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Happy Holidays!

As the holidays approach, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog and sharing your comments.

I'm going to take a brief break to celebrate with my family and friends, and I'll be back with new entries in 2009.

I hope that the holidays and the New Year find you happy, healthy and successful!

Tips to Save Money and Have Holiday Fun with Your Children

As the holidays grow close, there are several ways you can save money while still having fun and providing some special holiday surprises for your children. Here are my quick tips:

· Make a list.

Write a list with the names of everyone you need to shop for and the price limit per person. Kids can have lots of fun helping you find bargains if you can give them specific directions (“find a blue t-shirt, size medium, for under $5”).

· Do a cookie exchange.

Find some other parents who would be interested in a cookie exchange and let your children pick the recipe. This way, you can cook together, share what you’ve made and have a variety of cookies to offer guests who come for the holidays.

· Make your own wreaths or garlands.

If you have any bushes or trees with suitable branches, give the kids some clippers and a plastic shopping bag and have them fill it with trimmings. Use green wire (at craft stores and dollar stores) to hook the clippings together and hang the finished product on the mantel or front door.

· Shop as early as possible.

It’s a little late for this year, but prepare for next Christmas by doing all of your shopping at the after-Christmas sales. I buy all gifts for all holidays at once, wrap them and store them in the basement.

These are just a few quick tips from one business mother to another. If you have other suggestions, please let me know. Also, if you have questions about marketing your self-published books, please comment below or send me an e-mail. Thanks!

How to Flourish in a Tough Economy as a Writer

If your workload is slow due to economic changes, there are several things you can do to build buzz, boost sales and grow:

Enter Writing Contests.
There are numerous contests going on at various times of the year for writers. To start, conduct an online search for “writing contests.” Here are a few to start with:

You’ll get some great exposure if you win, but even if you don’t, the contest will give you time to practice and upgrade your writing skills.

Share Your Personal Experiences and Tips.
If you are struggling with economic conditions like everyone else, you may want to share your personal experiences and/or tips with others via blog entries, social media sites, articles, and more. Contact various publications and ask to write articles, blog entries, and more at no charge.

Not only will you be able to share your frustrations and get some free publicity, but you may be able to help others get through their current career and financial problems.

Take a Class.
With a slower schedule, it may be the perfect time to take a writing or business course to improve your skills. Check your local community center, college, library, and various business associations for educational programs.

You’ll be able to improve your writing, meet new friends and learn valuable tips to help boost your attitude and career. You may even want to take a class just to relax or start a new hobby like yoga, knitting, swimming, or scrap-booking.

And if you can’t find a class, offer to teach one. Focus on your area of expertise and share your knowledge with others!

Just because things are slow, it’s not the time to reduce your networking efforts. In fact, start attending more events and meetings. You’ll learn new things, meet interesting people and talk to other writers who can help you discover opportunities you may not find on your own.

Instead of waiting for things to change, use this down time to prepare for the future. Share your experiences, improve your skills, meet interesting people, and enjoy new hobbies.

You’ll not only have a more positive attitude, but you’ll see things start to move in a better direction filled with hope and opportunity!

If you’d like help selling your self-published work, just let me know here or at I’d love to hear from you!

Tips for Traveling with Children

As the holidays approach, you will probably be doing some more traveling. And it can be a true joy or a terrible nightmare to travel with your children. By planning ahead, you can spend quality time with your children while visiting different places.

I’ve traveled with my son many times and have some great tips to share. First of all, make sure you bring enough to do for the journey. You can never bring too much to entertain/distract your kids.

What we do throughout the year is buy small prizes like you get with fast-food meals whenever we see them at garage sales, or at after-holiday sales. These are kept in a big bag in the closet and any time my son does something prize-worthy (for instance, all tests with no more than 2 mistakes) he’s allowed to choose a prize.

When we travel, he’s allowed one prize per hour of travel. So for instance, because we live in Germany, which is about 9 hours from our hometown of Detroit, he’s allowed to choose 9 prizes. Then during the flight, he’s allowed to open 1 prize per hour.

Another tip is to buy puzzle and sticker books from the dollar store. They can be lots of fun and very inexpensive. Also be sure you have a pen handy, and if possible a small bag filled with colored pencils or crayons. Drawing is always a fun, quiet activity.

Do everything you can to prepare your child for the trip before you go. If you’re going to visit family, look at pictures and go over everyone’s name. If you’re going to a new city, check out books from the library that show what you’ll see once you get there.

