Category Archives: Self-Publishing

3 Reasons Why You Should Write Your Life Story

write your life story

write your life story

For a long time now, you’ve been thinking you may one day write your life story. But the chatter inside your mind has you second guessing this choice. Maybe you’re waiting for someone else to give you the go-ahead—the permission—to move forward with this project. You may fear failure. Or, you may fear that your book could one day become a massive success. And maybe that level of success will shine a light on all the dark corners of your life for everyone to see, or maybe it will separate you from cherished family and friends. These fears can be daunting, whether they’re right or wrong, true or false.

3 Reasons Why You Should Write Your Life Story

So many questions may be running through your head. What will people think of me? Will they understand or will they judge me? Will this hurt or embarrass the ones I love? Should I do it?

There are a lot of articles out there on how to write your life story. But, today, I want to talk about 3 reasons why you should write this important story. I want to help you past the fear that is holding you back so you can stop procrastinating and move forward with it. After all, you’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time now. Haven’t you?

1. It’s the story you know best.

The best way to learn how to write a book is to start with a story that is most familiar to you—your own life story. There is no character research to be done. You won’t even have to create fictitious scenes out of thin air. Everything is already there at your disposal, inside your memory. All you have to do is sit down and write it.

Where do you start? Well, I recommend starting with any pivotal moment that stands out in your mind, that you’ve thought about many times. Write it down. Then write down the next moment. And then the next one. You can rearrange the timeline later, as you’ve written out more scenes from your life. The important thing is to start.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
~Louis L’Amour

Do this religiously every evening, one scene at a time. The next thing you know, you’ll have a full book written.

2. It can be therapeutic for you.

You may find, as I did, that writing out certain scenes from your life is a therapeutic way of purging negative emotions—especially when it comes to writing about traumatic experiences. As you explain the situation and your reactions to it, you may also gain new insight that helps you heal, forgive, and move forward anew.

When it comes to your life story, there are no hard and fast rules on how to structure it. Just write. Let whatever comes to mind flow out through your hands onto that computer keyboard without judgement. Write from your heart. Feel it all again as you write it. By doing so, others will feel it when they read it later on. It will be that much more impactful. Which brings me to…

3. You may just help someone.

Lisa Nichols is a bestselling author, transformational coach, and professional speaker. She’s also one of my top sources of inspiration whenever I need a boost. What I love most about Lisa is her willingness to share her life story with others—including all the times she’s fallen during her lifetime.

Lisa is unapologetic about her journey. She encourages others to stand on top of their stories rather than carrying them as heavy baggage. One of her favourite sayings is, “The truth is sexy!” And she’ll help you to realize that if her truth is okay to share openly, then so is yours. You have nothing to hide or fear or protect if you’re sharing your truth in a productive way with genuinely helpful intentions.

“There’s a calling on your life that you don’t get to shake, and its only yours. No one else has the same calling as you. … I need you to fall in front of me. Because I’m not watching you when you fall. I’m watching how you get back up again. … I need you more than you need you. When you cross my path, and I watch you keep working at it, and I watch you keep coming back, you put oxygen in my chest.” Lisa Nichols, Mindvalley keynote

That’s perhaps the greatest reason why you should write your life story. In doing so, you may just help someone else.

One Important Disclaimer

No publisher can answer all your questions for you—particularly any legal questions you may have about writing certain controversial scenes or “characters” into your personal story. It’s always best to consult a qualified trademark, copyright and entertainment attorney in your area with these types of questions. Only a lawyer can provide you with legitimate legal advice.

Related reading:
Do You Really Have What It Takes to Write a Book?
Don’t Call Procrastination Laziness. Call it Fear.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers

Every book is a little bit different. But this project timeline template will help you guesstimate how much time it will take to publish your book. It is essentially the same process for all books: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, et cetera. But some books will require all the below steps (e.g., non-fiction books require indexing) while others won’t.

Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers (Project Management)

Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers (Project Management)

Traditional Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers

Below is the approximate amount of time it takes to publish a paperback book the traditional way. For a 30,000-word non-fiction book, you can expect the entire process to take around four months. If your book is twice as large (e.g., 60,000+ words), then expect to double the amount of time it will take each person to complete his or her duties within the project. Plus, you can add up to another four weeks if you plan to print any books once the publishing process itself is complete.

