Breathe Life Into Your Story: Relax Into The Self-Publishing Process With Andrew Zimba

book writing creative process creative rhythm in times of war publishing company self-publishing Feb 21, 2024
With Clarity & Purpose | Andrew Zimba | Self-Publishing Process


Do you have a brilliant idea or captivating story yearning to be transformed into written prose? Ever envisioned breathing life into those narratives, letting them dance across the blank canvas of paper? If so, this episode is tailor-made for you! Join us as we dive into a conversation with Andrew Zimba, a seasoned Human Resources Leader and the Author of In Times of War: A Tale of Ardalencor. Andrew shares his insightful journey in writing and explores the merits of embracing the self-publishing realm. Discover why allowing creativity to flow naturally outweighs the rigidity of forcing words onto paper. Immerse yourself in Andrew Zimba's distinctive approach to nurturing his passion project, infusing it with a rich blend of flavors. Tune in today and let the conversation inspire you to embark on your own literary odyssey.


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Breathe Life Into Your Story: Relax Into The Self-Publishing Process With Andrew Zimba

I'm beyond excited because I have a very special guest who will be talking about a very special topic. This topic is in my heart because I want to self-publish a book and we'll be talking first of all about how to balance your side hustle passion with a corporate career. In this case, publishing your own book. We'll be talking about self-publishing and an overview of the process at a very high level and the benefits. Also, relaxing into the process of creating instead of forcing it, which I think we can learn so much about.

I wanted to introduce this special guest, Andrew Zimba. He is a human resources leader who decided to follow his calling of becoming an author in addition to his corporate career. Andrew self-published his novel In Times of War: A Tale of Ardalencor. It’s a medieval fantasy tale that has been compared to the Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. He's working on his second book right now. Andrew, welcome, and thank you so much for being here.

Thank you, Yanet. It's great to be here and to talk to you. We are reconnecting after many years. It's awesome.

The audience might be like, “How do you know each other?” Andrew and I were talking because, during my first corporate job, we met when I was in the supply chain. The last time we talked, he was reminding me, was when I decided to transition from supply chain to consulting. I knew always in my corporate years you had such a positive energy and you were so open that I was like, “I need to keep the connection with him.” You were one of the people that I said goodbye to, which I completely forgot. Thank you so much again for being here, Andrew.

It’s my pleasure. I remember that meeting and it's nice from many years ago to be talking again.

Andrew, I was telling you before we started recording that you are an amazing human resources leader. When I met you, you were a manager in that company and I didn't have an idea that you had this passion for writing books. I'm like, “I want to know more of his story.” How did you find this purpose and this passion? When did it start? What was your process and how are you balancing this out with your corporate career, which is amazing?

My idea to write a book started long before I got into the corporate world. It was as a kid coming up with different stories and imagining things. Probably more seriously, thinking about writing a book was when I was in college. It was more like, “I'm very interested in history. I want to tell a story. I want to combine these passions. Let me think about a topic for a book.”

I wasn't writing all of the time. It was more like there's this idea that I would write a little bit, set it to the side, come back to it, life would be happening, other things would be going on, but it was always there. Ultimately, I decided I didn't want to write historical fiction. It took me a while to figure out why even though I loved history because that story had already been told.

I love history. It's important history, but I would be inserting characters in a story where I already know the ending. Getting into medieval fantasy and writing my own story, envisioning this world was something that sparked my imagination. I said, “You have a blank page,” which can be daunting. You have to figure everything out but it unleashed this creativity to say, “I don't have to force fit a particular character into one time and place or another to align with the history. Tell your own story.”


You don't have to force fit a particular character into one time and place or another to align with the history. Tell your own story.


It was maybe about five years ago when I started thinking, “Let's get serious about writing this story.” It was letting things evolve with here's an original idea and balancing it with a corporate career. Writing is a great thing as a side hustle or a passion project because you can put it down and you can pick it up at any time, writing nights and weekends. A lot of it is the solitary process of figuring out in which order do the words go. It blended and balanced very well with finding free time, using it as a creative pursuit, something different but didn't conflict with the career because it's so flexible when you find the time to do it

I love that since a kid, you knew because I feel that's a story that is being told so many times. When I was a kid, I was writing poems about love and emotion. Even though I thought it later in theory, I feel since earlier on, we always have this purpose that we were born with and we connect to it. As you said, it is this inner voice that keeps bubbling off until we do something about it.

