Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview: Mitch Stephen, Author of My Life and 1000 Houses

Our special guest is Mitch Stephen, author of the nonfiction title, My Life and 1,000 Houses: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom. Mitch has been a full time investor since March '96. He's flipped over one thousand properties in his career. In 2007, Mitch was honored by the San Antonio Real Estate Investor's Association (SREIA) when the board voted to dedicate the offices in his name, and the “Mitch Stephen Investment Center” was born. This author is also an avid songwriter.

Thanks for joining us today, Mitch. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am the owner of several real estate related businesses:

www.Cash4Houses.NET  – We buy houses
www.Homes2Go.NET – We sell houses
www.Loans2Go.NET – We loan money to investors
www.CanyonLakeStorage.com – We offer boat and mini storage

I like writing songs and investing in real estate in San Antonio, Texas. I am also the author of the book My Life & 1,000 Houses: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Hunting with my brother and my mother and father.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing songs in the 7th grade (1974).

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I like writing whenever and wherever I’m at. I especially like to take writing vacations in Play Del Carmen Mexico.

What is this book about?

My Life & 1,000 Houses is the autobiographical account of an amateur entrepreneur who stumbles upon the longstanding revelations of money, business, love and life while struggling to find financial freedom. Readers will see what happens to this entrepreneur after the “get rich” seminars and CDs and experience this investor’s highs and lows as he moves towards into becoming a professional at his craft.

What inspired you to write it?

Something tragic happened in my life. Forest Gump ran…Mitch Stephen wrote. Certain people had been prompting me to write for years. I wanted to write but always seemed to be too busy. After the tragedy, I made time to write.

Who is your biggest supporter?

Momma! God Bless mommas! The truth is I have a lot of great support; from my wife to my father to my sister-in law, all my business partners and friends. I am a very lucky guy!

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

I believe a person could wait a long time for a publisher to bless their project. I’m sure more than a few have died waiting for the mail to arrive every day for years on end. There are too many reasons why publishers may not choose to get behind your work and it may not be your fault or the lack of a great product. Maybe they already spent their budget. Perhaps they don’t understand your market. It could be the simply didn’t have time to get to you. Personally, I didn’t wait for anyone’s approval. I self-published!

Let’s face it, in today technological world, you can write a book and convert it into a digital download for a few hundred bucks…and be for sale in a very short period of time. I was thinking of holding a physical book in my hand when I wrote My Life & 1,000 Houses, but, I now know I could have gotten off the ground without the time and expense of shooting for a physical book – paperback version.

In today’s market, book stores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble can sell your book using “print on demand” (POD). Smaller shops can offer a digital download of your book and share in the proceeds. Beyond that, you can open shop yourself with a simply home page website built with credit card acceptance and digital download capabilities, making the need for physical inventory and a non-issue. Sell enough digital downloads and your paperback version could be paid for in advance.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

My book is available in almost any format you could ask for at my personal website www.1000Houses.com. It is also available at Amazon.com, but you will not get a CD of my music represented in the book if you order from others.

Audio CD
Kindle (Amazon)
Nook (Barnes & Noble)

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I have a blog at my website www.1000houses.com or you can go to www.Mitchstephen.wordpress.com

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I self-published through BookSurge.com. John Rieck was my representative through BookSurge. He was very helpful. I also took the initiative and got my book into every format I could.

Aaron Peterson 208-514-6631 was very helpful in helping make many of these versions of my book available. I’m not making any money for referring him, but please tell Aaron that Mitch Stephen recommended him…so that he’ll know I appreciate his help.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Be yourself
Find your audience
Learn to market yourself

What is up next for you?

The book is just over 400 pages. The first half of the book is autobiographical and on a timeline from beginner to professional. The second half of the book consists of 18 stories. These stories lend to the adage that life is stranger than fiction. It would have been hard for me to make this stuff up. I already have about 20 more stories in waiting. So, there may be some More Stories from My Life & 1,000 Houses.

www.1000Houses.com in the Education Store (Bottom – Right corner). While I try to keep the reading lively, it is more of a lesson plan by nature because so many have asks for literature drilling down into various aspects of investing; How to start a real estate investing business, how to start with little or no money, how to find bargain properties, how to find private money for investing, how to deal with contractors, how to sell your properties etc., etc.

Is there anything you would like to add?

(Music site…I’m a songwriter on a good day)

(My house selling site)

(My book selling site and Education Store for investors)

Thanks for spending time with us today, Mitch. We wish you continued success. 

Mitch Stephen

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