ExpertAuthors™ Unplugged: Peggy Jennings-Severe, Author of Life Talks: A Guide to Bringing Back Conversation and Life Talks: The Conversation Continues

KAREN: Good afternoon!  Welcome to Expert Authors Unplugged!  I’m Karen Lynn Maher for Legacy One Authors, and my guest today on is Peggy Jennings-Severe, author of two books:  Life Talks: A Guide to Bringing Back Conversation and Life Talks: The Conversation Continues. Both are available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Peggy+Severe+Jennings.

Welcome, Peggy.

PEGGY: Thanks. It’s good to have this time with you.

KAREN: I’m excited to share you with my interview and blog audiences. So, let’s jump right into it. We both know authors have unique challenges.  If you’re a budding writer, you’re anticipating these.  When you reflect on your own journey, what prominent challenges did you face and overcome?

PEGGY: When I think of my fellow writers, one thing that jumps out as a common obstacle is speaking in public, but that wasn’t a problem for me. I was a dean of recruitment—I’d always spoke in public.  The details of bringing the manuscript to publication and bringing the book to successful sales were not easy, but the writing sure was. My biggest challenge was thinking of myself as an author and then presenting myself as one.  The difficulty was compounded because I didn’t have a publishing house behind me—I self-published.

KAREN: What steps did you take to help you embrace author role?

PEGGY: In one sense, what I did was simple–I just started acting like an author in my speaking engagements.  I was wise enough to start small. I went to famer’s markets and book fairs and other venues in the local community.  I chose groups where I knew the people or knew they were the kind of people who would have my back. I started to get my “author” self-concept anchored that way. Then I expanded.  I presented at groups with more unknowns.

Truth to tell, you really helped me, Karen.  You pointed out that my comfort level with doing presentations was already high, so I could do a little sleight of hand where I just reconceived myself as a consultant—a consultant who just happened to have written a book  I still didn’t quite see myself as an author, yet–that wasn’t how I saw my strengths.  But I had a message to share about conversation, connection, and community, and a role as a consultant around those things that I was wholly aligned with.

KAREN: Yes, that seems like a natural evolution from the talks we had.  You saw the book as adjunct to the work you were already doing in the world.

PEGGY: Yes. It all came clear one time when I was presenting to the mothers of a preschool group.  At the end of the talk, I was able to highlight the book as a useful resource to support the kind of conversations they wanted to have in their community—almost as a second thought.

KAREN: Why did you choose “conversations” as the topic for your book?  What kind of conversations does the book focus on?

PEGGY: Let me start by saying something about great leaders: they are connected.  They have networks.  Networks are foundational for people to achieve their missions in life. The people who make up our network—our friends and colleagues—give us the knowledge and emotional support we need to pursue our various missions joyfully.

I developed skills for helping people network back in high school and I refined that process when a taught a college class called, College and Life Success.  In the middle of a class, I’d ask, “How are you going to stay connected?”  My graduate school experiences had planted a seed about the value of open-ended questions.  I had a passion for injecting them into divergent settings.  I wanted to create the conditions for people to ask questions that lead to the kind of conversations that would help them experience the most out of their relationships.

Now, to specifically answer your question. My first book partly grew out of the playful birthday conversations we had in my family.  Instead of giving cards, our birthdays were a time for asking open-ended questions, and from that we were able to share what we appreciated about each another.

When these parties ended, friends wanted Cliff Notes on how they could repeat what they’d experienced.  They wanted those meaningful questions for their own special occasions.

That’s when I realized this activity—knowing how to have meaningful conversations—could have a wider appeal and serve more people.  Once that came clear, I basically just amassed the questions I’d developed for graduations, retirements, family talks first dates, etc. and put them into a book.

KAREN: It’s great to see how your thoughts evolved.  Can you describe other challenges you faced to get your book written, published and sold?  What should aspiring authors anticipate?

PEGGY: You know, I would have been overwhelmed in the beginning if I had a crystal ball to see what writing this book would demand of me.  Believe me, I now have more admiration for authors—and especially successful ones—than I ever had before.

