How does a writer become boundless?



hey slingers welcome back to another week of the word slinger podcast and today we're talking to Michael Evans you're gonna dig this interview stick around and we'll get right to it it's the word slinger podcast where story matters build your brand write your book redefine who you are it's all about this story here what's yours now here's the guy who invented pants optional Kevin Tomlinson the word slinger what I am Kevin Tomlinson the word slinger I'm so happy you're here for another week of the words on your podcast we're gonna switch things up this week and you may have already noticed because if things go according to plan there was already a word slinger podcast episode this week and it didn't have an interview so that's the plan at least so we're gonna give this a shot today I'll talk about that in a second but today we're gonna talk to Michael Evans and he is well among other things he's gonna make you feel really old it made me feel really old he's a young kid who is killing he's just crushing it as an indie author doing some things that I just find remarkable for someone his age but you know in general if this no matter what age Michael was I think he's doing some remarkable work so I'm excited to get into that interview and it just it's it's a lesson it's a lesson we can all take with us it shows us that it doesn't matter how old you are how young you are what race you are what gender you are what your sexual preference is none of that stuff matters if you want a career as an indie author you can crush it and make it happen it's all about deciding and taking action that's that's the kind of thing we're gonna get into with Michael in this interview so with that said Before we jump in I just want to say I hope you got a chance to my plan and I'm gonna just assume I followed through on his plan but my plan was to start splitting up the words your podcast episodes so if you're listening to this interview and you haven't heard the the solo no interview version from earlier in the week go back and check that out because what we got going on now is I decided you know the show was getting to be over an hour long with the interview and with me you know gabbing for 30 minutes and I kind of got a hit from some folks that you know there are some folks who like the interview and don't care for the afterword and some folks who dig the afterword and don't care for the interview so we're gonna split that up for a little bit and see how it works out and try going for two shows a week right now as you are listening and/or watching this listening to and/or watching this I I should be in st. Louis at the cat writers convention shout out to all my cat writers out there and I'm talking about D to D and talking about other stuff that while I'm at that show so and I should still be going on when this episode goes live so if you are in the st. Louis area and you happen to be at the show stop by say hi introduce yourself I'd love to meet you and other than that let's get right into this energetic high-power high profile interview with my new good friend Michael Evans I'll see you on this hey everybody uh okay I'm very excited about this interview actually for one it was this today's guest was recommended to me by Melinda Hammond who you'll hear on this show eventually but I've been on her show a few times writing writing from the road I believe in writing on the road I always yes writing on the road so I'm talking to you heard his voice there on the audio feed but I'm talking to Michael Evans and this this guy is he's a young adult post-apocalyptic thriller writer he's got several books out there that all look intriguing I haven't had a chance to read them yet Michael I'm sorry I'll get to it this all came together very fast but I'm really happy to have you on the show welcome welcome I'm the worst singer podcast thank you so much that me it's a pleasure to be here so I'm gonna say Michael first of all and I I said this before the show started but I really feel like I need to kind of call it out because you are officially the youngest guest I've ever had on the show I'll let you reveal what your age is if you feel like it but you are officially the youngest guest on the show you're actually still in high school right now yes sir yeah I'm a senior in high school and I'll be taking a gap year next year to focus on writing which we can get into that but uh yeah that's um I'm a senior right now I am 17 years old but with me in writing age is kind of a thing for me that yeah um a lot of authors tend to be a little bit older than me but at the same time a great story is a great story and for me I saw the storytelling with my books that's absolutely right man I have to also give you give you props because you're the first official guest who actually filled out my intake form completely no one does that so you even filled in the parts that you didn't have answers for I say that's uh that's remarkable thank you for that well and we're gonna harp on your on your age at all really because I am really by the fact that you're doing that your age I was writing stories and writing books but had no real idea how to get published or anything so it's it's remarkable that you've done this but it's also sort of a product for our times right you're using the tools the same tools I'm using yeah exactly it's uh I guess the great part about the internet is it democratizes all anyone starting any sort of business not just with writing but um you could sell any product like I mean with there's people drop shipping on ebay making really great profits doing that but for me my love is books and in writing it's always been that so I guess to learn that I can have my own business online at least based online all of us do in-person events too but um and be able to sell books like that and be able to get my stories out in the world in a way that's relatively easy is mmm awesome I don't want to like diminish the accomplishment of us who've had published books out there certainly