IHS: Welcome, Frank! Thank you for being with us today. We are excited to have you! Can you please tell our followers who you are, what city you're from?
Frank: Frank Zaccari and I divide my time between my homes Sacramento, CA and Scottsdale, AZ.
IHS: Okay, Great! What is the title of the book you just completed with us?
Frank: We have completed three of my five books:
IHS: Great titles and inspiring stories! What was your favorite part about listening to this book come to life?
Frank: All my books are based on real life emotional life altering events, so my favorite part was reliving the story as I listened. Very exciting. The narrators were excellent and captured the listener with their emotional inflections.
IHS: Your books' narrators are really great performers! Ok moving on, whether fiction or non-fiction, books are truly inspired work from authors. What was your inspiration for this book?
Frank: My books are all based on real life stories. Everyone has those AHA moments or events that change our lives for better or worse. These life altering events occur in every aspect of our professional, personal, and in the lives of our family. Try as we may, it is impossible to completely separate the events in our personal life from our professional life. Believe me, I tried and failed miserably. Life altering events present us with opportunities to seize the moment and make difference in our own life, the lives of our loved one, friends and business associates. My goal is to show the readers and listeners they are not alone. No matter how devastating their life altering event appears, it is a fork in the road where we can fall apart or pick up the pieces and start moving forward toward better times and better people. It is never too late to have the life you want and deserve.
IHS: That's great! Is your primary business writing? If so, what do you do for fun? If not, what do you do “in real life”?
Frank: Hopefully my audio books will sell a million copies each and I can become a full time writer, but until that happens, I am currently a business advisor/mentor, professional problem solver, author, speaker and host of a weekly internet radio show “Life Altering Events” on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment channel.
IHS: A man of many talents. Okay, next question. Many authors are not audiobook listeners by nature. Are you? Have you ever listened to an audiobook before your own?
Frank: This is a great question. I started listening to audio books in my car when I was making a 90 minute commute in each direction a few years ago. I have to admit, since I don’t make that killer commute each day, I haven’t listened to very many audio books until mine came out.
IHS: Audiobooks are really great driving companions, aren't they? Okay, when you were listening to your narrator auditions, what was it like to hear your book get voiced by different people?
Frank: I want to hear the passion and emotion in their voices. I write in a very conversational style so I want the narrator to capture the emotion of the conversation. I am very happy with narrators for each book. Each story has a very different theme”
“Five Years to Live” is a family dealing with a catastrophic injury to a loved one.
“Inside the Spaghetti Bowl” is a family coming home to deal with the death or a parent.
“When the Wife Cheats” is about a man with custody of his two young daughters handling the devastating loss of a cheating wife.
IHS: You have been lucky with your choices of narrators. So, what were you most worried about when starting out with this audiobook process? Did the worry happen or was it unjustified?
Frank: My biggest worry was, will the narrators capture the passion and emotion of each conversation in each story. We have all heard professional training cassettes and audios that were monotone and boring as hell. Could the narrators touch the emotions and feelings of the listeners? Could they make the listener feel like they were in the room?
My fear was unfounded. I could not be more pleased with the narration.
IHS: We're happy that you were pleased. So, in hindsight, was there anything that you probably ACTUALLY should have been worried about instead?
Frank: I used Kimberly Hobscheid, CEO of “I'm Hearing Stories’” who is a great friend, to handle the production. She is amazing. The marketing and promotion is always a worry and concern. I am not a celebrity or high profile author, so differentiating myself from the herd was and continues to be a worry. Hopefully this interview will drive more sales.
IHS: More sales is definitely what we're aiming for. Okay, let’s talk reviews. Do you read your reviews and will you read your listener comments? What do you most like to see in the comments?
Frank: I read and try to commit on every review. Thankfully, the vast majority of reviews are very positive and I want the reviewer to know I appreciate they took the time to provide feedback. The ones I enjoy the most are from people who have experienced a similar life altering event and the book gave them hope and courage to pick up the pieces and start moving forward.
