Where is your book being sold? Did you self-publish or get an agent/publisher? I am on the verge of querying my novel, so any words of wisdom about your publishing decisions/journey would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your question and congrats on completing your book! My book is available on Amazon.com in ebook form as well as in paperback. For the ebook version, click here, and for the hard copy, click here.
I decided to self-publish my book right off the bat so I did not even attempt to find an outside agent or publisher. By all accounts, those who should self-publish are people who are control freaks or impatient…I fall into both categories apparently! Once you are picked up by a traditional publisher, it can take about 18 months to see your book in print and also, they will have control over the title, cover and contents.
The major advantage to having a publisher is in marketing and sales. They will get you publicity and will get your book to be carried by major retailers.
Also, if you choose to self-publish, it is very difficult to go the traditional publishing route with your next book. In the US, they will not even give you a second look unless your self-published work has sold more than 10 000 copies. I’m not sure what the number is in Canada.
I would suggest that you research this question very carefully and you will find many articles on line on the subject of “Traditional vs. Self-Publishing.”
As far as my own experience, we decided to self-publish using Create Space and it has been a relatively simple process. In this day and age of “print-on-demand” a self-publisher no longer needs to order thousands of books and store them in the basement while trying to market them. Hope this helps.
I wish you much success!
I was recently approached by a man, who for some reason, thought I was some sort of animal he would like to take home and mount on his wall. (Okay, so I’ll be honest, I kind of like that – there’s a reason why I own leopard heels.)
But after our first “outing,” it took him five days to contact me again (via email). Whatever happened to the “chase”? Not only am I now bored, but what’s his name again…oh yeah, I forgot…
Am I giving out the wrong vibe? What do you do when you like being in the game, but don’t want to be “Tag you’re it”. Do you have the rules to “engage”?
-Hunted in Heels
Dear Hunted in heels,
You like being in the game so jump in, leopard pumps and all, and play it for all it’s worth.
As for “what happened to the chase?” – ever read the book He’s Just Not That Into You? I mean, you know this already: if he was into you, he’d chase you relentlessly until you humiliated him enough to completely shatter his dream. The chase is still alive and well – just not between you and him.
The only “rule to engage” is to be yourself. Have that same self-confidence that you are clearly attracted to in men. Thrive on what comes naturally, flirt outrageously and accept the consequences. There will be some who will want to mount you on their wall, some who will just want to mount you and some who will want to take you home to meet Mom. If you are going to play this game, you must know that you can handle it all.
You are only “giving off the wrong vibe” if you are pretending to be something that you are not. Be fully you and your vibe will attract people on the same wavelength.
Some men will come into your life for one night of fun, some for an entertaining chapter in your book, some for ten years of life-lessons and perhaps one for a life time of all of the above. In my opinion none of them are mistakes or coincidences. Aah yes…enjoy them ALL as part of life’s great journey.
Let the games begin!
Life meant a certain reality for me that was lived throughout most of my days as an adult. But now, everything I believed in, craved, adored, and stood by has become the past, and I am opening myself up to the possibilities of re-inventing myself again, loving differently, meeting new figures in life, and wildly discovering new adventures. So, why is it that when you walk through that door of opportunity does a cloud of memories hold you every day at hostage, reminding you not of the exciting future, but of what you have left behind?”
-Prisoner of the Past
My dear Prisoner of the Past,
Thank you for your letter. The most important thing that I have to say to you is this: In order for you to move forward with your new and fabulous life, you MUST make peace with the past. The reality that you lived for most of your days as an adult up until this point was valid and perfect for the exact time that it lasted. Its end is also valid and perfect. It is all in perfect divine order.
I offer you this advice for making peace with the past:
1. Be grateful for everything that has happened in your life. Be grateful for the people who have come and gone. It /they all had a purpose for you. There are NO mistakes and NO coincidences.
2. Forgive anyone who may need to be forgiven. Forgive them completely. Do it for yourself.
3. Have absolute faith in the divine order of your life and you will begin to see signs pointing you in the direction of your fabulous future.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when one door closes, the one that opens up is always better just so long as we believe it to be so. The transition is tough because change is often difficult for us but when you make peace with the past and you know that it was essential to your life going forward, you look back on it with love and gratitude. Then, you can grin at the future. It is fabulous. It is exciting. It is all unfolding as it should.
I send you love, peace and joy,
How lucky I am to have met you through your site. You make me smile and feel that everything will be OK in my life and that I don’t need to marry, live in the burbs and be a ‘certain something’ because that’s what’s required from a woman at 30.
My question to you is this: before one even starts to dream, how does one find the courage and energy to dream? I have struggled with a wacky divorce and the death of my father all in one year…I feel like I have no energy left to dream, but I also desperately want meaning. What is the source of that vital dream energy and what inspires you to keep going, dreaming and come back to connecting with yourself/who you truly are?”
- Searching Soul
Dear Searching Soul,
Thank you so very much for your question. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that I inspire you and make you smile – wow!! Thank you! I am, however, very sorry to hear of the loss of your father and that you have been through other difficult times lately.