not the easiest thing that we'll do especially professionally but the fact that it's possible to do is awesome yeah I'm forever thankful for being able to use the Internet in a positive way like that what got you to this where'd you what what God should even start this what was your for the first time you considered this for me um I had always been writing just always and I think it was after I've written two books in the control freak series which was I'm gonna say it was partway through my freshman year of high school so like about two years ago I started seriously thinking about looking into getting my books published I want to get him out in the world and I I mean when you look up a line the first thing you think of like it's like oh how do you get your book published by Random House like all the books you know that I was a big five and I looked it up and I queried like 15 agents and heard back from like two of like a no didn't even hear back the other ones and at that point I only did 15 and it was like really put together like quickly and I thought about it during it I'm like I don't want to do that route at all never interested me and for me being an author being of writers something I've always wanted to be but being a storyteller for career seems something to me that it wasn't exciting enough in a way um it's hard a negative being a storyteller I'm a competitive person hard to get competitive and really be like where do my results gonna be when you're just writing and putting a book and giving it to someone else to put out there but for me being an indie author allowed me to take control and allowed me to have my own product in my own business so it was something that I naturally chose to do and I listened to actually self-publishing podcast I listened to a mark Dawson stop publishing formula and I listened to I always creating in their podcast out smarter artists podcast with the three guys uh honey true and David yeah I got Lisa clap okay yeah yeah yeah they're great listen to all them and I realized pretty quickly that I was gonna have to have some money to be able to get this started and I I wasn't willing to do it unprofessionally I knew if I was gonna do it I was gonna put my best foot forward which is how I always try to do with everything in my life and I was committed to this and still AM and I worked at a resort near my house cuz I live in Charleston so I I worked there for the summer and saved up pretty much every penny to be able to get the first book out there and since then have learned a lot more about getting a product out there professionally but in a cost-efficient way decreased my cost by like a third that I did I spent about like three thousand dollars get the first book published but then I've spent a thousand dollars for the books after that so it was really great to learn for me how to like cut cost but still keep a high quality product out there and yeah that's how I got it all started it was really fun to be able to have it really be something that felt solely my own and something that I'm still growing today like all of us yeah so that I mean that prompts me to ask cuz I know my audience is thinking this like are you you know genetically altered or something are you do you have like a mutant chromazone or something because you are doing stuff that I think most people think they couldn't have even done it 17 years old man not even thought about half the stuff you just said honestly I know I know full grown adults who aren't thinking the way you're thinking about this business I think I think actually why I hope people come away with this is to start thinking about writing more along those lines in their storytelling all their passions like I think I have other passions in life besides writing all the writings the principal one the one that I love but to pursue your passions that way cuz I mean for me we're on this planet for a limited period of time that's for sure with my life I try to live boundlessly in that I have this whole boundless mindset that I approach to my life and my business and living boundlessly means trying to have a little viewing that the obstacles in front of you as long as we're together in it or not there that the future can be limitless as long as we believe that and work towards it and my motto that I like to live by is together we are boundless and that's why I like I think is community of indie authors we can really do anything and right now we're appealing the traditional publishing industry in large ways which is really cool but for me because I've always attacked life with that mindset um it was just natural for me to view my my goals and my dreams and really trying to pursue my happiness and for most people we all get happiness from making the people around us happy and for most writers that's telling stories that make people happy and for me this was the way to do it and get it out there and each has never been a thing for me time has never even been a thing for me because I always know that no matter what's going on in my life how busy I am a school sports extracurricular activities it's all about if this if I truly love this I'm going to make sacrifices in order to be able to pursue this and I did that and along with many many other people and I'd recommend if people are struggling to find time to try and scale up their business write more market more to reevaluate their life as I did about a year and a half ago now and I really tried to prioritize what was important to me what he happy and what would be best for both my short term growth as a person and my long-term growth and for me that was really making decisions that focused more on writing and for me that ultimately led to me taking a couple extra classes in school to be able to graduate a year early to hopefully then take a gap year I've done so next year I'll be I have a full year to write full-time before I go to college which is something to me that was really important and I guess something due to me having advantage with like age on that