Launching a Dream Project

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We are back with the second installment in this build in public series that we’re doing with my good friend, often co-host Raj Lulla about his debut novel, The Caring House.

If you didn’t listen to the last episode, we talked about his career story, how he thinks about writing.

Today, we’re digging into what happens after you do the hard work of writing a book. Then you have to do the even harder or just as hard work of getting people to care and to read it.

We’re digging into publishing versus self publishing. We’re digging into marketing. We’re digging into courage. And we’re digging into the emotional labor to make something that matters to you and then put it in front of people where they then can have opinions about it.

It’s such rich, such rich material.

This is relevant to anyone who is making something that matters, whether that’s a business, whether that’s a idea, whether that’s a, um, an art project, a book, whatever it might be.

There’s so many takeaways. regardless of your medium of choice.


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Software Generated Transcription:

[00:02:00] Dan: So Raj, you wrote a book

[00:02:05] Raj: and

[00:02:06] Dan: now, yeah, now now we got to figure out what

[00:02:09] to

[00:02:09] do with it.

[00:02:10] Raj: Yeah, it turns out that writing the book was the easy part, and it wasn’t, and that wasn’t easy. So I’m not sure I knew what I was getting myself into.

[00:02:19] Dan: That is like, that is so true of like everything in life. It’s like you know, I don’t know. I think of, I think of the way that my wife talks about having, having a baby and like the labor is the hard part. But then you have a baby that you have to.

[00:02:36] That you

[00:02:36] have. I think of building software and like everybody thinks that like building it is the hard and expensive part, but actually just getting people to use it, and then continue to upkeep it and develop it is actually

[00:02:49] the hard part.

[00:02:50] It’s like

[00:02:50] the

[00:02:50] Raj: getting people to care at all.

[00:02:52] Dan: Yes. Yeah, so, so, yeah, I mean, writing a book is no small undertaking. Yeah, I mean, I guess before we get to it, we want to talk about marketing, but I also want to talk about like, you didn’t just like, you know, sit down one week and be like, Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to become a fiction writer? Like, This has, has more roots in you than that. And I think my, I don’t know. I know we’ve, we talked about this a couple episodes ago, but just for folks that haven’t heard that part of your story, maybe just give us a, a sentence or two about like so are you a writer,

[00:03:21] Raj?

[00:03:22] Raj: Yeah, I mean, my, my day job is I’m a brand strategist and that involves a lot of, you know, rearranging words. I I saw a Twitter prompt one time that, that said, explain your job badly. And I, I wrote, I rearranged the 26 letters of the alphabet to make people cry. Was the joke that I used there.

[00:03:46] But yeah, I mean, I, I, most of my job is writing, which is weird that my hobby would also be that as well. But yeah, so I do, I do that for a living. In terms of fiction, I had not written any fiction since high school. And and I imagine I’m, I’m too scared to actually look back, but I imagine it was very bad at that point.

[00:04:07] And I hope it’s not still very bad, but we will find

[00:04:11] out.

[00:04:11] Dan: Yes,

[00:04:12] yes,

[00:04:12] Raj: You’ve read it, so, you’ve read part

[00:04:14] of it at least, so, you know

[00:04:15] Dan: yeah, great which is to say that words, words are your profession, your tool of choice in your profession, and that writing as a endeavor as an art is something you’ve studied for a long time, put a lot of time and effort into honing that craft so this may be your first fiction work, but it’s not Your First

[00:04:35] Work

[00:04:35] in Fiction,

[00:04:36] I guess

[00:04:37] Raj: yeah, well, it’s not my first work in writing for sure I mean, millions of people literally have read my words or heard my words and don’t know it, and and that’s kind of the nature of working in marketing is it’s, it’s been out there, and this was the, the one thing that I have written exclusively because it was a passion project.

[00:04:58] Dan: I love it. I love it. So, how long ago did you start

[00:05:01] writing this book?

[00:05:02] Raj: Yeah, started about seven years ago, and it was, it was after hearing an episode of This American Life about a grief counseling center for children in Salt Lake City, where my wife and I had lived for a year, and I kind of got this big what if question about you know, what if a little boy and a little girl had both met.

