Why is Sharing Failure More Powerful than Sharing Success?

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

One of my most cherished mentors from afar is a beautiful soul named Lisa Nichols. She is a captivating public speaker who openly shares her life story with others in all its darkness and light. Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because, in doing so, we can all reach a higher level of freedom and healing.

The benefit for the sharer is that you have “nothing left to protect, prove, hide, or defend” (as Lisa says) once it’s all out in the open; you’re free. The benefit for the receiver is being able to see another person’s humanity; seeing how that person gets back up after falling. We all need someone to show us how to get back up again, because we all fall from time to time.

Why is Sharing Failure More Powerful than Sharing Success?

I’m sure Lisa will be fine if I share this small portion of an inspirational speech she gave at a Mindvalley conference not long ago. Her presentation, titled “Step Into Your Life Purpose,” provides a glimpse of just how powerful it can be to share one’s humanity with others.

The first thing to know is when you’re out of congruency with who you’re designed to be. That’s the first thing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t hide it. Don’t shy from it. Just step into that truth. That truth is sexy. Because it will make you do something you never thought you would do. It will make you get radical.
And I sat there with my son, not having food, eating beanies and weenies six days a week … I was so broke and broken. His father had just gone to prison. And, all of a sudden, my worst nightmare had come true.
I had made a commitment, being born and raised in South Central L.A., raised between the Harlem Crips 30s and the Rollin 60s—those are not cheerleading squads, y’all—that I wouldn’t engage on any level. I wasn’t available on any level for any gang activity, for anything criminal, because I would never be connected with jail. That’s just not my thing. I knew, early on, that’s just not my destiny. So, when my girl friends and my best friends started dating the neighbourhood thugs, “I’ll pass. I’m going to the library. I’m not participating. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I know I won’t stay here.”
And so, I planned all this. I got out. I was an athlete. I was an all-American athlete. I held the record for the 330 low hurdles for 18 years after I graduated. My head was down. I was MVP all three years of high school. I was focused. I got out. I got out.
And then, all of a sudden, the man that I met at 27—beautiful soul, brilliant soul—just still had that hustle in him. And I’m not mad about a little hustle, but it can’t manage your integrity. And, for him, it just got the best of him. And I got the call. I said, “Hello?”
He said, “Lisa.”
I said, “Yes?”
He said, “I’m in jail.”
And my heart dropped. I’m 28. I had just given birth to his child. And now I’m linked to the very thing I tried to avoid for so long.
I’m sharing with you my story so you can validate and level set your story. Because I look up, and I say, “Wow, I’m working on my seventh best seller, I’ve had great conversations with Oprah and Larry King and The Today Show, and I’ve built a multi-million-dollar business, and my company’s gone public.” And it doesn’t change my story.
And now I realize that I used my story as my fuel, not my fortress. My story wasn’t my, “I get to be successful in spite of.” My story was my “because of.” It’s because of.
And so, I remember sitting on my couch going, “Oh, my God. My very thing I tried to avoid—my nightmare—is my truth.” And for years, eight years, I never mentioned where my son’s father was. I denied that he even existed. I wouldn’t talk about him. You couldn’t talk about him. … I walked around with this baggage on me, this story that if I spoke too loudly and let my light shine too brightly, then the light’s going to shine on him, too. And everyone’s going to know my connection.
…Yours is going to be different. But we’ve all got this chatter. … That was just my chatter. And I would be remiss if I didn’t share my chatter with you before I share with you how to get to an abundant life. You’ve got to know the depth that I come from. (Mindvalley, 2016)
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.

Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.

That is so powerful. Don’t you feel that much more motivated after learning the depths Lisa rose from to reach her current level of success? Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because it touches our hearts and shows us just what the human spirit is capable of. That’s where true inspiration lives—in rising up from failure, especially when all the odds are stacked against you.

During this same speech, Lisa talks about how abundant thinkers still fail like everyone else does; they just fail forward. They take the lessons from their failures and continue onward with persistence. Abundant thinkers leave everything that no longer serves them behind. They leave it in the past where it belongs.

But they’re also unafraid to share it. They live to serve others. If it will help you, they’ll share it.

