Interview with Wolfgang Riebe

Published 2016-09-15.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing since a teenager for various 'magic' magazines, starting with the Magigram in the UK. Then after travelling the world on cruise liners and settling down on land in 1999, I began my inspirational speaking career and started focusing of self help and inspirational books
What's the story behind your latest book?
At a late age (50) I decided to carry on with post grad studies and finished a dissertation on whether Complexity Thinking inhibits Innovation amongst Leadership in MultiNational Companies. This led to a new keynote speech and my latest book, Complexity simplified. Currently I am working on a new book called, 'WTF is the Point?" which is all about understanding your purpose in life. It will be controversial as the first half deals with identifying those things in life that make us question our purpose and create possible negative feelings, i.e. materialism, politics, religion and conditioning. One first has to know what is causing the frustration, and then the second half deals with coping and making the most of life. pretty difficult book to write, but should be finished by end of 2016.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am critical of the greed of mainstream publishing and the fact that unless you are a star name, no one cares about marketing you properly. As a professional speaker I was inspired by the late Dan Poynter who was an iconic name in the indie author industry. Plus I like being able to change books as I need to and not have to request permission to use extracts from my own works from a publisher if I want to write and article for a magazine or publish something on a blog.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
What a pleasure it is to work through Smashwords. The initial layout of the first book in the Word format was a mission (as I am an Apple Mac man) but after that I created my own template and now would not look anywhere else. I think it is the best platform available and strongly recommend Smashwords to every writer I meet. I love that you can add a video URL to the book description as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing my life's wisdom with others and helping making the world a better place. I know it sound corny, but hey, look at the hatred and issues out there created by a seriously messed up world. It takes one word, or one sentence in a book that can change someone's life who in turn can rub their positivity onto someone else. I see it as being the catalyst to change and starting a positive snowball rolling down a hill and building momentum.

I have to add that my pet peeve is to see 'unhappy' people make nasty comments, or give bad reviews if they don't agree with your advice, especially when one writes from the heart. The bonus of POD publishing is that one can correct mistakes as they occur. I find that even with editors, mistakes crop up, and then the 'purists' out there have to make snotty comments - even when a book is free! My answer - "Grow up and get a life, and learn to focus your sarcasm on the positive - maybe then you will find happiness and learn to actually produce positive material rather than constantly criticize."
What do your fans mean to you?
I have never been one for fame and glory. Had numerous prime time TV series and eventually retreated because of the 'falseness' of that industry. I like 'real' people and everything 'out there' is waaaaaay bigger than little old me. My aim is to create change for the better, and the only way to do that is to be authentic. Seeking fame and glory is not authenticity. However, becoming known is a great result as then it gives you more credibility to create more positive change - as long as your message always comes from purity and love.
What are you working on next?
I am looking at producing a few more shorter free-e books and busy compiling one with over 200 original quotations. It will also include pictures of each quote.
Who are your favorite authors?
I tend to enjoy inspirational books and a life changing author for me must be Dan Millman for inspiration and Robert Kyosaki for just plain good financial sense.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing I can make someone's day... and maybe a good single malt whisky too :)!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I travel around the world delivering keynote presentations at conferences.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendation and Internet searches on topics of interest.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Ha ha, it was a vampire story called Dracula's Revenge and I was about 13 years old. Still did it on a typewriter and still have the original document. A phase I went through as a teenager with the whole immortality fantasy! How times have changed!
What is your writing process?
Get an idea, make notes, think about it and begin writing. Mostly done on planes travelling to and from speaking events. Depending on the theme, I do research on the net, speak to people and basically gather information and ideas from everyone around me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story was about a young magician (cannot remember the author) and how he changed the world with magic - that led me to begin my career as a prestidigitator.
How do you approach cover design?
I like to keep a theme and look in terms of colour. If someone sees a gold and black colour combination, then they must immediately recognise this as my books. Hence all covers will have gold and black as the main colour with white writing. Initially I put my face on my first inspirational book and eventually realised no one wants to see my mug - they don't even know who I am. I learnt that unless you are a recognisable face around the world, no one cares. You have more chance of getting someone to pick up and open your book with a catchy title.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Celestine Prophecies - just an easy read and a life changing book.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - best book on explaining finance and how to become successful because it is written in story form.
The Outliers - explains logically why certain people made it in the world
Milton Berle's Joke file - I love humour and this book is a huge collection of some classic one-liners
From Good to Great - an awesome business book where Jim collins' 'First Who, then What' premise is just soooo awesome and true!
What do you read for pleasure?
I love books and have a library. Non fiction is what I read, from humour to biographies to research on the origins of our existence.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Up-sell a book at a speaking event, rather than try back of room sales.
Write free e-books and build trust, then people will buy.
Don't overcharge for a book. I rather sell 10 000 books at 99c than 100 books at $25
E-Books in my opinion are often an impulse buy. Anywhere from 99c to $3.99 is like buying a quick cup of coffee - sells easier!
Describe your desk
High tech white open design with a 37" iMac
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Africa in the 70's & early 80's. Not much around at the time and had to learn to keep myself busy and develop a creative mind.
How have your life views changed as you have gotten older?
As a youngster I was always a 'Go Getter'. Today I have become a "Go-Giver".
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

Card Trick One-Liners: 100 Jokes
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100 One Liner jokes for card magicians! Searching for some new comedy material for your act? In this booklet you will find a variety of short jokes, some old, many new. There are also a few 'trick specific' one-liners too!
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A short booklet containing practical tips for anyone dealing with the public, hospitality, tourism and service industry. Easy tips on how to cope and deal with rude and nasty customers that you may encounter in your job on a daily basis.
Comedy Fillers: 200 Quips & One-Liners
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Here are 200 short jokes and witty comments covering a wide variety of topics that are ideal to add into any show and help with continuity. The book is called “Fillers” because that is exactly what these jokes are… filler material to keep your show running smoothly and put smiles on the faces of your audience.
Positive Thinking: 250 Motivational Quotes
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Enjoy a unique collection of 250 original quotes, reflections and thoughts to help you find direction and be more positive in life. As a keynote speaker, Wolfgang Riebe has inspired millions of people throughout the world and shared positive messages in his many publications and on social media.
It's A Stage I'm Going Through
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A magic book filled with practical stage and parlor effects, includes patter for a number of well-known routines, plus numerous tips and ideas to enhance older classic effects. The focus is on commercial tricks that will appeal to the working magician who places emphasis on entertainment.
Your Own Touring Show
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An E-Bbook for magicians who are considering producing a large stage illusion show with which to tour around the state or country. All the ins and outs to avoid costly mistakes before embarking on such a venture.
365 Unknown Author Quotes To Keep You Inspired For An Entire Year 3
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Sleightly Close-Up
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Close-up magic tricks for everyone – from cards to general close-up Over 60 Tricks! Includes access to 3 online teach-in videos
365 Unknown Author Quotes To Keep You Inspired For An Entire Year 2
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687 One-Liner Jokes
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If it’s laughter you want, then this is the book for you. Short one-line jokes covering a broad variety of topics and ideal for many different occasions. If you are simply searching for a few funny jokes to share with friends, or if you are a professional speaker or entertainer, you are bound to find some new material within this treasure trove of modern one-liners.
View their profile to see all of their books