Digital Well Publisher

Live a Life of Significance AND Earn Your Worth

How Do You Know What Book to Write First?


Blog Post- What book to write first- (1)

If you are anything like me, then you have a million book ideas whirling around your head. You may have multiple passions that all seem urgent. The problem is that you don’t know what book you should write first.

It’s always a good idea to do a self assessment on anything regarding you business — especially your book. Why? Because there really is no wrong or right way to be an entrepreneur who self publishes. There are a few proven tactics that have worked for some. However what works for you and your business depends upon the business model you use and your own personality.

Question #1: What do you want people to know you for?

People will always know you by what you wrote about in your first book. That is why it is so important to ensure that your overall message for your brand is strong in the beginning.

No matter how many books about writing books I sell, people will always know me for writing my first book about my experience with uterine fibroids and my message of self care for black women. It was that message that helped me to transition to becoming a business writer that caters to health companies and organizations. You see, I made my message work for me. You have to do the same for yourself.

If you’ve been a 5th grade teacher for the last 12 years of your career, but have had a side business as a cake designer that you want to grow, then why write a book about teaching? While you may be a talented teacher with plenty to say on the subject, if you no longer want to be seen as a teacher, then you should focus your first book on a topic related to you new cake designing business.

Question #2: How do you envision people using your book?

While the topic of your book is important, you should also be clear on how you envision your reader consuming you book. Depending upon how your business model functions, you should decide whether it is best to have a book that is an ebook, print book, audiobook, or multiple formats.

I have worked with several business owners who do most of their work online and creating a series of ebooks works well for them. They are able to create a reading experience using ebooks that works for their business structure.

Others who do live speaking engagements at corporations, conferences, or even their own live events may also want to do print books so that they have physical products to sell to their audience.

Furthermore, if you work with high level figures like corporate CEO’s or other high level people, you may want to consider making a series of audiobooks as that crowd tends to multitask while consuming their books. They can run, walk, or do other work on an airplane ride to their next high power meeting while also listening to your book.

Take an inventory of how your audience consumes books and allow that to lead how you plan what format(s) you will focus on when creating your books.

Question #3: What other products and services can you create as an extension of the book?

For most entrepreneurs who also write books, the majority of their income does not usually come from book sales. It is often the coaching programs, consultation calls, retreats, speaking engagements, etc. that come as an extension of the book.

Start thinking about other income streams that are a natural extension of what you do.

Answering these three questions should help you start to nail down the topic of your first book. If you’ve been mulling your book topic in your head for weeks — maybe even years — it’s time to get some help. Getting an objective opinion from a book writing professional can move you from procrastination to author in as little as 30 minutes!

Schedule a 30 or 60 minute Author Jam Session with me to started!

 

 

 



QUICK KINDLE TUTORIAL: How to Format Your Kindle Books with Google Docs

null (1)Do you spend your Sunday nights loathing what you are going to have to face come Monday morning?
I know the feeling all too well. For many years I spent my Sunday nights with my stomach in knots, even crying real tears, all because I hated my job. Now that I’m on the other side of crappy jobs and now working for myself full time, I now realize that pulling myself into those thoughts was a pure waste of my time and energy.
I know you’re probably saying, “Yeah right, Halona. Easy for you to say now that you no longer have a crappy job.” But I really want you to hear me out on this one. Rather than letting my brain wallow in feeling sorry for myself, I should have spent that time doing something to get my business off the ground — blogging, interviewing people that are doing what I want to do, writing books, etc.
Doing the work that makes me happy puts your mind at ease and helps to propel you towards your goals. The only thing I was able to accomplish with all my self loathing on a Sunday night was screw up my digestion.
So now I want to help you out.
I will be offering Sunday Night Happy Hour Webinars once a month — usually the last Sunday of the month. The webinars will cover topics that are related to self publishing.
This month I will be talking about How to Format Your Kindle Books with Google Docs.
Why am I offering this training? Well, I just finished writing an ebook that I sell on my website as well as on Amazon and all I used to format it properly was Google Docs. I figured I would share my secret sauce on how I was able to get it done.
Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect to learn from the training:
  • What parts make up a formal ebook (front matter, back matter, etc.)
  • How to use Google Docs to organize your books and your business
  • How to create the spacing needed to create sections in your book
  • How to make a proper table of contents without pulling your hair out
As a bonus, you will receive a nonfiction ebook/print book template you can use to create your own books.
If you would like to join me for Sunday Night Happy Hour, you can click over to the following link to get signed up for this and all following training webinars:
DATE: Sunday, September 27, 2015
TIME: 6pm EDT
The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot make it. I plan to make it available for free for 72 hours.

