Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview with non-fiction how-to author A. William Benitez

Today’s spotlight shines on non-fiction/how-to author A. William Benitez. The book we’re talking about is A Handyman’s Guide To Profit: Using Your Skills To Make Money In Any Economy.

During his virtual book tour, A. William will be awarding a $5 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop AND a Grand Prize of a $50 Amazon gift card will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too. 

Welcome A. William. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
From age twelve I spent my summers and weekends working with my dad, a general contractor, building homes and buildings. I contracted my first home at age nineteen and built my own home by age twenty. For more than 30 years I have operated one-person businesses. Twelve years of my life were spent working for local government managing federally-assisted housing programs. I started as an inspector with a three month assignment and was Director of Community Improvement with 78 employees when I resigned to do writing and consulting.

During the 80’s I established Rehab Notes Library, a publishing company that published a monthly newsletter (Rehab Notes) with subscribers in all 50 states, Canada and England. I also did consulting and public speaking on housing related topics for agencies and organizations in cities across the country and testified before the U.S. Congress on housing issues.

I wrote and published nine guidebooks on the subject of housing rehabilitation. After 1980, when most federal funding was pulled from housing activities, I took advantage of my construction and business experience and started a handyman and woodworking business.

For over twenty-five years, first in Tampa, Florida and then in Austin, Texas, I did handyman and repair jobs and built hundreds of small and large cabinet and furniture projects for individuals, companies and government agencies. During these years I began writing books about my woodworking business experiences.

In 2007, I established Positive Imaging, LLC, to publish a children’s book for my wife and then begin publishing my own books on the handyman and woodworking business and also books written by others using methods I call positive publishing. To date we have published fourteen paperback books, a half dozen e-books, and presently have several books in various levels of completion.

My computer experience dates back more than sixteen years and began in response to poor technical support for our computers. I used home study to acquire A+ and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Certifications.

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and moved to Austin, Texas in 1986, where I now live with my wife, Barbara Frances. We have three adult children, eight grand-children, and two great grandchildren.

Please tell us about your current release, The Handyman’s Guide To Profit: Using Your Skills To Make Money In Any Economy.
This book helps anyone with some home repair skills to start immediately using those skills to make money and start a lucrative business.

With Millions of Jobs Lost, This Economy Is Ideal For Self Employment

Start Right Now Using Proven Financially Successful Methods

Based on more than 25 years of personal, hands on, self employment experience, my book can help you start immediately making money with your home repair skills because it is a complete course on succeeding in the home repair business. I cover every step from getting started to the day-to-day operation of the business using methods that worked for many years.

This is no pie in the sky romancing about self employment. It takes good home repair and business skills to operate a business successfully and now you can learn exactly how to use your present skills to succeed financially in the handyman business.

What inspired you to write this book?
Years ago I had a profitable consulting and publishing business assisting federally funded housing programs across the country to succeed. My reputation was established and I was selling books, a monthly newsletter, and traveling around the country to help communities leverage the housing funds received from the federal government. Unfortunately, after a national election, everything changed and all the housing funds disappeared and so did my business. If not for my handyman and carpenter skills I would have been in real trouble.

I quickly purchased and outfitted a small trailer with all the handyman tools I needed and hit the ground running. After just a few ads in local weekly papers I was working every day and making a decent living. At first most of the jobs were small and could have easily been handled by someone with limited experience and that was good because money flowed promptly.

As time passed I started taking larger jobs and gradually moved from just handyman work to small remodeling jobs and finally, after renting a small shop, to woodworking which I continued for over twenty five years. This experience motivated me to write the book to help others during the recent economic downturn.

Like losing a good job, a business failure can be traumatic and impose a serious financial hardship but with a few handyman skills anyone can quickly start making money. I know that first hand and my book The Handyman’s Guide To Profit: Using Your Skills To Make Money In Any Economy can help you do the same on a full time or part time basis.

