The Author Inside You Podcast Show Notes:
How to Thank Everyone Who Buys Your Book
Author Jesse Cruz explains how he appreciates the people who purchase his book and discusses how he thanks everyone individually. Jesse also shares some great lessons that he learned completing his book, "You want to write like no one is going to see it and edit like everyone is going to see it."
@jesseacruzliveyourdash on Facebook
@authorjessecruz on IG
you're listening to the author insides you podcast, a weekly podcast designed to motivate you to finish writing a book, choose a publisher, and have your work build an audience. Keep listening if you're looking to get propelled into the next chapter of your life. And now it's the author inside you podcast with your host, Leah and Matt Rafferty.
Hello and welcome to the author inside your podcast. I'm Matt Rafferty and I'm Leah Rafferty. Joining us today is Jesse Kruse, author of live your dash, discovering the eight F's to freedom. Jesse lives in upstate New York with his wife and children and is an Iraq war veteran. Welcome, Jesse. Thanks for joining us.
Thank you for having me. Well, Cassie, first off, thank you so much for your service to our country. We appreciate it. Oh no, it's my pleasure. So I see that you're a motivational speaker. What came first? Your books or your speaking engagements? So actually how it started is that I was, I was invited to go speaking to the Wayne County jail, which is where I live.
So I went to the County jail. To do Sunday services. So I was doing Sunday services at the Wayne County jail. I was doing that for a couple of years, and then I took a break from that. I felt like my time with that was coming to a conclusion and I felt like I was called to do something different. And so the speaking started first, the motivational speaking aspect of adult that hasn't started taking off until after the book.
So the book was written, and then I've been, I've been fortunate enough to have a couple here and there over the past few months. You know, I'm just getting started here, but. My goal is that, you know, I'm going to be speaking all over the country and the world. Hopefully. Great. I hope we can help.
Absolutely. That'd be great. Yeah. So when you were speaking at the prison, is that the same topic that you used for your book? Well, um, I had the opportunity to go through. A variety of different trials and tragedies, and they brought, obviously, it's painful. Uh, through that pain, it's, it's brought me crate insight that I never would have got otherwise.
So any tragedy that I've experienced has. Have helped me become the person that I am, you know, and those trials and tragedies were necessary, although I don't like them. And although they're painful and they hurt, um, I'm thankful for them. Um, I'm not thankful for what happened, but I'm thankful for what I learned from it.
And now when I, when I was speaking there years ago, um, I was sharing my life, you know, and when I speak, I'll let to share about my life. And so the, the message is to spread hope to. Hurting people, you know, and spread hope to hurting people. You got to share your hurts. You know, one, one, one person can share their hurts, another person can heal.
So I feel like the hurts that I've endured or designed, not for me to wallow in my sorrow, but they were designed for me to go help someone going through something similar here so they don't feel like they're alone. Right. And when I was going through my crisis, I felt like I was the only person in the entire world that ever felt that way.
What led to you being able to speak at the prison that eventually led to you writing the book? So there are two really independent things. So I'm going in and. Being invited in mom, my parents actually invited me. They had been doing jail and prison ministry all throughout New York state, and they had been going in there and they invited me to come in with them.
And so I just said, okay, they're inviting me for a reason, so I'll go try it. I have really no prior speaking engagements or had any prior speaking experience or anything like that, but I said, you know what? I feel like they've invited me. They've invited me for a reason. And so I went in there and I shared my first message with the inmates and um, did my best to provide them with some encouragement and some spiritual background and all that.
And from that, I started going in with them on a regular basis. So I would go there like once a month and it was twice a month. And then eventually they weren't going into more. And I kept going once they stopped. So I was going in once or twice a month. For about a year and a half, two years. And so I was like, Oh, I was getting into a rhythm.
I was developing the skill of speaking. And then I, you know, like I said, I had other things going on with pursuer math in my career. And I said, I gotta put this on hold for a little while. And so I stopped speaking completely and focused on those two aspects. And, and that led into what I think pushed me into a whole new direction is because my, me and my wife, we had been trying for a child for a while.
