The first time I met book marketing coach and independent publisher/author Rik Feeney, it was at a Florida Writers Association event last year. He is the president of the Florida Writers Association, which has a membership of at least 1,000. With his wry sense of humor, Feeney imparts his writing and publishing expertise. He conducts workshops and heads writing groups. Last year, I attended his seminar about independently publishing on Amazon Kindle.
So for an article about independent publishing tips, I knew he was the one to turn to about this topic. Read my SVT Publishing article on Rik’s five book marketing tips every author should know.
“25,000 pizzas ago,” Feeney likes to joke sometimes, he was a competitive gymnast in high school and at Pennsylvania’s Temple University. He was also a successful gymnastics coach nationally and internationally.
In 1992, he published his first book, “Gymnastics: A Guide for Parents and Athletes.” The book is now available from McGraw-Hill. He is the author of more than 48 books, reports and CDs on the sport and business of gymnastics.
Feeney helps aspiring authors navigate through the somewhat confusing world of self-publishing. The “independent publishing” has subsided self-publishing. No longer do authors feel that “independent publishing” is only for “talentless” authors who can’t find a traditional publisher. The internet makes independent publishing more popular, affordable and available. Authors can publish their work fast through Amazon, Smashwords and other independent publishing channels. Social media also foster the possibility of growing an online community.
Feeney said that everyone is an expert, and thus has something to write a book about.
“Everybody’s had unique jobs; they had unique experiences in life,” he said. “If you can take that experience and provide a solution, solve some kind of a problem, relieve a kind of pain somebody’s having, and help somebody get ahead in life, then yeah, you can write a book. I kind of think of it as a better world where, even if what I know is 10 awesome Ramen noodle recipes. Well you could be helping a lot of college kids.”
Feeney’s realization of putting his gymnastics expertise in a book was “a serendipity.” He published his first article at 10 years old in a column of a Philadelphia newspaper reserved for young writers 18 years old and under. Feeney picked up the writer’s pen again as a gymnastics coach to write a gymnastics guide for parents. The guide answers questions parents asked him between gymnastics classes, but he didn’t have time to address due to the tight schedule. That was “kind of unfair for them,” Feeney said. The book, “Gymnastics: A Guide for Parents and Athletes,” landed on bookshelves in the summer of 1992 — the year of the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an Orlando, FL-based writer, journalist, author and poet. She is the founder/owner of Heathermoors Books & Words, a boutique freelance writing service that customizes content for local publications and small businesses in Central Florida. A former staff writer in North Jersey, Edmond-Sargeant won two NJ Press Association Awards. She is the author of a poetry book “How Fate’s Confusion Connects” and an Amazon Kindle short story ebook “Eve the First,: A Fairy Tale Revision”.