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087 - The Author Illuminating Truth


Hey Guys! Nicole Gabriel here. I’ve been so busy during the lockdown as it seems everyone now has the time to write and publish a book. I don’t often talk on my podcasts about the new books that have launched from one episode to the next. My Angel Dog Productions social media pages will generally showcase these books. The latest to go into production are:

  • The Genius That Saved Baseball by Robert Ingram
  • Seeing by Vision, Not by Sight by Amanda Heal
  • Braving Your Adversity by Rob Bare
  • There Must Be Some Way by Kathryn Perciful
  • Celebrating Your Gift of Life by James Donaldson
  • Preparing For Your Elder Years by Vincent Limbeti

Let me tell you a little about these books: Robert has dreamt about writing his baseball story for years and finally pushed into home plate. Amanda amazes me as she is blind and still pushed forward and wrote her book, when many seeing people have yet to accomplish this feat. Rob lost his wife to cancer and is living her legacy through his words of encouragement in a touching tribute book. Kathryn overcame numerous challenges and found her adversity made her stronger. James overcame health and mental issues that took him from contemplating suicide to encouraging others to live their best life. And finally, Vincent provides valuable legal and financial advice to the aging population and those caring for them. Congratulations to all these wonderful new authors that are letting it all out there and showcasing their truth! It’s always such a great honor to be apart of helping new authors bring their dreams to reality!

So, let’s get into today's show about the author illuminating truth….

As an author, one must come to grips with the thing you wish to write about and how it is essentially your version of truth… but, it may not be someone else’s. Your truth is based on your life experiences. There are facts, laws, and mainstream narrative but then there is your version of reality - this is where god essentially uses you as the filter to tell your version of “the story”. You are kinda like that little flimsy filter paper between the hot water and the grinds of your morning coffee.

Our first Amendment gives us the right to the freedom of speech but as we all know, this has been threatened a great deal today. Several of my recent podcasts have not been allowed to be advertised in the places I would normally place ads but they had nothing to do with any of the current events in particular…and, quite honestly, even if they did, they should not be banned simply because of my rights guaranteed under first amendment. I was recently flagged as someone using something they call “click bait”. It apparently says that I bait my listeners into one thing and talk about another. I am of no threat to anyone, but apparently I offer an opinion that someone somewhere has chosen to filter and I didn’t make the cut. My perceived threat is simply my opinion. Interestingly, I have always been an advocate of speaking the truth. Since it is the subject of my first book it’s often a topic of discussion. I heard a quote by Mark Twain recently and it is:

“Truth is stranger than fiction,
but it is because fiction is obligated to stick to possibilities;
truth isn’t.”

To truly understand what truth is is to understand that little flimsy filter I talked about earlier…you are what stands between what you witness and how you perceive, convey, then showcase  your reality via your actions and words…your being-ness.

Your life experiences are your lens of reality and truth. If you are interested in writing a book you’d have to have a pretty strongly held opinion or belief about something to hold the content together to bind it into a book. So, in the case of writing a book, an opinion or personal experience from your lens is the the thing that drives the content into completion. Becoming an author can either be a blessing or a curse because what you convey in your truth, through your printed word, will either be well-received or hotly debated depending on how your truth fits the collective narrative. Your truth is all you have to offer regardless. It’s a bit like dating because most people will see the image of you and may find that to be pleasing on the surface, but then when they open the pages you may not be a match.

But, now we have this running collective narrative that has become a bit more visible to the general public. It says one must conform to a certain set of parameters and comply to be heard. There isn’t much growth that happens in compliance, so is this by design one might ask?

I was thinking back to my journalism classes I took many years ago as a part of my undergrad degree in communications. I was in a group called Women in Communications, Inc (WICI). We did a field trip one year and packed up and drove from Metro Detroit over to Chicago. We had tickets to a show and to meet Oprah on her set at Harpo Studios. Immediately upon meeting her, she kissed me on the check as we posed for group pictures. As a young communications student I was enamored. I do feel differently about that experience now, as I don’t much admire celebrities like I used to.

