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Mark Van Stratum

Mark Van Stratum

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mark Van Stratum takes readers on an unexpected roller coaster ride through the human psyche. In his stories he mixes fast-moving dialogue with psychological insights ranging from business to inter-gender dynamics. His writing reveals truths about the human experience while the pages turn and turn.

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Mark Van Stratum takes readers on an unexpected roller coaster ride through the human psyche. In his stories he mixes fast-moving dialogue with psychological insights ranging from business to inter-gender dynamics. His writing reveals truths about the human experience while the pages turn and turn.

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Success! Drug Of Choice has already sold 1057 pre-orders , was pitched to 16 publishers , and will be self published .

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Drug Of Choice

The Inspiring True Story Of The One-Armed Criminal Who Mastered Love And Made Millions.

Mark is a successful affiliate marketer with several business boasting millions of dollars in profit. He has created a fulfilling life, which he shares with his beautiful fiancee.

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Society & Culture Memoir
60,000 words
100% complete
2 publishers interested


"If you change your behavior, you change your results." - Mark van Stratum.

Mark van Stratum is a successful affiliate marketer with several businesses boasting millions of dollars annually. He has created a fulfilling life, which he shares with his beautiful fiancé and a world-wide circle of friends. Certainly, this was not always the case.

In this gripping tale of personal growth, van Stratum brings a once in a lifetime read of his experience growing up with one arm in a little town where he developed an anger at the world, hostility towards authority, and a criminal mindset. One day, after a violent robbery by rival drug dealers, he realized the path he'd chosen was only getting worse, he decided to change.

Drug Of Choice is a story of crime, drugs, sex and money that begins with a tragic accident, a deadbeat dad, and a staunch belief in the virtue of violence. It’s where this journey takes you that will grip your heart. 

It will take you from the worst kind of drug use, violence and criminal undertakings, to a path around the world through evolutionary human psychology toward riches and happiness. This story teaches that your behavior is both the cause of your problems and your success. It will make you believe, it’s never too late to change. 


The book is divided into three parts.

1. The childhood. Where his anger and habit of violence get developed, spiraling into criminal endeavors.

2. The change. Letting go of the anger and frustration and deciding to move on, allowing a deeper understanding of basic human psychology, especially it's effects on dating.

3. Entrepreneurship. After achieving world wide notoriety as a pick-up artist and dating coach, Mark decides to dedicate the same time, effort, and devotion into achieving his first million, and then his second.

Chapters are as follows:

  1. The last thing I’ll do. 
  2. Heist.
  3. This Is Me.
  4. A Bad Move.
  5. Origin of Violence. 
  6. Family Life.
  7. Alvin.
  8. First Lesson.
  9. Freedom.
  10. Amy. 
  11.  Selling Weed.
  12. We Heard You Have 15 Kilos.
  13. Regular People.
  14. Pussy.
  15. Barry. 
  16. The Worst Kind of People. 
  17. A Different State of Mind. 
  18. A Good Move. 
  19. Choices. 
  20. Pleasant Memories. 
  21. Old Buddy. 
  22. Rich Characters. 
  23. Now What?
  24. Change Your Behavior. 
  25. Science. 
  26. Do It While Scared. 
  27. Jim Stark.
  28. Building New Skills.
  29. Mark V. 
  30. Project Rockstar.
  31. Charles Ngo. 
  32. Grown Up Talk.
  33. People Like You By Default.
  34. Game Changer. 
  35. Approach Anxiety. 
  36. Saying Goodbye. 
  37. Ryan Buke.
  38. $2.
  39. Changing Lives.
  40. Amsterdam. 
  41. Efforts Being Noticed.
  42. A Friend Request.
  43. No Challenge.
  44. What’s Your High Score? 
  45. Facebook Ads.
  46. Hitting Refresh.
  47. MindLift.
  48. Pride. 
  49. Out of Bounds. 
  50. 'Helping.’
  51. First Warning.
  52. Drug (Ab)use.
  53. Arnold. 
  54. So Sick.
  55. Weed and Sweat.
  56. Alone. 
  57. Fuck Those Guys.
  58. Idiot Tax.
  59. Getting Paid. 
  60. Getting Sued. 
  61. That’s Fresh, Bro.
  62. Growing
  63. Epilogue.


Mark Van Stratum takes readers on an unexpected roller coaster ride through the human psyche. In his stories he mixes fast-moving dialogue with psychological insights ranging from business to inter-gender dynamics. His writing reveals truths about the human experience while the pages turn and turn.

2 publishers interested
Motivational Press logo Motivational Press

250 copies • Completed manuscript.
Motivational Press is a top publisher today in providing marketing and promotion support to our authors. Our authors get favorable rates for purchasing their own books and higher than standard royalties. Our team is at the forefront of technology and offers the most comprehensive publishing platform of any non-fiction publishing house including print, electronic, and audiobook distribution worldwide. We look forward to serving you.

