mass produce books.
And the significance of that is that regular people now were given portable knowledge.
Think about that,
think about that access,
access to knowledge.
So it wasn't just for the elite anymore.
And now regular people could have access to that knowledge and it was portable,
you could take that you could take that with you.
So,
you know,
knowledge is power if you knew how to read,
if you knew how to read,
right?
So all of a sudden now you've got this acceleration in learning and reading because it was access to knowledge,
what's going,
what's going through my mind is,
you know,
before it was all handwritten,
everything had to be handwritten as far as a book or content you mentioned about the Gutenberg Press and it became mass production at that time.
What was that like?
Versus one copy per,
per book.
There is now 10 that the good word press or five,
whatever that number.
But,
but either way it was a bigger number,
right?
And I don't know what that volume is.
But um it,
it allowed people access and I think that's the biggest thing is access to information,
access to information.
And now all of a sudden there are authors,
you know,
you know,
the first,
the,
the biggest translated work was the Bible.
That's what the monks were.
I was working on and they were working on,
you know,
religious text and,
and manuscript.
But now,
you know,
now you've got movable type and it's a,
it's a business because before uh they were doing that for the kings and queens and the elite,
we have,
you know,
having these books hand done and then passed on from generation to generation.
Now you had uh you had books that were accessible to the general public,
they were cheaper.
And now there's a whole,
I wonder which King went to Gutenberg first and said,
hey,
let's do a publishing deal,
right?
Publish,
publish my biography.
Will you do that for me or follow the money?
I mean,
really,
I bet if you,
if you followed all the traditional presses and,
and publishers and you followed it all the way back,
it would be,
you know,
whoever bankrolled that because I'm sure it wasn't cheap to,
to,
to,
to build the press and,
and to do that and,
you know,
it probably was in all the major cities started the major cities and then smaller presses moving out and that wasn't just books.
I mean,
so once they did that,
that now you had,
you know,
newspapers,
now you had,
you know,
magazines,
you had,
you know,
all those things you gotta remember,
like,
um,
the printing presses.
What were they originally created for anyways?
And it wasn't just books.
It was for money.
Mm.
Yeah.
Oh,
they were printing money?
Of course.
I mean,
you don't,
that's probably the biggest thing.
I mean,
without the money you're not gonna be able to buy the books.
So,
I don't.
So,
the chicken and the egg thing,
right.
Which one came first?
The money or the books?
Well,
we're gonna get RJ on the phone and,
uh,
we'd love to hear his perspective because he's a guy that's in the industry,
he's been in the industry for decades.
So he's been in it when things were hot in print,
you still had newspapers.
It wasn't,
everything wasn't digital.
I mean,
RJ started,
you know,
he's of our era.
So when he started,
you know,
uh,
print in magazines and newspapers and books was still a thing and then you've,
you know,
you've heard of the slow death.
So I'd be interested to hear what he has to say about,
you know,
what it was like,
you know,
in the eighties and beyond.
And then what is it now?
I mean,
are people even reading anymore?
He's also an amazing author.
Yeah.
And there,
yeah,
there you go.
Hey RJ,
it's Joseph.
We were Steve and Kurt.
Uh great to have you on.
We gave you a lovely intro already.
You've been,
your ears are probably burning.
Uh We're talking about your role as editor in chief of the business magazine as a part of our media.
And you're,
have you on because you are an author,
you are an editor,
you are a chief bottle washer and cap caper in the publishing industry.
So,
what we were talking about and we'd like to get your perspective on is we were talking about,
you know,
the history of,
of print and publishing and it was all,
you know,
it was all ink and paper and now we've moved from ink and paper into digital and,
uh,
and what does that look like?
Are people reading less or are they reading differently?
And,
uh,
you know,
what,
what's your take on that?
What's your take on sort of your history?
You know,
it'd be good to get a little bit about when you started in the industry and what it was like,
uh,
transitioning to where you are today.
I mean,
what,
what have you seen in the industry over the past decades?
What I started in journalism,
I was a business writer for the Detroit News and we had a huge,
uh,
business staff,
uh,
probably 16 people,
including editors,
uh,
and slowly over time that,
uh,
just got,
uh widowed down and there's probably maybe seven or eight of the Detroit news these days,
I'm just guessing.
Uh,
but with computers to becoming much more prominent and access to information much,
uh,
more quickly when the information age,
uh,
people are looking to get their content,
uh,
much quicker and faster and,
and online.