The Importance of Persistence in Overcoming Failures

Napoleon Hill and Earl Nightingale are two more of my mentors from afar. I highly recommend listening to “Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich Condensed and Narrated by Earl Nightingale” in which the 13 proven steps to riches are discussed—”riches” being defined as “whatever it is that you want.” Persistence is listed as the eighth proven success principle.

Why is persistence so important along the pathway to success? Because you’re guaranteed to fail along the way. Failure is not the opposite of success. In fact, it is a natural part of success. So, expect it. Embrace it. Learn from it. Grow from it.

Napoleon Hill defines persistence as the power of will. Willpower and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair. Persistence, to an individual, is what carbon is to steel.
In uncounted thousands of cases, persistence has stood as the difference between success and failure. It is this quality, more than any other, that keeps the majority from great accomplishment. They’ll try a thing. But, as soon as the going gets tough, they fold. Experience with thousands of people has proved that lack of persistence is a weakness common to the majority of men. It is a weakness which may be overcome by effort. If you are to accomplish the desire you set for yourself, you must form the habit of persistence.
Things will get dark. It will seem as though there is no longer any reason to continue. Everything in you will tell you to give up, to quit trying. And it’s right here that the men are separated from the boys. It’s right here that, if you’ll go that extra mile, and keep going, that the skies will clear. And you’ll begin to see the first signs of the abundance that is to be yours because you had the courage to persist. With persistence will come success. (Success Consciousness, 2017)

You may look at successful leaders in society and think they’ve had life easier than you. Or you may think they’re somehow different from you, smarter than you … better than you. That’s simply untrue. One need only read a recent article by Jeff Rose in Forbes magazine, titled “9 Famous People That Went Bankrupt Before They Were Rich,” to see that each of these leaders had to develop the habit of persistence to overcome some pretty major obstacles in their lives.

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because knowing that it’s possible to become one of the most beloved Presidents of the United States, even after experiencing repeated failures, is impactful. Learning that some of the public figures you admire most came back even stronger—even better—after experiencing failure, is energizing. It makes you want to try even harder in your own life, doesn’t it? It gives you hope that you can succeed, too, no matter where you’re starting from now.

There is Never Any Shame in Sharing Your Failures with Others

Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.

Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.

Whatever your faith, this story will inspire (and challenge) you to look at failure in a new way. It may even empower you to take the reins in your own life and go public like others have before you.

Why is sharing failure more powerful than sharing success? Because society can learn far more from your failures than they’ll ever learn from your successes. You may even help others to avoid some of the pitfalls you encountered along the way. And maybe you’ll change a small part of the world for the better in the process.

The corporate world seems to teach us that failure is something to be avoided. Sales managers implement performance improvement plans (PIPs) that are designed to shame those who fall behind. Investors will only look at startup founders who repeat the axiom, “Success is the only option!” and hastily discard the rest.

Maybe a more empowering alternative to this Darwinian “survival of the fittest” mentality is instead empowering and lifting each other up. Perhaps, we should invest our time and energies into those who share triumphant stories of how they climbed back up from the depths of despair. The truth is, there’s never any shame in sharing your failures with others. The only shame is in staying down after you’ve fallen.

You might consider syndicating this content on your own blog. If you do, make sure to attribute the original source so neither of us gets dinged on the SEO front. You can do that by including this line at the bottom of the article: This content first appeared on the PPG Publisher’s Blog and has been republished here with permission.

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How Long Does Copyright Last?

How long does copyright last after an author passes away? You may be surprised to learn that it’s a little different from country to country. Luckily, I had some help from Ian Gibson, Esq., to answer this question inside my 2014 title How to Publish a Bestselling Book. Here’s an excerpt of his advice.

How Long Does Copyright Last?

How long does copyright last? | Ask Ian Gibson, Esq.

“Pursuant to certain international treaties, the minimum duration of a copyright is generally life of the author plus 50 years. If the work is anonymous or pseudonymous and, thus, the life of the author cannot be determined, the duration of the work will be 50 years from its publication or, if unpublished, its creation. In the case of applied art and photographic works, the minimum term is 25 years from the creation of such a work.

