31 Aug 2019

From Grief to Ghostwriting [Interview and podcast]

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Bet The Jockey Show – From Grief To Ghostwriting

 

Bet The Jockey Show Josh Wilson Richard and his Writing Dream

 

Interview Transcription

Note: this is a raw transcription and because of that there may be some grammar or other errors.

[Start: 00:00:00]

[Intro Music]

Interview about my recovery from grief and my entry into a ghostwriter careerHost: Welcome to the Bet the Jockey show. My name is Josh and I’m your host. On the show, I interview entrepreneurs to their story and how they overcome challenges in their life and business. I’m also going to let you behind the scenes behind the mic into my entrepreneurial journey, on a daily journal. Hang on your horses. You’re in for a ride, with me, Josh Wilson.

Host: Good day everyone and welcome to the Bet the Jockey show. My name is Josh and today I’m having a conversation with the guy, who it was his dream since he was six years old to write books and, you know, he went through his journey as a technology guy and a computer guy and he’s got a really interesting story but he’s finally achieved his dream and he really wants to share this dream with other people and I want to introduce him to you guys. So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome Mr Richard Lowe to the Bet the Jockey show. Richard, welcome to the show

Richard: Thank you for inviting me, yes.

Host: Yeah, so since the age of six you had this dream that you wanted to write books and now you’re doing it? Tell us about that.

Richard: Well, that’s true. When I was six years old, I started to read. My mom brought me to the library and I started looking around at the books and I picked up something by this guy named Isaac Asimov. He’s a science fiction writer and then over the years, started reading more and more and more and decided I want to do this. This guy can write about anything, he makes things understandable. I mean even nuclear physics, he wrote a book about nuclear physics and I could understand it as a six or seven-year-old and that’s amazing that a writer can talk about a subject like that to somebody so young. He also wrote science fiction and a bunch of other things. I decided I wanted to be that. Well, unfortunately life got in the way, as you know, it happens and I had to go through school and into college and then had to move out, you know, earn money to survive, raise a family, the whole nine yards and that was fine. I made lots of money, had a got a good career, worked at Trader Joe’s for twenty years, for example and established myself and built up a little nest egg and then in 2013, decided, you know, it’s time for a change and I’ve got enough money to survive a few years. Let’s just jump off the cliff and become a professional writer and like that’s really scary because I didn’t know anything about being a professional writer. I mean, I knew how to write but as far as starting my own business, who knows and that’s…that was jumping off a cliff and made it work and now I’m making a good living, not as much as I was making a Trader Joe’s but that’s fine. I don’t need that much. Writing, I do ghost writing. I write books and I write products that are books basically training courses for people on how to write and how to publish their books and how to promote their books. So that’s basically the short version of my story.

Host: Well, cool. Let’s dive in a little bit. So, you had a background in technology. Before Trader Joe’s, what we were you doing?

Richard: Well, I was the vice president of 2 different computer companies starting in 1981, I became a V.P. of a start-up. So, I was in college. I was in my second year of college and then I got approached by one of the teachers who wanted to start a company and I said sure. So, just annoyed the heck out of my parents because they wanted me to finish college and get a degree and that was the big thing for them. They wanted an educated person. Fortunately for them, my sister got the M.B.A. and I didn’t. But, they were offering me, you know, a lot of money for the time five figure, you know, $50,000 a year kind of thing, which was a lot of money for me and this was the 1980’s, so it was a lot of money and so I left college and joined the start-up and managed a group of people and that company basically got sold and so I went to a different company and was the V.P. and then I worked two jobs at the same time. One was for a company that made what are called Skater systems, those are the systems that control devices like dams, loose gates, metering and things that allow an operator to sit there and say okay, I want water to go through that dam or whatever. So, I got a job doing that and being a V.P. at the same time. So, you’d figure I’d make more money with two jobs, right? So, one worked in Camry and on Long Beach. That’s about 75 miles. So, I commuted literally back and forth between there and then, of course, I had to install a system in Las Vegas. So, that meant I had to commute to Las Vegas once a week also for several months. So, that got it tiring and then I did my taxes and realized working two jobs, I made less money because I’m raised up in a bracket than I would have worked making one job. Talk about a shock. Yes.

