Read and Write with Natasha

The sailing author: A Life on the ocean and self-publishing at sea

January 17, 2024 Natasha Tynes Episode 44
The sailing author: A Life on the ocean and self-publishing at sea
Read and Write with Natasha
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Read and Write with Natasha
The sailing author: A Life on the ocean and self-publishing at sea
Jan 17, 2024 Episode 44
Natasha Tynes

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📹 Watch the interview on YouTube.

Author Paul Trammell lives aboard his sailboat, and has found a profound sense of freedom and self-discovery.

When Paul is not steering his boat "Windflower" through tranquil waters or bracing against the unexpected, he's penning novels and self-publishing from his floating abode.

In this podcast, we talked about the world of self-publishing at sea, from leveraging friends' feedback to navigating the labyrinth of marketing and audiobook production.

We also discussed how digital platforms are reshaping the landscape for authors who dare to follow their dreams off the beaten path. 

Paul is also the host of the podcast Offshore Sailing and Cruising with Paul Trammell.

Paul's journey is a testament to the undying spirit of adventure and the relentless pursuit of creativity, wherever you may find yourself in the world—or on the water.

Support the Show.

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➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

📹 Watch the interview on YouTube.

Author Paul Trammell lives aboard his sailboat, and has found a profound sense of freedom and self-discovery.

When Paul is not steering his boat "Windflower" through tranquil waters or bracing against the unexpected, he's penning novels and self-publishing from his floating abode.

In this podcast, we talked about the world of self-publishing at sea, from leveraging friends' feedback to navigating the labyrinth of marketing and audiobook production.

We also discussed how digital platforms are reshaping the landscape for authors who dare to follow their dreams off the beaten path. 

Paul is also the host of the podcast Offshore Sailing and Cruising with Paul Trammell.

Paul's journey is a testament to the undying spirit of adventure and the relentless pursuit of creativity, wherever you may find yourself in the world—or on the water.

Support the Show.

****************************************************************************

➡️ P.S: If you find my content useful, you might want to check out my Substack newsletter, in which I talk and vent about the writing life:


Speaker 1:

Mowing the lawn, just being stuck in the same house day after day, looking at the same having to drive. You know, what I really don't like about conventional living in a house is that you're completely cut off from nature. Out here on the ocean, I'm surrounded by water. I'm surrounded by nature. When the sun goes down, it's dark. When the sun comes up in the morning, it's light. There's birds, there's fish. There's no roads, there's no telephone poles, there's no concrete, there's no other buildings. It's nature, and that's what makes me happy.

Speaker 2:

Hi friends, this is Read and Write with Natasha podcast. My name is Natasha Tynes and I'm an author and a journalist. In this channel I talk about the writing life, review books and interview authors. Hope you enjoy the journey. Hi everyone, and welcome to another episode of Read and Write with Natasha. So today we have with us a sailor author. His name is Paul Tramill and he lives on his sailboat and is currently in Panama. He wrote a number of fiction and nonfiction books. His latest book is a thriller called Until they Bear Me. He's also the host of two podcasts Offshore Sailing and Cruising with Paul Tramill, and Dream Chasers and Eccentrics. Wow, paul, how is life in the boats?

Speaker 1:

Oh, it's wonderful. It's a dream. I'm living my dream out here. For sure, I enjoy it.

Speaker 2:

I know like I'm so jealous. I want to be on that boat. So thank you for joining us today, Paul, and of course, my first question is going to be about the boats. So how long have you been living on the boat, Paul?

Speaker 1:

I bought this boat in 2019, right after I sold my house. So I sold my house first and then went boat shopping and I've been living full time on this boat since October of 2019. So almost four years now.

Speaker 2:

Wow, what made you decide to live this unconventional lifestyle? Just quit living in a house and live on a boat.

Speaker 1:

Well, I was in a stage of my life when I was just changing everything, and it all started in 2015 when I quit drinking. I used to be a big time partier. I drank beer, I drank a lot and I smoked a lot of weed. And I was a musician. I was in a band. I was chasing a different dream at the time and it just got to be too unhealthy, too much. My life was kind of going downhill and I got sober and I just changed everything about my life and sailing became a substitute for all the partying and all the good times and I just got really hooked. I had a different boat at the time. I bought a smaller sailboat and I spent two months with it in the Bahamas and I loved it.

