I signed a publishing  deal with Morgan James Publishing to create a an action adventure book called Stranded in a Snowstorm from a manuscript that I wrote of the same name. I wrote it in 2011 and 2012 and put it on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for a short time.

This is a series of blog posts about how I went from no creative concept to a publishing deal, not necessarily in that order.

It's not what you know

So, how did I land the deal? It came down to the old saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." In this case, I happen to know one of my oldest friends, who is also a 5% investor in the company that produces this book and our kids book apps.

His name is Scott, and Scott is a very successful entrepreneur. Being that, he talks to all kinds of people all the time. One of those people was David Hancock, the owner and founder of Morgan James Publishing. They were discussing a potential book deal for Scott, and like any truly successful person that knows that givers get, Scott said, "Forget about my stuff, you have to meet Paul."

Paul and Scott in a rest shack on the slopes

Emails were sent. Connections made. I went to Denver to meet David, and I am now officially a grateful Morgan James author.

Important Business Lessons Learned

DECIDE to do something

In the summer of 2008, I realized that I had written enough stories, songs, and gibberish to have a long bonfire, but none of them were on their way to bringing me what I really wanted--intellectual property.

So, I DECIDED (that's one of the most important words on the planet) to create a specific series that I could put my whole heart and soul behind. The idea was that I would use the internet to develop a following large enough to make a publisher have to look at me.

That's not how it happened. They, in fact, liked me and I had no following, but the point is that if I didn't DECIDE to do this, there would have been no reason for them to look at me at all.

Since I decided to be an author, I did things that authors do. I wrote. I created all kinds of things like songs and apps. When those apps and songs were finally in the app store and it was clear that we weren't yet going to make money on them, I just kept writing. The thing I wrote as the apps floundered is the manuscript that Morgan James is publishing, and the only reason I wrote it was because I wanted to do something. I wasn't giving up, so I asked myself 'What should I do?'. The answer was clearly not 'Nothing', so I did something. That something is Stranded in a Snowstorm and it is one of the best things I have ever written.

If I hadn't written it, I would have had little or nothing for the publisher to look at. I mean, I had the apps, but they rely so heavily on the tech of the iPad and iPhone to run them that I wasn't sure that a publisher would even want to do the work they would have to do to imagine this interactive app as a work on a static page.

Since I stuck to my decision and just kept writing, I had a manuscript for them to look at, and it was enough to get me in the publishing door. And that will be all I need.

It didn't happen how I thought it would happen, and it never will, but deciding to do something that I was going to make work was the most important thing I've ever done.