It’s Been One Year Since I Released My First Book, So What?

If you’re wondering who I am and why you haven’t heard of me, that’s because I’m still a nobody. At least, a nobody to the published world of literature. I’m not famous. I’m not a writer for any regular publications (although I have had a few guest spots on some). Heck, I think the most I’ve made from all of my writing in total is maybe $500.

Forget paying the rent, that might cover food and gas. For one month.

I’ve written for The Sun, PokerNews, PokerShares, Cream City Central, Medium, Ozaukee Press… you know, publications everyone knows. Ha. Some of paid me pretty well per article, some have not paid me at all. Which I’m OK with. It’s all about exposure and getting your work out into the world that matters most to me, for people to glean and gather from.

Now, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to have a regular paid writing gig. Who wouldn’t? In today’s world, that takes time though. It takes thousands and thousands of articles and/or blogs to get known. To be seen. To become a name. Consistency is key. I need to write more. I need to blog more. I need to reach out to more publications. I need to promote myself and my writing, most of all.

I’ll bet you didn’t even know that I have a book out. It’s OK, it’s only been a year. April 11, 2020 is when I released my first book out into the wild, available on Amazon. It was only available as an e-book, for the kindle or other download. I priced it at a meager 99 cents, because, like I said, I’m still a nobody in the literary universe. Much to my surprise, I actually sold quite a few the first week. In fact, I was the number one new release in their “Poker” section of books.

When I first released it, I created posts all over social media. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. LinkedIn. You name it, I was promoting it in as many free ways as I could.

Friends and family purchased the e-book. Mostly friends from Facebook or poker players I interacted with on Twitter. I mean, 99 cents, you can’t beat that right!? It’s still 99 cents, by the way, and will remain that way. It’s 99 cents, also, because that is the lowest Amazon will allow. I do have random giveaways in which I make the e-book version free for a promotional period of time.

I haven’t even given you the name of the book or discussed what exactly it all entails. Well, I did give you a little clue above when I mentioned it was #1 on Amazon’s “Poker” section of books. My book is, in fact, under the poker section, but it is actually much more than a book about my poker playing. It’s probably a 50/50 split on my early years as a young twenty year old, just trying to find his way in life, and how poker playing contributed to my highs and lows throughout. 

The book spans about 3–4 years of my life, from about age 20 to 24. I’m 36 years old right now, for those of you wondering, so it took me back quite a bit. This was something I had been wanting to write for awhile now. You know the drill; think of an idea, put a little time into it, think of something else and then put the original idea off to the side. That’s what I did years ago with this book. 

Back in March of 2020 I was feeling down and out about my writing and told myself to just finish the damn thing. So, I hunkered down in the basement and wrote for almost two weeks straight. Suddenly, I couldn’t stop, and just wrote all day, every day. By April 2020, I was ready for editing and publishing.

While I’m not saying it’s a beautiful work of art like The Alchemist or Meditations, it all came together nicely once I put in the time and work.

But Noah, you still haven’t even given us the title! OK, here goes: The Game of Life and Poker: The Lessons I Learned On and Off the Felt. There you have it. Now, for another drop, I also released a physical copy of the book back in October of 2020. BOOM. I know, I’m leaving you wanting more, aren’t I? 🙂

I never expected it to sell a million copies (and it has not). It will not. But the hope was that it was something I could be proud of and say that I am a published writer. No one can ever take that away from me. Moving forward, I knew I had to continue to promote the heck out of it, and just keep writing more and more to get the word out. I failed in that regard. There were weeks I wouldn’t even mention it. Epic fail, indeed.

Once I released the physical copy of the book (also available on Amazon, or for an autographed and personalized copy- please let me know), I could come up with more promotional ideas and giveaways. I would run drawings of free books on Facebook Live or just leave a copy of the book somewhere in my local stores or shops. Some towns near me had these little book houses set up for “Take a Book, Leave a Book.” So I’d leave a book inside there. My girlfriend made homemade bookmarks and a shirt for me to promote even. Those were pretty neat actually.

Recently, I posted a few videos on my YouTube account reviewing each chapter with my friend Matthew (who is in the book quite a bit actually). I also posted the chapter reviews as a podcast even. As such, I’ll share all of the links below. OK, I know you can’t wait, here’s a little sneak peak.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCda4I8rU48e9hPcZWjTi1fw

I have learned in the past year that you need to put yourself out there if you want to become noticed. If you want people to care, you have to be vulnerable and share your stories. I share mine, but I don’t share enough. I have so much to say, and at times I keep it inside. As a writer (or wannabe professional), I need to put the time and effort in. Just like anything in life, we all do. You get what you put in.

This past year has been very trying for everyone, and I’ve been told my writing has gotten people through some of those trying times. My book alone has a 100% five star rating on Amazon, with the comments just blowing me away. You never know who you touch or provide relief to until they share their own personal stories with you. Moving forward myself, I need to keep doing so, in the hope that I can continue to enrich or motivate even more lives. My own included.