Speaker 1:

After two months, I wanted more. I was wondering if I was going to be worn out and ready to go back to land and tired and dirty and beat up, but I wasn't. I felt great. I remember thinking, yeah, I could live like this. And that just started the dream, and as soon as I figured out how to put all the pieces in place, I pulled the trigger. It only took about one more year that was in 2018, the Bahamas trip and within a year I had renovated my house, sold it, sold my boat, quit my job and was driving around in my suburban looking for a bigger boat to live on. And I found Windflower up in Massachusetts and bought her and ended up in the Bahamas. And I've been to the Bahamas, florida, up the East Coast, to Canada, to Newfoundland, to Panama, jamaica. I'm just checking out this whole part of the world here, going anywhere I want to go.

Speaker 2:

Do you live alone?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Do you have friends and family visiting, or it's only you?

Speaker 1:

No, nobody's come to visit me on the boat yet. They've all got their own lives, they're all busy. My brother and sister both have kids and they've got busy lives. And my parents have come out to see the boat a few times and have been on it, and I took my sister and her family sailing on my other boat once. But no, I'm just out here by myself doing my own thing and really enjoying it.

Speaker 2:

Does it ever get lonely?

Speaker 1:

No, I don't get lonely, and when I want to be around people, if I'm at anchor, there's always other people around, almost, and sailors are very friendly and social and you can just take your den you over to someone else's boat and introduce yourself and make a new friend. It's pretty easy and we all communicate. We all end up communicating via social media and here in Panama, for instance, I'm in Boca Stil Toro. There's a lot of other boats that are here for the entire hurricane season, so we all get to know each other. We surf together and spearfish together, but I prefer being alone a lot of the time and being a writer, it's ideal.

Speaker 1:

I have all the time. I never have to ask someone else to leave me alone or to be quiet. It's always quiet on the boat, you know, and run podcasts and I'm also recording audio books. You know I need silence a lot of the time. Ah, fun. So being on a boat solo is ideal for that and I actually enjoy sailing solo. It's really a huge adventure. Every time I go somewhere, you know it's just me in the boat. Everything's up to me, I'm responsible for everything, I'm accountable for everything, and it's always peace and quiet, and when things get ugly and scary and rough. I don't have anyone else to think about. I don't have to think about someone else's safety or or deal with you know. I mean, I just deal with life better by myself. That's what it comes down to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I hear you Any pets? Do you have any pets on the boat? No no, I had a dog.

Speaker 1:

I had a dog for 13 years and when he passed I thought, okay, now if I really want to do some serious traveling, I can. And it wasn't too much long after that that I ended up started sailing. People have dogs on boats and some people have cats, but it's a big deal. You know you have to go to shore to walk your dog up, you know a few times a day. You know that's a that's a big deal when you live on a boat. I don't go to shore. I don't go to shore more than once a week usually.

Speaker 2:

Ah, I see it's for my time in the water.

Speaker 1:

My recreation is in the water. I spear, fish and I surf. Those are my two main recreations and I don't need to go to land very often.

Speaker 2:

Oh fun. So now I want to talk about being a writer on a boat, and you said that you enjoy the silence you need to focus. So how is being on a boat influenced your writing, and do you include being a sailor in your? I know you wrote a nonfiction book as well, but in your fiction book do we see lots of sailors, lots of sea stories, or how does that affect your, your fiction?

Speaker 1:

Well, let's see the. I've written three novels and I'm working on a fourth. One of the three that I've already published, called the goal box, is, is about a sailor, so absolutely influenced that that book is sort of a fictionalization of of my time in the Bahamas one year. I am always looking for treasure when I'm spear fishing. Of course, I've never found anything, yeah, but why wouldn't you?

Speaker 2:

You're down, what kind of treasure, what kind of treasure would you find? Like you're looking for Gold, like from ancient, like from ancient size from pirates.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I'm in the Caribbean. There were a lot of. There was a lot of gold moving through here when I know, back in, let's say, the 1516, 1700s, I mean basically the Europeans were looting the gold of South America and they were moving it through here back to Europe, and so there's a lot of shipwrecks in the Caribbean because there's tons of reef and there's a lot of places where pirates head out. In fact, right next to me right now is a place called Blue Fields where the pirate Blauvelt used to hide out. So the Caribbean's full of places where full-time pirates lived and stayed and they would attack boats and steal the gold and do what they did with it. But a lot of gold ended up on the bottom. So there are a lot of real treasure hunters.

