Read and Write with Natasha

Running tales of a father and his daughter

May 06, 2024 Natasha Tynes Episode 55
Running tales of a father and his daughter
Read and Write with Natasha
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Read and Write with Natasha
Running tales of a father and his daughter
May 06, 2024 Episode 55
Natasha Tynes

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When Mark  Ryall coached his daughter Stephanie in competitive running, he forged a bond far beyond the track.

Their story, Run Daughter, Run Father, is not just a training manual – it's a testament to their shared triumphs and  a lifelong passion.  Inspired by my own journey back into running and writing, this episode celebrates the limitless potential for reinvention. 

If you're lacing up for the first time or starting your first draft, remember - age is just a number.  Join us for a conversation about endurance and expression, where the starting line is always open.

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.

When Mark  Ryall coached his daughter Stephanie in competitive running, he forged a bond far beyond the track.

Their story, Run Daughter, Run Father, is not just a training manual – it's a testament to their shared triumphs and  a lifelong passion.  Inspired by my own journey back into running and writing, this episode celebrates the limitless potential for reinvention. 

If you're lacing up for the first time or starting your first draft, remember - age is just a number.  Join us for a conversation about endurance and expression, where the starting line is always open.

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:

my daughter is very zealous about running and maybe when she was eight or nine, ten, she was almost overzealous and also a very talented runner. So by the time she was 12 she was getting invitations to the big american races like the new balance nationals and the Penn Relays, so she was one of the top runners in North America at that age. So I had to be very careful with her because of her enthusiasm. She wanted to run more, race more, train more, and I constantly had to reel her in like a fishing line, slow her down, get her to temper her enthusiasm, watch out for overtraining.

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.

Speaker 2:

Today we have with us author and coach Mark Ryle, who recently retired from teaching economics at Hillfield Strahlan I hope I pronounced this right College in Hamilton Ontario. His speculative fiction Age Decoded is Mark's first novel. He also just published his second book, run Daughter Run Father, which provides stories, anecdotes and scientific advice on running and racing. His book sorry, it's called Run Daughter Run Father. It highlights the training adventures of him and his daughter, stephanie, who Mark coached and ran with. You know I told you he's a coach. So, mark, welcome, welcome to the show and so I'm so happy you're here. So, if you can tell the listeners and the viewers, I'm mostly interested in your second book because sort of a runner wannabe and I would like you, you know, want to know about your book. What's the book about and why did you write it?

Speaker 1:

Sure, well, first, thanks for having me on your great show Reading Right with Natasha Hot Times, and thanks for having me as a guest. Yeah, my book Run Daughter, run Father, I guess right off the title is important because daughter becomes before father, run, daughter run father. And the reason for that is my daughter, stephanie, when she was eight years old, said to my wife and I that she wanted to go running, and my wife Lynn and I thought that's sort of weird. An eight-year-old. They play soccer and they do sports. She played hockey too, but just going for a pure run out on the streets seemed a little bit different. So I said to Lynn, I better go with Stephanie and make sure she you know it's a big city, right so sort of go with her and guide her. And I had done some running in high school, but that was 20 years ago I'm now like 45 years old at that time and so I had to find a pair of sneakers and go and run with my daughter Stephanie and that was our first run.

Speaker 1:

I remember those first steps, her first steps, but also my first steps back into running as a middle-aged adult and someone who had gotten very lazy, and so she got me into running. I didn't get her into running at all, and so she was the motivation. That was the sort of a serendipity that that, that that event, and it changed my life. The rest of my life, the next 20 years, I ran. I'm now doing triathlons. I did a lot of coaching cross country. I'm competing for Canada Actually, I'm competing for canada in two months in the world triathlon championships in spain so I'm going there with my wife.

Speaker 1:

So all of that happened because my dear daughter, stephanie and she is also a competitive runner, cross country track and she's even tried some ultra races. So she's now 25 years old. Uh, so this is almost 20 years later. We're still running and we love it both.

