Updated: Dec 8, 2019
From Hobby to Author
Do you have a hobby that you'd like to turn into a passive income? I've been a professional ski coach for over twenty years and when it came to writing my book I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to start.
Finding a publisher
Not easy! And then some. I knew nothing about publishing and assumed I had to have a traditional book publisher such as Barnes and Nobles or Penguin Books (still two of the most famous book publishing companies on the high-street) to get published. You might think getting a book deal from companies such as Barnes and Nobles or Penguin is a relatively easy thing to do but It is not. Publishers have narrowly targeted markets, and if you don't fit within exactly to what they want, they haven't the time of day for you. Like any other business, it's all about the money.
In the pursuit of researching how to publish a book I looked up older skiing books - such as "Ali Ross Skiing Clinic" and "We learned to Ski" and I contacted their publishers. It quickly became apparent that if you dont have the right connections you are up against the many thousands of other writers competing for their place in the market. And then it happened, someone directed me towards Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP for short)
"Amazon KDP to the rescue!"
Self-publishing on Kindle
I started with Pressbooks this was my first attempt at self-publishing and similar in appearance to WordPress so I found it easy to use. I wrote "Ski in Control" then published with Pressbooks which is an open platform that structures all the chapters, pictures and so on for you. Pressbooks were great to offer help and assistance whenever I've needed it.
Then moved over to Amazon KDP select . . .
It was so easy, why hadn't I tried KDP sooner? Because, I didn't know about it and you just don't know what you don't know. If you are thinking about publishing a book YOU can publish your own book easily with the KDP service - It's free and Amazon do all of the hard work for you! What could be better than that?
Although, I have very little technical expertise in anything to do with computers or the internet, I have found publishing on Amazon Kindle remarkably easy. There's no requirement for technical know-how, no need for money up-front, it's not expensive, in fact it's free to publish. Amazon only take a commission from the books that you sell. You can Learn how to self publish with KDP very easily with this YouTube tutorial.
My first skiing book was called, "Ski in Control: how to ski ANY piste anywhere in full control" and it received a positive review from world slalom champion Tom Stiansen who described my book as "A great book - and a good tool for recreational skiing". I am totally chuffed that someone of his credibility thought so highly of my book.
My new skiing book on Amazon is now available in paperback as well as Kindle, Great news, again Amazon did all of the hard work for me. "Skiing: from Greens to Reds and Beyond... " gives new perspectives for all recreational skiers including skiers who ski black runs already. This is my second book published on Kindle direct and i'm working on my third. This is not a beginners book, however, beginners should to read it too!
Both of my books complement the free complete ski coaching course that I have released on YouTube. By using the books in conjunction with the free skiing course on my YouTube channel, you can strengthen the foundations of your skiing and improve your skiing stance and technique. You can also find the on this site too by popping over to my training videos page.
As with all authors, my books didn't immediately fly of the shelves and my initial thoughts were, "If my books are not genuinely of any practical use to skiers, I won't bother". But I was wrong. I was surprised to see my books selling and i put it down to Kindles built in marketing strategy. Seriously, Amazon do all of the publishing and marketing for you, all you have to do is promote your book on Social media and the web (for free mainly) and Bob's your uncle!
KDP - The Downside
The only part of the process that I had difficulty with was the book covers, but that may be my fault because I didn't use Kindles formatting (rookie error). I'm not a graphic designer, I'm a ski coach and book covers just aren't my thing. If you decide to go ahead and publish your book with Kindle and you find yourself in the same boat as me you might want to pop over to Fiverr.com and source a graphic designer to create your book cover for you from as little as $5 (US). If Fiverr isn't doing it for you then you can also get some really good designs at a slightly more expensive website called 99Designs.com
99 Designs themselves boast that you can "Get a custom design you’ll love with our global creative platform. 99designs is the best place to find and hire talented designers to grow your business. Both websites consist of artists from around the globe all waiting to produce quality book covers for you.
Learning from a Book - Can you really improve your skiing from a book?
The main reason why we still read books is to gain knowledge. Books are a rich source of information and are mostly full of information that it has taken people decades to learn. Reading books on improving your skiing technique can increase the depth of your knowledge on skiing. Combined with my free videos you will learn new information that you otherwise would not have known.
I truly believe you can benefit from reading my books particularity when combined with my free training videos. No matter if you want to learn how to parallel ski, or how to stop when skiing you will increase your understanding.
Is skiing hard?
Not if you keep it simple, and that is what my skiing books do. Simple is best. You will not learn how to make perfect ski turns by just skiing around the mountain. You will need to understand how skis work, and why skis do what they do. "Skiing: from Greens to Reds and Beyond..." and "Ski In Control - how to ski ANY piste in full control man or woman, young or old", and my books and videos will help you to do that.
Happy skiing folks . . .