We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Zelinger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nick, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Being consistent and responsible. Meeting deadlines and keeping to agreed-upon schedules. Being flexible and available, and open to opinions. I view the work I do for clients (authors) as a collaboration: It is a team effort to create a product they can be proud of.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always had an artistic and creative spirit, As early as Kindergarten, I was encouraged by teachers and students. I’ve carried my love for art and music into my formative years and beyond. I studied art in college and was a working musician from the age of 17 to the present day—50 years of performing, recording, and touring. At the same time, I was developing my graphic art skills to establish my business. As a musician and graphic artist, I am self-taught: I learned to play instruments and learned various software to become adept at creating book design, logos, marketing materials, for my clients. It didn’t happen overnight; I took any kind work to develop my skills, and learned how to conduct myself as a professional. My mistakes along the way taught me how to deal with failure, disappointment—and how to be gracious when I succeeded. I am most proud of the many awards my clients and I have won for book design (more than 100 to date). The publishing world is very competitive; and I am always grateful when I have repeat business from clients. So my work ethic: meeting deadlines, establishing fair pricing, listening and cooperating with clients, offering guidance and advice when needed, has helped me stay in business for over 30 years.
I am also the coauthor of a book: “Another Nightmare Gig from Hell: Musician’s Tales of Wonder and Woe” (along with coauthor Tammy Brackett) – available on Amazon in print, audio, and eBook.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living here in Estes Park, Colorado, (the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park) is a real privilege. So I’d treat my friend(s) to a visit to the historic Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining”), they have a great bar and restaurant (and ghost tours!). I’d take them to my favorite coffee shop: Kind Coffee, and sit by the river. I’d also take them for hikes into the Park: many wonderful trails, vistas and wildlife to be discovered. We’d also drive up Trail Ridge Road (the highest continuous road in the nation); cross over the Continental Divide, and wind down into Grand Lake, one of my favorite spots in the state. If it’s summer or fall, Estes Park hosts many events, art, wine, beer, music festivals: all in the center of town, 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?
My wife, Betsy …. always encouraging and supportive