Category Archives: Commentaries

How A Young, First-Time Author Became Wildly Successful And How You Can Use The Same Formula She Did To Skyrocket Your Readership, Your Business And Your Profits

rocket-41470_1280Today as I was browsing the news I saw a story that I just had to share.  You might have seen it too.  It was about a young woman named Ella Woodward who published a cookbook back in January, her first book ever, and it has become the fastest selling debut cookbook ever in the UK according to Yahoo News.

Even more amazing, Ella admits that she’s always hated cooking and was never very good at it.  And, to top it off, though she graduated college with a masters degree that degree is in art history, not culinary arts!

How does this happen?  And more importantly, how can this happen for you?

In Ella’s case, she was diagnosed with a rare illness that doctors were not able to cure.  So, out of desperation, Ella changed her diet.  That led to a chain of events that brought her where is she today.

But, there is a formula which led to Ella’s success that you can use too – and without changing your diet!  Here it is:

1)  Ella took action.  She didn’t just accept what the doctors were telling her.  She truly wanted to be well and she searched for a way to do that.  Likewise, if you truly want to write a booklet and build a business from it you’re going to need to take action.  It’s not going to happen while you’re sitting in your EZ chair watching NCIS or The Simpsons.

2)  Ella started a blog to document her dietary and lifestyle changes.  At first, she kept her blog private.  But she was posting recipes and uploading photos to her blog, and it wasn’t long before her friends and family were sharing her recipes and photos and her readership began to grow.  You can start a blog too!  In fact, that’s how my own business started – with a free blog!  Invite your friends and family to read your blog and ask them to comment and share!

3)  Ella promoted her blog.  While at first her promotion came from friends and family, Ella branched out shortly thereafter and began sharing her photos and recipes on other sites which helped to grow her readership.  You can do this too, and the best part is it’s free!  Find a few other sites that have something in common with what you write about.

4)  Ella saw an opportunity to use her blog as a springboard for bigger things.  Once her readership had grown significantly she decided to write a cookbook.  She also offers cooking classes (yeah – this from a young woman who couldn’t cook!) and supper and brunch clubs.  At one point her waiting list grew to over 600 people for her classes, and she had to change the way she signed people up.  She’s also planning to offer health retreats in the near future and she created an app which offers more than 100 recipes and sells for just over $5.00 per download.  Your own blog can be a springboard to other products and services as well!  What would your audience be interested in that you could offer them?  

5)  Ella inspired others as well as her doctor.  Ella has received comments on her blog from a range of people suffering various illnesses who are using her recipes and information to change their own diets and lifestyles.  Her doctor was amazed at her progress and was considering using Ella’s diet with some of his other patients in a case study.  Ella didn’t start out to inspire others.  She simply wanted to be well.  But, by putting her information out there – online and in print – she inspired others to take charge of their health.  How might your information inspire others?

So now you can see just how simple it is!  And for Ella, all of this happened within just two years.  She literally went from being an art history major in 2013 and being very ill to now owning a business that encompasses writing, health, and living better.

If this recent college grad can do all of this in such a short time, what’s stopping you?  Ella’s diet is completely vegan – no gluten, diary, meat, sugar or processed foods.  She could easily have said to herself, “There are a lot of people doing that already and I’ve got nothing new to offer.”  But, she didn’t.  She just started a blog and it became her passion.  What really pulled people in is Ella’s unique story.

How about you?  What are you passionate about?  Not really passionate about anything?  Ella hated cooking, remember?  She wasn’t passionate about it.  That came later.  Maybe there is something in your own life that you need to change, or maybe you just want to go in a new direction.  What’s your unique story?  Use that.  See where it takes you.

Take action.  Start something – a blog, a booklet, something.  Put it out there and see what happens.  Once you start getting people interested, create bigger things and inspire others.  Create the business you want and the life you want and help others at the same time.  Can it get any better than that?

You can read more about Ella at her website here:  http://www.deliciouslyella.com

The yahoo story which inspired me to write this post is here:  https://www.yahoo.com/food/when-ella-woodward-was-diagnosed-with-a-rare-112534837486.html

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  I welcome your comments as always!

Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! 

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How To Answer When Someone Asks You What You Do

career-390757_1280It happened again.  Someone asked me what I do.  This time it was the clerk from my local health food store.

There are so many different answers to this question.  I’m a wife and mother.  I could stop right there.  After all, I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to be home with my children.  But there’s so much more to me and what I do.