As you said, everybody has that creative outlet or something additional that's always part of you, and just finding a way to channel that.

I love your comment about stepping into the unknown, which is creating from the present. As you know, I came from a Doctor Joe Dispenza event. What you said applies to life so much because you didn't want to write a story that was repeating. I think most people end up doing the same in life. They keep repeating their past over and over and it requires so much courage, creativity, and vulnerability to step into the unknown and create something that hasn't been created before. How was the process for you?

It's a balance of what have I just embarked on and how many unknowns. I came up with a few characters, an inciting event, and a little bit of scenery. This is a medieval fantasy novel so I wanted it to be an immersive world. There are multiple points of view and locations, but all of that didn't exist before the story. It was just, “Here's an idea. Where can I take it from here?” I think it's part of you're not going to figure it out in one day or one month.

Maybe people do. It also depends on how complex the story you want to tell or what it is, but building something from scratch, I enjoyed the process of, “Let me figure this out.” I have to stop writing because I don't know who these people are. There are too many placeholders. “Let's figure out what this place looks like. What does this mean? How do I make the characters interesting but also bring this world to life?”

I wanted the challenge. I was like, “You've been thinking about this long enough. You've been contemplating this. You've stopped and started writing before. Let's go for it. If you're going to tell a story, tell a big story. Let's figure this out.” I wanted that challenge for myself. There were some times when I was like, “I don't know where this goes next.” I feel stuck. Getting unstuck, there are a couple of times I remember. Depending on what this character does next, it will fundamentally shift how this story unfolds. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I don't know if this is the right answer or the other way is the right answer.

I sat down and wrote down, “What are all of the possible options that could happen if this character vanishes in thin air,” which wouldn't happen but I wanted to free my mind and said, “This is your process. You decide what happens.” List all of the examples because you are like, “I don't know which one is the right one.” We'll list everything in quotes or all the options, but just put down maybe 10 or 12. It's like, “Would it be this one? Would it be this?” This is the right answer. Sometimes knowing what doesn't work is also as important as knowing what will work.


I feel this is a lesson in life too. Everything you're saying, I'm like, “I can apply it to problem-solving and decision-making in life.” I love that. That's beautiful.

Part of it is you might write something and say, “That doesn't work, but that's okay.” Sometimes if you think I'm under pressure or time constraints or whatever, it's like if I wrote this, then I have to use it because otherwise, the time was wasted if I don't. However, it's more you're learning like “That won't work, but here's a better idea,” or “This other stuff makes much more sense now that I've gone down this little detour.” It's relaxing and trusting. You'll figure it out but there were times when I was like, “I'm not sure what to do, but you have to push through it as with anything in life.

It's like giving yourself permission to experiment because you have to do experimentation to gain clarity on anything. It seems like that creative process was like that too. Many people have dreams, many people want to write books, and many times it stays as an idea. What triggered your decision to take this seriously and make it happen?

I think it was the lingering idea of, “What if it doesn't happen?” I think that was it. It's been enough time. You've thought about it and other things have happened. It wasn't like I was sitting in front of a computer each day. There'd be long stretches, months on end, or even years at some time in terms of originally thinking about this idea. You've always had this idea. You've learned enough.

I'm writing a better story now than maybe I would've written 10 or 15 years ago. I have more experience and knowledge, but it's time and it's ready. Now, I found the topic and the topic is a medieval fantasy world. Once you find your topic, you have enough knowledge. I'm still learning. I'm still self-publishing, writing, and fine-tuning things, but things are aligned enough. There was also this push of you need to do this because what's the worst that could happen, but it's better to go through this and have done it.


You just need to write because what's the worst that could happen? It's better to go through this and have done it.


Sometimes, with endeavors, you're like, “This doesn't work for me for this reason or that reason,” but you come to a resolution with it. It's not like everything you think about and doing what you need to do but if there's a regret or a question of what if, how do I pursue that? At least in some way or at least keep that door open because if you close it but don't have closure in terms of the concept of it, then you're always thinking, “What could have happened?”