How Much To Charge

One of the most important and seemingly complex topic in any business is how much to charge. It is critical to get this right because charging too much will cause you to lose jobs and not charging enough will certainly cause you to lose money. Either way your business will suffer. In Chapter Six you will find a concise method to determine how much to charge with a solid secondary method that will help you to check your prices after carefully calculating them. This chapter also helps you to determine when to raise your prices so you can always get the highest possible prices for your work.

How much you get paid is important but even more critical is getting paid in full for every job. This involves knowing when a contract is necessary and how to prepare one. It also involves solid collection procedures and Chapter Seven describes exactly how to make certain that you collect for every job. In addition to clear and concise instructions, this book contains direct links to forms that you can easily use as necessary to run your business so you won't have to spend time creating your own forms.

What exciting book are you working on next?
I am working on something completely out of my normal range of topics. For over fifteen years I have wanted to write about relationships and now I have the book written and am into editing. I hope to have it published by the end of May.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Years ago when I was directing municipal housing activities for the City of Tampa, Florida, a national housing organization asked me to write a book for them to sell nationally. I wrote the book and it motivated me to write many more how to books on housing and now on business and self publishing.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
While I write a lot, it is not full-time. I am the IT Manager for the Hyatt Regency hotel in Austin, Texas and I operate Positive Imaging, LLC, my publishing business. I make time to write and do so at least one hour every weekday and three or eight hours every weekend. Sometimes it’s difficult but you just have to choose to write over other activities.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist. I took art classes during all of my high school years but went to work right out of high school and was unable to pursue an art career. As it turned out, I prefer writing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My desktop computer and my laptop are much more than just workstations to handle databases, spreadsheets, letters, contracts, etc. They are my shops where books, e-books, covers, blogs, web sites, and many more projects are created. While studio is probably a more appropriate name for the place where these creative tasks take place, shop strikes a more accurate cord with me after running my own woodworking shop for over 25 years.

My woodworking shop contained a large collection of useful hand and power tools used to build furniture and cabinets for which I was commissioned. Perhaps that's why I view the large collection of software programs (applications) in my computer and laptop as the tools of my present work. I couldn't function without the woodworking tools and in the same way I'm careful to select tools that serve me well for my writing and publishing business.

Thank you A. William.

Readers, don’t forget about the gift card giveaways going to lucky commenters!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting my book on your blog. I look forward to responding to comments or questions.


Andra Lyn said...

Wow! You seem like quite the "Jack-of-All Trades"!! Is there any one profession, or area of expertise that you feel you are 100% the best at?

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

Andra, thanks for posting. That is a tough question. I really enjoy it all but love writing the most. I like woodworking a lot because it gets me away from computers and the desk and lets me work with my hands.

Unknown said...

This sounds like as close to a fool proof, recession proof answer to my son's ongoing dilemma: "What should I do with my life?" I've got to grab him a copy and see if I can spark some interest. The fact that you've proven it a success armored with basic knowhow and fortitude is encouraging. Thanks for sharing.


Unknown said...

Elise-Maria, thanks for your post. This really is a good and simple business in any economy. I did it for years and grew it into a lucrative woodworking business.If your son has some basic home repair skills he can expand them into a one person business quickly. I would welcome hearing from him with any questions.

Rita Wray said...

What a great book. Most people don't try to do the little jobs themselves. When my husband and I finish a job we are very proud of ourselves.


Unknown said...

Thanks Rita, I appreciate your post.

MomJane said...

Loved your comments. It sounds as though you really love what you do. I hope a lot of people read this book.

Unknown said...

MomJane, thanks for your post. I've worked hard all my life but always doing work that I really enjoyed and now I'm enjoying doing the work at home and writing about it to help others.

Check out for recent jobs I've done at my home.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the convergence of writing and home repair!


bn100 said...

Interesting bio

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

What a wonderfully useful book.


Brooke Showalter said...

What a great interview. Thank you for sharing this, I loved getting to learn more about the author. He is quite talented. This book is important to today's economy.

brooke811 at ymail dot com