The landscape for self-publishing has changed significantly over the last decade. My first book Capture: 30 days of inspiration was a fun project that I was super excited about but I was a complete novice.
I have learnt many lessons along the way and today I wanted to bring you a Self Publishing 101 list of tools to help you along the way. Below is a very simple outline of some steps you could take. For a more detailed approach download, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOUR STORY today, a simple downloadable resource designed to help you publish your book.
I have an idea for a book what is the next step?
Create a mindmap of the idea, with as much detail as possible. Mapping out your idea.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your creative self is to make time with a writing mentor like Elaine Fraser or Amanda Viviers to create a book overview and plan.
You will now need an editor. My editor is Emma-Lee Hazeldean you can find her services here.
You will need a designer. My book designer is Kellie Book Design and you can find her services here.
You will need an author bioI created a simple step by step process to help you create yours.
Self Publishing Printing
I have really enjoyed using Ingram Spark for my print on demand books. I have found them to be easy to use in the current global printing climate because of postage. They print in-country and send on land. For the month of September 2019, there is a free set up coupon: GETPUBLISHED
Ebook coupon: FREEEBOOK
It is normally $49 per copy. So if you are ready to publish this is a great offer.
If I was completely honest with you right now, if we were sitting across each other with a flat white in hand and our eyes looking across a table, I would tell you the feeling I have felt the most lately has been loneliness.
The solution is not more people in my life. The solution isn’t even more friends. My husband and I are better than we have ever been, but there is a deep desire and natural inclination within my personality and value system that needs connection.
Community is my super power and if I was even more honest, I have felt used by people more than ever before. It has a lot to do with the way I grew up, surrounded constantly by my cousins and then I went to three different universities and was the life of the party. Then I was swept into a community of faith that I spent all day every day building meaningful things.
Over the last few years of novice Motherhood I have been seeking out that sense of deep passion and purpose colliding together and I’ve often been left wanting. I adore my faith community, yet I live a long way away from the core and cannot give every moment of my days like I used to.
I see my family every week, but everyone is just so busy, I find we end up talking about really simple things, because we are trying to keep the kids in line, rather than sink into the power of each others stories.
I have lots of friends, like hundreds who I feel connected to, but with a truth serum that brings my deep disappointments to the core, I find the women who truly get me, live very far away from me. Were all in different seasons, we all have kids and they make me feel like sunshine, but we are just not in each other’s every day.
The way I have been exploring this feeling and not ignoring it, is finding ways to spend more intentional times with people who are not wanting anything from me, but just to hang and be.
These are the lessons I have been applying in my today sowing seeds of friendship in my tomorrow;
Five minute chats over texts
I am the ultimate emailer and texter! A quick reply and then onto what is next. I find chatting on the phone difficult. Firstly, my kids go crazy and secondly, I find the interruption really difficult in the midst of my tasks and overscheduled life.
I have a friend who lives in Newcastle and she always starts her calls with a song “five-minute chat, let’s have a five-minute chat”. On Monday it was her birthday and we facetimed. We decided then and there, that Monday was our facetiming day. We are going to sit in front of the screen, show up and find meaning and connection. She may live far away, but the connection is our responsibility.
Who could you create a regular facetime or skype time with?
I started a book club. Instead of wallowing in my feelings, I found something creative to activate the place that has been weighing me down. Often in friendship, I find that we wait for other people to create the community that we desire. Finding a common interest, a date and a book, that’s it.
Rather than waiting for someone else to invite you, what if you created the context yourself?
I changed my work schedule around this year to prioritise my weekly sisterhood hangs at my local church. It was difficult. It meant that I said no to some big opportunities and some regular writing community that had been a big part of my last few years. Hanging around with other women of faith, singing, chatting and finding ways to drive an hour to sit and be encouraged with women across our nation has been a huge source of inspiration for me.
The effort of driving an hour is worth it, every single time. Come and sit with me, gather with Thursday’s girls.
My friend Em and I decided to create a four week series for coffee and connection, each Tuesday in June. We wrote a devotional called Embracing Slow. And to honour the content of this book, we thought an ongoing conversation over a whole month was needed. It takes courage to put this kind of conversation out there. What if no one turns up?
We created what we were needing. When was the last time you created what your soul was looking for?
Face to face class time
I have joined a gym and three times a week I am showing up for an exercise class. By the evening, I am exhausted and don’t feel like talking anymore, but I have a friend that goes to the class with me and we chat even for just five minutes before the class and it’s a quick little check-in. Showing up to a group of people away from the internet and my phone has been such a great scaffold to my week.
