One of the best ways to become a successful published author is to eliminate the Fred Flintstone attitude and verbal slayings.
Here is what I mean: It is the “ricka-fracka-ricka-fracka” negative mutterings (didn’t Fred sound like that when he got mad?) that often bubble up from within that color your writing mind – for the worse. Business or life coaches refer to this as getting in your own way.
I have been there. And sometimes I still face those same challenges. If not, I would not be human.
So, give yourself some grace.
Easy for you to say, Ms. Heady, you might declare under your breath from your side of the computer screen. You have sold half a million copies of your books. I just want to sell my book to someone who I am not related to by blood or marriage.
Yes, you are right. I have sold that many books. When I began my career as an author, however, I had sold none. I began right where you are … at the beginning.
You begin each manuscript at its beginning. No matter how many books you have sold in the past, you begin each manuscript at its beginning.
I did not have any goals other than to do my very best. I faced the same doubts, fears, and trepidations you may have. In fact, I almost backed out of the deal of writing my first book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Money on Wall Street because I was uncertain if I wanted to be associated with a title with the word “idiots” in it. I even tried to talk the editor into changing the title. When he explained to me that my potential book was the first of its kind spun off the company’s highly successful computer series with millions of copies in print, I shut up.
If I did not take a chance, I would have been the idiot. I got out of my own way.
And I was humbled.
Along the way, when I wrote my books, I kept these three rules in mind and in this order. They have served me well:
#1. Remember your reader, first. Period. My father, the late Robert K. Heady who was the founder of Bankrate.com, taught me this important lesson. He wrote a consumer banking column for Tribune Media Services and ensured each column was written for one specific reader in mind: Aunt Tilly. Nowhere in our family tree could I find an Aunt Tilly, so one day I asked him about her. His reply? “Aunt Tilly is a fictional widow who lives in a small house or trailer park smack in the middle of the Midwest. She watches every penny she gets from her deceased husband’s pension and no one at the banks care about her. I think of her every time I write my column.” His column was read by millions of readers. My Dad also wrote about Mrs. Gottrocks, but I will share her whereabouts and investment portfolio holdings another time.
#2. Keep in mind it is not about the money. Looking back, I realize I did not have any set financial goals for book sales or royalties; I was open to the adventure. If I had monetary goals, I can say without hesitation today I would not have enjoyed the journey as much as I did. My focus was on doing the best job possible, serving the publishing company whom I partnered with well and helping as many people as I could. When I received a month’s royalty check one time that exceeded $20,000, I cried of course. For me, it never was about the money.
#3. Be nice. It is not about you, either. To experience success as a published author is a mindset that requires commitment beyond putting words to a page. Fred Flintstone ricka-fracka attitudes are typically results of unconfessed emotions that at their core mean you are upset things are not going your way. Right? You will experience the success you want when you begin to savor every bite of thankfulness and balance it with the sweet notion of truly believing in yourself as you do your very best.
That was my recipe for success. When I teetered or fell out of line with those three basic ingredients, I learned many lessons.
As I sit down to write my fifth book, Parenting with Grace, Gratitude … and Guts! My Journey Through the Wilderness of Single Motherhood, I am starting where I began long ago: at the beginning.
You will gain much success for each book you write when you start at the beginning.
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. The woman reader whom I think of is a single mom with three children in elementary school. They all live by a bustling highway in a small mediterranean home in Riverside, California; the only thing that separates her home from the traffic noise is a tall, thick concrete wall between her house and the highway. I do not know why I chose that vision, but that is the person who has been placed on my heart. I do not know anyone in Riverside, California. But somehow I know she is tired, wants some hope, and needs encouragement. I have a story for her.
Dear writer, what do your readers need? What can you do for them? Can you picture him or her? What are their joys? Pains? Challenges?
I bet when you answer those questions, your riches will come in unexpected ways.
When you discover your truth that yes, you can actually get your book done in spite of whatever hurdles may present themselves to you, you will discover that nothing is impossible.
I have coached, mentored and spoken to hundreds of men and women about writing, marketing and publishing. My clients have found great joy and received great ease to the labor pains of their writing and marketing challenges. After we spent concentrated, focused time on their work and their writing goals, they all walked away with results, as they share here.
