An Interview with Chuck Gallagher with Some Straight Talk about Second Chances

I have to admit taking a short unplanned hiatus from my blog writing due to a whirlwind of personal and business activities the past few months.

The launch of Emerald Lake Books took off like a wild horse out of control! (But in good ways.)

And my oldest child graduated high school and headed off for Basic Training. So, the Alemany household has been just a bit flustered of late. Even the cat seems dazed and confused most days…

But now it’s time to get back into the routine of things, and bring you some great new author interviews!Chuck Gallagher, author of Second Chances

If you haven’t heard of Chuck Gallagher before, you’ll want to listen to the video at the bottom of this post. He’s got a riveting story and an engaging sense of humor that you won’t want to miss.

When I reached out to Chuck in January to ask if he’d be interested in being one of my Featured Authors this year, he was happy to oblige, but requested October for his interview month.

Why?

Here’s what he had to say about it:

I know October is strange, but that will be twenty years since I was incarcerated, so the book Second Chances will have its beginning two decades ago.

I don’t know whether to say we’re happy to help him “celebrate” the anniversary or not, but I’m happy we put this on my calendar back then. It’s just the push I needed to start working on my blog schedule again.

It looks like Chuck’s not the only one who got a second chance. 🙂

Tara: What motivated you to write a book?

“On the day I took twenty-three steps into federal prison, I did not recognize all the choices that resulted in this consequence. By the time I took twenty-three steps out of prison, my understanding had deepened. Writing this book took perseverance and led me to twenty-three insights about turning negative choices into positive results. I offer my story to remind you, and me, that our prisons are often self-inflicted.”

Second Chances, by Chuck GallagherIf writing a book can change a life, then pouring my heart and soul into Second Chances was an act of love that will bear fruit that I will never see…but that nonetheless is bountiful.

Tara: What publishing options did you consider?

Writing a book is one thing, but how that book will be published and distributed is quite another. Honestly, the concept of mainstream publishing was not an option for me. Unless you have a name or large tribe, mainstream publishers aren’t interested.  Therefore, the only logical option was some form of self-publishing.

Tara: Why did you settle on the option you chose?

The idea of maintaining ownership of and content control was appealing to me. While I went with a local provider of self-publishing services, the second edition was published through Createspace (an Amazon company) and through BookBaby. Both allowed easy distribution in both eBook and traditional print publishing. The simplicity of getting quality material to market is quite amazing and since I am responsible for the sale of my books, the easier the better. Both avenues have been outstanding.

Tara: How easy was it to get your book done?

The initial phase of writing Second Chances took me on a journey that lasted three years. Once the initial draft was complete, the project took on real and valuable form with the inclusion of a qualified editor.

As a side note, far too often I see people get so caught up in their story or their writing that they fail to secure the services of a professional editor. I can say with great candor that my editor challenged my assumptions and that the book that finally emerged was far better than the manuscript that he initially received. That taught me a great lesson. Use a professional who gets your voice, but will be willing to challenge you to make your product (your book) the best it can be!

Tara: How did you distribute the book after publication?

“How are you going to sell your book?” That was a significant question that I was asked along the way and the one thing that I caution most authors to examine.

For me, as a professional speaker, I knew that the majority of my book sales would be “back of the room” sales at seminars where I was invited to speak.

Distribution of the book would most likely be: (1) paperback copy at the back of the room; (2) through Amazon and (3) via eBook (iPad, Kindle and to a much lesser degree Nook).

Tara: How are you marketing and promoting your book?

Book marketing is 100% me. I sell the book from me to consumer. I sell the book in bulk to organizations I speak to as a “leave behind” for their people and through social media outlets from shameless self-promotion. (Actually selling your book is far from shameless.)

Tara: What’s working best for you to generate sales? Are there things you’d recommend avoiding?

You are your best sales person. Unless you’re an established author, the reality is you are expected to sell you! The one thing that is annoying to me are those who promote their ability to help you sell your book, when in fact they are more interested in selling that concept to you.

Books are bought because people feel that they will be better off because of their purchase. So the question you need to ask yourself is: What problem do I solve for the buyer?

If you can’t easily answer that question, you’ll have problems selling your book.

Tara: Which social network do you use the most and why?