If you’re taking a trip to an amusement park, check to see if you can find videos of any of the rides your children can see before you go. And you may want to consider buying a couple disposable cameras for your children to use during the trip.

Also, let your children make a few decisions about the trip so they feel they have some control over things and their opinions are valued. It can be something as simple as “which jacket should we take, the blue one or the red one?” Or something like, “should we visit the zoo or the museum?”

By planning activities for your children to do before traveling, your entire family can have a fun and relaxing trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime!

Stay tuned for more tips and helpful hints for being a mother and an entrepreneur and a self-published author. And if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time via

How to Create a Good Book Title

For those of you who have finished your book and are ready to self-publish, congratulations! But for many of you, you’re still in the process of developing a title. What makes a good book title?

Well, from my personal experience, it helps to visit a local bookstore and see what stands out on the shelves. It is also a good idea to check, Barnes and Noble, The New York Times bestseller list and other online sources related to your book’s topic. I also go through a checklist to develop just the right idea.

For example, once you have a few ideas written down, here are a few questions to ask yourself about each of the titles on your list:

· Is it interesting or useful?
· Is it unique?
· Is it specific?
· Does it cater to the needs of my target market?
· What will readers think of when they read it?
· Does someone already have a copyright on this title?
· Does it sound too much like another title?
· Does it capture the essence of the book or is it misleading?
· Is it timeless?

If you still have trouble coming up with your book title, you may just need to take a break. Spend time outdoors, visit friends, see a movie, participate in your favorite hobby, take a nap, etc.

This way, you can rest your mind and be open to inspiration from outside sources. And who knows? When you least expect it, the right title for your book may just pop into your head.

If you need help with your self-publishing efforts, feel free to write to me below. I’d love to help!

How to Teach Your Kids About Your Business

As an entrepreneur, you can give your children an excellent, hands-on education on ethics, managing finances, customer relations, and other work areas that will help them with every-day situations and career choices in the future.

But how do you teach your children about what you do and how you pay for the items and activities in their lives?

One idea is to make them your “assistant for the day.”

To start, tell your children that you are going to have a special work day just for them. And if they do a good job at their new position, they will receive a special prize. And the prize doesn’t need to be expensive. You can arrange to have a special day together, get an ice cream cone, visit a friend, etc.

Then, when you have your “work day” together, show your child what you do and the outcomes of your work (paying electric and water bills, buying clothes, going to soccer camp or on vacation, purchasing gifts and tickets, etc.)

Helpful Task Tips

To help explain things, it may help to provide tasks for your child specific to each portion of your day. For example, you may want to have them:

· Pretend to sell an item to a customer;
· Take a phone message;
· Add or subtract sales;
· Organize files;
· Visit a client with you;
· Shop for supplies;
· Talk to co-workers;
· Enter data onto a spreadsheet;
· Clean up the office;
· Balance a checkbook, etc.

Obviously, you will want to plan activities in advance pertinent to your child’s age, abilities, likes and dislikes, etc. But by taking the time to show your children what you do to help pay for the things in their lives, they will have a much better understanding of why and how you spend your day when they are at school.

For more information on this topic, check out:

Do you need help selling your self-published book? Feel free to contact me below with your questions, comments and suggestions. I’d love to hear from you!

How to Work with Technicians Successfully

Ugh! I’ve had so many issues dealing with my website and technicians lately! I’ve had to handle problems with a well-known web company and numerous issues with Internet consultants and freelancers. And this doesn’t include all of the technical issues that go with each update to the site.

Well, since I’ve been through all of this, I have a few tips to share with you. If you want your website creation to go smoothly, here are a few things to keep in mind when hiring and working with your team of professionals:

When you find experts to help you create and host your website, do the appropriate research first. Conduct online searches, contact references, check ratings at The Better Business Bureau (, and look for industry-related associations for assistance. Even if a company is well-known, it may not be the right choice for your specific situation and goals.

Now, it takes a lot of time and effort to find the right people, but it is well worth the effort. Otherwise, you may waste thousands of dollars and hours on projects that never get finished.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
Before you even start working on a project, talk about pricing, deadlines, specific project details and any other important areas relevant to the success of your site. You want to share expectations and develop an action plan to avoid surprises. It’s also a good idea to know exactly how to get out of a contract and the time and fees involved in doing so.