Finding someone whom you can trust with your heart’s calling is key. I am known for being open, warm, friendly, and simple. I do not believe in gimmicks. But I do believe that if you want to work together on moving forward, you must be serious about what you are doing here.
If you are struggling with the idea of wanting a career as an author but nagging doubts and lack of support run rampant in your life, I would encourage you to email me directly at email@example.com so we can determine your best course of action so you can finally get some peace, answers and direction.
Typically, writers will consult with me in a two-hour Author Visual Strategy Session when they are not sure where to begin, or they want to know if the path they have chosen for their work is the best one possible. Some already-published authors want to hone in on marketing specifics and strategic planning to squeeze out more success for their previous book or new manuscript; they often consult with me either in a two-hour session or a half-day retreat to get their needs met. The six-month coaching package is perfect for writers who have to balance a day job with the desires of their heart to get their book published and need help with direction, a plan and accountability. In all my coaching and mentoring, I mix truth-telling with fiercely loving support and encouragement.
There are also editing and writing services available for writers who have a finished project that needs polishing or who have completed their research and want quality material written to present to an agent or publishing company.
I truly want to see you succeed, so I’ve mapped out a few ways we can work together.
Teleclasses, Strategy Sessions, Coaching & Mentoring
1) The Writing Studio, 90-minutes. This Teleclass supports writers and authors by presenting present-day challenges and providing solutions to authors on what they face in today’s publishing marketplace. $97 paid in full prior to class date.
2) Author Visual Strategic Planning Session, 2-hours. This two-hour session begins with a Discovery Q&A process prior to meeting. You will then work on your writing goals worksheets and meet to map out your plan. During the session, a thoughtful and in-depth review of your work and publishing dreams are discussed to determine how to get you to the next level. You also have access to my resources of creative writing assignments to support you in your craft. After our session, you will receive a Visual Strategic Plan in printed hard copy and a creative layout to use as reference tools as you embark toward abundance with your work! $350, paid in full at end of session.
3) Author VIP Half-Day Retreat, 4.5 hours. A client favorite, this half-day writing retreat is a laser-focused, one-on-one time with me to help you discover your truths about your writing and how to get you where you want to go. Location is in South Florida at the Omphoy Ocean Resort & Spa and includes lunch. $650 . Virtual package also available, please email for details. $450. 50% deposit upon signing up for program, 50% due on day of retreat.
4) The Joy of Writing Six-Month Coaching and Mentoring Package. Working together one-on-one over a longer period offers the opportunity for even greater results! Six, 60-minute coaching calls are included each month, along with customized creative writing assignments to help you with your craft. You will also receive an Author Visual Strategic Plan within the first 30 days of program. $1,500 paid with an initial non-refundable deposit and 5 subsequent monthly installments.
Editing, Ghostwriting & Book Proposals
1) Manuscript Editing. Proofreading, line editing and substantive developmental editing are included. Project time varies depending upon editorial production calendar. Project fee varies depending on needs of manuscript.
2) Ghostwriting. I have worked with professional clients who have a concept and/or substantial research to write a book but do not have the time nor skills to complete their dream book. Project time varies depending upon editorial production calendar. Project fees range from $10,000 to $75,000 depending on amount of initial upfront research required.
3) Book Proposals. A specialty of mine, I work with you on and write industry standard book proposals for clients using the proposal template I have relied upon for my own success as an author. Three-to-six month project timeframe. Project fee varies from $5,000 to $10,000.
I am delighted to share great news today! I have partnered with Jill Corcoran of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency to represent me for my fifth book, Parenting with Grace, Gratitude … and GUTS! My Journey Through the Wilderness of Single Motherhood.
Jill has incredible agenting experience, an amazing background in marketing, and is a devout lover of children’s books … even wrote a bunch, too!
I am looking forward to this next literary journey in my career and bringing important reads to the marketplace alongside a true professional. Thank you everyone for your continued support. I am truly grateful.
“Change is in all things sweet.”
That quote by Aristotle defines the thought life of many people as they let go of an old year and welcome 2014. To change – it means to become different, or take or use another instead of.
It’s like my new Web site – its appearance has become something else. It’s new. Simple. And I find the change sweet, too. I welcome it … like the New Year. Thank you, Aristotle.
How or what do you plan to change this year?