So the good news is,
there's still plenty of journalists around,
um,
whether they're working full time or,
uh,
many of them are retired and working part time.
So there's a lot of tribal knowledge and,
uh,
those folks,
um,
pretty much like to stay active,
uh,
writing in a feature once or twice a month.
Um,
what it's for the business or our Detroit or,
you know,
any,
uh,
newspaper magazine or online publication and as well,
you have,
you know,
a lot more smaller stories that tell people very quickly what's going on and those are great for your smartphones.
But if you're looking for a deep dive,
uh say a feature story on General Motors,
very hard to read that on the phone.
Uh especially if there's charts and graphs that go with it.
So,
Prince is a great,
still a great medium for that.
And uh Prince is uh it's very mobile uh as well.
So it's great for airplanes,
driving in cars and uh waiting in doctors lounges and those types of things.
But I think overall the news is coming in quicker and faster and there's smaller bites of it.
Uh but there's also the in depth pieces uh in depth features out there that uh that are still enjoyed in print.
Yeah.
So,
so it sounds like what I'm hearing you say is though the format has changed.
So uh people want their news or,
or facts quickly,
they want it quickly and that,
that seems to be they're accessing in,
in digital formats on their,
on their phones or ipads or whatever.
Um but when they want to do a deeper dive and then when they really want more of a,
an in depth story that that books and print are still uh are still a valid mechanism and they're getting it in many other different places as well.
What do you,
what do you mean?
Well,
I mean,
the content can be found in search,
it can be on RSS feeds,
which we can talk about later.
But I mean,
it's,
there's ways of being able to,
for people to be able to subscribe to certain things right now digitally.
And so you get notified on whatever device you're using,
whether it's a phone or whether it's a browser or whatever,
it's like,
hey,
here's a new article from,
you know,
our magazine or the business.
So now,
now,
now content and information is being pushed based upon your customized interests.
Well,
I think,
and,
and this is Curt RJ,
it's so great having you on.
I can tell you that.
I think it's more from the digital side.
I think it's headlines.
I really think that's what's being marketed and pushed is headlines and then it might go a little bit deeper,
right on the digital side.
People are reading headlines first and then deciding if they want to read any content that's in there.
But RJ,
I guess one of the questions I have is,
is I think there's,
you know,
because I still like paper,
I still like having like a magazine or something like a,
a great magazine like B Business or,
or like our Detroit,
our magazine where I can still pick it up.
There's images,
there's graphs,
there's different things in there that is hard to digest and it's hard to,
I guess,
fully enjoy on a digital side.
So there,
there's still a need for that is what you're finding.
Correct.
Oh,
yeah,
I mean,
the uh descriptions we have are,
are still very strong and we have great distribution for the doctor's offices or the Skyline clubs.
Um,
high traffic lobbies,
country clubs anywhere where people are,
uh have time on their hands,
looking to relax and,
and books,
uh you know,
physical books are still dominating over uh what you would call E readers.
So,
uh there are e readers out there and,
you know,
Kindle and those types of formats.
Uh but people uh still predominantly prefer a physical book as well.
I think that uh partly that uh you know,
they just want some downtime and uh you know,
if you stay on the computer or on your phone for too long,
you can just drive yourself right.
And,
and that to your point too,
I,
I pulled some sta statistics uh down this line.
These are publishing net revenues and other,
these are from the publishers themselves for books,
the net revenue.
If you look at the last 10 years,
it,
it's,
it's not changed drastically.
Like in 2013,
it was approximately 27 billion in 2022 is 28 billion.
And then there's a little dip in between there,
but it's really kind of remained consistent.
And that was surprising to me because I thought it'd be a more of a major drop in the publishing world to understand that.
But it sounds like there's still,
like you said,
there's people want physical books,
they want physical publishing according to the net revenue.
My side table seems to tell me that I like books.
Most of them are from Joseph though.
But uh and I have,
I have a bunch of RJ S there as well,
which I've read eight track being one of them,
which is a great book.
But um and you got another one coming out,
right RJ.
You got something else coming out here soon.
I was uh yeah,
just after Labor Day,
a book called Taboo which tells the story of it's the life story of Nino re uh and focusing in on uh one of his clubs and restaurants that he owns called Club Taboo,
which was,
and the East River Front of Detroit from 1985 to 1995.
And it was kind of like the studio 54 of Detroit.