Many countries exceed these minimum standards. In the United States, for example, a work originally created on or after January 1, 1978, by a single author is ordinarily given a term for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death. For more information specific to Canadians, see Kim Staflund’s earlier book, How to Publish a Book in Canada . . . and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit!.”

More Valuable Advice from Ian Gibson, Esq.

When it comes to copyright, four primary questions seem to arise most readily: What exactly is copyright? How do I obtain it? How do I protect it? How long does this protection last? This book provides an elementary introduction to international copyright. In it, Ian Gibson provides you with a solid starting point of reference that answers all of these questions. In fact, he even answers this: How does working with a publisher in another country affect my copyright?

That said, for those of you who wish to delve deeper into your own country’s copyright laws, or who require formal legal advice about a specific book project or publishing contract, Ian recommends you consult an experienced attorney licensed in your area. Don’t rely solely on the advice you read here.

Related reading: Estate Planning Checklist for Authors

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Marilyn Monroe Still Captivates Us. Why?

Marilyn Monroe still captivates us. That’s why “Marilyn Monroe” is a fantastic keyword that can bring attention to just about anything. But why?

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

How many other actresses from the 1950s do you know of with their own Twitter accounts and websites in this day and age? I’ll admit, I’ve watched many documentaries about this woman. I know her life story from start to finish, but I still want to know more.

Why is Marilyn Monroe So Captivating to Men and Women?

Men loved her obvious sex appeal. That one isn’t hard to figure out. But perhaps the most interesting thing about her is that women were (and still are) equally fascinated by her. Not jealous of her breath-taking beauty and allure, but fascinated by it. Addictively attracted to it. To this day, she exemplifies female charisma and beauty to people all around the world.

They say (whoever “they” are) that women from Marilyn’s era felt protective of her. They shared a motherly love of this orphaned girl that, perhaps, grew even deeper due to her tragic and untimely death at only 36 years old.

For me, she’s so much more than that. She is a symbol of possibility and proof that visualization can work for anyone. As legend has it, she would stare outside the window of her orphanage at Beverly Hills and dream of one day becoming a world-famous actress. Who would have thought she could make that kind of grandiose dream come true? But she did.

I wonder if Marilyn Monroe knows that her legend still lives on to this day. I hope she does.

Related reading: James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree

Related reading: Robert Kiyosaki: The Definition of an Asset

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Finding the Best Way to Write

Finding the Best Way to Write with Michael LaRocca

I read voraciously, a habit I recommend to any author who doesn’t already have it. You’ll subconsciously pick up on what does and doesn’t work. Characterization, dialogue, pacing, plot, story, setting, description, etc. But more importantly, someone who doesn’t enjoy reading will never write something that someone else will enjoy reading.

I don’t write ‘for the market.’ I know I can’t, so I just write for me and then try to find readers who like what I like. I’m not trying to whip up the next bestseller and get rich. Not that I’d complain. Nope, I have to write what’s in my heart, then go find a market later. It makes marketing a challenge at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you write, be a dreamer. Go nuts. Know that you’re writing pure gold. That fire is why we write.

An author who I truly admire, Kurt Vonnegut, sweats out each individual sentence. He writes it, rewrites it, and doesn’t leave it alone until it’s perfect. Then when he’s done, he’s done.

I doubt most of us write like that. I don’t. I let it fly as fast as my fingers can move across the paper or keyboard, rushing to capture my ideas before they get away. Later, I change and shuffle and slice.

James Michener claims that he writes the last sentence first, then has his goal before him as he writes his way to it.

Then there’s me. No outline whatsoever. I create characters and conflict, spending days and weeks on that task, until the first chapter really leaves me wondering ‘How will this end?’ Then my characters take over, and I’m as surprised as the reader when I finish my story.

Some authors set aside a certain number of hours every day for writing, or a certain number of words. In short, a writing schedule.

Then there’s me. No writing for three or six months, then a flurry of activity where I forget to eat, sleep, bathe, change the cat’s litter… I’m a walking stereotype. To assuage the guilt, I tell myself that my unconscious is hard at work. As Hemingway would say, long periods of thinking and short periods of writing.

