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Writing Inspriation - Record Your Family History

Everyone has a story to tell, and one thing I particularly enjoy is hearing stories from my own family. What I do is ask questions such as: 
  • How did you meet your spouse?
  • What did you like about school? 
  • What hobbies did you have? 
  • What’s the most interesting thing that ever happened to you?

I write things down in stories on my computer, but you could also use a tape recorder and interview your family that way.
Learning about your family can give you some great ideas for stories. You might choose to write the stories exactly as you hear them, or you could turn them into fiction by changing a few of the facts. If you’re suffering from writer’s block, a family story might be just the thing to get you started writing again.
If your own family history doesn’t interest you, maybe you could visit a local nursing home to learn about someone else’s history. There is a world of stories out there waiting to be written, and you might be just the one to write them!

Do you have questions about selling your self-published book? Please let me know below. Thanks!

Staying on Top of Things

If you’re like me, hardly a week goes by without something unexpected popping up that demands your full attention. What helps me is that as much as possible, I try to work ahead, so that when these things occur, I am not also frantically scrambling to finish a project on top of everything.

I like to keep things organized on printable calendars (make your own by searching “free printable calendar”), which I keep next to my computer. This way, I can have a picture in front of me showing when different things are due. I write projects on my calendars with a pencil, but some of the templates on the computer let you write on each day what is due before you print them.

It’s good to stay flexible with your work schedule if possible. I prefer to work in the mornings, but if there’s nothing going on some nights, I like to get a jump-start on the next day’s work. I also use the occasional evening to work on things that don’t have a due date, but are still important, such as filing papers.

Keep a list of things you’re working on, or would like to work on, and skim through it on a regular basis so you don’t forget what’s important. It’s easy in your day-to-day life to forget the big picture, and reminding yourself of your goals can keep you on track.

Do you have any tips for staying on top of things? If so, I’d love to hear them! Please let me know below.

Dealing with Tricky Customers

I would like to say that running a business is easy and fun all the time, but there are times when I have to deal with people I call “tricky customers.”

Overwhelmingly, I have emails and calls from positive, helpful people, but every once in awhile I get a message that knocks the wind out of my sails.

Here are some of the things I do when I have to deal with these negative customers:

I try to always respond with kindness. For all I know, that person has had a terrible day. And a problem on my website, or with one of the authors selling books on my website, is just the straw that broke the camel’s back to them. If I answer gently and fix the problem as fast as I can, I find that the tricky customer soon calms down.

If I have to research something for a tricky customer, I let them know how long it will take me to help them, what I am doing to help them, and when I have finished what I’m doing. This way, they aren’t left hanging wondering if I’ve even gotten around to reading their email.

For the worst-case scenario, make sure you have a good lawyer. I have never had to use my lawyer, but I update her quarterly with what I’m doing. This way, if I need her, she has current information about my company and customers.

Remember that the worst case almost never happens. And even the angriest customer usually calms down, and you don’t have to deal with them forever.

Remind yourself in the midst of a crisis of dealing with a tricky customer that whatever the problem is, it will pass. And you will likely have a satisfied customer in the end.

Got questions about being a new entrepreneur or selling a self-published book? Please let me know here or at

Quick Tips to Promote Book Sales 3-7-11

Here are some quick tips to promote book sales:

• Set up Twitter and Facebook accounts for your book.

Both of these are free and can really help you get the word out that you have a book for sale… and inform readers where they can purchase a copy. Once you have accounts set up, then you need to regularly update them to keep things current.

For instance, you could include a sentence from your book one day. Then, the next day, write something about yourself. Then, the following day, mention where the book can be purchased. Make sure the content changes so your followers and friends are always reading something new from you.

• Get in touch with blog-talk radio hosts who interview authors.

You could use a search engine to find an interviewer. Then, send an email introducing yourself and your book and ask to be put on their schedule of interviews.

If you can bring a fresh perspective each time, you could be interviewed more than once on a show. For instance, in one interview talk about how you wrote your book. In another, talk about yourself, and in another, give your tips for writers.

• Have a contest for your friends and family.

Ask them to help promote your book, and take the first one to sell ten copies of your book out to lunch. This lets you reach a large group of people fairly quickly.

Do you have any tips to promote books sales? I’d love to hear them! Please let me know here or at