In 2017 I self-published my book, How to DIY Anything. I made plans to continue my journey, but the reality is that self-publishing is hard work. I got a little burnt out, so I followed other passions.
Five years and a lot of life later, (after I started my own podcast, had a third child, homeschooled a ton, etc...) I saw an advertisement for someone's audiobook business scheme, and I thought two things: first, this business model has some serious ethical issues, and second, I need to record my audiobook.
So here I go. I'm going to pick up where I left off and record my audiobook. A chapter at a time, when I can squeeze it in. Wish me luck!
After a fabulous Memorial Day weekend spent with family and friends, I am going to have to agree with my husband; this is easily my favorite holiday. We went hiking, went to a picnic, and then just relaxed. Now it's back to work!
Self publishing is a multi-faceted task, and I am sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that is involved in producing work like this in a professional way. This is not my first rodeo, but to be fair the first two were relatively simple. It was, "Make book. Publish eBook. Tell Family and Friends about it." I've learned so much since then. This article is a little bit of a recounting of what I've done this time, and what I still have left to do for my latest book, "How to DIY Anything: The Ultimate Maker Mindset."
Things I've done...
It's been a lot of work, but I have really enjoyed every bit of it. Tomorrow my book goes live in the eBook markets, and I am so excited for that. It can be pre-ordered today, or ordered in print now, (I couldn't figure out how to do a future release date on the print version:-) the freebie has been available for awhile, and will be available indefinitely. My product page is robust and I really love how it all looks. You'd think I'd be finished, right?
Well, not exactly.
I still have a list, albeit a short one, of things to do.
I'm so happy about how this process has gone. It's been difficult for sure, but I really am looking forward to doing it again. I just have to finish this one first! Now I have to remember - "Focus, Lindsay! Focus! You are almost to the finish line!"
Have you read my book yet? If not, click here. That link will take you to my book page where you can find all of the ways to read it. If you have, would you mind leaving me a review? You can comment here, on facebook, send me a personal email, or review it on Amazon, iBooks, or Kobo. I'd really appreciate it!
Lately, I've been working on my new book, How to DIY Anything: The Ultimate Maker Mindset. The parallels between the ideas presented in this book and the process of producing it are not lost on me. I am self-publishing, which means I am not only writing, but formatting for print and eBook, as well as submitting it to distributors like Amazon and iBooks. I designed and created my own covers. I've created a companion journal freebie, and I am even producing my own audio book. The weight of this job has me feeling like this book is where I have crossed the line from hobbyist to professional author. It's quite thrilling.
When you are a hobbyist, there is no responsibility to anyone or anything but yourself and your desire to create something beautiful. As a professional author, you have the added responsibility for creating something that improves the lives of others in meaningful ways.
With my previously published books, I have made them merely because I had an idea, and I wanted to see if I could. I shared them with others, made them available to the world on Amazon, and other retailers, but my children's holiday books were not intended to be anything more than a diversion.
This book is different. It is becoming something more than a diversion. The idea that anyone can DIY anything with the right tools, especially the right mindset tools, is a powerful game changer. I used to think that I was only good at a few things, crafting being one of those. Now, I know that there are fewer limitations on what I can do, and most of those limitations are all in my mind. I now feel the responsibility to share these ideas, because I think they will be helpful and applicable to other folks like myself.
With that in mind I am working harder to produce it in such a way that it can have the highest impact. I'm publishing it wide in several formats. I'm planning on doing some give aways, and I'm planning on doing some paid advertising. I've crossed the line. Now, I am working at a professional level.
Working at this level is both exhausting and thrilling. Have you crossed the line yet? What was it like for you? Please share in the comments below. I can't wait to hear from you.
written by Lindsay Hodge
Of all of the life lessons that I've learned in 30 years, the one that has been the hardest for me to learn is, "Don't be afraid of 'No.'" I have always overburdened myself with worthy causes and projects. I am literally afraid of saying no to certain things because I don't want to miss out on changing the world for the better. However, I have realized that when I say yes to everything, I am also saying no. To everything.