When was the last time you signed up for an exercise class or hobby?
Writing can be a lonely profession. You sit thinking about the thoughts you have been thinking, and it can take over your whole life. I find I need a place of quiet and contemplation, but I also need I created a writers retreat for people who need companionship in their passion but also need spaces to write. The next two dates for the year have been released Term 3: August (midweek) and Term 4: November (weekend) if you would like to come along. They sell out quickly, so come and hang away from a screen with me and write.
I am learning to love five-minute chats and also to ask for what I need. If there is not something that matches my needs, then I create it. Maybe the loneliness I feel is because I am propelled by something more than this world and not feeling satisfied is the art of belonging and growth.
Also, that community and collaboration is a core part of my value system, and loneliness is a reminder that I have been spending too much time alone, or building my own spaces. Also, to be careful and wary of people who are continually using me to create their platforms, rather than seeking conversation and companionship to hang and come alongside.
What makes you feel connected in your week, tell me in the comments below?
I stood in the classroom waiting for the smackdown as a Mother asked to speak with me. My internal defence mechanisms shot up and I said “here we go” silently. Yesterday, your daughter asked me a question.
I said “Yes and” watching this heavily pregnant Mum tentatively move from foot to foot.
She said “Excuse me, is it possible that I could come on an excursion to see you give birth to your baby?”
We both looked at each other and burst out laughing.
Motherhood is a battle ground, that I mostly try and sit at the back of the playground and walk with tenderness. Each day at all the different activities this uber driver drops her kids too, I watch Mum’s talk and breathe deep, getting ready for their next battle cry.
This morning in the shower, I remembered what it felt like seven years ago on my first ever Mothers Day, holding my son so closely, so overwhelmed with gratitude. Today I need to remind myself what it was like on that morning, soaking in the beach pathway and my husbands hand. I was grateful. I was jobless. I felt lost and unsure, with no briefcase in my hands but I was so very happy.
That happiness that cannot help but overflow out of every pore.
Today that happiness is like a treasure that I am searching for again. I feel purposed, content and grateful but pleasure, the intensity of being at home with my kids wears that bit off a bit after seven years on the ground.
Lately, I’ve been watching this clingfilm appear over parenthood and it is framed by a little set of squares and rainbow logo tv. Instagram has developed culture that shouts across our thread that we need more things to be happy. Matching outfits with our kids, holidays in far off places and gumboots in duck egg blue.
Let’s remember that our children’s spirits are more important than any material things. When we do, self-esteem and love blossoms and grows more beautifully than any bed of flowers ever could.
As the story keeper of all my kid’s emotions, I have to been thinking that maybe that new outfit from the latest store or a book to escape into, will be the answer to fill my happiness cup.
To counteract this growing wrestle in our eyes and hearts as a family we took 6 months off buying any new clothes, books or things.
We have been prioritising people over things. We have been leaning into experiences over consumable products. To begin with, it was fun, heck a creative experience. As a young adult I had a whole year of not buying anything new, it was a blast.
As a parent, I have realised that things become a refuge in a society that continually tells me I need more to feel satisfied.
In my personal retreat daybook Pause; I have this exercise that helps you unpack some of these ideas. On one piece of paper you brainstorm out this question:
What makes you feel happy?
And then on the next page, it asks you to describe stories and memories when you actually felt it.
A very simple exercise that helps me to remember I don’t need to do more or be more or have more, but to dig deep into the memories that reminded me how happy I have been and it never has to do with the stuff I own, but the people sitting in my circle. In this season I’m learning to zone in on the people in front of me, than the things in my hands.
Including my phone, Instagram, Facebook, new clothes, books, crochet (Lord help me) and so much more. In those moments that I want to escape into the land of internet shopping, I am learning to explore the feelings that I am trying to escape from.
Tell me in the comments below how you are prioritising people over things?
This is our 2019 manifesto. We are far from nailing it but so far its the fifth month of the year and I haven’t bought a book or any new clothes! How is this a thing.
Today I stood and watched a big crane rip apart my primary school. It sounds dramatic, but it is both brilliant and sobering. As I got out of the car, I looked across the vista that used to include the bricks and mortar that contained my childhood.
My children now go to the school I went to, and I can’t really explain how much it sometimes catches me out with memories resurfacing. They will have a brand new school next year, but I have been left wondering where all the memories contained in those bricks and mortar will go?