 



Are Ebooks Still Relevant?

Are Ebooks Still Relevant-In a word… YES!

Ebooks will never really go out of style for two reasons:

  1. Easy to produce
  2. Easy to consume

As an entrepreneur who uses ebooks to teach and market my business and that of my clients, I always recommend ebooks as a great place to begin building your publishing empire.

 

Ebooks can do more than just make you money

The success of your ebook lies in the planning. I see so many entrepreneurs put all their time and energy into writing an ebook, only to have it sit on some obscure page of their website, or be completely ignored on Amazon. It’s no fun putting all your energy into a project that doesn’t make you money.

My advice is always to think through what you want out of your ebook. While we all want ebook sales, you should also be thinking about how writing one ebook, or an ebook series, can position you as an expert. I did a webinar at the end of August on how I made $25,000 with one ebook. Listeners were surprised to find that most of the money I made from my ebook came through pitching myself to companies and organizations that had the money to pay me for my expertise.

I talk a lot about eating well and healthy living in my ebook, Loving My Fibroids Away: A 10-Day Detox Plan. Mind you, I’m not a trained chef or dietician, just someone who had an experience with fibroids who wanted to help make life easier for other women suffering through the same thing. Because I had an ebook along with an online presence, I was able to beat out other trained chefs and nutritionists in places like the Whole Foods healthy eating club in Tribeca, NYC. As a matter of fact, I had trained chefs assisting me in making sure my ingredients were prepped and ready to go. Families allowed me into their homes to provide fast, healthy meals cooked in their own kitchen — all because I dared to declare my expertise with an ebook!

Are you ready to write your ebook?

If you are ready to write your own ebook, I want to make sure that you have the right guidance to get started. That’s why I started the B.O.S.S. Guide Series. Book one is about Planning, Writing, & Publishing Business Building Ebooks. I literally hand walk you through

  • positioning your ebook for success
  • identifying tools and systems you need to market your ebook and make sales
  • how to be a productive writer
  • creating an ebook title and ebook cover that sells

If you are ready to add this powerful ebook to your professional library, then you want to purchase it on my website. For a minimal investment, you’ll have the blueprint that will help you finally get your first ebook done in a matter of days — not years.



An Introvert’s Search for Clarity in Her Business

Ep11

I have been going deep in doing the work of “finding my voice.” Perhaps finding my voice is not really the right term. What I have been doing is becoming comfortable with who I am, what I do, and why I do it.

This week’s podcast is a bit different for me. It’s not an interview and it’s not me giving you a laundry list of things you can do to help you publish your next book. It is me talking through my own issues with being comfortable with my business.

You see, I’ve been quite confused about what Digital Well Publisher is all about. I originally intended it to be a space where wellness entrepreneurs would gather to write books. However I went back and forth on whether to stick with wellness pros, or to go general and just talk with online entrepreneurs. So what I needed was a way for me to get in touch with my own desires for my business. Why did I do this? I think for the same reason I like to write — it helps me to validate my thoughts and feelings. This whole speaking thing is very new to me. I’m used to being able to filter my thoughts through the writing process. My fear of speaking stems from my own inability to trust myself, my intuition — particularly in public spaces. I decided I no longer want to be that person. My message is so big that writing as my sole message medium is no longer enough.

Some key takeaways for me from doing this episode:

#1 Don’t be afraid to declare who you are and what you love, even if you think it sounds weird to others.

#2 There is real value in talking out your confusion in an effort to find clarity. Is there a way to systemetize this?

#3 I often have these kinds of conversations with myself in my head. I wonder what would happen if I allowed other people in on these thoughts more often?

That’s all! There’s no intro music, outro music, commercials, or any fluff. Just me talking through my confusion. I hope you find it useful. If not, I hope you stick around for my next interview! 🙂



Top 3 Misconceptions About Hiring a Book Editor

 

Top 3 Misconceptions About Hiring an EditorIt boggles my mind how many self published authors work so hard on their books and somehow skip over hiring an editor. When you write a book, you are too close to the book to really give it the fresh eye it needs to be clear and readable to your audience.