And you had such things as Cinemax doing a tape show called James Brown and Friends,
which included AAA one hour show with James Brown and Aretha Franklin,
Robert Palmer,
Joe Cocker Wilson Pickett and um a few other stars.
And uh you know,
Prince Madonna,
uh you know,
Sheila,
he,
they all came through that club because uh after their shows,
they were looking for something to do and invariably people wound up there.
So it was a,
a huge hit in quite a dynamic time in Detroit.
A few stories I would imagine that came along with that.
I have,
I have a few stories we heard about those.
I wonder if in the book.
No,
no.
So,
so I think this is,
this is a good segue to RJ.
I mean,
you,
you are an author,
you are a writer and I,
you know,
I'm very interested in talking to you about what the impact of traditional publishing to,
you know,
the digit digitization of media.
Say that three times fast,
easy for you to say uh it was not,
I can take a deep breath after that.
Um But I really,
really interested in getting your perspective as an author,
uh what your experience is and,
and a publisher as well.
So,
you know,
you've published in many different formats.
Um where,
where are your challenges?
Because this is funny,
the terminology has changed.
So you hear,
still hear the word author,
but there's also the word content creator because now the the things that we write is are now called content because it,
it's our written word is not just being used in print,
it's being used in many different spaces,
it's being used digitally and,
and other areas.
So now like,
not only are you if you're an author,
you're a content creator,
intellectual property as well.
So,
so a you know,
what's your take on that as a,
as a writer and as an author and now as a content creator,
um you know,
does that open up more opportunities.
Does it present more challenges?
You know,
what have you seen?
Well,
I think it does open up more opportunities.
Um,
so more things you can come out with,
it's just like anything is if you stay busy,
uh you're going to be busy because people will gravitate to your work.
Um,
and you know,
a thing that's,
uh,
is emerging now is um these sort of online,
um,
digital services,
but I'm referring specifically to something like chat GCP uh where they are just uh combing the internet for uh information based on a query from uh uh a user.
Unfortunately,
the uh service does not distinguish between uh copyrights and un copyrighted material.
And now you're starting to see lawsuits pop up because,
um,
the service is pulling from copyrighted material and uh the authors or content uh uh owners if you will,
aren't getting any revenue derived from that.
Um And it is a violation of copyright laws.
So that's an interesting thing to follow.
I think,
uh for your listeners,
um,
you know,
I think services like are,
are good for internal things that are public facing.
But uh if you're trying to,
um use that to,
to write a white paper or publish a brochure uh or,
you know,
get literature out uh and hand it out during conferences and things like that,
that could definitely come back to bite you if you're not careful in terms of uh how the information is being sourced and uh you could open yourself up to um to copyright matters.
The other thing that books provide um is content for,
for movies and uh TV series and,
and all those types of things that um you know,
because Hollywood in general is uh always looking for good content.
So uh writing your next book and getting it um published and uh it's very easy now these days to,
to get your book uploaded on uh Amazon and,
and get your sales going.
And uh the other great thing is you don't have with Amazon and other services like that.
You don't have um books sitting in a warehouse.
It's all on books on demand and as well for the authors,
they provide a steep discount or a wholesale price if you will and uh they'll ship them um all over the United States.
So if you're in Detroit and speaking at a conference in Denver,
uh you could have the books arrive uh shipped to Denver,
you know,
and each um you know,
let's say you're speaking to 250 people,
they each have a copy of your book right there.
You don't have to log in on the airplane and log in from the hotel and all that good stuff be shipped right to the Convention Center.
And um so there's all different ways that you can um maximize on demand uh uh book publishing uh to your advantages.
And up there,
which uh you know,
wasn't available really because I'm not gonna take 250 books in my carry on bag.
I know that Delta will kill you.
They'll kill my personal item that would be heavy.
So RJ,
I,
I have another,
I have a,
I have another question for you along those lines.
Um So,
I mean,
you are uh a leader in the publishing industry.
Where do you think the industry is going and will it survive in its current form?
Well,
I think it's moving uh a little bit more,
you know,
very tiny bit each day to digital.
Uh but people are living longer and uh you know,
we're um our media LLC we're in 12 different states and Florida is the best state.
Uh It does get a little older.
Um a lot of retirees and people that have,
uh you know,
sort of made it with time on their hands.
So not only magazines,
but the books are a very uh excellent state for that market.
And I think eventually you'll see people develop um Polygraphs so that,
uh you know,
you could check things on a wall,
say,
for instance,
uh a,
a recipe that you might be working on,
uh that uh literally will float above your kitchen stove and oven.