Speaker 2:

So you started running in your mid-40s? Yes, okay, was that hard? Because you know, I started running in my early 40s as well and people warned me like running is not good for you, you're going to ruin your knees, you're going to get you know knee replacement, yada, yada, yada. I mean you, you're gonna ruin your knees, you're gonna get you know knee replacement, yada, yada, yada. I mean I didn't listen and I, so far, I still have my knees, yeah. So how was it your experience running in your mid 40s and now you're like a professional runner.

Speaker 1:

So how was the experience? Well, uh, the thing you mentioned about knees, when I ran earlier in my life, in my late teens, and I, when I was 21 years old, I ran a marathon. I had knee problems, but that was that was a long time ago. When I got back into running in my 40s, a lot had changed the technology, the use of orthotics, proper shoes all the information was much better. So I've never had any major injury problems.

Speaker 1:

Coming back in my 40s and they say that your knees actually get stronger. Like they've analyzed the joints of distance runners and as long as you don't have any mechanical issues that you have to look after, your knees and joints will actually get stronger from doing things like running. And it makes sense Like the body is reacting to all that, to the stress that you put on it. So as long as it's good stress, then it's uh, the biomechanics is looked after. Using the current information. Uh, there's no problem. So I, when I started running when I was in my late teens, tried those marathons. They were just. This is way back. This is now the early 1980s. Orthotics were just coming out like they didn't even know much about them and pronation and proper shoes. So now things have really changed, so hopefully you're healthy too and that you feel like your joints are good, you know um, yeah, I try, I'm, uh, I'm running a 5k tomorrow just for fun.

Speaker 2:

I'm training for half a marathon, but, um, I'm very slow, like you know. You know, there's the people who are like in the back, you know, the old ladies, that's, that's me, but I finished so so what do you? What's your answer to people who say I don't run, running is uh hard on your body. You know well how would you respond to them. And then they always go with that story about the person who died of heart attack created, yeah, the kind of pushed for the running movement in the us, james fix, james fix yeah, james, fix, he died of the heart.

Speaker 2:

He had a heart defect he had a heart defect and he probably would have died, runner or not running.

Speaker 1:

Running is great for the heart, as you know. It makes the heart bigger, stronger. That's why your heart rate, your resting pulse, will go way down as you run more and more.

Speaker 1:

Because your heart volume is bigger, so it doesn't need to pump as much to keep blood flowing through your body, even when you're resting. So that's why you're yeah, james, fixed. That was an unfortunate story. I think he died in his early 50s. He was a great writer, running profit. But, um, we have a program here at uft where dr kavanaugh takes people who've had heart attacks and actually gets them running to strengthen their hearts. That's part of the treatment. So, yeah, so that's sad that people attach themselves to that story as a negative. Um, but you know, I would say excuse, it's an?

Speaker 2:

I think it's. It's their excuse not to run yeah it's like the first thing. They mentioned that story, but they also mentioned it's hard on your body, it's hard on your joints. It's hard. How would you respond?

Speaker 1:

it can't you do have to watch it. It is a repetitive, chronic uh activity where you're taking the same sort of steps time and time again, so you do have to be careful. They don't have to run, though. I mean I I always say to people you could cycle, you could hike, you could walk, you could swim, biking, you don't have to. Running does not have to be the sport that you attach yourself. But running is a great sport and, um, it's fantastic. It makes your body and your mind we can talk about that body and mind psychologically much so many benefits. I just can't, yeah. So anybody who's negative about it probably hasn't tried it that much and or may not know what they're missing why?

Speaker 2:

why do you think running is a great sports?

Speaker 1:

uh well, physically it's absolutely amazing. Um, it's, you know, like I've mentioned the cardiovascular benefits, right, it can control, let's say, people who are have problems with their weight management. They can, they can lower their weight in a healthy way. It's, it just makes you like, I think, especially cardiovascularly, because to think of all the blood that's flowing as you're exercising it, as with any aerobic exercise like cross-country skiing or um long distance walking or um, you know, playing a lot of soccer or something, those, those activities will make you stronger. There's's huge benefits to that. But I think psychologically the benefits are just as amazing and you know, they've the.

