“When life calls you, you have to answer.” This is the quote that kicked-off one of the most stimulating, compelling and wonderful weekends of my life. For the first time in a long time I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be. My anxiety over how I would tolerate sitting for 2 days, 8 hours each, quickly diminishing within the first ½ hour. And when Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House, gave an initial brief overview of the Writer’s Contest that workshop attendees can enter, I looked directly at him from my 2nd row seat and said to myself, “This is my time and I’m winning this one!”
I am ready to buckle down and dive into forward momentum with regard to writing and publishing my second book. And what I learned this weekend is that I have built a solid foundation upon which to launch and now I just need to do the work that will catapult me to where I want to be.
The content-rich workshop began with Reid Tracy, CEO of Hay House, discussing how to build a platform. A platform is the way by which I directly communicate with an audience so as to build my tribe. I struggle with this component of my business in that I have over 1,000 followers on each social media site yet only a couple hundred on my actual mailing list. In order to have the financial success I seek, I must create a platform that supports my having a list of at least 5,000. I definitely have my work cut out for me!
The next speaker was Kelly N. who owns her own editing company. She taught us about book proposals, content editing, outlines, etc. She offered so much useful information plus gave us three free templates of book outlines to follow so as to keep the arc of consistency for our reader. It was at this moment that I finally had a genre name for what I am writing: a Teaching Memoire.
Reid came back to talk about the importance of the book cover. He kept hitting home his point that most self-published titles have very poor covers. A cover needs to attract the reader enough so they purchase. At break I went up and asked him if he’d give me an honest opinion of my cover since I self-published. As he nodded I held out my book. Without a second’s hesitation he smiled and said, “That’s really nice!” Score! I feel validated.
The next topic of discussion was self-publishing. Since I went this route with my first book, much of the information was a good refresher. However, I did learn how I could attempt to get my self-published book picked up by a traditional publisher at some point in the future. It’s all about proving there is an audience for what I have to say. If the publisher knows a demand exists, they will invest the money and time.
As the next speaker began discussing how to build our platform, I realized that although my conversion rate is small, I am much further ahead than most of the people in the room. Again, I felt as if I had a slight advantage and further owned my confidence and pride in what I am doing.
The final speaker of the first day was a complete turn off to me. People LOVED her and gave her a standing ovation. Me, well, I found her condescending with her demeaning language. She spent a lot of time telling us what we should not do and how we need to “get over ourselves.” I did try to extrapolate a few nuggets of helpful wisdom such as: my story needs to be greater than me and empathize with other peoples’ pain and help alleviate it; I need to become an escort into the human soul; and I have to be courageous – willing to be uncomfortable to truly share my vision. As I primarily tuned out the speaker and contemplated these juicy nuggets, I felt an energy growing deep inside me finally embracing my message for the gift I believe it to be and truly having faith that I am where I am meant to be right now. It is time for me to be open to my soul’s true journey; my true Tikkun Olam.
At the end of the final session we were asked to complete several writing exercises. One prompt was “Believe in….” Here is what I wrote:
Believe in yourself, you are the change you wish to see in this world. With it you help others navigate through pain or dis-ease to wellness. You make other people’s lives easier, you matter. You make a difference. Just breathe – trust in the process of your journey. All is as it’s meant to be. God said to me, “I choose you because you can handle it. Now teach others. Remember, I AM.”
With that said, my blog over the next few months will focus on my experiences as I develop my first book proposal to enter the Hay House Writer’s Workshop contest in November. My primary goal of sharing this journey with you is to familiarize you with the book publishing process (in case it’s of interest to you) as well as to bounce ideas off of you, my followers, so that I continue to concentrate on providing information you desire most.