I began my ghostwriting career to fight the griefRichard: So, then I moved on to Trader Joe’s from there and that was a good move. It was nice and stable for 20 years, got married at the exact same time of Trader Joe’s, got married and was married for 12 years. She passed away in 2013, excuse me, 2005 and I took an interesting little side road there, a little detour. I decided to become a photographer. Mostly because she passed away and I was full of grief and the thing about grief that I’ve learned is grief is not a friend. You don’t invite grief home, you don’t spend time wallowing in your grief, you don’t try and understand it. It’s not your friend. It’s your enemy. So, the best thing to do is to get rid of grief and how do you do that? Well, I figured in my case, I get out of the house, because I tend to be introverted, and go out with people or in the nature or something. So, I started nature photography and then I went to a renaissance fair and ran into a bunch of dancers and before you know it, I am the dance photographer, belly dance photography for southern California. I mean, literally I did 1200 shoots, performance shoots, visited all the fairs in the United States, practically. I visited almost 400 fairs shooting renaissance fairs, I’m shooting wrestling matches and things like that, all kinds of stuff. Just having a great old time. Kind of toyed with making a living but it’s really hard to make a living as a photographer. Everybody has a camera now and wedding photographers don’t get paid anything. I did some weddings, strange ones, not strange ones but different ones that my culture I was used to and it was an interesting time, it was an interesting time. I used to have birthday parties where I’d have 100 dancers come and dance for me, just for me. Literally 100 dancers come from the whole state. I’ve got videos on YouTube, you know, of the performances and things. It was fun. So, I’d have six hours of dancing. Just people dancing for me, women, all women of course and it was fun but I kind of got burned out on that because I was moving really fast doing a lot of travelling.

Host: Alright. Hold on one second, Richard. You had birthday parties and you, for your birthday party, you would hire 100 dancers to come dance for you, belly dancers dance for you. That was your birthday gift to self?

Richard Lowe belly dance photographerRichard: Well, I didn’t hire them, actually. They came for me because I used to photograph them for free. So, I would photograph them the whole year. So, that’s kind of a thank you. They would all come and have a birthday party for me. So, I’d rent a facility, you know, it might be a bar, might be a room in the back and then eventually wound up got so big, I wound up renting a community center for two days and had one on two different evenings. So, I had 100 one night and 100 the next. I am not joking and that was it.

Host: Well, I think we’ve got to dig in here a little bit. There’s a lot of guys out there going, what in the world. So, you would invite your friends, would you invite other people or are you the only audience member?

Richard: Well, I’d invite the dancers, their families, of course, my friends, a few workmates but mostly it was me. Also they came, they put on a show that lasted the whole night for me and it was their thank you for thousands and thousands and thousands, I literally took over a million pictures that I took during the year for them. So, it was kind of a, you know, way to return what I’ve been doing because I just gave them the pictures. I didn’t charge for it and they figured that was cool and when I started running a pirate shop and we had a big show in the pirate shop and I was like, this was cool, I’m going to keep doing it.

Host: So, yeah, yeah. So, I mean, talk to me about, I mean, your story’d really interesting and I think that people out there are going, this is like, this is a crazy kind of peculiar thing to go from, you know, working in, you know, dams, you know, building the technology in dams and then, you know, you had a tragedy with the loss of your wife so you had this grief and you’re like OK I’m going to…grief is not my friend and I love that quote. So, how do you get rid of grief is to get out, especially, you know, from what you were saying. So, you started photography and you saw some challenges but, you know, you found your niche pretty quickly as a belly dancing photographer that does this and then it turned into, like, the party of parties for you having hundreds of belly dancers dance for you. This is incredible.

09:50

Richard: I also had renaissance fair people because I was their renaissance photographer also so that reenactors would come to the same parties and they would do a re-enactment for me as well.

Host: Oh my gosh.

Richard: I know. It’s amazing.

Host: That sounds like a hoot. OK, so then…man, this is great. So, when did you start to make this shift, you know, you were saying that you were getting burnt out. When did you start to make a shift from photography to something else? What happened there?

Richard: Well, I was still working for Trader Joe’s and I was in I.T., so photography became my weekend/evening thing and I was working in the day and I was working eighteen-hour days. I mean, eighty-hour weeks…days would be hard.

Host: Yeah, very difficult.