Facebook for broad-based consumer connection and LinkedIn for impactful business connections.

Tara: If you had one piece of advice for someone thinking about writing a book, what would it be?

Be clear about who your audience is and what problem your book is positioned to solve.

Let’s be clear, you won’t make a fortune from selling a simple book. Rather, your book gives you credibility that can propel your career (speaking, coaching, consulting) forward, which is where the more lucrative fees are found.

Who’s your audience, what problem do you solve, and how will you position your thought leadership (through writing your book) to help you capture that audience in a way that moves your career forward.

Answers to those questions represent the key to success in book selling.

Want to learn a little bit more about Chuck? Check out what he has to say about Business Ethics in this great video.

5 Steps to Success in Social Marketing Your First Book

”This is the first time that I’ve offered someone a Featured Author interview with whom I had no prior relationship.

Victor Prince headshotHowever, when Victor Prince reached out to me last April to see if I might support his book launch in mid-July, he did everything exactly how I tell my clients to do it.

  • He provided plenty of time.
  • He explained what his book was and why it was important.
  • He shared with me what he was offering to do.
  • He told me clearly what was in it for me, as well as for my readers.
  • He made it clear that he was willing to bend over backwards to make the whole thing as easy as possible on me.

Victor had reached out to me, I believe, because I’d co-authored a book in the same niche as the one he’s releasing, leadership. His co-author, Mike Figliuolo, had even endorsed it.

And while Victor’s original vision for how we might collaborate wasn’t exactly what fit my needs, I was impressed enough with how he was conducting his book launch outreach efforts that I asked him to share some insights with my readers.

So, here’s what he had to say… [Read more…]

An Interview with Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer

This month’s Featured Author in our continuing interview series is Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) from TheBookDesigner.com, a popular blog on book design, book marketing and the future of the book. If you haven’t spent any time on his site, I highly recommend checking it out. But I will warn you… Set a timer! Otherwise, you’ll find you’ve spent hours reading all of his great material and advice, without even knowing it.

Joel Friedlander - The Book DesignerSo, let me tell you a little bit about Joel. While I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, it’s clear that he knows his stuff! He is an award-winning book designer, a blogger, the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish and the recently published The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide.

Joel has been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994. He is also the founder of the online training course, The Self-Publishing Roadmap and provides pre-designed book templates and other tools for authors at BookDesignTemplates.

With all of that experience, you’re in for a real treat as he shares his knowledge and insights into the publishing (and marketing) world. [Read more…]

An Interview with Larry Williams, Originator of the B-Sides Methodology

Larry Williams, author of Develop Your B-SidesThis month’s Featured Author is Larry Williams, a respected veteran journalist and professional speaker who shares a passion for offering cutting-edge ideas in business and personal growth that challenge conventional thinking. I especially enjoy how Larry blends his love of the music industry with his passion for helping people uncover the untapped talent they have within them.

Although Larry and I have never met in person (not even on Skype yet!), I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Larry a bit on Facebook. We met through the National Speakers Association Facebook group, and connected as friends there as well. So, when Larry started sharing about the release of his third book, Develop Your B-Sides, I definitely wanted to hear more.

Here’s what Larry had to say… [Read more…]

An Interview with Eva Marie Everson, Multiple Award-Winning Author and Speaker

Welcome to the New Year! I hope that 2015 is off to a great start for you. We’re starting off this year’s Featured Author interviews with the first author who I don’t actually know in person, but her work has affected me profoundly.

Eva Marie Everson - Author and SpeakerYou see our guest today is Eva Marie Everson. She is a multiple award-winning author and speaker, as well as owner of Pen in Hand, where she coaches new authors in their writing pursuits. She is also the founder of Word Weavers International, and it’s through that organization that she has had an impact on my writing and work.

Word Weavers is a writers’ group that was founded in March 1997 to provide a forum for Christian writers to critique each other’s work in a face-to-face format in order to learn about and improve our craft. [Read more…]

An Interview with S. Chris Edmonds, Multi-Talented Executive Consultant

Chris Edmonds - The Culture EngineI had the pleasure of getting to know this month’s Featured Author through social media these past few years although we still haven’t met in person or even spoken on the phone. (We’ll have to remedy that, Chris!)