One of the great things about self publishing is that we get to cut out a lot of the middle men used in traditional publishing so we can syndicate our message on our own. However self publishing doesn’t mean that you do it ALL by yourself. It’s important to have a team — and your team should certainly include an editor. I talk about it on the 3rd episode of my podcast, How to Create Your Self Publishing Team.

So I wanted to take a few minutes to bust some of the misconceptions you may have about hiring an editor for your next book project.

#1.Hiring an editor is too expensive.

You say hiring an editor is too expensive? I say that NOT hiring an editor is too expensive. Why? Because high quality editing can transform your book from mediocre to something that your readers will love, appreciate, and share with their friends for years to come. Hiring an editor based on price alone is like letting your cousin take your wedding pics with his smartphone. Sure, it does the job, but are these the kind of pics you want to hang on your wall as a keepsake for generations to come? Of course not.

#2. All editors are the same.

Some wellness entrepreneurs are surprised when they find out my price for editing their book. This is because they often believe that all editors do the same work. In short, there are 3 kinds of editors:

Developmental editors check your book for overall continuity, flow, tone, structure. These editors want to know that the ideas in your book make sense to those who are reading.

Copyeditors go through your book line by line to ensure that each sentence makes sense. They also check for grammar, spelling, syntax, etc.

Proofreaders go through your book once it has been laid out in its final format and before it goes out to print. The proofreader looks for any fixes any final embarrassing mistakes.

While I am capable at doing all 3, most of the work I do with clients falls between developmental and copyediting. Developmental editing is often the most important and the most expensive part of the editing process that entrepreneurs often don’t see the value in paying for. However if you are the only person that understands what your book is about, then what was the whole point in writing it anyway? It’s kind of like going to the hairdresser and saying, “I’m only paying for you to do 3/4 of my head today, please.” It just doesn’t make sense. If you go through the trouble of writing the book, finish strongly by hiring the right editor.

#3. Editors fix 100% of all errors.

Fixing 100% of all errors in your book, or any kind of writing for that matter, is generally impossible. Why? Because human beings make mistakes. Sure, we can try to do our best to ensure that the book has as few mistakes as possible, but to ask an editor to give you an error free book is like asking God for no more rainy days (I’m in the mood for analogies today). It just doesn’t work. Pick up a classic novel, or even the latest New York Times Bestseller and count how many errors you find. I bet you’ll be surprised.

I hope that this gives you a bit more insight into how and why hiring a qualified editor to edit your book is important. Do you have any other thoughts about why you need or don’t need an editor for your book? Share them with me below.



Ep10: How to Self-Edit Your Book

How to Self-Edit Your Books

Do you know what makes a great book? Some of you may think that it comes from a big marketing campaign. However, before you get to the point of developing your marketing campaign, you need to have a high quality book that is well written.

 

Listen to this episode:

Editing your book is one of those unsexy elements of book writing that a lot of entrepreneurs tend to skip because they think it’s too hard. As a developmental editor, I have to tell you that I have declined working with some writers simply because they refused to go through the self-editing process. What they wanted was someone to clean up their stream of consciousness writing — which becomes more like ghostwriting than editing.

I also know that a lot of you may not know HOW to self-edit your books. A lot of English instructors have done a fine job of scaring people into believing they are not writers, so they pull themselves out of the process rather than stay engaged. So I’m going to give you the highlights of my own 4-step process in self-editing so that you can write a book that is in the best possible shape for your readers.

The 4-step self-editing process is not difficult, however  I wanted to give you some written guidelines that may make working through the steps a bit easier. Click below to download your free Self-Editing Checklist for Entrepreneurs.

Download Your Free Guide to Self Editing Your Book

 

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#AuthorTech: How to Record Interviews with Skype

How to Record Interviews with Skype - DigitalWellPublisher.comSkype has become an important tool in the entrepreneur space. It allows us to be able to connect with others who are around the corner or on the other side of the world. Having that face-to-face contact is invaluable, particularly for those of us who work from home. However Skype has more utility for authorpreneurs than just another meeting with a client. You can also use Skype to record an interview for your next book.