And then we were blessed to get pregnant after, you know, all the doctors said, you know what? There your opportunity to be pregnant is not going to happen due to some medical concerns that there's really no way that she could carry another child. So that crushed us. You know, that devastated but crazy because, well, people who don't know me, people who don't know me, they think, you know, this family that we have is your typical traditional family.
But this is, we have a blended family. So we don't actually have any mutual children, okay. But we raised our children together under one on under one roof, like a traditional family would. Um, and, and that's a blessing, you know, we get, we get to spend a lot of time with our children and, and which is great.
And so this child that when she became pregnant, this was the child, that one child, we had mutually, you know, and we were just like, wow, what a great opportunity. So at that time in my life, I was focusing on. I got to shift my attention to, you know, I got three children, now I'm going to be taking care of a set of two.
So my, my whole, my whole vision was changed from that experience. You know, being told that we can never have a child. So then all of a sudden we're getting blessed with having one, and that just kind of led me on a different path. Great. When did it hit you that you wanted to become an author? I've always enjoyed writing.
I mean, it's been something I did when I was younger. Um, which is interesting because when I was younger. Going up to school, I struggled quite a bit. I was actually diagnosed with a learning disability, and that learning disability actually makes it extremely difficult for me to process things. So writing and reading can be a challenge because I can't comprehend it.
And ironically, I became an author. Congratulations. Good for you, right? Yeah. So I was diagnosed at learning disability. You had my test read to me. He had extra time. I was put in special classes, all that stuff. I had all kinds of supports and help because of. You know, my brain doesn't process things as most people probably process things.
And through that, you know, having the birth of our daughter, the way that it all happened was, was so just unique situation because she was actually, her due date was in may and she was born premature. She was born in January. Oh wow. Who was extremely, I mean, extremely premature. To the point of, basically what happens is that when a child is born, they need to be about 23 weeks old.
I believe it is to survive. And she was born at 23 weeks and two days, so she basically just made it. Wow. Basically two days past the cutoff point to be born alive. If she had been born two days prior, three days prior, she wouldn't have even been born alive. But just biologically it doesn't work at this time with the technology they had at the time.
And yeah, obviously that's a devastation in a trauma, a trauma they were going to on a daily basis. Cause you know, we basically, we were in and out of the hospital. Well, I was, because we had other kids, you know, that I had, I still had to be home and be dad or be there for my wife and my other child. So I was kind of wearing two hats at the same time, you know, trying to be a
You know, trying to be superhero. Dad has my other girls look up to me as that a fun dad, and that was really hard to do because that was the worst time of my life because I'd bring them to school, go to the hospital, and during the day, and I'm crying my eyes out and I'm suffering and watching my daughter and my wife suffer together and we're all just suffering.
Then I come home, see my kids and try to be happy dad again. So that was weighing. I made, I was living like a double life. When did, when did the writing slur? When did you start writing a book? So as I was in the hospital, you know, and I'm watching her fight for her life. And you know, I just felt like, man, this is, you know, I said one, once we get outta here, I really want to, I really, really want to take the time to write this book because I feel I've been, I've been blessed and gifted with the ability to write.
And so I said, I'm going to start writing. Once we get out of this hospital, I'm going to start writing. You know? And you know, it was January when she was born and then February came along and. You know, her condition got better, and then I got worse and I got better and then got worse. So I actually watched, you know, I watched the nurses saved my daughter's life multiple times.
So I got to see my daughter flatline, you know what I mean? And the part of it scary. And then, you know, through that time, there came a day in February, February 16th where she flat-lines for the final time and they didn't bring her back. Oh, I'm so sad. And, you know, and I appreciate that. And through that, um, I obviously were devastated and crushed.
And, you know, it's been, I'm coming up almost on three years. Her birthday's coming up here. And, um, but through that, uh, you know, it devastated me, a crushed Munis still does. So I still got some rough days and I still got some tough days. And I said, you know what, I'm going to, right now I've got a notebook.
It was completely empty. And every morning I got up around 5:00 AM and I would write for about an hour straight. And that's what I did. And so I filled the whole notebook up. The writing was almost like my way to visit her. It was like my therapy. It was like my coping strategy. It was like, I gotta use this writing cause I feel like this is my way.