For me, it was also like, “You should just do this if you're ready,” and the time aligned with the story because this was a relatively new concept. I said, “I'm going to write this medieval fantasy novel.” The idea for it came not much more before I started to write it. It wasn't an idea that I had for a while and sat on it. “Here's an idea. This might be it. Let's pursue this.”

One of my spiritual teachers, Wayne Dyer, passed away from cancer. He always says, “Do not die with your music inside.” I do this with my clients and some of them are writing books. I mentioned it to you. Sometimes we reflect on being on our deathbed and looking back and seeing if this was a regret, we would have not done it. I resonate so much with that driver of making sure you didn't have any regrets. I think that's powerful. When did you start writing your book and when did you finish it? With your corporate career, did you have a strategy of like, “I wake up at 5:00 AM? I dedicate one hour every day.” What was that strategy around the execution and consistency? How was that for you?

Once I landed on the idea of writing a medieval fantasy novel, it was five years from when I published it. I'm not a fast writer, but little by little there were times when I would set it aside for a little bit and come back to it. I didn't have the formal structure of from this time to this time, you're going to be writing. It was generally if I could find time in the early morning. Evenings were another important time for me. Somehow there's this creative spark for me before bedtime, which can limit sleep as well. It's like, “These characters are talking to me. I better write some stuff down.” Also, on weekends as well.

It was more like, “Here are the general timeframes,” and also understood my own creative rhythms throughout the day, but I didn't keep a strict schedule. I think keeping that can be very helpful because there's this also this piece of if you're writing when you feel inspired, then that's going to happen periodically. However, if you also have discipline and have a consistency of, “Even if I don't know what happens next, still sit down.”

If you're sitting down for 10 or 15 minutes, you'll probably start to think of something about what comes next or how to enrich this story. I was probably more flexible with the timing, but now writing book two, I'm trying to be more structured by making commitments to myself about writing and having more structure. “Let's see the progression.” The first one was, “Let me see how this goes.” I wasn't under any time pressure. I had to do all this world-building, where are these locations, and what is it like in these locations in addition to telling a story but now that's out of the way.

I can be more purposeful with it and learn how things work. Having that intention and finding time, even if it's 20 or 30 minutes, you can get some words on the page even in that limited amount of time. Incremental progress is huge versus waiting to be inspired and sit down for a full weekend and write thousands of words.


Incremental progress is really huge versus waiting to be inspired and sit down to write for a full weekend.


One of my clients, what she did is she took this masterclass and she created a draft of the themes and the subtitles of the chapters. She started feeling that out completely. She's still writing the book, but she tries to be consistent. I love that it took you five years because it doesn't sound as intimidating. If you would've said six months, I'm like, “I'm late writing the book.” I love that you have experimented on both sides of being flexible and now you're trying to be more structured. I think that's powerful.

Also, to be inspired by those people who can sit down. These very structured courses where people say, “You can write thousands and thousands of words in a weekend if you want to.” It's like, “How do we unlock that potential for ourselves,” or even refocused the structured writing time, you can knock out a lot of, “Here's an idea. Let me get everything down.” It doesn't have to be word perfect. It doesn't have to be all the punctuation is in the right place, but let me get those ideas down, and then I can come back to it.

How did you allow that flow to happen instead of forcing it? Mainly in your book that is a medieval fantasy where it's all based on creativity. Your creativity and all the unknowns. How did you allow the flow and how did you manage to stay in the flow without being perfect? Staying in flow instead of forcing and how do you manage being attached to the outcome? For example, sometimes I have projects and I have to manage consistently letting go of that attachment to how things will go and when they're going to get done. How do you let go of that attachment if you have any?

I think just writing, because it was this new world that I was discovering for myself as well, letting the story marinate. Let me think about it. I may have an idea, but come back and change it because these multiple characters are living in a world that has a past, even though the story is people are introduced to the world through the story, I wanted it to seem like an immersive place.

Allowing time to think about different ideas about how things would work, but then also, this is something I want to do. It's also a joyful experience. I'm going to figure this out. If I have to set it aside for a little bit because I don't know, that's okay too, but let's keep moving on it. If you take a break for a little bit, you can always come back. That was important for me. Some of this was trial and error.

You get frustrated and have to think about different ways of looking at it. It's like, “You want to do this. This is something where you're creating.” First and foremost, I'm glad people have liked the book, have purchased the book, and told people about it. Ultimately, it's like, “Why are you doing this in the first place?” It's a story that you want to tell. It’s something that gives you joy and something that has been a part of you for quite some time.