But, needless to say,  back then I was learning journalism basics. We talked in class about  “the Five W’s and one H” - who, what, when, where, why, and how. I learned these are the primary questions one seeks to define for any news story. I find them to be equally valuable in writing any book as well. You can use these questions to further define your audience as well as the topics, or content, you open up for discussion in your book. I think back to the days of news reporters going out and gathering their own story. But, today it’s a written script and they are simply actors. Once in awhile you might see a bit of opinion come through but it doesn’t seem to be their job these days. In fact, do a bit more study and you will find the narrative spread in our news sources is much the same all across the globe…everyone following a script.

But, in today's day and age we are being told clearly that none of the current events are applicable to these same journalistic questions unless we want to be shut off all channels and be labeled as a conspiracy theorist….simply because we asked why!

The words I choose to use in this very podcast I’m guessing will eliminate me from even being allowed to share my first amendment rights in the communities I have always used to advertise my new podcast episodes. Perhaps you’ve noticed that now people speak in code to get points across. It takes so much work to build up our channels and we don’t want them cut off, but we are also far too busy to worry about whether or not we comply to some chosen narrative. But, when all of a sudden we can’t speak we are forced to take notice. We know something isn’t right.

I happened upon something on social media - a new way we are supposed to speak under the current administration. I don’t know if this speak keeps us from getting cut off of social media, but I do know that it’s a violation of our first amendment rights—being told what we can and can’t say. Old words are being replaced with new approved words we are being told to use in place. I’m pretty sure this podcast would get booted if I used these, so I will place them in my blog and you can find them there. Replacing war with peace, for example, would clearly be a fallacy if peace wasn’t our current state. I’d say this would be an effort of avoidance of truth no matter what ones political preference might be.

Old vs New Words:

  • evil / nuanced
  • lie / misspeak
  • baseless claim / strong assertion
  • overreach / bold leadership
  • kids in cages / silence
  • reckless spending / investment
  • warmonger / presidential
  • drove strikes / “lets circle back”
  • racist / woke
  • war / peace
  • slavery / freedom
  • ignorance / strength

As someone who helps people self publish books, I know that when people are not clear about their truth they cannot develop content. When they are not clear on their intention for writing a book their content will not align with a purposeful personal or professional agenda. It’s one thing to be moved to write and another to write to move or push an agenda. I always check in with my clients when they write and ask them why they are doing it. Most feel moved or compelled to produce something helpful, like life lessons and the school of hard knocks and what they overcame at some point in their life. It’s kinda a right of passage for many to showcase personal victories in the form of a book. “Look what I accomplished and you can to” kind of thinking. I’d say this is most of my authors. Many want to write a legacy book toward the end of their lives…you know, something to leave behind. But, here’s the thing…you have to also stand solidly behind your why because the book won’t sell itself.

I talk with all kinds of clients that think because they are prepared to invest a certain amount of time or money into their project that it will automatically be successful. I get asked often how they can get into certain large markets to push their book. When I give them the truth they actually usually think I’m lying. I get asked mostly how they can push large volumes of their books out because they feel so compelled to share it’s content because it may be something they believe can save a life…because it likely did theirs. But there is no place to sell large volumes or to get in with big box stores. The truth is that it all requires hustle. It also requires commitment. And this always circles back to your why.

The other night I had a prospective new client ask me how to get his book into Walmart and I said well…first sell 40K books! Then, if your book topic, look, and feel fits the narrative of what they are pushing in their retail stores then you might get a chance to put something in front of them. Costco or any other outlet is the same. You have to make them money. They don’t just sell your book because you think the content is really good. It’s a simple concept really…any product you want to sell has to have a business plan and a profitable bottom line for everyone involved.

Business will come find you once you’ve proven you and your book are salable and they can profit on it or you. They want you to do and say something outside of the book. This is the author platform that I’ve talked about in many of my other podcast episodes. If you are marketable and they can make a profit they will likely come find you. This is also going to mean that you have to have a clear plan even when you go into printing. If the cost per book is high…likely because you produced a small lot of them…then there is little profit margin for you or for any potential marketer of your “product”.

