The cover is extremely important as it is often the first thing that readers see before deciding to read your book, much less purchase it so I approach cover design with a lot of zeal and gusto. My covers are like my lifestyle, as simple as possible but not simpler than that. I try to highlight the title, add a few pictures that emphasize the message and leave it at that.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favorite books are:
- The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy - amazing novel by Douglas Adams - he is so brilliant and has such great humour that I just can't imagine what it would have been like to be in the mind of Douglas Adams. 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything!
- Almost anything by Seth Godin - the way he tells a story and persuades you to take action is phenomenal. I am totally convinced that what we all do is 'art' and that we need to continually make art and publish and release it.
- Four hour work week - Timothy Ferris - I quite enjoyed this book and recently re-read it as I explore my entrepreneurial side. Although it isn't for everyone, I think that anybody looking to become more efficient in their job / life can take away some great nuggets of wisdom from this book.
- Never eat alone - Keith Ferrazzi - Incredible book about networking. If you don't know how to network and want to learn, this is THE book to show you how to do it and do it effectively so that you can build lasting relationships with others.
- Awaken the giant within - Tony Robbins - Making decisions is the key differentiation between a good life and a bad life. Make a lot of decisions, make mistakes, learn from them and lead a great life.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Android phone is my e-reading device of choice. The best e-reading device is one that is mobile, that you can turn on and read any time you need it and that is my phone.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in elementary school; I remember having to write short stories for assignments. The short stories that were very good (i.e., that achieved high marks) were ones that got read out loud by the teacher and I will never forget the time my story was picked to be read out loud. After getting mediocre marks almost all the time, I finally produced a story that was worthwhile to be presented to the rest of the class.
Ever since then, I have been writing on and off when I have the time through my blog and through NaNoWriMo. I decided that I wanted to share what I've learned in Toastmasters (having been part of the organization for so long) and thought that an e-book was the best way to share that information.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest e-book is called "How to create and deliver great speeches (a seven day approach)". I wrote this book because I wanted to distill the knowledge that I learned in the 8 years that I have been with Toastmasters, composing and delivering over 50 speeches, into something that anyone could read through and learn from.
When people are asked to create and deliver a speech, they often have no idea where to begin, how to structure it or how to deliver it in a way that impacts the audience and my book will teach you all those things in a simple 7 day manner (where each day describes one hour of work).
Ultimately, I want people to become better speakers and write better speeches because I know that they all have something to share and it would be a tragedy if their message didn't get out because they didn't deliver it in an effective manner.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors (to name a few):
- Douglas Adams - Tony Robbins - Keith Ferrazzi - Seth Godin - Daniel Pink - Ryan Holiday - Brian Tracy
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a significant amount of time at Toastmasters (creating speeches, evaluating speeches, taking on leadership roles, helping out new clubs, etc.). I also enjoy going to the gym and playing badminton.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is hearing others who have read my book and having them describe what they have learned from the book and how it has impacted their life.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything - I write and I write for my fans. I would love to hear from my fans and hear what worked for them and what didn't work for them in my book.
What are you working on next?
The next e-book I am working on is a compilation of public speaking tips categorized by different phases in the speech creation process (e.g., tips for your speech introduction, tips for humour, tips for organizing your speech)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discover the e-books that I read through Amazon's magic "users who read this also read" and through the facebook group that I'm in of indie authors. I enjoy helping out indie authors in their quests to create best sellers and will often grab promotional e-books whenever I have a chance.
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