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Tips for Writing During the Holidays

I know the holidays are always a busy time, and with all the preparation that everything requires, writing can sometimes take a backseat to everything that’s going on around you.

Something you might try is working ahead in your writing so you can take a break. If you have a certain number of words you like to write a day, try to write more on some days so you have a free day that won’t make you feel like you’re cheating yourself on writing time.

Another thing to do is adjust your schedule by a small amount, such as get up 15 minutes earlier a few days a week, and use that time for holiday preparations. Use one day to get all the presents organized in a pile and  another day to get the wrapping paper together and then another day to start wrapping. It might be slow-going, but if you break it into small amounts, it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

Finally, ask for help with getting everything ready. Friends and family might be able to do some shopping or meal preparations that you need done, and that gives you the time to write that you would otherwise have to spend running errands.
Do you need help finding the perfect gift? Please write to me here or at

How to Thank the People Who've Helped You with Your Writing Career

Actually, writing a book may be a job you do alone, but nearly everyone has help along they way. You might not have someone who does research for you, or who types as you dictate, but you more than likely had a friend or two read through your book as you wrote it, or perhaps someone stopped by with dinner so wouldn’t have to stop working one night.

There are several things you can do to thank them for their help, and to let them know you appreciate what they did for you.

First of all, consider including them in a dedication or “with special thanks” section at the front of your book. Just as it’s thrilling for you to see your name on your book, it’s thrilling for your friends to be included.

Second, think about something special you could do for your friends who helped. It doesn’t have to be expensive – maybe just invite everyone over for a book launch/thank you party and order pizza for them.

Finally, don’t forget the best and simplest way to thank someone – just tell them. Say how much you appreciate their help and friendship and let them know how much it meant to you while you were working on your book.

Do you have questions about self-publishing or finding the perfect gift? Please write to me here or at

How to Avoid Scams as a Self-Published Author

There are so many benefits to self-publishing a book that I don’t need to list them all for you here. But there are also some pitfalls you need to avoid.

First of all, when choosing a company to publish your book for you, you need to be sure you’re dealing with a reputable firm. Check with the Better Business Bureau, ask for and confirm references, and don’t be afraid to ask for more information about the company before you hand any money over.

Second, find out what you’re paying for. Does the price include services you don’t need, and if so, can you have that cost deducted from your total? Also, check to confirm you will get everything you need for the fee.

Will the company ship the books to you? Or if they sell them directly to the readers, will they include a shipping cost that changes the price of your book?

I think self-publishing is a great way to get your books out into the market, but you have to remember to use your head while you’re looking for a publisher, and not forget to be cautious when you’re the one paying for a job to be done.

Do you have questions and need help with writing and marketing your self-published book? For additional resources, check out our self-published interview series at

What You Can Do Now to Get Ready for the Holidays as a Self-Published Author

If you’re a self-published author, you’re probably one of the busiest people around, but you’re also probably an organized person. It’s a big job to write, publish, and market your books yourself, so you’re able to handle doing several jobs simultaneously.

Something you really need to consider is how you’re going to promote your book for the holidays, and it’s never too soon to start!

  • One way to do this is using the free social media outlets online such as Twitter and Facebook to generate some buzz for your book. If you haven’t already opened an account on these sites, now’s a great time to start.

  • Once you’ve set up your account, use it to mention your books as often as possible, especially mentioning the gift giving season and how your book would be the perfect present to give someone.

  • Another thing you might try is asking around at local bookstores and community centers to find out if you could do a reading from your book during the holidays, then after the reading have already gift-wrapped copies of your books ready to sell. Having already done the wrapping will make your book stand out from the rest as an easy gift for the buyer to give.
It’s a great time to get ready for the holidays, and starting now will put you ahead of the rest.

Do you have questions and need help with writing and marketing your self-published book? For additional resources, check out our self-published interview series at or contact me at .

Interview with Linda Leon, Self-published Cookbook Author

Today at jexbo, we talk to self-published cookbook author, Linda Leon. Here’s what Linda had to say:

Tell us about your self-published book.

I am certified in Health and Nutrition, and devoted my life towards helping people to improve their lifestyle. When I first began, I would present healthy lifestyle information on a TV program that I produced which included a cooking section. Later, a friend suggested that I put the recipes in a cookbook and I did.

Having a cookbook really helped people so I began to do health seminars within the community and the book did really well as a sales tool with healthy benefits. My self-published book is called, “Effortless Vegetarian Cooking.” It is available at and

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I decided to self publish after having a very bad experience with a small publisher that did another book. That experience left me with a garage full of books and I quickly had to learn to liquidate them. That bad situation turned into a good thing, because it taught me how to sell books and caused me to learn about the publishing industry.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

My biggest challenge was finding my niche. It takes a long time for most people to be able to find their niche. It is a lot of trial an error. Some things work, others do not, but you have to keep pressing until you find that niche.

How did you overcome that challenge?

I just kept telling people about the book, putting the information in front of as many people as I could and stayed active with every way that I could think of to promote the book. Eventually, I was given an opportunity to expand my television outreach and I found my target market upon that expansion.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

Control and not having to be subjected to a royalty. I was very satisfied with the results of my book activity and did not feel the need to find another source to help me with the books.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Learn as much as you can about the industry and be prepared to do marketing on a regular basis if you want results. Writing the book is the easy part, marketing is the hard part. It can also get expensive, so you should never spend beyond your means.

You also have to identify what your true motive is for writing the book. If you want to write to get rich quickly, you may be in for a rude awakening. If you write because you enjoy the craft, then more than likely your book will become profitable.

Having a pure money motive will not sustain you for the time it will take to fully develop your marketing and PR. Once you begin marketing and PR, it really becomes a part of your lifestyle.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

My experience with the small publisher taught me to learn and it encouraged me to help others. I would not want to see anyone go through what I went through so I started Book Marketing Professionals at We help authors with their book publication and marketing efforts. Our motto is we assist from manuscript to marketing. I really enjoy working with authors and they can contact me at Book Marketing Professionals.

Thanks for your insights and information Linda. Good luck with more books sales!

And if you have questions about self-publishing, please contact me here or at Thanks!