How to Get Published is a continuing feature at The Book Bin where we ask authors to tell us their publishing stories. Was it a rocky road or did it come easy for them? Did they start with an agent and get a NY publisher interested in their book or did they self-publish? What words of wisdom do they have for all of us who would like to be published one day?
Today’s guest is Michael Martel, author of the self-help book, Get Er Done (PCG Business).
I got started on the road to being a published author through working with a coach. We were discussing what ignited my passion. I had already compiled a bucket list of items and had worked my way through several of them. I had swam with dolphins and driven a stock car over 170 miles per hour. Yet, I was still looking for the thing, the thing that really turned me on.
My coach asked me if I had ever thought of writing a book. The idea really resonated with me. I always had stories back from my days in the military, as a Special Forces Green Beret. In the corporate world, I was always anecdotally relating some adventure we had and how we could use the lessons learned.
So I decided to write a book telling some of my Green Beret adventures and how they could be used to be more productive. The question was, “what next?”
I had been writing blogs for some time before that. Right about the time I decided to write a book, I got a request from a person I had know from a seminar I had been to for a piece for his new book. He was writing a book on animals, their owners and spirituality. I of course agreed to do the piece for him and asked how he was publishing his book.
Through my blog writing I was introduced to my publisher, Pilot Communications Group (PCG). Brian Mast, my editor at PCG walked me through the whole process. I showed him what I had so far. He liked what he saw. We talked about a couple different formats and agreed on an “easy read” format that opened up the book. I suggest for new authors that they think quite a bit about the book format. This can make or break a book whether it is successful or not. Also make sure they find a good editor that they are comfortable working with. It is a very close process and there needs to be an open, honest relationship.
I decided on a structure of story, discussion and action points. Once I had that, I picked out ten topics that I would use as chapters. After this planning, it was simply sitting down and writing. I use a writing process where I will write uninterrupted for thirty minutes or so. I don’t go back proofread or fix spelling mistakes that time around. I will let the piece sit for a day and the go back and edit it. That way I get the most creativity and productivity out of my writing.
From start to finish (book in hand) once I decided to write a book, it took about three and a half months. What I most discovered is that I really like writing. This is something that provides me satisfaction and people tell me that they get a lot out of my book. I am already planning the next one.
Michael Martel was barely eighteen when he walked into the Army recruiter’s office in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He told him he wanted to see the world. He satisfied Michael’s wish and sent him to Berlin, Germany where he had a great time in the “Divided City.” There began his love of travel. All together he spent a total of thirteen years living in Germany, traveling around Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His Army career spanned just over twenty years. spending time as an infantryman, paratrooper and Green Beret.
After the Army he moved onto technology. He worked as a computer security expert keeping extremely sensitive information safe from hackers. He earned a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Information Technology and Business Management along the way.
Michael was recognized for his leadership, knowledge and ability to work with people. Very soon, he was moved into the executive ranks and led large business divisions.
Always on the lookout for a challenge, He discovered he had a gift for coaching. From the experiences, both in the military and in corporate world he has a lot to give back. His real world leadership experience combined with his technical education and skill give him an unique ability to work with other leaders to help them achieve success.
Throughout his life, he has done the hard stuff, experienced what works, and has the skills to get the job done, whatever it is.
Michael’s latest book is Get Er Done.