I'm Allowed Publishing

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Should I self publish or go with a publisher?

  • December 15, 2010 8:43 am

So. You’ve written a book. Congratulations!

Now here’s what you need to know about the next steps.

With any book there are three stages involved: writing, publishing and marketing. When you self-publish, you have to do all through. When you go with a publisher, you have to write (obviously) and market (less obvious) the book yourself. Publishers may spend up to 3 months marketing your book. They’re looking for that insane run-away success that instantly sells millions, like J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series, who went from welfare to millionaire).

If that’s your book, fine. For most of us, it’s not. If you want a serious reality check, go into a second hand bookstore and just stand there for a minute. Notice that the bookshelves are lined with single books. Each one of those represents a person, an author, with high hopes and expectations and now relegated to the dusty shelves in a second hand bookstore. Not a very glamorous final destination, I know.

What a publisher does do is look after all aspects of publishing, like editing, copy-editing, cover design and the actual printing of your book. While you might have an opinion as to what the title of the book is, and what the cover might portray, you really get no input. The publishers will say, and rightly so, that that’s their area of expertise.

Traditional publishers will also retain 100% rights over the content of the book. With e-publishing making a grand entrance into the world, with the race for e-reader technology and distribution, I’d think twice about giving up the rights. There’s absolutely no distribution costs involved in electronic books, once the text has been finalized and the cover designed. So there’s also a larger profit margin in these ebooks.

If you’ve given distribution rights to a publisher and they now own the book, you still have to market the book, keep in mind you may earn as little as $1 a book.

As authors, we like to think the value is in the content. But in the industry, writing represents only 5% of the work. Another 5% is publishing; and the remaining 90% is marketing. Either way, in all likelihood, you’re going to do the marketing.

Keep on doing what you’re doing right now: seeking input. Find a series of self-published and traditionally published authors. My opinion is but one. Seek more, and then make an informed decision.

I wish you success, whatever you choose!

Achieving Canadian Best-Seller Status

  • December 5, 2010 4:11 pm

In Canada, it’s generally accepted that to become a best-seller, you have to sell 5,000 copies of your book. [1]

Notes

1. Rebecca Wigod. “What does it take to be a bestseller?”. Vancouver Sun:February 17, 2007. Retrieved December 5, 2010.

What’s the secret to unstoppable success?

  • August 30, 2010 6:41 pm

Knowing what you want, of course.

Here’s a woman who knows what she wants. Who knows if she’ll get it. But she sure had enough clarity to answer this on-the-spot reporter’s questions.

Writing Means Self-Promoting

  • April 28, 2010 7:11 am

For the writer and author in you, listen to Author Casey Sherman on the art of writing and publishing.

Mr. Sherman, born in 1969, is the bestselling author of five books, including “The Finest Hours”; “A Rose for Mary: The Hunt for the Real Boston Strangler”; and, “Black Irish, Black Dragon and Bad Blood: Freedom and Death in the White Mountains.” Me thinks he knows of what he speaks!

Don’t miss this video!

A Lady Made That

  • March 25, 2010 7:31 am

Here’s just a little ditty about feminist rap.

Bunny Up!

  • February 1, 2010 8:35 am

Watch this video, if you dare. Watch it twice. And then, get up and do something.

The text below comes directly from the YouTube page.

The lovely and amazing performance poet Gabrielle Bouliane performs for the audience at the Austin Poetry Slam.

This would be her last public performance.

Gabrielle was diagnosed with Stage Four Cancer shortly before this video was filmed. Our dear sister fought hard, but she ended her fight January 29, 2010. She was surrounded by family and friends, and her passing was in a very quiet, peaceful room full of love and affection. She was so brave.

Please share this video with everyone you know. I am sure it would tickle her to no end to have this video get as viral as a video can be. Tell the world.

Bunny up!

Loving Laughter

  • January 25, 2010 12:09 pm

Did you know that life actually provides many opportunities for laughter?

Laughter is good for both my body and mind, so I make a point of cultivating humor in my life.

Sometimes humor comes to me in flashy neon pink, billboard-style, and can’t be missed. But much of the time the laughter in my life springs from everyday things: a child first learning to kick a ball or a cat chasing her shadow.

I slow down and pay attention to what is going on around me so that I do not miss out on these moments.

