When I first became a publisher and author years ago, my thoughts centered around producing books, manuals, and audio programs. As the publisher of Ascend Beyond Publishing, I would focus on real estate investing and entrepreneurship.
For years, nearly no one new about my publishing endeavors as I did not feel they were relevant nor of interest to the local Columbus GA / Phenix City AL market. As such, the majority of my sales are done online through Amazon, eBay, and my own online store. Practically, no customers are from Columbus, GA. If there are many customers in Georgia, they certainly don’t come to my online store often, they must go through Amazon. But I don’t mind, a sale is a sale. And if the order goes through them, I don’t have to deal with the hassles of book fulfillment.
However, the whole Cobra Collection Agency scam story has forced me as both a publisher and author into a direction I could never have expected. I would be doing work normally associated with journalists such as investigative reporting, fact-checking, writing editorials, and consumer advocate.
Aside from a minor elective I took in high school 23 years ago, I have no formal training whatsoever in journalism. However, I did remember a few basic rules and guidelines. Aside from that, I have had to learn on the fly.
It is gratifying to hear compliments from my friend, Jerry Bolt, and others who regularly read CobraCollectionScam.com. This whole thing is strictly a local community issue. I have traditionally never focused my writings locally because I have, as a general rule, tried to stay anonymous. All of that seems to have changed in the last couple of weeks.
Nearly every day, a few people are either leaving me phone messages, faxes, or emails. They are either other businesses or debtors. I get calls and interruptions to my business at inopportune moments but I do my best to accomodate people who are upset and need help. Simultaneously, I am interviewing people, corroborating information, and organizing the mass in my mind.
I have worked for hours on this case with no financial compensation. I have to admit, it gets mentally draining.
I am trying to be responsible and powerfully effective. I have to decide what is the right thing to say publicly and things that I must keep to myself. I second guess myself all the time because I am trying to anticipate the moves of someone who I now regard as a criminal and has very little moral fiber. I am also trying to find out what crucial piece of the puzzle needs to be found to try to advance this case.
And so as the Publisher and head author for Ascend Beyond Publishing, I feel like I am now a member of the press except that I am simply covering a single story. And I know there are a small but hard-core group of people following CobraCollectionScam.com daily.
The single blog post I wrote months ago became several blog posts. Then it became an information webpage. Then an information website. Now, I regard CobraCollectionScam.com as the “go to” source and authority on this case. It has become an online news source focused on one story, the Cobra Collection Agency scam.
With that revelation, I am more than a publisher. I feel like I am now getting a taste of what it is like to be a member of the press and news media. I have become a journalist-of-sorts, an investigative reporter-of-sorts, and editorial writer-of-sorts. I have no formal credentials and yet here I am doing the job with no financial compensation whatseover. In fact, it is actually costing me time, energy, and some money.
However, maybe when this is all over (hopefully very soon), I will have garnered some goodwill and respect from a whole bunch of new friends and acquaintances.
I have most certainly had to live up to the namesake of my publishing company, Ascend Beyond Publishing. Yeah, baby, that is certainly what had to happen to make CobraCollectionScam.com a powerful news tool.