by Christian Duque
The internet has opened many doors. I always like to start these types of articles with how the net has torn down old ways of doing things, giving a voice to folks who once a upon a time may not have have one. I mean, we all have voices, but in the pre-wired age, there really wasn’t a way to be heard. You could write a Letter to the Editor, maybe of a magazine or newspaper, pour your heart into it, and hope that it’d get published. That’s assuming it was condensed to nothing, that it wasn’t published to point that the spirit of your words hadn’t been broken, and that those reading it, would get the context you were articulating your points in.
Other than that, you could maybe take a couple months off of work – provided you could afford such a luxury – and write a book, going broke sending the manuscripts to publishers throughout the country, hoping that just one would call back. The odds of that happening were next to none. Do you have any idea how many musicians, for example, used to make cassette demos (spending considerable money on studio time), literally throwing them at their favorite musicians, hoping that after banging groupies, doing drugs, and sobering up, that that musician would play the tape, get blown away by the virtuosity and the creativity, of the undiscovered act and then go their record label’s A&R team and insist that this unsigned, never heard of band, get their big break. That rarely, if ever happened. It sounds ridiculous to even say it out loud. But the internet changed everything. Musicians didn’t even need studios anymore, let alone engineers. Engineers hardly don’t even exist anymore – computers do their job. Technology changed everything. Airplane cockpits used to have 3 people, a pilot, co-pilot, and a navigator. Computers made that third gig obsolete. Why hire a person to navigate when a computer will do it better and cheaper? Today, computers and technology have made it possible for musicians and writers to produce their own works, to get their work to the masses, and to bypass record labels and publishing houses. Hell, even artists and illustrators are no longer as sought after. You can buy 20 e-book covers for $100. You don’t need a proofreader to check your work, either, you just run it through a spell check program. The question is, is there a market for e-books as it relates to fitness? Question #2, can anyone write a great fitness-related eBook? And finally, what’s the best way to go about writing and promoting such a project?
Ebooks are increasingly on demand, as more and more people want access to as much information as possible. If you’re a new author and have a great deal of life experience (or book smarts) on a given subject (e.g. nutrition, supplementation, training), then people will want to read about it. The more specific the information, the better. For example, gaining muscle on a keto diet, that addresses a very distinct group. Other more specific titles could include keto diets, sans sugar alcohols, for optimal ketosis. Speaking to something very specific, very innovative, from a clear-cut model, is ideal for success. But before you go out and lay the foundations of a new diet or your take on how macro and micro-nutrients effect muscle-building, people will want to see some credentials. You can definitely put out all the disclaimers; you can stress you’re not a doctor, you can stress you don’t have medical experience; you can even stress that you’re a certified dumbass on the topic, but if you’re going to speak to a point, if you’re going to delve into the world of say, nutrition, your reader will want to know you have some idea that you know what you’re talking about. If you’re talking about training – the readers will want to know what you personally have achieved – or – what others have achieved thanks to this knowledge you’re sharing with the world. The same way the net opens so many doors and tears down so many of the old barriers to getting information out, it’s also a great tool by consumers, in this case readers, to dispel with rumors, invalidate assumptions, and downright call bullshit on your theories, if they’re poorly thought out.
Having heart is huge! Having the guts to sit down, collect your thoughts, and actually finish a book, is absolutely huge as well!! I don’t want to take anything away from you or your work, largely because many writers may have several unfinished books laying around or flash drives of floppy disks (if anyone remembers those). Getting started and finishing a book is a great achievement and the good news is, there’s a very hungry audience of readers. The catch, though, is you had better make sure you have something worth saying, otherwise, you’ll fall flat on your face.
If you have the knowledge and/or if you have the real-life experiences, then you can write a great book. You have to say something people want to know about. If you witnessed an event – whether historic or everyday – but if you can recreate it in words, then you’re onto something good. If the reader can walk away feeling like they saw it or they heard it, then you’ve done real well. After all, education is huge, but when it comes to film and literature, entertainment must follow very close behind. People want to learn, but they also want to be kept interested. Even if your book lays down the foundations for the greatest diet on Earth, the greatest training plan, or the stack for the greatest supplement regimen – if it’s boring, most people won’t through it. Having an entertaining read, leaves your reader happy. It generates positives buzz (e.g. great reviews), and in no time, you’re selling copies like hotcakes!!
With regard to marketing, that’s another huge plus the internet has given us. Promoting an ebook is no different than promoting your selfies, videos, and/or the products you rep. If you’re active on the 4 main social media platforms – you’re set! If you maintain a blog, personal website, or are active on social media groups or forums, you’re in even better shape. The best thing to do is talk about your book, promote yourself, and keep at it. Don’t take the easy way out – buy banner ads and/or simply pay for advertising. Your book is like having your business. The closer you are to it, the more public and proud you as the author are, the more that people will want to buy it. If you write a book and never tell anyone about it, why would they have the interest that you so clearly do not. On the other hand, if you’re the book’s biggest cheerleader, if you author it in your name (as opposed to a pen name), and if you talk about it to everyone you come into contact with, this is a surefire way to get people interested.
In the end, the decision to write a book should be an adventure, have fun with it, and be true to yourself. I currently have four books I’m working on. When my books come out, believe you me, I’ll have a string of press appearances for each, I’ll promote heavily on social media, and everyone will know I wrote them. I won’t, however, write them with hopes of striking it rich, being super popular, or even changing peoples perspectives, much less lives. If you write a book and you’re humble about it, true to yourself as to what the likely outcomes will be, and write from the heart – you should be fine. As with anything, do it for the right reasons, set realistic goals, and go all out to reach those milestones.
I look forward to seeing your books on Amazon!! I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I look forward to reading your comments, whether here at Iron Magazine or wherever you may see this article published.