How Stories Can Make You Rich

Stories can make you rich, if you learn how to focus the tales.

Self publishing is a great way to live anywhere but earn everywhere, especially when we have a good story.


Our granddaughters Sequoia and Teeka.

While visiting my mom, our daughter, son-in-law (also our webmaster), and our granddaughters, Sequoia and Teeka, I started to tell the girls the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Sequoia cut me short.  “I do not like Alice!”

That was time to adapt.  I quickly resolved by telling the story of Hectorina and the three Alligators.  I suspect you would get the plot very quickly… and the moral of the story… “Do what your mother tells you.  Don’t go places mommy says to avoid!”

Hopefully you can see in the photo above how Sequoia’s and Teeka were absorbed.  This was a time proven good story.

We all have a story to tell.  The profit in self publishing comes from knowing how to deliver that story to a highly defined group of like-minded souls on a profitable basis.

Having a system that refines and defines your message is vital to publishing success.

I was reminded of this fact when we posted an advertisement for our friends at Walden Publishing.

This ad offers how to get the report, “The Secret Book of Free Life Hacks – 135 Easy, Underground Ways to Beat The System”.  You can see the ad here.   

The report shows all types of tricks that fit very closely to Merri’s and my Smalltown USA focus.  It shows useful information such as “How to use a little reported government program to get free land” –  “How to enjoy a week long vacation at the finest resorts for as little as a dollar” and  “How to be paid to eat at 5-start restaurants”.

The reminder was interesting because the ad created the largest number of complaints I can recall.   The ad also resulted in the highest number of sales we have seen in quite some time.

Some readers hated the ad.  Others loved it.

This was an important reminder because all experienced advertisers know that the most successful ads also bring the most complaints.

No business wants to do anything that results in complaints, but there is always some customers who are not satisfied… at the same time other customers are deliriously happy.

Understanding this fact helps refine and define a business.  The refining-defining activity in a business is so important that we provide an entire section on how to refine lists and define publications in our Self Publishing course “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher”.

Here is an excerpt about how to use complaints to improve business.   This excerpt is from a case study on the defining-refining process John Locke used to sell 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months.

Locke is a New York Times best-selling author with 28 books in six different genres.  He is the 8th author in history to have sold one million eBooks on Kindle, which he achieved in only five months.  Locke has had four books in the top ten at the same time, including #1 and #2.

A Huffington Post article about Locke says:

Kentucky novelist, John Locke, is the first self-published author to sell more than a million digital books on His “Donovan Creed” series, about a former CIA assassin, has captivated an audience largely comprised of women over age 45, who eagerly shell out 99 cents per book.

Call him a best-selling late bloomer: Locke, 61, published his first novel three years ago.

Locke in an interview was asked how he gained success.

His reply was:  “To be successful in my business you have to make more mistakes than the competition, in a shorter period of time.  Of course it helps if you actually LEARN from those mistakes.”

John Locke Case Study

I highly recommend  that you order John Locke’s ebook How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

Here are seven steps that Locke recommends as his plan:

Step #1: Write the most original book you can, that becomes your Target Book.  This is the publication that allows you to define, refine and know your reader.  Locke says of his Target book… people either loved it or hated it.  This is good and there is nothing wrong with readers hating your books.  In fact this is often a good sign.

I grappled with this when I wrote my first book “Passport to International Profit” in the 1970s.  This was a book about investing abroad and many readers at that time thought it was very unpatriotic to invest beyond the US dollar.   The camp was divided… the majority who loved the dollar… the President and Apple Pie.  There were a lot more of those than my readers who thought the USA was no longer the only best place to be.

My readers wanted investments in gold, silver and other currencies.

This was a really small group in the 1970s compared to the bulk of the population who did not trust or simply hated what we shared.  Many people did not like the idea that America was no longer the best place to invest.  Many wrote telling us that we were unpatriotic or just plain crazy to invest in (then) weird places like Switzerland, Hong Kong or Japan.

Most readers thought I was crazy, and this weighed heavily on my thoughts.

“What can I do to be more widely accepted?” I often thought.   Then the realization came that  such negative reviews were good.  They showed that what was written was really new “state of the art information”.   This bonded me with the readership which was in tune with the text.

By the 1980s the pool of readers interested in international investing had grown… a lot.  Having been correct in the 1970s helped our business skyrocket.   By the 1990s the reader pool had grown so large we felt it time to refocus.

The market had grown too large… beyond a niche.

Competition expanded.

Covering the whole world was too much for Merri and me.

We refocused on Ecuador and built our Ecuador focus for over a decade and a half .

Then we moved to agricultural property in Smalltown USA and had to redefine our focus again.

I also recommend buying one of Locke’s Novels.   This is not because I like them.  I do not.  But the cost of his books is low and at the beginning you’ll see Locke following his own advice taking the second step we’ll review in a moment.

You’ll also see how Locke’s main characters are what he calls “edgy” and that people either love or hate them.  This is why he refused being published by a major publisher whom he felt would cause him to dilute the edginess of his characters and fuzzy his focus.

Locke explains in his How to Publish this view on bad reviews.  “If you do not get a lot of bad reviews with your Target book, you’re not original enough.”  He reckons that a good book will get most good reviews to start, but bad reviews will grow as book sales start to climb and you can use these reviews to help you understand what the good readers like.

He had a mathematical formula that makes sure he is staying in focus with his readers.  He uses the good review in step number two.

Step #2: Put your best reviews up front.  Good reviews are look good marketing.  The story has become an increasingly important part of every product.

John Locke starts his Donovan Creed novel “Saving Rachel”… his Target book in that series… with 21 start reviews that include some that are long and some that are short such as:

* Addicting!

* The Old Donovan Creed is Back

* Locke you are the man. What a great great series.  Keep them coming.  Creed makes my reading time fun and most enjoyable.

Step #3:  Prepare your reader for a good read!  This is so readers will want to buy the next book and this leads us to steps number three, four, five, six, seven and eight.

Step #4:  Create recurring characters or themes that will drive a series.

Step #5:  Create memorable scenes that readers will talk about.

Step #6:  Display website at beginning and end of site.

Step #7:  Create website.

Step #8:  Capture addresses and comments.

Steps three through eight are all about refining a responsive list.  Many marketers make a huge mistake to try to develop a list anyway they can.  This is an error because the key to a list’s success is its responsiveness.

Once a reader is enthused, you do not want his enthusiasm to dwindle while you are writing the next book.  A website gives him a place to go for more…to communicate and be communicated with about his or her enthusiasm.  Post that website address in as many places as you can so the reader can find you!

Finally, you want to get email addresses of readers so you can control the flow of information when you desire.  You want to be able to enhance the buzz when new books are published.

I love earning income from writing and publishing because technology makes this such a mobile vocation.  You can be anywhere, in the city, on a high desert or Caribbean isle, high in the mountains, even in a forest, really wherever you can write, you can still develop your own small niche community, even if the readers are around the world!

This is an era of savage competition in the field of publishing.  Small hard to reach niches are good because they have little competition and are easy as places to instill a sense of community.

Create stories focused on a niche community of readers.  You will be well on your way to greater profit.


Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 


Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund . 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a quarter of update lessons $79.   Click Here.

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.


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