It's funny how life gets so busy sometimes that things just fall through the cracks. This article is one of those things. It's been sitting in my drafts folder since September of 2015. Luckily it is all still relevant! I hope you enjoy.
I can hardly believe it, but I actually wrote a book! In THREE WEEKS! Well, the whole process took a little longer than that, but my point is that I have finished writing the rough draft (250 pages) in three weeks, for the memoir that I was hired to write a year and a half ago! Click on the read more button below to learn more!
If we all wrote with notebooks and pencils now, you know this is what your waste bin would look like. This is what mine would look like, anyways. Writing is hard. It's time consuming, grammatically overwhelming, and you always have to wait for the muses to strike before the magic happens, right?
Wrong. It is a difficult profession to be in, but anything worth doing is hard. My new motto is "Hodge's Do Hard Things!" I am trying NOT to make it, "Hodge's do things the hard way," but only time will tell! Sorry about the segue, back to writing!
Anyways, here are a few tips that I am using to make writing a little easier, and keep it a high priority in my life.
1.) Believe in yourself. You will never do anything well if you don't believe in what you are doing.
2.) Write with a purpose. I'm not just talking about having a purpose for your writing. I'm talking about having a purpose for writing at all. Why do you even want to be a writer? Once you answer that, the process of writing will be easier!
3.) Schedule Time for Writing. Never not write anything in that scheduled time. It doesn't matter if you don't use what you wrote, the exercise of always writing at that time will encourage the muses to visit more often.
4.) Organize yourself. I'm not talking about having your house spic and span before you sit down to write. That is not likely to happen, EVER. I just mean to have things tidy. Especially on your desk. Messiness is the ultimate distraction, and we are trying to rid ourselves of distractions so the muses' strikes are not missed!
5.) Have a process. This also helps with encouraging those pesky muses to visit more often, and on schedule! What do I mean by this? Have a routine that you go through each time you write. A basic get rid of distractions, then sit down an write would suffices, but here's another example:
I'm still new at this, so leave me a comment below and let me know if you have any other amazing tips to help make writing a little easier! I sure would appreciate it.
Why Is Writing Important to the Success of My Business? (10 Writing Strategies for Every Microprenuer)
At first glance, this question seems like it could be answered in just a sentence or two. For example, “Writing is important to my business because I am a writer, and writing is my business. In order to be successful at being a writer, I better know how to write some Darn* Fine Words!”
(*Please excuse my change of your title, James. I don’t curse and I have a reputation to uphold!)
However, I never like to use a word to describe itself, and prompts like this one, really do require more thought. Besides, I am using my writing skills for more than just my writing business. My husband and I are in the process of developing a multi-faceted homestead business, and I believe that high quality writing will be the key to our success in all of our ventures.
I think the same goes for every micro entrepreneur. Think of all the money saved if you could do all your own writing. You won’t have to pay someone, or wait on their turn around times! On the flip side, high quality writing does take a time and effort.
There are lots of ways to learn how to write well. If you’re like me and are trying to build a house AND start a business, you take advantage of all the free advice there is out there. I sign up for tips and tricks from other authors, copywriters, and content marketers every chance I get. I've even taken a few cheap courses on online sites like Udemy.
However, I think one of the best ways to learn how to write successfully is to dedicate yourself to taking a more in-depth course, whether it is online, through a community education program, or some other institution. Paying your hard-earned dollars, and spending the time necessary to actually learn how to write, will be well worth the effort.
Below I've listed 10 Writing Strategies (in no particular order) that I am currently using, or plan on using, to enhance our businesses and achieve success. I hope this list will help other microprenuers to do the same!
Here's some advice on generating a passive income by writing and publishing e-books. I found all of it very useful and I hope you do, too!
I’ve been listening to a lot of webinars and reading a lot of blogs lately that talk about having a passive income through writing and publishing e-books. I tell you what, I’ve caught the bug. I have a plan to write so many e-books that I should be making a pretty decent income that way! That is, if anyone buys them!
