Like many entrepreneurs, J.J. Hebert’s journey started with a dream. He wanted to become a published author. He wrote several drafts of a fantasy novel and sought literary agent representation. Ultimately, the manuscript wasn’t good enough to attract an agent. So he switched gears and wrote a manuscript entitled Unconventional around 2008, in the middle of the Great Recession.
He landed an agent but wasn’t able to get a traditional deal, as most traditional publishers wanted a “sure thing” and didn’t want to take a risk on a new novelist without a built in platform. One of his writer friends encouraged him to self-publish the book.
This was when self-publishing wasn’t nearly as popular and came with a stigma. J.J. self-published it anyways in 2009 under his own imprint, MindStir Media, and it quickly hit Amazon Best Seller status in a few categories, thanks to some guerilla style marketing. Over time, the book has sold well over 100,000 copies, making it one of the most popular indie inspirational books in history.
Naturally, aspiring authors contacted J.J. about his success. They wanted help replicating his best-selling results. In the early days of MindStir Media, he was able to help many of those authors free of charge, but as the demand for his consulting grew, he had no choice but to start charging for his time.
In 2010, he began offering comprehensive self-publishing services as well, including book design, editing, publishing, distribution, and marketing/mentoring assistance. He connected with local freelancers to handle most of those services for his clients.
Today, MindStir Media is a full-fledged self-publishing company with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Portsmouth, NH. The firm has published nearly 1000 titles, many of which are best-sellers and award-winners.
Kev’s Best ranked MindStir Media as the best self-publishing company, best book marketing company, and best book publisher in Los Angeles. In 2020, J.J. even connected with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington and received a positive review from Harrington himself. He was on the first two seasons of Shark Tank.
The Kevin Harrington Shark Tank connection led to a collaboration with Mariel Hemingway earlier this year. Mariel is an award-winning actress and the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, the renowned novelist. Mariel partnered with MindStir, along with Harrington.
Now, MindStir not only provides author services but also celebrity endorsement services. The company is revolutionizing publishing by helping unknown authors connect with celebrities such as Harrington and Hemingway.
For qualified manuscripts, they will write the foreword, attach their names to the books, and then create video endorsements to be used for promotional purposes on YouTube and other social media networks.
For instance, MindStir Media was able to connect Mariel Hemingway to 7-year-old Isabell Hayden’s children’s book, The Adventures of Amber: Walk in the Woods. Hemingway filmed a promo video that was posted on YouTube.
The video received thousands of views and helped skyrocket the children’s book onto the top spot of an Amazon Best Seller list. The celebrity connection also helped generate tremendous media coverage–about $149,000 worth of coverage on networks like Yahoo News, Film Daily, Influencive and more.
J.J. Hebert’s work in the self-publishing world led to The Good Men Project calling him the “Self-Publishing Guru.” He has also enjoyed other accolades such as International Business Times labeling him the “Entrepreneur to Watch in 2021” and Influencive calling him one of the top entrepreneurs to follow, alongside Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran and Jordan Belfort.
J.J. also shares his business and self-publishing tips on Entrepreneur.com as a contributor and Forbes.com as a member of the Forbes Business Council. LA Weekly crowned him as one of the top Instagram influencers that you should follow. He is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and #1 Amazon best-selling author.
MindStir Media is a multimillion-dollar book publishing firm these days. It all started with a dream. J.J. followed his dream and it became a reality, and then some. You can do the same for yourself if you never give up.
MindStir is offering a self-publishing guide download for those interested in following in J.J. Hebert’s footsteps. Go to mindstirmedia.com to learn more and get in touch with J.J. and his team.