That’s such a good reminder to enjoy the journey and be process-focused instead of outcome-focused, which is so applicable to life. When you finish your book, I think writing a book is a very vulnerable thing because as you said, it's a solitary process where you're creating your own, you're writing, and there is a time when you open up and then allow the world to see your creation. How was that for you? Was there any fear? Was there any like, “What will people think?” If there was, how did you manage that fear?

Yeah, for sure. You certainly hold your breath when you've put in all this time. You think it's good and you say, “What do you think about it?” Even if it's a draft of a chapter. It’s like, “Here's an idea,” or certainly when you publish, “Here it is.” There's always that. You want people to like it. It's this thing about life where you have to focus on what you can control or what is in your power. As much as you may try to control other people's thoughts on something, you never can. That's a losing battle, but at the same time, you're putting this out there as an artist or as a writer. You want people to like it and you're waiting for that initial feedback and hopefully, that first wave is good.

Not everybody is going to like everything, but at least the first people I talked to or the first people who wrote it tell me it's brilliant and everybody thinks that. I think it's time and then going back to the first principles of life or things you learn along the way, what's in your control? How can you learn and engage with other audiences? You want that feedback and people to like it. You want to say, “Thank you for reading it. I enjoyed the book.” That's awesome. You can share it with others but it's also that balance.

You keep moving in your own creative vision. “What's next for me? What am I learning about marketing and fine-tuning things and finding your audience?” Every book is going to have an audience and it's also a matter of if somebody says, “I'm not interested in this particular book.” Someone has said that probably about every book. Keep moving and keep finding your audience. The people who may know about it may come back to it later, but a bit of it is a function of time from going through this writing process.

All of the blood, sweat, and tears of writing the story, editing it, going through the multiple steps, and self-publishing it. It's finally here and you want the reception for the book or anything you're creating, whether you're launching a business or whatever kind of product, “Here's this creative endeavor. Here's something that's been so important to me for a long period of time and here it is.” However, I think it's, “What's next? How do I view it? What kind of energy do I attract with it as well?”

It's powerful because every time we create something new, we are stepping into the unknown and uncertainty. It is always scary for everyone but the reminder here is to keep going. If you believe this is your purpose, if you seek to serve, you have to keep going authentically and trusting in the mission and vision. That's very powerful, Andrew. You decided to self-publish. Did you research publishing through an agency versus self-publishing? What would you say are the pros and cons? I know you're passionate about this topic. What are your thoughts on that?

For me, because I had the idea of writing a book for quite some time and then I finally said, “You've written this book.” For me, self-publishing was always the primary route to go because there's a 100% chance that your book will be published if you self-publish. If you use a traditional publisher, there's maybe 1%. People can certainly pursue that and it would be awesome to get, “Here's a big advance. Here's all expenses paid marketing tour or book tour.” That would be awesome but for me, you've spent so much time thinking about different books, you finally wrote this book. I don't want to go through the process of writing query letters to publishers and if there's a rejection process or just waiting because ultimately, it's a numbers game as well.

There are so many books out there and a publisher is only going to take a certain number because it's publishing, but it's also, “What are they also giving to you in terms of marketing and support and logistics and all those things too?” They're running a business as well. I thought, “I don't want to wait on going through that process. I know there's a 100% chance if I follow these steps,” and there are a lot of steps.

It's project management in addition to writing the book but I know what the outcome will be. For me, it was that. I was listening to somebody who had written historical fiction. They had even hired a voice actor to read parts of the chapters and they were giving this interview and it was on a particular period of history that I'm interested in. I didn't know about the specific people and what the book was about. I'm doubly interested. I like the period. I don't know the specifics. I'm interested.

The interviewer said, “Where can people get this book?” I was about to write this down and the gentleman said, “This book is not out.” He said, “I'm waiting for the right publisher to pick it up.” I thought, “You could self-publish this and it would be out.” I would've bought it. I think a lot of people listening would've bought it. He also hired this voice actor. There are also audiobooks too, but you were setting the scene of this book and did all these efforts. You've started self-publishing in a sense because you're starting to put these other things around it to help market it. There are still more steps to go, but I thought, “You could have this out.”

