Community//

A bestselling book must “stand the tests of time,” an interview with authors Sara Connell & Vid Lamonté Buggs Jr.

When creating a classic and/or a bestseller, a writer needs to write something that will be memorable throughout the tests of time. One way of creating something memorable is by touching someone’s heart. This may be in a loving manner; a relatable manner; or a diabolical manner (let’s face it controversy sells). There are millions […]


When creating a classic and/or a bestseller, a writer needs to write something that will be memorable throughout the tests of time. One way of creating something memorable is by touching someone’s heart. This may be in a loving manner; a relatable manner; or a diabolical manner (let’s face it controversy sells). There are millions of books out there, what makes your book different? I know my books have been successful because my writings are relatable but deal with subjects that most people are hesitant to talk about, yet I give an unique perspective writing in a lyrical and unconventional way.

Aspart of my series on the “5 Things You Need To Know To Write A Bestselling Book” I had the pleasure of interviewing Vid Lamonté Buggs Jr.

Vid Lamonté Buggs Jr is an Athlete. Scholar. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Bestselling Author. Speaker. Poet. Consultant. Volunteer. Coach. A modern-day “Renaissance man,” Vid Buggs is a man of diverse interests who directs his many talents towards bringing people together, encouraging them to look past their differences to unite to make the world a better place. Vid and his companies 4-U-Nique Publishing and VLB/VBJ Enterprises have been featured in several publications including USA Weekly, Huffington Post, and Forbes.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I grew up in Hampton, VA. Before I was born the odds of me living past 25 were already against me. On my mother’s side of the family, it was said to be a curse that the males in the family didn’t live past the age of 29. When I was born, doctors said I wouldn’t be able to walk or run normally due to being born with a back issue and problems with my feet. My guidance counselors and some of my teachers doubted my academic success due to my speech and reading issues. I went on to graduate with highest honors and have obtained multiple degrees. By having a warrior’s Mindset, I realized that accomplishment starts and ends with me.

While I battled the doubts of others and because I had rage in my heart when I was younger, I held a lot in. Sports became an outlet but due to the pressures of being good at sports, I looked for another outlet. I found my outlet when I went on a field trip in 8th grade. While on this trip, I purchased Nas’s first album ILLMATIC. When I heard Illmatic I was amazed. Nas was a high school dropout but he was and still is a musical poet who painted pictures with his words. I studied Nas’s album. Nas and his album influenced me to write and read more.

Fast forward a few years, my older sister stumbled upon something I wrote and encouraged me to go to College for writing. However, I immediately brushed her advice off. It was more to due to the fact that where I am from writers weren’t respected unless they were rappers. Although I didn’t major in English or Creative Writing, many of my college professors tried to guide me into taking writing more seriously. I became serious about writing and helping others after I read some of my work to a friend who was going through a serious situation. After I read my friend one of my pieces, he asked did Socrates or Aristotle write what I had read him. I laughed because I thought it was a joke, but he was serious. After I told him it was I who had written the piece, he encouraged me to help others by sharing my writings with the world.

What was (so far) the most exhilarating or fulfilling experience you’ve had as an author?

The most exhilaration and fulfilling experience I’ve had, as an author is when I get to do a speaking engagement at a school. Inspiring others, especially the youth is a fulfilling experience that will never get old to me. It helps put everything into perspective for me.

I recently did spoke to a class at Pepin Academy in Tampa, Fl. What an experience. The kids were great. They were fully engaged and asked wonderful questions about being an author and publishing. The after I spoke, I was invited to stay longer to speak to her next class. The teacher reviled that both of the classes that I spoke to were classes full of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They were so engaged with my story of how I became an author and the publishing process, that you wouldn’t know they had ADHD.

A few weeks after speaking at Pepin Academy, the students sent me individual thank you cards, detailing how I inspired them to go after their goals and dreams.

What was the craziest, weirdest, wildest experience you’ve had as a bestselling author?

The craziest, weirdest, wildest experience I’ve had as a bestselling author was seeing my books on the bestselling and must-read lists. The first time I saw that “You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m Starving” made a bestseller’s list I almost fainted. It wasn’t the fact that I made a bestseller’s list; it was the fact that I was on the list and ahead of some of my writing inspirations like, Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou.