As you work with your team of experts, check in with them on a regular basis. Look at how things are going compared to your action plan. Monitor progress, any potential issues and your budget.

See if any changes need to be made and make them. You’ll reduce stress levels if you know what is going on at all times. But try not to micro-manage. This will just slow down the process and irritate your team members.

I’ve been through a lot of challenges creating jexbo™, and I hope these tips help your Web projects go smoothly. I’ve worked with some great people and others with a poor work ethic.

The whole process can be a great success or a huge nightmare depending on your team… so please take the time to find the right people and services to help you.

How to Avoid Writer’s Block

As a fellow writer, I’m sure you’ve experienced writer’s block at some point in your life. And it’s the worst if you are on deadline. The blank page stares at you, and you simply cannot think of one thing to write down.

Then, you get sidetracked by your kids, a snack in the refrigerator, doing laundry, the phone, e-mails, etc. Basically, every activity can seem more important than your writing obligations when you have writer’s block. But I have a trick I use if this happens to you:

Write down anything that comes to mind!

That’s right. Just start writing down anything and everything that comes to mind. You’ll end up with a lot of gibberish on your page. But suddenly, your brain will kick into action and be ready to write your assignment.

It also helps if you have some kind of outline handy. This way, you can skip to a different area on your outline that may flow a little more freely from your brain. You can always come back to the portion you skipped on another day.

And if this doesn’t work, maybe you are just burned out. Perhaps you really do need to take a break from writing for a while.

If this is the case, try to take a quick nap (be sure to set an alarm) or spend some time in a quiet, outdoor setting. By taking a moment to yourself to recharge, you will be more likely to return to your keyboard or pen with fresh thoughts, ideas and energy.

For more helpful tips on overcoming writer’s block, take a look at these sites:'s_Block

And if you have questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact me below. Thanks!

How to Make Your Book Idea a Reality

Do you have a great idea for a book but simply can’t seem to write it due to your hectic lifestyle? Well, it is possible to finish your book even if you don’t think you have the time.

Here are two ways I recommend for actually making your book a reality:

1. Set a schedule.

It may seem like you don’t have any extra free time to write your book. But as a mother, teacher and active volunteer, I’m here to tell you that it is possible.


You simply need to figure out where you can squeeze in 30 minutes or more each day strictly for writing. Perhaps you’ll need to get up earlier, go to bed later or tape your favorite television program? Your first task is to find some extra time each day.

Next, you need to dedicate this newly found time strictly to your writing efforts. Go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Do not answer phone calls, e-mails or knocks on the door. Otherwise, you won’t get your writing finished, and your newfound extra time will be wasted!

Now, discipline yourself to writing 500 words each day. By starting small and taking your book one day at a time, you’ll be amazed at how much you have written in just a few months! Now, if it is difficult to write this many words in the time you have allotted, reduce your goal to 300 words a day or less.

The point is to spend some time each day writing a specific number of words. Schedule your book and each chapter so you have a goal ending date for your book. This way, you’ll be taking action on your idea. And in a few months, you’ll actually have something on paper and not just an idea in your head.

2. Hire a ghostwriter.

O.k. Let’s say you’ve tried to write your book and just do not have the discipline to get it finished. There is nothing wrong with hiring someone else to write your book for you. There are many good freelancers available who can help you complete your book.

To find a good ghostwriter, conduct a search online for someone who specializes in your book’s genre. Also check various writing organizations and helpful sites such as:

Interview potential ghostwriters and be sure to check work samples. Before moving forward, you’ll want to see if this person is easy to work with, can match your tone and style and meet specific deadlines. Also prepare a contract in advance so that both you and the ghostwriter know what to expect from your new, working relationship and the final product.

It is possible.
You can get your book written. It’s just a matter of scheduling the appropriate writing time and being dedicated to working on it every day. And if all else fails, you can always pay someone else to write it for you!

If you have questions about your self-published book, feel free to send me your comments below. I’m happy to help.

Benefits of Self-Publishing

If you are tired of getting rejection letters from publishers, dealing with financial stressors and are ready to give up on your book, please don’t. I went through this same ordeal too and found another choice.

By self-publishing your book, you’ll experience many joys such as:

- Sharing your work with others;
- Communicating directly with readers;
- Making changes whenever applicable;
- Paying to print only necessary books;
- Conducting your own public relations efforts; and best of all
- Controlling the marketing process.

