J.J. Hebert is a best-selling author and the owner of the publishing company Mindstir Media. Mindstir Media helps authors self-publish their books. Since 2009, Hebert has been helping authors with book publishing, distribution, marketing, publicity and more through Mindstir Media. As the president of Mindstir Media, Hebert oversees the production of all book titles.
Mindstir Media started based on the success of Hebert’s own best-selling book, Unconventional. He published the book through MindStir Media in July 2009 and then aspiring authors, noticing the success, contacted him to receive advice on the publishing process and marketing. Hebert started taking on author clients in 2010. One of the first author clients that he published through Mindstir Media was Paula Wiseman, who went on to become a best-selling author and an award-winning author for her first MindStir Media published book, Contingency. Since then, Mindstir Media has published hundreds of book titles in various genres. Hebert works one-on-one with each Mindstir author. He also reaches thousands of aspiring authors through his blogs and also through the publishing consultations that he offers.
Do you know what steez is? If so how do you express your steez?
I’ve always thought of it as effortless style. I honestly don’t try to be stylish or fashionable. For me, I think creativity ties into style. You’re either creative or you’re not. And I think if you are creative that shines through as your steez.
When you were younger what was your dream occupation?
Writing was definitely a dream that I had but even before that I dreamed of being a professional baseball player. I played a lot of baseball in my youth and I made a lot of all-star teams and excelled in baseball. I was a pitcher and third baseman for the majority of my career but also played first base quite well.
Who/what inspired you to get into your current field?
J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series definitely made an impact on my writing career early on. The spectacled boy wizard inspired me to try my hand at fantasy novels myself. I wrote several drafts of my own fantasy novel before I wrote Unconventional. Mindstir Media formed organically over time. First, I needed a brand to publish my own book and then MindStir Media also ended up serving to publish books of other authors later on.
What is one current trend that excites you?
I’m not sure that I would call it a trend but print books are still dominant nowadays. E-books still only account for about 30 to 35% of the overall book market. So people are still buying print to this day. I’ve always preferred print over e-book so this is exciting for me, to see that others feel the same way, apparently.
Would you consider your biggest accomplishment?
Landing on numerous Amazon bestseller lists with Unconventional was a huge accomplishment and a great starting point for me and my company. Unconventional has sold over 100,000 units and has even landed in the top 100 best seller list on Amazon. Goodreads also named it a top 5 Christian fiction book. Aside from my own personal writing achievements, it’s been a joy to see other Mindstir Media authors succeed sales wise. I’ve played a role in publishing numerous bestsellers through MindStir Media throughout the years.
What do you think of social media? Has it made an impact on your professional career?
I’m a huge advocate of social media. I’ve been on Twitter since 2009 and I’ve been on Facebook for even longer. I personally run the MindStir Media Twitter and Facebook accounts. The MindStir Media Facebook has about 65,000 fans and is one of the largest writing communities on Facebook. Social media has allowed me to gain many clients throughout the years that I otherwise would not have been able to reach.
If you were to start again, would you do anything differently?
Yes, I probably would’ve created a mobile responsive website for MindStir Media from the very beginning. Last year, we finally created a mobile version of our website but the undertaking was massive. With more and more people accessing the Internet through mobile devices I felt it was absolutely crucial to finally move forward with the mobile version.
What do you see for the future?
For MindStir Media, I see consistent growth in the future. I believe our author sign-ups will continue to increase as will our book sales. As for the book publishing industry as a whole, I see print books remaining the predominant format for a long time and ultimately coexisting nicely with the e-book format.
What’s one piece of advice you can tell our readers?
Persistence is more important than talent. I’ve met countless talented people throughout the years but many of them just don’t have the persistence needed to create a successful company. You have to hustle your butt off if you want to make it in business.