Title of the Book: Sample Non-Fiction Book
Author Name(s): Jane Doe
Genre: non-fiction
Format: paperback
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Word Count: 30,000
Picture Count: up to 10 interior graphics automatically included in each graphic design package
Colour or B/W Interior: b/w
WORK-MADE-FOR-HIRE VENDORS
PPG Publishing Services (Project Manager)
Copy editor
Fact checker
Indexer
Graphic designer
Proofreader
PROJECT TIMELINE
Order Vendor/Author(s) Project Duties Deadline
1 Author Order publishing package (prepay) June 26, 2017
2 Author Digitally sign publishing agreement and submit to PPG June 26, 2017
3 Author Send Production Questionnaire to PPG June 26, 2017
4 Author Submit manuscript and interior graphics to PPG June 26, 2017
5 Author Submit cover text and graphics to PPG June 26, 2017
6 PPG Order ISBN & barcode June 26, 2017
7 PPG Submit contracts to PPG vendors June 26, 2017
8 ALL Vendors All vendors return signed contracts and initial invoices June 26, 2017
9 PPG 50% deposits sent to vendors June 27, 2017
10 PPG Send manuscript to copy editor June 28, 2017
11 Editor Copy editing July 11, 2017
12 Editor Return copy edited manuscript to PPG July 12, 2017
13 PPG Review and send copy edited manuscript to author for approval July 12, 2017
14 Author Finish reviewing copy edited manuscript July 18, 2017
15 Author Return reviewed/approved copy edited manuscript to PPG July 19, 2017
16 PPG Send ISBN and barcode to graphic designer for cover July 20, 2017
17 PPG Send graphics and copy edited manuscript to designer July 20, 2017
18 Designer Complete and send two sample cover/interior designs to PPG July 22, 2017
19 PPG Review and send the two sample cover/interior designs to author July 23, 2017
20 Author Choose one cover design and one interior design and let PPG know July 25, 2017
21 PPG Let designer know author’s choice of cover/interior design July 25, 2017
22 Designer Design cover and interior of book August 7, 2017
23 Designer Send first round .PDF proofs of cover and interior to PPG August 8, 2017
24 PPG Check over first round .PDF proofs and then send to author August 8, 2017
25 Author Complete first proofing round August 14, 2017
26 Author Send changes (if applicable) back to PPG August 15, 2017
27 PPG Check author’s comments and send first round changes back to designer August 15, 2017
28 Designer Complete changes and send next .PDF proofs to PPG August 22, 2017
29 PPG Check over .PDF proofs and then send to author August 22, 2017
30 Author Complete second proofing round August 28, 2017
31 Author Send changes (if applicable) or approval back to PPG August 29, 2017
32 PPG Check author’s comments and send second round changes/approval back to designer August 29, 2017
33 Designer Complete changes and send next .PDF proof to PPG September 4, 2017
34 PPG Check over .PDF proofs and then send back to author for approval September 4, 2017
35 Author Review and send approval back to PPG September 5, 2017
36 PPG Send approved .PDF interior to Indexer September 5, 2017
37 Indexer Complete index of the interior September 18, 2017
38 Indexer Send index in Word.doc format back to PPG September 19, 2017
39 PPG Review and forward index to designer to insertion into the .PDF September 19, 2017
40 Designer Insert index into .PDF September 20, 2017
41 Designer Return print-ready .PDF of interior and .jpeg of cover to PPG September 20, 2017
42 PPG Submit print-ready files to printer and order hard copy proof September 21, 2017
43 PPG Order hard copy proof for proofreader (Can take up to two weeks to receive this from the printer.) October 5, 2017
44 PPG Send suggested retail price to author for approval October 5, 2017
45 Author Reply to PPG with chosen retail price for book. October 6, 2017
46 Proofreader Complete professional proofread of hard copy proof October 18, 2017
47 Proofreader Return proofread hard copy proof to PPG October 19, 2017
48 PPG If more changes, submit to designer to complete changes and mail hard copy proof to author October 19, 2017
49 Designer Complete proofreader changes and submit updated .PDF proof to PPG October 23, 2017
50 PPG Review and send .PDF to author for review along with hard copy proof October 23, 2017
51 Author Compare hard proof to new .PDF proof and send final sign-off to PPG October 25, 2017
52 PPG Request all final-approved working and finished  files back from designer October 26, 2017
53 Designer Send all final working and finished files back to PPG October 27, 2017
54 PPG Send author all final working and finished files October 27, 2017
55 PPG Submit final files to printer/online distributor(s) October 27, 2017
56 PPG Organize one book signing event at a local book store for author October 27, 2017
57 Author Print books (Depending on how many copies are being printed, this can take up to four weeks.) November 17, 2017
58 Author Submit book copies to Legal Deposit at Library and Archives Canada October 27, 2017
59 PPG Update PPG Facebook page October 27, 2017
60 PPG Update PPG blog October 27, 2017

Project Timeline Template for “Rapid Release” Publishing

This past year, I discussed the many merits of “rapid release” publishing (e.g., releasing a new book every six weeks). Obviously, the above traditional project timeline template won’t work for independent authors who wish to self-publish an SEO-friendly book series like that. They will require a different approach as outlined in this mini ebook series. But for those of you who wish to produce only one book at a time the traditional way, you can use the above template as your guide.