In fact, I’ve talked to many professional consultants and speakers who make thousands of dollars more selling their own works that dealing with a publisher. Why?

They have complete control over how book packages are created and sold. Plus, they can create their own personal lists of customers to contact about future products, send newsletters, obtain feedback, and more. Plus, they can make changes at the last minute and cater their works to a specific audience, partner, sponsor, or affiliate as needed.

With this in mind, don’t get discouraged the next time you get a publisher’s rejection letter. Instead, think about all of the possibilities of being a self-published author!

For help with self-publishing, feel free to write to me directly and check out our new newsletter at

Other Self-Publishing Resources:

3 Ways to Deal with Stress

As I worked on taking my business idea to fruition and trying to publish my book, I’ve gone through a wide range of emotions – from excitement to aggravation to depression to joy. And even when things get tough, it’s important not to let stress get the best of you.

Since many of you may be going through some challenging times with your book or new business, here are some of the things I did to stay on track without letting anxiety affect my overall health:

Stay positive.

Even though it may be very difficult at times, it’s important to avoid negativity. When issues arise, confront them right away. Figure out a plan of action to resolve the situation.

Stay in a pleasant frame of mind no matter whom or what you need to deal with. By getting upset, you will not be able to think clearly or solve problems quickly. Instead, remain calm and focused, and think of it as a learning situation.


When things get overwhelming, get out of the office. Walk, go on a bike ride, take a fitness class, or participate in your favorite sporting activity.

You may feel too tired or anxious to move around, but it will be well worth the effort. When finished, you’ll have more energy and be able to attack problems with a fresh mind.

Take time off.

If you are working on a book or new business that you are passionate about, it can be difficult to think about, or do, anything else. But this can lead to burnout…fast.

If possible, try to schedule time away from work. Spend time with family friends and just have fun. It will give you a new sense of well being and help you realize what is really important in life.

It can be exhilarating to write a book or start a new business. But in the process, it’s important to check on your stress levels. By taking a few minutes to reduce anxiety, you’ll have more energy and be able to meet any challenges that arise while staying happy and healthy.

If you'd like to reach me, or need more information about selling your self-published book, please contact me here or at I'd love to hear from you!

How to Find the Right People to Work with When Starting a Business

If you’re going to start a business, keep in mind that you might already know several people who can help you get things going. Here are some quick tips to help you find the right people to help start your business fast:

- Look at your immediate circle of friends and family to see if anyone has any special skills you can use.

For example, if you’re going to set up an office, do you know anyone who has experience in this area? Maybe they can take you shopping for essentials or steer you away from impulse purchases you’ll never use?

- Do you know anyone who has started a business and knows what forms need to be filled out and where they should be submitted?
Could they give you an hour or two of their time to walk you through the steps?

- Conduct a search online to see if you can find people to work with or mentor you as you get started.

There are a lot of great sites to help you start a business and you’re bound to find some like-minded friends who might be great to work with.

- Put the word out that you’re looking.

Let people know at the churches and organizations you belong to that you’re looking for help and the right people might start looking for you.

- Have everyone you know spread the word that you’re looking for help too.

“Friend of a friend” can be another great way to meet people who can help you.

- Look for people you’ve worked well with in the past and see if they’re interested in working together again.
You may rekindle a working relationship that leads to big sales and success.

- Check out what’s offered in your local business bureau or city business organizations.

Look to see if there’s a small group specializing in the field you’re going into. You might find the right person who is also looking for you.

There are many ways to find good people to help you start and grow your business. It’s up to you to spread the word that you are looking and conduct the appropriate research.

Check back soon for more helpful tips. In the meantime, feel free to contact me with your comments, questions and suggestions at I’d love to hear from you!

How I Beat Radio Interview Nerves

Recently, I was the featured guest on Global Talk Radio’s “Calling All Authors”. And since I am fairly new to media interviews, I was pretty nervous right before the call.

But as a new entrepreneur, I know it’s important to use the press to build awareness and credibility for my business. With this in mind, I worked with my publicist to prepare, and here are my suggestions to help you get ready for your next radio interview:

Listen to the program.
This may sound fundamental, but you really need to listen to the show you are going to be on.

Be aware of the host’s style and how he or she interacts with guests.
What kinds of questions does the host ask? Does he or she put the guest in the “hot seat” with tricky questions?