Speaker 1:

I'm not a real treasure hunter, but there are a lot of real treasure hunters in the Caribbean and they do find large amounts of gold. So I'm always looking. That's my point. I'm always looking because why not? So, of course, being a writer, I think of scenarios, and it's an interesting question what do you do if you're spearfishing, especially with another person, and you find a piece of gold right away? You have to decide if you're gonna tell that other person, right, because if you tell them now, they know about it. And once two people know about something, then potentially the whole world knows, because it's hard to keep a secret. So there's a lot of questions about what happens when you find something and what you do about it.

Speaker 1:

And that just started the ball rolling in my head for this novel, the Gold Box, and then the novel I'm writing now is also about a sailor. This one brings up the question of what happens when you bring a stranger on board and you don't know them. Like in this book a guy meets a woman, because there's always people who want free rides on sailboats, there's websites for that, sailboat Hitchhikers and there's a lot. I mean, I did it too when I was learning how to sail. I did that. So I took a ride on a boat from St Lucia to Puerto Rico and I recently had a woman on board who was just wanting to travel and learn how to sail. So that got me thinking what happens if that goes bad? Murder.

Speaker 2:

Murder, murder, murder, exactly Murder on a boat is always very cool because you can always dump the body in the water and nobody would find out. Like that's the Nobody would find out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, Exactly. The thing about man and a woman on a boat is you're trapped, You're stuck together, there's nowhere to go. You can't just walk away when you're on land. If you're in a bad date, you can just leave, or if you're even in a bad relationship, you live together. You can get in your car at any point and drive away and at least be separated or go walk, I mean whatever. You can separate yourself from the person. You can't do that on a boat.

Speaker 2:

You kill each other. That's what happens on a boat. That's what happens.

Speaker 1:

yeah, Somebody's gonna end up in the water, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. So I hope it's not inspired by real events, you know it's inspired by real events, but not the murder part.

Speaker 1:

Okay, the funny thing is, when I had this woman on, I had a woman on board last winter in the Bahamas and my mother asked me to send her photographs of myself daily, daily, and I thought what's up with this? Why does she wanna see a picture of me every day? She must be worried about my happiness, that's what I thought. So I talked to my father and he said he said, oh no, paul, she's not worried about your happiness, she's worried this woman's gonna kill you and throw you over.

Speaker 2:

Well, mother's instinct, you know, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And then she took it one step further. She was afraid that this woman was gonna start texting, like responding to texts, as if she was me. Okay.

Speaker 2:

So she wanted photos.

Speaker 1:

So that got me thinking well, that's a novel, that's the start of a novel right, maybe your mother watches a lot of Dateline.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I watch a lot of Dateline.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, something's making her a little paranoid. Yeah, yeah, oh wow. That's the premise for the book I'm working on now. The working title for that one is Identity Crisis.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, yeah, that's very cool. That's very cool. What was the craziest thing you've ever encountered while you're living on the boat and did it make it in your books Like the craziest story? Like you saw, I don't know a shark, a whale, I don't know a pirate, something crazy.

Speaker 1:

Well gosh, a couple of things come to mind. I mean, the craziest thing that happened to me was and it did make it into my book Journey to the Ragged Islands. That's the story about my first trip to the Bahamas in my smaller sail, when I was brand new to sailing, and I had a few near-death experiences on that trip. But what happened on this one was I didn't have a dinghy on that boat, I just had a 12-foot surfboard and a kayak paddle. So it's basically like a large paddleboard with a kayak paddle and I would sit down on it and get around and I got harassed by a giant shark once while on that board I'm sitting on a surfboard with a kayak paddle and a massive oceanic white tip, which is a species known to eat people just swam right up to me and bumped into the surfboard and dragged its head along the board oh geez. And then went away and came back and did that like three more times, so four times this big shark was dragging its head along the side of it. So what it was doing was it was basically sniffing and tasting the boat or the surfboard to see if it was edible, because that's what they do, that's what oceanic white tips? Do they investigate everything? That was terrifying and that was probably the scariest thing that's ever happened to me.

Speaker 1:

But another story comes to mind when you said that here in Panama a lot of us are here to surf and this is Central America. Central America is kind of like the wild west in a lot of ways. It's not quite as law and order is America. The people are a bit more rough, a bit more so. Anyway, there's one surfer here who's kind of crazy and he doesn't like tourists and he pulled a knife in the surf on one of my friends. He tried to run him off and literally had a knife.