I’ve shown you the extremes in writing styles. I think most authors fall in the middle somewhere. But my point is, find out what works for you. You can read about how other writers do it, and if that works for you, great. But in the end, find your own way. That’s what writers do.

Just don’t do it halfway.

If you’re doing what I do, writing a story that entertains and moves you, then you will find readers who share your tastes. For some of us that means a niche market and for others it means regular appearances on the bestseller list.

Writing is a calling, but publishing is a business. Remember that AFTER you’ve written your manuscript. Not during.


I’ve been paid to edit since 1991 and still love it, which has made people question my sanity, but they were doing that before I started editing. I got serious about my writing in 1978. Although I’ve retired more times than Brett Favre, I’m revising my 19th book. Learn more about me at MichaelEdits.com.

© Michael LaRocca 2019

James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree

James Patterson

Independent authors aren’t the only ones shaking The Author’s Money Tree in new ways. Even mainstream thriller author, James Patterson, has jumped on this band wagon with his BookShots line.

James Patterson Shakes The Author’s Money Tree With BookShots

His reason for publishing books this way may be a bit different than the rest of us. After all, he doesn’t need the money. But no matter who you are, the results are still the same.

…Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.

So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?

Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.

…He aims to release two to four books a month through Little, Brown, his publisher. All of the titles will be shorter than 150 pages, the length of a novella. (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times)

This is one of the greatest keys to success as an author in this day and age: prolific publishing. The single best way to sell books (and build a blog) is to utilize the power of search engines. Ping their algorithms by feeding them new content on a consistent basis. Do this, and they’ll reward you by feeding you more traffic. It works the same for Kobo or Amazon’s internal search engines as it does for Google, Baidu, Yahoo, or Bing.

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On Failure and Faith [New Book Available for Free Sep 26 to 30, 2019]

On Failure and Faith

On Failure and Faith

Whatever your faith, this story will inspire (and challenge) you to look at failure in a new way.

Failure isn’t the opposite of success. In fact, it is a crucial step along the pathway to success because it provides the greatest opportunity for adaptation and growth. Failure forces you to adapt and grow in all the ways you will need to in order to sustain your success in the future.

On Failure and Faith

In early September of 2016, I received an email from Prime Time Productions, distributor of The Secret documentary film that was written and produced by Rhonda Byrne. I was informed that my personal success story was being included in Rhonda’s upcoming book titled How The Secret Changed My Life: Real People. Real Stories. They would also be mailing me copies of this book and The Secret: The 10th Anniversary Edition, both personally autographed by Rhonda herself, as a thank you to me for sharing my story with them a year earlier.

I was thrilled! I was in Bangkok, Thailand, at the time and scheduled to return home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at the end of the month—just in time to receive my shipment of free books from them. What a wonderful way to cap a memorable six-month working holiday which was the latest in several bucket list items I had realized over the past three years. I seemed to have caught some type of prosperity wave after months of focusing on love and gratitude—on wishing for both “good luck” and “good news” in my life—and this email from Prime Time Productions told me I was still riding it.

With results like these in my life, I felt confident in my decision to take the next big risk. Who wouldn’t? I planned to focus 100% on building my business rather than using yet another full-time corporate sales job as a crutch upon my return home.

It never occurred to me that I might fall from grace at that point—not as far down as I did, anyway. I figured failure was somehow a thing of the past for me. But no. Far from it.

Fall From Grace

What happened next was possibly the most humiliating thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. It really shook my faith and had me questioning everything I believed in for a time. Still, through this catastrophe, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the benefits of failure and the dangers of having a “success is the only option” mentality—a lesson that, in retrospect, I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I am healthier and wiser because of a prolonged and challenging failure I experienced from the summer of 2017 through to the summer of 2019. I’m also grateful the experience came at this stage in my career when there was very little at stake. My faith is now restored and stronger than ever. My gratitude and sense of humour are both intact once again. I’m ready to talk about it now, and I hope the manner in which I share my story makes you giggle as often as it makes you cringe. I pray for goodness and spiritual growth to come from writing this book—for all the characters mentioned in it, whatever your faith may be.