Also visit the radio program’s website for additional information about the host, the target audience and past guests. If you conduct research in advance, you’ll be less likely to face surprise questions while on the air.

Create talking points.
Once you review the show, develop a list of the things you’d like to discuss on the air. And if applicable, share it with the show’s producer so both of you know what to expect.

Perhaps you’d like to talk about a new product or service that relates to a current issue or news story?

Maybe you’ll be giving your expertise and opinion about a particular industry trend?

Whatever you decide to discuss, just be sure to provide valuable information. Rather than using your interview strictly as a sales tool, think of it as a way to provide interesting and useful information to listeners.

This way, you will establish credibility that helps to attract new customers.

When you have a list of talking points ready to go, practice what you are going to say. You don’t want to sound like you are reading from a script so really know the material backwards and forwards.

If possible, tape a practice interview with a friend or co-worker and then listen for mistakes. Try to speak slowly and really enunciate your words.

I was ready for my interview, but I still had butterflies in my stomach when it was time to make the call. And that’s o.k. It helped me focus on what I needed to say and kept me energized (due to the time difference between Germany and the U.S., my interview was at 11:00 p.m.!).

Best of all, the interview flew by, and I was able to get all of the key information in that I wanted to talk about. So if you are nervous about doing radio interviews, just remember that it’s natural. And by taking the time to adequately prepare, you’ll feel a lot more confident and improve your chances for success!

Are You Kids Ready for Back to School? Start Preparations Now

Isn’t it amazing how fast the fun, summer months speed by?

It’s almost time for your children to go back to school. And after being away from books, teachers and a regular learning schedule for so long, there are a few things you can do now to help your children prepare for the school year ahead.

In addition to talking about all of the upcoming and fun school activities with new and old friends, help your children feel positive about learning new things.

Here are three of my favorite tips:

· Review lessons with a game.

During the summer months, it can be very easy for children to forget what they learned in school the previous year. And when fun, outdoor activities are calling, the last thing they want to do is school work.

To help them remember what they learned, try to develop a game that reviews previous lessons. Perhaps you can:

- Create a question and answer game with flash cards;

- Play a Pictionary®-type game where children draw answers or act them out;

- Purchase an educational video game for the computer or television;

- Visit a museum, library, garden, science center, or other learning institute and review what was seen and done while there; and

- Develop your own fun activities specific to your child’s learning needs.

For correct answers, offer a small prize or spend time together at a fun activity. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Simply try to think of interesting ways to help your children review lessons and get ready for the school year ahead.

· Start an earlier wake-up and bedtime schedule.

At this point your children are probably accustomed to sleeping in and going to bed later than usual. As the first day of school draws closer, try to start a regular time for going to bed and getting up in the morning.

This way, your children will be more acclimated to regular sleep hours for school and ready to start without being too tired.

· Shop for school supplies.

Since most children dread the thought of returning to class, you can help change their attitude a little bit now. Help them get excited about school by shopping for new supplies, clothes, shoes, and other fun items.

Look for special, back-to-school sales to save money. By finding personal and unique items specifically for school, you’ll help your children look forward to wearing and using these things when classes begin.

Help your children prepare.
These are just a few of the many ways to help your children prepare and look forward to the new school year. By spending some time with your children on special, educational activities now, the transition from summer to back-to-school will be much smoother for both of you.

For more help on this topic, see:

And if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact me below. Thanks!

What are your kids doing this summer while you work? – 7 No Cost Tips

Are you having a hard time keeping your kids busy this summer while you fulfill your work responsibilities?

Here are several no-cost tips to help keep them busy while you accomplish your goals:

1. Check out programs at your local library.

There are often contests during the summer to encourage reading. Some libraries have a weekly or monthly movie afternoon and offer classes on a variety of subjects.

2. Plant something.

This is fun and costs nearly nothing. For example, use an old plastic cup (hammer a nail through the bottom a few times to make holes for drainage) and fill it with dirt from the yard. Then, grow a dandelion!

This may sound funny to plant one just for fun, but it’s very easy and grows fast. And for just a few cents, you can buy a packet of seeds.

3. Check for classes offered at local stores.

Call nearby gardening centers and craft stores. Often, they offer free, or very low cost, classes that appeal to both kids and parents.

4. Get your kids to help you.

If you work from home, look for various tasks to give to your children. Once they know the alphabet, you can have them alphabetize or file documents.