Speaker 1:

Like nobody carries a knife when they surf. That's crazy. That's like really crazy. Nobody does that. I've never heard of anybody. Like why would you carry a knife when you're surfing? It doesn't make any sense. So he but this guy does, and he literally pulled a knife on my friend and I told him to go away, like he didn't want him surfing there anymore. And then I find out that that character has actually stabbed somebody in the surf. Another local told me oh yeah, that guy's been to prison for homicide and he's crazy and he actually has stabbed someone before. So that's the craziest thing. That's the craziest story I've heard so far. But yeah, as far as sailing goes, it's all nature and peaceful and wonderful, and sometimes it's rough and uncomfortable, but it's rarely life-threatening and terrifying. I've never encountered pirates.

Speaker 2:

What about pirates? Do they still exist? I mean, the last time I heard of pirates was the Somali, the man from Somalia and they made the movie about it with Tom Hanks Was it that one yeah, do they actually still exist?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean a pirate like in our minds. A pirate is a character in a Disney movie, but a pirate is just a criminal in a boat who robs you. So sometimes people get robbed at anchor Like one of my friends boat has been broken into just a few months ago right here in Panama. And then you do hear stories about people that see getting robbed while they're sailing. They can steal your boat or they can I mean anything Like there's nobody to help you out there on the other side. Anything can happen and people disappear off boats and we don't know, no one knows why. But yeah, pirates do exist and they typically exist around poor countries where people are desperate. So if you have a situation where a country is desperate and there are people in that country with boats fishermen, then you have piracy In fact. So right now. So we all kind of keep tabs on this. Right now in this area, nobody gets anywhere near Venezuela.

Speaker 1:

And yeah, the country is just too desperate and the people with boats are tempted to piracy. So, yeah, there's a pirate problem around Venezuela and also around Nicaragua. We all steer clear of Nicaragua right now. So if you're heading north from Panama, you gotta go wide around Nicaragua. That started after the last hurricane. So a few years ago a category five hurricane hit Eastern Nicaragua and it's already a poor area. So the hurricane did so much damage and devastation that you end up with a population of desperate people who have boats.

Speaker 1:

And if they're out. You know, you imagine yourself. You're desperate, you're poor, your family's hungry, you're out in your boat and you don't even have enough food to feed your family. And you see a sailboat and the sailboat's pretty and nice and it just represents wealth to you. It's gonna be tempting.

Speaker 2:

So people get tempted. How do you protect yourself? Do you have weapons on the boat?

Speaker 1:

No, when I first started sailing I had a gun, but it's just too difficult to travel through foreign countries with guns. Some countries are easier than others, but a lot of countries all of them you have to tell them you have a gun and then they want to see it, or they want to take it and keep it while you're there, and then you can get it when you leave. So it's just too much trouble. And then you got to think about what are you really going to do? Like when you're offshore yeah, someone tries to board you. You shoot them. Like I can see that. But what about when you're at anchor and someone comes on your boat at night to steal your outboard motor or something from your dinghy? Are you really going to shoot them? And if you do, what you're risking is a life in a foreign country's jail.

Speaker 2:

You don't want to risk that? You can just scare them with the gun. Yeah, you know.

Speaker 1:

well, that's the other thing. You pull a gun on someone and don't shoot. They might have a gun and shoot you. So I don't know, I choose not to have one. But you know what? We all have flare guns, and a flare gun is a gun. It shoots a. It shoots a burning flare Like it's a gun.

Speaker 1:

So there is that, but it's not something that is really an issue. I don't really go to dangerous places Like I stay, like I love the Bahamas. There's no need to have a gun there. Everybody's friendly in the Bahamas. Here in Panama. Yeah, there have been some instances here that you need to know about and you need to. We all kind of keep tabs on where it happens. We stay away from those places and we kind of tend to stick together. Right now I'm off by myself, but I'm in a safe place. I don't feel threatened here.

Speaker 2:

What do you eat on the boat?

Speaker 1:

I eat a lot of fish because I spearfish.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's what I said.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, more often than not, dinner is either fish or lobster. Here in Panama there's there's grocery stores close by and an abundance of fruits and vegetables, so I'm always eating fruits and vegetables. Here In the Bahamas, you better be bringing all your own food there's definitely you're not going to find much in the way of fruit and vegetable there, and the food's all expensive. So so what? I'm going to places like that. I'll stock up on canned food and dried food. You know rice, beans, granola, trail mix, oatmeal, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned chili crackers. Staples for me are going to be oatmeal, trail mix, canned beans, rice. But here in Panama it's delightful. I'm eating bananas and pineapple for breakfast, and salads for lunch and and fish for dinner. I'm eating very well.