Speaker 1:

I think Harvard university, the school, tc Chan school of public health, they just did a study on running and the benefits for psychological health, mental health, mental health and combating things like depression, and all that as a wonderful way of making people feel better from a mental standpoint, which is fantastic. Even Buddhists or people with knowledge about meditation and things like that, say that running because it's sort of a constant sport where your arms and your body and your breathing are all in sort of a rhythm, because there's a beautiful rhythm to it that it's a natural mantra for, for um, meditation, I don't know what? When you run do you feel sometimes that you, you're out, your, your mind is able to relax and escape a bit, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, maybe it's a cliche, but that runner's high, I get that runner's high usually at like mile two. Yes, I listen to music and that's important for me and I have like a whole playlist just for running.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, so I do get the runner's high and what I feel is like a sense of joy. Uh, that's how I feel. And then the my and optimism.

Speaker 2:

And then you know I'm a writer, so you know I get like ideas sometimes when I and um, I just feel really happy and um, especially like, yeah, the two mile when you're still not hurting yeah, yeah when you kind of pass the warm-up phase and you're in the zone and also the endorphins stay with me usually, like during the day I ran this morning, just like two miles and a half yes, that's good and I like the days that I don't run. I know, I know that I'm like in a bad mood. Um, uh, even my outlook it's, it's kind of gloomy. Um, I lose like any optimism in anything and uh, so yeah, I, I crave it.

Speaker 1:

It becomes, it becomes yeah and that and that's, but it's a positive addiction right, Compared to so many other. And yeah, the evidence there is. If you can't run and my, my daughter says the same thing. If she says if she misses a day or two for whatever reason, she is just feels horrible, she really misses misses running and and she, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So so great, good for you, and you know so many. There is a reason why millions and millions of people are, have have taken up running and, like I say, it doesn't have to be that sport. Cross country, skiing and other aerobic activities can provide those highs too and all the all the benefits. But, uh, now I'm in triathlon, so I'm doing, um, I'm sort of shifted a little bit and I still run four or five days a week, but I, I have, and it's, it's been nice because I'm doing swimming and biking right now and I actually feel like I'm floating when I'm doing those compared to running. So I'm, it's a floating sensation which is a little different, um, than than just the, the pounding action of running, more pounding action. So it's, I've sort of enjoyed that too, and there I do distance swimming and distance biking, uh, as a compliment, right.

Speaker 2:

So so and so the book, is it some sort of like a biography you would describe? It, it is or is it focused on running solely and like tips and running like how would you it's?

Speaker 1:

uh, it's a. It's got a lot of training advice for, and because it's my daughter and I who are the subjects of the book. It is a bit biographical, so I always inject stories, sometimes funny stories, things we, we did or she did or whatever in there to make to you know, make it more interesting. But the training advice is is in every chapter. Uh, about for younger runners, because my daughter started when she was eight, as they said, for young females, which is, which is very important, to make sure young females aren't pushed too hard and lose too much weight and things like that in their teen years. Uh, and also for older runners like me, age group competitors and the advice for that. So it's embedded all across the book. Lots of training and science Like, for example, you mentioned endorphins. They've now found that it's endocannabinoids, not endorphins, that cause runner's high. That just came out a couple years ago.

Speaker 1:

But, you still get a runner's high. Well, it's still another chemical, but the endocannabinoids are a way that I don't know a lot about that, but it's basically some method that your body has of reacting to stress and making you build back stronger physically and mentally. So it's pretty cool that they're still discovering stuff about running, but it's still very positive Anyway. So the book is very much a training manual for younger and older runners, with lots of spicy stories and funny stories about things we did uh, my daughter.

Speaker 2:

So I started my kids running with me. My son, I think, started running at around six and he's now he runs all the five k's with oh, how old is your son now? Now he's 11.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay, good.

Speaker 2:

He's faster than me, of course.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Of course the irony. But he, like you know, sometimes he walks and runs. I try to run all the way and now I'm also starting my five-year-old son. So tomorrow I'm doing, me and my older son are doing the 5K and the younger one is doing like kids one and a half mile, Fantastic yeah. It's fun with the kids because it's also, I feel it's a bonding time.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Especially when they become teenagers and they don't talk to you. At least that you know the whole preparation getting the baby. Least that you know the whole preparation getting the babe. You know the whole ritual. For me I feel it's like a bonding time and talking about the time, and you know, mom, you're slow, I mean all of that it's um, it's about. Did you feel that with your daughter as well?