So many things challenged and scared me, but ultimately they provided the occasion for great successes.  Each one contributed to my maturity as a writer.

I had to learn new computer skills and marketing.  I had to figure out the paperwork for a business license. I had to face new territory in publishing a website. Because of your encouragement to make a newsletter, I had to learn to do that. At another point, I was given 24 hours write an article for a parenting magazine. That was a new skill.

But one meta-skill—and one that clearly relates to the theme of the book—was to learn to “break the ice” and network with other entrepreneurs.

I’m really happy I surrounded myself with confident and supportive people.   They shared my enthusiasm for my vision when I needed it and contributed skills I lacked to the whole book campaign.

In short, this grand process of writing a book taught me many things, but most significantly, it taught me to learn how to learn.

KAREN: That’s a lesson for whatever we want to do in life, don’t you think?

PEGGY: Absolutely.

KAREN: I think about networking.  The help of others is so important, isn’t it?

PEGGY:  Yes.  And I think about protecting my efforts—protecting the writing of the book as it matured.  While I worked on the project, I only shared it with people who I knew would support me.

This is another lesson every new author should know:  be careful who you share your process with—especially initially.  Bring it only to the people who are behind you.

KAREN: Yes. New writers feel enough self-doubt, self-criticism, and imposter syndrome without it being helped along—intentionally or unintentionally—by others.

PEGGY: You’re right.

KAREN:. We have to surround ourselves with people who are positive and supportive, or who will connect us to people who will be supportive.

PEGGY: Case in point: I learned of you through my brother. So yes, I agree!

KAREN: Switching gears, how has writing and publishing your book benefitted you professionally?

PEGGY: That’s a great open-ended question!

As you know, I was newly retired.  I was afraid of becoming irrelevant and I wanted to stay engaged—I wanted to keep meeting people and building connections.  This book and my other one, helped me to transition to a purposeful, alive, and engaged retirement.

In this process, I redefined success.  At book fairs, the number of books I sold wasn’t the important thing. Making important connections was.  Improving my presentation of the book and being in service to others was also a win.

It’s been said before, but the satisfaction came in focusing on the process.

I love to sell books and that remains a big goal, but if I don’t sell, that’s not a negative.  My successes come in expanding the web of people who are excited about and supportive of what I’m doing.

The feedback I get from my network has also become part of my “win.”

There would be times when I thought myself silly for trying to pass myself off as an author.  Then I’d get an email that would reaffirm everything I was doing, and I’d remember that my work fill a void. That was huge.

KAREN: I love when that happens.

PEGGY: Me, too!

KAREN: I know you learned tons about promoting yourself and your book—some of which you’ve talked about here.  What do you see as the number one tip for marketing?

PEGGY:  Make yourself visible.  There’s so many ways people do this nowadays.

You told me about Business Network International.  I got two good contacts from BNI from the first meeting I attended.  And, as I said before, you prodded me to write a newsletter, which turned out to be lots of fun.  Like so many others, I also kept expanding my number of FaceBook friends.  I just kept building up every one of those things.

As you might guess, I’ll never fail to bring an email sign-up list to my events again!

KAREN: Good for you.

PEGGY:  Now my process is to try and follow up with all of my FaceBook friends, the people who attend my presentations and workshops.  My work is to widen my circle. All authors should do this any way they feel comfortable doing so.

KAREN: Books are a business in and of themselves. A writer has to get comfortable with staying visible.

PEGGY: Yes. We’ve been talking about provocative questions and identity, and you brought these two together when I was working on this problem.  You asked me, “Do you want to keep being an author with limited exposure, or are you will you create a ripple effect for your message that establishes you as a real professional?”

KAREN: That was a big question!

PEGGY: Yes.  It helped me face my fear of success.

KAREN: Great.  Is there any last thing you want to share?