Richard: So, I was working long hours and then burning doing all these photography things and traveling. I was actually flying to different states to do the renaissance fairs and shows and I finally realized, Okay, the grief is long handled. You don’t need to be doing this for that anymore. That’s an excuse. You’re here doing this because it’s fun and then it just became not so much fun anymore because it was so much. I wasn’t sleeping well and things and I realized I’d been working in I.T. for 33 years and I really wasn’t pursuing my dream. Sure, I was paying the bills, I was building up a nest egg, I was fulfilling the American dream in certain ways but I wasn’t fulfilling my dream and my goal and that’s when I started tickling my mind, that it’s time to change and in October of 2013, I thought, let’s do it. Let’s just do it and there I went.

The stress was causing my body and mind ham so I became a professional ghostwriter

Host: All right, so you’re working at Trader Joe’s, what was your title or what did you at Trader Joe’s?

Director of IT to Ghostwriting CareerRichard: I was the director of IT, which meant I managed, excuse me, director of computer operations, which means I managed all the computers and the people responsible for the technology in the corporate offices. So, I didn’t manage the stores. So, I had about 1300 computers of all kinds that I managed.  The desktops, the servers, the information, the applications and I manage a team and a team of consultants and we kept, basically, Trader Joe’s going.

Host: Wow, so, you’re doing now eighteen-hour weeks and on the weekends for fun, you’re taking pictures of hundreds, over a million pictures a belly dancers and renaissance fair people…

Richard: And mermaids.

Host: And mermaids. Let’s not forget the mermaid everyone but you’re taking the pics What were your…what was your, like fellow co-workers, like, what were they saying because you’re, you know, you’re your an employee but then you had this entrepreneurial side hustle where you’re like doing a life that a lot of guys would really enjoy doing taking pictures of, you know, belly dancers and mermaids and renaissance fair. Like, what were your co-workers saying as you were exploring your side hustle, entrepreneurial life?

Richard: I think that they just kind of blanked it from their mind because it was so unbelievable to them. I mean, I talked about it and they…I don’t, I don’t…they came to some of the parties one or two and I don’t think they were that interested. A lot of them were married and you know the wives didn’t really appreciate it and, you know. You know, belly dancers are very conservative so they’re very… they tend to normally, you know, the dances were normal. They weren’t anything exotic but I think they just thought I was going through a phase.

Host: Yeah. OK, so then you start to get burned out. You were working and then you kind of remembered or revisited this dream that you had when you were six. What was that…what reminded of that dream of, you know, to be a writer and to do that as a profession, like, what sparked that memory?

Mardhavi, one of my very best friendsRichard: I was very creative and I was creating on the photography side but I couldn’t turn it into a real business and I didn’t want to, really, because it had become a lot of fun and the dancers were becoming good friends. I’m still friends with most of them, of course, and then I remembered my dream. It just came to me one day, maybe in a dream, that, you know, what I really want to do was write. I wanted to go and I didn’t have any idea what kind of writing at that point. I just, all I knew was I wanted to become a writer, whatever that meant. So, I have one last belly dance birthday party, I actually timed leaving for my birthday, packed up the truck, I hired somebody to move me and one of the dancers, great lady named Mardhavi, she’s from Sri Lanka, decided that I wasn’t going to drive alone. So, she drove with me the entire trip from California to Florida and then flew back home. She’s a great lady and she’s a [Inaudible 15:01], I’m sure I pronounced that wrong, dancer. It’s a classical Indian type dancing from India. And basically, picked up and moved and completely changed my life. That was five years ago and never looked back. It’s a different life. It’s much more calm. Stress level is very, very low. The stress is now, of course. I have my own business and I have to make an income and, you know, when you’re a freelancer, marketing is a big deal. That’s one of the things I did not realize about being a writer and being self-employed is suddenly promotion and marketing becomes a big deal and introversion is not possible. You need to get out there, you need to meet people and you need to talk to people and if you’re afraid of doing that, you better get over it now because otherwise you’re going to be talking to the landlady about rent.

Host: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, before I ask this next question and to dive more into that, I want to talk to the audience. So, you guys are listening into this audio but Richard and I had the pleasure of being able to see each other through video. So, I’m looking across. I’m looking at Richard and he’s a distinguished gentleman. He has a white beard, white hair and he’s sitting in an office and it looks like he has thousands of books, like, on bookshelves and such like that. So, when I’m having this conversation, I’m talking with, you know, what distinguished, you know, gentleman and he’s very reserved but he’s surrounded by books and I could just tell, like, by looking at him, a few things. One is that, you know, he reads a lot of books but Two, it brings up such a funny question that I’m now going to direct it at you. Did you actually, were you a belly dancer yourself or did you get in any type of belly dancing anything like that.?