Hybrid publisher

Mind & Body, YA Fiction, Business & Money, Career & Success, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Travel


Virtualbookworm Publishing logo Virtualbookworm Publishing

Virtualbookworm (VBW) Publishing was founded by a writer frustrated by the long wait time and occasional heartbreak often associated with the publishing industry. After researching the various "alternatives," he discovered a number of subsidy publishers that would publish any author ... for a price. Unfortunately, many reviewers (and readers) thumb their noses at books from such houses, since all it takes is cash to get published by them.

Then he discovered self publishing and the endless opportunities it presented. However, such a venture requires countless hours of research of printers, proofreaders, artists, etc. And after publication, even more time is consumed trying to market the book.

So, was established as a "clearinghouse" for authors, since it offers virtually everything under one roof. Although we now charge setup and design fees, those costs are kept to a minimum so as to cover all expenses. And, as with "traditional" publishers, we carefully review each manuscript and only offer contracts to authors who truly have exceptional manuscripts. We don't print garbage, and we want our authors to proudly say they were published by Virtualbookworm. If we accept your book for publication, you can rest assured that it will be sold next to other quality books, and not just work that had enough money behind it. And, you'll receive some of the best royalties in the business!

Since our initial costs are so low, we want your books to sell as much as you do.

Service publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel


2. Heist.

Alvin and I crept through the industrial complex, towards the big building with it’s lights still on. It was a sorting facility for the postal service, and we saw a group of kids—only a few years older than us— who were working the night shift toss out their cigarettes and return to work.

It was a low paying job for inexperienced, uneducated people. The night had a mist we could feel, shimmering around traffic lights, diffusing reds and greens before reflecting them off of puddles on the road.

Alvin looked tired. His long black hair was wet, and his brown skin was shiny in the rain. We both wore sneakers with holes in them, not that we cared. Baggy pants, t-shirts, and worn- out shoes were a uniform that set us apart from the others. And we were different from them. We always had been. Although we weren’t from the same family, or even the same race, we were brothers.

When we reached the building, we strode through the automatic sliding doors and walked right past the security guards. One of them nodded at us, and we nodded back. Kids like us came in and out of the building nonstop. I’m just a guy going to work. I belong here, I convinced myself. If your frame of mind is strong, everyone will play along.

The bottom floors were for low-level employees. We stepped into an elevator, pressed the button, and rode in silence to the top floor. There were still a few people working in offices there, but not that many because it was already past midnight.

We passed an open office door. An Asian man wearing glasses and a grey suit looked up from his desk, surprised, but then looked down at his computer screen and continued working. Close call.

There was a little fridge in one of the offices with all kinds of soft drinks. We each took a can of Coke out of it and drank them while we looked around. At the end of the empty hallway was the office of the managing director. We went in. I sat in his tall, black leather chair and started searching through the drawers of his desk. Alvin opened a blue metal cabinet at the back of the office.

'Wow, nice!' I heard behind me. Alvin had found a money box, a big one. The small lock seemed like it could be broken without too much force. He lifted up the box and shook it. We heard something moving inside.

We looked at each other, excited, and started searching for something to break the lock with. In one of the drawers I found a huge pair of steel scissors. They looked strong enough. We stuck the scissors through the lock hanger and started turning. It snapped off with ease.

There were stacks of money inside — hundreds, fifties, and tens. We took off our shoes, and put the notes in them under our feet. We were about to leave when the office door opened. A man stood there in the hallway. He was muscular, with a thick brown moustache, and he carried a walkie-talkie on his belt. He stared at us, angry. It was a security guard from downstairs.

He grabbed us both. We didn't put up much of a struggle. We'd have to get three floors down and run past security, so we knew we had no chance.

He squeezed our upper arms firmly and dragged us through the hallway. Our arms bruised. We couldn’t help but let out sounds that made it obvious it hurt. At the bottom floor he pulled us to the security office where his colleagues were waiting. The sliding front doors of the building were open, and someone was walking out, just a few steps away from us.

Alvin grabbed a stapler that was on the desk, and smacked the guard in the face. Blood gushed out. He grabbed his face and let us go. We both ran outside. He ran after us, but we ran harder. I ran so hard and for so long that my entire body stung. I was scared of jail, but more scared of getting my ass kicked by an angry muscle-bound security guard. When we ran off the terrain we needed to cross a four-lane street.

A woman driving an old red Mercedes saw us running away from security. She hit the brakes of her car and came to a standstill in front of me, deliberately blocking my way. I jumped on the hood of the car, rolled over it, fell off the other side, and kept running, leaving her startled. When I looked back, this guard was still following us.

I got to a tunnel. I knew a hill was on the other side of it, and below that hill was my mom's house. If I could make it to the hill, I'd be home. While running in the tunnel I heard something fall behind me. I looked back and saw the guard had thrown off his walkie-talkie and his jacket so he would have a chance to keep up. Blood still dripped from his face.

The end of the tunnel was in sight. I ran up the hill. On top of the hill I collapsed. I couldn't run any more. I was exhausted. I let myself fall and rolled down the slope. When I came to a stop, I realized where I was — in front of my mom's house. I was no longer being chased. The guard probably kept following the road and didn't see me run up the hill, to the right just after the tunnel’s exit.