regard and having more flexibility was not had to take but I think we all in our own lives have unique things about us and unique things in our circumstances and situation that we can leverage to help us really further our own business and our passion and I did that yeah absolutely so okay this boundless concept that you've you've adopted what's what's the origin of that did you create this on your own because you're gonna make very sad you have of course you have yeah it's my um I'm something during my gap year I'll actually be doing hopefully like a weekly well I am I'll be doing a weekly YouTube thing and about trying to adopt more of a boundless mindset more directed toward teams because I find that in in this world like where especially I mean we both can speak to this in America were so divided and divided on where we see our future headed what we want in this moment and to me being boundless encapsulate one putting both your own personal growth and happiness first because I see adults and kids can get caught up in um I won't curse in this podcast BS certainly the best varieties for it like work our phones looking at social media but not social media for business purposes but I'm talking about just scrolling mindlessly through memes and you know stupid stupid stuff that doesn't do anything to better ourselves as people four hours a day we'll be watching TV but to watch TV is a great you know it's a great thing to do for maybe an hour a day but it's binge watching Netflix for a couple hours like that's a waste – there's so many different things that we do that waste time in a day and that get us caught up in the stuff in life that to me doesn't truly matter I'm not gonna be one to tell anyone which really matters to them we all have different passions and different things that matter to us but um a lot of what the world is designed is to make money off of us taking our time away from us and I think that's also created a huge divide in this country as well and for me being boundless is one recognizing the obstacles that are put in front of us realizing that you can overcome them and then realizing that together all our dreams all our goals are possible and if we all this whole world was working towards the same thing anything could happen that's true and that's why I like the whole alien vision thing aliens a date we're gonna conquer them and for me together we are balanced it's just kind of a call-out for remembering that at the end of the day we all have the same goals to be loved to love others be happy and give others happiness – we really are 99.9 percent of people do want to do that in their own way and if we just get back to that at the core of it I think that would make life as authors more productive it would make us have more purposeful businesses it would make us have brands that sell sell books more but sell all products more because it's giving real meaning behind what we're doing and it's also making our own personal a ships in our life I think a lot more meaningful and also less conflict in it because at the end of the day we really are just in this together and that's why I like to say together we are ballast that's fantastic man what are you what are you planning to go to college for by the way um I want a major in marketing and physics with computational neuroscience design brain computer interface I tell you dude if I were writing a character like you people would accuse me of just writing off the top of my head you are you are unreal so because that's exactly what I thought you were going to say by the way you definitely have that mindset so so let's talk about marketing cuz you're you are by the way I happen to think that right now you've engaged in a career that is probably the best marketing training you're ever gonna get I worked in marketing for years before I became an author and I think I learned 99% what I know about marketing after becoming an author oh wow I think that you are in the right career path so what what do you do to market your work um for me I do use AMS ads and Facebook ads which I've definitely found especially I think Amazon ads for me have worked the best handle in limited so that helps well I mean it helps get more page reads because people can only know be looking at it and I think for me though I've done a lot of newsletter ads as well there's like paid advertisements and that's all advice that we've probably heard before and certainly there's other people that could give way more robust by some AMS ads but for me something that I focus on that's maybe a little bit more unique that I'd like to talk about is I have been trying to build more of a brand focused not in my books but on as me as a person and when I go to I mean again I'm in the beginning stages of this and I'll be building this throughout the next years my entire life but I'm a personal brand and develop that land that sells my me first before my books because it's easy it's it's easy when someone falls in love with the author get them to read all of their books but even beyond that to get them to read all their mediums of storytelling because I believe is 21st century storytellers from film and TV are gonna become much more important oh there's gonna be I think this would be really interesting thing is coming with AI and audiobooks and write potentially actually with your company I'm draft2digital find a way voices is doing some really cool things with chirp and bookbub like really cool things they're not changing the game where there's gonna be so many books out there that it's gonna be hard to just differentiate yourself with what book is better than another book because at the end of the day most books fall into similar tropes and similar genres and there's unbelievable storytelling but no one's gonna know that it's only tried reading it but doesn't sell yourself and get someone interested in yourself and a short period of time and is gonna mention a book you can captivate someone into your personality in your life in a minute whereas it takes at