“I wrote The Freak Factor and named my website that because I learned from an early age that I was not normal,” Dave Rendall, author and speaker, explains. “I got in trouble a lot while growing up for not sitting still or being quiet, so now I make a living talking and standing. I made my success doing the opposite of what everyone wanted me to do, so I thought that might be true for other people as well. I started researching and gathering examples, and I realized that people’s biggest weaknesses are probably their biggest strengths.
“The Freak Factor, available on the Kindle and through CreateSpace, shows people that what seems to be wrong with them is actually a source of energy and discipline. It does the opposite of most self-help books: those books try to change you. I try to teach you how your qualities might be positives. How can you transform your positive qualities—things that so far you may have considered drawbacks—into something that helps you succeed? Every weakness has a corresponding strength, and I set out to bring to others a new way to improve themselves instead of leading them to try to become someone they are not.”
Given his success as a speaker and consultant to organizations who want to help their employees achieve a full measure of effectiveness, it might seem counterproductive to self-publish his book; his success as a guest speaker depends on his being an authority on this subject, which can be measured by the popularity of his book. Rendall’s reasons for choosing CreateSpace were two-fold.
“First, I wanted all of my material in one place where I could track my sales in real-time using their dashboard. My audio CDs, DVDs, and books are all in one location so I’m not trying to juggle multiple providers,” explains Rendall.
Also, CreateSpace’s print-on-demand and make-on-demand services mean that Rendall is not responsible for purchasing and storing large quantities of his material; it also provides him with a safety net for stock. At any speaking engagement he can easily place direct-ship orders for attendees if he was unable to carry with him enough supply to meet the participants’ needs. “CreateSpace has made the business side of being a speaker much more streamlined.”
The control that comes from using CreateSpace has meant greater sales for Rendall. He’s often been approached by industry executives, often in far-reaching locations who can’t bring Rendall to them on short notice. More than once has found himself on the phone with a corporate executive, ending the phone call by giving the company a coupon code for a set number of copies of his book. That kind of business luxury wouldn’t be possible if a traditional publisher retained control over the price point.
Interestingly, sheer luck has also translated into higher sales and recognition for Rendall. His first book was also published strictly in print through CreateSpace, several years before Kindles appeared on the scene. When a graduate school professor contacted Rendall recently about that particular title’s availability for the Kindles that were being distributed to all of the MBA students in the university’s program, Rendall’s book was not yet published digitally; it took no effort to have CreateSpace convert it to an e-book because they already had the digital version stored for print-on-demand purposes. If Rendall’s book had not been available for Kindle, the professor was prepared to choose a back-up title from another author.
“Self-publishing in my mind is a better route to making sales and earning a living. A publisher can’t sell your book, you have to sell it. So if you’re going to sell it, why not maximize on the price and on your goals for your book?”