A few days ago I got the inner nudge to contact self-publishing legend Dan Poynter.
I didn’t do it, and now I know why.
Dan was no longer there to reply.
Dan helped me almost thirty years ago, with advice about publishing, and later by sending me clients for my copywriting services, getting me hired as a speaker at publishing conventions, introducing me at giant events like the National Speakers Association where I was the keynote speaker, and more.
Over the decades, we became friends.
He was the first person to ever stay as a guest in my home when I lived in Houston, was the primary resource I turned to for advice about publishing in any form, and was a friend I could talk to about books or cats.
He believed in e-books before I did.
He believed anyone could become an author, and showed them how.
He believed everyone needed encouragement, and offered it to all, including me.
He believed in stunts to get attention, and loved being involved.
When I helped generate the idea for a national publicity event involving President George H. W. Bush, to help promote parachuting, Dan was right there to help.
The former senior President wanted a special parachute.
Dan, being an expert on the subject because of the self-published best-selling book he had written on it, found the chute.
And the news went global.
Since 1969, Dan wrote more than 130 books, many reports, and more than 800 magazine articles, most of them on book publishing.
But he also wrote about – and because of his books became the authority on – other subjects.
When I was asked to be an expert witness in a court, it was Dan who advised me what to do and what to charge.
How did he know?
He had written about it.
Most of the advice I gave people when I was a publishing consultant, and when I was teaching writing and publishing classes, came from experts like Dan.
His books taught me, and I shared what I learned.
When I was broke and unknown and struggling, it was gurus like Dan who gave me a leg up, offered advice, and encouraged me, even when they made no money or had any idea the advice would stick.
Dan Poynter was like that.
We didn’t stay in regular contact over the last few years, so I didn’t know he developed leukemia.
And I didn’t know that he died on November 3, 2015.
That was the day he came to my mind – as if he was saying goodbye.
He was 77.
Dan was the self-publishing guru who helped countless newbie authors – including me.
Thank you, Dan Poynter.
I will miss you.
PS – Dan’s books are relevant to any author. Look him up on Amazon or at http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/