We all know the risks involved with publishing. They are spouted at every turn. Write well, have a platform, submit to a hundred agents/publishers before you get any interest, and you still might not get published, and if you get published, you might not sell any books!
The publishing world is changing. The playing field is being leveled. I’ve compiled five of my favorite tips for writing and publishing e-books. These are tips on writing the books. This is not a definitive list, just a short one. I plan on sharing more as time goes on. The marketing tips will come later!
1. Get Ideas
2. Write Top Quality Books
3. Don’t write Just One
4. Share the Love-Become a Publisher
5. Get A Handle on DIY Illustrations and Images
1. Get Ideas
The first step in writing is to generate ideas. You can get ideas from just about anywhere, the toy store, your kids/spouse/significant other, life experiences. You name it and you can probably get an idea for a pretty decent e-book.
How do you separate the really great ideas from the mediocre ones? I’m going to say that the best ideas are always going to be the ones that you already know the most about. They always say that you should write what you know, and it’s true.
Say you are at a football game with a friend. While you’re sitting there in the stands, You realize that you are only a few steps away from a few of the teams super fans. You have this great idea that you should write an e-book about how to be the best Super Fan. The trouble is you are not a super fan. This may not be the best idea for you. BUT maybe you are a top notch journalist and you specialize in interviewing people. Now you’ve got an angle you can work with. You can interview super fans about being super fans. It’ll market to the same audience, and this is something that you can do! And who knows maybe you’ll become a super fan yourself someday.
Remember, when you are generating ideas for e-books, play to your strengths. Write what you know and write things you feel strongly about.
2. Write Top Quality Books
Since the advent of self publishing, more and more people have taken to writing. Unfortunately, few people really understand how to write quality pieces. The result of low quality writing is bad reviews, which really can’t be recovered from, even if you update the book, you can’t delete a bad review.
Besides, I would like to issue a challenge to my fellow writers. Let’s bring the quality of writing and literacy in the world up a notch. By flooding the world with high quality pieces of literature, we are raising the bar. I’m not saying that you should only write to a level where most folks need to read your piece with a dictionary, but I mean really write well no matter what age group you are writing for.
In order to do this, you will need to learn and hone your craft. I recommend reading blogs, taking classes, watching lectures. Really dig in and gain more skills. Even if you are already a top notch writer, you can always learn to be better!
3. Don’t Write Just One
People have an innate desire to collect things. When you are considering writing e-books, think about taking advantage of this little nugget. Here are some ideas that I got from a few other writers:
Other publish-for-others options include the Top 10 and How to ideas, and I think I am going to publish some picture books that I’ve commissioned my sister to write and illustrate with her kids! Which brings us to the next section!
4. Share the Love-Become a Publisher
Once you become an expert on how to publish an e-book for yourself, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do it for others. Whether or not you use this skill for the aforementioned ideas, or actually start your own publishing company, there is a need for people who are capable of navigating these rough and technical waters. Especially for those authors and illustrators who want to take advantage of the new Kindle Kids Book Creator and other similar products. Some people are just to afraid to learn the software. You can be there for them!
5. Get a Handle on DIY Illustrations and Images
It’s been said, and I’ll say it again, the picture e-book industry is just starting to really take off. The trouble is that most writers aren’t visual artists. I can’t stress the importance of strong images enough when it comes to the success and effectiveness of your writing.
No matter how you spin it, customers will judge a book by it’s cover (and it’s reviews!). If you really want to be successful, you will need to have strong images, whether for a picture book, or for covers. Whether you do it yourself, do part of it your self and outsource the rest, or outsource the illustrations entirely, you need to have strong, consistent imagery. I’ll dedicate on of my next few posts to this, so keep your eyes peeled.
I've got some ideas for writing more technical posts on the actual publishing of the e-books, but I need to get a better handle on the information myself. I'll be sure to post as I learn more.
Thanks for your time folks, let me know in the comments below if you learned anything new, or if you've got anything to share! You rock!
In this age of DIY'ers, we all want to know how to do things ourselves. I'm all for the DIY spirit, so here are 5 tips that will help you in your self editing efforts.
