At the conclusion of my Woo-Woo post, I was told by a total stranger that she felt compelled to tell me about Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Experience program. I must confess that I searched it on the internet, but then I hesitated. I had just finished my novel, which felt like no small accomplishment, and then had a mystical experience called Constellations, where I learned I would be self-publishing not only Sterling Redmond, but also a novella called Dreaming Montana that I had abandoned almost twenty years before, and I would start blogging and connecting with readers. From where you and I are sitting right now, that’s sounds like a no brainer, because that’s actually what we’re doing, but back in summer 2011, I had no website, no blog, and only a sketchy knowledge on how to get my book published. Still, I balked at signing up for the program. This happens sometimes when you finally reach a goal, and you’re standing on the crest of it, but you have no idea what to do next because you never actually thought you’d be here. When I reviewed how this suggestion was delivered to me, I decided there was a high likelihood the universe had sent a postcard, so I made the modest investment in myself and signed up. The biggest mistake you can make at this stage is thinking you can do it all yourself. Just get over it and admit that you need help, and the smartest thing you can do is to ask for it from people who have already done what you want to do.
Christine Kloser is a three time award winning author who built her program around the concept of conscious entrepreneurship, and the focus of the course was on writing, publishing and marketing your book. This wasn’t just a practical guide, but a program that included doing both the inner and outer work in order to get your book out into the world. Kloser calls this strategy Pray and Move Your Feet, and it starts with getting clear on who you are and what you bring to the world. Then you ask for divine help and guidance and do some activity every day that brings you closer to your dream. Kloser believes that if you first transform yourself, you can then transform your readers, and transform your business, and then ultimately transform the world. Sounds pretty grand, I know, but I also know that I went through a personal transformation while writing my book, and I have heard from readers who feel inspired by my writing and are embarking on their own transformations, and I have to honestly cop to the expectation that this will at some point in the near future transform my business, otherwise known as me sustaining a career as a writer. But right there is where I got temporarily tripped up. I had never thought of my writing as being a business, and this opened my eyes up to the fact that I would need to wear two hats to be successful, one as a creative writer and the other as the marketer of my books. This requires both head and heart, logistics and soul, passion and purpose.
Here’s the bottom line on what I learned during the program:
1) I would need an agent to sell my book to a traditional publisher.
2) I didn’t have the one to two years that it would take me to acquire an agent, and if they managed to sell my book to a traditional publisher, it would then take another year to get the book out into the marketplace. I could get to market quickly if I self-published.
3) I would get higher royalties if I self-published or mediocre royalties if I traditionally published.
4) I would retain the rights to my work if I self-published; I would give them away for a rather paltry advance if I traditionally published.
5) If I went the traditional publishing route, I would not have a say in my final cover design.
6) Traditional publishers do very little marketing for the author. There is an expectation that the author will build a social media platform in order to promote themselves and their books.
7) I hope it’s obvious by now why I decided to self-publish.
The Transformation Author Experience program featured various speakers in one hour teleseminars, ranging from book experts and life coaches to publishing execs and spiritual teachers, and it essentially fast tracked me through the rapidly changing world of publishing while giving me a solid spiritual foundation on which I could rest. I learned something valuable from each speaker, but there were two who stuck with me, Marc Allen and Jonathan Fields, and I’ll share with you in upcoming posts how these two people helped to guide me to the next steps in my journey.