Episode 1 in my first time author journey in getting a publishing deal:
Lots of people say they want to write a book, but most never get around to it. That’s because it’s hard. Damn hard. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and determination to see it through. I’ve had this story in my brain for as long as I can remember. It’s changed, it’s evolved, it’s combined with others, but it’s now ready to be told. I’ve outlined, character developed, plotted, shared, revised..you name it…I’m ready. I’m ready to do this.
But I need your help. I’m partnering with a platform called Publishizer. It’s pretty cool stuff. They allow authors to launch pre-order campaigns in order to gauge interest in book ideas. Think of Kickstarter for books I guess. If I can hit roughly 500 pre-orders, I’ll be able to attract a publisher for my project thus making my dream of publishing a book a much bigger reality.
So why you should you pre-order? Well if you’re family or a friend, hopefully you’re already convinced. If not, or for those who aren’t, try these 3 reasons on for size.
- It’s a killer story. I know I know, I’m impartial. But trust me when I say that the hundreds of people I’ve pitched the story to all have the same reaction…I want to read that book (or see that movie). This is a concept I’ve worked on for 10+ years and I believe with every ounce of my being that it will be a great story to read.
- Charity. I don’t care about the money on this deal. I just want to hold up a book and be able to say “I WROTE THIS!”. I want to feel that sense of accomplishment. And because of this, I’m donating proceeds of this effort to Holding Hands, an incredible youth homeless shelter in my neck of the woods that helps kids in terrible situations with a safe place to stay while they transition to a better home.
- Proving if I can, anyone can. The publishing industry is all over the place, and it’s an incredible mystery and monumental task to try and figure out how a first time author can get published. I’ve learned so much, and while my fate is yet to be determined, I’m confidant I’ll reach the finish line and I have every intention of using my experience as a spring board to teach others of the model that got me there and help them achieve similar goals.
I could go on and on, but the whole purpose of this blog post is the hope that you will click through to my Publishizer Pre Sale page and check it all out. The story, my book trailer, and most importantly, your incredible support in purchasing the book. I promise it will be a fantastic story to read and in the process you’ll be helping me make this a reality and giving to a great cause in the process.
Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
A few years after I got out of college and realized that any dream of being in the movie business was all but over, I started to jot down short synopsis of movie ideas I would think of. At the time I didn’t really think about how or what purpose they served, but I wanted to keep track of my ideas. My entire life I’ve always seen life through a movie like lens, so I was always thinking of cool ideas that would make great movies. Unfortunately that’s all I had ever done though…come up with some great ideas. I always felt that maybe someday I’d figure out what to do with those ideas, but in the meantime, they collected digital dust.
There was one particular idea I had that I could never stop thinking about that to this day, I always thought it would be a blockbuster hit, and rarely would a day go by that I did not think about it. 20 years I’ve had that idea. It’s evolved quite a bit of course. As I’ve gotten older, I started to get more serious about doing something with it. At first I thought I’d write a book. Why not? These days you can self-publish, and I could have a tangible accomplishment; something I could sell or give to friends and family to read. But I could never get my head right about how to write it as a book. The biggest problem was, I’m not a big reader. How can someone effectively write a book, that barely likes to read them? I’d research tools, software, strategies, trying to find a way to get me started. Excitement and motivation would come and go, life would get in the way. Progress stifled. Paralyzed by over analysis.
I suppose there’s no set blueprint for how to break through with a big idea. For me it was the combination of years of planning, and a few seeds late in life that put me over the top. The first was courtesy of a completely random conversation with a colleague of mine. While on a video shoot for my company in Nebraska, I and Playfish Media, a film crew I hired for the project (who by the way are fantastic, highly recommended), were driving to our shoot when I felt motivated to share my book idea. Jillian Suleski, the owner, and someone who’s opinion matters on the subject matter, was really taken by the idea which was great. But more importantly she asked me a very important question that as I look back, I realize may very well be the turning point.
Well, when you think of the story in your head, do you see a book or a movie?
Something as simple as that really drove it home for me. I got so caught up on having to write this story as a book. I just felt that made more sense. Self-publishing is at our finger tips. A tangible deliverable I could give to people to read. Screenplays and Hollywood seemed like such a fantasy world to me. Why write a screenplay that would just collect dust? Jillian went on to share how in this day and age, there’s more opportunity then ever when it comes to screenwriters. Pitchfests, contests…not to mention streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon all vying for great concepts and ideas. It’s a different world. I was hooked. Of course I saw my story as a movie in my head. I had to stop denying the path that made sense for me.
My excitement and motivation was at an all time high. So what did I do next? I fell right back into my analysis paralysis. Rather then dive into writing, I researched all the avenues a screenwriter could submit to. I researched how to write a screenplay, how to do it right. Weeks went by, excitement/motivation died down again. Ugh. But this time I was determined to not stay trapped. I knew I was doing this to myself again. I needed help. I needed structure, guidance, and accountability.
We live in a day and age where there is so much opportunity at our fingertips. And for me, the Screenwriters University was exactly what I needed to break through years of non-action. Memorial Day weekend cooped up in the house with the wifey was the last step. She not only thought it was a good idea, she implored that I take it. That was all I needed. I signed up, and hoped that this was the kick in the ass I needed.
I’m a week away from finishing the class, and in the past month, I can’t even believe how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come. Everything is coming so easy to me now that I honestly think this is something I was born to do. I’m not so naive to think that I may actually sell a screenplay someday, but it won’t come without trying. 21 years ago I turned down going to film school. I think about that day all the time. What if?
But now I’ve got a second chance. A second chance at the very least to accomplish something I’ve waited a long time to do. Write my movie. I’ve broken free and I’m off and running now. And if I can do it, anyone can. Whatever your passion, gift or bucket list item is, never stop trying to figure out how to make it happen. Don’t let the details paralyze you from action like it did me for so long.