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Bob Mayer is a NY Times Bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret and the feeder of two Yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He's had over 70 books published including the #1 series Time Patrol, The Green Berets, Area 51, and Atlantis. He is the CEO of Cool Gus Publishing. Born in the Bronx, having travelled the world (usually not tourist spots), he now lives peacefully with his wife (who also collaborates with him), and said labs. www.bobmayer.com and www.coolgus.com

Write it Forward: From Writer to Successful Author by Bob Mayer

Write It Forward is a one-of-a-kind book focusing on you, the author. In Write It Forward Bob Mayer applies the time- tested strategies of the Green Berets to the world of being a successful author. He has taught thousands of writers over the years, but this new and innovative program probes deeper than words on the page. It is designed to teach writers how to think, plan and become the future best-sellers of the new age of publishing. The benefits you'll gain from this book will extend far beyond your writing and reach into all areas of your life making dreams a reality.

CURATOR'S NOTE

Bob Mayer and I were teaching at a writing conference in South Dakota many years ago, and we got snowed in with a disastrous blizzard. In other words, that gave us plenty of extra uninterrupted writing time. Bob has been in several of my fiction bundles, but he also dispenses very valuable writing advice. – Kevin J. Anderson

 

REVIEWS

  • "I have always loved how your programs delved deeply into the pyscohological models you need to develop characters. No you are using that to develop people."

    – Co-Creator of the Chicken Soup Books Jack Canfield
  • "Bob Mayer is a gifted writer and a generous teacher."

    – #1 NY Times best-selling author Susan Wiggs
  • "Whatever Bob Mayer has to tell us about writing is something we should know. His Toolkit proves an invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned writers alike. Don't miss out."

    – #1 NY Times best-selling author Terry Brooks
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Excerpt

Introduction

"I'm convinced fear is at the root of most bad writing." Stephen King

What Is Write It Forward?

Publishing is undergoing major changes and these changes are creating new opportunities for writers. Write It Forward focuses on educating writers how to be successful authors and help them conquer their fears. Write It Forward is a holistic approach encompassing goals, intent, environment, personality, change, courage, communication and leadership that gives the writer a road map to become a successful author in today's rapidly evolving publishing landscape. Many writers become too focused on either the writing or the business end. Write It Forward integrates the two putting the control back into the author's hands.

Write It Forward fills a critical gap in the publishing industry paradigm. While there are numerous books and workshops focused on just the writing, this one focuses on the strategies, tactics and mindset a writer needs to develop in order to be a successful author; regardless of the path you choose to publication.

Under the current publishing business model, authors learn by trial and error and networking with other authors. Sometimes it's the blind leading the blind. Given the drastic changes the industry is currently undergoing, the most knowledgeable people admit they have little idea where the industry will be in a year. However, one thing remains constant, writers produce the product and readers consume the product. As we used to say in the Infantry: Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. That is a mantra for Write It Forward: We must all be leaders.

Authors are the producer of the product in publishing. Agents, editors, publishers, and bookstores are currently the primary contractors, processors, and sellers of that product. On-line retailers also offer an option that didn't exist just a few years ago. While most agents and editors normally get educated in a career path starting at the bottom of an agency/publishing house, writers, from the moment they sign a contract or self-publish their book, are thrust immediately into the role of author as well as promoter. For the new author it's sink or swim. Unfortunately, with the lack of author training, most sink. First novels have a 90% failure rate, which is simply foolhardy. I submit that the success rate for self-publishing is the same as the success rate for getting an agent, publisher, etc. and breaking out. Either way, this book gives you the tools you will need to succeed regardless of the path you take.

The learning curve to become a successful author is a steep one. In the past, the author might have had years to learn, and when needed, re-invent one's self, but the business is now moving at a much faster pace. It's expected that authors not only have to write the books, but also become promoters of their books. Interestingly enough, Promoter (ESTP) is the complete opposite of Author (INFJ) in the Myers-Briggs personality indicator as we will see under TOOL FOUR: CHARACTER. It's difficult to go from one mindset to the other. Not only do you have to be Author and Promoter, you must also be Seller (ESJF).

A key aspect of this book is that just by reading it, you prove you are ahead of the pack because you're willing to learn. When I ran a Write It Forward workshop in San Diego one participant said that simply getting on the plane to come take the workshop required her to conquer several of her fears.

EXERCISE: In one sentence, write down your goal for reading this book.

Are you able to define it succinctly? Does it have a positive, action verb? An outcome that is clearly visible? We'll be covering all that in TOOL ONE: WHAT.

