Bob Baker's Artist Empowerment Blog

Do You Have a Book Inside of You?

If you read this blog, you obviously have a song or a film or a play or some type of art inside of you. You have a need to share what you have to say through your talents and creativity. But a growing number of people also want to express themselves through a book -- and do so by publishing it themselves.

As you may know, I've been actively involved with writing and publishing for many years. And over the past four years in particular, I've made a good living exclusively from the sales of my self-published books, reports, audio programs, and more.

It's how I plan to spend the rest of my days, as I truly feel I've found my right livelihood.

I know first-hand the sense of personal satisfaction that comes from putting out your own book. I also understand the deep sense of purpose and meaning a book can give you when it touches people's lives in ways you never imagined.

I've benefited greatly from my pursuit of do-it-yourself book publishing, and now I'm on a mission to empower others to enjoy the same thrills as I have.

I've done that for the past three years serving as president of the St. Louis Publishers Association. I've been doing it through this blog and my site. And now I'm taking things a step further with the release today of my new audio/ebook package called "Self-Publishing Success Secrets 101."

It's an ideal resource for first-time authors and other self-publishers wanting to kick-start their book publishing efforts.

What's different about this guide?

A lot of the popular publishing manuals out there are hefty and cover a lot of ground. But the sheer volume of technicalities causes confusion and information overload for many aspiring authors.

That's why I created this guide. To give you a quick crash course on the most important things you need to know to become a successful self-published author -- and to share some of the nontraditional methods that got me where I am today.

Anyway, take a closer look at

I'd love to hear what you think.


P.S. Do you prefer to read, or listen to books on your iPod or CD? I love doing both. That's why "Self-Publishing Success Secrets 101" comes as a 25-page ebook AND 50 minutes of MP3 audio files. Print it and read it, or burn it and listen on the go. You'll have multiple ways to soak up these self-publishing tips and advice.

Earning Attention: It's All About Context

For years I've been wanting to write about the role of context in artistic success and recognition. Example: Several years ago, Kelly Clarkson could have sung at a karaoke bar in Texas and few people would have noticed. Put her on an American Idol production stage, team her with pro songwriters and producers, get her some airplay and ... boom! She's a sought-after superstar.

She had loads of talent either way. But it wasn't recognized until she was presented in the optimum context. This idea was driven home recently when violinist Joshua Bell played in a Washington, D.C. subway.

Bell is an internationally renowned virtuoso, considered by many to be one of the most gifted musicians in the world. The Washington Post asked him to conduct an experiment. Writer Gene Weingarten was given the task of investigating what would happen if a gifted musician played in a D.C. subway during morning rush hour.

How would commuters respond? Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, was asked to predict what would happen. He guessed that, over a 45-minute period, a small crowd would gather and that Bell would earn $150 in tips.

The results: Seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.

Again, it's all about context. Here's Bell quoted in Weingarten's article:

"At a music hall, I'll get upset if someone coughs or if someone's cell phone goes off. But here, my expectations quickly diminished. I started to appreciate any acknowledgment, even a slight glance up. I was oddly grateful when someone threw in a dollar instead of change." This is from a man whose talents can command $1,000 a minute.

"When you play for ticket-holders," Bell explains, "you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I'm already accepted. Here, there was this thought: What if they don't like me? What if they resent my presence ..."

Context creates expectations in the audience, it can add or subtract confidence in the artist, it colors everything about the creative experience.

Read the entire article here. And remind yourself of this principle next time you have a less than stellar event or performance. Most importantly, do everything you can to create the context that's best for you and your audience.