Speaker 1:

yes. So my daughter is very zealous about running and maybe when she was eight or nine, 10, she was almost overzealous and also a very talented runner. So by the time she was 12, she was getting invitations to the big American races like the New Balance Nationals and the Penn Relays, so she was one of the top runners in North America at that age. So I had to be very careful with her, um, because of her enthusiasm. She wanted to run more, raise more, train more. And I constantly had to like, reel her in like a fishing line. You know, get a slower down, get her to um, temper her enthusiasm, watch out for overtraining. And so she says in the preface to my book that we locked heads a lot of times over that issue where I would say no more intervals or no more, no races for a while, or you know like because she wanted to, she had a lot of success and it was sort of it was hard for her to to cut back or slow down a bit, but in the end I think that was good. She says in the preface that she thanks me for that because she still loves running and she's never being seriously injured.

Speaker 1:

So, um, that's an issue, that's a big issue and so, with your sons, they, they, uh, you know they're, they're young too, and so they're gonna have to just be careful. Uh, you know, you don't want them running like well, we were reading about some american girls who are running um 300 kilometers per month, running marathons when they're, when they're running marathons when they're 13, 14 years old, so that I didn't want stephanie doing that. It's just too much. And, uh, you just have to be careful, um, and just watch them, watch their mileage, make sure they, you know, do other sports too. There's no need to specialize in running. That's everything. You could not even run through high school and still be an Olympic running star, you don't have to run.

Speaker 2:

Here's an example when I moved to the U? S from the middle East almost 20 years ago and when I first moved, like I live in the washington dc area and this running is huge, so I was like where are all these people running? Yeah, what's happening? Like that was my first thoughts, like why are they doing this? And then so I just kept watching people just like they run and they wake up at five and I was just like what is their drive?

Speaker 2:

yes, yes and then, right before I reached 40, you know like when you start freaking out when you reach that 40, it was like I want to do my first 5k, and that's how it started. For me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so your first 5k was in your early 40s, or?

Speaker 2:

like 30, yeah, 39 39. Okay, yeah, good for you so, like right before I reached 40, I wanted to finish fantastic yeah I actually wanted to finish my first 5k and write my first novel, so I accomplished it. Now I'm working on my 50s, but, uh, it's gonna include the marathon this time. Yes, but so what do you think prompted your daughter to just out of the blue that she wanted to run? Was there any like inspiration triggers, like anything like what happened?

Speaker 1:

uh well, she had no inkling that I had ever run, like I never talked about it because, like I said, I'd run a marathon about 20 years before that. And then I got. Then I got injured and stopped and got lazy. Uh so but I think she said we actually asked her why do you want to run? She said, well, there's a race at school in a couple weeks and we're running once or twice a week at school and I want to train a little more. So she was getting race, getting ready for some elementary school race, the toronto toronto elementary school race. So she I guess she's competitive, so she wanted to do well in that race and is she's like?

Speaker 2:

is she a professional runner now? No, no, is that?

Speaker 1:

her job? No, she's in med school right now, so she's pretty busy with her studies.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

But she ran for University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario near Toronto, for cross-country and she still is running independently right now as a med student. But she can't devote herself quite that way. But she's still pretty fast. She can run about a 17 flat 5K. That's pretty fast.

Speaker 2:

But I mean 17 minutes. So that's what, that's six minutes a mile.

Speaker 1:

No, well, it's about five, just over five minutes a mile Right, because 3.2,. Yeah, it's 515, face or whatever something like that yeah, you have to do the conversion 340 340 per kilometer pace. Yeah, it's pretty fast, but um that's really fast.

Speaker 2:

I'm not gonna tell you what my speed is. Yeah, especially here live.

Speaker 1:

It's embarrassed that's okay, that's all right. Everybody has their own, you know it's, it's like double that. Yeah, that's okay, and I have a lot of discussion about that in my book too, because, like, let's face it, we're, we're not. We're not really competing against the thousands of other people, we're just competing about with ourselves.