PEGGY: Yes. One of the biggest “aha” moments for me was when I boiled my message down to three guiding principles. The first is, “Each of us wants to be heard”—which relates to my theme of conversation.  The second is, “Each of us wants to connect with others”—which relates to connection.  The third is, ”Each of us wants to belong”—which relates to community.

What I got from that is that my underlying message was positive. It was a constructive and good message. That might seem obvious, but I didn’t quite see it, yet. When I did, it affirmed my idea of “mission” that I mentioned earlier.  I realized I had a good mission.  My role as a writer was to spread that goodness to the world.  And that’s what really made me an author.

KAREN: You realized that you’re fulfilling something bigger than yourself.

PEGGY: Exactly.

KAREN: And that sustains you as you keep writing.

PEGGY: It does!

KAREN: Peggy, how can people get hold of you and buy a copy of your book?

PEGGY: Both my books are sold on Amazon and my website is http://lifetalksbook.com.  You can reach me by email at:  lifetalksbooks@gmail.com.

KAREN: That’s Awesome.  Peggy, it is always a joy to talk with you, and it’s been a privilege for me to help you in your process these past few months. I look forward to sharing your wisdom through this interview.

PEGGY: You’ve been so very valuable to me, too, Karen.  This interview’s been a great opportunity to give back by sharing a little bit of what I’ve learned.  Thank you.

 

How do you turn an idea into a nonfiction ExpertBook™?

 

It’s simple. Make a choice.

Saying yes to becoming an author sets the journey in motion and what happens next will amaze you.

Everyday I talk with professional business people—experts in their industry—about their ideas and thoughts about writing a book.  And, everyday I witness those same people giving up on their dream to capture in print the information, guidance and processes that transform the lives and businesses of their clients. They’ve devoted their professional lives to creating a body of knowledge and practices that work, but they say no to preserving their life work permanently and sharing it widely.

Why?  Because they don’t understand the writing and publishing process so writing a book feels daunting and overwhelming.

What’s the solution?  Start by taking these three actions:

Make a decision.

  • Write a book to expand your reach and share your legacy, or limit your exposure and influence. Which do you choose?

Answer these questions to start writing your book plan:

  • What is your purpose for writing your ExpertBook™? What do you want to have happen as a result of writing a book and becoming an author?
  • How would you describe yourself as an expert? What is your unique point of view?
  • Who is your audience? Describe the people you want to reach through your book.
  • What is the #1 problem or challenge your audience asks you to help them solve? What is the exact language your clients use when sharing about their biggest challenge?
  • How do you help your audience solve this problem?

Ask for help.  Writing a book requires a team; you can’t do it alone.

  • Key members of the team include a book coach, editor, proofreader, book designer, book printer, and marketing consultant.

Over the next four weeks I’m going to provide some guidance to help you answer these questions. So, stay tuned.

If you’d like to dive deep into answering these questions and creating a solid plan for getting your book done, I invite you to the writing conference I’m hosting on Saturday, April 29th in Kirkland.  Here are the details:

2017  ExpertAuthor™ Writing Summit

Get Your Book Done Now!

Saturday, April 29th — 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

The Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, WA

loexec.com/writing-summit/

My colleague Margo Myers will be one of the experts I’ve invited to share with you. She’ll be teaching about marketing your book and yourself as an author. In 2013 we worked together to write  ExpertBookMarketing Made Simple:  Publicizing and Promoting Your Book.

In this short video Margo shares about what you can expect at the writing summit.  I promise, it’s going to be amazing.  I hope you’ll join us.

Stay tuned next week when I share about having a clear purpose for writing your nonfiction ExpertBook™.

Expert Authors Unplugged: Beth Buelow, Author of The Introvert Entrepreneur

LegacyONE Authors recently met with Beth Buelow, author, speaker, and certified professional coach. We talked about her newest book, The Introvert Entrepreneur and how she met the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing it.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Good morning, Beth. First, what would you like people to know about you?

Beth Buelow (BB): I’m an introvert. People sometimes question if I’m really an introvert because I’m also an entrepreneur. But, I am absolutely an introvert. In my business, I act as a guide for other introverts who want to align their businesses with who they are personally.