For whatever reason, maybe it's his time like, “I can write the book, but I don't want to go do these other things, but there's a 100% chance that it'll be out there.” The other piece is it has never been easier because there is so much support and resources. Some people have gone through the process. If people are tuning in to this, please consider me as part of your network. If you have questions along the way, I'm happy to help with that too.

There are things online. There are books. Some people have gone through it. All of these guides have a certain level of information but to have a concise guide also means you can't cover everything in there. I think looking at these different guides, finding like, “These three say the same thing.” I probably have a sense of what's involved with this, but there are always these little nuances where as part of my journey, I knew a couple of people who had self-published. I said, “How does this thing work? It says this, but how does this work?”

“Here's what you need to know. This is what you need to do.” Having that network is very valuable. One of the individuals also had a publisher for his first book and it was like, “What's the whole package that goes with the publisher?” One from money that's involved either upfront money or percentage on sales. How many are they going to print? How much creative control do you have over your product? If a publisher says, “We sell books that are less than 300 pages. That's our sweet spot. That's how we move books. Your manuscript is 320 pages. Cut it down 40 pages or whatever,” or “We don't like this particular character. Change this or change that.”

I think it's also, “What are the trade-offs that go with this?” How much marketing can they put behind the book? Maybe they can open some doors with local bookstores where “I'm from this publishing company. You have a representative reaching out.” That can certainly open doors as well versus, “I've self-published. I'm a local author.” That can be a bit hit-and-miss. Some people will listen to you. Others, you don't hear back from. It's like selling anything. On Shark Tank, you hear people saying, “I don't get my calls returned on this or that.” It goes with anything that you're trying to work.

There can be benefits. I think it's understanding what is the support that you're going to receive and what's important to you. Is creative control important? Is it, “I want to write, but I don't want to handle all of the logistics that go with it? I know there are resources and stuff, but I don't have that time. I don't have that interest. I would rather pay somebody to do the editing or how do I get this book available in this location?”

Amazon is super intuitive once you've written the book and have it ready, they're like, “Here are all the things you need to do to self-publish a book on Amazon.” Other platforms are a little bit funky, and even people who've put out a couple books, I'm a part of different writers groups and they'll post and say, “How do I format this thing to go here? It doesn't seem to be working on this particular platform?”

However, if you have a publisher, you don't have to worry about that kind of stuff. We talked a little bit about it. The other thing is you're the boss. If you self-publish, you're the boss from the content to the editing, to the artwork, to the marketing, the brand, and the persona. You're in charge of all of that. The flip side is you're in charge of all of that. You have to learn and figure all those things out or rely upon your network to say, “How have you handled it? What are best practices? How can you learn a little bit more about how things should go?”


Money is probably better if you're self-publishing in terms of royalties per book because if you're working through a publisher, they have upfront costs. They have people that they're employing. If you're looking at it as, “What is the return on my effort?” Your royalties for the book, without saying 100%, will be higher but it’s very likely 99.9% if there's some outlier case. I would be willing to say that the royalties will always be higher because there is no middleman. No other people are working on this. You're the one doing all these steps.

You see more of a return for each book sold. You can always get a publisher later. If you can say, “I can get this book out now. I'll go through the process of writing. I'll go through the steps of getting it ready and I know it'll be out there.” If it hits or if I write a second one or there's an interested publisher, you can always go back and talk to publishers and maybe they approach you.

I see the following that you've created and you probably have more leverage then too. Here's one book. Here are two books. You see the style, the theme, and the characters. As you're talking with these publishers, it depends on what's the total package of this. You are like, “I want these characters to stay. I don't want you cutting my characters. This is the direction I'm going to go for my next book,” or “I'm thinking about this other series,” and you probably have more leverage, especially if they're coming to you or if you have multiple but that option is always there.

Instead of waiting, I hope you're sending out these query hits and they get picked up by a publisher. You can get it out there immediately. I've spent a lot of my life thinking about writing a book. Now that it's done, I want to get it out there but still all those possibilities of maybe working with a publisher in the future. That's still there. That still exists. It hasn't gone away but I have a book. People are reading it. There's a community around it.