Sometimes I see a face in the crowd as we line up at the school gate. I wonder if they were in my class because recognition floods my conscious. On other days I remember mean words that poured out of my mouth and triumphant times of victory when I overcame.
Childhood was both glorious and it was also brutal.
I think a whole heap of my last few years of unravelling have been unpacking the memories that have just sat below the surface.
Writing has been a powerful tool in this season of immense self discovery.
Reframing the narratives and stories from my past.
Crowds of people and faces weave conversations in my mind.
Lately, there has been a huge conversation about bullying in the media where I live and it’s so important. Last night as I remembered my crumbling primary school and the pile of rubble, I saw laying in front of me, I wondered what makes a bully.
I don’t think bullies are born, I think they are made.
Pain needs expression and whether we are aware of our pain or not, it has to escape somewhere. Rather than shaming bullies in our culture, I am realising that people who hurt other people are often hurting themselves.
Are there emotions surfacing from the rubble of your childhood that need reframing?
There is a power in the way that we speak to one another. If I was to make an assumption I would say that bully’s often use their words to wield power because they are holding deep pain or shallow pride in some area of their stories.
Children who don’t show kindness, I think are just regurgitating the unprocessed pain from their parents. Susy Parker wrote this on Instagram this week and it really impacted me;
“Your child’s behaviour is simply a vessel to wake you up to your own healing. “
It doesn’t take very long to unpack the pain in our world. Just scratch the surface of the nightly news and scroll through social media. Listen long enough in a cafe to the conversations of strangers and sit with the complexity of all of our own stories.
The pain of unprocessed narratives, lay really close to the surface of all of our lives. When someone is behaving badly, you can be assured that there is a battle lying below, fuelling their rage.
Writing is a powerful tool to heal.
Conversations with safe people are like water to a weary soul.
Laughter is a medicine, that can heal even the most weary of hearts.
This year as we walk the earth, what if kindness became our calling card?
Yes, we may have a story of rubble and pain to process but we all do. Instead of shaming each other back into the shadows, what if we allowed one another the space and capacity to heal?
Are you a safe person to those in your circle?
Do you hold their hand and pain with kindness?
This year my goal is to walk this earth with kindness.
The vulnerability explosion online has been a welcome refuge to the filtered and stretching of reality. However, I have realised in the midst of the honesty moments online familiarity is breeding contempt.
We have become familiar with people being honest.
We have become familiar with people feeling deeply.
And in the midst of that familiarity, it is breeding apathy.
In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.
I have noticed that it is easier to assume what is happening in my life by my online interactions rather than sitting and having face to face conversations. The smiley photos of my children, the highlight reel and quick inspiration quotes can help us quickly check in to each other’s worlds but it also enables quick assumptions. It can make us feel falsely connected and at the end of the interaction slowly and sadly we become more and more disconnected.
Do you feel unseen by the world?
Do you feel alone?
Over the Christmas period here in Perth, Australia I took a sabbatical from social media. I left my phone at home. I deleted apps from my device and I rested into the rhythm of a new year. I pulled out my book New Days and began to write. I explored my thoughts without the comparison to others. I expressed myself in a way that was honest and raw not worrying what others had to say. I spent time reflecting and retreating from the world. Here are three lessons I learned whilst I switched off over the summer.
Be More Intentional
In the midst of my sabbath from online familiarity, I decided that year I want to be more intentional about the way that I interacted online. There is an amazing app called In the Moment that shows you how often you are on apps and your phone. This week I asked my accountability partner to check my activity on my phone and my goal is only two hours per day.
Use Facetime More Than Messanger
Messanger is easy and so are texts, but they don’t convey emotion or context. Each time I start to text and it turns into a marathon, I stop the stream and say let’s facetime. Also with friends and family, I have been scheduling the time to video call rather than text across the week. It is an awesome way to connect, using the technology with wisdom but finding ways to connect more effectively.
Stop The Scroll
I am learning to stop the scroll. Each and every time I find myself down rabbit holes of scrolling. I switch off my phone and go and pick up a book. Reading more intentionally has really helped me exit from the chewing gum of the mind that is found in the scroll.
What are your tips?
I’d love to learn how you are facing this epidemic in our world. Maybe your social media world has disconnected you more than you realise and familiarity with each others ideas, stories and life has atrophied.
Let’s encourage one another to live more connected in 2018.