KLM: What was your purpose for writing a book?

BB: Writing a book was a fantastic way to share my message broadly beyond the immediate circle of people I coach or work with in an organizational way. I was also hearing there was a lot of published information about building a business through networking – which for an introvert, is very taxing. So there was a gap in the marketplace addressing how introverts can be true to themselves and still be successful entrepreneurs.

KLM: How has your book been received?

BB:  All of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

KLM:  Super! Can you share with us the key parts of your marketing strategy?

BB:  You have to start marketing your book before it’s written. Build your platform and draw people to you. I put a lot of emphasis on social media, particularly Facebook, to build that community. Another huge part is my interview-based podcast. It puts me in touch with a lot of influencers in a way that has been different from a lot of my colleagues.

KLM: You successfully published your book through a traditional publisher. I know there are a lot of people who aspire to have this experience as well. What kind of guidance can you give to them about what it takes to get published this way?

BB: Four key things had an impact on my success. One was timing. Author Susan Cain had just published the bestseller, Quiet. Introverts were a hot topic in the marketplace. The second was that even though there were books about introverts, none of them looked at entrepreneurship through an introvert lens. The third and fourth keys were platform and patience.

I got my agent through participating in a pitch slam at a Writer’s Digest conference in Los Angeles, California. That’s like speed dating with literary agents. Eventually, I signed with the first agent I met.

But she didn’t sign me right away. We traded emails and proposal copies for over six months before she signed me. Once I signed with her, it was another six months before we started pitching to publishers.

The proposal writing was torture! I only had one chance to pitch to the high-level publishing houses. So it had to be the best proposal imaginable. It was so challenging! When you finish the manuscript, all that’s left to do is wait. But my patience paid off because we pitched to the first tier and got a bite within a few weeks, and a signed contract a few weeks later.

Equally challenging was shifting my focus from what had been a relatively solitary activity to actively promoting and marketing my book.

KLM: Would you say the effort you put into the proposal made the book writing a bit easier once you got the contract?

BB: Yes. I also highly recommend hiring a freelance editor to get help on your first draft. Getting feedback and being accountable to someone else was crucial in the writing of this book.

KLM: I love that you’re talking about that period of waiting while the book was being created and printed – and that all you had left was to market it and cement the plan you had already put in place.

BB: Yes. If you’ve done your marketing consistently before even beginning to write the book, getting to the marketing phase will be like watering seeds that you’ve already planted.

KLM: What would you say was your greatest learning experience throughout the process?

BB: I learned how valuable it was to not get isolated – to enjoy and nurture a team of people around me. There’s power in being connected with your peers, colleagues and even your competitors. There’s always an opportunity to form mutually beneficial relationships with people who can endorse your book, talk about it or just lend moral support. I learned it was fun to reach out to people.

KLM: You spent all this time writing a book. While you were waiting for it, did you feel you had tons of information to share with people during that seed-planting process?

BB: Yes, definitely. I felt grateful that no matter how many times I read the book, it still felt true to me. But at the same time, my thinking had grown and new client experiences led me to look at some things differently. But this book is not the end game or manifestation of all my thoughts. It’s a springboard that allows me a public platform on which to expand those thoughts and further the conversation.

KLM: I love that you share that in traditional publishing, the process can take a long time, from the time you get your agent to publishing your book – and that it’s important the content of your book be consistent, or “evergreen,” so it stands the test of time.

BB: Exactly. Unless you’re planning to churn out a book every year, you want to be thinking ahead to “evergreen.” For instance, you don’t want outdated technology or pop culture references to distract from your message.

KLM: How has writing your book benefitted you personally and professionally?

BB: Personally, it was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream of knowing I would write a body of work. Professionally, my goal was to shift my business model a bit. I’ve started incorporating more virtual book groups. I now have folks I meet with on Zoom all over the country. We go through the book one chapter at a time. It’s personally and professionally satisfying because I could talk to readers and hear what’s resonating with them and help them put it into action. I’m able to use the book as a tool to connect with and coach people in a different way.