I’m a publisher.  But I hate telling people this.  Invariably they always want to tell me about their best friend’s cousin’s aunt who has been working on a best selling novel for years and if they could just find the right publisher…..yeah.  That’s not what I do.

I’m an author.  This is always an interesting conversation.  Most people assume I’m talking about fiction.   When I explain that I write non-fiction booklets they’re usually quite fascinated.  They smile with this gleam in their eye like, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  But, this conversation usually goes on longer than I want it to so I don’t like mentioning that I’m an author.

I’m a writer.  But I don’t like talking about that either.  I write booklets, blog posts, website copy and plenty of other things related to my business, but talking about it would probably bore most people to death.

I’m a coach, but these days who isn’t?  To non-coaches it always sounds very impressive – once you get done explaining for the millionth time that you’re not a PE teacher.

So all of these things that I do were running through my mind, and then I heard myself say, “I’m an entrepreneur.”  Oh, I thought, that’s a good one!  And then she said, “Wow!  That’s great!  You’re really lucky.”  “How so?”  I asked. “Because you were able to get your business started.  My brother wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he didn’t have the money to start his business.”

Not wanting to get further into the conversation when I knew the clerk wouldn’t really be interested, I simply replied, “Oh.  That’s too bad.  Well, maybe someday his luck will change,” and then I was out the door.

But, the truth is not every business requires a big investment to start.  You can write and produce booklets for practically nothing – especially if your booklet is produced as an e-booklet.

So many people think that you need to have alot of money to start a business, but that’s old fashioned thinking and it keeps people from doing what they want to do and living the life they want to live.  Yes, it does take alot of money to start some businesses.  If I wanted to open a restaurant or a hair salon I would need a large bank account to do it with.  But, you really can start out on a shoe-string with booklets.

Also, these days we have the advantage of the internet.  You can put up a website or use a sales platform like Zaxaa (see my link below) without making a large investment.

Starting a business isn’t what it used to be.  These days just about anyone can start a business from the comfort of their own home.

What do I do?  I’m an entrepreneur.  That covers it well.  And if you’re writing booklets and offering them for sale then so are you!

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  I welcome your comments as always!

Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! 

The One Thing You Can Use To Attract Your Audience That They Can’t Find Anywhere Else

stamp-143192_1280A couple days ago I visited my local Menchies.  If you’ve never been to Menchies you should go there.  But don’t go alone.  Take your spouse, your kids or your grandkids and treat them to the best frozen yogurt experience around.  They’ve got several flavors to choose from with all the fixin’s to put on it!

So, there I am eating my froyo, and this lady comes in and goes to the cashier.  I thought perhaps she was going to book a birthday party.  But then the cashier took a large, 3 ring binder from under the counter and handed it to the lady.  I know that 3 ring binder.  It has all the nutrition information inside for each flavor of frozen yogurt and each topping they offer to put on it.

At this point I thought the lady must have some special dietary need.  I watched as she carefully read page after page of information.  And then she asked the cashier if she could see an ingredients list on a packet of flavoring they use for their yogurt.  The cashier obliged the lady and handed her a packet.

Wow, I thought, this lady must really have some serious dietary issues!

Next, the lady asked the cashier a question which I didn’t hear, but the cashier responded that she could not give out that information.  The cashier quickly took back the packet of flavoring which the lady still clutched in her hands and didn’t want to let go.  This whole thing seemed very bizarre.  What was this lady after?

The lady got a disgusted look on her face and walked out.  I was the only other customer in the shop and so I looked at the cashier and said, “Wow!  She must really have had some serious allergies or something.”  “No,” replied the cashier.  “She owns a yogurt shop and she is trying to figure out our yogurt formula.  Today isn’t the first time she’s come in here and asked for information on our ingredients.  But we can’t give our formula out to anyone.  We will lose our jobs if we do.  It’s in our contract when we’re hired. She also watches the things we do here – like our five dollar Fridays – and she copies them.  And, she’s not the only one.”

I knew that entrepreneurs and other business entities copied each other.  You see it all the time.  Company A comes out with some new whiz bang thing that sells for a hundred bucks and does well in the market place, and the next thing you know there are five knock-offs on the market selling for less than half that.