Here is a very interesting question that writers should ask themselves:

I will do whatever it takes to succeed as a writer, except don't ask me to do . . .

Whatever completes that sentence is your greatest fear as a writer. This question is a great way of finding the one fear that is crippling you. We must attack the ambush, which I will discuss under COURAGE.

What is that nagging thing you know you ought to do, but just can't get yourself to do? Is it a craft problem? A business problem? Promotion? Networking? Conquering an addiction? Committing the time to finish your book? Asking for help?

For me, it's rewriting and focusing after the first draft is done. I've always said I've never had an editor or agent come back with a comment on something I wasn't already aware of. Thus, I need to focus and make sure they can't come back with those comments I am aware of. I also have to promote and market better than I have been in the past. As writers, we tend to dislike that part of our job. But it is PART of the job.

EXERCISE THREE: Finish this statement: I'll do whatever it takes to succeed as a writer, just don't ask me to . . .

What Am I Going to Do?

In tough times, it's the tough who succeed. The Green Berets are mentally and emotionally the toughest soldiers in the military. The first thing you'll sense when you meet a Green Beret is that they exude confidence. It's a palpable sensation. They have confidence in themselves, their team, their unit and Special Forces.

How did they become this way?

They CHANGED. After all, that's what this is all about. You wouldn't have picked this book up if there wasn't something in your writing life you wanted to change. This book will teach you the path to be able to change and go from writer to author.

There are the nine TOOLS in WHO DARES WINS and by reading this book you will gain the insight and knowledge to change the same way Special Forces soldiers go from being regular soldiers to being the best. This book gives you a comprehensive plan to build self-confidence so you can conquer fear and succeed as a writer.

The definition of confidence is trust in a person or thing. A feeling of assurance.

Do you want confidence in all aspects of your writing life?

You have goals in your writing life. You want to achieve things. For most of you, the largest obstacle to your success is fear. This book brings you templates and tactics used by the US Army's Green Berets to conquer fear, build confidence and succeed.

But before you start, you have to ask yourself one very important question:

Do you want to change?

It's that simple. Change is extremely difficult, for many different reasons, which will be covered in this book. The good news is, experts have blazed the way for you and you can use their lessons learned and the techniques they developed. I've taught thousands of writers over the last couple of decades and the biggest problem most have is they are not willing to change.

Do you want a life ruled by fear, or do you want to live to the fullest, confident in yourself?

A successful person can make decisions and take action in the face of fear. The successful are head and shoulders above their peers and competition. They accomplish their goals, have pride in themselves, and find a way to achieve what they want in life. The successful writer takes chances and succeeds. The successful writer embraces the changing world of publishing and uses those changes to their advantage.

FEAR is the number one barrier that keeps you rooted in the mundane and ordinary. It is the primary obstacle to achieving your dreams as a writer. Successful people take action despite their fears. As you'll discover as you read, it is not a question of ignoring fear, but rather the opposite: you must factor fear into your writing life and deal with it.

A lot of what you will learn in this book seems common sense. Some will also be counter-intuitive. We make repeated mistakes without learning from them. This book teaches you how to focus, learn from errors, and not repeat them. Since we all make mistakes, the positive news is that correspondingly there are ways we can improve. We are emotional creatures, and most often our emotions overrule our common sense. Intellectually, our subconscious overpowers our conscious. So we will focus on trying to find the real reasons why we do things, which are often right in front of us, but we are blind to. We will spend quite a bit of time trying to determine blind spots, which are often the roots of our fears.

A lot of what is covered is using my experience as an example. I'm going to give you snippets from my writing career—what worked, what didn't work. From this you will see how I learned all this material. Hopefully, you won't make the same mistakes I did. One advantage is that I have experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing. My first novel came out in 1991 and I have had over 40 books traditionally published since then. In 2010 I formed Who Dares Wins Publishing with Jen Talty and we now have over 30 books published and have gained considerable experience concerning eBooks, Print-On-Demand and non-traditional publishing. The future of publishing is not going to be a straight and narrow path, but rather a byzantine winding trail with as many opportunities as there are dangers.

This book will show you how to use the strategic tools. Strategic is the big picture. For example, in TOOL ONE, we're going to talk about your single strategic goal as a writer. You will have one strategic goal, stated in one sentence, with an active verb.

This book will show you how to use the supporting tools. Supporting is everything that falls under strategic. You have to align everything you do tactically in order to achieve your strategic goals.