Speaker 2:

That's why I wanted to yeah. So, and how does that affect your, like, health? Do you feel more energy Like now? You're in nature, you're eating fish. I guess you don't eat much meat, right, like red meat, or yeah, I never.

Speaker 1:

I never buy red meat. Yeah, it's expensive and I don't feel the need to. I eat enough fish. I love fish. I mean fresh fish is best. Fresh fish is really good it's. It's hard for someone who doesn't know that to understand, because because fish, once it's been a few days old, isn't that good anymore, and if it's been frozen it's just not that good anymore. It changes flavor a lot. Some fish in particular, for instance tuna or mackerel you need to eat them like the first day you catch them, maybe the second day, but after that the flavor really changes. Other fish not much, but any fish is way better fresh than it is once it's been frozen or sat in the fridge for a few days. So how do you cook?

Speaker 2:

them Like do you when you cook on the boat? Do you grill them? Or like how, what do you do when you cook them on the boat?

Speaker 1:

So I have a three burner propane stove with an oven and I typically just put the. I typically saute some onions and then some bell pepper and some tomato and then I put the fish in there with that saute it in a pan, pan fried, with some veggies and some rice.

Speaker 1:

That's pretty standard, yeah, yeah, it was last night. It was gray snapper and I started off with onions, and then bell pepper, red bell pepper next, and tomato and garlic, and then I put the snapper in there and then I put some beans and beans and rice that I cooked in coconut milk. It's just delicious All that together and it was mighty good, yeah, fantastic. I mean that's better now than I ever have.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so you fish every day. So, like every day you go on, you basically bring your dinner from the sea.

Speaker 1:

I spear fish almost every day when the conditions are good for it. Sometimes I'll get a big fish and I won't need to spear fish for a few days, but I'm often at least half the days Like here in Panama, it's probably about half of the days I go spear fishing. When there's surf, I'm spending my time surfing. So there's this surface seasonal here, so when the surf is on, all my free time is surfing. But I can also catch fish with my rod and reel right off my boat. Very cool. Sometimes, especially at night, I have a light that shines down into the water off the bow of the boat. I can just go forward and catch fish at night whenever I want to as well.

Speaker 1:

So, that's pretty easy.

Speaker 2:

Would you ever go back to living in a house?

Speaker 1:

It might happen someday, but I have no plans for that now. I like it too much out here. I mean, I'll get I mean, you know things always change, but for now, no, I have no desire. I have a fear of having to go back to land, as a matter of fact, like I'm doing everything I can to make sure I get to stay out here on the water, because this is a good life for me.

Speaker 2:

What are you afraid of?

Speaker 1:

Living in a house, having to get a job.

Speaker 2:

I am mowing the lawn, mowing the lawn.

Speaker 1:

Just being stuck in the same house day after day, looking at the same having to drive. You know, what I really don't like about conventional living in a house is that you're completely cut off from nature.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Out here on the ocean, I'm surrounded by water, I'm surrounded by nature. When the sun goes down, it's dark. When the sun comes up in the morning, it's light. There's birds, there's fish. There's no roads, there's no telephone poles, there's no concrete, there's no other buildings. It's nature, and that's what makes me happy.

Speaker 2:

So how do you sustain yourself? Like you live off your savings or like how does that work financially?

Speaker 1:

Well, I've written 10 books. They're all published and making money. I make a little bit of money from the podcasts, but yeah, mainly I'm living off writing right now.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, that's what I really want to ask about. So, first of all, like for writers, it's really hard for them to make money off writing. So how was your publishing journey? Did you self-publish, did you go through an agent? How did it go with you, and how are you marketing your books?

Speaker 1:

I'm all self-published. I haven't even tried to get an agent yet. I mean, I think about that every now and then, but I haven't heard. You know, I listen to a lot of interviews with authors on other podcasts and I haven't heard anyone really say oh yeah, definitely, traditional publishing is the way to go. I hear a lot of people say I don't know. You know I'm traditionally published but I still have to do all my own marketing.

Speaker 2:

That's true, that's true.

Speaker 1:

So I just don't really know if that's worth all the stress. It seems like a lot of trouble too. Yeah, I mean, how many cover letters do you have to write now?

Speaker 2:

Exactly.

Speaker 1:

It looks like a terribly hard journey. And then the alternative is to spend one day, maybe two days, on the computer and your books published through Amazon and you get to keep 60% of the royalties. That's pretty. That's always been what I've done.