The first thing that comes to mind when I read your question is this: try to stop to “desperately want meaning.” Accept the fact that you have been through a tough time and that it is OK to be sad. Allow yourself to wallow for a bit. Let go of the need to make sense of it all. The funny thing about life is that when you relax and “let go,” your energy will come back and you will start to feel better. It is so important to stop “fighting” our feelings. That said, seeking inspiration during difficult times will definitely expedite your road to happiness.
When I have had to deal with sadness and fear, I wallow and accept that it is a bad time BUT I ALWAYS tell myself that this too shall pass and I tape the following mantra somewhere where I can read it often throughout the day:
“What I desire is on it’s way. It will arrive precisely on the universe’s timetable, not on mine. Everything that I am experiencing now is disguised as a problem, but I know that it’s a blessing. What I desire is on its way and it’s coming to me in amounts even greater than I can imagine. This is my vision and I will hold on to it in a state of gratitude, no matter what.”
~ Wayne Dyer (from his book Inspiration)
Following this little ritual daily during difficult times has helped me immensely – what it does is give you hope. When you see the hope and believe that things will be great for you again, you will start to dream. Dreaming should not require effort as it should be a beautiful, joyful and exciting past time. Closing my eyes and visualizing a pretty fabulous life is like going to a great movie for me. I love the process as there are NO limits to it! Remember, NEVER apply logic to your dreams. Make them weird, wonderful, outlandish and absolutely fabulous. They should make you smile and feel good and you must NEVER try to figure out “how.”
To help you to start to reconnect with your true self, I highly recommend that you read books by enlightened people – authors like Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle and Stuart Wilde helped me immensely. In fact during 2009, Wayne Dyer’s book Inspiration had an enormous impact on me by filling me with hope and optimism. Spend as much time as you can being quiet and alone. Realize that you are a perfect being who can have or be anything that you can possibly dream – you have everything that you need right now to be what your heart desires.
You ask me about having the courage to dream and to this I say, “You do not need courage to dream!!” You know why? Because dreaming MUST be done with NO logic or limitations – you do NOT have to have a single clue about how to make the dreams a reality. Just dream anyway and have immense fun with it! When dreaming big is a frequent thing for you, life will begin to show you the way. That is when you require courage to follow the little clues that will begin to come along.
For now, you have been through enough. All you need to do is DREAM without limits or reason. Relax and enjoy the journey! It is evident from your letter that you are someone who seeks answers and solutions therefore I know that life will turn around for you soon.
I send you joy, hope, and happy dreams,
“Hi there Jacquie,
I love your response to Disillusioned Dreamer. I’m currently working on my exit strategy from the corporate world and your advice has inspired me to keep on going. I’m investing not only money, but time and energy as I prepare to take the leap. I don’t have a question, but rather a request for some words of wisdom from someone who has found success is so many areas of her life. I’m so proud of you.”
- Budding Entrepreneur
Hi Budding Entrepreneur!
All actions begin first with a thought; our thoughts are so powerful. The next step is making a decision…again, so powerful, as a single decision can change our lives. Next up is massive action — it sounds to me as if you are in this phase of your entrepreneurial journey, so kudos to you!
My advice to you is this:
1. Keep that exciting movie of the outcome playing in your head throughout this process. Make a concerted effort to close your eyes every morning and every evening and imagine how you are going to feel as a successful business person. Imagine what your business will look like. Imagine your employees, your customers, your income, your lifestyle. Make your movie so real, you can taste it.
2. Pay no attention to naysayers. I love how Wayne Dyer puts it: “Be completely independent of the ‘good’ opinion of others.” If you do seek advice, make sure that it is from those who have have already achieved the level of success that you aspire to. (I am good at dispensing advice on dreaming and manifesting but no one should come to me for marriage counseling!!)
3. Don’t wait for major opportunities – take Napoleon Hill’s advice. He said: “If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way. Don’t wait for great opportunities. Seize common, everyday ones and make them great.”
4. When doubts creep in to your head, immediately move your thoughts to the fabulous outcome that you are working towards. Remember, you do NOT have to have all the answers. The Universal force will respond to your powerful thoughts and dreams by showing you little signs for how to proceed. I have occasional days when I feel almost overwhelmed by the dreaded doubt. Yes, I still do! On those days, I turn off all thoughts about my future, my business, my goals and I do three things: 1) I focus on the moment – I notice beauty and joy around me right now; 2) I make a list of everything that I am grateful for in my life right now; 3) then, I make some popcorn and watch a marathon of Rom Coms – Pretty Woman, You’ve got Mail, Must Love Dogs, Bridget Jones…you know the kind…basically I wallow, I laugh and I indulge. The next day, the doubts are gone and I feel like a new woman!
5. NEVER GIVE UP! Oh sure, you may have to make adjustments here and there when you learn what works for your business and what doesn’t, but NEVER give up on your ultimate dream. Keep dreaming. Keep listening to the omens. Keep taking action. It will all unfold as it should.
