Interview with Expat author - Alan Wagoner
One of our expat interviewees is back with an ebook he wrote about life in Spain. Find out what led him to write a book the hardest part of the process and what the Wagoners are planning next!
I’m Alan, and I’m half of Wagoners Abroad. I’m the funny half (rim shot). I’m from the U.S.A (North Carolina), and am currently living in Almuñécar Spain with my wife and two kids.
1. Why did you move abroad?
The big reason was to continue our dream of living abroad, and experiencing foreign cultures. Secondary reasons were, getting out of the Rat Race, reconnecting with each other.
2. How do you make a living? Are you a fulltime writer?
We live off of our investments, some savings, and the monetization of our blog. I’m not a fulltime writer, but that said, I’ve recently published Live In Spain, and am currently working on a new book focusing on photography. That in combination with creating content for our blog, I guess I am a fulltime writer.
3. How did you start the process of writing a book and get it published? Did you go to a publisher? Self-publish?
The process was borne out of our experience applying for our Resident Visas for Spain. It was a complicated process, and I remember us wishing we had a book that would have answered our questions. I did go the self-publishing route primarily due to costs. The topic of my book is a very small niche, so a high sales volume was not likely. After communicating with several other writers, I decided on the Gumroad platform, as it provides a higher profit margin, and they handle all the payment processing.
4. What was the hardest part of taking your writing to a book format? Did you blog before writing your book?
The hardest part was realizing midway through how much I had to write. We had more information to cover than I initially thought. Heidi and I have been blogging in some form or another since 1997, so handling the transition from “bite size” content to a book was challenging.
5. What is your perception of the expat book market? Or is there a niche you consider your book to be part of?
I’m amazed at the sheer volume and quantity of expat books that are available. The ability for an author to self-publish is fantastic, and allows more content to be available. My book is definitely in a niche market, but I was aware of that before I started writing it.
6. What is your favorite part of the book?
It’s a part that I agonized over and over. I spent so much (probably too much) time concerned with the formatting, layout and content, but it is a key part of the book that ties in all the information provided, and presents information in a single table. The part of the book that I’m referring to is an Appendix which contains a table that lists all the required documentation and approvals required for the Visa Application, which greatly helps the reader stay organized.
7. What was the most difficult part to write?
The aforementioned Appendix was difficult from the standpoint of me being a perfectionist when it came to the layout, but from a content creation standpoint, it was the chapter where I go into great detail about gathering the necessary documentation.
8. Besides your book, what book should everyone read?
That’s a tough question, but I think any book that inspires people to pursue their dreams and attain happiness is a good book in my opinion. I will say that Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth was instrumental in us getting excited about breaking out of our rut, and pursuing our goal of international travel.
9. What advice would you give to other expats that want to write a book?
Plan out your ideas before you start writing. Spend time just freethinking ideas and concepts that you want to incorporate in your book. Trying to be the Creator, Editor, and Writer all at the same time can be frustrating. Don’t fret over the formatting initially, as you may find that it will change quite a bit as your content grows, and how you decide to publish (ePub, PDF, Mobi, etc.). Lastly, writing the book is the easy part. Marketing your masterpiece is the next big hurdle. Plan accordingly.
10. What are you working on now? Do you have plans to publish another book?
Photography is a bit of a hobby of mine, and I’m currently working on a book for beginners. My wife recently published Let the Kids Cook, and it’s currently available on Amazon.
Alan Wagoner is a lover of technology and travel. He’s written Live In Spain as a guide to help those who are interested in obtaining residency in Spain. He currently lives in Spain with his wife Heidi and two kids. Together they run the Wagoners Abroad blog where they share their experiences, and hope to inspire others to pursue their travel dreams.
Buy the e-book, Live in Spain, and follow them on social media on YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and through TripAdvisor reviews.