Um or,
you know,
if you're outside trying to learn how to uh hit a ball off a tea uh for T ball uh baseball,
uh if you could have the instructions right there in front of you.
Um,
and I would foresee that there would be some sort of a tie in with your phone,
um,
or,
or an ancillary device and,
uh,
it would speak to you and,
uh,
with a camera,
it,
it could even track how you're doing in terms of swinging the bat.
Uh,
it could be golf.
It,
it could be horseback riding,
it could be so many different things.
So,
uh those things haven't,
have not been invented yet.
Um But certainly everybody recalls seeing,
uh from the first Star Wars movie when Princess Leia popped up as a holograph part of R two D two.
Uh So I think that's the future.
Uh,
you know,
in the beginning you'll be able to send messages like that and then in time it'll be more of a back and forth conversation with,
uh,
you know,
say a resident expert and,
and say gardening or something like that.
Yeah.
Well,
that's,
I mean,
that's fascinating.
So if you pull that thread all the way through,
because I'm always thinking like,
ok,
we're,
we're all authors and writers and this goes back to that,
the,
the term content creator because someone's still gonna have to create those stories or create those instructions or whatever.
So,
you know,
maybe that's the,
like what you're saying,
that's really the future of,
you know,
how,
how do journalists and,
and writers and authors stay in business they stay in business by uh creating content and,
and creating the stories regardless of what the new medium is,
maybe the future of reading is going to change.
What do you mean?
Maybe instead of reading left to right or right to left,
depending upon whether you're here in China or whatever.
Maybe that goes away.
Have you ever seen those little widgets that says,
yeah,
you want to read,
you know,
like 1000 words a minute and it pops up one word at a time and it puts them in front of your eyes and all of a sudden you're reading at that speed.
Have you seen those little widgets had a speed reading class?
So I took it.
But this is beyond that.
This is literally,
it introduces,
introduces to you one word at a time and your brain has the capabilities of being able to read at extremely high rate.
And the reason we can is because it's the mechanical process of moving our eyes across the page.
And because my dyslexia is,
was actually caused because of my eyes because what would happen is my eyes were misaligned and they would actually,
you know,
blend together words.
So it wasn't really kind of dyslexia.
It's the mechanical process of how I was reading.
Well,
imagine if in the future that changes.
So it's the new Evelyn Wood Speed reading course,
but someone's got to write that no one knows who that is.
RJ.
RJ we,
we really appreciate your time today and uh just so sort of enclosing uh what's the best advice you could give to a budding writer or journalist or someone who wants to get into the publishing industry.
Well,
number one,
I would uh jump on Amazon and um their book publishing division uh KDP.
And uh you know,
there's nice instructional videos there that teach you uh exactly how to um you load a book up on to Amazon.
So at least you have that background uh in terms of writing a book,
uh I found the best way is to first come up with the chapters.
Uh you know,
you wanna write about the history of,
say the Eiffel Tower.
So you,
you know,
you go back in France and,
and talk about what happened to lead to the construction of the Eiffel Tower and then how it was built and then uh disassembled and then shipped across,
you know,
so you can sort of see the chapters one by one sort of flow into and once you have your chapters that really gives you a great organizational uh template for writing your book,
you know.
So one day,
OK,
I'm gonna work on chapter eight and hey,
I just had a good idea on chapter two.
I'll jump to that and pretty soon it all comes together.
It's a very good organizational um practice to uh come up with the chapters first and then get to know designers,
um you can just Google images and uh for particular things that you're looking for and,
and also spend time in bookstores to look at um book covers to see what's uh what's working and what's not working.
You really wanna draw the reader in.
Um instead of having a kind of a cover,
you really,
really want something to draw people in.
Um and don't be afraid to change things.
Um You could have a different cover this year and next year you could have a,
a different cover for your book.
Uh You could have it come out in different colors,
uh All different types of things to,
to drive sales additions for pink for uh Breast Awareness Month in October.
Uh you know,
all those different types of things that,
you know,
something orange for Halloween,
whatever it might be.
Um And then really look at your properties is um really not just a book but potentially a movie or a TV series or a podcast series.
Uh Just always thinking,
you know,
how you can maximize uh the content you're creating by introducing it through all different mediums.
Awesome.
I think he's saying trans media,
Joseph.
Yes,
I think he is.