If you have or ever will write anything, then for the sake of anyone who will read what you write, please read and apply the following editing tips:
1. The Broad Edit: Do I Deliver What I Promise?
Whether you are writing a scientific journal or mystery novel, every writer makes a promise to impart some nugget of knowledge to their readers. You set them up with your premise, and in the body, you deliver. Your broad edit should look at the logic and concepts of your project and make sure it really delivers.
Just in case that is clear as mud, I've got an example of a very popular novel that DIDN'T deliver on it's promise. How many of you have read the entire Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer? Don't be afraid to admit it, I did too. In fact, I read it in about a week. Most of the time I really enjoyed myself, but when you are reading that last book and you see the Cullen's and Bella preparing for this major battle, you get all excited! Finally some real action! And then Bella's powers protect everyone and the battle ends in a stalemate before it has even begun! Talk about a major let down. At least in the movie the directors (or producers, or writers, or whoever) found a way to have a battle without actually having a battle. That was well delivered!
Hopefully I didn't just lose you with the Twilight reference. Anywho, when you are doing your broad edit, read through your paper looking for the promises and the deliveries. DON'T GET STUCK ON THE NITPICKY THINGS YET! If you are missing deliveries, then, figure them in or take out the promises. Nothing is more disappointing then a story or paper that doesn't deliver on it's promises.
2. Spelling and Grammar Checks: When To Trust the Software, and When Not To.
I have heard many writers say, "I never trust spell check." Well, honestly, I don't trust it for everything, but that doesn't mean I don't use the heck out of it. Besides, what do you do if you don't really have the skills to perform your own spell checks? The software spell checks are better than nothing at all!
Software spelling and grammar checks are just one tool in a writer's tool box. Just like a carpenter will use his measuring tape before he cuts wood, a writer ought to use the spell check before he hits "publish" or "submit." What is that phrase? Oh yes, "Measure twice, cut once." A Master Craftsman will still use that measuring tape, even if he can tell where to cut without measuring.
I recommend that you use the software checks at least once, right before you call your work finished. It will take you through the entire work and ask you if you want to change things. This is when your inner expert will need to come out and say, "Yes, that needs to be changed," or "Nope, that's what I want it to say." If you don't have an inner expert, consult the internet or a friend.
Then I suggest that you read through your writing again and pay special attention to words like to, too and two, that won't be caught by the software spelling and grammar checks. Measure twice. Cut Once.
3. Read Your Work Out Loud.
I am a firm believer that everything that is written needs to be read out loud. When you read something out loud, you are better able to hear what it will sound like in your readers head. This is especially true for poets who rely heavily on rhythm and pacing in their work, but I think even novelists and bloggers need to do it. I think even magazine articles and Masters Theses should get this treatment.
Do your readers a favor and take the time to read your work out loud. If you read something differently than what you have written, or if you stumble over certain parts, you know that those parts need fixing. Fix them, then read it aloud again!
4. Polish The Rough Spots.
If you truly want to put out a polished piece of writing, you will need to read and rewrite your piece several times before you can consider it finished. Each time you read it, either silently or aloud, you will "feel" the rough spots. Smooth those rough spots by changing word choice or sentence structure, by rearranging sentences or paragraphs, and more. The more you smooth out the bumps, the more polished your work will be.
5. Get Someone Else to Read It.
No matter how good you are, once you have read a piece of writing a thousand times, you start to read it the way you want it to read, and inevitably, you will miss something. Whether you pay an editor to go over it, or have your mom read it, you will need someone else to read your writing at some point.
Honestly, I hope you'll give me a call at that point! If you are at that point now, click on the link below to be taken to my contact form. Fill that out. I look forward to working with you!
About the Author : Lindsay Hodge
I am a writer and a photographer, a stay-at-home-mom, a wife, a homesteader and I am interested in all things sustainable. My husband and I own our own homestead... If you like that sort of thing, you can check out my OTHER website.
Sign up for email updates...
Click or scan the QR-code to be taken to my email sign up page!