Richard: No, I was not a belly dancer. They did drag me up on stage a few times and I did have a woman to each side of me kind of pushing my hips but I’ve never really danced. It’s not been my thing. I’m actually very introverted and shy before the wife passed away and this kind of pulled me out of myself. It was a good experience. Dancers don’t let you…when you’re…for the photographer you have to extrovert. You cannot be introverted. They don’t want you and you don’t want to be. So yeah.

Host: Well, that’s awesome. I’m so glad that you found a way to, you know, serve your community, find a niche, a way to overcome grief and get rid of grief. So, before we kind of go into your ghostwriting, I think that there’s something there about that I want to learn more about overcoming grief because I think a lot of times people go through a life ticketing moment, right, and to use the loss of a spouse and, you know, like on the show, what I want to do is I want to help people by asking, you know, sometimes tough questions but how would you suggest or advise or, maybe give us some wisdom on how to overcome grief because there’s a lot of people out there who get hit with something and they don’t know how to deal with it. They don’t know how to overcome it and it looks like you’ve come out on the other side. So, we’d love to capture some of your wisdom.

Richard: Sure, sure.

Host: So, could you could you share some of that with us?

Richard: Well, first of all, it was a lot worse than I let on. She was sick for 8 ½ years, got chronically sick where I actually did the home health care. I was taught how to do her IVs, twice a day, changed the dressings on her legs, she had wounds on her legs. She was hospitalized 9 times, 2 comas. I mean, it was a long, sad time. She was sick a lot and it just got worse and worse and then finally, unexpectedly, but unexpectedly, because, you know, there was a sense that it was coming but you never expect it, she was gone. Just like that, one day, boom, gone and there was that sudden sense of loss then there was this sudden sense of, OK I’m glad that’s over, oh my I’m guilty about being glad it’s over and grief and all the emotions that pop up. It was a gazillion emotions, up and down and right and left. So, I started, just before that, I’d started doing nature photography about two months before she passed away, just as a kind of way to keep busy. So, I’d start…I’d go to Joshua Tree National Park and take pictures and things, leave her with somebody to take care of her or and some of the other national parks. So, I just kept doing that because I tend to be introverted and I realized that I would curl up into a ball and you’d never seen you again if I…and I’d just become a person who went to work and went home if I let the grief take over. And so, for a while there, I was traveling all around the country taking pictures of all the national parks. I’ve got fifty or sixty thousand pictures of national parks, state parks, local parks, waterfalls. I went on hikes, have lots of adventures there, fell down a cliff, you know, had a cactus needle go all the way through my foot. I should write a book about myself.

Host: Yeah, I think so.

Richard: It was fun and pushed myself to the limit and I wasn’t in great physical shape because, you know, I tend to have a sedentary job. I’ve more or less put in a lot of physical activity in my current life because that’s one thing about grief is if your sedentary, grief gets a lot worse, I found. Sitting on the butt or sitting and watching T.V. Sitting and watching T.V. is horrible for grief because T.V. is full of violence and news brings up angry stuff and bad things and…the first thing I had to do was turn off the T.V., I had to get out of the house, I had to go do nature photography and I went to the renaissance fair and I ran into the dancers and because I’m introverted, I used the camera as a way to meet people. Can I take your picture? So, the camera was in the way. The camera was like, a talisman, I don’t know what you would call it. It was like a way to get to talk to people. So, I got to the point in renaissance fairs where I was, I’d see a couple. They don’t know each other. I’d see a guy over here and a girl over there and I’d put them together and say, “look, let’s photograph you two together. OK I want you to pretend that you know each other or that you’re in or have a romantic relationship. Now hug each other and then I’d have them kissing and stuff and then send them the pictures and they don’t know each other, complete strangers. I wonder how many marriages I was responsible for? Anyway, I used to do that a lot and then I’d step back and think, “I was introverted. Boy, this is weird”. But the back of the grief. The thing is grief makes people very, what’s the word, solid. It makes them very, um, harsh, and they go into themselves and there’s this false information of grief, that you’ve got to explore your grief and you have to feel it and you have to understand it and you have…that’s just a bunch of hooey. It’s…that would be like inviting your drunk uncle over for a party at your house in the evening or something. You don’t want to do that while he’s, you know, nostalgic. What you want to do is not do that. You want to get out and I found, in my case, that getting out and being with people and being in nature and kind of extroverting myself to the world was the solution. At first, it didn’t seem like the solution because the grief was still there but every day I could feel it inching away a little more and then it’d come back and then a little more and then it would come back and then a little more and then finally, it just kind of disappeared and every once in a while, you know, it comes back a little bit. It was it was a long process but it worked. But I’ve seen many people curl up into a ball and they disappear.