KLM: Fabulous! What additional tips would you share about promotion for aspiring authors as they prepare their books and get ready for their big launch?

BB: Remember that you’re always promoting the book from the first word you put down until it’s launched. It’s up to you to keep the momentum moving. For example, a colleague of mine, Laurie Helgoe, who wrote Introvert Power recommended that a Wall Street Journal reporter talk to me for a story. Then I got into The Telegraph and Success Magazine. But I learned even the “buzz” at this level can fade quickly. So keep sharing your book over and over again. And keep sharing the media stories that you contriute to; if editors see their writers are getting attention, then you’re going to be more prized in their eyes as a resource.

Finally, have patience. It takes multiple big media hits before that tipping point when instead of you pitching yourself, others are coming to you asking to interview you. You’re going to have ebbs and flows. What’s key is to keep building on those hits.

KLM: Perfect. I love your recommendation, too, that it’s really up to the author to keep the buzz alive.  There is a myth out there that to get a traditional publishing contract means they will do all the marketing.

BB: Yes. Traditional publishing is very different from self-publishing up until a month after you’ve launched. Then, unless you have a million-seller blockbuster, it’s almost as though you self-published. Even if you’re working with a publisher, you are your own best champion. Make sure they know you are advocating for your book. To be clear, it’s nice to have the support of a publisher. However, you need to treat being an author and having a book as a business.

KLM: What should an aspiring author know about the life of an author during the writing process. What does it take to successfully write, publish and market a book?

BB: Know how you work best. Some authors hunker down and don’t do anything but write the book. Others say they’d go crazy working that way. So during the process, understand what days and times work best for you, if you have long or short bursts of energy, need to isolate yourself, work well under pressure, or need to go to a writers’ retreat. Then honor what works best for you.

In author Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, he talks about “pushing the flywheel.” If you give a flywheel a good push, it will develop enough momentum to start going on its own. I would tell my husband, “This is a flywheel weekend.  I’m going away to a coffee shop to write and work so you don’t feel like you’re intruding on my space. But I need to get the flywheel going.”

KLM: How can readers get in touch with you and especially get a copy of your book?

BB: The best way is to go to my website, the introvertentrepreneur.com. You can find the book on Amazon, in Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold online and off. You can also email me at beth@theintrovertentrepreneur.com.  I’d love to hear from you.

KLM: Perfect. Thank you so much!

BB: You’re welcome. I wish everybody great success. Just keep at it!

Karen Lynn Maher is a leading authority on writing and self-publishing expert non-fiction. Since 2001, she’s developed more than 50 authors, guiding them from concept to published book. She’s the author of ExpertBook™ Planning Made Simple: The Best Ever Guide to Writing Your Book, and co-author of ExpertBook™ Marketing Made Simple: Publicizing and Promoting Your Book.

What are you waiting for?

Discover Your Point of ViewDo you want to share your ideas through writing but hesitate because you’re not sure how they will be received or if you’re ready to communicate them? The truth is, if you have the desire to write, then you’re ready. And, it’s time to get started. If you don’t get started now, you’re never going to do it.

One of the biggest aha moments in my business came to me a couple years ago when a coach asked me, “What are you waiting for?”  I realized two truths:

  1. I was withholding a God-given message and talent from executives and business experts who want help writing well.
  2. I was hiding out due to self-doubt and a need for others’ approval.

Countless CEOs and entrepreneurs who could benefit from authorship would never have the chance to learn from me, and that loss would be my own undoing. It was a startling and sober moment.

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Expert Authors Unplugged: A Series of Interviews with Professional Authors—Donna Howell-DePew

LegacyONE Authors recently met with Donna Howell – DePew, Communication Expert. We talked about her newest book, Improv Your Way on the Stage of Life…All Day, Every Day and how she met the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing it.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Donna, you wrote your book back in 2012. Give us an update about what you’re doing now and what part the book has played in your journey.

