Does Everyone Have a Book in Them? #wwwblogs #selfpublishing

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At the beginning of March, I attended the Women In Business Conference in Coventry hosted by the team at Socially Shared. I wrote about the day over on my motivational blog; you can read that post HERE.

As well as attending this empowering event, I was also honoured to run a couple of the afternoon workshop sessions on the topic of self-publishing. Getting me to talk about writing, publishing, or books, in general, is an easy thing to do, but trying to shut me up can be quite a challenge. As it happens, I had forty-five minutes per session to share my knowledge, experience, and tips with my audience, so keeping it brief was a necessity.

Normally, when I attend various fairs and author talks throughout the year, I am inundated with people telling me how they would love to write a book. Some people are still shaping an idea, others have begun getting their story down on paper, and a few have reached the stage where publication is the next step. At the self-publishing workshops, there were only two ladies who were thinking about or had started to write. I was initially surprised by this feedback, but the more we got into the session, the more I realised how difficult it could be for people to know how or where to start.

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As I write non-fiction, it was easy to base my talk on writing to enhance your business. My first two books were based on personal development classes I ran as part of my holistic health business; Meditation for Beginners and Vision Boards for Beginners.

Choosing a section of your business and turning this into a guidebook, a how-to book, or even a memoir can add another income stream to your company. It also works the other way too, as I am now asked to run talks and workshops based on my book How I Changed My Life in a Year.

Talking through the process of publishing via platforms such as KDP, Smashwords, Lulu, and Createspace showed my attendees how easy the procedure could be. We didn’t discuss dominating the best seller lists, or hitting huge sales targets; this workshop concentrated more on writing a book to use as a promotional funnel, sales tool, or a corporate giveaway.

I was delighted at the end of my sessions, to hear the majority of the ladies tell me how inspired they were to write. I was equally excited about the ideas they had unlocked throughout the forty-five minutes I’d been talking.

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Does everyone have a book in them? Yes, I believe that’s true. I’m also fully aware that not everyone has the skill, time, or desire to write. However, it only takes one idea. A concept that can be cultivated into something wonderful, even if it means employing a ghost writer to pen a book with you.

I thoroughly enjoyed running both workshops and received incredible feedback during and after the event. I hope to continue to support the ladies who were inspired, and hopefully, in the future, run more self-publishing and writing workshops.

The photographs included in this post were taken by the event photographer, Faye Green. You can find Faye on Facebook HERE.

Let me leave you with a couple of questions. For the authors – is there a book you long to write but haven’t started yet? For the novice writers – do you believe you have a book in you, and if so what genre would you like to write for?

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

The What, Why, and How of Self-Publishing #TuesdayBookBlog

On Wednesday 8th March it is International Women’s Day, and what better day to attend a Women in Business Conference where I get to listen to influential speakers from a variety of backgrounds and businesses.

I’ve only been a member of the Socially Shared Member’s Group for a short time, and yet I’ve learned so much and met some incredible ladies. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my day than in the company of like-minded individuals.

To add to the excitement, I was invited to run one of the workshops during the afternoon sessions on self-publishing. Having published seven books with a further two titles due out this year, I should be able to fill my forty-five-minute slot quite easily. However, get me talking about books and writing, and you might have a problem shutting me up! Continue reading “The What, Why, and How of Self-Publishing #TuesdayBookBlog”

How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook #wwwBlogs #GuestPost #NaNoWriMo

Thousands of writers’ are frantically tapping away at their keyboards this November in the hope to complete the first draft of their novel, but what will those dedicated writers’ do with their manuscript once they reach the finish line?

Last week I shared a guest post from Susan at Perfect Prose Services; Top Ten Tips for NaNoWriMo from an Editor’s Perspective, where she talked us through the editing process for your NaNo draft – you can read that post HERE.

Once that novel is complete and edited, then the next logical step would be to publish. Today, I’m sharing another guest post from Kelly Smith, a passionate writer who works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. Kelly is sharing her tips on promoting your self-published eBook. Over to Kelly…

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How to promote your self-published eBook

When you self-publish an eBook, you are in control of everything. Most people see this as a great benefit, but it also means that you are in charge of everything! This includes promotion, which you have to do if you want your book to sell well. Here are some steps that you can take to ensure that your eBook becomes successful: Continue reading “How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook #wwwBlogs #GuestPost #NaNoWriMo”

Author Interview – Meet Stephan Myers #Children’s author

Today I am joined by author, Stephan Myers who writes beautifully illustrated children’s fiction.

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The Fun Five:

1 What part of the world do you come from? 

I was actually born in Hull but coming from a forces family we moved around a lot.

2 What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m not sure I’ve ever really grown up. They say you are as old as you feel but I’ve always wanted to write books. I think I am very lucky to be doing something that I truly enjoy.

3 List three words to describe yourself.  Continue reading “Author Interview – Meet Stephan Myers #Children’s author”

Selling Your Books at Craft Fairs

Gazing out of the window, I see grey skies, muddy puddles and a blustery wind, forcing my neighbours to grip tightly to their umbrellas and briefcases, as they hurry to work.  For me, however, I have the luxury of tapping away on my keyboard, still wearing my fluffy pyjamas, no make-up and nursing a steaming mug of coffee.  I love working from home.

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But this isolation can come with a few drawbacks.  I often go days without communicating with the living (I write fantasy, so I am in constant contact with the deceased!).  My children do speak to me in passing, as they hurtle in and out of the house for school, college, or their lively social lives (me, jealous?).  My mum is always on the end of the phone when I need her, but meeting people face-to-face can often be shoved to the bottom of the to-do list, especially when a deadline looms. Continue reading “Selling Your Books at Craft Fairs”

A Self-Help Chain Reaction

 

There is a film I re-watch when I need to have a good laugh, and sob my heart out, all within a two hour period.  That film is Steel Magnolias.  A 1989 classic starring Dolly Parton, Sally Fields and Julia Roberts.