I can go visit her. This is a field I can go spend time with her is like, I'm writing almost like a love letter to her in a way. I mean, it wasn't really directly to her, but it was just therapeutic for me. I felt more connected and close to her. In the writing helped me kind of get my life on track because it was in a downward spiral from the tragedy.
I just want to, what was the next step after you filled up that notebook? As I was going through it, you know, I was, I was like, well, I'm starting to see a theme here. This is kind of what I want to write about. There's, there's eight areas I want to write about and these eight areas of my life or what are getting me through this tragedy, not only in my life, I think in every human being's life, if they focus on these eight areas.
Then they can have, they can discover their purpose, they can find the significance and the meaning of life that we all long for to have in those eight areas. I was writing about every day, and I organize it and I structured it, hand wrote it in a notebook and then I said, you know, I'm going to leave it alone now.
So I left it alone for like two months and then I came back to it to kind of be a little bit more objective because I was writing all based on feelings. So now I had a logic, you know what I mean? To kind of balance the book out. And then I took an, I typed it all up. Wow, I'm writing it, and then I typed up every word that I hand wrote.
Then I did that, and then I took like another month off. I came back and now I started kind of almost like self-editing. I'd go through, see what made sense, what didn't make sense, organize it. And then I just started the process, you know what I mean? It started adding words, adding sentences, and removing things that didn't make sense.
And then I structured and organized it and made it flow all together. And that's kind of how the writing press began. Wow. That is very impressive that you did all that actually hand wrote the book and then went back and typed it. You know what is crazy is when you do something you love and never feels like work.
And I was in love with what I was doing and it was just an honor and a privilege to do it. So you said that you edited it or you, did you share it with other people to look at it for editing purposes? Absolutely. So what I did is that, and I, I did this without realizing I did it at the time, cause I learned about this quote I heard later on in the quote was basically when you're going to write a book you want to write like.
Nobody's ever going to see it and you want to edit like everybody's going to see. That's good. That's good. And I was like, I did that without even realizing, cause when I was writing on that, I was writing, it was some crazy things down. I'm like, if people read this, they're going to think I'm insane, but you know what?
I'm going to write it anyways cause that's how I'm feeling. Right? Yeah. No, I did that. And then I edit it and I obviously took some things out. Um, so I, I probably edited it myself probably about 14 or 15 times. And then from there I had my wife, she went through, she just destroyed it because it was a mess.
You know what I mean? She, my wife was, she's much smarter than I am, so I'm like, I'm just going to go with what she says, cause I don't really know what I'm doing. I never wrote a book. Well here I'm trying to do it. He came through with a red pen and just crossed off everything. And then I had a friend read it and then from there I went to go try to get a publisher.
And what was that journey like? I was like, you know what, I can go a couple of different routes. I can do self publishing, or I can do a traditional publishing. And I, and I went back and forth and debating on which one I wanted to do. And for me, it's just, at the time I felt traditional publishing was the way to go.
So obviously I had to, you know, seek out publishers and what their requirements were. And yeah. They're accepting manuscripts and all that. So I, you know, I look some up first company I sent it to rejected me and I took that as like a great compliment because I knew that I had a great story. Not saying that arrogantly, but I just knew that it was going to be great.
It just wasn't great for that company. Sure. You know what I mean? Sorry, I didn't take it personally at all. And plus I know famous authors who've been rejected way more than one time. You know what I mean? 2030 40 50 to a hundred times and rejected. So I'm like, Oh, this is, I must be on the right path. No, but the greatest writers in the world have been rejected, so I'm on the right path.
Right. But that's great advice that people need to hear, that it's okay to be rejected, keep pushing on, and just like you said, it's not right for that particular. Publishing company at that point, but there's someone else out there. Keep going. Absolutely. So, I mean, I think a lot of that would rejection, not just with books, but things in life.
You get rejected for something once that's supposed to do is either, that's gonna that's going to cause you to say, okay, I give up. I quit. Or if you want it really bad enough, you're going to keep striving for, you know what I mean? And you got to know if this is what you're called to do, then it will happen.
