From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Nigel Leader, author of “Miami Stretch”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.
1. Tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired you to write it?
My book is basically about my entire life from the day I was born, up until present time which was actually too long for one single book so I write the entire story in a two volume series. Miami Stretch covers the very interesting interactions that I have had over my more than two decade career experiences as a limousine chauffeur in South Florida with the four different limousine companies that I have worked for in that two decade expanse of time. I believe the many life stories that I share in my book are very interesting and worthy of telling as well as somewhat unbelievable. I am not a fiction writer however, my imagination is not that good although my memory is.
My inspiration to write this book only came during the time of both during, as well as after my very bitter divorce and at a time when I could not afford an attorney to draw up a custody agreement for my three minor children. The family court had not issued a child custody agreement with the forced divorce decree and had also granted my ex-wife a baseless civil (non-criminal) restraining order. With these two court orders in place, I went about a year and a half without spending any time with my three children and only seeing them during the short time before they got on their school bus after school. During this time I spent the majority of my time and energy writing Miami Stretch because I knew I had to do something better for them as I had absolutely no intention of ever raising them like this when I had decided to get married some eleven years earlier. My stories and this book would be what I eventually figured out would give me the best shot for them to potentially have a better life with me fully involved in their day to day growth.
2. What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
The one message that I would like to convey to readers is that ….God is always in control and will always have your best interest at heart if only you acknowledge him and have faith that he can and will do such great things for you. The stories that I share in Miami Stretch, time and time again prove that things are not over when you think they are. God has come through for me on multiple occasions and long after I thought the story was over. I am certainly glad that I have such a great memory to recall my life stories and how God had eventually come through for me and now I can certainly use those stories as a testimony…both the good and the bad.
1) You have the freedom to say what you want. I believe in the power of free speech and self-publishing is the ultimate form of that expression without having a publisher with “special interests” breathing down your neck.
2) It’s really not that expensive. Looking back, for what I got out of that little investment to self-publish…the payoff is tenfold when I can actually say that I am now a published author! I also now have the business cards to prove it as well as my book being available to be purchased literally worldwide! Well worth it!!
3) It is a very easy process with everything being done from my laptop and my WiFi connection. No running around to downtown offices to do meetings and signings and the business end of book selling as I thought it would be. That freedom alone to me makes it all worth it.
4) Everything is done at your pace…no high pressure anything from self-publishing companies. I had a near two month delay in payment due to my financial situation and I never once heard anything about it except for “let us know when you have the remainder of the funds available.” I certainly thought I would have eventually received a chewing out for not fulfilling the signed contract in a timely manner but that never came and the book was finally released.
5) I have heard other well known authors praise the self-publishing route over the traditional publishing route and I have also heard one best selling author as she had sworn to always take the self publishing route simply because she has had more control in the putting out “her own product” and the simplicity of the self published pay scale versus the pay scale of a full publishing house. Miami Stretch has only recently been released and I am yet to receive pay from the proceeds but I soon hope that I can say the same thing.
4. What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?
What I love most about self-publishing is definitely the freedom that it brings, from freedom of speech, to freedom of time, and freedom of expression and choices in your very own product that you yourself are pushing out to the public. Your product is your product…every word, picture, or comma. I can honestly say that with the final release of Miami Stretch. I would highly recommend self-publishing to anyone who has a voice and wants to use that voice to ultimately exercise and express their God given freedoms.
5. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
My advice to other potential authors would be to drop the excuses. Since my friends and family only recently found out about my writing skills (I mostly kept it a secret right up to the point of the actual book release) I have heard on numerous occasions… “I always wanted to write a book …BUT…” If you have to put a “but” behind that sentence you are not ready. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to write consistently (it took me three years to get out volume one) so if there are any excuses as to why you can’t write. Focus first on finishing up the “but” so you can commit to pushing out your final product. Your readers will appreciate the time you have spent to put your heart and soul into your writing and making reading your book an extreme pleasure and joy…they will surely know the difference.
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