Donna Howell-DePew (DHD): My company is Let’s Get Real Communication Training. Since the root of nearly every breakdown is a breakdown in communication, my mission is to take everyone off autopilot when they talk and help them realize the impact of what they say. I help people see what’s really going on in their communication.

KLM: When we met in Houston, your business focused on using improvisation in your trainings with people and corporations. What was your purpose for writing this book?

DHD: The purpose of my books was to educate the masses about improv. People tend to think improv is the ability to be funny and/or do stand-up comedy and that not everyone can do it. But this is a misconception. Stand-up comedy is usually scripted. It’s a great craft, but it’s not improv. Anyone can do improv.

KLM: What’s the connection between improv and excellent communications?

DHD:  We all use improv daily. Few people know there’s an improv system that helps them succeed on the “stage of life.”  Improv involves using teamwork and collaboration to improve communication. When I wrote this book, my husband and I owned a theatre that had an improv troupe and improv classes. We trained people to perform improv on the “stage of life.” I still use improv as a main tool to help people make the distinction between what they think is happening and what’s really going on.

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Success Tips From Cool Kids – Their Book

August is here and summer is in full swing!  The flowers in my yard are awesome.  I hope you are making time to get outside and enjoy this wonderful Pacific Northwest weather (or great summer weather where you are!) My summer is going well; I’m having a blast with family and friends!

ShadyOakStudents

I’m excited to share something fun and different with you.  Last week I had the pleasure of working with these students in Richmond, Texas, at the Shady Oak Primary School.  My friend and colleague Debbie Elder (director of the school) guided them to write the book during a two-week summer program. The enthusiasm they had about writing was inspiring so I thought I’d share some of it with you.  Here’s what they shared with me:

  • It’s easy to write a book. Just learn about a subject and then write down what you learn.
  • Working together as a team is fun. Give everyone on the team a job and a deadline. Here are the tasks they split:  writing, researching, illustrating and taking photos.
  • The reason to write a book is to share information with people we care about. Make a list of who you want to share the information with and go ask them if they want to buy the book.

I love the simplicity of their guidance. What I love more, though, is the joy and sense of accomplishment they expressed about the topic of success and the opportunity to share what they’ve learned through a book.

Sometimes I start taking myself too seriously and forget that we’re meant to live joyfully in service to others. I appreciate the reminder these young writers and entrepreneurs gave me last week.

Here’s how you can get a copy of their book, What Every Cool Kid Deserves To Know:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/debbie-elder/what-every-cool-kid-deserves-to-know/paperback/product-22810578.html

They would love it if you would post a REVIEW once you have read your copy.
Enjoy!

Expert Authors Unplugged: A Series of Interviews with Professional Authors – Jena Rodriquez

Jena Rodriquez, Author of Stand Up, Stand Out: Secrets to Discovering a Brand That Shines

LegacyONE Authors recently met with brand strategist and author Jena Rodriquez. We talked about her newest book Stand Up, Stand Out: Secrets to Discovering a Brand that Shines, her purpose behind writing it and the challenges she overcame in the process.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Welcome, Jena, and thank you for being with us today.

Jena Rodriquez (JR): It’s always a pleasure to hang out with my Karen-friend.

KLM: Absolutely – and I’m thrilled to offer my community the chance to get to know you. First off, Jena, tell us a little about your book – and what was the purpose for writing it?

JR: Originally the idea behind writing Stand Up, Stand Out: Secrets to Discovering a Brand that Shines was that it would be a tool; an extension of my concepts. Because it is partially a workbook and supports my conversation around brand and the difference between brand and branding. And it helps people who are developing a brand and business to build a foundation which is strong, stable and sustainable. That’s why I wrote the book – so people could start that process on their own and have a resource to start building that foundation.

KLM: Great! It’s a beautiful book and chock full of great information for people who want to do just that; to spend some time thinking about their professional brand. It also goes into personal branding as well because as you’ve taught me, there’s really not a difference. Because we are who we are and you encourage them to be conveying that at all times.