All that stuff happened because I said I was going to follow the self-publishing process. It was something that once I had learned as I was writing the book and was getting close, I had to learn all these other things. I was like, “Let me see if I can write this book first. I'm getting close. I'm almost done. What are all the other things I need to know that go along with it?” I tried to line those things up, but I didn't know, “Here's everything that's involved in self-publishing. Now, I'm going to write a book.” I'm learning as I'm going through the switch. It had its headaches too like figuring things out, who to work with, and how things work. You learn a lot by doing things yourself as well.


You learn a lot by doing things yourself.


It's like any other business. You're learning on the go because you're taking this new path that you have never walked through before. I love the reminder that 1) The probability of getting published with self-publishing is 100% because it's in your control, and 2) You can always get picked up by a publisher. Have you heard of Robin Sharma?

I've heard the name. I'm not too familiar.

He wrote The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and then The 5:00 AM Club. He's amazing and he's super famous. He wrote his first book, self-published. He was a lawyer at that time and he was writing on the side. One publisher picked him up and then he rose tremendously. Also, do you know Yung Pueblo?

No. I’m not familiar.

He writes poetry and what he did is he started building his following and publishing only poetry on his Instagram. He is such a movement that a publisher reached out to him and he was like, “Have you thought of writing a book?” It was because all of his books mainly are poetry and they created a book out of all the poetry posts that he had done. It's amazing

That's people doing their thing. With the second example you gave, it was the publisher saying, “Have you thought about this? Here's another avenue for your work.”

He was just creating, which was a thing that was joyful for him. It's so important. Marketing is a big piece of any business, including a book. What did you do marketing-wise? You have to follow Andrew on his Instagram because I was looking at all those reels and I'm like, “These are good.” I love everything you're creating.

Thank you. My Instagram is @Ardalencor.

It has a lot of amazing content. Marketing-wise, how did you market? How are you still marketing? What did you learn for your next book? What are the lessons learned that you would incorporate moving forward?

I wasn't even on social media as an individual before the book. It wasn't something that I did. In terms of ways of marketing, social media, word of mouth, finding adjacent spaces like writing, self-publishing, world-building, or what are ways to share tips to get your brand off there? It's not always like, “Here's a book,” but here are other things that go along with it and people can get to know you a little bit. They are like, “I like the way he thinks about writing and world-building. He also has a book as well.”

It’s getting out there more broadly. Regarding social media, the things I would do differently would be because I was writing and then it was figuring out self-publishing and then I waited on the social media stuff until the book was ready. I like to say definitively like, “This book will be out at such and such a time.”I don't like the ambiguity of it. I'm learning these other things. I have to figure out self-publishing and launching into social media with something.

I don't have other things going on. I was like, “I don't have the capacity to do this or do it well right now, so I'm going to wait on that.” I think building a brand or awareness before the product launches is the right way to go. Showing your face like, “This is coming. This is what it's about.” It's less of you're selling something immediately, but people get to know you in general. “By the way, this book will be releasing soon.”


I think that's the right way to go. That's the pattern that most people follow. For me, this is too many new things all at once and I have to get this book done. That's the first thing before embarking into this other piece but with social media, we share world-building tips, and writing tips, which are more broadly applicable, but also like, “Here's a little bit about the book. Here's some of the about the characters or some of the themes or concepts that go within that.”

Also, thinking about what kind of brand you want to create around whether it's your book or whatever product you have, but getting more broadly into social media, Substack, where I share other longer form world-building tips and things. Instagram is only a finite amount of space, but a little bit of a longer form. That has been an evolution. If you think about how many billboards you see when you drive down the highway, have you bought any of those products?

I don’t know if I have. Maybe.

Also, you may have driven down that road 1,000 times and maybe you've bought the product once. I think it's also calibrating that marketing is its own thing. How much time? Do you want to put money into marketing? I think that's an individual decision, but how do you cultivate interest just because there are so many points of information, whatever the topic or infinite topics, let's say, that people can choose from? That's also part of this thing. If somebody picks up your book or is interested in whatever product, they're also choosing that at that moment in time over multiple other things that they could be doing too.

I think having that perspective as well as how much even major companies put into marketing. It's like having an awareness of that too. If you're self-publishing or say, “I have a limited budget, I'm going to use certain avenues,” or “I want to spend money. I don't want to spend money.” That's something to be aware of too as you're embarking on the process.