There are many reasons why you may want to record an interview when you are writing a book:

  1. Background Research: It is not unusual for a health and wellness entrepreneur to seek first-hand resources to back up claims they are making in a book. One of the best ways to do that is to record an interview with an expert. For example, if you are a health coach who works with women who want to balance their hormones, you may want to interview an endocrinologist, a gynecologist, or even other women who are experiencing hormonal imbalance.
  2. Transcribe Interviews into a Book: It has become popular for entrepreneurs to do interviews with other successful entrepreneurs, transcribe the interviews, and turn that information into a book. This may be especially attractive to those of you who would rather talk a book out as opposed to writing it from scratch. To get started, simply think of a potential title like Health Coach Success Tips, Secrets of Successful Yogis: How to Create a Profitable Yoga Studio, or 10 Women Entrepreneurs Share their Views on Work/Life Balance. Once you have your book idea, do your research to find out if anyone has written a similar book. If a similar book has been written, ask yourself if you can provide new or different information on the topic or if you need to go back to the drawing board.Then make a list of potential interviewees, contact them, and make a schedule of interviews.
  3. Offer Interviews as a Bonus to Your Book: I am currently working on creating an online membership program for women with fibroids. One of the bonuses I have included are 2 interviews I conducted for my second book on the topic. Why do this? I think it gives people a nice, behind the scenes look into what you, as an author, are doing. Think about when you buy your favorite movie on DVD and it includes deleted scenes or interviews with the cast. People love those extra pieces that make them feel closer to you.

If you haven’t already done so, you must first download Skype onto your computer in order to get started. Skype is a free tool that is available for both Mac and Windows users. Once you have downloaded Skype on your laptop, then you can download an additional app that will allow you to record your conversations. There is one tool for Mac users and another tool for PC users.

Mac Users Download Ecamm to Record Skype Interviews

If you are a Mac user, then you simply want to download Ecamm. At the time of writing this blog post, the cost is only one payment of $29.95 — and they do offer a free trial. It’s super easy to use. I use it for my podcast interviews which gives me much higher quality sound than using a free conference call option.

Windows Users Download Pamela to Record Skype Interviews

If you use Windows, then Pamela for Skype is what you want to download. At the time of writing this blog post, the cost is less than $17 — and they do offer a free trial. I am not a Windows user, so I cannot personally attest to how well it works. However I know many other podcasters who use it regularly and say it works well.

Are you using interviews as part of your health book writing or health blogging process? What challenges are you having in your interviews?

 



Ep9: How to Market Your Book Beyond Amazon with Kuroji and Chenniah Patrick of JhaZamoraS Publishing

Episode 9 (1)

 Listen to this episode:

Today’s podcast guest is a husband and wife team, Kuroji and Chenniah Patrick of JhaZamoraS Publishing and creator of children’s books and merchandise that focus on healthy families and relationships.

Before you dismiss this podcast episode because you’re not into children’s books, let me stop you right now. This episode is not really about children’s books as it is more ,about creating a successful marketing strategy for your book business. Kuroji and Chenniah were quite generous with the information they shared — all of it which they learned through old fashioned trial and error. Here are a few of the nuggets of wisdom you will hear in this episode:

  • how researching your target audience can save you time and money
  • how to sell bulk book orders to large organizations
  • why they chose NOT to use Amazon to market and sell their books
  • how meeting readers in person helps to sell more books
  • ideas for selling merchandise outside of your book

What I love about Kuroji and Chenniah is that they represent the best of what it means to be a small business owner. Rather than choosing to chase after quick internet riches, they do the activities that help them build relationships with people who will buy from them for years. So while they may not make money up front from all their marketing activities, they understand that they are building a legacy that goes beyond a few dollars earned in an online scheme.

So take a listen and let me know what you think!

 

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Are You Leading Your Wellness Business with Integrity?

Are you leading with integrity-I’m sure you have heard by now the story of Belle Gibson, the founder of The Whole Pantry app and author of a book by the same name. In short, the wellness entrepreneur allegedly misled her readers about a cancer diagnosis. In addition, apparently she pledged to make a donation from the sales of the app to charity, but failed to do so.

While I have many opinions about this scandal, I don’t intend to make her story the focus of this blog post. What I’d rather talk about is making the decision to operate your health and wellness business in integrity.

As holistic health professionals, many of us understand that mainstream medicine often accuses us of causing more harm than good. The perceived lack of regulation and research on the various areas of holistic health is often what scares mainstream medicine professionals into thinking that what we do is more quackery than healing. And, of course, Belle’s story is one example that may add fuel to mainstream medicine’s argument.