[00:05:21] at at this grief counseling center and, or at a grief counseling center and grew up, fell in love, got married. And could their marriage sustain the suspicion that they would cause each other grief in their lives by, that they would be lost to each other? And and it was just such an interesting question, such an interesting way for me to process the experience of getting married, having children.

[00:05:46] Losing jobs losing pregnancies all those things, losing friends, and and then it, it just kind of started flowing out of me.

[00:05:55] Dan: Mm. And, how long did it take you to complete the book?

[00:06:00] Raj: Yeah, so, I think one thing that people don’t really know is that, about writing a book is that you’re not sure when you’re done. In fact, I’m, I’m still not 100 percent sure, but no, I mean,

[00:06:13] I, I, I’m, I’m quite a bit more sure now than I was at the beginning, but I think every author, even you know, Aaron Sorkin, who’s one of my favorite writers, wrote The West Wing.

[00:06:22] He talks about how he, he, he would take back everything he’s ever written and, and fix it. And so yeah, done is a very weird question, but. I thought that I was done about two years in. I’d written about 50, 000 words and that was, you know, kind of weekend warrior stuff. It was coffee shops and, and late nights.

[00:06:42] I wrote a whole bunch on my 10th anniversary weekend because my wife is very patient. And no, thankfully we’re both kind of, Bookish, and so she wanted to read, I wanted to write, and so it’s like, let’s just be near each other and do those things, and it was actually, you know, romance for nerds, so it was great.

[00:06:59] And, and so, about two years in, I thought I was done. I didn’t know what to do from there, and I was listening to the StoryGrid podcast, which is great for anybody who is writing fiction. And and I realized through that and through my professional certification with StoryBrand that I needed a guide.

[00:07:18] I needed somebody to help me get to the finish line with the book. So I hired a developmental editor in 2020. Because, I mean, honestly, like this whole process of writing is like I started right after my third kid was born. He wasn’t even one yet. And and then in 2020, I was like, you know, I really should finish this thing because nothing else is going on right now.

[00:07:44] So, but no, I hired Sheila, my, my developmental editor, who was amazing. And and she helped me what really she did was. She asked all the questions that a reader would ask from a first, second draft of a book and go, Hey, what happened to that character? You know, what’s the end of their story?

[00:08:05] Or why is this person here? What are they doing? And she just poked at all those questions. And the strange experience of writing a book or writing a fiction book is that characters just live in your head. I mean, I literally felt like I had an apartment full of people living in my head while I was writing this book, and and, and so whenever she would ask a question, I knew the answer almost immediately.

[00:08:29] In fact, you know, one of the interesting things about working with an editor is that they’ll suggest things and you’ll know instinctively whether or not what, whether or not their suggestion is right or wrong. And,

[00:08:41] and so it’s like, no, Gabe wouldn’t do that. No, Jenny wouldn’t do that. Or yes, that’s absolutely, yeah, well, of course that happened because this thing happened when they were young.

[00:08:48] And. It’s, it’s so, it’s so bizarre. In fact, I, I read that people who write fiction have greater levels of empathy because they, they essentially walk in other people’s shoes. And and so an unexpected benefit of it you know, was just learning to be more empathetic, but I was just really trying to consider the story from every perspective,

[00:09:16] which is why you should buy an upcoming fiction book. I really think that it’s going to increase your level of empathy in the world.

[00:09:23] Dan: reason. Stay I’m picturing this process, right? Like, I’ve been I just, yesterday morning, found this old doc of a book proposal that I’d written for myself in 2018. And like, I know that that wasn’t even the first draft. But like, I’ve been, and I’ve written some shorter ebooks and things.

[00:09:42] But, But, like, I’ve been flirting with this idea for forever. But usually, well, I obviously have not given considerable effort to it mostly because I’m scared of it not good. You got past that, and then, and then you have to like decide to call it done, so again you have to say, well this is good enough and then you have to sell it, and get people to read it, and say not only is it, you know, good enough for you to write it, good enough for you to call it done, but then also good enough for someone else to to buy it.

[00:10:15] That sounds hard.

[00:10:17] Raj: You know, it is thankfully Donald Miller taught a group of us how he did a course about how to write I think it was Donald Miller teaches writing or something like that in, I think it was in 2020 as well and, or, or maybe early 21. And one of the things he said in there that was really helpful was that writing is a team sport.

