The author, Edward Mullen, should know a thing or two about hustle — he wrote the book on it, literally! Less than a year ago, Edward Mullen had yet to publish a single word or put out any content whatsoever.
He kept a folder in his office full of rejection letters from literary agents and was getting more discouraged with each one he received. That’s when he decided to take a different approach.
After doing a little research, Edward discovered that the marketplace for writers is changing. With the advent of the internet and e-readers, self-publishing and the online consumption of books are bigger than ever. It’s growing so fast that many of the big-chain bookstores are closing up shop. In the past decade, the mega book retailer Barnes & Noble has closed over a thousand stores.
With more and more retail bookstores closing, writers are no longer dependent on big publishing houses to distribute their stories to mass markets. Now that the barrier to entry is so low, many aspiring writers are polishing up their writing chops and putting their content online, trying to build an audience.
After weighing out the options, Edward decided to launch his own publishing company. In the past six months, Edward has released two books, a handful of short stories, a podcast, a YouTube channel and a blog. In addition, he is active on social media and has garnered a legion of fans.
Recently, his debut novel, The Art of the Hustle, was featured on the popular reading community Wattpad and remained in the top 5 of Wattpad’s “What’s Hot” list for several weeks beating out over a hundred thousand other thrillers.
When asked about his experience in self-publishing, he said, “The landscape for authors has changed so that literary agents and big publishing houses are no longer the gatekeepers deciding which books get published.”
While he advocates self-publishing to anyone who wants creative and financial control, he cautions potential authors on following his approach.
“Self-publishing is easy, being successful at it is not. When you self-publish, you are essentially an entrepreneur. You must think of your book as a product and find creative ways to attract customers to buy it, which is no different than any other business. To be successful requires a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources, with no guarantee that you’ll be successful.
“As with most things in life, it’s easy to get discouraged if things do not go immediately well for you, that’s why it’s important to manage your expectations. You are probably not going to publish your book and sell a million copies in the first month. But if you have the drive and the hustle to continue at it despite not having tangible results, it can be very rewarding.”
Edward has big plans for 2013 including the release of two new techno-thrillers, and several other creative projects. When asked if he had any last advice for the aspiring writers out there, he said, “Yeah, don’t quit your day job!”
Lindsay Berkley | Elite.