“Ethics is about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay.”
~The Josephson Institute of Ethics

On Failure and Faith: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XYG9QM2/

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The Author’s Holy Trinity of Profit

The Author’s Holy Trinity of Profit is your surefire way to sell more books. It requires three necessary components: action, thought, and faith.

The Author’s Holy Trinity of Profit ACTION THOUGHT FAITH

The Author’s Holy Trinity of Profit Trilogy

ACTION: The Author’s Money Tree: How to Grow a Bountiful Readership Organicallynow available through Amazon’s KindleKobo, and E-Sentral!

The Author’s Gold Rush: How to Harvest a Bountiful Crop Repeatedly – now available through Amazon’s KindleKobo, and E-Sentral!

The Author’s Magic Key: How to Stay on Track and Keep the Faithnow available through Amazon’s KindleKobo, and E-Sentral!


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Book Binding: What Are Your Options?

When it comes to your book binding options, you have a few choices: paperbacks, case-wrapped hardcovers (cloth or laminate), or dust-jacketed hardcovers. The below pictures illustrate the differences between them.

Book Binding Option #1: Paperback (Perfect Bound)

paperback book binding

Last year, PPG had the privilege of publishing the above paperback for a Canadian CFL Champion: Smoke and Mirrors: Life in the CFL with Richie Hall. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but this book has a standard 6″ x 9″ trim size.

Here’s an interesting video that shows you the difference between a perfect bound book and a saddle-stitched book: https://vimeo.com/61195060. Generally, the only time an author would choose saddle-stitching over perfect binding would be if your page count is too low to be able to glue the edge (e.g., from only four to 48 pages). In that case, printers fold the sheets in half and staple them in the centre, instead.

Book Binding Option #2: Case-wrapped Hardcover (Laminate)

case-wrapped laminate hardcover book binding

Above is the best picture I could find of this children’s book PPG published for Denise Geremia back in 2013 titled The Pouty Puppy. Oftentimes, you’ll find children’s books are published as case-wrapped laminate hardcovers like this one. Because it’s more durable and easier to handle for children. Like Richie Hall’s book above, but this book has a standard 6″ x 9″ trim size.

Book Binding Option #3: Dust-jacketed Hardcover (Cloth)

case-wrapped cloth hardcover with dust jacket and paperback book binding

PPG published the above centennial celebration book back in 2012: 100 Years of Memories: Celebrating Strathmore’s Centennial. As you can see, we did two different versions for this client: a case-wrapped cloth hardcover with a dust jacket; and a paperback. The paperback version was sold online. They are selling the case-wrapped cloth hardcover as a limited-edition book directly from their town hall. (Typically, if you want a dust-jacket around your book, the book itself will be a cloth hardcover as shown above.) Both versions of this book have a special 8.5″ x 8.5″ trim size.

Related reading:
Book Trim Sizes: What Are Your Options?

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

How Liz Schulte Failed Her Way to Massive Success as an Independent Author

In this guest post, you’ll learn how Liz Schulte failed her way to massive success as an independent author. One thing is for sure, she’s humble about her level of success. To learn more about how I met her, download this book for free: Profitable Publishing Today.

Liz Schulte’s Story

Liz Schulte

Since starting my publishing career about seven years ago, I have been fortunate enough to speak with and learn from many other authors. These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds, writing styles and professional careers. One thing that we all have in common is that we wrote a book. It doesn’t matter if the book is insanely successful or still looking for its market, writing a book is a major accomplishment. At the risk of sounding cliché, writing is a journey. A journey that is a little different for everyone, but not one you have to do alone.

This journey is the reason I am talking to you today. You see, I found myself traveling down this road to becoming an author without ever knowing it was where I wanted to be. A lot of writers knew they always wanted to be an author—I am not one of them. I wanted to be a lawyer then I was toying with the idea of forensic psychology. I never considered writing because it wasn’t a “real” career.


