I have been doing a bit of a retrospective over my three years of writing by listing the top 10 things that have happened to me since I have started writing.
Topics Covered So Far:
#1 of 10 – My O.P.U.S. Blog
#2 of 10 – Bourbon Zeppelin
#3 of 10 – Meeting a Hero of Mine
#4 of 10 – My Love Affair with Hawaii
#5 of 10 – The Time My Books Were Featured on TV
#6 of 10 – The Story I Took 35 Years to Complete
#7 of 10 – Bourbon Mixology
#8 or 10 – Telephone Call with a St. Louis Legend
#9 of 10 – My Social Media Friends/Collaborations
In this post…
My Next Adventure
Wow… this is it. I’m already at number 10 and i think I could do 10 more of these. As I close out this series with this post, it’s my hope you take away how much it has meant to me to simply start writing. It all began in late December 2012, after my father passed away. I published my first book in March of 2013. It’s been nothing but a positive experience, or as this series has shown, perhaps better stated a series of positive experiences.
That leads us to one final story here. This one wasn’t in the mix when I started this series. In fact, three weeks ago it wasn’t even something I had on my radar. Yet, here I am today preparing to tell you about my next chapter in my personal brand.
It all started with the release of the July 1 edition of Bourbon Zeppelin, my “all things bourbon” newsletter. In order to increase awareness about this second issue of my start-up publication I did an interview with my social media buddy Evan Haskill for his blog The Bourbon Guy and Rye.
One of the questions Evan asked me was why do I call my book publishing company SAP Entertainment. I went into how I didn’t care about a publisher’s name when I started self-publishing my books so I just called my publisher Steve Akley Publishing (each book must have a publisher listed so as someone who self-publishes, you can create the name of a publishing company or you can just use your own name like I did). I explained that using “Steve Akley Publishing” for books written by Steve Akley can be viewed as a negative by many people who are just inherently against self-publishing. Plus, it limits what I can do with the brand. In the future. I may be helping others publish their books, or I could go into other things an individual can do on their own to build a media brand like podcasting. In fact, I had even toyed with the idea of starting a podcast or a newsletter prior to launching Bourbon Zeppelin, but went with BZ since I know about writing newsletters and podcasting would involve learning a whole new skillset for the technical components to doing it.
So the answer was about the switch and reasoning behind it from Steve Akley Publishing to SAP Entertainment. Simply put, with SAP Entertainment (SAP being for Steve Akley Publishing) I could do more with it.
One of the people who read that interview was Seth Brown.
At that time, I really only marginally knew Seth Brown. I had interviewed him via email for my O.P.U.S. interview blog (check it out here) but I hadn’t kept up with him after the interview. I really knew him more as a contributor on another of my favorite whiskey blog… The Son of Winston Churchill blog. Seth had been buddies with Hasse Berg, the blogs creator and had recently started working with Hasse on SoWC. For those who read Bourbon Zeppelin, you probably know Hasse Berg as the Associate Editor and columnist there.
If you asked me about Seth Brown three weeks ago, here’s what I would have had for you:
- He is a good guy. I knew this from both his relationship from Hasse Berg as well as my interaction with him when I interviewed him for O.P.U.S.
- He lives in Atlanta.
- He is a contributor on Hasse Berg’s site.
Little did I know this good guy, Atlanta living, buddy of Hasse Berg was reading my interview with Evan Haskill. One thing not on my list of what I knew about Seth Brown was the fact he used to do a podcast. When he read my interview, he had been thinking about getting back in the game so he reached out to me via direct message on Instagram.
His note mentioned he was starting a podcasting network, with all alcohol themed shows and went into some of the details including another guy who would do a beer show. I thought he was pitching me the idea of doing a show on his network. While I mentioned in my interview I wanted to do a podcast, I really guard what I create. I’m big into creating and owning my content. Additionally, I don’t like answering to people about what I’m doing. I want the freedom and control of if I create it…it’s mine. I never factor in money, or future potential into anything I do. It may be shortsighted but for me, but I have a job. Everything I do creatively is done as a hobby, for fun, so I want to do it my own way and I want to retain ownership of that content it’s mine whether it’s a success or a failure.
Since I thought Seth was pitching me on the idea of a show on his network, it was a little grey. I wouldn’t be doing this my way… but he had the knowledge of how to do something I did want to do. Also, this wasn’t a big company where I would be their puppet. It was just a guy doing something on his own.
So, Seth’s inquiry did open up a dialogue.
We went back-and-forth for about a week before I told him I would do it. That’s when Seth said were in this thing 50/50. It’s our network. We both bring things to the table and it’s been a we have been on fast-forward ever since. Seth and I are building a podcast channel which will have shows we are doing as well as others. It’s called the ABV Network, which since it’s all alcohol-themed shows means “alcohol by volume” to the public… but behind the scenes it’s Akley Brown Ventures.
Out of the gate we will have two shows:
- The beer show led by Seth’s buddy Wayne.
- A yet-to-be-named bourbon show led by Seth and I. Best of all, we have spoken to Evan Haskill, the guy who really got all of this going, and he is going to join us on this show as the announcer and reading the news.
For Seth and I, this couldn’t be any better. I think our skills complement one another’s and there is overlap in keys areas where we need it like creativity, drive and vision. We’ve got a lot of great ideas and big plans. Hopefully, our next show after these two initial ones will be one called Bourbon Zeppelin and we’ll have all of the crew from the newsletter involved.
You can follow all of the progress by following Seth and I on social media or checking our our web page (abvnetwork.com) once it’s up and running.
Like anything I’ve done to date, I don’t know what this opportunity brings, but I do know working with Seth will be fun. If we can bring our personal happiness to the audience, I think success will find us.
This… like everything else I have shared in this special series has only happened for one reason.
IT’S BECAUSE I WRITE!
Write Steve Write! is a weekly blog by author Steve Akley. Typically it is posted on (most) Sundays and features insight about his writing… though there is an occasional movie review or random thought post. It should be noted it’s posted as a live feed… no editing, no planning beforehand, it’s typed out on Sunday morning and the “publish” button is immediately hit. Apologies for any errors but you get this just as Steve thinks it!
Coming Sunday: Back to our regularly scheduled program! Random thoughts on my writing career.
In the meantime, follow check in on Steve in a variety of ways:
Steve’s Catalog on Amazon: http://goo.gl/kJpKcP
The OPUS Blog: steveakley.tumblr.com
Evan Haskill’s Blog: I am a contributor here: thebourbonguyandrye.com
Sign Up for Steve’s SAP News (writing updates) Newsletter: Email Registration
Sign up for Bourbon Zeppelin (bourbon newsletter): Email Registration
Check out the latest issue of Bourbon Zeppelin: See it here!
ABV Network/A Podcast Channel for Alcohol-Themed Podcasts – abvnetwork.com
What’s App: Steve Akley
Excellent! Funny how things come together!
Terrific. I’m excited for you (and Evan).
ABV = cool that has the double reference.
I know… this is exciting! It will be great to be able to do this with Evan. I think we will be able to create something that is both informative and fun for bourbon fans. It’s amazing how when you enjoy something the work behind the scenes that goes into it doesn’t seem so bad.
The second show we will do…Bourbon Zeppelin, the Podcast, is going to be a cast of everyone involved in that newsletter, including fans. I can see us have noted author Jenna Brownson calling in at some point.