What is the greatest part about being a successful, bestselling author? What is the worst (if anything) part?

The greatest part about being a successful, bestselling author is I get to help others reach their potential and accomplish their goals. Being a successful author as helped me get speaking engagements. My publishing company, 4-U-Nique Publishing, has acquired clients due to my accomplishments as an author.

The worst part of being a successful, bestselling author, I would have to say the expectations that readers place on you and your next book. When you are successful people want the next book like yesterday. I’m not an author who just writes to write. I very much write when I’m inspired instead of forcing myself to write. My process is a very time consuming and I may go a few years between books.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?

I know my books have been successful because my writings are relatable but deal with subjects that most people are hesitant to talk about, yet I give an unique perspective writing in a lyrical and unconventional way.

Which writer or leader has had the biggest impact on you as a writer?

Nas has had the biggest impact on me as a writer. If it wasn’t for his album Illmatic, I’m not sure if I would have became interested in writing.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge that I faced in my journey to becoming a bestselling author was just being able to get out of my own way. I am a perfectionist and I am a very private person. I had to accept the fact that if I were going to help inspire others through my works I would have to lose some of my privacy and become a public figure. I also had to accept that if I waited until my writings were perfect then I would never release any books. What is seems perfect in one moment may not seem perfect in the next. In understand this I was able to produce something that is authentic, unique, and inspiring.

I will share a short story about the issue that I had with being a perfectionist and not wanting to be a public figure. “You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m Starving” was set to for release and I called my editor and mentor Marci Wise. I told her that I didn’t want to release my book because I didn’t think it was good enough and I wanted to stay as an unknown writer. Her advice was, “Vid, It’s ok to feel vulnerable. You are very hard on yourself but nothing is perfect. In fact, it was you who said ‘our imperfections are what makes us perfect’. People need to read this book. I will share something that I haven’t told anyone yet. I have decided to go to graduate school as a 40 plus year old. Your book inspired me to do so. Also, being a published author is the best business card anyone could have”.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career? What lesson(s) did you learn?

This is a tough question to answer because I don’t look at anything as a failure. I think everything is a lesson learned. Quite honestly, I don’t expect too much or too little this way nothing is a surprise or disappointing to me.

I guess the challenge I have learned the most from in my writing career is to take time to enjoy the accolades. I am always doing my best to improve, setting goals and accomplishing them that I rarely take the time to look at my accomplishments.

Last year a friend asked me how does it feel to have published a few books and have your own publishing company? I wasn’t able to answer him. I never took the time to admire my works and I didn’t think any of those things were big deals because I simply was doing what I was called to do. He told me that I needed to take time out to enjoy my accomplishments because very few people have accomplished what I have accomplished.

What are the 5 things you would tell your younger self who was just starting out on their writing journey?

Here are 5 things you need to know to write a bestseller:

When I was writing my books “You Ain’ Hungry Until I’m Starving” and “Vid’s Viddles: Daily Vitamins for the Soul,” I was actually just writing as an outlet and I had no intention to take my writings and make them into a book for others to read. It was my best friend who read some of my writings and insisted that I sharing my writings to the world because he felt they would help others. As I was preparing my bestseller “You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m Starving,, to become a book, I stumbled into 5 things that everyone should know so their book has the best possibility to become a best seller.

1. What are your expectations for your book?

To me, this is the foundation of a bestseller. There are many great written books but not as many bestsellers. My theory is, not enough thought goes into “What do I truly want this book to do? Do I want it to help people all over the world? Do I want it to cause a serious discussion? Do I want it to be read by people all over the world?” Yes, everyone wants their book to be read, but not everyone knows what kind of impact they want their book to have. When you know what the specific expectations you want from your book, you can write wholeheartedly and you know who and how to market your book.

When I started to put my writings together and create “You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m Starving,” I set my expectations high. I didn’t just want my book to be published and read. I wanted my book to be read by everyone in the world because I want to help everyone. I want everyone to be successful and experience overall happiness in life. So I geared my book towards this thinking. I promoted my book to people in all parts of the world. I believe this is why my books have been successful and critical acclaimed.