However, after a fair amount of prodding I set out to write a book. Little by little I wrote bits and pieces as I had time, never breathing a word to anyone about what I was doing. The book wasn’t for other people, it was for me. I used every single idea that came to me. I remember thinking I would never be able to write another book because I used every good idea I had. In the mornings, the book was the first thing I thought about and it was my last thought as I fell asleep at night. Finally, I made it to the end. I was overwhelmed by the immediate sense of accomplishment that was quickly followed by sadness. My journey had ended.

After a few days, I started to read this book that I had poured so much of myself into and it was … awful. It was slap in the face. I grew up reading twelve books a week. How could I have written something so horrible? My first thought was to delete it, but something stopped me. Maybe it was the countless hours I poured into it or maybe I knew I couldn’t simply delete an accomplishment because it didn’t fit the narrow definition of what I wanted it to be. I finally decided I needed a second opinion. I confessed to my best friend that I had written a book and it wasn’t very good. She wanted to read it and I kind of wanted to hide under a rock. However, I did the brave thing and let the book go. A few days later, she finished reading it and told me something I wasn’t prepared to hear. She liked the story.

The next several months I devoted to making the book better, more like it was in my head. I tweaked and fussed until it was something that resembled what I wanted it to be, though it still hadn’t quite gotten there. By this point, I had already started another novel in a completely different genre. I made a folder for the first book and tucked it away as I fell in love with a new group of characters.


I had no clue what to do with the first book. The extent of my plan was to write a book. I hadn’t thought beyond that. After much discussion, I agreed to query some agents. I sent out ten letters and received ten blandly polite form letters in return—though one did have a nice hand written note directing me to someone else, but I didn’t contact him. You see I loved writing and no one was going to steal that joy from me by telling me they didn’t like my books. I was happy just writing them.

This attitude brought me to a crossroads in the journey. I could keep writing just for myself, or I could find a way to share my stories. That’s when I received my first eReader as a gift. I promptly downloaded several books and read one that was really cute. I went in search of who her agent was only to discover she had self-published. It was an option I didn’t even know I had. I sent her a nervous email asking about self-publishing and what it required. In less than a day, she responded with a very long email telling me about her journey as a self-published author. Though I had no idea at the time, the woman I contacted just so happened to be one of the early Kindle millionaires.

I chose my path. I was going self-publish my books.

However, being a reader didn’t help me when it came to marketing or even the finer writing points. I began to devour as much information as I could. I saved my money and went to conferences, joined online writing groups and indiscriminately read everything my Google searches brought me to on the subject. Those early times were fraught with floundering blog posts trying to figure out what in the hell a brand was and whether or not I had one already.


The first book released to lukewarm sales. I determined it was because I had done everything wrong. At one conference, they told me that flashbacks were bad—my book had them. At another conference, I was told that dreams were the worst—yep had those, too. It didn’t matter though because I had another book and this one was going to be different. This time I would do everything right. The new genre was hot and surely everyone would immediately snatch it up and Joss Whedon would want to buy the movie rights.

The second book came out, and much to my horror, it did worse than the first. What was I doing wrong? Marketing. Obviously, marketing was the answer. I would just market the hell out of the first book and then they would read my second book, never mind that I had written in two different genres. I set up blog tours, bought advertisements, set up some free days and did absolutely everything anyone had ever suggested about marketing. The first book started to sell. It had momentum, but guess what? The sales never transferred over to my other book. Instead people wanted to know when the next one would be out. I didn’t have another mystery. I was in the midst of writing a paranormal romance trilogy that wasn’t selling. I hit yet another crossroads in my journey: should I throw over my trilogy to write another mystery?


Part of me wanted to follow the money, but I followed my gut. I wanted to write the trilogy so I did. And I couldn’t have made a better decision. After a fairly mediocre year, I released the third book in the trilogy and I used what I had learned marketing that first book to market the first book in the trilogy. The month of the release I made $12,000 and realized for the first time that maybe writing really could be a career.