IHS: Once a book is finished, then the work of marketing begins. What do you do to spread the word about a new release?
Frank: Since I don’t have unlimited funds or a major publishing house to help me promote, I have to be very strategic and frugal. Posts on social media, virtual book tours, interviews, and speaking engagements. Starting July 23rd, I will be hosting a weekly internet radio show on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment channel, called “Life Altering Events.” This will give me the opportunity to promote my books during the show.
IHS: An online radio show! Yes, that should work well for promoting and marketing your books. Okay now, what advice would you give those who are thinking about becoming an author?
Frank: Write about what you know and love. Being authentic is critical. It will keep you writing through the “brain freezes” we all get and keep you motivated when you start getting depressed from the constant proof reading and editing. If you love what you are writing about it doesn’t become a burden. In my case I wrote my books between 10:00 PM and 4:00 a.m. when my daughters were asleep. I always felt invigorated while I was writing.
IHS: What advice would you give authors who are thinking about doing an audiobook from their published book?
Frank: Have realistic expectations. Odds are you aren’t going to sell one million copies. For me the audio books are another potential source of revenue, exposure, and keep the momentum from the published books.
IHS: So practical, and as you said, realistic! Now, what was the best part for you about working with I’m Hearing Stories. Would you recommend I’m Hearing Stories to other authors thinking about creating an audiobook?
Frank: I strongly recommend working with Kimberly Hobscheid at I’m Hearing Stories. She takes the pain and the stress out of the process. There were no surprises and she is without question the single most positive and happy person I have ever met.
IHS: Thank you so much for trusting us with your books and for your input! Okay, just for fun now, why don't you give us your Top Ten Bests....
Top 10 Best Books Frank Read In the Last Year:
The Five Second Rule – Gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone.
Leaders Eat Last – Show the value of servant leadership
Crucial Conversations – Focus not only on what you say but how you say it.
The Culture Code – A great strategy in a toxic culture will fail.
Winner Instinct – The rules of the game have changed and we have to adjust and anticipate the next steps in our life and careers
The Art of Preventing Stupid – Most errors are preventable if you are constantly planning.
Grit - Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.
Mindset – Everyone can learn to develop an open and positive mindset.
On the Edge of Effectiveness – Create, believe and follow your processes and passion.
Life Derailed - In dealing with the sorrow of divorce or a major loss in your life/family, take one breath at a time.
Top 10 Craziest Accomplishments Frank Made:
1. Raising 2 daughters as a single father my most challenging and rewarding accomplishment.
2. Changing careers at age 50 so I could be home to raise my daughters.
3. Writing and self-publishing five books
4. Starting a speaking career at age 63.
5. Starting a consulting business at age 63.
6. Starting a radio show at age 66.
7. Watching my daughters become happy, successful women – despite having me as single parent.
8. Turning around multiple businesses.
9. Having a role with a National Championship Volleyball program at the University of Washington.
10. Getting remarried to the love of my life at age 61.
Top Things Frank would Do If He Gets Ridiculously Rich:
1. Get a place on the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
2. Provide a trust for my grandchildren’s education and future.
3. Create a foundation to assist returning military veterans assimilate back into civilian life.
4. Buy the San Diego Padres – I am tired of seeing them flounder.
5. Produce a Netflix movie.
IHS: Thank you! Now, how can our followers learn more about you?
A native of western New York, Frank Zaccari served as a military medic in the U.S. Air Force before spending over 20 years in the high-tech industry. His experience included everything from holding senior positions with Fortune 50 organizations to turning around small and mid-size companies. After becoming a single, custodial parent, Frank left the high tech industry in order to be home to raise his children. He created, managed and sold one of the most profitable insurance agencies in Northern California. Frank has written and published five books based on life altering events. He teaches a program for aspiring entrepreneurs at Arizona State University, is an accomplished speaker, a mentor and judge for the University of California Entrepreneurship Academy and a mentor for the Sacramento Veterans Treatment Court.