My book, “Get DARE From Here!” – 12 Principles and Practices for Women Over 40 to Take Stock, Take Action and Take Charge of the Rest Of Their Lives – is finally available on Amazon, on Create Space, and soon on Kindle and practically everywhere else English is spoken, written and read. I consider it prophetic that it showed up on Amazon on June 19, my 59th birthday, exactly one year since I churned out the first manuscript. Since then, it’s gone through at least four edits, and now some 50,000-plus words are on 330 pages and between two covers.
Many authors will tell you to be prepared that you will do almost nothing else for a year or so while you are writing a book. Yeah, right! Maybe, if they’re already household names! They spew on about the languid literary lifestyle – writing in your pajamas for eighteen hours straight; subsisting on pizza, potato chips and caffeine; ignoring friends, family and creditors. All the while you‘re supposedly developing the concept, writing (and rewriting) the book’s outline, doing the research required, and then writing and editing several drafts before turning out the draft that won’t mortify you when you take your masterpiece down to your local copy center to print out and bind for you to proofread before sending it to your publisher.
Hah! Unlike those languid literary lifers, I spent six months overseeing the editing, design, distribution and marketing plan for my book – while working in my consulting business full time and teaching at two universities, while also trying to have a life. It wasn’t easy but neither is working with legacy publishers these days, which take a huge chunk of your profits and leave all the marketing to you. The work I put in was worth it; I’m ecstatic to see the book. In Print! SOON on Kindle! Almost Everywhere Else soon after that! My husband is doing everything but handing out cigars as he presses the books into the hands of everyone he knows.
Many of my friends, colleagues, former professors and students also think it’s great that I’ve written a book – they are the best support team ever. So, for all my friends, especially all the women over 40 who also have a story, professional expertise, valuable life skill, untapped artistic talent, or other aptitude that makes them proud and wanting to get loud, here’s a short tip-sheet, taken from my book, that might help you. The same advice applies to any other artistic endeavor you’re thinking of pursuing for business purposes or other fulfillment. I DARE you to do it- write a book!
1. Focus on one thing you do really well and figure out how to write about it, shout about it or grouse about it. Think intensively and extensively about it, and you too might be churning out a few thousand words on of insight, inspiration and motivation.
2. Think hard about your particular interests, passions, concerns, hobbies and other worthwhile endeavors you’re drawn to learn more about in the course of your daily life. What’s your story? Everyone has one. And, if you’re over 40, you probably have dozens of them. If it moves you, it behooves you.
3. If you really want to learn more about a particular subject to the point of becoming an expert and getting recognized as such, do some initial research and seek out others who have similar interests and skills in your area of focus. Want to be known as an expert? Write a book (or other media) on it. Where do you think the expression, “She wrote the book on it!” came from?
4. If you’re considering writing non-fiction or a memoir or how-to (or all three, which is what I did with Get DARE From Here!) to express yourself, be careful about “telling all.” Be sure to think very carefully about what, how and when you want to tell all by publishing, and what your overall objective is for doing so. Edit, edit, edit. Have someone else close to you read it. Then, be sure to consider the consequences before hitting “send.”
5. As a first time author you might want to bypass so-called legacy publishers, and work instead with an extremely creditable Amazon affiliate, Create Space. For an upfront investment less than many New York salons charge for one haircut, you can work with a publisher that will help you take your worthwhile message, articulate prose and proofreading stamina the whole distance. It is very gratifying to see the final product, and you’ll keep a bigger percentage of the book’s revenues than a so-called legacy publisher would ever allow. And since conventional publishers, more and more, expect their authors to do their own marketing, one should really consider a self-publishing option. The power of social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook has changed the way you can reach people with the message of your book.
6. If you really want to express yourself fully and with little or no inhibition, write poetry or fiction instead €short stories or a novel, for example. If you have the discipline and stamina to write and/or edit for at least an hour every day, and publish your novel or series of short stories with a reputable author-publishing service, you need to gain a following via Facebook that helps you sell at least 5,000 units. Who knows, you just might grab the attention of a publisher who will want to sign you to a contract to publish your next book(s). It’s not as much of a long shot as you might think.
This time around, I chose non-fiction, as it’s been my goal to publish a book about and for visionary, intelligent and motivated women over 40. I’m hoping that Get DARE From Here¢ – 12 Principles and Practices for Women Over 40 to Take Stock, Take Action and Take Charge of the Rest Of Their Lives –is just my first book. I’m thinking that my next book, if there is one, will be fiction. I’m just hoping it doesn’t take me as long to do as the first one, but it would be a great way to celebrate another birthday or ten or forty. Do I DARE? Stay tuned.
Click here to check out “Get DARE From Here!”
If you’re a woman over 40 who wants more insights on working on your manifesto, marketing your recipe for pesto, or getting noticed presto, email us at: email@example.com.