Speaker 1:

Right, we're trying to make ourselves better and so you know, like when I coach cross-country, I would always talk about what does it mean to be a champion? What's a champion? Champion, actually the Latin word, the Latin etymological derivation for champion is campeon Campeon, which meant you're a warrior, you're fighting for a cause. It doesn't mean you won anything, you're just part of a team that's fighting, doing your very best to contribute to a cause. So that's what campion means. That's what a champion is. So we have lots of champions in cross country who are slower runners maybe four, fifth, six runners on the team, but they're true champions. In my mind and I always talked about that, um, only one person's gonna finish first, right?

Speaker 1:

so what advice would you give to someone who's starting later in life, like top tips that they want, yeah, or that they won't give up, yeah I would say connect with other runners as soon as you can, like people who are knowledgeable running stores and runners, um, because they know a lot, they, they've gone through a lot. Maybe even make friends with social running clubs so that you're not just trying to do this all on your own and then they can talk about things like shoes and training patterns and all that. There's lots of ways of approaching it, but just take it easy. Don't go hog wild, willy-nilly right into it. Just gradually build up and obviously listen to your body, day in every day, and if there are any little aches and pains, you'll find ways to adjust to it. But you just got to build slowly and be patient and eventually you get to the point where you are, natasha, where you just won't want to miss it. You won't want to miss a run, right, yeah?

Speaker 2:

But yeah, I mean, sometimes I have to talk myself into running, especially when I'm running solo, that's right. But now I'm part of a club in the county where I live. I'm training for a half marathon.

Speaker 1:

Oh, great, great.

Speaker 2:

So that's you know that's helpful. So you mentioned that running changed your life. Can you elaborate on that? And you mentioned that in the book. So how did it change?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so, for example, I became a cross-country coach at my high school here in Hamilton and that was fun because we had no, we had no running culture at all at that school. It was all soccer and rugby and so.

Speaker 2:

And hockey, hockey actually.

Speaker 1:

I forgot to mention. We had a hockey team. Running was sort of poo pooed Like why would anybody just run? That's not cool, right? So myself and Wendy Jones, my co-coach, another teacher, she's a math teacher there we decided let's take her time, but let's build up a running program. And so, because I was in shoes, they asked me running, and also wendy is a runner we thought, okay, let's get something going here and we started with one year.

Speaker 1:

First year we had six kids on our team, four girls and two boys, and uh, not even enough to have a team at any level. Like you need midget girls, you need grade nine girls, you need five team people for a team. So we only had one, one nine grade nine girls. So we couldn't even have a school team, but she could run on her own in the races. And then, uh, the next year, we got up to, I think, 15 or 20 runners and we had one team. I think it was magic girls. Um, we had five magic girls and then 15 other runners, but not enough for any teams in other other divisions. But at least we had a bit of enthusiasm and we started putting up posters and we got a model which was um, training takes discipline and racing takes courage. That was our model and we said we say we don't want people who are just disciplined, just want to train. We want you to race, to show the courage, but we also don't want you just to want to race and not go through the discipline of training. So we sort of built on that and then, um, I think by year five or six, we were up to 45 runners and the principal was starting to get upset with us because when we had cross-country races he almost had to cancel school because we took so many students away to these races. So, mark, do you need two buses for that event? Yes, I need two buses, uh. So, uh, we got actually a one, the one meet the championships. Uh, a few years ago we we needed two buses.

Speaker 1:

We had 60, some odd kids that we've had racing. Most of them weren't great runners. Uh, some of them were athletes on other teams. Our school allowed us to to do dual sports so you could have a rugby player doing some running if they wanted to try some running. They can combine the two or a really nice combination with soccer and running, and we had kids running during the summer on a summer program where we had an internet site where they could check in and get, share their stories and show their workouts, and so they would be ready for the fall. That really helped too, and that helped even people in other sports, like hockey players, get in shape. So we didn't they didn't have to run for us, they just wanted to run in the summer and whip themselves into shape. We they could use running for that too, for other sports. So it was sort of nice.

Speaker 1:

Uh, wendy and I were quite happy and we had so much enthusiasm by the end of it. That so that that changed my life, because I was able to change the lives of other people, students and change the culture of our school. And again, that all started from. My daughter wanted to go running with me that one day. So my enthusiasm just. And now I wrote this book, which is all part of that too. Um, yeah, it's all being very positive well.

