I recently interviewed Ghanaian author and speaker Bernard Kelvin Clive. Bernard has published over 8 different books on Amazon.com and he is an authority in the fields of self-publishing and motivational speaking in Ghana and abroad. The interview was based on his book: Ebook Publishing for Newbies: How to Publish and Sell your Books with Little or No Money. The book is available on Amazon.com and having purchase and read a copy myself, I highly recommend it if you have ever considered writing and publishing a book or an ebook. It is easier than you think and Bernard makes it even easier by sharing his experience and giving a specific roadmap that will take you through the whole process from the original book idea to publishing and creating a platform of followers.
The interview was on phone and below is the transcript:
Lionnel: When people ask you what you do for a living what do you tell them?
Bernard: I listen to people, basically I inspire them. I encourage and teach people, I make the complex things simple for them. I teach people how to live life successfully.
So that is what I do, I am a speaker and author and I do IT consultancy. I consult for people, and I advise people on right partnerships in IT.
Lionnel: Very good. So Bernard is not only about books and speaking, he is also an IT consultant involved in a lot of other areas.
Bernard: Yes, and I also advise people on many other programs.
Lionnel: You wrote your first book in 2006, “Your Dreams will not Die”, is that correct?
Bernard: I did publish it in 2010.
Lionnel: So it was actually published and made available to the public in 2010.
Bernard: Yes, 2010.
Lionnel: What made you start writing, what was your drive?
Bernard: I had to share and inspire people. I was doing a lot of samples for different people, writing notes and a lot of text messages sending across to inspire them. Results are everything and I would see the results were more encouraging even to me as I encouraged others so that is when I had the courage to put that book together “Your Dreams will not Die”.
Lionnel: So the book “Your Dreams will not Die” was really the culmination of a long process?
Lionnel: It didn’t happen overnight?
Bernard: No, it didn’t happen overnight and chapters of that book were written over the years. I will say that I kept on writing so eventually I decided to put it all together and then publish.
Lionnel: Moving on to your book “E-book Publishing for Newbie’s” what made you write that book, why do you want to share what you know about writing and publishing books?
Bernard: Having studied digital publishing and French publishing locally all these years I have noticed and I kept getting a lot of questions from people actually on publishing. Most people are looking for a publisher to give their money to publish for them and that is really one of the major hurdles to cross in the publishing industry.
I kept answering questions on how do I get my book published by myself, so the questions kept coming and I put all these together and I organized an event on self-publishing to teach people how to get their book published. After that I had to put everything together in a manner to teach people and answer their questions.
Lionnel: Do you have some stories of people who have read that particular book and have been successful at it, one or two stories?
Bernard: Yes, I know about two people who have published their books online through reading that book. The first time I organized my book to be published it was difficult to put it online because I had no experience. So when you hear some good feedback that is a good book.
Because even the material that people really need on how to write and just publish is how do I get it done. What I believe it is setting a good course and that is alright.
Lionnel: You just gave us a few of the questions that are answered in that book, would you please share one or two quick tips on how to get started? Derive them from the material in the book, what are some one or two tips you can give that people can get more of if they get the book?
Bernard: In the book, the first step I started dealing with was; how do I start writing?
People come to me asking me that question, I give an outline of how you can then write that question in one book and that question gets to be the title of the book, which is the context.
The key questions I ask in that book are: why do you want to write and why do you want to get published? And that answer need to be very careful especially in the publishing, you need to answer the why, then that gives you the reason to publish. Is it because people are publishing and you want to also, is it the money or is it for the need. So that question is hard to tackle and secondly the part that is easy to get.
The why behind your writing gives you the purpose and how to find your chapters and start to put down your points and now you move on to the other solution which is the book guideline. Here I give solutions on how can one finish the book, most of the time people stick to the first chapter, that is what happens in your head.
So these are key things that the book achieves. The other hard one especially in the publishing, most people look at making a killing out of publishing I am not saying that can’t be done but if you risk on the book, you get out the wrong book so you need to start with the question why, so that your driving force is not the killing but some kind of reader centered goals and I answer all those questions. If you want to make a killing on publishing there are certain things I feel you should put it out on the book also, like why you need the book.
Lionnel: Here is someone who bought the book, read the book and he doesn’t take any action, a week passes by, two weeks, three weeks and months, nothing happens.
What can you tell that person, that person who has read your book or any other book about how to write and publish, and nothing concrete is happening, what can you tell that person?
Bernard: The best thing is that; one if you have the best materials in this world and have the right resources and you don’t act, nothing happens. You have to do it, you have to go back and take action. So act, act, practice and see the results, results don’t lie.
Lionnel: Excellent! Results don’t lie, I like that. Getting close to the end of our interview, let me ask you this: what are the benefits of sharing your experiences and knowledge by writing a book, what do you gain out of it on a personal level?
Bernard: One, a sense of fulfillment, I am really satisfied with what I am doing so that gives me a sense of fulfillment. I have been looking at other aspects along that but peace, joy, which is this book, inspires me. I read your book and now I am publishing my book or this book helped me in understanding further.
Lionnel: Bernard, now your final words, what do you want people to take away from this?
Bernard: It is action that leads to transformation.
You can get a copy of the book Ebook Publishing for Newbies: How to Publish and Sell your Books with Little or No Money on Amazon.