Author Solutions, authors, Balboa Press, book selling, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Holding your book for the first time. Hear what it is like from these authors.

In conjunction with the release of its 225,000th title, Author Solutions has released a video titled, Special Delivery: Holding Your Book for the First Time.”. This unique compilation captures a range of authors speaking about what it was like to see a copy of their print book for the first time.

Two of the authors, Donna Schwenk and J. L Witterick were eventually picked up by traditional publishers, Hay House andG.P. Putnam’s Sons respectively, one of the world’s leading trade imprints of Penguin.

If you are still working on your manuscript, I think this video will motivate you to write to the finish.

Author Solutions, Balboa Press, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

Self-published Probiotic cookbook gets picked up by traditional publisher.

One of the strongest motivations for publishing is having something to say that can help others. Donna Schwenk had suffered from some health challenges that led her to change her diet and the way she prepared food for her family. From that experience, she published a book that provided practical advice on how to use probiotics as part of a regular diet. This is a topic that has grown in popularity of recent given the rise in food allergies and digestive issues.

Donna self published her book with Balboa Press, the self publishing division of Hay House. That led to her being noticed by Hay House publishers and next thing you know, she was offered a publishing contract. I have said for some time, I do not know how many people you will impact with your writing if you publish, but I know how many you will if you don’t.

Donna’s story is a great example of how self-publishing empowers individuals to make a difference in other people’s lives by following through and publishing a book.  Hopefully her story will be an inspiration to you to finish your manuscript and get published this year.

agents, Author Solutions, authors, Balboa Press, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

4 things every writer needs to know if they are planning on publishing today

The world has changed for authors which means they have new opportunities and consequently responsibilities.

As you can imagine, with the announcement a few weeks ago about Author Solutions being acquired by the world’s largest publisher, there has been an enormous amount of media interest. This is both a thrilling and confusing time for authors, so I think it is more important than ever for authors to be informed and choose the best option for getting published based on their goals, skills, patience, and budget. My last post suggested there were four paths authors could pursue today, and I laid out the differences among them. But recently, at the end of a very thoughtful and comprehensive interview, I was asked the question, “Is there anything else you would like to say to authors today?” What follows is my response to that question.

Gone are the days of walking to the mailbox and pulling out a pile of rejection letters and wondering if you would ever get published. Today, every author can get publishedand get his or her book into the hands of readers—whether you use a DIY method, assisted self-publishing, or sign with an agent and try to acquire a traditional publishing contract

That means authors have more opportunity than ever before, but they also have more responsibility. And that is not something anyone seems to be talking much about. Whereas before it was the publisher, now it is the author who has the responsibility to set clear goals and a budget. Having clarity about these two areas will help authors make the best decision about which publishing path is best for them. In addition, they also need to have a realistic assessment of the skill and time they have to put to the project.

You can absolutely change your brakes and wash your car for less money if you do it yourself, rather than paying someone to do it for you.  But if you don’t know how to change brakes or you don’t have time to wash your car, you should pay someone to do it for you.  I think the same type of decision-making should be applied to making a publishing decision.

In addition, authors should:

  1. Make sure you have a clear picture of who the audience is for your book.  Saying your goal is to sell to every man, woman, and child on the planet (I had an author tell me that) is not realistic.
  2. Understand your options. DIY, assisted, and traditional publishing all have advantages and drawbacks. Inform yourself. There is plenty of information out there. In fact, that is why we created the Author Learning Center ( and why I published 7 Secrets of Successful Self Published Authors. It’s an ebook on  for 99 cents.  We have been told by many authors that both the ALC and the 7 Secrets are very helpful.
  3. Think about your marketing while you are writing your manuscript, and know there are no guarantees with marketing. Just ask any marketing director at any company in the world. You do some things that you think will work and they don’t, but you also do some things that far exceed your expectations. The key is to be consistent and experiment. Not everything is going to work, but if you do nothing, you don’t stand a chance.
  4. This industry-changing shift in publishing does not mean everyone will be successful, but it does mean everyone will have the opportunity to be successful. Honestly, I think that is the most exciting thing about the time in which we live. At ASI, we are simply providing the opportunity, whether you want to publish for free with Booktango or use an assisted self-publishing imprint like AuthorHouse or iUniverse or publish with an imprint tied to a traditional publisher like Westbow Press and Thomas Nelson or Balboa Press and Hay House. Not that long ago, authors only had one choice: find an agent and pray they could sell the manuscript. That has all changed, and I think that is amazingly exciting.

Too many authors publish a book with the expectation that the world is just sitting, waiting for their manuscript to get finished, and once they make it available for sale, the world will come to them. The reality is, being an author takes an informed, consistent effort, but when you get those e-mails from readers that tell you how much they enjoyed your book or found it helpful, it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

Certainly, there are economic considerations when it comes to publishing, but I think the one common goal that unites all authors is they want to impact people with their writing. That’s why those motivations I mentioned on our call are so key. Writing to help others or telling a story that has to be told or supporting a business or ministry are worthy pursuits because they impact people.