Does “rapid release” publishing appeal to you more than the traditional publishing process does? If yes, here are 7 Tips to Help You Write a Book FAST!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Sell More Earn More By Writing More. It’s That Simple.

Sell More Earn More By Writing More. It's That Simple.

Sell More Earn More By Writing More. It’s That Simple.

Good news authors—especially the introverts out there. You can sell more earn more simply by writing more. It really is that simple! Here’s how I know…

My shift in thinking began in around mid-to-late 2015. I had been in the book publishing business, in one capacity or another, for close to 25 years. I’d been publishing books under my own label, Polished Publishing Group (PPG), since November 2009. I knew how to produce a truly professional product for my authors, and I had ample experience to be able to teach them all the traditional book sales and marketing methods. I was a best selling author in my own right, and so were many of my authors. So, everything looked great on the surface.

But here was the reality: my company wasn’t generating enough profit to allow me to leave my full-time sales job. My own royalties, and my best authors’ royalties, weren’t all that impressive. All these bestsellers were earning less than $500 per year in royalties. That was the hard truth.

Burnout and Refocus Time

I was burning out. I could no longer maintain my pace of 50+ hours of corporate sales coupled with another 20+ hours of book publishing, sales, and marketing every week. Especially if there was no end in sight to all this work—no definite increase in profits to show me I was on the right track. I felt discouraged. I felt like I was failing my authors, never mind myself.

So, do you know what I did? I quit my full-time job, and I scaled back the publishing work for a little while. There was something I had wanted to do since my early twenties that I allowed myself to do in my forties. I embarked on my very own “Eat, Pray, Love” working holiday in Asia and taught English in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2016. What a blessing this experience was! I was blessed not only by all the people I met and all the life lessons I learned, but also by my renewed sense of purpose when I returned home.

If you’re feeling burned out in any way, I recommend you do something like this for yourself. Walk away from your work for a while. Have fun! Eat! Pray! Love! Then, once you’re fully rejuvenated, get back to work. You’ll be so much more productive if you do. And you may just find the answers to your questions that had eluded you for so long. That’s what happened to me.

Sell More Earn More in the United Kingdom

I didn’t go back to a “real job” straightaway because I wanted to turn off the corporate noise for a while and really focus on my craft. And I found four personal investors to help me cover my expenses while I focused. In early 2017, I started studying and learning all about email marketing. I also Googled things like “successful authors” and “profitable publishing” to figure out how to take things to the next level and start making some real money publishing books.

The first clue came to me in the form of a Forbes article written about a self-published author in the United Kingdom named Mark Dawson: Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer. I was impressed … but skeptical. I figured maybe he was an anomaly. So, I kept reading and searching for more “realistic” examples of success.

Sell More Earn More in the United States

In May of 2017, I spoke at a writers’ conference in Columbia, Missouri. Because I only presented two break-out sessions of my own, I had the opportunity to attend many other people’s sessions that weekend. One of the most memorable sessions for me was Liz Schulte‘s break-out session. This American was one of only a handful of independent authors who were allowed to join her local traditional writers’ guild. Why? Because of her proven sales success. She was already earning a six-figure annual royalty in her second year of self-publishing.

WHAT??!!

Now it wasn’t just some seemingly “faraway fictional character” speaking to me about his success from a Forbes magazine article. This was a real person standing in front of me, telling me that she was doing many of the same things Mark Dawson was doing. And she was seeing similar results. Now I knew I was onto something big!

I went for a glass of wine with Liz that evening, and I soaked in all her knowledge. I also asked her to write a guest post for the PPG Publisher’s Blog and she willingly obliged despite how busy she is (click on her hyperlinked name above to read it). Thank you, Liz!

Sell More Earn More in Australia

Determined to meet even more authors like Mark and Liz, I posted a question on Quora asking authors to share their success stories with me. I received a somewhat cheeky reply from an Aussie, named Timothy Ellis, who said he wasn’t sure if I would consider him a success or not because he only sells around 3,000 books per month after two years as a self-publisher.

WHAT??!!

How?! Give me your success formula! Show me your stats!

Lucky for me, he obliged. Timothy Ellis willingly shared his success formula in this guest post on the PPG Publisher’s Blog. Thank you, Timothy!

Sell More Earn More in Canada … and All Over the World!

