Tag Archives: self-published


I’ve had a busy week getting some mini projects checked off the list. This week alone, I have done all of the following:

Started a new blog where I interview interesting people I meet online. My first post involves an interview with Tall Samm Lim. She’s an interesting character and a positive force. Check it out here: Tall Samm Lim Interview.

I also completed my Coffeehouse Jazz series with a third and final booked aimed at building the ultimate holiday playlist of jazz instrumentals. Pick up this eBook for only 99 cents here: Coffeehouse Jazz 3.

Since publishing my book Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition way back in the first quarter of 2015, I’ve planned to turn a couple of the chapters into mini eBooks with some further “behind the scenes” information. Well, I have two done already and will finish the third today which will complete all of the ones I have planned for now. Here’s where you can pick up the first two for 99 cents: Ozark Distillery & Syntax Spirits.

My other big news is the fact my book Bourbon Mixology is selling like crazy. It is apparently a hot Christmas gift this year. If you have a bourbon fan on your list, check it out: Bourbon Mixology.

If every week was as successful as this past week, soon I will be a force to be reckoned with!






Tomorrow rounds out the trifecta of shopping “holidays” we have right after Thanksgiving:

Black Friday – Shopping highlighted by mega deals from the large department stores and retailers.

Small Business Saturday – Shifting the focus to local, and mom and pop retailers, to ensure we support those who live in the community as well as sell to it.

Cyber Monday – Hot deals and free shipping for online retailers.

Well, until I gather some steam for Indie Author Sunday, we need to tack on to the existing shopping holidays already in place. After all, indie authors, as well as all forms of art, are the ultimate small businesses. Our work isn’t a reflection of us… it is us! Plus, not only do we create the content, we are solely responsible for marketing and selling it as well.

Well, I’ve got some great things happening for Cyber Monday. First of all, I’m having my own 12 Days of Christmas for my readers. I’m offering 12 pieces of my work for free!

That’s right, for Cyber Monday only, I have 12 eBooks for free on Amazon. These include mini books from my Small Brand America series, one of my Coffeehouse Jazz books and even Life with the Akester, the book about my father (some of the stories at the end of the book are hilarious… be sure to check out The Bowtie, a classic, as well as The Recorder, the story of my “best” Christmas ever).

To get any, or 12 of these books, just check out my catalog on Amazon any time on Monday and download them for free: http://goo.gl/GCf4Ts

I know many of you are going to be shopping Amazon on Monday. Please consider my books for some of your holiday gifts… even if it’s just to round out the shopping cart to get free shipping. Here’s a half-dozen books, worthy of your gift giving from my catalog:

Pa’u Hana – My first novel is a laugh out loud buddy movie.

Bourbon Mixology (Vol. 2) – This gem features 50 iconic bars sharing their signature bourbon cocktails.

Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition – This book shares the stories of 20 craft distillers making some of the best bourbon in the country!

Small Brand America III: Special Hawai’i Edition – This one explores 25 small food/consumer product manufacturers based in Hawai’i. This one’s still my best selling book of all-time (Bourbon Mixology Vol. 2 is closing in on it quickly, though).

Bourbon Mixology (Vol. 1) – The first edition from my series features bourbon cocktail recipes from the craft distillers featured in Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition.

Leo the Coffee Drinking Cat – A great gift for the 3 -5 year old set, the first of three Leo books, this one introduces the coffee drinking cat and his family.

Have a great Cyber Monday!




Every good business starts with a plan, right?

Before you give that an affirmative, let’s think it through using me as an example. I think even a hobbyist writer like myself who has a full-time job and writes in his or her spare time probably needs a plan, but I really didn’t. When I started writing in 2013, my only plan was to write.

When I published my first book, I thought it would be a good time to develop a plan to market the book, but I was met with a collective sigh, or yawn, or whatever is worse when I tried to garner interest in my work. There was no engagement from any form of media in helping an independent author trying to make it on his own.

The money I spent trying to market my first book led to me losing money in my first year of writing. Some would stop right there, but I pressed on by doing the only thing I definitely knew I could do: write.