I did a lot of things wrong along my journey, but I also did a lot things right. If I had to narrow it down, I would say these were the more influential decisions I made:

  1. I believed in myself.
    No one has ever told me I don’t have confidence in myself. I wrote a book and never once thought that I shouldn’t try it or it might be too hard. I simply wrote it because that’s what I wanted to do. That same confidence gave me the courage to undertake the overwhelming task of self-publishing and it helped me believe in my stories enough that I didn’t give up on them.
  2. I never stopped learning.
    Twenty-four books later, I am still learning. I still read about the industry, writing and marketing. Now, I am a bit more discerning about who I take advice from, but I still actively seek out new information. Recently, I heard the term influencer marketing. I didn’t know what it was so I read every article I could find on it until I started getting ideas about how I could apply it to what I do.
  3. I treated writing like a business.
    Yes, writing is a creative pursuit, but publishing is a business. I set deadlines and went through hell to keep them. I made professional connections and respected other people’s expertise and time like I would my own. To be a good self-publisher you have to be prepared for both aspects of the business.
  4. I did everything wrong.
    This is my favorite point to make. I didn’t do any of the things the blogs and speakers told me to do. I listened to them and respected what they had to say and where they were coming from, but this journey was my journey, not theirs. All the well-meaning advice in the world will not get you further down the road. If you are writing a book and you want a prologue in it, then put it in. You are the writer. Even if I rewrote my first book today, I wouldn’t touch a single one of the flashback scenes. They are just the way I wanted them to be. It is a part of that story and just because someone else got sick of them, doesn’t mean that I can’t use them. Always be true to your creative vision first. If it doesn’t work, cut it in editing, but trust your characters and let them have their own voice.
  5. I didn’t listen to the fear.
    I didn’t tell people I knew in my daily life that I was writing and publishing books until I had multiple books released. Even then, the thought of people I knew reading my books made me feel sick. It was ice-cold fear. I still have it. When people I know read my books I wait for them to tell me how much they hate it or everything I did wrong. I feel sick to my stomach when I send each book to editing, always fairly certain this is the book when they take away my laptop and tell me no more writing. The fear is everywhere and all authors have it. Had I listened to the fear I would have deleted my first book. I would never have let my friend read it. I wouldn’t have emailed that first author. I wouldn’t have joined and been active in author groups. I wouldn’t have tried self-publishing. I wouldn’t have put so much into promoting a book that wasn’t selling. I wouldn’t have finished my trilogy. I wouldn’t left my day job. The list can go on and on. Fear has long been the killer of dreams and I simply wasn’t willing to place mine on the chopping block.

Liz Schulte’s Marketing Plan

So that’s my story about how I got to this place where I can be a self-supported self-published author. Kim also asked me to tell you about my marketing plan. I am going to do this as a bulleted list in the order of importance:

  • The book
    Great marketing might sell one book, but it doesn’t make a career. The story, especially the ending, is what makes loyal readers. This is part of the reason why I am always learning. Each book is a chance to hone my craft and tell a better story so I always try to produce novels I can be proud of—stories I would like as a reader.
  • The quantity of product
    This was a mistake I made, but it was a lesson well learned. I focused a large amount of money and time on marketing one novel when I didn’t have a backlist. It worked, the book sold, but there wasn’t the return on investment that I should have had. If one book is all you ever plan on writing, then market it as much as you want. But if you are planning a series, wait until you are at least three books in to start ramping up marketing efforts. You will get more return on your investment.
  • Advertisement
    The best way I have found to get word out about my books isn’t plastering social media with “please buy my book” posts. It is forming a strategic marketing plan for each book. First, I submit my book that will be on sale to Bookbub. If they choose my book, I will then form a strategy around that post. Bookbub still has the best reach of any of the book mailing lists, but they are also very selective, so don’t get discouraged. If I don’t get that ad, I select my sale period and will systematically go through the various sites stacking as many ads as I can for a period of a week to two weeks. The more exposure I can get the better. I will also set up targeted Facebook advertising for the period and send out my newsletter.
  • Networking
    Writing can be solitary, but don’t shut yourself off too much. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there from your fellow authors. Make friends, help others and accept their help. The indie community is kind and embraces new authors. Be respectful of other people’s time, but don’t be scared to ask your questions. Also, attend conferences. Meet authors, writers and publishers. Talk to them and share about your own experiences. Those connections will come back to reward you.
  • Social engagement
    I love social media — maybe a little too much. However, keeping in contact with your readers helps you, as an author, stay on their mind. Remember that you are there to be social, not to sell. Be yourself and only do the platforms you like. If you don’t like any social media, then don’t use it. Set up an email and website where readers can reach you. The idea is to make a direct connection between you and your readers.