Fun jobs can include sticking mailing labels on envelopes, sorting papers, organizing your desk drawers, and shredding papers (if they are old enough to think safety first).

5. Review catalogs.
Save all the catalogs you receive. Then, have your kids go through them with a marker circling things they’re interested in.

Later on, you can look them together and review what they’ve found. If nothing else, you’ll have some great ideas for gifts your kids will be happy to receive.

6. Teach household chores.
Provide some lessons on tasks to do around the house. For example, you can show your children how to separate dirty clothes for the washing machine, fold clean clothes, set the table, dust, and water the plants.

Older children can do the laundry, load the dishwasher or make a simple meal. To make it fun, you can offer simple rewards for finished tasks that are completed in a timely manner.

7. Have children organize their room.
Try to turn this into a fun activity by providing a specific goal. For instance, have younger children place all their books, dolls, action figures, blocks, or other toys in a pile then sort through them by subject, color, characters, etc.

With older kids, give them a task (vacuum, dust, make the bed, take out the garbage, etc.) with specific deadline times. Then, reward each task accordingly. Maybe they collect a sticker for each accomplished task and then turn them in at the end of the month for an ice cream cone, CD, trip to the park, special family time, etc.

The summer months can be a fun and productive time for both you and your children. Be creative and think of ways to get your children involved in educational activities that will help them learn and grow.

And it doesn’t need to be difficult. Remember, just by conducting some research and planning activities in advance, you can save a lot of time, money and stress.

Mom Business Owners - 5 Ways to Increase Your Energy Fast

As a mother and entrepreneur, taking care of your family while dealing with the stress of running a business can really zap your energy.

To help you have enough oomph to go from sunrise to the late hours of the evening, here are five simple steps you can take now:

1. Exercise!

For many of you, this is the dreaded “E” word and not at the top of your priority list. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you hate the thought of going to the gym, find something that you like to do. There are many ways to get in shape such as: dancing, playing tennis, cycling, walking, swimming, taking yoga, and more.

Look for creative, fitness alternatives. After all, if you find an activity that you enjoy, it will be much easier to fit it into your daily routine.

And if this doesn’t work, find a workout buddy. Not only can you motivate each other, but you’ll get a much-needed break from family, work and life stressors.

And while you’re at it, try to set fitness goals. Whether you want to lose weight, build strength and stamina, play a better game of tennis, or even train for a marathon, even the simplest goals will help you get the healthy exercise you need each day to jumpstart your energy levels.

2. Snack Right!

Take a look at what you are eating each day. It can be very easy to grab a handful of candy without even thinking about it. And once you have an idea of where you need to make some changes, start small.

Where you would normally have a bag of chips, have a bowl of popcorn or low-fat crackers. Try an apple or banana instead of a candy bar. It can also help if you have your favorite fruit ready to go and sliced into small pieces.

By cutting out high-sugar snacks and replacing them with more healthy alternatives, you’ll give yourself an energy burst. Remember, it only takes a few changes to make a difference so you don’t need to transform your entire diet overnight.

3. Get Enough Rest!

It can be difficult to get enough sleep when you are worried about your children, business success, bills, and other time-consuming activities. However, sleep is essential if you want to have enough energy to accomplish all of your tasks and stay healthy.

In fact, according to the best-selling book, “You Staying Young,” by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, MD, “lack of sleep is associated with mental decline and overeating (which leads to major aging conditions).”

It’s a Catch-22, but you can get the shut-eye you need. To start, schedule your time accordingly. Designate a certain amount of time for reading e-mails, making calls and handling business priorities. Also write down your family schedule and leave room for last-minute activities and emergencies.

Then, try to go to bed at the same time each night. And if you can get up an hour or two before other members of your family, you’ll be able to get some work done and get a jumpstart on the day’s activities.

4. Prioritize!

Get the tough jobs done first. Focus on your most important tasks and finish them as soon as possible. This may be difficult, but it will allow you to move on to other activities without worrying about upcoming deadlines and unfinished work.

Also, try to get any extra projects done in advance. This will give you extra time for unscheduled activities and keep you ahead of schedule.

5. Get Organized!

With a crazy schedule, it can be very easy for things to get out of control fast. But if you are organized, you’ll have less stress.

For example, if you need something but know you’ll have to look through piles of things to get to it, you can feel run down just thinking about it. But if things are where they should be, you can sit down and get your tasks done without distraction.

