Have you written a book? Or want to?

I am in the final stretches of publishing my first book titled What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? And there is still so much I don’t know about publishing and successfully promoting a book. However, I know how to ask for help. And I know there are a lot of published authors in my universe. If you are a published author I would love to have you join an Author’s Zoom call.

We’ll talk about your author’s journey. Which is like a hero’s journey if authors were heroes, fighting for those in need with word processing software. We’ll discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what you would do differently next time. You know, the basic advice you would give to pre-published you with the wisdom and experience of authorized-you.

The Author Zoom will be author-to-author education. It will also be a chance to promote your book. Which is reason enough to attend. #amIright

The preliminary discussion guide:

  1. Tell us about your book?
  2. How did you publish it?
  3. What was the best thing you did to promote it?
  4. What did you do wrong?
  5. What were your most important learnings?

If you are a published author and would like to join, please leave a comment, or message me directly here or at adam@theweaponry.com. I plan to have this Zoom call in December so that we can all hit the new year with actionable new knowledge.

Epilogue:

If you haven’t published a book, but have been thinking about it, and would like to join the Zoom as a student, please let me know. And please pass this along to any authors or aspiring authors you know. And if you know any Arthurs, let’s get them there too.

Help me pick a cover for my book from these 5 options.

This whole book-writing thing is getting realer every day. I am close to publishing my first book called What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? with Ripples Media. And I am learning a lot in the process. It turns out that you can’t just throw 200 pieces of paper on a shelf and call it a book. To be ‘official’ you have to put a cover on it and bind the pages together. Rules…

So rather than try to disrupt the entire book publishing industry with an innovative loose-leaf style book, I have decided to cave in and create a cover for my book. Boring, I know. But you have to pick your battles.

Here are 5 book covers I am considering. Now, I’d love to have your help. Take a look and respond in the comments section with the book cover you prefer. You could either describe your favorite option in great detail, or simply use the letter that goes with the cover design. Your choice.

The Options:

A

A

B

B

C

C

D

D

E

E

Here they are at a glance.

What do you like?

Please share your favorite in the comments section. If your favorite cover gets chosen there is a big high five coming your way the next time I see you.

What would the author’s bio in your book say?

I am in the final strokes of writing a book called What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? Today I have to write my author’s biography. It’s what people who only have time for 2 syllables call a bio. It’s a 150-200 word summation of why you should give a hoot about what this owl has to say.

It’s harder than it sounds.

This task didn’t sound that challenging to me until I sat down to write it. Sure I know who I am. I have been there for all of my major life events. I tell the short story of me frequently when I meet new people. And sometimes when I meet used people.

However, I am not often trying to convince strangers that I am an expert on self-improvement. What would I say? That I used to be a lot worse? That they should have seen how bad I started out? That in the very beginning I couldn’t even walk, talk, feed myself, or hold my bladder?

My Wife’s Formula

What credentializes me to share my self-improvement and personal growth tips? When I asked my wife Dawn this question she replied quickly with the following succinct summary:

Your Positive Attitude. + Perpetual Self-Education + Life Experience + Professional Success + Athletic Success + Degree in Psychology + Story Telling Skills = Credibility

I thought that was a pretty good summation. I also thought maybe she is the one that should be writing the book. Or at least my bio.

Positive Attitude

It is challenging to summarize my positive attitude, despite the fact that my personal buoyancy is likely one of my greatest and most distinguishing assets.

Perpetual Self-Education

This is also hard to summarize. There are no degrees, certifications, or student loan debt for self-education. Yet my self-education far exceeds my formal education in breadth, depth, and applicability.

Life Experience

This is super important. Yet impossible to summarize within a 200-word bio.

Professional Success

This is easier. I started my advertising career as a junior copywriter. I worked my way up the creative ranks until I became the Chief Creative Officer of a 275-person ad agency. I helped lead the sale of that agency to the giant advertising agency holding company, Publicis. Then I became the lead creative of the largest ad agency in Atlanta.

I have worked on iconic brands including Reddi-Wip, GNC, Nike, Coca Cola, Dasani, Nationwide Insurance, Wells Fargo, UPS, Hertz, Safelite, Mizuno, Bob Evans, Chick-fil-a, Universal Studios, AMC Theaters, Volvo, SeaDoo and Ski-Doo.

I became an entrepreneur in 2016 when I took a big bet on myself (and my amazing future teammates) by launching the advertising and idea agency The Weaponry. Today we have more than 25 clients across the United States, as well as in Canada and India.

Athletic Success

I was a 2-time New England high school track and field champion in the discus. The second time I won was just 8 months after having anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. I also broke the New Hampshire State record in that meet. I went on to throw the discus and the hammer at The University of Wisconsin, where I started as a walk-on and finished as a captain of a Big Ten Conference Champion team. I ended my career at UW as the #4 discus thrower in school history and #1 in the hammer. In fact, everything I know about self-improvement, goal achievement, and overcoming setbacks can be summarized in this section. 

Degree in Psychology

I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin. I learned a lot about the power of attitude, resilience, growth and happiness. In fact, Abraham Maslow, whose hierarchy of needs is foundational to modern psychology was also a product of the UW Madison Psychology program.

Storytelling Skills

I like to share stories. But I don’t know how to tell a story about telling stories. I am hoping the book will do this for me.

Key Takeaway

It’s valuable to think about what makes you worthy to write a book. Why should others turn to you as an authority? What makes you a trusted source? Perhaps we should all spend more time considering our credentials before we offer our advice and opinions. And maybe it’s not quite so simple. Because the world is full of wise souls who lack the proper credentials but are rich with the proper perspective. And maybe you are one of those people. So write and share anyway.

*If you have any good ideas on things I should include in my bio, please let me know. If your thoughts are simply intended to make me laugh, all the better.

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

I have a small list of WOWs. They are the big things I want to accomplish in my lifetime. The list includes:

  • Setting a state record
  • Competing in college athletics
  • Starting a business
  • Writing a book
  • Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail
  • Skydiving
  • Donating a million dollars
  • Becoming the World’s Oldest Person

Other than skydiving, which simply requires a plane, a parachute, gravity, and the ability to disconnect your survival instincts, these accomplishments take a tremendous amount of accumulated effort. Which is why I am always so impressed when I hear that someone else has achieved one of my WOWs.

As a state record holder (NH: discus), entrepreneur (The Weaponry), and former college athlete (University of Wisconsin Track & Field), I am serious about accomplishing these WOWs. They push me, pull me, and give me direction.

Today, I am excited to share that I am nearing the completion of my first book. And, no, it doesn’t involve crayons.

I find the best way for me to accomplish my WOWs is through less talk and more action. So I haven’t talked to many people about my book, until now.

The Details.

The title of the book is What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

It includes 80 important life lessons that the world is trying to share with you. If you have read my blog, it is written in the same style, with a focus on personal growth and self-improvement. The book is written to help people learn, laugh, and lift. But if all you do is laugh, even if it is at me, I will consider it a win.

The Timeline

I finished my first draft on May 25, 2020. Which w on my birthday, during the Covid lockdown. I finished the second draft before midnight last New Year’s Eve. Now the goal is to have the book published by Thanksgiving. (Notice how I tie major milestones to major days? It’s one of my thangs.)

Over the next couple of months, I will share more about the process of writing and launching the book so that you can learn from both my experience and my mistakes. Thank you for joining me on my latest life adventure!

Key Takeaway

You get one lifetime to accomplish all of your WOWs. Know what yours are. Let them guide you. Then enjoy the work, the progress and the sense of accomplishment as you check them off your list.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.