We had the good fortune of connecting with Andre Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andre, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being four years into my writing career, I have to attribute success to consistency and education. Most people think authors just write their books and send them out into the world, but there is a lot more that goes into it. It truly is running a business on a daily basis. The consistency portion definitely focuses on the writing and editing aspects, setting daily goals for yourself is key to keeping production high, and I’m proud to have written new words for a streak of450+ consecutive days, dating back to September of 2019. The education portion is what focuses more on the marketing/business side. Aside from needing to keep up with changes in the book market (hot genres, cover designs, pricing, etc.), we also have to maintain our marketing efforts. I’m in some high-level courses designed specifically for fiction authors, and trying to master ads on Facebook and Amazon. I’ve taken huge strides, but there is still plenty of work to be done!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I write mostly thriller, with some horror books as well. My biggest success has been with my Wealth of Time series, a time-travel thriller that will run six books total when it is completed in 2021. The first book, Wealth of Time, reached bestseller status on Amazon in the UK, Canada, and Australia back in February of 2020. Being able to market the book as an international bestseller has helped kick the advertising efforts into a new level. I think staying constantly involved in the book world is what has helped the most in terms of achieving success. The author community is incredibly supportive and uplifting, people always willing to bounce ideas off each other and find what works best. We are in a unique business where we can create similar products, but are not considered competition to each other. If anything, we can promote each other, knowing that our readers will devour anything within a particular genre. Nothing about this is easy. Everyday brings new challenges, whether it’s finding the motivation to sit down and write, or tinkering with the marketing machine to ensure it keeps running smoothly and profitably. There is a lot to juggle, and I’ve found that with more success comes more requests from external factors, which can be to lead trainings, or just chatting with new authors wanting to learn the ropes. It’s important to set boundaries and enforce them. I’ve simplified my approach so that if something comes in, it needs to check one of three boxes: Will it help produce a new book? Will it help generate sales? Will it help grow my readership? If it does not meet any of these criteria, I’ll kindly reject and move on. As for my particular story and how I ended up here, my best advice is to not wait for something to happen, but instead go make it happen! I was fortunate to have survived the Aurora Theater Shooting in 2012, and that was the eye-opening experience I needed to get a fire lit. It helped me realize how much time had already been wasted in pursuing this dream, and that not a moment after should fall to that same fate.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have lived in Colorado my whole life, and there is so much to do! A couple of days would definitely be dedicated to visiting the mountains. We have hot springs, skiing, hiking, and camping at so many beautiful locations. We would definitely spend a day at Estes Park, my favorite mountain town, and home of the Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King wrote The Shining. Aside from the mountains, downtown Denver is just as fun. I have season tickets to the Denver Nuggets, so we would most likely catch a game and have a night out on the town. Summer is even better with baseball games and the different level of energy that comes with those. We have so many rooftop bars and restaurants to visit, and an underground arcade for adults called 1-Up. For the more touristy attractions, we have Molly Brown’s house that was converted into a museum to honor her surviving the Titanic, and also a really cool ghost tour around downtown. And lastly, my favorite place to go is Black Hawk/Central City where all the casinos are!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A special shoutout to my wife, Natasha. She has helped big time with the social media aspect of our business and has helped expand our reach and engagement to new heights. Aside from that, she keeps me motivated and is always checking in to make sure I’m somewhat staying on schedule!