Speaker 2:

So did you hire an editor and cover designer, or how did you? How was the whole process for you?

Speaker 1:

No, I haven't hired anybody yet for either of those two things. I always have a few people read my books. Thank you To help me, to help me edit. And then, of course, I added extensively myself. And then now I read out loud. Now I now the final step, like for my furred until they bury me. For instance, the right before I published it I Recorded it as an audiobook, which meant I had to read it out loud. Yeah, you really catch mistakes that way. So that's my final edit is reading it out loud and recording it, because you have to see every word, you see every comma, every period. But I always have friends, friends help to edit and that works. That works fine. You know, I still see typos and traditional yeah, either way is foolproof. I've designed all my own covers, except for the gold box. A friend of mine Did that cover and that's. That's actually a really nice cover. But the rest of the covers I did so how are you marketing these books?

Speaker 2:

like I think, marketing a book and Convincing people to you know, swipe their credit cards and buy your book is really hard. I mean, you know, I have a podcast. I have like huge following on social media. I still have it. I'm still like. You know, I have a guard time setting a book because people would like, like and Retweet and whatever and share, but when it comes to actually buying the book, it's so what? What is your secrets? Is it the fact that you're a sailor?

Speaker 1:

People like yeah, I wish I knew the secret. I mean I'm I Need to sell more books too, so all I do is this mean the same thing you're doing. Basically I I Promote on social media. I have two podcasts and I have a YouTube channel. I have YouTube channel too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the YouTube channel is alright, especially for the nonfiction. So, for instance, for Journey to the Ragged Islands, for that book, while I was writing it I was taking video. So I was out and on the boat on this, on this to me an incredible journey from Florida to the Bahamas and through the Bahamas. I was brand new, I was not an experienced sailor, I was making mistakes, I was doing stupid things and I was taking video the whole time and I made a video series that went along with the book and, of course, that's pretty good advertisement for the book. Yeah, also, sailing nonfiction is Easier to sell, at least for me, than novels like novels I find very difficult to sell. But the sailing nonfiction you've got an audience that's hungry For information and you've got an audience that's it educated, intelligent people that have money, they're not afraid to buy a book, people who want to sail offshore Our readers we're all. We're all book readers most of all of us are and we're hungry. We're all hungry for more information because we're all we all want, like you need a ton of information In your head to take a sailboat offshore and feel confident doing it, and one way to do that is to read sailing nonfiction. So that's a that's for the captive audience.

Speaker 1:

Yes, those, those books are kind of my bread and butter. They consistently sell but they don't sell a lot. You're never gonna get. You're never gonna get wealthy Selling, sailing nonfiction. So I also write novels and you know, hope to hope to move up to the next level, to the novels, but you don't have a captive audience. With novels You've got your night. You've got a whole lot more competition. It's much more difficult. The audiobooks help people. People tend to um.

Speaker 1:

Yeah to like the audiobooks. I just started doing that and right away I'm selling more audiobooks than then Print for the, for my new, for my latest novel, until they bury me so more.

Speaker 2:

So how do you do it? Do you record it yourself and then you sell it to audible. How does the process work if you're Self-published author?

Speaker 1:

Okay, so for an audiobook, you go, you go to um Audi audible and their website is ACX and you gotta, you guys, spend a day reading and deciphering everything they tell you. It's very, it's very daunting, it's hard to figure out. You need a good microphone. I've got this this shore on a boom right here. Okay, this is, this is a. This is a good microphone. You gotta have a pop filter. You gotta have it on a boom like this.

Speaker 1:

I also podcast with it. The great thing about this mic is it's directional. You have to be right here for it to pick up these things. Doesn't pick anything up Okay elsewhere. So it's it's it's good for and that's what this is to. This is soundproofing behind. So anyway, yeah, you go through audible, you go through their program. You record each chapter individually. They tell you if there's anything wrong with it. Usually, sometimes they don't. Sometimes you finish the whole book and then they send you an email saying, yeah, there's a problem, there's this very vague problem with your entire book, and then you have to go and figure out what that is and it can be really difficult. But you know, in the past five months I've recorded four books and I'm on my fifth right now. So you know I'm getting it done. It's a lot of work but I'm getting it done. You can also have someone else do all that and split the money with them. There's a whole bunch of people on audible who are, who are.