Speaker 2:

So I'm gonna shift gears now and I'm gonna talk about the writing and the publishing aspect of your journey. So you published two books. Um, did you self-publish? Did you go with a publisher, a hybrid publisher? How was your yeah?

Speaker 1:

so I self-published, which is a easier these days than with the, with the way things are. And then I but it's still you have to market your own book then, right, so I've done a number of podcasts which like yours, which have helped um, for both books. Right so, I've done a number of podcasts which, like yours, which have helped um, for both books. And then I've done whatever else I can. But, um, I'm not, I'm not, you know, I'm not a best-selling author or anything, but it's been very satisfying. I've sold hundreds of books, which is not bad. For for your first, first book, self-published right, it's not bad.

Speaker 2:

So you would say if I want to give a tip to authors, what would you give them the tip? In terms of marketing? You think the top thing that worked for you was podcasting.

Speaker 1:

Podcasting has been quite helpful.

Speaker 2:

yes, First of all.

Speaker 1:

It's great having the conversations and then you can definitely sell a few books with podcasts. Each podcast usually generates some sales. I was. You know I'm lucky enough to have the time right now because I'm retired, but you can still do podcasts on the side and it's a great way of spreading the message. I found that's the main way. There's also things other things you can do on social media. For example, I have a site on quora where we run, where we answer running questions. It's called run free. Me and another few people answer questions that people have about track or cross country. It's called run free. That's, that's fun and but you can put your credential on there and your link to your book on there, as they see that you bring the books, things like that.

Speaker 1:

I've done a little bit of other social media, some things I haven't found that helpful, like. I've tried a few things on Twitter and it just seems to disappear. Maybe my followers aren't. I don't have a lot of followers on Twitter.

Speaker 2:

I mean, where are the runners Like? Where do the runners hang out?

Speaker 1:

There's a site called Running Motivation on Facebook. It's pretty good. You'd really like that. It's got hundreds of thousands of people. But a lot of these sites don't like you promoting a book, so I wouldn't go on there and say, hey, I wrote this book. No, you can't do that, so you've got to be careful with that. But you can still engage in very positive conversations on that and then they can see your Facebook profile.

Speaker 1:

And then they can see it. Yeah, so you might generate a few sales there. I found LinkedIn quite good. So let's say, I do a podcast, I can then post it to LinkedIn and then use a bunch of hashtags, running hashtags and whatnot, and that generates a lot of views and whatnot. Linkedin and Facebook, so tags and whatnot, and that generates a lot of views and whatnot, um linkedin and facebook.

Speaker 1:

So when you do the podcast, you could use them. You can even post them on goodreads, your blog. There's a blog on there where you can post videos, uh, and also on amazon, on the author page amazon. I can't remember if they still allow this in the united States, but you're able to put videos, links to videos, on there. I'm not sure about that right now, but I have to check on that. So there's lots of ways you can use those podcasts and then post them in various sites LinkedIn, definitely. Facebook, twitter you could try if you have a good following there and and then it promotes the podcaster too, because then their their message.

Speaker 2:

Their podcast gets spread around too, but it promotes your book and your message.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah so how do you find?

Speaker 2:

these podcasts. Like for anyone, I know how we found each other. Yeah, uh, but how do you usually found other?

Speaker 1:

yeah, so there's two sites I've used which authors may be interested if they want to try the podcast route. One is matchmakerfm. Matchmakerfm that's my main one. It's really good, it's got I'm not sure if you're part of that or not where you can. I'm not sure how we connected, I can't remember.

Speaker 1:

I think what pod match is the other one. So matchmakerfm, yeah, I really recommend that. It's got a host of hundreds and hundreds of podcasts. Uh, pod pod match dot com. I think pod match is also very similar, so that there you can look into different podcasts sports podcasts, writing podcasts, whatever and then you can send them a message saying you're interested in getting on their show being a host, being a guest, I mean, and also you can interested in getting on their show being a host, being a guest, I mean, and also you can put a profile on there. They can see that profile. Maybe they reach out to you. So it's really good for connecting hosts and guests.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, it's been really good for authors. And when you self-published, did you use KDP?