I was covered in mud, grass, and blood from rolling down the hill. My clothes were wet and stained from the rain. One of my shoes was soaked after stepping ankle deep in a puddle. But I had gotten away.

After going inside, I turned off the lights. I was scared. Alvin had run in a different direction somewhere. I hadn't really been paying attention. Maybe Alvin got caught and he was at the police station. We were already quite notorious in the town of Zwolle, and the police knew we were a package deal. If he was arrested, I couldn't be far away. They might be on their way right now, because they knew where I lived. Someone knocked on the window with three loud bangs. Adrenaline shot through my body. I was sure it was the cops and I'd get arrested now. I looked over at the window, carefully.

I saw a dark shape, a figure with long curly hair. It was Alvin!
He came inside and sat next to me on my mom's sofa. We took the stacks of money out of our shoes and placed them in piles on the glass Ikea coffee table. This was the first time I experienced the feeling of thinking, I'm rich. This was more money than I had ever seen!

After this, we had cash to buy brand name clothes, a PlayStation, mobile phones, and throw money around at parties. We were being noticed by fellow criminals in town, and they realized we were no joke. Even if they still did not fully respect us, they figured we at least knew what we were doing.

We had made real money with a real heist.

3. This Is Me.

Some of what I’m about to tell you is far from flattering. In fact, I’ve hesitated to publish. I’m ashamed of much of it. The way I’ve behaved and the choices I’ve made are embarrassing at times, and I’m not sure I even want people to know. But, this is me. Take it or leave it.

I’m typing this while sipping champagne in European business class, on my way to Barcelona for a luxurious weekend. My beautiful fiancé is visiting her parents in the mountains, and she suggested I take a weekend off myself. I’ve been working so hard.

Now, my life consists of taking care of good people, positive people. I’m involved in several businesses. I have employees. I travel the world. I deliver value to people’s lives. I give large sums of money to charity.

Violence, crime, and drugs are so far from my current life it’s hard for people to even imagine me living under those conditions, and doing those things. But I do remember it. I can’t forget.

I hope you’ll understand that my beginning was very rough. Luckily I learned to develop myself as I grew older, which cannot be said for many of the people who came from the same place I did. Also this is not meant to make you think I have all the answers. What I hope it makes clear is that not having all the answers is fine. It’s actually great to come to terms with the fact that no one has all the answers, and you don't need them either.

By staying curious and constantly learning, you might come to insights others won’t. You’re not stuck in your situation, whatever it might be. The world is big. There are so many people in the world that possibilities to connect with either positive or negative people are endless. You can choose your environment. You can choose who you want around you. It all depends on your own behavior. Your behavior is a choice.

People in my current life have no idea where I came from, and don’t have a clue about the way I used to behave in my teenage years and early twenties. They also haven’t known the things I had to overcome to get where I am now. Some people I’ve left behind from my old life don’t understand the person they think I am is gone. He might as well be dead.

Not only did I leave that life behind me, it is long gone. Since then, I have left two other lives behind me in a similar drastic way. Constant evolution is inevitable if you want to move forward. We all learn from our mistakes. So you better fuck up as much as you can as fast as you can, that way you’ll learn more and faster than anyone else.

Sometimes when I see people from my old life, they still think I’m the same person, only richer. As if somehow I haven’t had to change my own behavior — as if I magically live a completely different life now. That’s ridiculous. It’s been very hard work. They only see the result, not the progress and the struggle. There are even people existing, still to this day, who somehow hold resentment toward me for the way I was behaving when I just dropped out of high school, or was just released from prison....

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  • Miranda Eerenstein
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 8:39 a.m.

    Ik ben super trots op je mark. Mijn kleine broertje is een super lieve vent geworden. <3

  • Adnan H. Mirza
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 1:03 p.m.

    Can't wait to read it Mark. Congrats on completing this project! Cheers, Adnan

  • Andrew Masanto
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 2:51 p.m.

    Sounds like an incredibly interesting book Mark! Love it!

  • Katie Soy
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 8:50 p.m.

    So excited for you, Mark! The application is for everyone in any season of life! looking forward to a great read!

  • Dominic Knight
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 10:22 p.m.

    I admire the work you have done and the lifestyle you've built! Now you are releasing the know how, very few people can pull this off! Well done once again, all the best, Dom

  • David Graham
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 10:59 p.m.

    Looking forward to reading this! Congrats!

  • Guy Vincent
    on Feb. 2, 2017, 10:27 a.m.

    Hi Mark, this looks great! Wishing you success with your campaign :)

  • Denise Darlene
    on Feb. 2, 2017, 6:52 p.m.

    Thank you, Mark, for investing your time and energy into writing this book. I have a pissed off son that I hope will connect with your story and find his way to peace and happiness too! Since he isn't interested in listening to his mother, perhaps a stranger can speak into his life. Cheers to your Success, My Friend!