In this post, we review Dr. Angela Lauria’s Book Journeys interview with author Dan Amzallag, author of 100 Days or Less to Reaching Your Ultimate Happiness.
Being passionate about the subjects he writes about is very important to Dan. As he pointed out during the interview, his first book, The American Dream, was essentially an extension of his MBA thesis, while his second book, Mission Possible, sprang from his own personal experiences with obesity, while his third book, Gloateus Maximus, was based on his experiences as a personal trainer.
Dan mentioned that writing an outline for a book is very important, as this gives authors a map of where they need to go while writing the book. He also notes that authors need to be flexible when following their outline, as some new topic might come up while the book is being written out that might need to be expounded upon.
Dan found himself stopped on occasion when writing 100 Days or Less, and to overcome these stops Dan did more research on the subject of happiness. Indeed, Dan mentioned that this book required a lot of research, as the subject matter was a very complex one. Dan also mentioned changing one’s environment if a would-be author was stopped from writing, as this might allow one to write more, or even writing about a different subject altogether in order to get back on track.
Dan has self-published all his books, and his reason for doing so was simple, for, as he said, if he had gone to a publisher, all he would get would be ten percent of the money, compared to eighty-five percent as a self-published author. Dan mentioned that he handled his book sales through a website and PayPal and delivered the orders himself.
Dan gave some specific insights when it came to marketing his books. He mentioned that publishers have several authors under them, and unless an author is popular the bulk of the marketing work will be done by the author himself, activities which include presenting the book to such large chains as Barnes and Noble, where Dan recommends sending in chapters first to pique the chain’s interest, and doing book signings. Leveraging is important, as Dan mentioned getting in touch with the right people, so the latter can promote the book for the author.
As Dan mentioned, an author can have an amazing book, but it will never be read unless promoted properly. Dan mentioned that doing radio interviews worked for him, particularly if he went on radio shows geared towards the target market of his books, such as Texas for the subject of obesity and New York for the subject of entrepreneurship.
Dan points out that passion, rather than the idea of becoming wealthy, should drive an author to write his book, and gave J. K. Rowling as an example, and that becoming a published author is a worthy goal in itself.