I was telling one of my clients because she's the one who is writing the book on the process now. She announced it on LinkedIn and everything. We were talking about marketing and even though she hadn't finished, I was like, “You should make people aware because it's so important.” She hasn't announced the title or anything. She was like, “I'm writing a book,” etc. but I was telling her, “I'm sure if you write a book that also counts as your business that you can expense like the editing and all of that stuff. Is that true? Writing a book counts as a business too, right?

Yeah. I'm not a tax professional so in terms of how much time or allocating your time, maybe I’m not the person to speak to that directly but I'm sure some people could speak to that more.

I was googling it and it says it can be a business because you're selling something. I'm not saying editing herself. I'm saying that if she pays an editor, that's an expense of the business.

I would say that's a cost to the business.

She hadn't thought about the book being a business, but if she's selling a product that's a business.

Yeah, for sure. I think that's the other thing too. Without getting into the specifics of the process but as you mentioned, do you want to edit the book yourself? Do you want to pay somebody for that? What do you want to pay for? Do you want to pay for it to just read it for grammar or punctuation or do you want somebody to read it for context as well? “There was a curse upon the land,” but it was never explained what the curse was or what would happen. It was just like, “There's this curse.”

Somebody who's reading it might say, “Do you want to explain that,” but you could pay for that level of editing. You should have also people read your story. It’s like, “I didn't understand this part. I didn't get this part. Can you explain this more?” That should be part of it too. You should have beta readers and have people look at it along the way, but you can also hire an editor who will do more like a book coach and can say, “This chapter drags a little bit,” or “What happened in this chapter?” It’s not much.

If it was gone from the book, is the book still the same? Change this or move this around. You could also pay for that as well. Also formatting the book to get it ready for self-publishing or hiring an artist. You can design covers yourself. It all depends on what you're interested in, what you're looking for, and how much time you are willing to dedicate to the endeavor.

This interview with you has been so enlightening and I'm ready to continue working on my book. I know so many people are going to benefit from your experience because you have gone through every step of the process. If people feel inspired and want to connect with you or want to know maybe about your book or your services or whatever it is, how can you help our audience and how can they find you?

If people have tuned in to this show and have questions about self-publishing, please consider me part of your network. I'm happy to help. People have helped me and I'm happy to help others along the way as well. If you're interested in the book, if you like medieval fantasy, or if you have a medieval fantasy fan in your life, In Times of War: A Tale of Ardalencor is available on Amazon.

I'm most active on social media on Instagram and at as well. You can read the first three chapters of the book if you want to check it out. That's another way to do so as well. I also post periodically longer forms, if you're in more of the world-building, whether it's fantasy, whether it's sci-fi or you're writing about 1800s New York. How do I recreate that world? I post stuff about world-building at as well. Those are the best ways to reach me.

Please connect with Andrew. He's a wealth of knowledge. I'm more into personal development books, but I'm now interested based on everything. I'm like, “I need to read this book. I need to expand my horizon.” You have been so inspiring and the fact that you have followed your calling with your corporate career is mega inspiring. Andrew, as we conclude, is there anything else you want to communicate to our audience related to anything?

I would say keep going. As I've said, I have had this idea for quite some time so if you're kicking yourself and thinking, “I've had this idea for quite some time,” like I did too. Sometimes the circumstances align. All of your past experiences and what you've learned is like, “This is the right time.” Keep going. You may have to adjust. I had to shift the topic of my book. You may have to venture into something new, but it's always worthwhile because you learn from it and keep going and follow your dreams. Follow your passions.

What a beautiful message to end this interview. Andrew, thank you so much for your time and for giving us all this valuable information. I appreciate you.

Thank you, Yanet.

Thank you so much. If you enjoy this show, please share it with your friends and families. Spread the word of empowerment because like Andrew said, this is about following your calling, following your purpose so we can continue serving and empowering the world. Do you agree, Andrew?

Totally. I love it.

Thank you for tuning in and I'll see you next week. Bye-bye.


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 About Andrew Zimba

Andrew Zimba is a Human Resources Leader who decided to follow his calling of becoming an author in addition to his corporate career. Andrew self-published his novel "In Times of War: a Tale of Ardalencor", a medieval fantasy tale that has been compared to Game of Thrones and Lord of The Rings, and he is working on his second book now.





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