least 10 pages if you're really good author to get them calculate into a book and ten pages is ten minutes and that attention span is a lot it's a lot more difficult to do and even then there's plenty of series I've read where I've loved that series by the author but have not gone on to eat all the other books by the author Stephen King would be the author who I would like to read all those books one day I think he's fantastic but I think you get them to sell them on the person first and the message that you'll really be able to do cool things with that and for me it's trying to make social media especially use Instagram and we'll be getting into YouTube using it more to share more things about me and being open and just kind of more conversational in it and not really selling my books on there more selling me and get them interested in me and that's what I use it for I don't use it for trying to not like a sales e.push which I see a lot of authors doing and I think that's ineffective marketing that we should get away from and AMS and Facebook ads should be what we use for selling our books and selling ourselves should be what we use social media for that's just my recommendation man I agree with every single syllable what just came out of your mouth man it's is that's exactly the philosophy that I push on people that I try to push on myself I fall short pretty often but that idea building yourself as a brand that's really what the the big names that we know when we think of an author's name that's what they've done Stephen King he is a Brandon to himself the guy has written all sorts of different genres besides horror and suspense yeah well love to read his stuff he's written he wrote an entire fantasy series yeah he feels like which is the greatest privilege as a writer to be able to have that creative freedom and I think who's it being an author like a storyteller as long as the story in a way reflects you and your brand it's hard to I think would be impossible to not write a story that somehow doesn't reflect you in some way as long as you get people interested in you they should be interested in your stories and yeah I think we like to especially in the social media world we'd like to since we're seeing so much of other people and the best of them and it's often fake but they they'll put out you know though people will falsely say things about them and we'll make like I see so many pictures of like oh the beautiful day the beach or like we have like this is all the money we have in this hour house and you'll feel like you can never be as interesting as them you'll never be now that's definitely not true because we are all like each and every one of us as people are supremely interesting as long as we can one recognize who we are as people and be comfortable with that first we have to be comfortable and confident with our own selves feel then put that out there fearlessly boundlessly really we have to realize that we want everyone to be able to see us for who we really are and for who we truly are in a world on social media especially and on the Internet where we increasingly all are living more and more time that is full of things that are not true and are really I think destructive at times especially when you see people trying to pretend to be things online that they aren't and you see that from really funny stories that happen at any apps not funnies the people who are victims of it but I find it kind of funny when like see the picture of the guy who's like he looks like he's like 20 and like the you know some soccer player and he's really just you know some six-year-old dude shows up like that type of stuff it's never that extreme but what we I mean it is that I change some cases but we see a lot more people trying to be something they aren't to try and impress their audience but in the end they're just falling into marketing tropes in itself and personality trips like and I think when we market ourselves and try and build our own personal brand we have to really hold ourselves to our own unique ideals and I am promote them and be really don't try and be unique but try to be yourself and I think that's the hardest thing to do and I think being in high school now has taught me how to do that better than I think I could ever imagine but um I think that's that kind of that old high school lesson of like it's hard to know how to be yourself and coming out your shell is something that like I think we all need to learn cuz I think part of us never grows out of that right yeah man I know I still deal with that I feel like I'm probably pretty good at being me but I still I still hide in the shell every now and then so I say it's it's a good reminder so now you are man oh I'm gonna assume no I'm not gonna similarly ask you because you're here in front of me you you had said that you were working for a while at like a country club did I get that right or did I okay yeah you're you're no longer doing that I assume right I actually um I'm do I'd you serve there every once in a while I do weddings there but okay yeah it's a sporadic are you you don't have to give me any numbers at all but are you making enough from book sales right now that it would then it's more than what you were making at the Country Club um it's about if I was working full time over the summer my first job there no I get I've gotten a better job now but my first job there it's about equivalent to what I was making and I've just published my first I published the first three books in a series four or five months ago now so um I it's it's growing out of the rate I thought it would what I did it would cuz I just did that to happen this is the reason I'm I'm coming around on this and I have a good friend of mine Ernest Dempsey is another thriller author just like me his nephew he and his nephew co-authored some stuff together that's his nephews after-school job yeah that's the job that's putting money in the account that's gonna pay for college that he doesn't have to do a student loan or even worry