If you're not called to do it, then it just wasn't meant for you to do. But I knew this was meant for me. I knew that. So I was like, okay, this rejection is not going to stop me. Cause I know I've been called to be an office. And then from there I actually was, um, I was searching up online on Facebook. I joined all kinds of Facebook groups, authors, readers, writers, and publishers.
And I'm just connecting with a lot of people. And, and I saw a comment online about this guy who highly recommended this individual. I looked her up, I messaged her, I asked her about our company, I did some research about what she does. And I looked at the website and I said, okay, let me, let me reach out to her.
You know, and I did. And we had a conversation. She told me what the requirements were. Tell me a little bit about the company. We talked on the phone for a few times, and so I said, I'm going to send her the manuscript, and she accepted it. Wow. Fantastic. Yeah. Congratulations. That must have been unbelievable from the time I hand wrote it.
You know what I mean? It was a process. I know. I started writing it March 1st, 2017. And then it didn't get published, you know, completely until in may of 2019 so you're talking, you're talking over over two years of what I had to go through to process all this. So I mean, it's, it's not an overnight thing, you know what I mean?
If you want to develop any great product, any great. Decision in life, a great relationship. It's gonna take work and time and commitment. Right. So what was the name of the publishing company and did they help you with the editing and the book cover? When I was talking with them, I said, Oh, this is what I want.
So they did, they did some minor editing. You know, they did some minor editing, but I said, you know what, I, I was kind of looking for some more on top of the editing that they did. Because I was just kind of like OCD about it, I guess you could say. And I was like, I wanted more. So they went through and they did some format and they changed a couple of things and I said, well, I'm going to, I want to get some more editing guns.
So what I did is that I also hired an editor as well. You went through the process and she tore my thing to shreds. I thought it was bad when my wife went through it. This lady, she, she took it to a whole nother level, but I did. I didn't take it personally though, because if I'm trying to deliver a quality product or if I want to reach as many people as possible, it's gotta be the best it can be.
It can't be average. You don't think anyone I and are called to be average. They were called to be great, so we got to let other people tell us where it's not great and accept it as an act of love, not hate. They're trying to help us. Right. Exactly. Excellent message. Well. Speaking of messages, Jesse, do you have any advice for somebody who's writing a book and they haven't published it yet?
I believe every single person on a nurse should write a book because every person has a story and for the people out there are writing a story and they're trying to get a Polish, they really need to understand that nobody on planet earth, nobody in human history can do what you can do. Nobody can write the same exact story that you write because you're unique individual that has different experiences, different upbringing, different background, you know, in different intellect and in different opportunities.
So every person who writes a book should understand that there is no other book like. Not in existence because no one can do it exactly the same way. They can do something similar. They can do something, you know that's not too far off topic, but is never exactly the way that author writes it because nobody is that author.
So your book that you're writing, you need to do it because no one can do it the exact way that you do it. Every person has something valuable to offer that nobody else can bring. We're all unique. Screwed. is the proud sponsor of the author inside you podcast. Looking for ways to improve your writing.
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You've never seen a writing group like this one at dot com what about promoting your book? To me. Right? If you're an author, writing's the easy part. You know, the writing. That was the easy I could, that was a breeze for me. It's no problem. The promoting part paralyze me with fear because I'm like, I'm not the kind of person that likes to go out and get on social media and say, look at this thing that I've done.
So that's really not, that's just not who I am, but I had to, when you're called into something great, you got to grow into that greatness. You know what I mean? And so I felt like my talent was moving at a fast pace, faster than my, my personality maturity was ready for. So I had to take some time for my maturity and my, my passion to catch up to my talent.
And so what I knew as far as if I want, if I have a message that I want to get out to people, then I have to get on social media and I have to tell people about it. Or people aren't going to know. So I had social media for years, but I never posted. I never posted. No one was posting multiple times a week.
It was frightening. Today, every book that I've sold to someone who has a Facebook account, I don't really use it for people who don't have Facebook, but for every, anyone who has a Facebook account, every book that I've ever sold, I've, I've taken a picture of their book and tag their name. Let's say Bob.