Well,
sage advice as always RJ,
we appreciate your time today and your energy and your smarts and thanks for uh for being on the folk tellers.
OK.
Well,
thank you so much guys.
I really appreciate it.
We'll talk to you soon.
Thank you take care.
Thank you.
All right,
bye bye.
Well,
that,
that was fascinating.
I'm glad we had RJ on um a wealth of knowledge.
So he's,
he's got me thinking now of as writers,
as authors and publishers of books in this modern age.
How are we getting our stories out there?
How are you pulling people in?
I mean,
I think it's such a challenge because what I didn't get to ask RJ was,
I really do think people are reading differently.
I don't think people are reading less.
I think they're reading differently.
And for,
like,
for me,
like I read,
if I'm reading a digital on a screen or on a,
on an ipad or on my phone,
I'm usually reading for knowledge and information.
I'm,
I'm gathering information books.
I'm a book person.
I love books.
I love going to bookstores.
I love spending time in there.
If you guys,
have you guys ever been down to John King?
Books?
Down down in the city.
So John,
I think it's the second largest used bookstore in the United States.
It's an old glove factory.
It's five floors of pure literary joy.
If you love books is to get down there.
I actually did,
um,
it was on the sale table.
It was just the bargain bin.
Yeah,
it was the bargain bin.
I,
I was,
yeah,
there was,
there was 10 of them.
Yeah.
My,
my book,
they just,
they just give them away.
Like tell them what,
what's the average,
oh,
yeah,
the,
yeah,
the average lifetime book sales for an author.
And this is like,
whether you're self published or whatever,
it's 10 books.
I wouldn't think that.
And that's only if you have,
have a,
a friendly family and relatives,
you have enough people to buy that.
Or is that that's bought,
that's,
that's bought,
which goes back,
I brought up one of the stats with RJ about the publishing that sales,
right?
Annual Nets,
I was surprised that it was basically,
it,
it didn't change drastically throughout the years.
However,
the unit sales retail,
which are the numbers of books sold to retail dropped a little bit like 325,000 annually to 2 25.
Um But why,
why is that?
Yeah,
that's the,
the,
the,
you know,
so people are still reading books but not a subs.
I mean,
I guess one of my questions is how are publishers still making net profits that are remaining consistent?
So,
yeah,
this is like,
this is what I want to kind of dig into because there's still a lot of publishing.
But the face of publishing has changed.
There's so much more noise out there because the great thing is you can self publish,
but it's a double edged sword because now anyone can write a book.
It used to be like there was a certain amount of whatever your subject matter was.
There's a certain amount of curation and validation of your content and being able to string words together.
That's what traditional publishers did.
And they found,
they found authors and writers that were good at their craft and that were,
were telling stories and that would be interesting to the public.
Right.
It had to be sellable too.
But wasn't,
they wouldn't take it.
Right.
So,
now you've got like,
anyone,
anyone can write a book and actually,
if you do it on Amazon it's free.
If you,
I don't agree with that,
you don't agree with what that,
that anyone can write a book.
It,
it's because it's extremely difficult,
the whole entire process.
I mean,
even if you're just using Amazon alone,
that doesn't mean that all of that other things are being done for.
You.
See,
see,
well,
there are many men then because I,
I still,
I still say I know you just,
you're just,
someone hit him,
hit him.
If I,
if I come here from hockey,
I'm calm.
Ok.
I don't get to play hockey.
This is,
this is hockey,
at least a quarter of wood or something.
No,
no,
let's talk about,
let's talk about this.
So I think anyone can,
can write a book,
get a book published.
That doesn't mean it's good and that doesn't mean anyone's gonna know about it.
That's what you're,
that's what you're hitting on.
Even the technical ability to be able to do it.
I mean,
I'm a,
I,
but you you just said,
pay someone to do it.
That's not you doing it.
I'm talking about self publish.
You do everything all the way to eight.
I was saying,
well,
I think what I'm hearing,
that's what self publish means self.
If it,
if I'm paying someone else to do it,
it ain't self.
But there's a whole industry on self publishing support that you can pay people to do the bits and pieces.
But don't you think that's kind of fighting girls?
Go in the other room,
please.
Uh We're fighting over books here.
Stop it.
It's not a bad thing to fight over,
I guess.
Go ahead.
So,
what I'm hearing though is Joseph to your point.
Anybody has the capability of authoring a book,
all the tools and everything,
right?