Speaker 1:

It's the same in Canada, right? Yeah, I didn't use kdp and I don't know why. Well, I think because I wanted to use other. I wanted to use apple and indigo and cobo and all these other. So I think of kdp, it has to be exclusive, so I didn't. I'm sure it has its advantages and I gotta say like probably 75, 80 percent of my sales are through amazon anyway, so maybe I could have used a kdp.

Speaker 2:

But what did you?

Speaker 1:

use. Oh yeah, I used a site that I really recommend. It was excellent. It's called draft to digital. Okay, draft. Then the number two, digital, drafted digital.

Speaker 1:

So they're a self-publishing platform. I'd be very happy with them. Anytime I've had any small issue, I phone and they answer the phone and they get right on it. So they provide a platform for me to um, they, they take your, your text, your book, and you're creating, you create the cover, but they provide a mechanism for you know, a platform for you to fashion your cover the way you want it. They give you options for how you want to format your book. Anyway, once you've done all that, you give it to them and then they put it in.

Speaker 1:

Um, I guess these different publishers, like amazon and apple, have slightly different requirements, so they make sure that it's sent out to all them and that they have what they need, and then it becomes published and they, they provide one link and I can send you this link if you want which is called books to read, link which when people see that link, they click on it. They can see all the different public, they can pick their favorite publisher, whether they use kobo, and then that feeds into that one link because in canada do you, do you mostly use kobo right more than uh we use apple.

Speaker 1:

Oh sorry, we use apple. Amazon is still the number one for.

Speaker 2:

Kindle. Do you use Kindle?

Speaker 1:

Kindle. Yes, part of that, yeah, but we have Indigo, which I don't know if Indigo is even in the States. Indigo is a Canadian company, Kobo, you have Kobo, anyway. So Draft2Digital will provide a platform for you to be seen on all those sites, and they even have Smashwords now and a bunch of other things in europe, like thalia, um, they, they have, oh, and even the um, the library one, what's? I can't remember the name of it.

Speaker 1:

I should know yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah so all of those are connected through this one drafted digital, and, and then you just sit back. By the way, they have an author site on there too, so if anybody wants to know about you, they can click on. You can provide a picture, a bit of a bio, a description of the book. So that's nice too. You don't have to build your own webpage, you can just use that webpage. I really highly recommend it. Draft2digital the pricing, if I could. I think they request something like 20%. It's not a huge. They're not taking 50%. I think they ask for 10 or 20%.

Speaker 2:

And you take the rest of the royalties right.

Speaker 1:

Well then, amazon would take their share, which would be another. So I think, when I sell a book, I retain about 50% to 55%, which isn't bad. It's not bad, it's very good.

Speaker 1:

I mean if you sign with a publisher, you're lucky if you get like 8% yeah yeah, so it's not bad, it's not bad, and then they provide you reports like where you sold the books, how many you sold each month. They put a direct deposit into your bank account. So, as an author, I found it really handy as a self-published person, to work with.

Speaker 2:

So where are you selling most of the books? Most of them, yeah on the reports.

Speaker 1:

Most of them are still Amazon.

Speaker 2:

Through. What Is there like a link, like how did they find through Amazon?

Speaker 1:

It's Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon India, Amazon Japan.

Speaker 2:

But like can you get? How did they reach the Amazon page? Do you know?

Speaker 1:

I don't know I think somebody just goes to drop the juju they click on Amazon and, depending on where they're located, it sets them to the proper Amazon, even Amazon UK. Those Amazons are somewhat independent. They all have different ratings of your book and sales of your book, so they'll direct them to the right one. I think that's how it works. I'm not sure, but most of them are Amazon US and Amazon Canada where I've gotten sales. But it also depends where I target my marketing, like if I target. I've tried a few little Facebook ads too and I've tried some Amazon ads actually recently. I'm not sure they're paying off. They do generate some sales. But you can target the different countries through those ads. But yeah, I can't answer your question. I don't know exactly how they know which Amazon to click on.

Speaker 2:

So can you sell now your book anywhere in the world?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

And they do print on demand.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

So let's say I want to go to Dubai Because my friends in Dubai are like, how do you get your book and it's not there.