To end, I quote Albert Einstein: “Imagination is everything. It’s the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Play that fabulous mind movie of yours as many times a day as you can. Get into it. Love it. Believe it. Truly believing is knowing. You can and will make it happen. Cheers to your fabulous life!
Sending you love and inspiration,
“Just a question on all this dreaming: I’ve been dreaming and visualizing a lot — and have been doing this for some time, and almost live in my head rather in the reality that is not so nice — and yet my dreams don’t seem to come true, opportunities seem in short supply, and things that should work out, don’t. What do you think is happening?”
- Disillusioned Dreamer
Well, hello Disillusioned Dreamer!
This is a tough one because in no way do I want to trivialize the difficult time that you have been having by giving you some rosy, glib answer. However, I most definitely have an opinion and I hope it helps you.
The first thing that pops into my head when reading your question is this: the universe, the force, whatever you want to call it is trying to tell you something — perhaps you need to make a 180 degree change in your life? It is a given in this life that when we continue to do what we have always done, we will continue to get the same results. Time for a radical change.
I am going to be bold and lay out some steps that I believe you should follow in order to put yourself in a position to RECEIVE the dreams that have been eluding you.
Step 1. If you are not already, then please do whatever it takes to become fit and healthy. Get plenty of sleep, eat modestly, make healthy food choices, keep alcohol intake to a minimum and most importantly EXERCISE. I speak from experience here. The only way that our dreams come true is by our truly BELIEVING that we are worthy and deserving. When I have gained weight or am not exercising, I no longer respect myself. When my self-respect diminishes, I no longer really like myself. When I no longer really like or respect myself, how can I possibly believe that I am truly deserving of a fabulous life? Oh, I can pay lip service to it but how can I possibly truly BELIEVE?
Exercise is critical because it clears your head and those endorphins — believe me, they are real and they work. They are the ultimate antidepressant. Again, I speak from experience. When my life as I knew it was unravelling in 2009, sometimes it hurt to breathe. Jogging became my saviour. While I was out on the trail, feelings of euphoria would flash through me and I would suddenly feel that it was all good; that my life would be great again; that it was all happening for a reason.
Step 2. Remove yourself completely from toxic or negative situations. Maybe this means finding a new place to hang your hat. Remember, we cannot change others, only ourselves. Forgive those that have wronged you and then move on. Be careful who you share your beliefs and dreams with — try to surround yourself with people who support them. We know that what we focus on expands. When we are surrounded by bad, it is extremely difficult to not focus on the bad…hence, we bring more bad.
Step 3. Read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This addresses your point regarding the opportunities that are “in short supply.” It has been my experience that opportunities are rarely glaringly obvious solutions to our problems. They are often small whispers, little suggestions, unassuming recommendations. For example, someone offers you an all expense paid trip somewhere — the timing does not feel right to you, you have pressing matters that require your attention at home — the list of reasons why not to go are endless if we look for them. But I believe that there are no coincidences. Something would in all likelihood come out of the trip that would change your life in some way.
I sat next to a guy on a plane a few years ago who recommended The Alchemist to me. I knew that the recommendation was no coincidence and actually reading that book had a profound effect on my life. I watched the movie Julie and Julia on a plane one day. I just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was getting a clear message from that story. Write my book and put it on the web. Oftentimes, these “opportunities” are thoughts or ideas that keep flashing through our minds. Don’t ignore these. Act on them. Yes, it often takes courage and guts to follow a whispered opportunity but as Anais Nin said, “Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage,” and to that, my life coach added, “Courage will come when you step out”.
Now I believe that things will start to happen for you. If all we needed was a dream in order to live a successful life, the entire world would be in a state of bliss. It requires so much more than that — we have to work on ourselves endlessly. We have to do what it takes to get our lives in order and in the state to receive. Making radical changes to the status quo is difficult and takes IMMENSE courage — no doubt about it. Is it worth it in the long run? In my experience, the answer is a resounding YES. To that point, there is a quote by Oscar Wilde that I love: “Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it’s too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”
So be BRAVE, be BOLD, take some risks that challenge your sense of responsibility. After all, you cannot be a great mother, father, spouse, friend, sister, brother, son, daughter or business partner until your OWN life is joyful and you are living up to your OWN expectations.
I send you love, strength and above all, courage,
“Is it just as simple as thinking/dreaming/visualizing what you want and it comes to you?” – Dreamer
Let’s just say that step one is as simple as that! And you need to keep dreaming and imagining until answers start to show up for you and beyond…this could take a while. Don’t give up the dream. Life will eventually start to show you signs, some in the form of opportunities – big and small. Keep an open mind and be brave. Take the opportunities! Believe the signs. Once you know what path to follow, obviously major ACTION will be required to make your dream a reality. Lastly, NEVER give up. Do you know that Colonel Sanders went to 1,008 restaurants with his fried chicken recipe until the 1,009th one agreed to add it to the menu? That’s tenacity.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep that fabulous dream movie playing in your head. Use your imagination. Make it big. Believe.
Enjoy the process.