Speaker 1:

Offer contractors that what they typically want is half the royalties or Cash upfront, or a combination of both. So I'll be, as soon as I get all my books done, I'm gonna I'm gonna offer my services there too, for just an extra source of income.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, that's a good gig. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

so if you, have a book and you want to make an audio book and you don't want to record it. You can have somebody else do it, but you're gonna be giving up half the royalties.

Speaker 2:

So I can hire a narrator and I as well as that person yeah, oh good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, it's a, it's a whole, it's another source of income. I mean, some people only listen to audiobooks.

Speaker 2:

I listen to a lot of audiobooks as well, because I'm busy with three kids and everything, so that's sometimes that's the only time I have is I listen to audiobooks, while I, like, you know, make dinner or whatever walk the dog. It's. It's, you know, especially nonfiction. I like listening to nonfiction on audiobooks. Yeah, well now, now I really want to live on a boat. It's really nice life. It's like, you know, just eating fish and, you know, being attacked by sharks.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's good living, I mean it's, it's. It's also kind of like camping Don't, don't forget.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love camping yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I'm in Panama, it's 85 degrees every day and I don't have air conditioning, so you got to be okay with that.

Speaker 2:

I just don't want to do the work. I just don't want to do the work. I just want to sunbathe and read. Do the work you need to find a lonely.

Speaker 1:

you need to find a lonely guy with a boat, he wants, he wants a wife. He's a writer with three kids.

Speaker 2:

That is funny. But yes, wow, this is. This is fascinating. Are there any other author, sailors or like, are you? Is your story unique?

Speaker 1:

No, there's definitely other author sailors there are, yeah, like. I met John Kretzmer last year when I was in Canada. He's a. He's a very accomplished author sailor and a very accomplished sailor. A fascinating character he's. He's written some great books and he's a. He's a great guy and he sailed more miles than I'll ever sail. All he does is just sail laps around the Atlantic with with paying customers. That's kind of his gig. He has people that pay to sail with him. He's that good of a sailor that he has people that pay to come onto his boat and sail from Bermuda to Canada or or, and then to Scotland and then and then to the Mediterranean and then from there to the, to the, to the Caribbean.

Speaker 1:

So I met him when I was in Canada. He was taking customers from from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and then he went to Greenland from there and then to Iceland and then to Scotland. So yes, there's, there's a, there's a handful of sailor authors for sure that are doing it full time. I've, he's the only one I've actually. No, I've met. I've met one other. I met Amy. I can't remember her last name. I met another another author who lived on a catamaran and she wrote uh, not female.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, uh, who uh?

Speaker 1:

romance novels on a sailboat.

Speaker 2:

On a sailboat that that can get a bit dicey. Okay, Romance, romance is huge, Uh. So if you have a romance on a sailboat, that's she's probably making a killing, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I know, maybe that's just start writing romance novels. That's one of the biggest I know one of the biggest selling genres right now.

Speaker 2:

Colleen Hoover is selling now more than the Bible, I think more than Stephen King it's and she started actually she started as a self published author and then through TikTok she became huge and I read a few of her books that actually they're quite good. I mean, I'm not really into romance but they're. They're entertaining and fun. Um, so I would you know, I would buy more of her books. So you said you use social media right. Where do you think you get the most attention and most like the highest ROI on which social media world? Like you focus your attention on one platform and then you get, you know, the highest, the biggest result, which in your case, is sales. Where do you think you get the biggest success on social media?

Speaker 1:

I think it's been um, facebook, but Facebook Interesting, but it might be YouTube. Because here's the deal when I, when I lived on land, I had good internet and I made that video series journey to the ragged islands and then journey to the ragged islands was a big seller in 2018. And that's what convinced me that I was going to be able to make a living writing books and sailing. Then I started sailing and I didn't have good internet anymore, so I quit making videos and then just recently, I got Starlink and now I can make videos again, because it takes a lot of. It takes a lot of bandwidth to upload a video to YouTube. With Starlink, it's no problem, and if you're at home on your computer and you have good internet, it's no problem, but trying to do it through the internet on your phone, it doesn't, it doesn't work. So so I'm back on. I'm back onto YouTube, okay, and because I think that was very, very effective for me especially with sailing because, because there's a lot of people who like sailing?

Speaker 1:

video yeah, sailing YouTube channels are hugely popular Now. Now, with some genres, it's TikTok. For romance, it's definitely TikTok. I tried TikTok for a little while and got frustrated with it and quit. But yeah, some some authors say TikTok is it? But it depends on your genre.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, depends on your genre.

Speaker 1:

As far as I know, like romance is huge on TikTok and there's a couple others.