[00:10:40] And so, if we were waiting for me to think this is good enough, I would work on it probably until my last day on Earth. And and I would just chip away at every word, every comma, every everything. And I would not, I would not know what good enough actually even means. In fact, it probably would actually get worse at some point.

[00:10:59] There would be diminishing returns on, you know, the language would become too flowery or too obtuse or whatever. And and so instead, hiring an editor was huge. And so you know, one of the things that she told me, even just as we started, was She goes, this is better than any first draft I’ve ever gotten.

[00:11:19] No offense to any of her other clients at all, but I won. No, but I, and, and I said, oh, well, because it’s not the first draft. I mean, at least not in the way that you would think of it. This is the first draft that I’m willing to let other humans see. And and so, cause I’d already been through it several times.

[00:11:36] I used to take my iPad to church and not listen and edit my, my book while I was while I was sitting in the chairs. I don’t do that anymore. But just, it did happen. And. So, you know, I, I had revised it quite a bit on my own. I’d gotten literally as far as I could on my own before hiring people to help me.

[00:11:55] And then there were very, very wonderful guinea pigs in my life including my wife, Lindsay, and her wonderful cousin Amanda and her husband, Ryan, who were the first ones to see the book after Sheila had helped me get. After Sheila had helped me get to a point where we, where it was, it was ready to be seen by humans outside of a professional and my wife.

[00:12:19] So it’s a team sport, that’s, that’s how you get to the good

[00:12:22] enough.

[00:12:22] Dan: yes, yes. Well, it’s a lot to overcome and I applaud your courage in in getting this far and in wanting to continue into into the next phase, which is like we’ve already

[00:12:39] said

[00:12:40] actually

[00:12:40] Raj: All completely white knuckled, I will say, like, just, I am absolutely faking confidence in, in this. Part of it is I think it’s the book Steal Like an Artist that I have not read, but it’s the author of that book who I think is the one who, who. talked about how, like, you’re gonna suck at the beginning.

[00:12:58] Like, you just have to go through that part of it because your tastes outstrip your ability when you start. And thankfully, being a creative professional, I already had experienced that with photography. I’d already experienced that with music. And so for writing, it wasn’t, it wasn’t something that I I actually didn’t expect to be as I didn’t expect it to be as smooth as it was when I started because you know, you know that scene in, in You’ve Got Mail where you know, her pretentious boyfriend is, is writing that, that op ed about, you know or no, about just like Trying to encourage him, he’s like, I am a lone reed, and he’s just like, channeling it, and he’s, whatever, and just banging away on the typewriter.

[00:13:42] That’s what I felt like at the beginning. It was just like, it was just like, coming through me it, it felt super easy to write the beginning, because I, in part, because I was just trying to uncover the story. It felt like I, like I knew the main conflict. I knew what had happened. I also knew how it was going to end from the very beginning.

[00:13:59] I knew how it was going to end. And so for me, it was just like, what happened in between there? And so it was as interesting for me as it hopefully will be for the reader.

[00:14:08] Dan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, just this aside, but I just love that you reference, you’ve got males if it’s like, you know, common cultural canon which I mean, it, it is, it is for me, but I

[00:14:17] just

[00:14:18] don’t know

[00:14:18] if,

[00:14:18] Raj: If

[00:14:19] it’s not, stop listening right now and go, go watch it. I mean, you’re not going to understand anything I say if you haven’t watched this.

[00:14:26] Dan: Oh man, that date, that really dates us, Raj.

[00:14:30] That’s

[00:14:31] Raj: 95, 94, somewhere, maybe 97, but it’s, it’s yeah, movies. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a classic at

[00:14:39] this

[00:14:39] point.

[00:14:39] Dan: It is a classic, yeah. So, Developmental Editor in 2020, that was three years ago, like at the time of this recording, like, what’s, like, what, what’s happened since? So we,

[00:14:50] we got into some, some beta readers, it sounds like and, I mean, I guess it’s just a question of, like, I know this is hard, but it’s also, it’s been a

[00:14:57] long

[00:14:57] time.

