Becoming an Author Changed My Life

December 13th represents my publishing anniversary. On December 13th, 2011 my memoir Off Balanced hit the e-book market (Kindle and Nook). Last year I commemorated the occasion by reflecting on the publishing process.

This year I want to explore how becoming a published author changed my life, really in unforeseen ways. Thinking back these changes could only occur unforeseen. In 2011 I focused on staying the course with the publishing process. If you watched the embedded video above, you know that means marketing my book.

Belief in Off Balanced’s ability to empower others with cerebral palsy and educate their parents, teachers, classmates, friends, etc. left me fully concentrated on promotion. No thought entered my mind about how becoming a published author could change my life.

Webinar panelist Zachary Fenell

Sound checked and ready for “Finding your Way: Transitioning from High School to College.”

As the time passed though, I began noticing changes both professionally and personally. Professionally the changes proved multiple. Opportunities came to me due to Off Balanced. For example, last December Parent to Parent of Georgia asked me to serve as a panelist for their webinar “Finding your Way: Transitioning from High School to College.”

Another change manifested through learning new skills. Social media played and still does play a vital role in getting Off Balanced out there. Subsequently I ended up enhancing my social media skills, especially with Twitter and Youtube. Without my online book marketing experiences I never become qualified to hold a position like Online Relationship Manager for Handicap This Productions (HTP).

Plus, who knows what my relationship with HTP or author/motivational speaker John W. Quinn looks like without Off Balanced. Going back to early 2011 I read about Handicap This and John, looking up to them awed by their stories. Upon my inquiries both Tim Wambach from HTP and John agreed to read Off Balanced and provide promotional blurbs. Those inquiries seem like pivotal moments leading to stronger connections with people I possess utmost respect for.

Now the aforementioned offers a solid transitioning point to discuss personal change. Receiving respect back from those you look up to supplies a confidence boost. So does writing a book warmly received by readers. The average reader review for Off Balanced stands at 4.5 stars. Awesome for a five-star system!

Possessing such confidence boosts helps to maintain confidence, not always an easy task since life hits hard. As star power and mushrooms aid Mario, my confidence boosts aid me to keep going during trying circumstances.

To anyone out there contemplating writing a book, I recommend you pursue the ambitious endeavor. From my experience your hard work will pay off in rewarding ways.


Two-Year Reflection on Publishing Off Balanced

Two years ago today (December 13th) I became a published author when my teen memoir Off Balanced became available on the Kindle and Nook. Hence now seems a fitting occasion to reflect on my publishing experiences.

Let me start by saying if you want to sell a quality book, publishing turns into a very involved process. Please note I’m incorporating all the elements into my definition. So I’m referencing writing the manuscript, rewriting, editing, more rewriting, more editing, all the technical aspects to publishing, and marketing.

Thankfully I did enough research on publishing while writing Off Balanced to not get caught by surprise. When I finished my finalized manuscript and went through the publishing process on the Kindle and Nook I knew my work only began.

Allow me to clarify by utilizing the cliché light at the tunnel’s end scenario. In my mind I envisioned writing a book as one tunnel. Once out the light didn’t last. Instead ahead lay another tunnel, the marketing tunnel. Two years into exploring the aforementioned metaphorical passageway and I honestly can say I feel like I’m just starting exploration.

Off Balanced by Zachary Fenell

You can purchase Off Balanced for your Kindle or Nook.

Many, many marketing opportunities exist. Truthfully I found engaging in those while also pursuing freelance writing endeavors more tiring than I expected.

Yet in a way publishing Off Balanced certainly helped me with my freelance writing. Example, The Mobility Resource found me thanks to a newspaper article done on my book. Basically a marketing opportunity led to a long-term writing gig, pretty awesome right? 😀

Equate writing a book to a yin-yang. For yin’s darkness, you also encounter yang’s light. The darkness represents the bad, albeit disappointing sales, a poor review, or something else. Yang’s light symbolizes the positives, that overwhelming feedback from readers you do maintain, the multiple five-star reviews, and what not.

Personally I’m unsatisfied with Off Balanced’s current sales numbers, but I stay encouraged. I recognize the positives, continued sales over the past two years, majority positive feedback, the networking made possible simply by publishing my memoir. Acknowledging these wins empowers me to stay determined and to keep promoting my writing and my book.

Speaking about promoting, I invite you to check out the Off Balanced book giveaway promotion. Visit my writer’s website for details! Or, read Monday’s post “Upcoming Events, Including First Book Giveaway.”