Speaker 1:

They print on demand demand. They started printing on demand last year, drafted digital, and it's very good. It's worked pretty well. So they don't have a storage or an inventory anywhere. They just when you order the book, it's printed and it takes about a week or two for the person. From what I've heard from people who've ordered my book to get that book, it's not bad it's not bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it's mostly for international because I think amazon does not kdp. Amazon is not gonna do print in demand for all countries okay and I don't know, I don't know kdp.

Speaker 1:

I can't answer that question.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, but okay, we're just getting in the weeds yeah, no problem, but good for authors I mean, yeah, I mean I want authors to hear this because it just gives them different ideas of because the publishing industry is changing.

Speaker 2:

Um, yeah, I mean, you gave us a lot of ideas the quora, the, the podcast, um, so what? What's? What's in the future for you? Is there, is there? Are you working on another book? Yes, I am. I enjoy a little bit like writing. Once you get the bug, you want to keep going. So what's in the future for you, are you?

Speaker 1:

working on another book. Yes, I am. I enjoy it. A little bit like writing Once you get the bug you want to keep going. But I've got to admit I've been lazy because I'm training for this triathlon so I can only do so many things. But I have been. I can show you. If I turn the camera here you can see all those books over there. I'm reading all these books and I've got one example here. This is an author the Battle for your Brain. It probably shows backwards on there.

Speaker 1:

It just came out. A Duke University professor, nita Farahani, wrote this book and it's an amazing book. It's about all the new technologies artificial intelligence that are going to be able to read and detect what's going on in your head, which is a little bit scary to know, but your deepest, darkest thoughts.

Speaker 1:

So it's going to be a science fiction, it's going to involve a neural psychology. Those books I'm reading are all the old psychological classics, like for afraid and whatnot, and so, um, I want it to be psychological, I want it to be paranoid, I want it to be dystopian and I want it to be about the future, where they basically can read your mind, which I think is going to happen. They will be able to detect what you're thinking, especially if you're verbalizing, like you know how sometimes you talk to yourself. They can already. They can already, uh, detect some words that you're saying to yourself without you saying them.

Speaker 2:

So that's a little scary yeah well, they'll be able to tell know what you're thinking about, and so they're usually positive yeah, that's good now, if they read my thoughts at the end of the day, when I'm like upset and drink a glass of wine, that's a problem yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, this is going to be a society it's going to be a future society where not freedom of speech but freedom of thought is the actual issue. I think that's going to be my do we have control.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, do we have control over our own thoughts?

Speaker 1:

So I'm really going to go to town on this one.

Speaker 2:

That sounds like fun.

Speaker 1:

It's going to be fun, but a little scary. But you know it's not going to be a comedy, I don't think. Anyway, I'm working on this. I've done a lot of reading. I haven't written one sentence yet, but I have done a fair amount of preparation. I am sort of getting ready to start plotting.

Speaker 2:

Have you read Murakami? What I talk about when I talk about?

Speaker 1:

running. I have read that. What a wonderful author, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Do you feel like running helps, you write like yeah, I think that's my favorite book of all of his. Yeah, I that is yeah, it's a great.

Speaker 1:

He's a great author. I haven't read any of his other stuff, I've only read the running book, but uh, apparently he's a wonderful author and, um, he's a. He's a real talent, yeah yeah, well, well, any.

Speaker 2:

Any final thoughts to both authors and runners before we conclude?

Speaker 1:

well, I both are positive. Um, it's never too late on either front. I started running in my mid-40s. I didn't write my first book till I was 61, 61, uh well, you look great thank you very much. Yeah, I'm, I'm hanging on. Yeah, I'm, I'm competing in the 60 to 65-year-old age group category in Spain in the triathlon, so it's never too late on either front. It's good for you, good for your body and your mind, and I encourage people to explore either. Yeah, go for it.

Speaker 2:

It's never too late to do anything to run a marathon or to ride a boat, yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

Well, this has been wonderful and I personally learned a lot, both about running and publishing as well, and I hope anyone who's listening or watching will also get the same benefit. And for the audience out there, thank you for watching 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, happy writing.

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