[00:14:58] Raj: Yeah, yeah, and that does help too, to be honest, because I, I would say I finished the book in 2021 after I took all of Sheila’s edits, and, and I was in Salt Lake City, it was just a serendipitous thing, I was in Salt Lake City when I finished the last edit, I took my family out to Indian food to celebrate.

[00:15:18] And I even like printed it off at a at a FedEx Kinko’s in Salt Lake City, spent like 85 on printing and put them in my suitcase, my suitcase super heavy on the way home and, and even posed in front of the mountains with my manuscript. And I was like, okay, I’m. Done. And then, one of the beta readers that I had reached out to but, you know, was in the middle of a move and hadn’t, hadn’t had time to read it, got back to me, and he was like, Hey, I feel like there’s one too many characters in the book.

[00:15:52] There, there’s quite a few characters and and so maybe, maybe think about combining and, or, or eliminating a character. And as we’ve talked about, the book is about grief. I could not kill any more characters. I think the, the readers would revolt. So I was like, okay, okay, I can’t do that. And then I realized that, yeah, he was, he was absolutely right.

[00:16:13] Thanks Peter. There were, there was. There were, there were two characters that were both more or less in the same profession same gender both close to the, the family. It made so much sense to combine them, to give each of them more screen time, quote unquote, page time. And it, and it actually ratcheted up the drama a little bit.

[00:16:35] So, you know, I thought I was done in 21, and I actually finished January 22. Making that change. A lot of find and replace, which I hope does not go bad on me. I’m, I’m working with a a copy editor now to make sure that we smoothed out all those, but it was really interesting because it added, I actually had to add some material to the book to explain now that, you know this character is also this other character, then, you know, it’s essentially like one person’s best friend, another person’s love interest.

[00:17:04] But and there were two people to start with, but now it’s one person. It’s like, oh, well that adds drama when, you know, the love interest is the other person’s best friend. And, so that yeah, so All that to say, finished January 2022, and then all along I’ve been querying agents to you know, to try to get the book traditionally published, and that process is a disaster.

[00:17:28] It is antiquated as all get out. I, I understand all the reasons for why, why the, why it is the way it is, and I can’t necessarily think of a better system, but it’s still a bad system.

[00:17:38] Dan: Yeah. And so after querying, querying I mean, what I know about the publishing world, let’s just

[00:17:46] about, let’s talk about the system because I think it’s, will be helpful to give context into, you know, your decision to, to, to go the direction you have gone with it. You, there’s Gatekeeper, it’s, I, I put it similar to like trying to get into like a, to Harvard, you know, some Ivy league school of like, it’s, it’s like know, the 1 percent of the 1 percent and you have to have all these other things that are in unfair advantages in order to get it. To the point at which, like, this is where it maybe is not similar to, I don’t know, I don’t know anything about elite colleges, but To the point at which, if you actually could get published You have to have all the things that would make, would render being published by Publishing House, like, not actually helpful at this moment.

[00:18:31] Meaning like, you have a platform, you have a following, you could sell lots of copies, all of these things. That’s my impression of publishing, and that’s also very biased towards non fiction publishing. I don’t know exactly what happens in the fiction world, but yeah. Is that a, is that a accurate read on the publishing

[00:18:51] world

[00:18:51] from your vantage

[00:18:52] point?

[00:18:52] Raj: It’s it’s close. I think that I was trying to think of a better analogy I mean, obviously there’s other industries like music that are are similarly run or at least have been

[00:19:03] Dan: Yeah.

[00:19:04] Raj: but no, I think probably even taking it up a level of thinking about trying to get from essentially high school sports to The Professional Leagues is probably a more apt analogy because in publishing, you, in fiction at least you have to write the book you know, so very similar to being an athlete in high school, I would say you have to write the book.

[00:19:29] And then that has to be good enough. You have to apply to all these you know, agents. So, I think the agents would kind of be like the college level. You have to excel there. You know, so to try to think of going from a high school athlete to being a you know, to being a an elite college athlete, full scholarship is, that’s a huge hurdle there that most kids don’t make.

[00:19:53] And then, to go from there, have an elite career there, to get an agent and be, and get drafted or signed. That’s, that’s like the, the number of levels you’re going. So, in, in publishing it’s, you, you write your book in fiction non fiction books you write a, a proposal and then you write the book after you get, you get signed.

