J.J. Hebert is a renowned self-publishing and book marketing expert and also the owner and founder of MindStir Media. Launched in 2009, MindStir Media has published hundreds of books for authors throughout the United States and abroad. J.J. oversees the publication of every Mindstir Media published book and also offers mentoring to Mindstir authors. He’s known in the industry as the “Self-Publishing Guru” and spends a great deal of his time educating aspiring authors through his self-publishing and book marketing blogs as well as social media platforms such as Facebook, where he has built active online communities.
What is your hobby?
I have several, but the most full-blown hobby I have nowadays is probably watching NBA basketball, specifically the Boston Celtics. I watch pretty much every game each season, and there are 82 of them in the regular season, so there is quite a large investment of time there. I was actually at TD Garden a few weeks ago when Isaiah Thomas scored his career-high 52 points and broke several franchise records including most points in a 4th quarter.
How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
I’ve always watched the Celtics as long as I can remember but I didn’t seriously get into it until around the 2007-2008 season when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and ended up winning the championship. I still believe the Celtics can get back to being a championship level team and that has driven and inspired me to continue watching.
Tell us what you love about it.
With Brad Stevens as its coach, the Celtics are a very fast-paced team and a lot of fun to watch. They are one of the more dynamic scoring teams in the league and they all have a lot of heart. I also get the sense that most of the players on the Celtics are underdogs in a way and they play with a chip on their shoulders, so it’s also fun to watch them in that regard. And basketball in general is a love of mine. Tons of scoring and action all crammed into a 48-minute game.
Are there any groups you are part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?
I read and take part in several Celtics blogs online. There are many online forums where one can communicate with other like-minded fans. I also try to attend as many games as possible each year. I live in southern New Hampshire, so traveling to TD Garden in Boston is less than an hour.
Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you bought.
Throughout the years, I have bought truckloads of Celtics apparel and memorabilia. I probably have a Celtics shirt for every day of the week until the end of time. Of course, a slight exaggeration… I also have a basketball signed by the 2008 world champion Celtics team and a plethora of other Celtics related memorabilia. Another investment would definitely be tickets to the games that I attend. They don’t come cheap these days.
Where do you buy most of your supplies?
I always buy my tickets online. The memorabilia I purchase mainly at a local sports card and memorabilia shop. eBay can also be helpful sometimes when I’m trying to track down a rare item.
Are there any good books for beginners?
Well, as you know I’m a book guy. The company I run, MindStir Media, is a well-known book publishing company on the East Coast. So my knowledge of books is somewhat vast. I would say there are a handful of vital Celtics books that every Celtics fan should read. Couple of my favorites are Rise of a Dynasty as well as The Last Banner.
How has this changed your life?
I think it’s always important to get involved in something bigger than yourself. Boston Celtics have a huge fan base and a bit of a cult following. Being a Boston Celtics fan has definitely enriched my life.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
Definitely do your research. Learn about the history of the Boston Celtics. They have won 17 world championships and are the most winningest franchise in sports history. Understanding the history will allow you to enjoy the present game that much more.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
As the owner and president of MindStir Media, I do a lot of reading. Most of it is a lot of fun and I do consider it a hobby as I do a lot of reading outside of business hours. My favorite author is probably J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. She played a pivotal role in inspiring me to write a book of my own. I also thoroughly enjoy movies and TV shows.