by Pamme Boutselis
New author Michael Alden is the CEO and founder of Blue Vase Marketing. He has taken the lessons learned in his own hardscrabble climb to success and developed a book to help others move forward in their own lives. Alden’s book, “Ask More, Get More,” will be released on February 18, 2014. He recently connected with The Penmen Review to offer insight on his writing experience.
Have you always written?
I have written throughout my life, but not to the extent of creating my book. I have written for newsletters, blogs, creative copy and other smaller publications. As a political science undergraduate and in law school, some of the papers had to be of publishable quality, so I guess I have been writing for a while.
What’s your process in developing your storyline?
My book is my story, and how I overcame crime, poverty and violence to founding one of the premier marketing firms in the world and making millions in a very short period of time.
What challenges do you face in your writing, and how do you overcome them?
For me, the most difficult thing was organizing many of the stories and content into one cohesive book that made sense. When I got the publishing deal, they asked me to rewrite the book and that was scary. But, what they really meant was, they wanted more stories and they wanted me to reorganize the book. I am so glad they did, and I am very happy with how it came out.
What has the road to publication been like for you?
The process has been a journey for me. I originally wrote the book two years ago with the intentions of self-publishing and selling in direct response. When I started to get good feedback, I decided to seek out a traditional publisher. I was very fortunate to have found Greeleaf and Emerald Book Group, and they have just been amazing.
How do you market your work?
I am very fortunate to own a large direct-response marketing firm. We are marketing my book direct to consumer via television, radio, Internet, direct mail and also using a traditional public relations firm. As people will learn with my book, I’m an all or nothing type of person and I believe that my book will change people’s lives. So, I have tapped every resource that I have to spread the word about “Ask More Get More.”
What do you know now that you wish you knew back then?
If I had known what a wonderful experience writing a book would be, I would have started earlier. I am not an author by trade and I never thought I would be publishing a book, but it has been a fantastic experience. I will say that there are a lot of great books out there and the hardest thing I think for anyone—including me—is marketing. You can have a great book, product, website or an idea, but if you can’t market it you are in a very difficult spot. Fortunately, marketing is what I do.
Who are the writers that have inspired you most, and how have they inspired you?
Malcolm Gladwell: I love his book “Outliers” and how his ability to tell a story. I got chills reading “Outliers” and just love his style. I hope someday to have a follow up to “Ask More Get More,” like he has done several times.
Napoleon Hill: I would consider him the father of self-help. His book, “The Law of Success,” has changed my life and I read parts of this book every day. I have read parts of “Think and Grow Rich,” but “The Law of Success” is what I really enjoy.
Zig Ziglar: I have had the opportunity to spend time with Mr. Ziglar and his effervescent personality comes through in his publications. “See You At the Top” is a fantastic book that is motivational and inspirational.
If you got to keep just three books in your library, which would you choose and why?
“The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill
This book was first published in the early 1900s and is translates into modern-day society. You can read passages of this book and get something every day. I have this book on my desk and read it parts of it every day. There are quotes from this book all over my office that inspire my staff and me every day.
“The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz
This was one of the first “self-help” books I ever read and it had a dramatic impact on my life. When I read this book, I changed the way I thought about success and how to achieve it. To this day, I flip through this book to remind me about some of the techniques in the book.
“The Go Getter” by Peter Kyne
My company is called Blue Vase Marketing and it is based in the principles and values that are taught in this book. Every employee at my company has to read this book. It is a must read for anyone who wants to get more.