[00:20:12] But you, you, write the book, you submit it to agents, that does feel a lot like a college application process, then the agent works with you, tells you the things that are wrong with your book, and then and then you go fix it, so that process could take a year, maybe more, and then They try to go sell it, and by the way, they may be right or wrong, you know, like, if people had a formula for making hit books, they’d do it, you know, like, there wouldn’t be any not hit books, but people invest millions in books that don’t go anywhere, and so Your agent may or may not be right.

[00:20:48] They may or may not be passionate about your project enough to get it to the next level. They might be waiting for the next, you know, John Grisham, and you are not. And so they, you might just be kind of filling a hole in their schedule while John’s, you know, off doing whatever and trying to get to the next book.

[00:21:06] And then, and then, They take that book after they think it’s finished to to auction, to sell to publishers. And if you can get a publisher to buy it, they will have an editor come in and rework the book again. So you probably have rewritten your book, you know, three to four times after you thought it was done.

[00:21:29] In order to appeal, quote unquote, to the market. And and then it will hit, hit shelves. And if you’re not one of the like elite tier authors like Stephen King, Patterson, those guys you’re not likely to get a ton of support from the from the publisher and you have almost zero control. You, you don’t get to pick your own cover design.

[00:21:51] If they tell you to make edits, you don’t have a lot of pushback in being able to do those things, including adding, deleting characters, all those kinds of things. And, and some of it’s really culturally driven and some of it is. of the moment. It’s almost like timing too that, you know, my book deals heavily with grief and if there happens to be a national tragedy that happens around the time of your, the release of your book that you’ve been working on for two years, tough.

[00:22:21] You know, I don’t know, I don’t know if they pull releases or not or if they reschedule them or whatever, but the point is, is that you’re very much at the mercy of a lot of factors.

[00:22:30] Dan: Yes.

[00:22:31] Raj: to even let your book see the light of day if it happens well at all.

[00:22:36] Dan: Yeah. Well, so you tried, you tried to play that game. You, you, you, you worked on that for a while and that’s not where you’ve landed. So what’s, what’s the plan? Where, where, how, how, how are we moving this

[00:22:46] thing

[00:22:46] forward?

[00:22:47] Raj: Yeah, there’s a great writing coach named Allie Fallon who, who, you know, tweeted one day that The the book industry is like the music industry, it’s just that the book industry doesn’t know it yet. And if you think about the way the music industry is now you know, last night I was listening to a band called Scary Pockets with my kids.

[00:23:10] And Scary Pockets is a kind of spin off of the band Pomplamoose, which really, it was just a YouTube based band. They did this thing called video music where they where the kind of shtick of the whole thing was every instrument, every sound that you hear on their song, they’ve somehow captured on video.

[00:23:27] And and which for those of us who grew up with MTV, doesn’t sound like all that, you know, like of a big deal. But but, you know, but it was original and obviously they’re very talented. Jack Conte, who you know, who is part of that, both of those groups, he started a Patreon and is really supportive of artists, of artists.

[00:23:47] And Anyway, so it’s like this is the way that the music industry is going. It’s being very disrupted by all of these platforms that we have to you know to showcase our work and then if people like it then it blows up and and the funny thing is like now record labels take notice of people who make it for themselves and the book industry has been very very resistant to that.

[00:24:07] They say that they don’t that they won’t publish anything that’s been previously self published. That’s true unless you write the next 50 Shades of Grey, and then they go, well, we’ll make an exception just this time. And and which is, again, very similar to probably what the music industry stance was, like indie, you were kind of thumbing your nose at the industry, all that, until you were interesting enough sales wise for them to go, okay, we’ll forgive your sin of going independent, and, and we’ll support you now.

[00:24:40] And so that for me, it was a lot of it. I also, you know I’ve talked before about how I came up in the nonprofit world, in the church world, and had seven jobs in 10 years, didn’t understand a lot of the politics that happened in that system. And, and then I went out to work on my own as a creative professional and found so much freedom in doing that.

[00:25:02] And then. I’ve, as soon as I write my own passion project, then I start to try to get back into an exclusive system there where the rules are really archaic. I was just like, this sucks. I don’t want to do this anymore. And

[00:25:16] Dan: here, Raj.

