Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Intentional Mindfulness And the Author/Entrepreneur

Intentional mindfulness seems to be one of those trending topics these days. So many people want to break the “urgency addiction” habit – get off the hamster wheel, live in the moment and awaken to experience.

Well, why not? You don’t have to be an indie author – you can be published by a small press or mainstream publisher - and still you know you can go a little crazy answering all those emails, responding to yet another blog post, feeling like you’d better get on the stick with that book trailer. (Looked into that - very expensive  . . . about $2,000 unless you do it on your own.)

How does intentional mindfulness apply to the author entrepreneur? You have to keep reminding yourself: You had a story to tell and you hoped it might resonate with your readers. Now focus on devising a strategy to achieve your goals, reach your target audience, without sacrificing your well-being.

Declutter your mind of all the dos and don’ts, the should haves and would haves, the comparisons with others. It gets you nowhere.

I hope that my work continues to garner interest and attention. I like having creative control – for example, my choice of an editor. What did I seek in an editor? I believe editors have to be true friends in that they work with you, but are not intent on changing your vision, or even most of your words.

Uppermost is a dedication to a creating a professional product, although I dislike using the word “product” when referring to a book. But it is that because you are asking the public to spend their hard earned money – not to mention time – on your book when there are a million other choices out there. So being an author/entrepreneur entails responsibilities and commitment to excellence. It means prioritizing without being caught up in busyness or urgency addiction that can waylay important goals and decision-making.

Strategies and hints:

Have a vision for your book. Think about the message you wish to convey to the reader; why should they read your memoir or your novel? Write a compelling blurb on the back of your book. Think about this . . . your synopsis serves as your marketing pitch time and time again in press releases, on social media, at talks and at signings.

Hire professionals to format your manuscript for the ebook market.

Don’t sign off on your book after just viewing the digital proof. Take a deep breath, sit back and relax, always have a physical proof mailed. Holding your book allows time to read through it and do a final copyedit – in the comfort of a sofa or chair.

Once you create your own imprint, as long as your book can be ordered by bookstores and on the Internet, my feeling is if libraries and colleges want to order, then they can do so through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or IndieBound. (That ends a lot of the ISBN angst.)
Pay the $25 for a Library of Congress control number. It doesn’t guarantee your book will go into the Library, but offers it a chance. Why not? What have you got to lose? 
Be aware that the Look Inside feature on Amazon now takes two to three business weeks to appear. Be patient. You have absolutely no control over Amazon’s timelines. Two years ago when we published Slants of Light it took two DAYS. The Look Inside feature is crucial. Why would someone buy your book if they can't browse it online?

My first shipment of books arrived – beautiful, but the background a rosy hue, not the creamy yellow background I selected and approved in my physical proof. I called and complained. One of my goals for A Portrait of Love and Honor and all my books has been to have a beautiful and unique cover to this book. Why settle for less? Savor your book’s beauty: its own “exquisite” style. My printer checked into it, they indeed discovered the error on their part in their printing plant and sent me another 50 books free-of-charge. 
Try to avoid mind racing . . . the proverbial  hamster wheel. Take a deep breath, meditate, walk a mile, grab a cup of coffee with a friend. 
In the end, it pays to practice perseverance and patience; to live in the moment of first holding the book; followed by the first reading, first signing. 
Practice intentional mindfulness . . . one step, one triumph, one goal, one reader at a time.

This post I wrote about the New Author Success Story still applies:

Comments? Thoughts? Love to hear how to enjoy your book and the marketing journey.

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