Host: Yeah, well. For so many reasons I’m so glad that you didn’t curl up into a ball because now the world gets to appreciate your art and your work and, you know, I get to have a conversation with you here. So, I’m glad you found that and thank you for sharing your wisdom them with us. So then, one day, it kind of just hits you. You know, you’re working a lot, you’re taking pictures, started to get burnt out, you said, you know what, I want to be a writer. So, you jump off this cliff and you say I’m a professional writer. Now what does that actually mean?

Richard: I had to figure it out and I figured it after I jumped off the cliff. So, after I left Trader Joe’s, I mean, I left with a pretty good savings and thing. So, it wasn’t like I was, you know, had no money and was leaving I did have a plan. So, it wasn’t as risky as it sounds and that and, you know, I’m living pretty good and things. So, I left and hired movers and moved to Florida because I figured Florida was a little more calm than California and I was right. California is very, very fast. There’s gazillion people there and it’s very…things are so significant and then in Florida, it’s like whatever, you know. You know what I mean, let’s go to the beach. And it’s a great place to write, especially in Clearwater. It’s very calm and quiet. So, I moved here and then I had to figure it out. So, I started writing a science fiction book that I’d started in the 1980’s and that moved along very slowly. I joined some writing groups, that are writing critique groups. That’s where the people tear your book apart and hurt your feelings and I met a guy who was a ghost writer and he had a company and he hired me to be a ghostwriter and I did about three or four books for him and then I realized that he wasn’t charging enough and to pay me enough to do the work. I got paid a thousand dollars to do a three-hundred-page book on an Afghani, who didn’t speak good English, that I had to interview quickly because he was flying back to Afghanistan and I thought, you know, this ain’t…a thousand bucks, it doesn’t even come close to covering this. When I added up the hours, I was making $3 an hour or something like that. I said this isn’t working. So, I started…I said OK, I’m done with you. The next day, I got my first big ghostwriting contract, $15,000. The next day. It’s like okay, going from one thousand to fifteen thousand dollars in one day – those are much better ghostwriting rates.

How did I do that? Just getting out there and talking to people and talking to businessmen and I found one who said he needed a book that he’d written before about computer security updated from ten years ago. So, I did it. He gave me fifteen grand and then I got another one who wanted me to write a book about his business but he wanted me to write a novel about his business. So, what is his business…what does a normal business look like before, during and after his company comes in. That was fun and I got ten grand for that and then another one and then another one and then another one. So, I was ghostwriting and then I started writing my own books and the thing about writing your own books that’s interesting is that you throw them on Amazon and you think, OK, they’re going to sell. They don’t sell because you got to promote them. A whole unknown area to me, promotions, what’s that, you know. I’ve never been a promoter. So, I had to learn how to promote, because ghostwriting jobs don’t just fall off trees, you know. So, I’m promoting and promoting. I wrote a book on how to use LinkedIn, promote, promote it, promote it and then bam, overnight 10,000 copies just wham, sold. My promotion worked and then I wrote a book on how to sell on eBay and bam, a thousand copies and started experimenting with different kinds of books and some of them have sold pretty good and some of them sell one copy a month and I’ve written a lot under pseudonyms, that’s a fake name. That’s pretty normal because you want to have different genres that you write in and you don’t want to write in those different genres in your own name because people get kind of freaked out if they find out OK right westerns but you also write romance but you also write science fiction but you also write this. That’s just weird. So, I’ve got a bunch of pen names and I write a lot of books. Most of them now are short fiction books. So, like Western that you could read into two hours or romance novel. Believe it or not, romance novel that you could read in 2 hours. So, there ten to fifteen thousand words and now I’m actually moving one step ahead and I’m writing books about how to write those kind of books and selling those books and those are doing really well. A lot of writers, they don’t know how to write a romance book. Well, romance is actually 40% of all books sold are romance books. Every book in liberal, in the United States is romance, 40% of those. So, if you learn how to write romance, you’ve got a much better chance of selling your books. I wrote a book on how to do that. That came out yesterday and it’s already selling like a hundred copies, you know, and it’s selling pretty quick and I’m promoting it because that’s the key that most writers miss, is you’ve got to promote. Amazon doesn’t sell your book for you until your book reaches a certain level and the reason why is 10,000 books a day are published. So, they don’t. They can’t throw 10,000 books. So, they promote the ones that actually start to sell, where they see the authors doing the work but the ghostwriting turned out to be a passion, moving back to that. What I do and what I enjoy with ghostwriting is helping a businessman in any area. I’ve got a…I’m working on a book for dentistry. I’m working on a book for real estate, a high technology artificial intelligence book. So, it’s literally all over the spectrum. What I do is I help them establish, in their area, that they are the expert and that they have credibility and they have the background to do what they’re doing. So, the one I’m writing on artificial intelligence, I just finished it. It’s at a publisher now. It’s proves that he knows what he’s doing and that he’s the guy that you go to if you want to find out about this particular type of AI. I wrote a book on the Internet of Things. Same thing. He came to me and he said, I want to write a book on the Internet of Things and I have one goal. I want the C.E.O. of my company or any other company in the area to know who I am and I said, OK. So, we wrote the book. The C.E.O. wound up writing the forward for the book. So, he achieved his goal big time and he’s doing speeches and he’s having a great time and that’s what ghostwriting a book does. You probably aren’t going to make your money back on Amazon. You aren’t. What you’re going to make your money back on is you’re going to get business, you’re going to go on speaking engagements, you’re going to…people are going to see that you have a book and they’re going, oh, he’s the expert. He’s the one, he’s the car dealer. He’s written a book about how to be a car dealer or the inside scoop on what car dealers really know or whatever and that’s what I like to do with ghostwriting is understand that person, understand what he wants to do, understand why he’s the best and then write a book it.