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If you plan on watching it, you’ll need more boxes of Kleenex than a Game of Thrones fan!  However, it warms the heart, tickles the funny bone and reminds you just how bad our fashion sense was back then.

Near the end of the film Dolly’s character is taken on a surprise outing by her husband.  He pulls up outside a hair and beauty salon informing her that it now belongs to her.  With two salons to her name, Dolly cries ‘I’m a chain’.

I understand exactly how she feels.  Not because I own a chain of salons, but because I have a book series – okay, two books in a series, but still – can’t a girl get excited about it!

In 2013 I published the first book in my Wellbeing Workshop Series.  Meditation for Beginners was written with my meditation students in mind.  A handbag guide that they could carry around with them, to help with motivation, in between classes.  They loved it and so I published it to try and reach more people.  At a tiny 35 pages, it really is a pocket guide, but it escorts you through the benefits, science and the step-by-step process of meditating in a down-to-earth format.

Continue reading “A Self-Help Chain Reaction”

Can Facebook Help Your Writing Career?

 

 

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Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and LinkedIn – they each invoke the Marmite reaction from us. You either love it or you hate it.

I love Twitter; I adore Facebook. I haven’t ventured into the Tumblr or Instagram domain as yet. I do have a LinkedIn account that I avoid as much as possible – it feels too grown up for me; like I’m a student who stumbled into the staff room.

Love them or hate them, if it wasn’t for the ability to share on social media sites most of you wouldn’t be reading this blog, my books would remain undiscovered and my friend list would be much shorter.

Social Media sites are where we sell our wares. Hopefully, this is done in a subtle way; dripping out promos in amongst the chit chat, shared jokes and networking, and NOT in a buy, buy, buy way.

I’m a naturally chatty individual. My school reports always said the same thing, ‘if she stopped talking and worked she could make something of herself.’ Hmm, I wonder if any of the TED speakers or stand-up comedians ever received similar reports.

As I matured (!!) I used my ability to chat and engage others as a beneficial part of my career. Socialising was a necessity when working in hospitality and remains important within the holistic health sector. Putting people at ease and making them feel great about themselves is a rewarding life path.  Interaction is a good thing.

But where do Facebook and Twitter fit in? I dedicate my twitter account to my writing career. I engage with readers and other authors. It is the most supportive group I am involved with. I have made some wonderful new friends and discovered an array of new blogs, books and websites thanks to this platform. I wrote a post about my top ten favourite blogs last week which I found through Twitter; you can read that here.

On Facebook, I run several pages. I have my personal page where I share sites/videos/images that may be of interest to my friends while also helping to promote all my entrepreneurial buddies who run small businesses.

I have a page for my motivational blog http://www.facebook.com/resolutionchallenge which also covers my non-fiction books. Then there is a page dedicated to my young adult fantasy fiction http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson. I told you I loved Facebook!

There are many people who dislike this platform, and I respect and understand that, I see every day how people misuse the site. For me, it is a place to chat, share, engage and interact with my readers, family and friends who live far away, and to meet fellow writers/bloggers. If I may refer you back to my school reports; Facebook allows me to chat for more than 140 characters!

I did wonder if the time had come to cut back when Facebook implemented their most recent changes. I told myself to give it a few months, and if my organic reach dropped significantly then I would look elsewhere, which upset me as I do enjoy using this platform.

Luckily I have continued to reach a decent amount of people per post. With my fantasy fiction page, I used the insights button to work out where my followers were based (90% in America), and targeted my posts for this audience and time zone. It means I schedule a large portion of my posts to go out at 2am UK time, but I am greeted with comments, likes and shares when I get up.

With my motivational blog Facebook page, I like to share inspirational quotes, resolution updates and my recent blog posts. This page was ticking over slowly but with the release of my young adult fantasy book, I had neglected it quite a bit. Taking an hour out of my day, I looked at the insights for this page and realised the majority of my followers were UK based and the same age as me. We also had a lot in common. Taking this information on board, I decided to post a funny picture instead of my usual uplifting messages of encouragement.

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One week after posting this image, my Facebook page received 299 new page likes, and 11 clicks on my ‘shop now’ button. The image I shared received 1,524,736 views, it was liked 59,817 times, received 16,956 comments and was shared 16,830 times. My inbox was overwhelmed with notifications, and all from sharing one picture.

The lesson I took away from this was one that relates closely to writing – you MUST know your audience. I had assumed that my motivational quotes and inspirational messages were enough, but I forgot one fundamental factor – having a sense of humour is important too.

Since I posted this image, I have had a wonderful mix of interaction on the page. Followers are digging deeper and discovering posts, links and quotes from years ago that they are resonating with. It has resurrected my faith in Facebook. None of the stats above were paid for – I didn’t boost the post or create an ad. Organic reach is possible if you take the time to look at who is liking your page and how they are using it.

My non-fiction book has become visible to another group of people who are sharing their knowledge and increasing my reach.  We may write alone, but we must market ourselves as loudly as we can.  For me, Facebook and Twitter work tremendously well.

I’m interested to hear about your success with social media sites, especially where you haven’t used paid advertising.  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

 

I must add a closing note to stress that when I found the above image I tried to trace it back to the source. Unfortunately, it had been shared across the platform so often that I was unable to find where it originated. Since deciding to write this post I have discovered a website that includes work from the artist – you can find the link here.

‘Share’ Image courtesy of Master isolated Images at Freedigitalphotos.net