2. Knowing your Target Audience (Customer).

Knowing who you are going to market to is another major factor in writing a bestseller. Thank God, for my mentor and editor Marci Wise. Before I met her I was like many other writers, I just wanted people to read my writings. While working on “You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m Starving”, Marci asked me, “Who do you want to read your book? Who’s your targeted audience?” I naively answered, “I want everyone to read my book”. Her reply was, “Yes, Every author wants everyone to read their book, but who is your book specifically geared towards. Knowing this will help you know who to market to.” Marci was right. When I figured out who my target audience was, I was able to understand what platforms I needed to go to or be on, who to market to, and the budget I needed to capture my targeted audience’s attention. By satisfying your target audience, your target audience will in return tell others about your book. What’s better than word of mouth advertising?

3. Will your book strike a chord (interest) with readers?

When creating a classic and/or a bestseller, a writer needs to write something that will be memorable throughout the tests of time. One way of creating something memorable is by touching someone’s heart. This may be in a loving manner; a relatable manner; or a diabolical manner (let’s face it controversy sells). There are millions of books out there, what makes your book different? I know my books have been successful because my writings are relatable but deal with subjects that most people are hesitant to talk about, yet I give an unique perspective writing in a lyrical and unconventional way.

Remember, people are willing to freely share memorable experiences, whether good or bad. Create many memorable and relatable experiences when writing your masterpiece.

4. Book Titleand Book Cover

Is your book’s title and book cover intriguing and attention-grabbing? We have been told many times, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and that is true. However, no one will ever argue that the “First impression is the most important impression”. A book’s title and book cover must attach potential readers. An intriguing book title will leave potential readers to ask questions about the book and they will want to know more about the book. This usually will lead them to pick up the book (or view a digit sample) and read some of the book. If you followed tip number 3 when you were writing your book, then the sample that they have read will pique their interest and they will buy your book (and hopefully a few copies for their friends). An attractive book cover works much in the same way.

5. Will your writings/book stand the test of time?

Although, I vaguely mentioned this key factor when I was talking about striking a chord with readers; I purposely put this key point last. The reason being is many classics and even the biggest selling books of all time started out with poor sells and were relatively unknown. I’ll give you two examples, “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

Many of us get caught up in selling a lot of books and we forget that 1) Quality is Key and 2) There’s no guarantee if your book will become a bestseller and 3) Timing is King. What’s hot now may not be hot tomorrow and vice versa. When you are writing your book by authentic and genuine. Remember, why you are writing your book and what are your expectations for your book. In my experience, being genuine and authentic helps all expressions of art withstand the tests of time. Create quality and the sells will come.

What are you most excited to work on next?

I have three books coming out this year, “Vid’s Viddles Volume II”, “It’s Cold Out Here You Need a Coat”, and “Inside the Mind of a…” I am very excited to finish those works and release them to the world. Besides my books, I’m excited to be working with all of our authors at 4-U-Nique Publishing and helping them reach bestsellers status.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The movement that I am inspiring is the warrior mindset and the warrior lifestyle movement. This movement is inspiring others to reach their potential and accomplish their goals and dreams no matter what adversity they may face. People will place barriers on us but it’s important to never doubt ourselves and continue the good fight.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I ask that everyone follow me on Instagram @vbuggs Twitter @vbuggs and Facebook @ Vid Lamonte Buggs Jr. I ask that you follow me because you all will get to know more about my mission and me. Together we all can make this world a better place. We don’t need to do big things all the time to make a big impact. The smallest actions with great intent can move mountains. Small of the smallest acts has lead to the biggest changes throughout history.

Thank you so much for these great insights!


The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“You need a long-term promotional plan” to be a bestseller, an interview with authors Sara Connell & JJ Virgin

by Sara Connell
Community//

“Perseverance, adapting to change, and passion” are necessary to write bestseller, an interview with authors Sara Connell & Amy Riolo

by Sara Connell
Community//

“You don’t need to be an expert” to write a bestseller, an interview with authors Sara Connell & Jesse Mecham

by Sara Connell

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.