Host: That’s pretty interesting. So, how many books have you written, Richard?

Richard: Well, I’ve written 66 books for myself. I’ve written…I just finished my 17th ghostwritten book. This is in five years and I’ve written now seven of the how to write books that I’m selling, I’m not selling on Amazon, I’m selling them a different way and I’m writing one of those per week now.

Host: Oh my gosh. So, all right, so I want to get some advice for the audience, some free Richard advice to the audience. Give us maybe one way that people are not promoting their book well, that you have kind of unlocked, that you do. What’s a good way to promote a book that most people aren’t doing?

Richard: OK. When you want to promote a book, the first thing you need to do is ignore all of the things that people are trying to sell you. If you will…as soon as you start to promote your book, you are going to be an inundated with a wave, a tidal wave like the one that hit Japan, of people trying to sell you ways to sell your book and every single one of them isn’t going to help you sell your book. They’re going to take your money and you might sell a few copies but I spent probably $10,000 trying to sell my books for nothing. I didn’t do anything. What you want to do to sell your book or what I did successfully is first of all build your mailing list. The gold is in your email list. That’s where the gold is. So, everybody who buys the book should give you their e-mail address, if you can possibly get it. So, you have, at the back of the book you should say, go here to sign up to receive updates to the book, to receive my newsletter, to get a free gift, is usually the best thing, to get the missing chapter with the special secret, something like that. Put that in the back your book. They’ll click on that link, if it’s an e-book or they’ll type in the link. They’ll go get that free gift. They’ll stay on your mailing list and now you’ve got them and you send them information on the mailing list. Don’t send an advertisement every day. Send an advertisement every fifth day and send them a tip every day, if you’re going to send every day or once a week or whatever your thing is. So, you want to build them up as friends. You’re helping them. You’re saying here’s, like, my writing thing. I send a tip. Here’s the way you write ten thousand words a day. I write ten thousand words a day. How do you do that? Well, here’s how I do it. That’s one tip. Here’s another tip, how do you how do you find a publisher. There’s another tip. Just a quick tip and then the next day will be OK, I’ve got a book and you can go buy it here. It tells you how to write in this particular way and then the next day will be another tip and then another tip. So, it’s not always a constant stream of ads because that makes people very annoyed.

Richard: The other thing is you cannot give away a free thing every day because then you train your readers to always expect something free and they won’t buy anything. So, you’ve got to make sure that you’re not giving away the farm. So, the good stuff is never given away, the really good stuff. You give away good stuff but you sell the best stuff and that gives you a way, if you’re a normal author, to let people know that you’ve got a new book coming out, you always have a new book coming out, you’re always working on it, what’s the progress on it, what’s it about, what are they going to learn, if it’s a fiction book. You know, like, if you were writing the next Game of Thrones book, you would be giving them hints, tips and stuff about what’s coming out and that’s where your gold is in the mail lists.