If my daughter paints her face with my lipstick, I can wail about the waste or moan about the necessary clean up. Or I can laugh at her youthful silliness and grab my camera, choosing to relish this special moment.

I can choose to laugh at myself, too. By seeing the humor in my occasional mishaps, I avoid taking myself too seriously and keep minor annoyances in perspective.

Such obvious enjoyment of life makes me more approachable to others and leads to better and more productive relationships.

I let go of the idea that life must always be serious. I create opportunities to seek out people who also see the humorous side of life. I indulge in comedy often, knowing that hearty laughter makes me healthier in my body, mind, and spirit.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Do I respond with humor to my own mistakes?
  2. Do I slow down enough to see the humor in everyday events?
  3. What activity can I plan that will bring some extra laughter to my life?

5 Ways to Say No

  • January 18, 2010 3:29 pm

Do you find it difficult to be assertive and say “no” to people’s requests? Since there just aren’t enough hours in the day to appease everyone, the art of saying “no” without hurting the feelings of others is an important skill to acquire.

Saying “no” doesn’t mean you have to be rude about it. There are plenty of polite, yet assertive, ways you can tell people “no” when you need to.

Here are some ways you can say “no” without being rude or impolite:

  1. “No” to now, but “yes” to later. “I’m very busy at the moment. Perhaps someone else can help you. If not, I’ll have time later in the week to help you out.”This is a great way to say “no.” It’s assertive, but also positive and kind. You let the person know there’s no way you can do what they’re asking at the moment. However, you give them the option to ask someone else or wait until you have the time to help out.
  2. “No” unless something changes. “I’m very flattered that you’ve asked me. However, I’m not currently in a position where I can take on this responsibility. Could we talk about this at another time if there’s a change in my circumstances?”This statement says “no” while still being very polite. You let them know how thrilled you are that they’ve asked you, but then you’re honest about how little time you have to commit to their request.
  3. A definitive “No.” “I hate to disappoint you, but I’m not able to do this. I’m afraid I’ll overextend myself.”With this statement, you express regret for disappointing the person, yet you still let them know that this is a solid “no.” No doubt they’ll understand you don’t want to overextend yourself, which makes them sympathetic to the plight you’re in as wellThis answer is very kind and polite. Plus, it allows them to understand where you’re coming from.
  4. “No” to attend an event. “I had a great time before, but I won’t be able to make it this time since I’m already overscheduled.”Sometimes you may get asked to an event you don’t want to attend or that you just don’t have the time for. You don’t have to feel obligated to go. This statement lets the person know you’ve had a great time in the past, yet you’re overscheduled or busy this time around.
  5. “No” to loaning money. “I really wish I could but I make it my practice not to loan money to friends and family.”Money is one thing that many people ask for from their friends and family. It’s a difficult situation since you don’t want to insult them or hurt their feelings. This statement is a nice way to be assertive and say “no” while still being kind.You let them know that you wish you could loan them the money, yet you go on to explain why you won’t. You make it clear that this is the practice you have for everyone, and you’re not just saying “no” to him or her personally.

For some reason, parents often feel the need to always say “yes.” Whether it’s working at a PTA function, helping in your child’s classroom, or going to yet another classmate’s birthday party, you may feel like these are things you must fit into your already busy schedule.

However, you can take control of your family’s calendar – and your sanity – by saying “no” to some offers that come your way. Saying “no” in a pleasant tone of voice won’t lose any friends; but it will allow you to set boundaries so you can enjoy life rather than racing through it.

Life Changes Begins Here

  • January 11, 2010 3:37 pm

Would you like to see some changes in your life? You can begin making these changes by building self-awareness. Self-awareness is a self-conscious state where you’re focused on yourself and your well being.

It’s often said, “We cannot change what we will not see.” Self-awareness is the process of acknowledging not only our strengths, but our weaknesses as well. Becoming self-aware entails listening to your body and feelings and taking action based on what you hear.

If you’re in tune with your body, you’ll know when to say no to that extra piece of cake or say no to staying up late. You’ll become more in tune with your body the more often you respect it. Self-awareness is a process. The more we do it, the better we become at it.