That’s right, I went about my “business” by writing. After the catastrophe of attempting to gain a large scale audience by marketing as I had done with my first book, I limited myself to simply social media (Twitter and my blog) to market my books. Yes, I’d distribute a few marketing copies to newspapers or others I thought could help spread the word, but social media truly was the bulk of what I was doing.

Basically, my goal became to build an audience one person at a time accompanied by a flurry of writing which could only be explained by the fact I had spent over 40 years waiting to start writing.

Fast forward to today, and I have over 50 books, short stories and mini-books published. I’ve built a decent following on social media and I finally believe now is the time to build the plan to really reach a bigger audience.

Over the past month, and for the rest of 2015, I’m working on a two-year plan to really build up my readership and an active, and engaged fan base.

Will it work?

I don’t know. Just like the books I write, I’m making it up as I go. I’m having fun, though, and that’s probably the true first step in making any business plan a success!



Bourbon Mixology II Cover

My Bourbon Mixology book has been published for about 10 days now. I’m pleased to say it’s been the quickest selling book I’ve ever had out of the gate. Getting interest in your work is one of the most difficult aspects of independent publishing but this one seemingly has a built-in audience. Bourbon fans, cocktail fans, patrons of the 50 iconic bars featured… they are all seemingly interested in this book.

I hope this enthusiasm continues. It’s pretty exciting to see those sales numbers rising each day!

Be sure to pick up your copy right here: BUY BOURBON MIXOLOGY FROM AMAZON FOR ONLY $9.99.


With my three projects for 2015 finally winding down, I’ve just started to look ahead just a bit. Before we see what I’ll be up to for the balance of 2015, let’s do a quick recap of the trifecta of books I’ve spent this year working on:

Bourbon Mixology                                                                                                                        

Status: Published (Picked up a copy here: Bourbon Mixology)

It’s true, the first one is officially out there having been published earlier this week. This one truly looks special with it immediately selling right out of the gate.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Bourbon Mixology II Cover

Pa’u Hana 

Status: Final edits being done

My first novel is complete and I have five people reading proof copies. I’ve got notes from two of them, still waiting on the other three to get me their thoughts. This one should be out in October.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Pau Hana Digital Cover

Architect of Passion        

Status: Rewrites complete

A few weeks ago I spent 6 hours with Greg Schredder, the subject of this biography going over some changes he requested. I have finished those rewrites and now am awaiting some information from him to complete the rewrite. Once I get that done, I’ve got final editing to complete before getting it published. I’m guessing this will go on through October and we will get this one out in November.

Here’s a look at the cover:

Updated AOP Cover

So what’s going on for the rest of 2015?

I’ve got two things I’ll be working on, though they won’t likely be published until 2016. This first is a short story blending of fact and fiction. It’s called Brain Tsunami and its the story of my brother-in-law. This past summer he went on a bike ride and came back home with a gash on his head and no knowledge of what happened. I’m pleased to say he’s fully recovered and doing great, but he still doesn’t know what happened. I’m going to publish a short story with some different, and fun scenarios of what might have happened.

Here’s a look at that cover:

Human guidance and memory loss due to Dementia and Alzheimer's disease as a group of three dimensional roads shaped as a human head and brain tangled in a confused direction mind function concept.

Lastly, I have yet an untitled piece I am probably going to be working on. I have a rum company which has been reaching out to me for a few years now wanting to get into one of my Small Brand America books. With no plans in the works to have a sixth edition of this popular series focusing on small brands competing against much larger competitors, I think I am going to propose to them a book focusing solely on them… their history, the owners and their facility. Should be fun if they like the idea.

That’s it for now!


Yesterday, I was finally able to spend some time talking to Greg Schredder the businessman whom I am collaborating with to write Architect of Passion, his biography. He’s had a rough draft in his hands for a while but busy schedules have kept us from going through his suggested changes.

Yesterday we spent 6 hours and 8 minutes on the phone going over the changes he is suggesting. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the phone with anyone for 6+ hours before!

The changes ran the gamut, from wording he didn’t like, to new stories he remembered as he was reading to clarification to some of the facts. While this is going to equate to some significant work, in the end it’s going to make for a great project.

Greg’s had an unbelievable life. He’s had some of the greatest successes imaginable along with some of the most unbelievable failures. In between he’s rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names from the world of celebrities.

