Tag Archives: publishing

Guest Post: Journey Toward Publication by Amber D. Browne

by Amber D. Browne

My lifelong dream has been to write a book. With the publication of The Little Book of Hermetic Principles: Heal Your Energy, Seek Enlightenment, and Deepen Your Understanding of Your Mind, Body, and Spirit, my dream has become a reality. Thanks to independent publisher Ulysses Press, I was able to research, write, and be involved in the editing process until publication.

The Indie publisher was searching for a potential author to write a book about the Hermetic principles. I was unfamiliar with the topic, but the opportunity stated the potential author should be familiar with the wellness space, mentalism, and vibrations, as well as have excellent research skills and the ability to write in an informative yet friendly style. This sounded like the perfect opportunity for me!

My background is broadcast journalism, so I know how to take what might be considered complicated information and write it in a way for the majority of the population to understand. I have always been interested in the power of the mind and energy, so I did a little research about the Hermetic principles. I knew this project was meant for me. I truly believe God put this opportunity in front of me so that I would take the initiative and begin a new journey in this life. I reached out to the acquisitions editor and ultimately received a contract to write the book. This was the push I needed to resign from teaching and start writing again full-time. This time, though, I would start a freelance writing business.

After signing the contract and receiving the first payment, I got to work on the 4,000-word outline. Prior to writing the outline, I researched Hermes Trismegistus and the Hermetic principles outlined in The Kybalion. I got a better idea about what I would cover, how I would go about sharing this ancient knowledge, and what type of guidance I would include to help readers implement this information in modern times.

An outline has always been my choice to organize during the planning stage of the writing process. I divided the book into three sections: Hermes Trismegistus and Hermeticism, The Kybalion-The Hermetic Principles, and The Mystical Teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. From this point, I was able to outline each section into chapters and determine how I would organize the book. Once the publisher approved the outline, I began the journey of writing my first book.

Throughout my career in broadcast journalism and freelance writing, I have reached out to thousands of experts and officials to share their knowledge about the subject matter I would cover. Research is a great way to get information, but when you can interview experts to share insight from their fields, you may discover information that never crossed your mind. As the interviewer, you can plan questions that will guide your writing for that section. If the experts add additional information that could be included, even better! You can find a way to work it into the text.

I found most of my experts through online searches. You can Google just about anything, and many times, you can reach out to organizations, associations, government entities, etc., for guidance on finding the right person to contact. If you know someone personally who would be a good fit, reach out to them! I knew several people who were experts in their fields or had knowledge on the subject matter for the book, so I was able to interview them to share their insight.

Whether you use a digital app or a physical recording device, always record your interviews! You can transcribe your interviews to guarantee you have the correct quote and information. Once you have done your research and have spoken to your experts, you can incorporate the information into your outline so that it follows the direction you are planning for your book.

I did not write the entire book in one document. I copied and pasted each chapter from the outline into a separate Word Document. The chapters were also divided into sections by subject matter, so it was much easier to keep the information organized. Once an entire chapter was complete, I would add it to the final Word Document. You could use Google Docs, too.

Two months later, I emailed the 40,000-word book to my acquisition’s editor. From there, I received editing recommendations, which took about a week to review and return to the publisher. The book was then formatted, proofread, and returned to me for review. I answered questions from the editor, proofread the book, and returned it with a request for one final review before publication. After the changes were made by the publisher, and I made one final proofread, the book was scheduled for publication.

Throughout the book writing process, I learned about contract negotiations, more about editing in different types of software, and of course, more about the subject matter. I am grateful for every aspect of my book writing experience. I appreciate Ulysses Press for giving me this opportunity and for everyone involved in the process. From the editors to the experts, they were all a vital part of bringing The Little Book of Hermetic Principles to fruition, and I am forever grateful.

The Little Book of Hermetic Principles: Heal Your Energy, Seek Enlightenment, and Deepen Your Understanding of Your Mind, Body, and Spirit is a beginner-friendly guide that delves into the wisdom and philosophy of Hermes Trismegistus and how it can be applied to modern life. The bookbegins with a brief history about Trismegistus and his ancient texts. As readers move into the chapters regarding the seven Hermetic principles, they discover how to harness the power of the mind, increase energy, and develop gender personality characteristics. Tips on meditation, music therapy, exercise, nutrition, prayer, crystals, astrology, nature, magic, alchemy, and so on, help readers foster a better understanding of reality, how the universe works, and the interconnectedness of everything.

This is my first book to author, but it will not be my last. You can find more of my written work at www.amberdbrowne.com. You can also find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and PinterestThe Little Book of Hermetic Principles is available for purchase at various online retailers including Amazon.

