Burbank–April 2, 2013–Since yesterday was April Fool’s Day, I decided to hold off on this post until today lest anyone think I was joking when I posted on Facebook yesterday that the 2nd edition of my book, “What I Wish I Knew Before I Moved to Hollywood” hit #1 in Hot New Releases in the Kindle store for books on the Music Business. It is currently ranked the #6 bestseller overall in that category, climbing up from #14 last week in that same category. For all music business books, print and electronic, it leaped 40 spots to #32 this week, from #72 last week.
The book also rose in the kindle category of Bestselling Humor and Entertainment–Movies and Video from the 90s to a solid #46–ahead of “Save the Cat Goes to the Movies” and “Script Lab’s Encyclopedia of Screenwriting.”
The strength of the book sales is buoyed by positive word of mouth and numerous 5 star reviews on Amazon and across the web. Often a book premiers and takes off within a week of release only to see sales slack off. But What I Wish I Knew Before I Moved to Hollywood is steadily moving up the charts as more and more people talk about it and Amazon consistently features it because of its strong sales.
The radio interview I conducted with host Bill Thompson of The Bookcast last week, where he referred to me as “a wise Buddha” no doubt helped fuel the boost as well. The interview is available here. Although mostly focused on the struggle of artist dreaming of Hollywood, the interview was able to touch on the concept that achieving all dreams requires a certain singularity of focus that encounters significant resistance no matter where those dreams lead. The skill set an artist needs to overcome a negative critique or poor record sales or failed audition is similar to the skill set needed for a businessperson to overcome a failed product launch, or a difficult market. The same mental power needed to push past the negative self-talk and self-destructive behaviors that often plague artists, is needed to overcome everyday obstacles as well. The book is invaluable for anyone looking to be an actor, singer, rapper, director or producer, but it is still very powerful for people seeking hope that dreams can and do come true.
I’m a bestselling author now. I’m living proof of the concepts that I share in the book. But don’t take it from me–take it from the Emmy and Grammy-winning artists, the platinum selling producers and TV Stars I interview who share their 100+ years of combined experiences.
On June 1, 2013, I will be speaking at the Organization of Black Screenwriter’s (OBS) Monthly meeting. Various topics are being considered for that meeting including: “Protecting your Artistic Soul–How to Keep Hollywood from Killing your Dream,” “Novelizing Your Screenplays–Stop Waiting for Hollywood to Validate (or pay) You,” and various other topics related to issues covered in the book. (More details to follow.) Stop Waiting for Hollywood to Validate You is a comment from an Emmy-Winning producer I interviewed in the book. The phase is indicative of a mindset that plagues so many artists. Artists often believe they are talented, but act as if they are helpless until someone bestows validation on them–a contest win, a contract, an agency agreement, a million-dollar paycheck–or even an unpaid internship. It’s a mindset that begs to be disrespected.
I hope to help fuel a new movement (or at start a conversation about a new movement) in Hollywood. There are so many amazing stories out there that are sitting around waiting for some Hollywood producer or actor to shepherd them to the big screen. But what makes it to big screen is completely controlled by mass appeal. Or better yet, by what someone believes will have mass appeal. Even better–what someone thinks has mass appeal… AND LOTS OF LUCK. I want to see writers taking control of their own destinies. Writers are the creators, and the Hollywood dragon lives on our blood. Without writers Hollywood dies. The only reason Hollywood doesn’t respect writers more is because writers don’t respect themselves more.
Writers, actors and other artists have more opportunity today than ever to reach their audience and to make a living as the professional they dream of being. What I Wish I Knew Before I Moved to Hollywood is a guide for helping artists take control of their power, hold it, and wield it to their benefit. It is priceless reading for those who’ve not yet arrived in Hollywood, but it has immense relevance to those here working day-by-day as well. Give your friends and family members the gift of encouragement and the key to following dreams with their eyes wide open. Check out the book today.