Host: That’s good. All right, so now I want to switch to the ghostwriting side. So, we have authors and people who aspired to be, you know, professional writers and ghostwriters and you write 10,000 words a day. What is one way to do that because a lot of people have the desire to write but, you know, what advice would you have for us who want to write but have no clue how to get 10,000 words on paper?

Richard: Let me give you some tips. First of all, 10,000 words a day is if you do an 8-hour day or let’s say a 10-hour day just to make the math easy, is a thousand words an hour and that’s really not that much. A thousand words an hour is not hard to do. 10,000 words a day sounds really hard but when you break it down by hour, it’s not as hard as you think. So, I write for 45 minutes and I take 15 minutes break, take 2 laps around the complex that I’m in. So, that’s about actually a mile so literally 45 minutes and then walk a mile, 45 minutes, walk a mile. So, I’m getting out because the screen is sitting right here and if it’s sitting right here the thing that happens, writer’s block. The screen actually causes writer’s block, I’ve found. You’re typing, typing, typing, typing, typing. Your brain kind of goes into the screen, I guess, and you can’t write anymore. The other thing is make sure your environment is calm, make sure that the family or friends or whoever you’re with knows when the door is closed or the sign is up or the red coffee cup is on its side or , you’re writing and you are not to be disturbed for anything unless the place is burning down or somebody is dying and even then, they better be somebody important because interruptions will kill you. Turn off Facebook, turn off your phone, turn off everything that will interrupt you and write for 45 minutes and take a break. And I use voice to text. So, I actually speak it and it goes into words, automatically and it actually is about a 99% of being right. Of course, you’ve got to edit it and fix all those things where the dictation misunderstood what you were saying. That only takes a few more minutes and doing that I can literally write 5,000 words an hour.

Host: What program do you use for your voice to text?

Richard: Dragon professional 15.

Host: OK. Awesome. Yeah, this is really, really good, Richard. This is good advice and good conversations, you know. For the people listening in who are business owners, you know, a lot of times, business owners they have decided that, you know, they don’t have anything to write about or, you know, maybe they’re an expert in their space but, you know, what are some benefits to writing a book if I’m a business owner because that, you know, that’s your ideal client. Like, so if I’m a business owner, why should I write a book?

Richard: Because when people in society look up to authors. If you’ve written a book I mean, look at every politician and every major C.E.O. out there, not every one of them but all of them. Why did Hillary Clinton write a book? Why Donald Trump write a book? Why does the senator write a book? Why did Lee Iaccoca write a book? They wrote a book because that established them as the name. Lee Iaccoca writing a book about how to run a company. He is the man now who knows how to run a company. He is sharing it with you. He is talking to you, the reader, directly saying this is what I learned, I am the guy, I have the experience and you should believe me because I wrote a book and look at all these other C.E.O.’s they didn’t write a book but I did because I’m a giving kind of person and I want to tell you about it. What a book does is it gives the press something to talk about. Hey he wrote a book. It gives you something to talk about at speaking engagements and if you’re a businessman, you should be doing speaking engagements regularly like once a week, podcasts and in person, and a book gives you something to sell at speaking engagements and to give away and to so forth. If you have an office where people come in, like I wrote a book for a car dealer. He has a book behind him and you go in there and the book has his name on it and the person who comes in goes, you wrote a book. Yeah, it’s how to buy a car but what are the…what to look out for, how car dealers rip you off. But you’re a car dealer. You’re telling me how you rip me off? No, I’m telling you how the other car dealers rip you off. And voila, he is the expert and he’s helping you and then he goes and gives speeches on it and that’s what a book does for a business, is it gives you a hook. It gives you an advantage over everybody else in your area because most people don’t write books. It’s too expensive. It’s funny how much money they’ll spend on stupid things and they won’t spend the money on the one thing that will help them, writing a book. It will help more than a blog, it’ll help a lot more than social media because it will give you something to talk about on your social media and so on.