That's what you're saying,
Steve,
what you're saying is,
well,
not everybody can write a book and I,
and I agree with both of you,
right?
Not everybody can write a book,
but everybody has the capability with what's available these days to write a book.
Am I correct in saying that for both of you?
But let's use one thing,
just one thing like the copy writing process.
Yes.
Ok.
That alone is a very complicated thing to do.
Yeah,
I can pay a lawyer to do it,
but I paid a lawyer.
Well,
then you're not self,
you had the publisher do it.
That's what I'm saying.
I mean,
to,
to be able to be in a completely independent and do it all yourself.
The steps to the,
to the process of publishing a book are many.
And I know I've been through it several times and,
uh,
but here's,
it's difficult.
I mean,
it,
it,
it can be,
here's,
here's my mantra though,
Steve.
I,
if I can write a book and it becomes a regional best seller in its category,
anybody can write a book in my opinion.
right?
It takes one thing,
it takes an idea,
it takes an idea that you have to have now.
Is it work?
Yeah,
it's a lot of work.
It's a lot of struggle.
It's a lot of challenge.
It's a lot of,
you know,
soul searching about.
Well,
how do I,
what,
what wordsmith do I do here and how do I change this?
But I think if I can write a book and it does,
OK,
and it turns into a TV show and all this other fun stuff,
anybody can in my opinion.
So what you're what you're saying and I agree with you,
this is,
this goes back to the storytelling.
So everyone does a story to tell.
But if you've never,
if you want to tell that story through publishing,
through a book,
you may not understand the medium,
how,
how to get,
how to get that out there.
I think your point and that's Steve's point.
We all agree with each other.
Could write a book if you understood every single part of the process.
I didn't have to,
I didn't have to.
But that's different.
You,
you said anyone can write a book.
Well,
anyone can't get a publisher.
You had connections because who you are and you were able to get a publisher.
Anyone can't just go out and say I'm gonna self today,
I'm gonna be a self published author.
They're not gonna know the process.
And I,
yeah,
there's a lot of self help stuff out there to be able to help them do that.
But the bar is still extremely high.
So to say anyone can do it,
I don't agree.
Anyone can't,
not without help.
They need lots of help to be able to do it.
So even if you self publish or you have a publisher,
the work is pretty well,
this significant amount of work that I'm not talking about writing the book.
Anyone can write a book,
whether you do it yourself or whether you have a publisher or you,
you have someone,
you pay someone to do some support activity for you.
You get that book published.
Let's so that's done now how there's so much noise out there?
How do you get the word out?
And this is,
I think this is a constant struggle.
I mean,
the New York best time seller list is rigged.
So and Steve,
you could share that,
but there's a,
it is a formula and so is the ranking algorithm on I won't say,
well,
I won't say it on Amazon.
They all are,
they can be gained.
I mean,
a lot of people have gained the system and,
and got to be a best seller by doing what they made their book a penny.
And so they sold a ton of books for a penny and that's what drove them up the ranks and then they change the rate later on and,
and,
and services that will do that.
Absolutely.
Absolutely.
But in other countries,
we don't do that.
So we set that aside,
set that aside on the side table.
And if you're just someone that's not gonna try to game the system or,
or rig the system,
how do you get the word out?
And I go back to the way people are consuming stories and consuming information.
It's kind of like you,
you almost have to spoon feed them something that's like,
hey,
that's cool.
What's that?
And then that allows them to go deeper and deeper.
But,
but how do you,
how do you do that?
I mean,
is there,
is there a formula for that or is it sort of catches catch?
Can it's extremely difficult to market one book?
Because if you give,
you know,
if you share out that information or share out the story,
then it's like a one and done and then everyone has your story anyway.
Um,
like what you're doing makes way more sense because you have many,
many,
many stories to follow the first one.
So it's all about constant content generation.
That's what is will be successful.
It's not about just,
hey,
I'm gonna make one book today and it's gonna be um you know,
New York Times best seller.
I'm gonna make millions of dollars.
That is not how it works.
So don't,
don't give away the secret sauce because you're gonna give that away in the next.
Well,
we're gonna talk about digital marketing,
we talk about which is obviously,
but I think to me the book,
the book is always a platform for something bigger,
right?
If I'm just writing a book to sell a book,
there has to be something bigger than that,
whether it be speaking,
whether it be a TV show,
whether it be a movie.
So you talk about your personal experience with that because you've like,
what do you,
you've got a book coming out?