As I say to authors all the time, I don’t know how many books you will sell if you publish, but I know how many you will sell if you don’t. I don’t know how many people you will impact with your book if you publish, but I know how many you will impact if you don’t. And to all the naysayers and fearmongers, I would like say: quit bickering about methods, and let’s encourage authors to seize the opportunity.

authors, Balboa Press, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

From self published author to selling 30 million books: Louise Hay shares her story.

If you do not know Louise Hay, you really need to listen to her tell her story of how she went from self publishing her first book to selling over 30 million copies in multiple languages over these past years. Louise is the author of many books, but the one that put her on the map was “You Can Heal Your Life”. In this video she explains how that book came to be and what has happened since then, including founding Hay House publishing.  As you listen to her story, you will find there are important lessons for any author to remember. I encourage you to watch the complete video, but here are just a few of the highlights

  1. The title of your book matters. The first title Louise had for the book, You Can Heal Your Life, was actually titled, The Metaphysical Causes of Diseases. That is not a title that rolls off the tongue so she changed it to make the title more more memorable and accessible to people and the rest is history.
  2. The design and packaging of your book matters. When she first self published, she went to bookstores and watched what people did. That research led her to realize that unless your book has the right title and is designed the right way, people will not pick it up.
  3. The most important motivation for publishing is not money. The most important reason for publishing is because you think you have something to say or share that can help people. She has a great quote in the interview, “Books will not make you rich, but they will open the door to some many other possibilities.”
  4. Self publishing lets you retain control of your content. While this statement seems rather obvious, it is an important reminder of the reason why indie publishing has grown so dramatically. Louise did not want anyone changing what she wanted to say.

The video is nearly nine minutes long, but it is worth watching. Enjoy.

authors, Balboa Press, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing

Bronnie Ware: From self published author to international best seller and a contract with a traditional publisher.

Every once in a while you hear about an author who has the courage and conviction to self publish and as a result his or her world changes because of it. Bronnie Ware is one of those authors. You may not recognize her name, but you may have already heard about her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware, who is from Australia has worked the last few years in palliative care, which is providing comfort for those who are near death.  Her work required her to spend tiime and meet the needs of terminal patients. In many cases these were people who only had weeks to live. In an interview about her book Bronnie said, “I found each patient experienced a variety of emotions, as expected. These included: denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though – every one of them”

Because she thought she had something to share from her experiences, she wrote an article for  a local publication about the most common regrets expressed by the people she had cared for, titled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” The article received considerable attention and at the request  of readers, Ware decided to write a personal memoir of the same title. After self-publishing through Balboa Press, her book became a internet sensation, and was featured on some of the top media properties in the world, including “The Guardian” and “The Huffington Post.”

As a result, Balboa’s publishing partner, Hay House, Inc. called and offered her a contract Leon Nacson, Managing Director of Hay House, Inc., Australia described the call he made to offer the contract. “I immediately contacted Bronnie to offer her a publishing contract and she burst into tears of joy. She informed me she had just left the labor ward where she had given birth to a baby girl. She said she had made two prayers earlier that day, the first asking that the birth go well and that her baby would be happy and healthy, and the second that she would earn a publishing contract.It was an incredible moment.”

Can you imagine what a day that must have been for Bronnie? Both prayers answered.

So what about you? Will your book become the topic of international media sites? Will you get a traditional publisher to offer you a contract. I don’t know if that will happen if you publish, but I know if you don’t get that manuscript out of your drawer and get it in the market, it will never happen.

authors, Balboa Press, self publishing

Romero Scales Self-Publishing Summit with Balboa

Here’s the exciting news I teased here Friday. Jordan Romero, who in May became the the world’s youngest person to successfully scale Mt. Everest, has released his first book through Balboa Press.  
“The Boy Who Conquered Everest”  is an inspirational children’s book co-authored by Romero and Katherine Blanc that chronicles  his  climb which culminated with him becoming the youngest ever to summit Everest’s peak; on May 22; at just 13 years old. Romero has climbed the highest mountains on six continents (and Oceana) thus far, and hopes to conquer Antartica’s tallest peak later this year.
I don’t about you, but I sure wasn’t self-publishing books and climbing the world’s tallest mountains when I was 13. Check out the book at its official website.

authors, Balboa Press, self publishing

The largest self help publisher, Hay House launches a self-publishing division, Balboa Press


Hay House launched Balboa Press to help more authors have opportunity to get published and help others through their writing

In May, Hay House and Author Solutions announced the formation of Balboa Press, a self-publishing imprint especially targeted for self help authors. While I am sure there will be critics, the reality is Hay House is committed to helping more authors get published and to providing more choice to readers. This position aligns perfectly with the mission of Author Solutions.
In the press release announcing Balboa, Reid Tracy, president of Hay House, said they will be monitoring the books for potential pick up by Hay House’s traditional imprints. What makes this even more interesting is Louise Hay, who founded Hay House and made it the leading new thought publisher, actually started by self-publishing her books. I think we will see some very exciting titles come through Balboa Press.