JR: Yeah, you’re right-on. My definition of brand is it’s who we are, it’s what we stand for, it’s our point-of-view and perceived value and that expression we want to have in the world. Business, I believe starts with that leadership, starts with that vision. And so if you can get in touch with what your brand truly is, personal and company, then you’ve got such a powerful foundation on which to build.

KLM: Great. So, if you think about what it took to write your book and become an author, what was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

JR: Fear of not believing I could write a book. For that matter, it felt unattainable, out of reach. But I think in some ways I created it in my life nearly twenty years ago when I said, “okay, one day I’ll write a book.” There was always that inclination to do so. I was a writer back then. I wrote poems, I wrote short stories. I was a creative writer and I enjoyed it. But I never accumulated anything or put it into form.

And, so, fast forward to being an entrepreneur. I saw what power and credibility writing a book built for others. And I thought, okay, this would be a good reason to do it. But I was still scared and afraid. The process was unknown. The fear was lack of knowing what was possible and how to break it down and just get it done. You know, and just get over myself, really. That was the hardest part. I was just in my way about it.

Initially I felt as though I had to put all of me into one book. I had to overcome that obstacle and really let go of it because the perfectionist in me and the “I gotta do this right, I gotta figure it out” – all those things were in my way. I’ve learned that you don’t have to only write one.

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Expert Authors Unplugged: A Series of Interviews with Professional Authors – Jessica Butts, Author of Live Your Life from the Front Seat

Jessica Butts, Author of Live Your Life from the Front Seat

http://www.amazon.com/Live-Your-LifeFromFront/dp/0989704955

LegacyONE Authors recently met with Jessica Butts, psychotherapist and relationship coach. We talked about her newest book, Live Your Life from the Front Seat and how she met the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing it. We were also joined by public relations consultant, Margo Myers, who has helped promote the book.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Thank you for talking with us today, Jessica. I’d like to capture the full experience you had writing, publishing and marketing your book since launching it July 7, 2015.  As I understand it, you help people discover their innate selves through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. What was your purpose behind writing this book?

Jessica Butts (JB): My primary purpose was to take what I talk about all day with my clients and put it into one place as a resource for my clients. I also wanted to reach a much larger audience with my work – to share the intellectual property I developed based on Myers-Briggs to help launch other engagements; speaking, television appearances. Basically, I wanted to enhance my career.

KLM: As you reflect back on that initial purpose, how has that worked for you?

JB:  Great! It’s exceeded my expectations. I’m passionate about this content and will be talking about it for a number of years. And the book is a launching point – it gives me the credibility to get on talk shows.  It’s just the beginning.

KLM:  Has your audience share shifted since writing and launching the book?

JB:  Yes, initially my perception of my audience was too broad. There’s a saying, “niche is rich, broad is broke.” In the beginning, I thought my audience was everybody. But as you coached me, I discovered I was being too vague and needed to focus on a specific audience. I realized people who think outside the box, intuitive types, are my client. After this realization, it became so much easier to write the book. It’s written for entrepreneurs.

KLM: What was it about the process that helped you get that clarity and what could we have done to get you there sooner?

JB: Honestly, I don’t think we could have gotten there any sooner because the time involved was part of the process. There are people who want to write their first book in ten days.  I don’t see how that’s possible because so much goes into it. I think now that I’ve been through that process, though, the next book will likely go faster.

KLM: What’s the problem you help intuitive entrepreneurs solve through your book?

JB: People don’t really understand Myers-Briggs. They may have known about Myers-Briggs for years but never saw it put into context like I do in my book. So that’s the first problem it solved. Secondly, it helps people figure out their innateness so they can start designing their lives around what is true about themselves. So many people throw darts at a global dartboard when they need to get focused and specific. I believe my book does that for them. And, lastly, I hope it really shows the differences in the types, especially the intuitive types because we are marginalized in this world. Intuitive types can learn to embrace their awesomeness and know being intuitive is a strength, not a weakness.

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