1. Paperback, hardback, audiobook?
I enjoy well narrated audiobooks in the author’s voice. That way I feel the author is personally sharing the story and their passion to me. However, I know readers have their preferences. So, as an author, I have produced ebooks, paperback (black and white and color), hardback (full color), and audiobook versions of my main books. My ebooks also have hyperlinks, which provide a richer learning experience.
2. Pick a genre, any genre!
My primary genre for writing is personal success and marketing related non-fiction. I love reading or listening to humor and thrillers. I stay away from books with gratuitous sex or violence. English is my favorite language and I am familiar with both British and American English. I love authors who can demonstrate their art through their literary expertise in the English language.
3. What is the first book you remember reading?
I think it was Gulliver’s Travels.
4. What book shaped your childhood most?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The book played well to my natural strengths and helped me develop rich long lasting relationships and friendships with all kinds of people from all over the world.
5. When did you first start writing?
The local newspaper published one of my poems when I was in the 7th grade. That inspiration was like rocket fuel to my brain and my early writings from 7th grade till high school were preserved and published in 2014 in the book Muses and Rhymes: 1968-1975.
6. What made you want to write? Does it still hold true?
Early on it was simply to master the English language, to get my name in the newspaper, and to get the small amount of compensation the newspaper paid to writers. Today, my goal is simply to transfer what I know to others so they can benefit and have a shorter path to success. I chose independent publishing to make my work affordable to anyone and I have often given away my work for free or almost at giveaway prices to those who could not afford it.
7. What book/poem are you most proud of creating?
Bring Inner Greatness Out: Personal Brand (2021). When I saw millions of people being laid off worldwide in 2020, I decided to try to help people in my own modest ways. I started a video podcast and made myself available for free for 15 minutes of career consulting to anyone who wanted it from anywhere in the world. I also started giving people free public speaking lessons in my Toastmasters club because I knew this would help them do better in job interviews and their careers. Then, in late 2020 I published the first edition of this book and gave away hundreds of copies for free. Even though the book was an immediate success, I decided the writing community needed additional insights in the book publishing and marketing areas. So, I expanded Chapters 10 and 11 and republished and rerecorded the entire book again in October of 2021. Anyone who bought the ebook or audiobook of the older version, got a free update. Right now all editions have the updated content. So people can buy the format they prefer.
8. Did you publish your first book or is it for your eyes only?
I did publish my first book titled Impact of Security Culture on Security Compliance in Healthcare in the USA. However, it is my doctoral dissertation. Thus, it is only relevant to people who wish to do a doctoral degree and those interested in healthcare cybersecurity.
9. How many books/collections have you published so far?
I have published 4 books of my own. In addition, I have produced a dozen audiobooks for other authors.
10. What genres do you write in (or hope to)?
Non-fiction so far. However, I do wish to publish the story of my mom’s life as a biographical fiction. The first draft is done. However, I still do not know when it will be ready for prime time as fiction is not my area of strength.
11. Do you do research for your writing or is it all in your head?
I always write an outline and then do workshops and presentations on various ideas to understand if they will benefit others. Once I feel I have test marketed the ideas and I know they will be well received, I do the first edition and see how it is received in the market. Then based on qualified reviews from people who are experts in their own right, I decide on subsequent editions. Cybersecurity Leadership is now in its 4th edition.
12. To plan, or not to plan?
I always plan.
13. What route of publishing have you chosen? Do you plan to stick with it?
I chose Independent Publishing. Yes, I plan to stick with it as I have no desire to relinquish any of my rights to my work so others can make more money from my work – all while increasing the price unnecessarily for consumers. I think the publishing industry is undergoing serious disruption from people like us. More than half of all books published in the world today are by independent publishers. This trend will only grow as humans are incredibly talented and technology has empowered everyone to have a voice in print, audio, and video.
14. Do you currently have a WIP?
Yes, my mother’s life story.
15. Do you have a favourite person in your books?
All my former students and mentees who are featured in Bring Inner Greatness Out: Personal Brand will forever have a special place in my heart. Without their achievement of greatness and success I would never have known that my methodology works. They showed me that anyone using my simple methodology can and will succeed. They simply have to do the work and follow the plan I recommend.
16. Do you listen to music as you write? Recommend a favourite writing song.
No, I absolutely cannot listen to music or watch TV while I am writing. I write directly on a computer and take breaks from writing to listen to music, watch TV, eat, drink, walk, or spend time with family and friends.
17. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Just start writing and developing your own voice. It will be a journey and do not expect perfection in your very first effort. However, do not ever serve the wine until it is ready. Even your first publication must be high quality, free from errors and typos. If you are a storyteller, create short 5-7 minute versions (500-700 words) of story segments and present them at any Toastmasters club and see what kind of audience reaction and feedback you get. Such audience feedback will enable you to develop your own authentic voice. Stay away from formulaic writing and do not be influenced by others. The best authors have their own original voice. Read your final draft aloud with a blue or red pen and mark every typo and grammatical error you find and then correct them. The brain autocorrects and reading aloud is the only way I know to catch all errors.
18. Have you entered any writer contests? Tell us about your experience!
I did enter one where I paid $50 to enter even though I really felt odd about it. The experience was awful as I got nothing out of it and I later felt it was a scam. However, I now use my experience to teach others not to fall for these paid contests. Real contests are designed to be fair to all and do not require entry fees. They will want free copies of books sent to them – that is okay. I will never again enter a contest that requires money. I also do not pay for reviews. I feel those are scams as well.
19. Link us your book/twitter/goodreads or wherever we can best connect with you!
People can contact me using the contact form on my website where they can also buy signed copies of my books. https://www.cybersecurityleadership.com/buy.html
Twitter: @mhasib – https://twitter.com/mhasib
Podcast Bring Inner Greatness Out on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/ridetherainbow
Book Depository will ship worldwide: https://www.bookdepository.com/Bring-Inner-Greatness-Out-Dr-Mansur-Hasib/9781087905310