These are just a few steps to help you have more energy and get on the fast-track to business success while raising a family.

It can be difficult to handle all of the responsibilities of being a mother and business owner. But by reviewing your current eating, exercise, sleep, and procrastination habits, you can start making simple changes to have an abundance of energy to get it all done!

5 Tips to Start Selling Your Self-Published Book

You’ve spent hours researching, writing and self-publishing your book. Now, you want to reap the benefits of selling it yourself, but where do you begin?

Here are five simple tips to help you get started.

1. Figure out your market.

“Bookstores are lousy places to sell books,” says self-publishing guru Dan Poynter in USA Weekend[1]. “Find the places where your audience gathers and sell directly to them. If your book is about cats, go to pet stores.”

To start selling your book, take the time to research your target audience. Who will be interested in purchasing your book and sharing it with their friends?

Once you know your target market, look at the places they shop and spend their leisure time. What media venues do they watch, read and listen to on a regular basis?

Create a list of all potential organizations, business and groups. This will give you a good understanding of the online sites and brick-and-mortar locations where you need to focus your marketing efforts.

2. Spread the word.

When you are ready to start selling, don’t be shy. Talk about your book, carry a copy around with you and look for every opportunity to mention it. Also be ready to give copies away to influential people who will build buzz about your business.

If you are a good speaker, try to give presentations to groups catering to your target audience. You can partner with various organizations to promote your appearance and build word-of-mouth. This may include issuing a press release, giving books away during radio or television interviews or getting involved with charitable activities.

“Speaking to local, target audiences is a great way to start building buzz about your products and services,” says Melanie Rembrandt, small business PR expert and owner of Rembrandt Communications, “But in order to build credibility, you need to offer valuable information pertinent to your book’s subject without being sales-oriented. You can always have a book-signing after your presentation to sell your books and meet potential customers.”

Another trick is to leave a copy of your book at your local bookstore or library. If visitors pick up the book and read it, they will ask for a copy of it. Then, the person at the counter may contact you to purchase additional copies.

3. Venture outside your target market.

After you’ve pursued all venues focusing on your specific audience, start marketing your book to other groups outside your target market.

Look for secondary sources that may be interested in purchasing your book as a gift for a friend, co-worker or family member. Perhaps you can partner with a business, charitable organization or hobby-group related to your book-topic?

Think “outside of the box” and try to let as many people know about your book as possible. You can issue a press release, offer special discounts and create newsworthy events to draw attention to your book. And these activities don’t need to cost a lot of money. You just need to think of some ways to stress the unique benefits of your book and take the extra time and effort to plan, coordinate and follow-through with your ideas.

4. Take advantage of business relationships.

If you used an online publisher in developing your book, advertise on their site. If you used a local printer, ask if you can leave a couple copies at their front desk.

Visit all of your local establishments and leave some kind of information about your book. If you are a regular customer, most of these businesses will be happy to help you and the local economy.

And when preparing these “leave-behinds,” think about the benefits for the business and customers. Perhaps you can print up small calendars, checklists, quick tips, bookmarks and other items that advertise your book while offering something of value to potential readers.

You may even be able to partner with various businesses to offer special joint coupons and discounts. Use your imagination, but always keep the benefits for the customer in mind.

5. List your book online.

This may be obvious, but you really need to list your book online to reach the broadest possible market and increase “buzz.” Review your target audience and try to get information about your book posted on all of the pertinent sites they visit.

Also create a simple website. And don’t worry. Today, there are many services that offer cost-effective or free websites to self-published authors. You don’t need to be a technical genius or have a lot of money to take advantage of these services and create an online presence.

However, in your online copy, be sure to stress the unique benefits of your book and provide customer testimonials (for credibility). Also include some information about your background to help you stand apart from others in your genre.

Once your site is up and running, research free, press-release posting sites. Also look for online organizations that may be willing to post reciprocal links to your site to help build search-engine optimization.

These are just a few, simple tips. There are many ways to sell your self-published books. But you can start by focusing on your target audience, work the business relationships you already have and be creative. And soon, you’ll be well on your way to being a top-selling author!

About the Author
From homes in Germany and Michigan, Jill Exler is a Mompreneur who gives authors the opportunity to market their books cost-effectively via She provides readers with new and unique books in various categories with direct connection to the authors. Visit for more tips and information.

[1] “Can’t get Published? Then Do It Yourself,” by Dawn Yun