Host: That’s good. I like your example of the car dealer where it’s like, I’m going to give you tips and tricks on actually how to essentially work for me or with me right. It’s educating your people on why they should use you and also why they shouldn’t use the other people and it’s a great sales tool, from what it sounds like. Richard, thank you for that input. I really like your story. I really like, you know, what you’re doing. You’re really fascinating. If someone’s out there and they’re thinking of writing a book or you know they’re a business leader and they need some help and they’re looking to you. Two things. One is, what can you help them do, essentially, what do you your services actually look like and then how can people find you or get in touch with you?

Richard: Well, I’ll start with the last question first. I have a website called thewritingking.com. So, it’s literally, thewritingking.com and if you go there, I’ve got a blog with a couple hundred articles and you can contact me from there easy enough. What was the other question? Sorry.

Host: Yes, so if I wanted to write a book, if I was, you know, I am a business owner but like what can you do for me and what does that look like? You know, like I know that you have a process, what would that look like if I want to write a book?

Richard: I have three, basically three different book writing services depending on the needs and the budget. The first one is I just do hourly and I ask for a certain number of hours upfront and we subtract from it as we go and that’s usually when they don’t really know what they want to write and we’re trying to figure it out. So, it’s kind of a consulting service. It’s usually 20 hours. Works out to about $1000 or $1200 and we work through. I can help them in any area that they need, so…and then that usually gets them started on the book. That might move directly into, what I call, a book coaching or collaboration project, where it’s also hourly, same thing, it’s just more of those, where we work together on the book. Usually that works on the ones where they are the knowledge expert like when I’m working on artificial intelligence book. I don’t know anything about Artificial Intelligence but do. They don’t how to write but I do. So, I become the writer and I’m basically…we work together and write the book together. That typically goes on an hourly rate and it typically doesn’t work out to be anywhere near as expensive as you would think because it goes pretty fast and then the third kind is probably two thirds of what I do, is where they just say, just write this book for me and they don’t even have time to do more than a couple interviews. I have to go out and Google and figure all this stuff out and then write a book and hope to God that they like it and they always do. I’m used to those changes and things but…and then all I have to do is interview them for the stuff that’s unique. So, if I’m writing a book about retirement, which is one that I just finished. Go out on the Internet, find all about retirement and how it works and stuff, put it all together, have a few interviews, write a book and then they’ve got a finished book and they only had to spend a few hours at it and they actually have a book. So those 3 different models.

Host: That’s pretty good. That’s pretty cool. All right, so you told us how to find you thewritingkking.com and you gave us your e-mail address and thanks for, thanks for coming on the show, sharing, you know, your story and how you overcame grief and the wisdom you shared with us, I believe that it’s so valuable, you know, like being able to keep going when, you know, life throws something hard at you. So, number, one I commend you for, you know, exploring different things from dams, computers to Trader Joe’s to photography to writing, you know. I love the journey you’re on, Richard and I’m glad to have you on the show. You’re a great jockey yourself and man, this was a blessing to chat with you today. Thank you.

Richard: Thank you. One more website that’s brand new but is going to be built up in the next few days, probably by the time this airs, is fictionmasterclass.com and that’s where my fiction products and books will be. So, if anybody wants to write fiction and learn how to do it, they can go there.

Host: Very cool, very cool. Well ladies and gentlemen, thanks for listening into the Bet the Jockey show in this conversation with Richard. Hope you’re having a wonderful day. To find out more about Richard, you can go to the links that he mentioned or you can go to the show notes and you can, you know, click on them directly and get a hold of him. So, I hope you guys had a wonderful conversation, being a part of this with us and we’ll see you guys on the next episode. Bye everyone.

About the author, Joshua

Josh Wilson is the host of Bet The Jockey, an inspirational podcast for growth-minded entrepreneurs, and he’s got a fire in him. This is obvious within ten seconds of every episode: his gregarious nature glows with good humor, his warmth evident from voice alone. His passion is to help fellow entrepreneurs find their fire and teach them how to keep it. The first comes as second-nature for Josh. The second part? Well, that’s where Josh really has to strive.

Richard Lowe Jr

Richard Lowe Jr

Owner and Senior Writing at The Writing King
Richard is the Owner and Senior Writer for The Writing King, a bestselling author, and ghostwriter. He's written and published 63 books, ghostwritten 20+ books, as well as hundreds of blog articles.
Richard Lowe Jr

@richardlowejr

Professional Ghostwriter, author and writing coach
@talihawrites It's actually illegal and carries a very large fine if the FTC prosecuted. - 1 month ago
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