We met through mutual contacts and interest in the Lead Change Group, which is the organization that published one of the books I co-authored, The Character-Based Leader.

S. Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group, which he launched after a 15-year career leading and managing teams. Since 1995, he has also served as a senior consultant with the Ken Blanchard Companies. [Read more…]

An Interview with Brian Jud, Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales

This month’s Featured Author interview is with Brian Jud, an incredibly resourceful author who is extremely active in the publishing world. As an industry expert, he conducts monthly Book Marketing 201® webinars for the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, an organization that he is the Executive Director of, as well as conducting the Book Marketing Monthly® webinars for CreateSpace. He also is co-owner of the Premium Book Company and owner of Book Marketing Works.

Brian Jud - Association of Publishers for Special SalesSuffice it to say, Brian eats, sleeps and breathes publishing and book marketing. I have often been amazed when in conversation with him at how his mind works, and all of the valuable insights and resources he has at his disposal.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian in a social setting a couple of years ago, where we enjoyed talking about books, writing and the publishing industry in general. At that time, he was still very active in an organization that he’d started, the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. As a newbie in the midst of writing my first book, I aspired to be at that level someday and Brian was gracious with his knowledge and advice.

That’s no less true today. Brian regularly speaks at writers’ conferences and other industry events, as well as providing consulting services, and focusing his efforts on more lucrative and “out of the box” sales activities related to book marketing and promotion. [Read more…]

An Interview with Mark Wayne Adams, Award-Winning Children’s Book Illustrator

Mark Wayne Adams, Award-Winning Children's Book IllustratorThis month’s Featured Author interview is with Mark Wayne Adams, an amazing children’s book illustrator whose work has won more than 50 awards over the past 6 years.

I’ve seen his work and heard him speak about book marketing, and can highly recommend him as both an illustrator and a children’s book publisher if you’re in the market for one. He was also recently installed as the President of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mark at The Business of Writing International Summit and absolutely love the enthusiasm and energy he brings to everything that he does. Mark was inspired to chase his entrepreneurial dream in the 3rd grade, selling drawings to classmates. To hear him tell the story, you had to admire his gumption!

Here we are now years later, and 3rd grade is far behind him. In this interview, he shares a bit about how he got his start as an author (not simply an illustrator), and some of the techniques that have worked well for him in marketing his books. [Read more…]

An Interview with Victorine Lieske, NYT Bestselling Self-Published Author

Victorine E. Lieske, Aleweb's Featured Author for August 2014This month’s Featured Author interview is with Victorine E. Lieske. I met Victorine at The Business of Writing International Summit in Louisville, KY, earlier this month. She was there as another speaker and presenter, and I found her credentials to be captivating.

Victorine self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March 2011, the book hit the New York Times bestselling ebook list, where it stayed on the list for six weeks. By May 2011, she had sold over 100,000 copies.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing that we’re in agreement about this. We want to know how she did it!

She has shared her secrets in How to Find Success Selling eBooks, but has agreed to answer my interview questions in addition. So here we go! [Read more…]

An Interview with Renée Cabourne, the Money Savvy Woman

Renee Cabourne - The Money Savvy WomanToday’s guest in Aleweb’s Featured Author series is Renée Cabourne, founder of Money Savvy Woman.

Renée and I met at a workshop last fall that had a profound effect on both of us. I attended the workshop because it was being given by a friend and I wanted to support her.

I’ve often joked since then that if I’d known what it was all about, I would never have gone! So, meeting Renée was a fortuitous event because if I’d had any idea what I was getting into that week, I wouldn’t have been there.

Given the depth of what we were experiencing in the workshop, close bonds were created among all of the small group attendees, and it’s been a pleasure to see Renée step into her calling over the past ten months.

So, just who is this Money Savvy Woman? She is someone who uses her passion and expertise to help her clients, students, and readers transform their financial confusion and struggle into a clear purpose and relationship with money.

Her Savvy HarMONEY™ Process gives people the ability to manage their money effectively, resulting in freedom, improved money dynamics in their relationships, and the ability to get out of the “lack & consumer” mentalities and into living lives abundantly. In the last 12 months, many of her clients have moved from living paycheck-to-paycheck to having a savings cushion and making monthly investment contributions. [Read more…]