How do you become self-aware? These tips will help you in your journey to self-awareness:

  1. Reflect on who you are and who you’d like to become. While it’s important to notice your faults and weaknesses, it’s equally important to acknowledge your strengths.The better you understand yourself, the better you’re able to accept yourself as you are or change the things you’d like to be different. Self-awareness requires you to be honest with yourself and have the courage to change the things you can.A full recognition of yourself gives you the opportunity to become the self-fulfilled person you’re destined to be.Looking deep within your soul, you’ll find the many character traits that make you unique. Begin by acknowledging the positive things. This will strengthen and encourage you to face the less favorable character traits without abandoning your new venture.On the other hand, when evaluating your strengths, don’t let your ego get the best of you. If you magnify either your strengths or your weaknesses, you can’t possibly get a realistic picture of yourself.

    * Until you examine the truth of who you are, you cannot move into the person you can become.

  2. Pay attention to your likes and dislikes. Far too often, people make life-changing choices without acknowledging deeply rooted personal preferences.Before you embark on goals for your future, have a full awareness of the things you especially enjoy and those you prefer not to have in your life.
  3. Face your inner self. During your self-awareness process, think about your motivations, dreams, fears and stressors. Think about why you feel the way you do, then begin to work toward overcoming these inner battles.
  4. Ask your loved ones’ opinions. Talk to people who know you best and really listen to what they see as your dominant character traits and motivations. Ask them to be completely honest with you and be prepared to hear their opinions.You may not be your own best judge of character. Accept the way your loved ones see you as part of this process. Consider their opinions along with your own analysis in order to see the full picture of who you are.

Self-awareness is a necessary part of self-esteem and change. If you want to grow as an individual, begin with a complete and honest picture of who you are now. This total awareness will start your journey to becoming the best you can be.

Letting Go of Yesterday

  • January 4, 2010 8:52 am

In order to live a full and complete life, we must learn how to let go of past failures and disappointments and not carry them with us into our future.

Hanging on to pain, bitterness and disappointment from a past conflict is a heavy burden. It affects your moods, attitudes, relationships, job and all aspects of your life. Negativity eats away at your self-esteem and destroys any possibility of a life free from pain.

Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Your future doesn’t have to be a repetition of your past. You don’t need to be destined to a life of pain, regardless of what you’ve already been through. You can lay down your burdens. It’s okay for you to be free. In fact, you deserve it!

These five steps will help you move forward and find the freedom you need to begin living a fuller, more enjoyable life, regardless of what lies in your past:

  1. Talk about it. Discuss your past pain, fear, disappointment or trauma with a trusted friend or family member. Fully express the feelings associated with the situation: cry, scream, or do whatever you need to do to release the bottled up emotions in a safe way.Until you really talk about the feelings connected to your past, you may not be able to move past them. Once you’ve spoken the words, release them from your mind forever. As hard as it may be, it’s the only way to free yourself from your past.
  2. Use a journal. Writing in a journal is an excellent way to pour out your pain. A journal offers the safety of knowing your words are just for you and won’t be read by anyone else. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or even if the words follow a logical progression, simply write from the heart.Physically writing your thoughts and feelings can release your emotions so you can move past them.
  3. Seek forgiveness. Many people misunderstand the meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened to you is unimportant or you’re saying it’s “okay.” In fact, forgiveness isn’t about the other person at all.Forgiveness simply means that you’ve made the choice to let go of the desire to exact revenge and punishment, and you’ve found closure within your heart and soul. Forgiveness releases you from the burden of carrying the pain any longer. By choosing to forgive, you can stop thinking about the past so it won’t control your future.
  4. Seek professional guidance. You can choose to get help from a life coach or therapist. The people closest to us aren’t always the best choice to help us work through our pain. It may be difficult for us to fully open up about our deepest pain or it may be hard for them to step back far enough to help us through it.Seeking guidance from a professional gives us the safety of relative anonymity, which can make it easier to share our problems. Often a coach or counselor can help us see a new point of view, which can help us move forward.
  5. Use alternative therapies. There are many techniques you can use to help change your mindset, which can be instrumental in leaving the past behind.

Hanging onto past negativity isn’t necessary. No matter what your history contains, you can learn to release it and move forward into a life filled with contentment and joy. Find a method that works for you and begin, today, to let go of the past and move into the life you deserve!