So how do we, as holistic professionals, stay in the good graces of the people we serve? I say we have to make an intentional decision to run our businesses in the highest of integrity.

What is integrity? Merriam-Webster dictionary describes integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”

I believe integrity all starts with love for the work we do and the people we serve. Many of us were called to do healing work because of our own experiences with illness, or perhaps watching others who were suffering. This is not just a “job” that we do to pay our bills or even for clout. We do it because we can’t see ourselves doing anything else. We do it because we don’t want to see other people suffer in a way that we may have.

This love for our work and the people we serve spreads into our products and services. We want, above all, to lead people to make life altering changes that affect the trajectory of their lives. However, sometimes I see well intentioned entrepreneurs of all kinds make decisions in their business based on the need to make money. How many times have you come across Facebook ads, webinars, and other training courses that promise to get you to that coveted 6 or 7 figure mark? Don’t get me wrong… Making money is a wonderful thing. Money allows us givers and caretakers to live a more comfortable life so that we can, in turn, serve more people. Wellness entrepreneurs deserve to make fabulous money. However I wonder how many wellness entrepreneurs are running down rabbit holes using business tactics that may not necessarily fit their business, but do it anyway because they were told it was the quickest route to cash? We copy others in the hopes that the success other people have found will be repeated in our own business.

This post is simply a reminder for all wellness entrepreneurs, myself included, to lead our businesses with integrity. Start with the love you have for the people you serve and the unique way in which you were incarnated to do so. Remember that the people who entrust us with their time, energy, and dollars need you to show up in full truth. If you find that you are great with your clients, but suck at the details of running a business then take the time to learn what you need to learn, or partner with someone who can help you. Have integrity. When you say you are going to do something, be sure to follow through. Do everything with integrity. Anything else is dishonorable to our calling as healers.

So now I ask you, where have you not held yourself or your business in the highest of integrity? How is it affecting your ability to be successful?

Would you like to know more about how to self-publish a book? Then sign up for your Publish & Profits Toolkit at DigitalWellPublisher.com for practical publishing advice, podcast interviews from industry leaders, and support from other entrepreneurs like you.

Halona Black is an Author, Book Coach, and Publisher who works with health and wellness entrepreneurs who are ready to share their million dollar story and change lives in the process. You can find her at DigitalWellPublisher.com.



Ep8: Food Blogging & Cookbook Dreams with Dianne Jacob

Ep8-  Food Blogging & Cookbook Dreams (1)Listen to this episode:

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Is starting a food blog worth your while in 2015?

You may read some online sources that say the food blogging sphere is overcrowded. Perhaps the same thing can be said about blogging in general. I’m one of those people that has to disagree — particularly if you are blogging as an entrepreneur.

You see, there’s a big difference between hobby bloggers and entrepreneurial bloggers. Hobby bloggers are not necessarily blogging for the money. Many are happy just connecting with like-minded individuals. Some food bloggers get to the point where they get offered sponsorships from food companies sometimes for $100 to $150, at best. That’s not exactly money you can live on. However entrepreneurs have several income streams and the blog becomes a space where you can market your other services and products.  If you are an entrepreneurial wellness entrepreneur who can develop her own audience, then I don’t see why you couldn’t make food blogging part of a profitable business.

In today’s podcast, I get to speak with one of my food and recipe writing mentors (at least in my head anyway…), Dianne Jacob. You may know of Dianne from her book, Will Write for Food, the premiere book on the art and science of food writing. I particularly recommend it for its section on writing recipes. I know many of you health coaches, nutritionists, dietitians, etc. are out there creating brilliant cooking classes that encourage families to eat better, but fall short on communicating written recipes to your audience simply because you never learned how. You don’t have to go to cooking school to learn this skill because Dianne has already laid out the “how-to” for you.

Aside from writing such a useful book, Dianne has also written and edited cookbooks, is a journalist, and also trains food bloggers all around the world. This episode is full of great takeaways. If you would like to connect with Dianne, you can find her on her website, DianneJ.com.

Would you like to know more about how to self-publish a book? Then sign up for your Publish & Profits Toolkit at DigitalWellPublisher.com for practical publishing advice, podcast interviews from industry leaders, and support from other entrepreneurs like you.

Halona Black is an Author, Book Coach, and Publisher who works with health and wellness entrepreneurs who are ready to share their million dollar story and change lives in the process. You can find her at DigitalWellPublisher.com.

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