That’s it. That’s my entire marketing strategy. There aren’t simple answers or easy solutions. Working hard and believing in yourself is the only way I know how to make a book series successful. I wish each of you the best of luck and would love to hear from you.


Liz Schulte is a self-published author in mystery and paranormal romance with more than twenty novels, multiple short stories and audiobooks. She is a member of RWA and her local guilds in Missouri, the Missouri Writer’s Guild, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers of America.

Though success in publishing didn’t happen overnight, like she envisioned it would, the journey has been worth the trials along the way. Liz became a self-supported full time author in 2013 and wouldn’t trade her hard begotten knowledge or the wonderful friends she has made along the way for anything.

Liz has a degree in psychology from the University of Missouri and a minor in philosophy. She has taken numerous forensic courses and writing classes as well as attended several symposiums on writing. She speaks on subjects ranging from self-publishing to marketing and social media.

Website                    Facebook                    Twitter                    Pinterest

© Liz Schulte 2017

All https://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com guest posts from before 2017 were included in Diary of an Indie Blogger VOL 1 which can be downloaded from AmazonKobo, or E-Sentral free of charge. All other guest posts from the original PPG Publisher’s Blog have been moved here: https://polishedpublishinggroup.com/category/guest-bloggers/.

How to Publish a Book for Free

How to Publish a Book for Free 01

If you’re reading this page, it’s because you’re wondering how to publish a book for free. There are two valid options for you to choose from. One of them is completely free while the other is almost completely free—your only necessary cost being copy editing.

In 2014, I released How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell it WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price!. It compared the pros and cons of traditional (trade) publishing, self-publishing, and supported self-publishing. If you click on the title link above, you’ll find another link where you can “sneak a peek” inside the book to read those comparisons for free.

This book is still valid when it comes to paperbacks and hardcovers. To properly produce these types of books, you’ll require an experienced team of professionals: editor, graphic designer, proofreader, and indexer. A reputable book distributor, such as Ingram Content Group, will also be necessary to get your book into the “brick and mortar” bookstores. Alas, all these professional services cost money. So, the only way to publish “traditional bookstore books” in a way that will be free to you is through traditional (trade) publishing methods.

How to Publish a Book for Free … Almost

How to Publish a Book for Free 02

There is another way to publish a book almost completely free of charge. If you’re fine with self-publishing ebooks and selling them online exclusively, then you’re in luck. In fact, many of today’s independent (“indie”) authors are enjoying massive success with ebooks. Some of them are being signed by trade publishers due to their self-publishing success, while others are choosing to remain indie.

So long as you have your ebook copy edited by an experienced editor, you can produce a decent result on your own. For starters, ebook covers are less involved than physical book covers. You don’t have to worry about the back cover or spine—only the front cover. There are many free templates available online to help you create an attractive front cover. There are also free tools out there to help you convert your Microsoft Word manuscript into ebook format for publishing on Amazon and/or Kobo. The capabilities of both these ecommerce sites have come a long way since I wrote my other book in 2014. I publish ebooks to both of them regularly now.

How Are Today’s Indie Authors Succeeding Online?

If you’re like most writers, you don’t want to have to sell your books after you write them. You just want to move onto writing the next book. Am I right? Well, here’s some great news for you: writing is selling in the online world. The best way to sell books today is to utilize the power of search engines. Feed them new content on a consistent basis, and they’ll feed you more traffic.

This is what today’s indie authors are doing to succeed online: Profitable Publishing Today: Start Earning Money as an Author Without Quitting Your Day Job. The step-by-step instructions are all here including hyperlinks to all the free tools you’ll need for each step. There is also helpful advice contained within on how and where to find an affordable copy editor.

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