Long story short, since that time, I’ve been a student of many more successful authors who are following the same patterns as the above three are. In fact, I’ve studied and put into practice everything I’ve learned from these authors to see some success of my own over the past two years.

Here’s the best part: I have a “real job” again now, and even with this job taking up much of my time during the week, I’m still seeing some real progress with my own personal book sales. So, that tells you that you can do the same. You don’t have to quit your job and focus on writing and publishing alone in order to see success with it. You can easily maintain both … until you don’t have to do both anymore. Does that make sense?

My new “real job” is an added bonus for me, because the industry I’m in completely complements my writing and publishing aspirations: printing. I’ve learned so much more about printing this past year that I can offer even more helpful insights to authors everywhere—in Canada and abroad. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now, and I’m looking very forward to even more success 2019!

A New Focus for PPG in the New Year

In the meantime, I’ve stopped publishing books for other people. For now. There are so many publishers out there, and there are just as many self-publishing tools. But there are very few decent sales coaches for authors who can show you the path to significant success as an author. I’m drawing that roadmap right now. I’m living it as I’m drawing it, and I’ll be sharing it with you in the coming months. It will come complete with real life statistics that prove it’s possible to earn so much more than you ever thought possible by writing and publishing books. Watch for it in early 2019!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Profitable Publishing in 2019

profitable publishing

profitable publishing

What does profitable publishing look like to you? Is it signing a publishing deal with a major publisher like Amanda Hocking did after proving her marketability through self-publishing? Or maybe it’s upstaging trade publishers by selling more books as a self-publisher than they ever sold for you. That’s Mark Dawson‘s story. Is it seeing your paperback or hardcover for sale on the shelves of “bricks and mortar” bookstores? Or is it having your ebooks listed as best sellers in multiple categories on Amazon or Kobo? Profitable publishing can take on many different forms, depending on your personal goals. In fact, this blog is already full of various author success stories and their personal roadmaps to success. Each story is a little different. All of them are inspirational.

Profitable Publishing in 2019

In the upcoming year, I’ll be providing even more examples of success in all its forms. I once focused on cautioning authors about the “peculiar old-fashioned practices and unforeseen pitfalls” of the traditional publishing world. Now I want to focus more on what contemporary authors find is working well for them. There’s no sense in focusing on the past anymore. Right? I want to bring you today‘s recipes for success so you can begin implementing them immediately. In other words, I want to focus on truly profitable publishing in 2019.

If you want to reach the masses and sell an increasing number of books, then you’ll need to be publishing and selling online in very specific ways. Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to your success, and there are some easy techniques all authors can learn to improve their rankings on all the search engines.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



What Does a Publisher Do for a Writer?

Perhaps, even more than “What does a publisher do for a writer?” the true question here is “What do authors want? And will they get that from a publisher?”

What Does a Publisher Do for a Writer?

What Does a Publisher Do for a Writer?

What Do Authors Want?

I came across an article aptly titled What Do Authors Want? the other day. It discussed that what every author truly wants is “discoverability” and that traditional publishers don’t actually offer this:

The two editors did not specify what they thought ‘discoverability’ was. They did, however, say that what publishing firms could offer was not ‘discoverability’ but ‘the professional environment’. This included professional editing to a high standard, high-end book layout and design, a ‘reasonable’ distribution (again, not specified), and publicity in accordance with the allocated budget. This budget, they said, varied, but on average it was between £200 and £300 per book. They also emphasised that authors were now expected to contribute to their own marketing and publicity, especially through social media and blogging.

It seems to me that the discrepancy between what authors want and what the publishing firm might provide must have consequences.

The article goes on to compare three different author experiences: the first traditionally published by a major corporate firm; the second traditionally published by a small independent press; the third self-published with support from an online hybrid publisher. (You can read the differences between these publishing methods by clicking here.) In terms of which of the three authors sold the most books, not surprisingly it was the third self-published author.

What Does a Publisher Do for a Writer?

I’ve mentioned the realities of traditional publishing many times in the past, most recently in this blog post: 2 Important Details About Traditional Publishing. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what publishing method you use. If you want your books to be “discovered” by the masses, it takes time and consistent focus—on your part. You can build your own readership the way many of today’s most successful independent “indie” authors do. As a result, a traditional publisher may just sign you down the road.

The true value of a traditional publisher is the professional support they can provide in terms of editing and graphic design. As well, they can get you into the “bricks and mortar” bookstores more easily than you can on your own. But the rest is up to you alone. It’s always been that way for the majority of authors.

Related reading: Printers and Publishers: What Their Graphic Designers Will and Won’t Do for You

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.