But, I was surprised that this lady would go through the trouble of starting her own yogurt shop only to try to copy a franchise.  There can only be one Menchies, after all, and no matter how hard she tries she’ll never be them.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

What this lady really should have done was watch her competition – which includes Menchies as well as all the other froyo places in the area – and then ask herself how she can do even better than they have, or what she can do that is uniquely different.  Menchies is self serve.  What if this lady’s froyo shop had waiters?  Menchies has all the fixin’s.  What if this lady’s shop had even more fixin’s?  Menchies is a small place with small tables and chairs.  What if this lady’s shop had booths?  Menchies has a franchise feel to it.  But, this lady’s shop is not a franchise.  Why not capitalize on that?  There are so many things she could do.

You can’t be someone else and it’s a bad idea to try.  What goes for that lady goes for you and me too.  Your booklet shouldn’t be a copy of someone else’s work.  It should be your own.  Your business shouldn’t be a copy of someone else’s.  It should be unique to your own audience.  There is only one you, and you are the one who will make your booklets and your business stand out in the marketplace.  You are why your audience will show up.

If froyo customers want to go to Menchies, that’s where they’ll go.  It doesn’t matter how hard that lady tries to imitate them.  It will never work.  Likewise, once your audience gets to know you – you will be the one they’ll listen to and buy from, as long as you are giving them value and you’re not just a cheap imitation of someone else.

Like Menchies, there is only one Starbucks.  Not everyone loves Starbucks, but they are number one in the marketplace and all others are imitators.

And can you imagine a single burger joint trying to copy McDonnalds?  It would be an utter disaster.  McDonnalds isn’t that good anyway.  Why not make really GOOD hamburgers and charge more instead?

Write your booklets and grow your business, but do it your way.  Be who you are meant to be and your audience will love you for it because they can’t find you anywhere else!

To your riches!

Kim Hillman

PS:  I welcome your comments as always!

Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! 

Update On My New Website

www-350195_1280Back on December 22 I hired a designer/developer to create my new website and I was relieved to finally get this project off the ground.  But, on December 31st, having barely begun, I lost my developer.  I didn’t fret, however.  Instead, I went and got my nails done.  I wanted to end 2014 on a positive note.

I knew I’d find someone else and everything would work out for the best, and it did!  A couple of weeks later I hired a company not only to create my site, but to handle all the branding that goes into it as well.  It’s been a wild ride ever since!

When you create a website there’s so much that goes into it – especially if you’re any kind of public figure such as a speaker, coach, writer/author, etc.  You need a website that represents you and your company, but also speaks to your audience.  From the moment you start marketing yourself and your work you are creating your brand.  When you create a website you have to condense that brand into something easily definable and almost tangible.  It’s a tough process but it’s what separates you from everyone else on the internet.

I’m nearing the end of the branding process now and will be entering the development process shortly.  There’s still a lot of work ahead, but it’s getting done and that’s the exciting part!

I can’t wait to unveil the site!  Until then,  I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

To your riches,

Kim Hillman

PS:  Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! 

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My rant about a blog post that really ticked me off

anger-477044_1280Recently I read a blog post that really ticked me off. It was written by another writer who has a fairly popular blog about writing.

The post in question was discussing writing advice – bad writing advice to be more specific.  The blogger stated that there is alot of bad advice being given to writers, which is true.  But, the blogger then went on to state an example of bad writing advice and the example cited was advice I have given to you.

What was the example?  Get it done!  That was it!

To be fair, this blogger is writing to book authors and their task is more complex than what we booklet authors have to do.  But even book authors can’t afford to dilly dally for too long.

I’m a big advocate of done is better than perfect because you’ll never reach perfect.  Even if you could your booklet wouldn’t be perfect for long because things change so fast.

The vast majority of people will talk your ears off about how much they want to do something but they’ll never take any action toward achieving it – either because they’re afraid to start or because they’re waiting for the perfect time, or to have more money to put into their project, or they’re waiting until after their vacation, or maybe until Hell freezes over.

So yes!  I say get it done!  Just start.  Stop talking, waiting and wishing and start doing!  You might mess it up.  You might fall flat on your face.  And if you do you’ll learn from the experience and be the better for it.  But, you might just surprise yourself and come out a winner.  It happens all the time.  But it can only happen if you start, follow through and GET IT DONE!!!

Comments anyone?

To your riches,

Kim Hillman

PS:  Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! 

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Penguin Group Publishes Booklets For Dr. Who Fans

Dr WhoMy daughter received an intriguing gift over the holidays.  It’s a collection of booklets – 12 to be exact – which contain stories about the fictional character Dr. Who.  Each booklet contains 1 story about 1 doctor (there have been twelve doctors).  The first booklet contains a story about the first doctor, the second booklet contains a story about the second doctor and so on.

