My IndieGoGo Campaign Has Officially Launched!

All friends and family come be a part of illustrating the next RJ the Mouse book today! My IndieGoGo campaign has officially launched, and I need your help getting the message out!

Share this post, check out the campaign page, and watch the video that I put together with my son!

Whether you choose to be a contributor, or simply share this post I am very grateful for any support I may receive!

Sincerely,

Robby Silk

I Am RJ the Mouse Campaign

 

The 2nd RJ the Mouse Book is Coming Soon!

I wanted to formally announce that my second book in The Adventures of RJ The Mouse series is on its way! There is still much work to be done, but the initial drafts are complete now and the story is currently with my editor. I have plans to have illustrations in this version, but I will need help from the community to achieve this goal. Look for more information regarding the book and fundraising details soon!

Thank you all again for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Robby Silk

Preparing for Success

A lot goes into writing a good story of any size, depth, or genre. There will be countless nights and hours spent pouring over every word and sentence until everything is just right. Studying and researching topics, moments of self doubt, sometimes overconfident, and the list can go on and on. No matter who if you work hard enough there will come a time one day after working seemingly forever that you will finally have a finished your book. 

I've been through this journey and have started all over again on my next project. In this day and age most new authors will not be picked up by a publisher right away. I personally chased this for a long time, and for one reason or another was not successful. I don't blame anyone for my shortcomings, but I also wasn't going to sit around feeling sorry for myself. Prior to that fateful day, before my last draft was ready for self publishing, I had prepared everything I needed to launch my book. 

Here are the items I completed slowly overtime prior to self publishing:

  • Created a personal webpage (RobbySilk.com)
  • Created Facebook Fan Page as an Author
  • Setup an author Twitter account @RobertSilk85
  • Setup an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account
  • Setup an Amazon author page
  • Uploaded and rated my book on GoodReads.com

By having invested time in properly setting up each of these items, it allowed me to focus on the final details of my book without worrying about what to do next. I am sure there are many other tools and web services out there that I could have employed, but if you want to be taken seriously then doing your homework and looking professional is key.

I could write pages upon pages of details for each item, but the easiest thing for me was to find authors that I really liked and tried to mimic how they utilized each service. Let's be honest some of these authors make millions each year, and have an entire experienced staff at their disposal. With my limited funds I took the pieces that I liked, made them my own, and I did not try to completely reinvent the wheel. 

If becoming a writer is something you want to achieve there is not a sure way to success, and everyone has to utilize their strengths and work around their weaknesses. If you are fortunate enough to a sizeable amount of disposable income then hire professionals to help you. If you have a budget of nearly nothing like me then find a way to turn your weakness into strengths. For me that meant studying those that were already successful, researched how to create the services I used, and worked on them over time to avoid rushing; this allowed me to put a critical eye on what I was doing. 

I wish you all the best of luck if you are thinking of taking this journey, and don't be afraid to reach successful or famous authors, editors, and illustrators. You would be surprised at how many like to help when genuine questions are asked. You never know where your journey may take you next.

Robby Silk

A Special Thank You

So it has been a few weeks now since releasing my first book, and the response I have received from friends and family has been overwhelmingly positive. For me this is a completely brand new process, and I honestly did not know what to expect. The amount of encouraging words, well wishes, and congratulations far exceeded what I ever expected!

To say this has been humbling is a understatement, and I want each and everyone one of you to know how much I appreciate it. I started this journey years ago, and I will save that story for another day; but over the past few weeks I have never felt more motivated to continue on this journey and see where it takes me next! 

For those that are wondering I am working on second children's book continuing RJ's adventures, and I do have a novel in process as well. I can't tell you when I will be finished with them at this time, but know that your support has motivated me. We are now all in this journey together!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Robby Silk

The Lost Castle - The Adventures of RJ the Mouse: Is now available!

Well the time has finally come for me to release my first children's book! The Lost Castle - The Adventures of RJ the Mouse is now available for purchase through Amazon! If you enjoy the book please share it with your friends and family this holiday season. The lessons in the book are especially close to home during this time of the year. I want to thank everyone who has helped and encouraged me along the way! I truly appreciate more than you will ever know!