Well,
you can plug your book.
Well,
I,
I have had,
this is my third one now.
And so my first book from Glory days is with interviews with former professional athletes.
I interviewed athletes for this book.
The book did pretty good turned into a TV show.
We've done four in four seasons of interviews,
50 TV,
interviews with these athletes.
And so the book turned into something bigger.
I speak on the topics that we talk about.
Now from that book.
In other words,
the transitions of athletes,
the transitions of uh businesses and companies.
So that book is morphed into so much more,
which is my point that a book needs to be a platform for something bigger.
It's also turned into two more books titled The Change where I,
you know,
talk about Leading Change and,
and um how to,
how to change.
And so um the idea of,
to me is boy,
if I wanna use this book as a platform to speak,
then I wanna make sure that I'm doing whatever I need to do to get it out there,
whether it be a trans media approach,
right?
In other words,
it's not just a book,
I'm marketing,
I wanna market some video,
I wanna market some uh you know,
other content about that book or about me or about the company in order to do so.
But it,
to me,
anybody writing a book,
it has to start with this book needs to be something,
a platform for something bigger,
correct.
And it,
and it obviously it depends on what kind of book it is.
I mean,
if it's a self help book or that type of thing versus a novel,
you know,
those are two different things.
I mean,
you're gonna speak around your books and that uh but when you're dealing with novels,
what do people want,
they want more stories,
they want to be like,
why is Netflix popular because of series?
So book series TV,
series,
that's what's important.
You gotta,
you gotta keep the if you're a great author,
keep the content coming.
I took,
uh Joseph to Los Angeles once and they said,
you know,
you need to stop writing and,
and I on the plane back seriously and on the plane back,
I looked at him,
I said I was crying to them.
I was crying.
I was sad.
I was like a kicked puppy.
Like it's ok.
I can't get back.
They're like you have enough content.
I said,
no,
you never have enough content.
Well,
I just can't get past.
You said you took him once.
Is that,
is there a lot?
OK.
All right.
I just want to clarify that.
But,
but yeah,
so the content.
So there's two different angles like you talked about Steve,
there's one of if I'm a novel or I'm creating a novel type story,
pushing more and more content building,
that story is important if in my case,
it's nonfiction.
Um having a bigger platform for that nonfiction.
Yeah.
And this,
this bleeds into and we've talked about this on multiple occasions.
So we're talking today,
we're talking about publishing.
So this bleeds into that whole trans media.
Like looking at it goes back to the story,
Kurt,
you said it,
it's like you have to have a platform where you're in and in this case,
you can replace platform with story,
like you have to start with a compelling story.
Uh And we were talking about if you,
if you're gonna make it in a book or whatever.
But if you think of,
if you have a compelling story,
you need to tell that story across media.
So,
and that's sort of that trans media approach.
And even if you're talking about publishing,
you may say,
ok,
I'm going to publish a book,
but you got to pull that thread all the way through because then it's like,
OK,
you have this physical book now.
But what are you gonna do with it?
How are you,
how are people going to the story?
What is the story?
What,
what,
why you wrote it?
What it's for?
I mean,
what's the story behind that part of it,
in your opinion?
Well,
I mean,
and this is when how Steve and I connected was,
you know,
I had basically built out this storytelling universe,
this concept of the folk tellers universe and people traveling in time and space to tell others the stories they need to hear,
to fulfill their destinies and a,
a in a series of children's books.
But it was like,
OK,
how am I?
I was a book writer,
author.
That's all I knew,
you know,
that was the medium that I was working in.
But I knew like just doing a book series wasn't gonna cut it and Steve saw it and was like,
no,
this is like,
you kind of need to look at this.
Yeah,
we were,
and you know,
we were talking about,
it's like,
ok,
how do you,
when you change the medium,
you change the experience?
So it goes back to the story,
how are people interacting with the story?
And my biggest concern was um what I can control is the book series because that's what I know.
But I need to bring in other experts that understand other media and could,
could amplify and to tell this same story in a different way in a different medium.
And we all interact through different types of publishing,
whether it's being published as music,
whether it's being published art or you know,
literary works.
It's all being,
it's all,
it's how,
how,
how people are connecting,
how they're bringing all of these pieces together.
And those all sit on top of what Kurt just said the platform,
right?
So if we can say anything today,
you know,
if someone's out there and they,
they've got all of these stories in their mind,
they should really step back,
get a white piece of paper,
put it on the,
yeah,
I'm not saying computer same paper,
lay it out onto the kitchen table and say,
how am I going to design my universe?
