Barry Somes, Author and much more!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Barry Somes.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Great to speak with you as well. After graduating from college, I went to work for a commercial bank. I evaluated financial statements from small businesses applying for commercial loans which gave me a first-hand look at the companies that were profitable as well as ones that were failing. It was quite an education and after seven years I got the urge and left the bank to go into business for myself. I remember attending a chamber of commerce meeting one month as a representative from the bank and the next month as the president of a small company. It was a great feeling. I really enjoyed being self-employed and over the years started several businesses. In fact, a friend of mine once called me an “entrepreneur on steroids.” Due to the pandemic I was able to turn a hobby into a business that I could work from home and it is now my main occupation. I am now working full time as a writer of paperback novels.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Good question. Expanding my customer base requires creativity and searching for the right button to push to attract new business. Conveying in advertising what is unique about my business and why you should choose to do business with me is always a challenge. There’s never enough time in the day to do all that I’d like to do. My business always depended on a strong economy and I found that during the recession of 2008 a large part of my customer base had to choose between shopping with me or heating their houses. Many were retired and living on fixed income. Being able to stay in business during that time required a lot of tough decisions.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
During the pandemic I connected with a New York Times Bestselling author who encouraged me to try writing and gave me some pointers. With my “coach,” I was able to publish a novel and have since completed another as well as a book of trivia. I am now writing another novel and have the outline for a fourth after that one! I offer a lot more than other authors- I host special events for my readers and their guests. We had an island picnic last summer, a Broadway show coming up this winter, a dinner and a weekend next spring at a resort on the water in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick.
Soon I will be doing outside sales for a nationally-known travel agency which will allow me to offer high end vacation packages and cruises at prices that can’t be beat. This benefit will help my readers stick with me and spread the word to friends as to the benefit of being one of my readers.
The book stores that display my books enjoy working with me as I advertise which book stores people can find my books in and when I do book signings in their stores I advertise these events as well. So they not only sell my books but enjoy the benefits of the advertising I do for their stores.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Passion, period! You’ve got to unconditionally believe in the product or service you’re offering. Strive to be the best at what you do. Your employees will be inspired by your enthusiasm and customers as well. Treat every customer like they’re your only customer. Never stop learning. Stay on top of your industry and continue your education. Hire the best; employees are not where you go to save money. You truly get what you pay for. Be visible in the community. Network with successful people. Keep in touch with customers, let them know you appreciate them. A sale should not be just a business transaction, it should be the start of a relationship.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Well, success is NOT measured by the size of your house, the make of the car you drive or the balance of your bank account. Success is about setting a goal and achieving it. When I was younger I did a lot of hiking and mountain climbing. It was always a dream of mine to climb one of the world’s highest peaks. I accepted an invitation to join a group who planned to climb the Matterhorn in Switzerland! Over a year of planning, getting in shape and practicing. We all met in Zermatt for final preparations and began our ascent early one morning. Due to adverse extreme weather conditions, we were forced to turn back when we were only 1500 feet from the summit. Even so, I never felt so successful with that achievement. Even today when I see an image of the Matterhorn I get goosebumps!
Ever since High School I’ve been interested in reading and writing. I’ve entered several essay contests over the years and even a correspondence course in children’s literature. A couple years ago I published my first full-length novel! The months of writing, editing, re-writing and then submitting the manuscript to a publisher were very time consuming. But the feeling of holding the book in my hands after it was published – well, if you can put that feeling into writing that would be my definition of success. Setting a goal and working hard to achieve it – success results when you reach that goal.
What’s next for you?
Just last month my publisher extended my contract for two more years. I am halfway through writing another novel and have a rough outline for two more books. So that will keep me plenty busy. I am not just an author, to me it is a business and I’m working now to establish it as a brand and scale it. I am offering special events for readers so I can meet them and they can meet each other. Hopefully if they enjoy an event and tell others, word will spread which will result in increased book sales.
I once owned a travel agency and earned the prestigious Certified Travel Consultant designation, (CTC), the highest professional ranking in the industry. I am now in the process of finalizing a relationship with a large, nationwide travel agency which will allow me using my experience to sell upscale vacation packages and luxury cruises through them. With their buying power I’ll be able to offer prices no one else can match. My plan is to offer group trips for my readers to enjoy the good life! This benefit for my readers will help build my brand. Also a nice additional profit center!
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
I have just the answer! I just published a novel called “Operation: Rainmaker” about an isotope found on the Moon that could be the answer to Earth’s energy crisis. The fossil fuel industry does not want us to know about it as it would put them out of business. A signed copy of the book is available for $25. It is a limited edition book and you will receive a numbered copy, numbered between 1 and 100. In addition, I will be publishing another book next summer, “Operation: Goldeneye,” and you will be listed in that book as a sponsor. Order a copy by going to my website, paperbackwriter.biz Major credit cards accepted.
Another way to keep up to date is to add your name to my mailing list. It’s the best way to keep up to date on the progress of my books and details of special events as they are finalized. The newsletter can be emailed to you or sent in the mail. Just send your email address or mailing address to: firstname.lastname@example.org I would be happy to add you to the list. I promise you won’t be deluged with mail.