Michael Alvear is the author of The Bulletproof Writer: How To Overcome Constant Rejection To Become An Unstoppable Author (Woodpecker Media January 2017). LINK:
He’s been a frequent contributor to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and his work has appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post.
Interview conducted by: Jennifer Brown Banks
Can you tell readers a little about your professional background?
Sure. I started out in advertising and marketing rising to director of media for a large chain of hospitals. Always been fascinated by what marketing efforts make people take action—something that served me well when I became a writer.
What inspired you to become a writer? Who was your biggest influence?
An English teacher at Florida State University told the class that she never gives A’s. I took that as a challenge and realized after the writing project that I loved it.
And yes, I got her first A!
Do you think writers are born or made?
Yes. Next question. No, seriously, that’s a nature vs nurture question and I don’t think you can have one without the other.
Do you write everyday? Have any unusual writing rituals?
I can’t write every day because I make a living as a hybrid author. Weird thing to say but there are so many things I have to do to sell my books that I simply can’t. I break my months into sales mode and writing mode. It’s usually one or the other.
What advice would you give to writers seeking a publisher, who may not have a large platform?
First, it’s not about the platform—it’s about the work. Second, it’s important to have a coping strategy for the rain of rejection you’re going to get. This is important because you can’t make good decisions when you’re spiraling into anger and despair.
If you could have a creative “super power” what would it be?
To write faster than the speed of sound!
In your book bullet proof writer, you provide advice to writers on how to deal with rejection. Why do you view this as an important topic? And how does your book differ from others that are on the market?
Talent is not enough to succeed. Dean Simonton, in Origins of Genius, LINK:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195128796/ proved that. His research showed that the biggest differentiator between the successful and the unsuccessful was a higher threshold for failure. A COPING STRATEGY.
About ½ of 1% of authors make a living wage (about $50k/year). I’m one of them. Actually, I make six figures. Not trying to be self-effacing but if talent were a swimming pool I would not be floating on the deep end of it. Most of the writers I started out with were WAY more talented than me yet they didn’t make it. I did. I developed a “bulletproof” that helped me turn poison into medicine.
Can you give readers a few “teasers” from your book “Make a killing on Kindle?”
I’ll give you the one that stops everyone in their tracks: Stop building your platform. Blogging, Twitter and Facebook are a complete waste of time. In the book LINK:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007XVWEIU I show not only my personal experiences with it but industry averages that are so shocking you’ll realize that the only writers who should be on social media selling books are celebrities who already have a large following.
… Anything else you’d like to add, Michael?
Don’t give up. Don’t despair and remember your purpose—to gift the flowers of your writing and voice your need to create.