The booklets are published by Penguin Group.  Each booklet is about 49 pages long.  The print is rather large – like that which you would see in a book for third graders.  And each booklet was written by a different author.

Most likely this booklet set was done as a single project through Penguin Group – meaning they knew who they wanted to author them.  Some of the booklets are authored by writers who are well known among the Dr. Who fan base.

The booklets are being marketed as a set of “mini paperbacks” rather than booklets, and sells for just over $24.00 on Amazon.

There’s so much you can do with booklets!  This is a great example of booklets created in a fictional genre.   Here are some key take-away ideas you can use from this example (even if you’re writing non-fiction):

1) You can create your own booklet set.  You can have a set of three booklets, or five, or ten or even twenty.  There are no hard and fast rules for booklets.  And your page count could be anywhere from 12 to about 70 pages each.

2) You can team up with other authors to create a set of booklets.  Each time a set is sold, each author gets a cut of the profit.  The advantage here is that each author is promoting the set, so your booklet gets more exposure.

3)  How you position your booklets in the marketplace will determine your price.  Do you want your booklets to be presented as low priced, timely advice at your fingertips?  Call it a booklet.  Or, if you really want to stress low price, call it a pamphlet.  Do you want to command a higher price?  Add a few pages and call it a mini-book or mini-paperback.  And if you really want to add value, make it a collectors’ edition!

Can you think of some more ideas to add to this list?  Send me a comment!

To your riches,

Kim Hillman

Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! 

 

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Why My Website Project Is Taking So Long

www-350195_1280Well, here we are.  A brand new year.  And I’ve got alot of things planned.  I want to take just a moment to share with you just one of those plans because so many of you have been asking me about it and you deserve an answer.    It’s the website.

Some months back I mentioned that I was in the process of having a new website developed.  And then you didn’t hear anymore about it.  The reason you didn’t hear anything was because I was having difficulty with my developer regarding the project.  He just didn’t seem to understand what I needed.  So, I had to let him go.

And then my life got very busy over last summer with my family, so it just wasn’t the right time to pick up my website project.  At the same time, I had some health issues crop up which I’m still dealing with and while I try not to let it slow me down it has taken up more of my time lately than I’d like.

Then, last fall, I got a new idea and my website plans took a new turn in a very exciting direction.  It was time to hire a new developer.

I found a new developer just before Christmas and he was very eager to start the project.  But, Just as 2014 was coming to a close on December 31st, and we were a little over a week into the project, I lost my new developer.  Although he wanted to complete the project, he realized I needed someone with expertise he didn’t have – expertise I didn’t know my developer would need for my project.  It’s a rather complex website and I’m not a techie.

It’s easy to look at a website and say, Oh yes!  I want my website to do that too!  But, it’s quite another thing from the developer’s point of view.  Some things are easy, some aren’t, and some things literally have to have software or plug-ins developed because they don’t exist in the market place.  My website will need all of the above.

So, now I’m looking for a developer again.  But, I do believe the third time will be a charm!  This time around I know exactly what I want and I know what kind of experience my developer needs.  So, working with the previous two developers wasn’t a total loss!

I’m hoping to have the website up by the end of February or early March but it will depend on how soon I can find another developer and how full their schedule is.  The type of developer I need isn’t someone you can just go to elance or freelancer and find.  He’s a rare breed, expensive and usually has several projects going at a time.  It’s not uncommon to be told they can’t start your project for a month or two because they won’t have an opening for a new client until then.

I’ll keep you posted but, one day in the not too far off future my website will be done!

Sound like alot of hassle?  Does my experience make you afraid to even think about starting a website?  It doesn’t need to be this complicated.  My site needs special functions that I can’t get just anywhere.  But, if you are just looking to sell your booklets you can do it easily and hassle free with my Zaxaa affiliate link below!

With Zaxaa you don’t even need a website.  And you don’t need any technical skills either.  Just sign up, upload your booklet or product and you’re ready to go.  If I remember correctly it took me all of about 15 minutes to get my first ebook on there.  And  I still use them for my ebook!  Check out my Zaxaa affiliate link below.  Sign up today and sell today!

To your riches,

Kim Hillman

PS:  I welcome your comments as always!

Don’t have a website yet for publishing your booklets?  Use my affiliate link to get your booklets online today.  Get started for free here!

Check out my free ecourse “12 Ways A Booklet Can Turn Your Writing Into Cash” here now!

My ebook, “Publish Outside The Box” is available here.

Friend me on FACEBOOK and TWITTER!