About the Author:

As a young teen, Amber D. Browne discovered her passion for the written word and for sharing information. After acquiring a BA in mass communication with a minor in history from Texas State University, Amber spent much of her career researching and reporting Texas news for radio. She later branched out as a freelance writer and editor for local magazines, and her desire to share her journalism experience led to a seven-year stint in junior high education as an English language arts/reading and media teacher. Amber resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with her husband and their two children. Find more of Amber’s written work at www.amberdbrowne.com.

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!


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Guest Post: What You Need to Know Before Creating Your Book Marketing Strategy

by Hayley Zelda

No matter how well you write, how many followers you have on Commaful or Wattpad, or how many contacts you have in publishing, your book won’t sell unless you plan a roadmap or a marketing strategy. Before you create your Tumblr content or social media calendars, you should have a solid understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. You also need to determine the opportunities and threats that await you as a published author. 

There are several steps you can take to ensure you have a strong foundation for your marketing strategy. By being fully aware of your brand, personality, and voice, you can easily step up your marketing efforts. 

We will look at some of the matters you need to address as part of your book strategy and author marketing.

Your goals

What do you want to accomplish in three to five years? Goals are a broader statement that focuses on your desired results but does not yet describe how you will achieve them. Think long term. Aspire and aim high.

Examples of author goals include:

  • Publish the sequel to my novel.
  • Build a strong fan base.
  • Get interviewed on a podcast or TV show.
  • Hire a literary agent.

Your objectives

What will success look like in 6 to 12 months? Write down two goals that you know are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). As you write each goal, try to answer the following questions: What do I want to achieve? When? How do I know when it has been reached? How can I accomplish this goal? Does it seem worthwhile?

Here are some example goals:

  • Submit the sequel’s manuscript to a Big Five editor by December 2021. 
  • Set up my Goodreads author listing within the workweek.
  • Write a compelling pitch letter to my researched list of business book summary podcasters. 
  • Email three writer friends in my niche and ask them about recommended agents on Saturday.

Your value

Marketers often ask, “What’s your unique selling proposition”? To keep it simple, let’s rephrase the question: what do you have to offer? What makes you different from other authors? Unless you can identify what makes you unique as a writer, you cannot target your marketing efforts. Put yourself in the shoes of your reader. What motivates them to read your work? Why should they read your book and not someone else’s? 

Some examples to get creative juices flowing:

  • My screenplay is just like Jane Austen’s “Emma,” only set in Beverly Hills.
  • My novel is Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” meets fuzzy, cuddly kittens. 
  • A newly crowned king must comfort his people during troubling times. The only trouble is, he stutters very badly.

Your niche

Are you a fiction or non-fiction writer? Do you write short stories, poems, or novels? Or do you write how-to books or creative essays? What genre(s) does your work fall into? Does it have a sub-genre or a niche? Here’s a pro tip: If you’re writing in different categories like young adult fantasy and murder mystery, create pseudonyms for each genre. You don’t want to weaken your brand as an author if readers identify you with several but very different niches. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Dystopian science fiction stories and novels
  • Thriller novels with a female protagonist
  • English haiku about life in New York City

Your audience

Visualize who will want to buy your book. Are they male, female, LGBT, or gender doesn’t matter? Are they kids, pre-teens, teenagers, or older? Where in the world do they live in? What are their interests? What kind of websites do they often visit? What are their pain points? Keep these factors in mind as you both work on and promote your book. 

Examples of audience personas include:

  • Mayumi is a 36-year-old wife and mother of two who lives in San Francisco. She is a second-generation Asian-American and wants to know more about her Filipino heritage. 
  • Billy is a 27-year-old computer game enthusiast. He stays up late at night with his roommates playing fantasy role-playing games, rhythm and music party starters, and retro classics on his custom-rigged desktop computer. 
  • Jeannie is an accomplished 50-year-old entrepreneur who co-owns a local chain of healthy lifestyle retail stores. Her day isn’t complete without a cup of oolong tea, a daily phone call with her career coach, and a 30-minute yoga session. 

Your environment

Environmental factors are elements over which you have no control. Nonetheless, these factors still influence the decisions made when creating a strategic marketing plan. Study your writing environment from a macro and a micro perspective. Think of your suppliers, your customers, the general public, other authors. Analyze what’s going on in politics, law, economics, technology, and business that may affect your writing and marketing activities. 

Some environmental factors are:

  • The strict censorship policies in some countries make it difficult for your publisher to distribute your paranormal romance in different parts of the world.
  • The lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic force people to stay home for months. As a result, your audience now prefers to buy e-books.
  • Besides being a creative writer, you are the single mother of a two-year-old boy and write creative non-fiction from the home office.

Getting started on your marketing strategy

If you are a first-time author, a fully documented marketing strategy may seem overwhelming to you. If so, you can narrow down the essential information to drive your approach (which we discussed earlier) to just one page. Planning your marketing strategy takes a lot of time and effort, so it’s best to list all the “materials” you will need before putting everything together.

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Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.

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