Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging about some of the chances I’ve taken throughout my writing career and how it’s worked out for me. From releasing a book in audio format first, to releasing a book as a serial novel, to having the Nathan McBride series represented by Jon Cassir at CAA—a Hollywood powerhouse, it’s been an interesting and challenging journey. I hope my stories will inspire you.
Taking Chances Part 1 of 4
I’m a fairly conservative guy when it comes to business. I like having all the facts and working with experts before making big decisions or investments. But, I’m careful to weigh “safety” versus “potential” and I believe you have to take chances in order to find the bigger opportunities.
I’ve done quite a few things that were, at the time, new and untried. For example, my second book, FORCED TO KILL, was released as an audiobook with Audible.com before it ever went to print. Audible had a six-month exclusive and I feel that decision really paid off. The Nathan audiobooks have all become bestsellers and more importantly, this decision created a wonderful relationship with Audible that’s paid off in more ways than just book sales. I’ve met wonderful people at Audible who freely give me advice that has stayed with me throughout my writing career.
Dick Hill, the golden voice of Nathan McBride and Jack Reacher, has become a trusted friend. Few people know this, but when I write manuscript, I have Dick Hill’s narration in mind. If I don’t think it will sound right with Dick Hill reading it, I edit the manuscript until it does. My goal is to deliver the smoothest, most polished book as possible because I have the reader’s best interest in mind.
In a good movie, you don’t notice the directing. Similarly in a good book, you don’t notice the writing. It just flows.
When I teach workshops at writers conferences, I always ask students to be unafraid and confident. Being an author means being a business person. They go hand in hand. I also ask students one simple question: “What business can you start that doesn’t involve some degree of risk?”
I believe taking chances can be more important than the outcome. It shows a willingness to think outside the box and take risks. To make money, you generally have to risk money. Making the decision to launch FORCED with Audible.com as an exclusive audiobook was risky, there was no guarantee of success. It turned out well, and FORCED TO KILL became an Audible bestseller, but had I not taken a chance, I would’ve always wondered if I should’ve.
No matter what profession you’re in, take some chances, seek people you trust, and invest in your career!