Interview with writer Gini Graham Scott

Writer
Gini Graham Scott
joins me today and we’re talking about her latest books, which include: Self-Publishing Secrets, Using the Dog Type
System for Success in Business and the Workplace,
and The Science of Living Longer.
Bio:
Lafayette,
California, USA resident Gini Graham Scott has been a freelance writer for over
40 years, is the author of over 150 books, 50 with traditional publishers, 100
published by her own company: Changemakers Publishing. She has written hundreds
of articles, and helps clients write, publish, and promote their own books.
She
is also the writer of over 20 feature film scripts, 6 of them in release,
production, or post production, and has written and produced over 60 short
videos. She has a channel for her films at www.youtube.com/changemakersprod.
Gini
has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV talk shows, including Oprah, CNN, and Good Morning America. She has spoken about the topics of her books,
including on crime, social trends, improving workplace relationships, and
self-publishing. She has been doing talks and workshops recently on
self-publishing and using the Dog Type personality system, which she developed,
and for which she has been setting up a national network of trainers.
All
of Gini’s own books are inspired by experiences she has had in her life. She
became interested in the topic of aging and immortality after getting older
herself and reading about current research on extending life. She wrote her
books on self-publishing based on her experiences is using CreateSpace and
IngramSpark to publish her own books. Her Dog Type personality system was
inspired by her book on Do You Look Like
Your Dog?
originally published by Random House, after she noticed that many
dog owners not only looked like their dog but shared many personality
characteristics. Then, after learning about the DISC and red-yellow-blue-green
personality systems, she realized that popular dogs could be substituted for
the letters and colors, and people would better identity with them and have
more fun. So now she has several trainers she is working with who are leading
workshops on the system.
Welcome,
Gini. Please tell us about your current release.
I
began writing Self-Publishing Secrets after
I realized that many other writers weren’t sure how to best publish and market
their own books. I was also inspired to write it after I participated in a
speaker’s training program and had to decide on a topic to talk about. Since I
have written about so many things, it was hard to decide what to do. It seemed
like self-publishing was a good focus that tied everything together, since I
had self-published over 100 books. The chapters in Self-Publishing Secrets include these:
            – Why self-publish a book
            – Using a book to build your
business
            – How I can help you self-publish
your book
            – Deciding on your overall purpose
            – Determining what to write about
            – Creating an outline and timeline
            – Getting your information
            – Writing and editing your book
            – Formatting your book for
publication
            – Publishing your book
            – Creating a print-on-demand book
            – Publishing an e-book
            – Creating an audiobook
            – And more.
           

The book on Using the Dog Type System for Success in Business and the Workplace includes
these chapters:

INTRODUCTION    
PART I: UNDERSTANDING
THE DOG TYPE SYSTEM         
CHAPTER 1: RECOGNIZING
THE FOUR DOG-TYPES        
Are You a German Shepherd?    
Are You a Border Collie?  
Are You a Golden Retriever?       
]Are You a Pomeranian?  
CHAPTER 2: THE ROOTS OF THE DOG TYPE SYSTEM AND
WHY IT WORKS           
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 
The DISC Personality Profile        
The Red-Blue-Yellow-Green Personality Type 
Some Modern Variations on the
Red-Blue-Yellow-Green System    
Summing Up
CHAPTER 3: WHERE THE 4-DOG TYPE SYSTEM FITS      
How the Dog Type System
Differs from Other Systems          
Why Choose the 4 Selected Dogs for the 4-Dog
Type System          
The Key Characteristics
of the Four Types of Dogs     
PART II: APPLYING THE DOG TYPE SYSTEM          
CHAPTER 4: UNDERSTANDING YOUR STRENGTHS AND
WEAKNESSES      
When Strengths Can Help
When Strengths Become Weaknesses  
What If You’re a German Shepherd?     
What If You’re a Pomeranian?    
What If You’re a Golden Retriever?        
What If You’re a Border Collie?   