I’m often like a broken record with my clients because they can’t understand why anyone would even write a book if they aren’t making fists full of cash…they generally think I am lying. I get blank stares on the other end of our zoom calls. They generally think there is something I’m not telling them. I get asked, “But why have you written four books yourself Nicole if you aren’t making a profit?” I tell them because I just had a lot to say! Again, they think I’m lying.

I had a client once call me up…someone I didn’t coach in the process, but someone I helped by designing and laying out his book. He asked me a question…he said “Nicole, I know you’re going to be honest with me…why am I not selling books?” And I said “Well, tell me first what you are doing and what you expect to happen differently.” He originally told me his book was supposed to help him with practice management consulting. I asked about the content in his book and if it was designed toward practice management. He told me he had nothing in there about it. I said, well then…you have to write a new book. He didn’t understand that a book not associated with the thing he wished to do was not going to help him sell his services. Since I had experience in practice management and used to consult on the topic I told him he would need to write a book that specifically laid out the process for buying and selling a practice, running a profitable practice, or other functional pieces he wished to coach on. He wasn’t guided on this by his coach. He would later contact me to tell me he was now pitching his book to be made into a movie. Apparently this is what he wished to do all along. But, he had written it with exercises in it to speak to an audience as a motivational self help guru. I could see very clearly that he was completely lost and had no clear platform or functional plan for how he wished to utilize his book personally or professionally. He wasn’t clear on his truth or his why.

Some high-profile people simply produce a book for profit. When you have that thing you are already doing, a book can be a profit center or a way to introduce a new project you are adding to your already strong presence or platform. Recently, two book projects of two prominent figures in Washington have been topics of discussion in the media. One wrote a book about his childhood and substance abuse and had no problem doing so and it was published immediately. (I’m sure if I mention names I will be cut off from posting this podcast.) The other person was trying to publish but was denied his book about big tech tyranny. <Hawley vs HB> To be picked up by a large publisher or to sell in large box store means that certain levels of compliance must be adhered to. It’s as if you are choosing your handler.

The self-published author makes his or her own calls. There is no one there to say no, but if you want to do mass sales there is no one to help you do that either. You are on your own! Personally, I like the idea of writing with purpose and passion and not wasting time looking for a publisher. I like the freedom and I’m not out to impress anyone. I just have a lot to say.

An authors truth…what you choose to illuminate, wherever you broadcast it, will not always be well-received. When your passion and purpose outweigh your fear it won’t really matter to you how you are perceived. There are so many people out there today that are not representing truth so I find that when you are able to push through the muck and represent a solid truth… in particular, outside the collective narrative, you will likely be mocked. If you haven’t fallen into the collective programming you have to work extra hard to showcase a different narrative. It’s an interesting thing…when you don’t fit in you stand out. You will likely be mocked. You will be personally and professionally attacked. You will likely go through depression and sadness when the truth you know cannot be understood or communicated. There is a desperate loneliness that can overcome you when others don’t understand you. But, there is a kind of magic that happens when you write a book. You have an incredible opportunity to release what you hold in your body and brain and you can gain the ear of a captive audience.

Authors illuminating truth…I believe they are divine in nature. I believe they listen and absorb differently. I believe they have been chosen. There are many authors that write about mundane things simply to write…to say they are published…to push forward an outward object of false success in order to gain a place on the stage. And, there are authors that listen to the voice of the divine that speaks truth into their being and pushes forward in faith. They are uniquely fearless as they birth a purposeful book. Passion and purpose are the driving factors of the successful self-published author.

I encourage you to step outside of what is comfortable and do the research, sit on the yoga mat to find your personal clarity and truth, expand beyond the problem and build forward that which will showcase a beautiful new reality. I encourage you to dream a new world into being and let go of the pains of the past. I encourage you to write not so much about your pains but what you have overcome and why. I encourage you to live (and write) with strength, passion, and purpose and rather than using a book to re-live past pains…write (and live) with the experience behind you as an expert of your greatest challenges. How can what you’ve lived through enhance your life and the lives of others? Let’s intentionally turn around what we have come through as simply our teachers. What are you an expert of and how can you illuminate a new path from your personal truths?

As always guys, I’m wishing you peace, love, and light.

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