My name is Marvin Schrebe and I’m here to talk about the realities of writing. I use my pseudonym which is Chris Breva. It’s pronounced “Bree-Vuh”. I have been an author for nearly fifty years. In the next few months I will be publishing my book “Styles in Poetry II.”
You may ask “Why is it Styles in Poetry II? Does that mean that there was a “Styles in Poetry?”
The First Styles in Poetry
Yes. There was a “Styles in Poetry.” It was traditionally published by a now closed traditional publisher in Maryland. Styles in Poetry was not a huge success.
In fact, I made a grand total of $1.00 on the book, but I also learned a billion dollars worth of lessons on the project. I want to share a few of those lessons with my audience and particularly with my fellow writers. The biggest lesson that “Styles in Poetry” and the other three books I traditionally published is that writing is a hard business.
I expected, like most writers, that my book was going to sell and make me an instant success. I was going to publish in May and be living in a mansion in Beverly Hills by July. But the realities of writing is that success only comes from working hard. Writing is hard work. Nobody writes a book one day, publishes it, and is selling the movie rights a week later.
I am sure it seems to have happened that way for some writers. Perhaps Charles Dickens made his debut in that fashion, but I am certain that in reality he had to work hard and sell himself to his audience. Make no mistake about it.
How Did Styles in Poetry Do?
Styles in Poetry sold quite a few copies. Amazon only recently sold their last copy of it and there are still copies floating around on E-Bay. The reality is that I never reached that magic threshold where I started getting a percentage of per copy sales because I was an unknown writer. Nobody is willing to buy something from somebody they have never heard of.
People had no idea who Marvin Schrebe was so the book basically went nowhere. I learned quickly that success was something one has to earn. It does not instantly fall into anybody’s lap unless one is fortunate enough to be born rich. Most of us have to work our way from the bottom to the top. We are all mighty small fish in a very large ocean.
I do not expect the crown jewels to just suddenly fall into my ownership! If that is what authors expect, then they should quit writing and start conjuring up a magic lamp!
What Made You Come to ReadersMagnet?
I came to Reader’s Magnet because I have published traditionally. I know there is value in my writing and I’m sticking to the realities of writing I have developed. It can entertain. It can move people.
I have seen the impact my writing can have on people. One of my readers was a woman I encountered at the doctor’s office. We were sitting in the waiting room and I introduced myself to her, showed her a copy of my book “Pathways of the Heart” and let her skim through it. Within five minutes she melted and started sobbing uncontrollably after reading a poem in it.
She bought the copy she was reading and ordered five more. I have seen that happen several times or scenes similar to it. Had I not introduced myself and showed her the value of my work, she would have passed by it on the shelves and not even opened it.
As authors we must sell ourselves and that usually means one reader at a time! This is not fantasy land. This is the real world and in the real world real workers earn their paychecks one hour at a time!
Reader’s Magnet is a wonderful company with great salespeople. Red Sanchez has been wonderful to me. Many of the chats he and I have had have been about the realities of writing. I realized those realities a long time ago. I wanted to pass some of those realities along to my writing peers.