All proceeds for my book will be reinvested to make the fully illustrated edition that I have envisioned. Sometimes in life we have to make do with the resources we have available to us. I am very proud of the finished product, and I look forward to sharing my full vision with you all one day. Have a blessed Holiday Season!

Sincerely

Robby Silk 

 

The Roadblocks and Reality of Life

For anyone interested in becoming an author let me tell you right now that the biggest challenge and obstacle you are going to face is yourself. We all have different challenges, situations, and responsibilities, but the reality that there are always more important pressing items to deal with. Since my last post I am trying to balance a new job, a new born baby, a very active preschooler, and my responsibilities of being a husband, father, son, friend, etc... 

It is very easy to get pulled into any one of the numerous responsibilities that we all share, and quite honestly it would be irresponsible to neglect them. The challenge is getting back up once you are pulled off track. Any successful writer has wrestled with this dilemma, and has done so by perseverance and determination.

I've realized every part of this process is just as challenging as the previous step in new ways.

'...Hey once I finish my first draft it will be downhill from there, well OK after rewriting the story it will be easier, definitely once the editor does their part I can easily make the changes, finally with my final version it easy to find an agent/publisher, well maybe not after all...' 

During each and every step in my journey so far I've had to get back up countless times and refocus my efforts. The last couple of months have been very challenging , and I needed to sort out these new responsibilities in my life. I had to relearn and accept that what worked before is not going to work this time around.  

Adaptability, determination, hard work, and passion are the keys to getting a book published. Honestly though these characteristics are the key to being successful in any venture you may decide to embark on. 

When all else fails and life seems determined to make sure you are never successful stop and collect yourself, think about what is causing you the most stress, and what baby step can you do right now to move you forward again.

Success for me has been about stringing together runs of momentum, and riding that wave as long as I can. Sometimes they last a moment, and other times for days or weeks. Once the ride is over recollect yourself, rinse, and repeat. 

I hope to ride this new wave forward into the next chapter of my journey, and I hope to bring you all along with me.

The Journey Begins

So this is where it all begins. For those that don't know I've been working on a novel and children's book series for some time now. The novel began over four years ago, and more recently this past year a children's book for my son. Along the way I have had help and support from various friends and family members, and up until this point I have mostly taken this journey alone. 

I wanted to document and share my experiences with those that may be interested, and for those who want to author a book one day as well. I don't know where my journey is going to end, but I do know that this going to be a big adventure. 

First Steps:

I decided to begin my search by branching out, and looking for possible literary agents. I've found that many publishers will not take unsolicited manuscripts, and representation from a literary agent is needed to get in the door. This seems to be a common practice from many of the larger publishers that exist. It's understandable but honestly it is still a bit frustrating from the author's perspective. The barrier to entry is a hurdle, but determination is the key to getting a book published.

By using Linkedin I was able to search for Literary Agents in Maryland. I enjoyed the idea of working with and supporting a local professional. Additionally the prospect of being able to meet in person if needed was very valuable to me. I came across a one agent named Emily whose profile and interests I felt really matched well to my book The Lost Castle. 

I have been in contact with Emily for a few weeks now, and even though she was not accepting new authors at this time she did take the time to help me. Below is the introduction letter that I wrote to her to get things moving.

My Email: 

From Robby to Emily - July 16, 2016

Dear Emily,

I wanted to write to you because I came across your profile on Linkedin this evening when I searched for literary agents near Washington DC. I live in Olney Maryland, and I was hoping to connect with someone who was also local to the area. I read through your profile and I was very impressed with your accomplishments. From your interests you may enjoy the fantasy world I've created for my young son. 

Over the past half year I had the opportunity to write a picture book that focuses on life lessons to teach young children. I have envisioned it being fully illustrated in it's completed form, but as of now only the text is complete. Honestly at this point I am bit lost and looking for some direction in moving forward. This is my first foray into trying to get published, and any advice at the very least would be greatly appreciated.

Take care, have a great weekend, and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Robby Silk