CHAPTER 5: ASSESSING HOW TO BETTER COMMUNICATE
WITH AND INTERACT WITH OTHERS BASED ON THEIR DOG TYPE
Adapting Your Approach
to Others          
Relating to the German Shepherd (Red/Dominant
Leadership Type)          
Relating to the Pomeranian
(Yellow/Influencer/Fun Party Animal Type)      
Relating to the Golden Retriever
(Green/Steady/Cool Supporter)     
Relating to the Border Collie
(Blue/Conscientious/the Serious Fact Checker)        
Summing Up
CHAPTER 6: USING THE DOG TYPE SYSTEM IN
DIFFERENT SITUATIONS    
Testing Out Whether the
System Works for You          
Making a Sale of a Product or Service   
An Example of Adapting
a Presentation to Make a Sale         
Looking for Clients or Referrals at a
Networking Event
An Example of Successfully Meeting a Prospect
at a Networking Event     
Improving Your Relationships with Co-Workers,
Your Boss, or Your Employees in the Workplace        
Examples of Using the
Dog Type System in the Workplace   
An Example of Improving your Relationship in
the Workplace.          
Getting a Job or
Promotion
CHAPTER 7: QUICKLY IDENTIFYING THE DIFFERENT
DOG TYPES     
Using the Dog Type Occupations, Thinking, and
Emotional Orientations Chart     
CHAPTER 8: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER     
What
inspired you to write this book?
As
previously noted, my own books are inspired by my experiences. I became
interested in the topic of aging and immortality after getting older and
reading about current research on extending life.
I
wrote my books on self-publishing based on my experiences is using CreateSpace
and IngramSpark to publish my books.
My
Dog Type personality system was inspired by my book on Do You Look Like Your Dog? originally published by Random House,
after I noticed that many dog owners not only looked like their dog but shared
many personality characteristics. Then, I participated in a training program,
and one of the workshops dealt with learning about the red-yellow-blue-green
personality system and using it to make more effective presentations to clients
based on knowing their personality type. The reason for understanding these
types is that to be more effective, one should adapt the pitch to the way a
person likes to get information, such as to the point if a leader type and with
more detail if a conscientious researcher type. I realized that popular dogs
could be substituted for the letters and colors, and people would better
identity with them and have more fun. So now I have several trainers I am
working with who are leading workshops on the system.
What
exciting story are you working on next?
I’m
doing a follow-up to Self-Publishing
Secrets
dealing with using marketing, PR, and the social media to market
your self-published books.
I’m
working on developing a guidebook for leading a workshop on the Dog Type
Personality System, so leaders and trainers can set up workshops all over the
country.
In
the course of researching The Science of
Living Longer
, I met a number of people who reported the spirits of
presumably deceased people contacting them with information known only to that
deceased person. So there may be a follow-up book based on case studies called
tentatively Talking to the Dead.
When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably
I first considered myself a writer, when I was 16 and I did a research study on
the Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck, where I lived at the time. It got
published in the local paper, and soon after, officials at the Academy
complained that it presented the academy in a bad light, since it included some
stories of merchant marine students sneaking me and several girls in to parties
at the academy.
Do you write
full time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than
write and how do you find time to write?
Yes,
I am a full-time writer and I see writing as a career, although the nature of
the career has changed. Initially, I made most of my income through royalties
of my books. Then, as the publishing industry shifted, I started a company that
connects writers to publishers and agents, and later film producers, called
initially Publishers and Agents, and then Publishers, Agents, and Films. Initially
it involved using postal mails to send publishers lists of projects and then I
shifted to sending out emails in 2003. I used special software to personalize the
letters to contacts while I could send from any email. The company became very
successful with over 1000 writers and over 250 testimonials. By the time I first
sold it in 2008, it was about 85% of my income, and eventually I sold it again,
though I work with the new owners and can refer writers to them.
Now
I still do some books for traditional publishers, but most of my books are
published through my company Changemakers Publishing in different formats
(print, ebooks, audiobooks, and soon courses), and most of my income comes from
ghostwriting and other writing for clients. The publishing industry has been
transformed over the last decade, so there is much more opportunity in
self-publishing and helping new authors, businesspeople, speakers, and
workshop/seminar leaders write, publish, and promote their own books.
My
typical work day starts at about 10 or 11 a.m. and I generally write until
about 4 p.m. Then I might continue writing if I don’t have a meeting to go to,
though often I go to business networking meetings from about 5-7 pm. Sometimes
I go to early morning and business luncheon meetings. So my days are fairly
varied, and I write between doing other things. I have learned to quickly start
writing and pick up wherever I left off, so I can readily adapt to dealing with
meetings, phone calls, interviews, and other things that come up in the day. Generally,
I work till about 11 p.m., though what I’m doing varies a lot, and then I
typically watch programs on either Netflix or Amazon.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably
my most interesting writing quirk is being inspired by experiences and dreams,
which have led to some of the books I have written. Aside from my ghostwriting
and co-writing for clients, my non-fiction books tend to be based on an area of
interest or experience I have had that has led me to investigate further.
