So, I thought writing a book was difficult. Try marketing it on your own. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I realize there is a lot I need to learn about the book publishing industry, especially self-publishing.

So far, I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and talking about sports history and Tug Wilson as I visit small towns and other places on my “book tour.” My entourage consists of just me most of the time. The crowds are small (what did I expect, I’m not famous … yet) but those who come to listen to me talk about Tug are truly interested in learning and ask interesting questions.

Earlier this month I met Judge Frank Lincoln at the McDonalds restaurant in Tuscola, Illinois. He purchased a copy of A Gold Medal Man from my mother, who trades stories with a group of men and women over coffee nearly every morning. Judge Lincoln said he remembers his father talking about Tug Wilson and his accomplishments. Lincoln said he enjoyed the book and passed it on to a friend to read.

From conversations with other people, I get the impression some people may be leery of a “self-published” book because of previous experiences with friends or relatives who “wrote a book.” Most of these stories don’t turn out very well. I can relate. I’ve read some books from some local authors, and although I applaud their efforts, their final product lacked the crucial elements that make a book a “good read.” As a newspaper editor, I also received loads of free copies from authors seeking a review. Lots of self-help, memoirs, and cookbooks, as I recall. I rarely had time to even flip through the pages so if the first page didn’t capture my interest then that was it.

Now I find myself on the other side of the business attempting to convince others that MY book is worth buying. I realize not everyone is interested in non-fiction stories. They may not care about sports or history or biographies. That’s ok, I understand. I never thought I would write  a book that fit into those categories anyway, but I did. What I liked most about writing this book is that I learned something about a person who grew up in my hometown, interesting facts about the Olympics, about issues and organizations important in the development of amateur sports, and about other famous people. Most of all I learned it doesn’t matter if you grew up in a small town like Atwood, Illinois to achieve something big … like becoming the Big Ten commissioner or president of the U.S. Olympic Committee or writing a book.

Another reluctant reader finally took a leap of faith and borrowed a copy of A Gold Medal Man. She called to tell me she loved the book and learned so much from reading it that she plans on buying a copy for her husband. I’m thrilled. Not necessarily because I will add a little change to my pocketbook, but because the fact someone learned something from a story I shared. That’s success in my book.

#tugwilson, #Bigtencommissioner, #atwoodolympian, #atwoodillinois