Confession: I used to cut the grass in our yard by hand.
When I was six years old, I decided one day that I wanted to cut the grass. Obviously, my parents wouldn't let me operate the lawn mower, but "Who needs a lawn mower?" I thought. "I have scissors!"
Out I went, and the same way a hair stylist pulls a client's hair between her fingers and then cuts straight across, I started cutting the grass.
Please keep in mind that our yard was not small. But still, I thought I was going to cut the entire thing...with a pair of scissors.
*This was the front yard. I suppose I gave zero thought to how I'd replicate the perfect diagonal lawn-mower pattern.
It wasn't more than an hour later when I looked up from the 15-inch by 15-inch square I'd completed, feeling fairly pleased with myself, and noticed just how incredibly far I had to go.
Worse, if I backed up seven feet, I couldn't even tell how much work I'd done over the past hour!
And this is how I learned that lawn mowers are...
We all get stuck (or, dare I say it, "writer's block") from time to time. I see this happen in two primary ways with clients.
The first is, they'll message me and say, "Elizabeth, I'm supposed to write 2000 words today, and I felt like I did but then when I checked my word count, I was only at 1246. Do I force the rest? What do I do?"
The second message they'll send sounds a bit like, "Elizabeth, I'm sitting here and I'm thinking and I'm sitting here and I'm thinking and...I've got nothing,"
In both cases, I promise, you have something to say. You are overthinking, and worried too much about the quality of what comes out of your mouth (or fingers). At this stage, it's about getting the stories down. The feelings. The perspectives.
I have NO doubt that you have no problem sharing with me your perspective on just about anything---and usually in far more than 2000 words!
All you need is for someone to ask you a question in a way that compels you to have to...
The previous article in this series talked in greater detail about the pros and cons of independent book publishing---what it is as well as the pros and cons of the approach.
In this article, we'll dive into the final of three main forms of book publishing: self-publishing.
Self-publishing is the publishing model whereby an author is responsible for each aspect of publishing his or her book, from finding an editor to hiring a cover designer and interior formatter to acquiring and registering ISBNs to uploading to distribution channels (such as Amazon).
Full Control over Publishing Timeline
There's no doubt that having control over the publishing timeline is one of the greatest benefits of self-publishing.
I didn't think it was a secret--but perhaps it is--that with traditional publishing, the amount of time between finding an agent to represent your book and holding a published copy of your book in your hands ranges...
So often, I hear authors ask, "How do I get a big publisher interested in my book?" Or they say, "I want to be published traditionally because they'll do all my marketing for me!"
By "big publisher," they are referring to big publishing groups such as Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, or Chronicle Books.
(And it doesn't take long before the author says, shocked, "Really? I had no idea!")
To be clear, I have nothing against traditional publishing. If the right opportunity came across my own desk, I'd absolutely consider it. But it's critical to know how it all really works in order to make the best decision for you and your book.
If you haven't read the first article in this series, which gives a high-level explanation of the 3 most popular types of publishing (traditional, hybrid, and self-publishing), you...
Perhaps you're at the beginning of your book writing journey, wondering how to get all 87,367 thoughts out of your head and onto the page. (If that's the case and you'd like to get a strong start, click here for my latest workshop, Book Outlines Made Simple!)
Or, maybe you're writing or even in the editing process and you're wondering, "What's next?"
Do you try to get a traditional publisher interested? Do you work with the hybrid-publishing arm of a traditional publisher or employ the services of another hybrid publishing house? Do you self-publish? What even are the differences between each approach?
If these are the questions that swirl in your head, this series has you covered. I promise.
In the first part of the Book Publishing 101 series, I'll talk about all 3 publishing approaches at a mile-high level just to help you get clear on what each actually is. From there, we'll explore the pros and cons of each approach in greater detail.
While I independently publish my...
“I’M WAITING FOR A SIGN.”
What I'm about to say may come across as unkind, and I wish there were a better way to say it. Put bluntly, "waiting on a sign" is ridiculous.
And, to be clear, I've waited on "signs" myself. It was ridiculous.
When we make those kinds of statements, we're squashing every ounce of our own power. We're making a powerful decision to keep playing small. We're ensuring that we remain stagnant.
TRUTH: IT'S NEVER ABOUT THE SIGN...
Because when the sign DOES come (and it will … over and over again), all we'll do is ask, “Is that the sign?
"A notebook and pen were just dropped on the front porch by a bird... A NOTEBOOK AND PEN CARRYING BIRD!"
...But…is it a sign?"
We’re so resistant and fearful that we won’t recognize the sign even when it slaps us right between the eyes...
Because we don’t want to...
Because if we acknowledge the sign, we have to start...
If we start, we have to finish...
Great questions! Truly understanding the role of an editor in the process is critical to most effectively partnering with this critical asset!
If you spend much time talking with me about publishing, you'll quickly learn that one of my mantras is "Not Editing is Not an Option." After all, if New York Times bestselling authors still require editors, who is any one of us to think that we don't!
We are each simply too close to our work to be objective about issues with flow and content, we see words that were in our head but didn't make it to the page, or we fail to identify the instance of "there" that should be "their."
There are three types of editing that I suggest authors of nonfiction or memoir receive: developmental editing, copy (or line) editing, and proofreading. While the same editor can typically do your developmental and copy/line editing...
There are a lot of things you can expect when you're writing a book: excitement, confusion, pride, frustration, and awe.
Something many don't expect? A show-stopper (and not the good kind).
It seriously never fails. And as much as I'm trying not to use words like "always" and "never," in this case, it's absolutely justified.
Maybe you've figured out how to build a business from scratch.
Or, you've gotten out of a toxic relationship.
Or, you've completely reversed the high blood pressure you've had for two decades.
Or, you discovered how to reduce, reuse, and recycle to the point that you no longer need a weekly trash service.
Whatever it is, you're going to be elated that you worked through all of the challenges that came with it. You scraped and clawed and got knocked over and stood back up. And now you're ready to let others know how they can do the same.
Your client attraction method stops working altogether. (Maybe a pandemic or something...