I
had an experience with a bankruptcy attorney who cheated me after I wrote a
proposal for him and he used it to sell his book to a publisher. But he had
financial difficulties, so he falsely claimed “fraud” after his credit card was
declined to get back his money which I had charged for the work. He claimed he
had not authorized the project and had no transactions with me about it,
despite my having about 350 pages of email exchanges over about a month and
even getting some emails from him in which he claimed paying me would be his
first priority. That fraudulent fraud claim led to a book called Preventing Credit Card Fraud, and I
asked a woman bankruptcy attorney and debt strategist to be the lead author,
since I felt I needed someone in the financial field to give the book more
credibility. She provided leads for articles, and I wrote the book which we
sold to Rowman & Littlefield.
As
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My
interest in writing started very early, though I didn’t think of that as becoming
my career. But I always came back to it.
I
guess you could say my first publication was when I was 6 years old and my
mother, a second grade teacher, helped me create my first newspaper called The Peep. It featured articles by me and
other kids about things going on in school and at home, and I went around my
apartment building getting people to sign up for it.
But
as a teen for a while I flirted with the idea of becoming a pop singer, and my
mother even arranged for me to have singing lessons with another teacher in her
elementary grade school where she was a second grade teacher. But I soon
discovered that I couldn’t sing, which quickly ended that idea.
Then
when I was 16, I had my first jobs in writing — an internship at Golden Gate
Books, due to a relative who had a family member who was one of the partners or
owners of Simon & Schuster. Around that time, I got another job at a small
local magazine publisher. I also wrote an article for the local paper about the
Merchant Marine Academy that got published, as previously noted.
Anything
additional you want to share with readers?
I
have a new book on the new developments on living longer and maybe achieving
immortality called The Science of Living
Longer
with ABC-Clio, out in November. I sold 4 kids’ books to Black Rose
Writing, Katy’s Bow, Scratches, Where’s
the Avocado,
and The Crazy Critter’s
First Visit
. They will be out in 2018. I also have my sixth film which is
being filmed based on a script I wrote: Infidelity,
about three couples who come together for a dinner, and a mysterious caller
suddenly calls and tells them they must answer some questions to reveal secrets
about themselves or their business dealings. Otherwise, a bomb will go off, and
they can’t leave or use their cell phone to call someone. But is this someone
they know, or a prank caller?
My
other new books which I have turned into workshops and courses are Self-Publishing Secrets and Using the Dog Type System for Success in
Business and the Workplace.
I’m especially excited about the potential for
both of these books, which I published through Changemakers Publishing.
Since
I have mainly written nonfiction books on a variety of subjects, there is no
particular message in every book. But in general, I would say my books are
designed to help readers achieve success in their life and work by using
various tools, such as being positive, learning from experience, and
continually growing, changing, and adapting to the times.
In
writing one of my recent books, I learned about the potential we all have for
living much longer, especially if we can stay healthy for another 15-20 years,
when all the new technologies will kick in. For example, you might be able to
get a new body, rejuvenate your cells, have new ways to make your brain
smarter, and so on.
My
advice to other writers is that until you start making enough from your writing
to support yourself, don’t give up your day job. If you are going to write for
clients, you need to build a track record, and you might start by providing
some free samples and getting testimonials.
If
you want to be successful with writing nonfiction, you need a platform with a
big following, extensive speaking engagements, or a high media profile, for a
big publisher to be interested, especially if you are writing in a popular
competitive field like self-help, popular business, or relationships. You have
to establish yourself as an authority. A good way to get started is to
self-publish your book and use that to get speaking engagements and media
attention, and gradually build up your sales. Then, you can decide if it makes
sense to keep self-publishing or find a traditional publisher. I can help
writers with either — directly through self-publishing or through the company
I sold to find a traditional publisher or agent, since I still work with them
as a writer and consultant.
Let
me know what else you are interested in reading about, and maybe I’ll write
about that.
Links
I
have multiple websites:
Thanks
for being here today, Gini!

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