I’ve got to get busy writing because you are going to want to read this!


The three projects I’ve been working on continue to slowly make progress and get closer to getting published every week.

Pa’u Hana, my novel, is being read and reviewed by five people. Once I get the comments back from them, I’ll be ready for some rewrites and one last edit.

The second edition of my Bourbon Mixology series is now done. I am waiting on my cover guy to finish the design so I can order some proof copies (I have three editors line up to help out).

The biography I wrote about Hawai’i businessman Greg Schredder, Architect of Passion, is done but I’ve been waiting for weeks to coordinate some time to go over it with him. He wants to discuss some corrections and potential changes. We are finally slated to talk next Saturday and Sunday. Once we do this I’ll be ready for rewrites, re-edits and to get this one out there.

I’m past the point of just wanting to get this out there. Patience, though. Publishing a book, or 3 books, is a process. You must stay the course!


I’m really going the extra mile to ensure my first novel, Pa’u Hana, is as good as it possible can be. One of the critical areas I’ve been focused on this week has been ensuring the cover really grabs potential readers.

I had conveyed how important, on a personal level, writing my first novel was to the graphic artist I use for my covers. He sent over the following cover as a first attempt capture the spirit of the book:

The first draft cover for Pa'u Hana

The first draft cover for Pa’u Hana

I liked it. A lot.

Still, while it conveyed the Hawaiian spirit, it didn’t necessarily tie-into the story. We talked about it and he quickly started sketching a custom piece of artwork on his iPad. A few minutes later he flipped it around and bingo, there it was:

Pa'u Hana rough sketch of final cover

Pa’u Hana rough sketch of final cover

This piece not only captures the spirit of Hawai’i, it pulls the reader into the story from the moment you see it (two guys living on Kaua’i wanting to go to Los Angeles).

While I don’t have the final version back just yet, I know it’s going to be a gem, worthy as the showcase of my first-ever novel!


I’ve got 30 chapters completed for my new Bourbon Mixology book. Each chapter represents a cocktail from an iconic bar.

Here’s a list of my completed chapters:

Bale of Hay Saloon Virginia City, MT
Big Star Chicago
Bub City Chicago
Buckhorn Exchange Denver
Buffalo Bodega Bar Deadwood, SD
Butter Run Saloon St. Clair Shores
Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House Wesley
Down One Bourbon Bar Louisville
E. Smith Mercantile Seattle
El Gaucho Seattle
Esquire San Antonio
Forbidden Island Alemedia
Hard Water San Francisco
Herbie’s Vintage 72 St. Louis
Lovecraft Portland
Mike Shannon’s St. Louis
Old Ebbitt Grill Washington DC
Old Major Denver
Parson’s Chicken and Fish Charlie
Peacock Alley Bismarck, ND
Round Robin DC
Sable Chicago
Sanctuaria St. Louis
Seviche Louisville
Sloppy Joe’s Key West
St. Charles Exchange Louisville
The Miller House Owensboro
The Porthole Portland, Maine
The Roosevelt Richmond
Whiskey Bar Milwaukee

I have to say it’s been pretty awesome to have these treasured icons opening up and sharing some of their signature bourbon cocktails with me. I’ve got plenty of commitments for those 20 spots. It’s simply a matter of getting the information from some very busy people.

I look forward to sharing these incredible cocktails from these legendary locations!


Let’s see where we are at in the three projects I am juggling right now…

Pa’u Hana (my novel) – My graphic artist is working on the cover and an interior graphic which depicts the Island of Kaua’i and many of the spots featured in the book. I thought this would help those not familiar with Kaua’i get their bearings.

Architect of Passion (my biography) – Greg Schredder, the person featured in this bio has read the book. I’m happy to report he loved it. He’s busy making notes on each page to ensure everything presented is 100% factual.

Bourbon Mixology – This book features one bourbon cocktail recipe from 50 different iconic bars. I have all 50 bars identified and more than 1/2 of the chapters completed. I’ve been very busy tracking down those that have committed to get them to send my everything I need to finish their chapter.

All three of these projects are coming along nicely. I don’t care if it’s a big project at work, tasks around the house or writing a book, the last 15% of the project takes the most of your personal effort.

Well, I’m in that mode now… times three!