How am I going to design my platform?
And I think most people don't,
don't do that.
Don't,
don't start there.
Here's my mantra with that.
We have more information available than ever before in history,
right.
Ever.
If I can't find something in 30 seconds,
something's wrong,
right?
But yet we have less thinking and it takes thinking to do that what you just described,
Steve.
And so,
you know,
whether it be the Gutenberg Press to where we are today,
right?
The publishing that started with the Gutenberg Press that we talked about at the beginning.
R J's content to where we are today.
How do we wrap this up?
Yeah.
Yeah.
So the,
I think the,
the question for if I was listening to this,
I'd be like,
where do I start?
Like you touched on a little bit?
But OK,
so all this,
there's all this noise and all this going on in trans media and multimedia and content creation and blah,
blah,
blah.
If I have a story,
where do I start to capture and communicate this story?
I think it depends on where they,
who the audience is,
right?
Because to me that depends on which form I use.
Like for a book.
I know I have a certain audience,
somebody wants to read a book,
whether it be online,
whether it be uh physical,
whether it be audio,
if I have a TV show based on those stories that's a different,
could be the same demographic,
but it's a different way of digesting.
I think you've talked about that the way you digest the content.
Um I think that's an important question to answer early on of who,
who is my audience,
why is this important and what is the best um medium to use for this,
I think that's a good point.
So I'll push back and say,
I,
I would say as a creator,
it starts from within.
So how as a creator are you best as an artist?
Really think of yourself as,
how are you best hardwired to communicate that?
For me,
it was writing books.
Um For me it's TV,
for you,
it's TV.
For me,
what about you,
Steve?
I mean,
like,
where's your starting point when you're trying to,
trying to put stuff together to,
to tell a story?
If you were to,
to look at pieces of paper that sit on my desk,
I doodle like if I'm on a zoom call,
I'm sitting there drawing little pictures,
you know,
I'm a left handed engineer.
What can I say?
Um But I love to draw little pictures.
It get,
it makes,
it brings ideas out with me.
So then what I'll do is actually go back and look at my notes,
my notes don't look like regular people's notes,
they doodles and pictures and all kinds all over the place.
And then I,
I look at,
I go OK.
Yeah,
this is what I want to do.
And so even if I'm building technology or just inventing things or whatever,
it's all done the same way,
it's all done through doodling.
So what you're hitting on and I think we can all agree to this at some point.
If you're gonna tell a story and you want to publish in whatever format you have to crystallize it down to its simplest form,
at least in your own head.
Like,
so for me,
you know,
this whole storytelling universe that I built.
I crystallized it down into people say,
well,
what's this about?
What's this whole huge thing about?
I'm like,
it's a boy,
a book in a shadow,
meaning what?
It's a story about a boy,
a book in a shadow.
That's the whole thing.
Yeah.
It's,
it's like what Disney,
like they said,
it all began with a little mouse.
You know,
you like,
that's what,
and,
and it,
it's way harder to do that than,
than you would think.
But at some point you have to do that.
So,
um anyway,
that's all we've got today.
Uh any closing thoughts and words on storytelling and publishing and,
and the madness,
the rabbit hole that we've gone down.
Yeah.
For me,
it,
it's back to what you two were having dialogue.
I don't want to call it argument.
It probably was,
but I didn't see any.
Oh,
let him go.
That's the Monty Python.
Because Joseph to your point,
the,
the anybody is capable of writing a book these days with what's available out there for,
for people to write and a publishing.
It could be music too.
Right.
There's avenues out there to Steve to your point that it,
it,
it might be any,
anybody is capable of,
of um having information or have an opportunity to write a book but not everybody is capable of.
It is,
I guess I want to frame that.
Yeah,
I mean,
anyone has the capabilities to be able to write a story but publishing it because of the,
the complicated process that you have to go through,
you either have to get external help or you have to figure it out yourself.
It's one way or another and it's not easy.
It doesn't matter whether you're self publishing or whether you're gonna have someone else publish it,
it's hard and,
um,
it's hard for a reason.
I mean,
because it's hard work and anything that's hard work,
you know,
is worth doing great point.
So that's a great,
that's a great way to end.
It's not easy,
but it's worth doing.
So we highly recommend if you have a story to tell,
just get started.
I would tell it.
Thanks everyone.
We'll see you soon.

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