Speaker 2:

Fantastic, but.

Speaker 1:

I don't think sailors are into TikTok.

Speaker 2:

What about Instagram, you know, with all the pictures?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Instagram too, for sure.

Speaker 2:

With all the pictures.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, I'm on that just as much as sailing as Facebook, yeah. I'm not sure which one is better. But the thing is you, just you got to. You got to get out, to do everything you can to make people recognize you and your name and feel like they know you a little bit, because people if they feel like they know you a little bit, then they're more apt to buy your book. Podcasting is huge.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's probably.

Speaker 2:

How do you make money from your podcast ads or?

Speaker 1:

Patreon.

Speaker 2:

Patreon Ah okay, and people actually support it through.

Speaker 1:

Patreon. They do yeah, yeah, try this. Go to Patreon and look up podcast and it'll give you the most popular podcasts that are using Patreon right away and then you can also see how much, how many members they have, how many patrons they have. It's astounding. It is astounding. Some of the podcasts have thousands of patrons. Okay, and if you have thousands of patrons, that means each one is probably giving At least they're probably averaging five bucks a month per patron.

Speaker 2:

And you plug it in. That's the thousands of dollars every month and you plug that in the show notes, right? So you say like support me, or oh, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, at first I was timid about doing that and now it's just. It just rolls out of my mouth every intro and outro.

Speaker 2:

Ah, you added to the intro and the outro.

Speaker 1:

I always let people know, and then I also direct traffic to my website as much as I can and that's where the links to Patreon are. But I've got a website. The website's also important for marketing books. So my website is not just my books, it's my books, it's my two podcasts. I've got a page that's all photographs and fish that I take underwater Anything I can. Oh, a newsletter. I just started a newsletter.

Speaker 2:

Wow, you're busy and. I'm also busy, that's why you're not lonely on the boat, You're like you're very busy. I'm working every day.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know it's fun out here, but it's a job. It's a full-time job. I think I spent 10 hours yesterday at work, but I also got in the water and went spear fishing and I watched the sunsets yeah, like living the Margaritaville life.

Speaker 2:

What was his name? He's just passed away, jimmy Buffett. Jimmy Buffett. Yeah, so are you like living similar life like him?

Speaker 1:

I guess. So I mean, I don't know what life Jimmy Buffett led up Now Margaritaville? No, one of the reasons I'm here is because I quit drinking yeah, quit drinking yeah. I'm not going to feel on my boat for Margaritaville.

Speaker 2:

Can be non-alcoholic Margaritaville, you can do that, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean, a lot of people live like that, a lot of people who are retired. They come out here and they don't have a job, they don't have a project and I don't know what they do to have fun because, like, I need work, I need a project, even if I was retired.

Speaker 2:

And you're still young. I mean you're still young. I think You're still young to retire.

Speaker 1:

no, I mean oh yeah, I'm not retired yet, I'm 52.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I'm still working out Absolutely. I don't have a big nest egg to retire on. I'm building that now with my books.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, that's very inspiring. I'm going to go Google sailboats now. See how I'm going to escape. It's okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, but this has been wonderful, Paul. Any final thoughts for the audience. For anyone who wants to quit the life here on land, write books on a sailboat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, it's all about baby steps. Okay, if you want to do something, then dream about it and keep dreaming about it and start taking small steps. You know, make a plan and start taking small steps towards that plan and eventually you know it might take a few years, but anybody who wants to leave land and do something different, change their life, 100% can do it. It just takes a lot of small steps, yeah, but once you start making progress you realize, wow, I'm really on the road to making this happen and you get confidence. Each step builds the confidence. Eventually you're done and you've sold the house, and you've sold the car and quit the job and you live on a boat or whatever it is you dream is you can make it happen.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's inspiring, and best of luck with all your books. And I'm actually really happy and inspired to hear that your books are doing well, because many authors that I talked to you know their books are doing okay, and it's inspiring to see that you're, you know, making a living off your books and your self-published authors, so that gives other authors some hope. So, thank you very much, best of luck and stay away from all those sharks, okay, and the pirates as well, okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right. Thank you very much and, for anyone who's listening or watching, thank you for joining us for another episode of Read and Write with Natasha. And, until we meet again, thank you for tuning in to Read and Write with Natasha. I'm your host, natasha Tynes. If today's episode inspired you in any way, please take the time to review the podcast. Remember to subscribe and share this podcast with fellow book lovers. Until next time, happy reading, Yay.

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