Joe and Tom all buy a book from me. I'm going to take a picture of those three books and I'm going to say here, thank you Bob, Joe and Tom for buying these three books of live your dash. Thank you for your support. And I tag all their names and I take a picture of all three books. And there were some pictures where I was, you know, I had like one.
So one time I had like 25 books in one picture, had all 25 people and thank all 25 of them. That's wonderful. What a great, nice idea. Yeah. I don't want, I don't know. I don't want it to be about me. I want it to be about the people and I w I wanted to sank every single, and I have, every single person who's bought a book has been thanked online.
If they have a Facebook, all every last one of them, they've all been thanked. I've used their name. I've for some of the people who I know I've been able to take. I try to, now, what I do is I try to take pictures with those people. You know, if they're local and they're nearby. I'll get a picture with the person who's buying my book and I make, you know, I point to them and say, look, thank you.
Thank you. Report. So I like to try to, you know, I'll look to people who are supporting me cause it's all about the people. Because without them the book, it's not going to do nothing. Right. Right. That's true about my readers. There's nothing. And then I also saw that you had black Friday specials, which I think is a great marketing ploy also.
Yeah. So. I saw somebody else that I knew who, who an author there, they were, um, doing black Friday sales for their book. And I was like, you know what? I love the idea. I'm going to do it right now. I did an immediate, like, I saw them do it and I was like, you know what? I'm gonna do it. So I did it immediately.
I did my own version of it. Obviously I filled my books on there, you know, three books for this amount, two books for this amount, one book for this amount. Obviously all the prices are, I mean, highly discounted. And that was a huge success and it was great. And I, and I loved it, you know? I mean, I'm always trying to look for new creative ways to get the message out, whatever that may take.
Excellent. So the black Friday sale idea, definitely increased sales. Oh yeah. Yeah, it was. It was very successful. It was great. You know? I mean, it was, I had a lot of fun doing it. It was, you know, the people enjoyed it because, you know, they're getting a good Christmas gift for family and friends and they're getting in at a fraction of the cost of what I was selling prior because they, you know, it was a black Friday deal.
So everyone, it was a win win for everybody. Great. So I understand that you're available for speaking engagements. Can you tell us how people can get in touch with you? So, I mean, the best way to get in contact with me for a speaking engagement would be email. That's probably the best way to go. My email address is author Jesse firstname.lastname@example.org I'm also on Instagram.
At author Jesse cruise on Instagram. I'll also on Facebook, my name Jesse Cruz, my business pays Jesse a cruise on Facebook. Any of those ways work. And I'm trying to get more involved in the speaking engagements. You know, I'm trying to get the message out. So any opportunity I had to speak, you know, I'm looking forward to, and I just appreciate, you know, anyone who'd be willing to listen, you know, cause I just believe in the message so much and we'll have all your contact information in our show.
Note to Jesse. Awesome. And how should our audience purchase your book? So I'm, you know, I'm a, I'm a relational kind of person cause I, I like to, you know, build that relationship with my readers and my customers and anyone who's involved. So I always prefer people order from me, but obviously that's not everybody else's preference.
Um, because for people who order from me directly, you know, I can, I can write them a personalized message, which I'm all about that, you know, I'd like to. I don't, you know, I don't write the same message in everyone's book. You know what I mean? I had like the same thing. I'll include my title and the signature on every book, but the message I give to that person is individualized for every single person.
So I like to make it unique for every person that wants to book. So for people who order from me directly, we'll be able to get that personalized copy if that's what they want. If not, which is fine with me. People can order it right on Amazon. It's on amazon.com. Or they can go on Barnes and noble.com or they can go to my publisher, which is Penick publications.com so those are probably, those are your best ways to get ahold of the book.
Excellent. Great. We'll have that information in the show notes also. Awesome. Well, Jesse Kruse, author of live your dash, discovering the eight F's to freedom. Thank you very much for being a guest today on the author inside your podcast. Thank you guys so much. You guys are great today. Jesse makes a great point.
We all have a story to share. It may be some of us want to keep it quiet and maybe some of us want to put it out to the world. If you know, as someone who wants to share their story with others, please tell them about the author inside you podcast. And until next time, right on. Thank you for listening to the author inside you podcast with your host, Leah and Matt Rafferty.