[00:25:17] Raj: Well, also, too, I mean, I want to say, like, it’s pretty dehumanizing the way that these things are dealt with, and again, I understand why they get so many submissions.

[00:25:27] Dan: Yeah.

[00:25:27] Raj: It’s common for them to say it’s going to take you six to eight months to even hear back if you’ve been accepted or rejected by the agent. There’s obviously politics, like there’s this cliché of them saying that you don’t need to have a job in publishing to get published. And it’s like, well, why would that even be a cliché?

[00:25:43] Like, why would you, it’s sort of like, why would you even bring up that there’s no snakes in my car? You know, it’s like, what do you mean? It

[00:25:55] makes me worry.

[00:25:56] Dan: hand.

[00:25:56] Yes.

[00:25:57] Raj: Exactly. And and so it’s like, I mean, six to eight months to even get an email reply. And even then it’s a form reply. There’s no way of. Typically, you don’t typically get personalized feedback of like, Oh, you know, the topic’s too heavy, or the humor, or whatever.

[00:26:13] Like, you don’t get any of that. So you can’t change anything. You can’t improve in the process. It’s just spaghetti against the wall to see if something sticks over and over again. And I have a job and a family. And I, I can’t devote full time living in a cabin just spamming, you know agents to, to try to get.

[00:26:34] Workout the world that I think will legitimately help people.

[00:26:37] Dan: Yes. Uh, and so then, so that’s not, that’s, that’s not how we’re doing it.

[00:26:44] How are we doing it? What’s,

[00:26:46] alternative

[00:26:46] path?

[00:26:47] Raj: so self publishing, you know, and and I got this advice a lot You know Well, I don’t even know if I would call it advice But this comment a lot when I talked about trying to go the traditional route and people like well Have you considered self publishing? It’s sort of like Yeah, it’s like when your doctor’s like well if you consider your diet and exercise and it’s like yeah, I mean it’s yes but But I hadn’t really seriously considered it until I saw Ali’s tweet about, about the publishing industry.

[00:27:18] And it’s like somebody who’d been traditionally published saying that this is the new viable path really lent a lot of credence to it. And Once I decided to go this route, I started realizing what a natural fit it was for my skill set, where it’s like one of the big things that, that you know publishing houses do for you is they provide marketing and distribution.

[00:27:43] Distribution is still a challenge, although you have Amazon, the largest book retailer in the world, where you can just directly publish to. And and then marketing is what I do for a living. And so I was like, okay, well, if those two problems are solved, then why wait for the gatekeepers to tell them to give me permission to do this?

[00:28:04] So we’re self publishing.

[00:28:05] Dan: Yeah. I love it. I love it. Well, I know there’s a lot that’s TBD about the launch process that we’re, we’re working on and, and developing. At minimum, we’re hoping that people will sign up to pre order and you know, on, on launch day. Get their copy and leave a review.

[00:28:26] Reviews are a huge part of what makes a launch effort continue to grow, and not just be a flash in the pan. And so tell us, you know, just as, as, as we know at this moment, what, what, what can people do to, to be a part of this? And yeah, and, and what, what does the path

[00:28:45] forward look

[00:28:46] like?

[00:28:46] Raj: Yeah. So the nice thing about Getting you know, bringing this back under my own control and, and deciding how this was going to go out in the world is that it, it then made me think about how do I want to launch this book? When do I want to launch this book? I will be turning 40 in March of next year.

[00:29:05] And as anyone properly having midlife crisis, I want to do something big for it. And and so I, I have thought about it and You know, the two bucket list items that I would love to accomplish before my 40th birthday is to get this book out in the world. And then second would be I’ve always wanted, I don’t know what, why exactly, but I’ve always wanted to write at least a 10, 000 check to a charity.

[00:29:31] And and this book is based on a real life counseling center and grief counseling center for children. And so, to me, it seemed like such a natural fit to say, Okay, I don’t actually need the money from this book. And, and, I have never, that’s never why I wrote the book. And and most Authors have side jobs, you know, that that aren’t James Patterson or, you know or, you know anybody who, who writes a book that becomes a movie.

