The Surprising Journey Of A Self-Published Author

I was recently interviewed by Kim Macleod, the fantastic soul at Indie Authors World who helped me self-publish my book Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success. Here is an extract from the interview:

How does it feel to be a published author?

Surreal. Being an author isn’t something that was ever on my wish list. In fact quite to the contrary – English was my worst subject at school and I had other dreams I was pursuing.

However having now published my book, I feel my whole identity has changed at a core level. I’ve shared a lot about myself and my approach to life in the book, in the hope this will help others in their pursuit of happiness and success. But that’s a scary thing to do too.

I used to be someone who worried about what other people think but now I’m not attached to that – for the first time in my life I feel this has given me the confidence to say – this is who I am and this is what I think. If you like it great and if not that’s fine too.

Getting to #03 on Amazon within three days of publishing, with very little marketing was just crazy – in a good way. And even though I don’t worry about what others think it is still a huge relief to be getting five-star reviews!

What sparked the idea for your book?

For years I’ve been getting great feedback at workshops and training I deliver, and I found lots of attendees were asking for more. I was repeating the same information to lots of people I found myself thinking – I wish I had a book I could refer people to.

I’ve also been greatly influenced by the incredible resilience and open hearts of the young genocide survivors I do humanitarian work with in Rwanda, and wanted to share some of those experiences.

Being driven by the desire to make a difference to as many people as possible writing a book means I can share my message with more people. And the idea of generating more passive revenue also appealed as it frees me up to spend more time with my family and friends, as well as off doing humanitarian I love.

So demand through my business prompted me to first write the book, and now it’s great that the book is already feeding me business.

Describe your writing process: Did you have a set routine? How long did it take you to write it?

I started to scope out the book eighteen months before publishing but only really got serious about it six months before I published when I blocked out two days a week to write and do my research. I also had a week away in a cottage was a brilliant way to start, as I was able to write several chapters then and that fuelled my desire to complete the book.

I had much of the content already from my training courses and so I started off by getting transcripts of my audios (I go into flow much easier when I speak compared to simply writing something down for the first time); writing an outline and scoping out the book; identifying the content I already had; plus what identifying the gaps. From there started I just started to write.

I got myself an editor early on who I would regularly send a chapter to – having a regular commitment to deliver content to her and getting constructive feedback and encouragement as I went along, was one of the things that kept me going.

What do you hope your readers will get from reading your book?

Lots of tips, tools, and resources they can use to change how they feel, boost their success and to create the life they’d like for themselves.

I hope that my book helps all sorts of people – those who didn’t previously know there was something they could do to change how they feel or make their lives better; and much as for those already on their personal development journey looking for more science, inspiration or resources.

Is there a core message in your book that you want to share?

That it’s possible for you to be happy, successful, and cope well with life’s challenges no matter what your experience of life has been to date.

That it’s not what happens to us that determines how you feel and the results you get – it’s your response to those situations. Whenever you are not getting the result that you want or feeling the way you’d like, that’s feedback it would be good for you to do something different – to focus on what’s important to you or to change your thoughts, your feelings and/or your actions in relation to that situation.

It greatly saddens me that so many people are unhappy, struggling with life, or feeling unloved and don’t know what to do about it.

Who are the writers that inspire you?

There are so many but definitely Richard Branson, many relatively unknown authors who have achieved great things against the odds, and Dr David Hamilton who I’ve known since before he was published by Hay House – watching David’s journey as an author has taught me so much.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

Primarily I didn’t want to be at the beck and call of a publishing company with the restrictions that can come with that. I then discovered that it’s easy to self-publish and by doing so you also earn more money per book because you don’t have to pay a cut to the publisher. I also like that I had full authority to choose the cover, name for my book, when I wanted to publish as well as having the flexibility going forward to update and change my book when I want to.

What has your self-publishing journey been like?

It’s been a brilliant experience and I can’t wait to write more books now. I absolutely loved the time I spent doing my research and writing – far more than I thought I would. The process of getting the book from my computer into book/Kindle form is the less enjoyable part for me and that’s where I’m just so glad to have had the help and support from Indie Authors World, who did the formatting for me and are there to answer my copious questions.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book?

Learn from those who have already done what you’d love to do, or become who you’d like to be.

To me, there’s no point to make things harder than they need to be by trying to work out how to do things for yourself. Instead ask those with the relevant experience, block time out in your diary to write, and just do it! If you ever don’t like what you’ve done, you can always change it.

Also find a way that works for you to get information out of your head and onto paper or into your computer whether this be writing, mind-mapping, recording yourself speaking, or being interviewed. There is no right or wrong way to write a book.

How are you going to get readers for your book since you’re self-published?

Luckily for me, marketing and getting clients are what I teach through my business so I’ve lots of ideas. I’m going to experiment with it until I find the one that works best – these will include speaking to groups of my ideal audience, holding an online launch party, through joint venture partners who have already offered to promote me to their audience, podcasts, Google Hangout shows, social media campaigns, Amazon offers and through my existing networks. I don’t know yet what will work best, but I intend to have fun doing it!

What’s next for you?

I’m going to spend a few months getting out there marketing and enjoying speaking about Heartatude before writing the first few books in my Compassionate Business Series later this year.

Where can we get a copy of your book?

You can buy a copy (paperback or Kindle) through Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

And if you’re reading this blog before 9th June 2015, you’ll be able to receive all sorts of free gifts as part of my official online launch party. Click here to find out more.

How can people connect with you or find out about your work?

You can go to my main website www.alisoun.com

If you want to find out how to self-publish, check out Indie Authors World

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Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world. 

She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.

Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:

  • The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
  • 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business  (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

  • Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
  • The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
  • Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE
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