Today's guest post is by Patrick Ross. Patrick is an award-winning journalist and artist advocate in Washington, D.C. He is chronicling a cross-country trip in which he interviewed creatives of all stripes on his Artist's Road blog.
Patrick, you have the floor.
A Self-Published Author Opening New Doors
There are lots of ways to measure success as a self-published author. I saw that was true with one such author I met in Madison, Wisconsin, while driving across the country interviewing creatives of every stripe for a video documentary series.
Bill Aicher is a twenty-something marketing executive for an online music publisher of sheet music and guitar tabs, MusicNotes.com. When he started working there as a young college graduate he didn't know much about the inner workings of the music business. Through his job, however, he got to meet composers and musicians, and saw how his employer helped these creatives get paid for their labor.
That experience forced Bill to reflect on unauthorized file-sharing he had engaged in as a college student, and what he saw as disrespect for creatives' works once digitized and distributed online. His own company, after all, was selling sheet music online in competition with pirate sites.
Unbeknownst to his employers, Bill began writing about his frustration with the disrespect he saw for creatives, and that writing turned into a short book. Uncertain of the market for such a work but determined to put his message out there, he self-published. He took great care selecting the cover art, an image he licensed, and soon enough his book Starving the Artist was available in paperback, Kindle, ebook or online.
His book's sales haven't tempted him to quit his day job, not that he really wanted to. But the book has raised Bill's profile in his industry, increased his exposure online and in social media, and given him a level of professional respect to be admired for someone not yet thirty. It also put him on my radar, and led to him being one of the forty or so creatives I chose to interview on my road trip this summer.
Bill has a bright future ahead of him, and it wouldn't surprise me if Starving the Artist opens some doors to that future down the road.
JOHN: Thanks, Patrick, for sharing this enlightening multimedia presentation with us today.