about grants even he's just gonna paper classes outright I think where that is yeah that's but see good for you man cuz right yeah you've done something remarkable I tell people about this all the time now I've got somebody I can point to that's actually done it this is something I say publicly that it's better for you to rather than go take a job at McDonald's I hate harping on McDonald's the whole point is you're out there doing something right right yeah rather than work for someone else make the multi-billion dollar company more money and you know and you are going nowhere in that company really now you own your career and you know you can walk away from it at any time and take any other job you ever want so it's not hurting you at all and found an enriching you and making you more valuable as an employee if you decide to work for someone else so kudos to you man I think that's always that's always how I viewed it's you and I mean I think the toughest thing about it is like we to get it started you work so long for free because to get X number of books out there and really even that first book it's hundreds of hours you're free where I guess a lot of people it's easier just to think about well if I picked up a couple extra shifts a week at my job or you know got a second job part-time I'd be making a lot more money during that period and that's true during that initial period you would but I think with me even like the money that I make today the money that made tomorrow it's only gonna keep getting more if you do right which is what I'm planning on doing this business compounds and exactly does it pretty quickly like you're you're creating a body of work and my apologies to Strunk and white but you're creating a body of work that is it's not the income doesn't die after each book is released like you're it's not the hours you're putting in that earning you dollars it's the hours you've already put in exactly I think that's a I think that's fantastic man yeah and I think for a lot of authors to like to think when I think about to is thinking beyond just even books but think I'm like like one big project that I'm gonna be doing during my gap year is learning how to design clothes and that's something that if you're having your own personal brand you can sell more than just books right habit really it could even again we all have stories that we write with characters and worlds in it that you can be selling hard to lead it's that world but you can also be selling product really that's your own personal brand too as a separate thing but something that your fans would be interested in buying to expand your business beyond just even you know the book mediums like ebooks ebooks and print books but even going further into that how can you still um get your fans to like your message and like you and bye-bye something else from you like how can you grow your business to get multiple income streams and that's something I've been thinking a lot about too is being more than just an author but trying to build the business so that it can have multiple streams of income that hopefully all are stable and can compound on each other yeah fantastic I was working at Subway after high school so I think I think you're doing pretty all right man all right well look we're coming up on time and you know I want to get to I want to actually make sure we mention where to find you where to find your work online your series is is what's the name of the series the control freak series it's control freak series with the Z I did the Z because to be honest it felt funky and it sticks out to the eye so yeah got that why I feel – it does it does are you looking to do I'm not encouraging you in this but I am I'm curious is your plan as an author are you do you think you're gonna always write the why a post-apocalyptic stuff or do you have designs to write because you're building yourself as the brand I would say that plans beyond just the why a stuff yes right now I'm working on a series that's more it's not it's more of an new adult-to-adult I'm using new adult because it's really it's with a new year old character so I guess would fit the new doll genre called conspiracy Chronicles it's a techno thriller series so it's it's kind of out of the post-apocalyptic why stuff is the first book will be called dead wave and those hopefully I released trying to release five books in that series next year wrap and release it and then I have a contemporary series that I'm have outlined and will be writing after I at least finish a couple books in conspiracy Chronicle series and that's not even why day it's more of something meant for be that I'm that I think I'll be writing as a book but would love to explore film options to that that's thing a lot of authors are thinking about but I'll only be trying to explore with that so for me I'm kind of just writing the stories that speak to me and still keeping in mind the market and knowing that there's a nation that there is a market for each book I write but knowing that I can still reach them and not be chained by one genre right I love it I think that's exactly the right plan I'm a little envious of the Head Start that you have meant but I think you're absolutely on the right track with everything you're doing so keep that up man I mean for me it is a it's I'm younger than maybe a lot of the listeners but at the same time we all are at the same moment in time on this Internet we're all in the same place in terms of the opportunities out there the opportunity for everyone and opportunities to sell sell books to any reader in the world never mind even english-speaking but in the coming years I believe that I mean this whispers that Michael annually was working company on this that there's gonna be AI software that's gonna go to automatically translate books coming out for authors and the new sharing there's lots of things that are gonna change the game and all those opportunities are for everyone so I say we're all ahead of the game just by listening to a podcast like