"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."--Napoleon Hill
The decision to share some of my most personal writing came after finding a greater sense of purpose and meaning in my life and immense gratitude fueled my desire to offer messages of hope and inspiration, helping others to surmount their struggles.
How might I serve? How can I use all that I've gathered to guide others in their healing? How can I encourage others to honor all that they have been along the way to becoming who they are right now?
I can still remember that evening in bed pondering all this. Where do I start? The answer came the next morning when I opened my email. There was a message from Hay House Publishing. The subject line read...
YOUR chance to publish a book, plus a $10,000 advance!
Without giving it a second thought, I registered for The Writer's Workshop, booked a hotel room, then informed my husband that he was driving me to New York City the weekend of May 21st.
Here are some key insights I gathered that weekend.
1. "Never put down or judge the artist inside you. A writer needs a safe place to create." --Cheryl Richardson
2. "You may grow beyond what you've written." --Cheryl Richardson
3. "Know your audience. Who are you writing for?" --Reid Tracy, President of Hay House
4. "A book for everyone is a book for no one."--Reid Tracy
5. "Be of service, rather than be a star."--Cheryl Richardson
6. "Even with traditional publishing, the publisher provides distribution, the author gets the book out." --Reid Tracy
7. "What brings a memoir to life? Vivid imagery, compassion, honest voice." --Lisa Fugard
8. "Remember that the reader delights in reading...reading to find out. Orient your reader, but don't tell everything."--Lisa Fugard
9. Create a conversation with your audience." --Margarete Nielson, Hay House VP of Marketing
10. "January is a great time for books especially from unknown authors." --Reid Tracy
While I was not awarded the publishing contract for my book proposal, this entire process provided the motivation for me to complete my entire manuscript by the contest deadline. I was ready to begin the publishing journey with Balboa Press, the self-publishing division of Hay House by the end of November of 2011.
It seems that the initial submission, evaluation process/content review took longer than the design and production phase.
Just a few months later, Feb. 2, 2012, Messages from Within: Finding Meaning in Your Life Experiences was in print. One of my earliest dreams of authoring a book had been fulfilled.
And due to the ease of this process, I decided to do it again with Messages from Children and What They Can Teach Grown-ups (Balboa Press, April 22, 2013).
Whatever your dreams might be, know that they have been placed within your heart for a reason. Just ask, How might I serve? Watch what happens and follow the guidance as it comes.
If you have specific questions about my experience with publishing, I would love to hear from you. As always, please feel free to leave your comments or questions here or message me on Facebook.
I'll also be at Tatnuck Bookseller on Sunday, January 19, 2014. I would be delighted to answer your questions in person.
Love and blessings,