[00:30:03] And most of, most everybody else has a day job. And I, I do, and I’m really honored to, to get to work with the people that, that I do. So I, I don’t actually need the, the royalties from this book. And and so what I’m planning to do is every book that’s ordered between now and my, my birthday at the end of March of 2024 I’m going to give all of the profit away, everything that Amazon or, you know, whatever platform does not take, I’m going to give it away to the sharing place, the, the place that the book is based on and and I am just Really really hoping that people will join me in this effort to let’s get to 10, 000.

[00:30:45] Let’s sell enough books I think it’s probably around 2, 500 books that we’re gonna try to sell I’m also gonna you know, reach out to some folks I spent about 10 years in nonprofit and even though they were a little rocky I’ve got a lot of good friends from those worlds and so we’re gonna see if we can get some matching funds available to you to help just along this, this road to making, making this book about more than me and my 40th birthday and all that, but I mean, ultimately, even if you think I’m an idiot, like you know, and you don’t, even if you’re not that interested in reading the book.

[00:31:17] Just knowing that, you know, several dollars from each copy. Again, everything that Amazon or, or the platforms don’t take is going to go to to the sharing place grief Counseling Center for Children in Salt Lake City. That, you know, 60% of the kids that are there about that have, have lost a dad.

[00:31:35] And and they’re working through this, you know, ages three to 18 and their families, they’re just working through this grief. And so this isn’t, it’s not about me. It’s not about you know, my, my goals as an author or whatever. I’m a almost 40 year old dad. I wear New Balance shoes. I drive a Hyundai.

[00:31:51] Like this isn’t, this isn’t my get rich plan. This is a book that I think will help. Parents and and, and, and people who are kind of struggling with that question of how to, how to get through life that have, have a sense of meaning, have a sense of purpose in their life, and then the, the proceeds all the way up until the book launches will, will go to The Sharing Place.

[00:32:15] And that’s my plan to, it’s, it’s not super sophisticated, I just think that doing something good is going to attract the right people to, to partner on this and, you know bookending it with my, my birthday being kind of the, the cutoff date is kind of just convenient, it’s just a way that we can say, hey, can we in the next six months here Can we, can we all do this together?

[00:32:41] And I’m counting on the power of relationships and the internet and everything to, to really care for these kids that are going through a hard time in Salt Lake, helped this great organization do something amazing in the world, and I will be honored. to just be a part of that.

[00:32:57] Dan: I love that. I love that. Well, I’m, I’m here for it. And I want to ask everyone listening that if we can get the Meaning Movement community behind Raj in this effort both to launch Raj, your, your career as an author, going public as a, as a, as a writer. I know there’s more books in the works that this is just the first and to give you a solid start would be really, really meaningful and also to support.

[00:33:22] Which is an amazing organization so how can people sign up to be a part of a

[00:33:26] part

[00:33:26] of the launch?

[00:33:27] Raj: Yeah, I’m hoping that we’ll have pre order links available by the time of launch of this episode. But if, even if we don’t, either way, if you go to rajlulla. com, R A J L U L L A. com and and add your email address to the list, then that will be the very first place that we’ll, we’ll put the, the link out.

[00:33:45] Also very interested in anybody again, who wants to help with matching donations. I’ve got a. Non profit lined up, so those, those matching donations will also be tax deductible. I’ll be releasing information about that as soon as well. And yeah, I mean, let’s just raise a lot of money for these kids, and these wonderful humans who I’ve gotten to talk to, who, who are, who spend their whole lives helping kids through grief, and what, what could possibly be more.

[00:34:14] Meaningful and important than, than that. So yeah, rajlulla. com and sign up for the email list or hit the pre order links if they’re up by then, and I would just be so honored if you could go on this journey with us.

[00:34:27] Dan: Yeah. And if anyone listening has a, has a podcast, a newsletter, a network, a event, something, any, anything where that Raj can be a part of to, to spread the word about this book reach out as well. So,

[00:34:40] Raj, I’m pumped. I’m sure we’re going to have more conversations about, about this as we move forward, but thanks for coming on and excited to, to watch you yeah, take this next turn in your in your journey.

[00:34:51] Raj: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for the support and you know, even just giving up your platform for a few minutes to be able to talk about this. This is. The kind of thing that I want to see happen for the next six months is just people coming alongside each other for things that are bigger than ourselves.

[00:35:08] And The Meaning Movement is such a great place for that. And I thank you for that.

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