this I mean but your podcasts the words in your podcast I can't even explain the amount of information that you have in there and with everyone listening to all these guests and being able to get different perspectives and what's going on in the industry and how to build your business I mean that's what you got to do every day cuz that's how you get ahead and yeah we're all doing that yeah and this is a great community for that I mean you know it's a fake I'm blown away so well here's what we're gonna do tell everybody worth where they could find you online and follow you as a brand where can people find you um M Evans ain't so Evan's Evan's Inc is my platform across everything it's M e the ANS I and like you know writer ain't and you my websites and Evan Singh Kham and that's my social media handles for both Facebook Twitter and Instagram but I'm really more active on Instagram cuz that's for my target audiences and I think for for me I found it overwhelmed to do three social medias I think for authors I'd encourage to focus in on one and just trying to hit it and build an audience on there and yeah for me the books to Graham kini with all the book bloggers and stuff they've been great to reach out to and yeah that's where you can find me and you can find my books there as well I'm terrible with Instagram but I'm gonna follow you anyway and maybe give me pointers I don't know Walker great great instagrams I think we're at least anyone under 20 like like kids don't even use Facebook anymore I mean obviously Instagram is owned by Facebook so no one's or the company will be alright but huh Instagram itself that platform certainly has a lot of growth maybe it's just some old maybe that's what it is I'm on facebook facebook seems to be where everybody I wanted to deal with things out but I should give Instagram a fair shake it's not a lot of authors on it but there's a whole books to gram community of people taking pictures of books next it's really hard see and Instagram I find is the easiest way to get book reviews for me I get I've contacted most of the people who reviewed my books I've been through Instagram I use their emails right in their bio from people and you just search up specific hashtags similar to other social media platforms but I just find an Instagram to be really convenient for that and I recommend anyone to do that a lot of these people don't get too much requests either so it's easier to really for your genre specific hashtags to find people willing and to read and promote your books and I mean if anyone is a straight team I have a street team the boundless bunch to recruit people for that even beta readers to Street I have a street team that I didn't put together until last year man so you are once again ahead of the curve okay well I'm gonna we're gonna go and wrap this up man I am I am inspired by what you're doing I think you are not just not just because of your age either but because you have thought this out in a way that I I try to help other authors think about yeah this is exactly the way you can build a career are you by the way pre writing the books and releasing them are you releasing them as you write them I pre write and release I like to have three books that before I go out which spice time I'll be doing that this time as well yeah that's exactly what I tell people all right man yeah all right well look you're like the living embodiment of everything I hope to inspire in authors so congratulations I hope I can inspire people that's that's why I'm here it's what I do I hope to inspire people well they'll get a big head about it no no everyone should be able to inspire others to got spire others to lead boundlessly but inspire others just to live better lives I mean yeah interactions with people and that's yeah and you you've got it pulled together you've got a whole mission statement you got everything that I I really appreciate all that so we'll go and wrap up you and I we're gonna stay in touch if you will allow me I want touch and for anyone out there in the podcast feel free to contact me my email is everywhere on my platforms I'm happy to field any questions and just stay in touch because I love making new author friends – nice all right use you stick around everybody else right you're hearing the groovy bridge music you may fan someplace at will and if you stick around after whatever I play next I'm bound to talk about something so hopefully that's good for you so see you on the other side your book the way it was meant to be her with a fully consumed soundtrack based on your material and album of music that perfectly fits your characters in your setting here you are for today Sonata inscribe calm I hope you enjoyed that interview of Michael Evans hope you got something fantastic out of that I know I did I always do I'm pretty predictable when it comes out so I think so thank you for sticking around for this episode of words on your podcast and as promised we're gonna end things little early I'm not gonna drag out this outro but I do want to thank you for everything you've done as a listener and/or viewer make sure if you are listening to this podcast please go to youtube find it in subscribe to me on youtube onwards on your podcast sorry about that clearing my throat in your ear I'm trying to get those YouTube subscriptions up and do me a favor share this on social media get out there and tell people you know you can tag me it's at word singer pod on Twitter and works on your podcast on Facebook and I got an Instagram presence as Kevin Tomlinson you can you can tag Kevin Thompson as well that's fine too and go check out words on your podcast comm for show notes and more we're gonna we're gonna amp this up so thank you for sticking around I hope you enjoyed this short slightly different format of the worst on your podcast go subscribe subscribe to this show on Spotify iTunes stitcher and everywhere fine podcaster so god bless you and I'll see you all next time words Linga

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