Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Never Give Up On Your Dreams!

Like most women, I got married and got a
mother-in-law. But after a couple of years, I was
left scratching my head, thinking, where is the
manual for this relationship?!!! I wrote to the
ladies that wrote the bestselling book The RULES,
and told them that since they helped all these
women meet and marry the men of their dreams,
they then needed to provide some advice on how to
get along with the other woman in their man's
life—his mom! These 2 authors told me it was the
best idea they'd ever heard. I honestly just
wanted some advice on the topic! "You should
write it," they said. At first I thought they
were crazy since the last thing I'd written was a
term paper in high school English class! But, the
gears started turning in my mind. So I started to
jot down all the troublesome incidents that would
pop into my head in regards to my MIL, and came
up with a rule and a solution to deal with each
and every one. When I put a few of these rules
into practice (and saw that they actually worked)
I thought maybe I could help save other young
wives years of needless contention!

But, what about getting published? It didn't seem
feasible from all the stories I'd heard about how
impossible it was, and I didn't have a clue what
I was doing. But, I decided to try anyway. I went
the traditional route, and contacted over 100
literary agents. As the process evolved, I
realized just how hard it really was. I
eventually garnered the interest of a NY literary
agent through a well-crafted query letter, and
within a few weeks, I was signed. But soon I
learned that a proposal was required, which, I
found out, was even more difficult than writing a
book in the first place! I had to do market
research and statistical comparisons . I was
jumping through hoops, and it was a process that
I never want to repeat! However, I got over that
hurdle and finally, after several round of
editing said proposal, the agent began to submit
my manuscript.

Months went by. 15 rejection letters later, I
slowly realized that even if I was lucky enough
to get a publishing deal, it would require
signing over my rights and editorial control, and
allowing the agency and publisher to decide on my
book cover, interior layout, formatting, pricing,
release dates, all which could take between 1-2
years, maybe more.

At that point, I decided to investigate opting
out of my contract. I thought I'd rather
self-publish than go through all of that! And so,
I ended up self-publishing with a small vanity
press. And what a thrill to hold my book in my
hands for the first time! My mom was so excited,
and bought a few copies. So did my aunt in
California, as well as my best friend from high
school ... and the nice lady next door ordered a
copy of my book for her daughter's wedding
shower. Very nice. But now what?

One day I found out about a zero-to low cost
strategy for marketing your book online. When I
first signed up for the Amazon.com Bestseller
Campaign course, I created a list of affirmations
for myself. I knew that this course would take
months of dedication and hours of concentrated
work. Many people said that it was very difficult
to reach the #1 position, and that even so, why
spend so much money on a course that would
probably only lead to a few hundred sales, at
best? But I kept affirming to myself, “I am a #1
Amazon.com bestselling author!”

So, I kept on collecting bonus gifts, and
reaching out to JV partners month after month,
personalizing each and every note, keeping in
touch with everyone regularly to make sure that I
established a good relationship with them, and
hopefully ensure that they would come through
with their promise of mailing for me on that
day—as the secret to an Amazon.com bestseller
campaign is to get a bunch of people to buy your
book on a certain day, by offering them an
incentive such as free bonus gifts.


Finally, the big day came … and the
server crashed! I had 101 partners mailing out to
their lists, over a million eyeballs—and the link
didn’t work! I was devastated! But due to the
dedication and help of a team of amazing
technical support people, I was able to move the
campaign over to another server, and by 2:30 p.m.
ET the campaign was back up and running. I kept
saying my affirmations.

I reached #15 that day, in the Family
Relationships category. It was a slight
disappointment, because the folks teaching the
class almost guaranteed a top ten spot. I chalked
it up to the server crash. But I kept affirming.
The next month, I heard back from Dr. Laura that
she had chosen The Daughter-in-Law Rules to
feature on her show as book of the week—and I was
overwhelmed when the book catapulted up to #5!


But I had my goals—I know I’m
stubborn, but I still believed that I could make
it to the #1 spot! So I kept saying my
affirmations, over and over: “I am a #1
Amazon.com bestselling author!”

I was poking around Amazon one day, and realized
that there was a category under Home and Garden,
called Wedding Showers. I checked it out and it
seemed as if the competition wasn’t as steep
there, and even more appropriate for my book! So
I wrote to Amazon, and had The DIL Rules switched
from Family Relationships to Wedding Showers. I
kept writing to bloggers, asking them if they
would be so kind to post about the DIL Rules. I
kept the affirmation going.

On Monday, November 3, the DIL Rules hit #1 in
Wedding Showers on Amazon.com! I did a little
victory dance all day long! This was a yearlong
process, and although I could have given up or
quit, I kept on affirming. Here are just a few of
the things that came out of getting publicity for
my little self-published book:

•Got the position of co-host for an exciting new
online radio book show on BlogTalkRadio •Met with
celebrities such as NBC newscaster Roz Abrams who
asked me for advice on how to publish a book •Was
asked by the Learning Annex to submit a video
workshop tutorial •Was asked to join a panel of
writers at the ASJA convention •Offered a
position teaching a 2 day workshop at a writers
conference in San Miguel, Mexico •Discovered a
sneaky way to get my books into the hands of
celebrities like Halle Berry, Kate Hudson,
Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling, Angelina Jolie,
Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Garner and more! •Got a
letter of interest from the African Women's
Business Network to purchase 5,000 copies of the
DIL Rules :-) •Garnered interest from large
corporations such as David's Bridal and JC Penney
for potential bulk sales •Got an endorsement from
1-800-Flowers.com, which led to a full page ad in
the back with a promotional code created
specifically for the book •Received a large order
from an LA Bridal Organization and several bridal
shows in the New England area •Created a reality
show treatment and garnered interest from an
agency that deals with production and television.
•learned how to create a corporate sponsorship
proposal that could potentially earn millions

I now have a speaking career. I am a workshop and
teleseminar leader, radio host and creator of a
potential reality-show. I make corporate sales
and will be accomplishing a lot of things such as
fundraising and executing events with the big
wigs such as the National Breast Cancer
Foundation® and 1-800-flowers.com.

The moral? Never give up on your dreams! Keep
saying those affirmations and YOU WILL SUCCEED!

15% of the proceeds of this book will go
to The National Breast Cancer Foundation.®
Think Pink!

1 comment:

theaffirmationspot said...

Congratulations on the success of your book! Great story of tenacity and determination.

What a nice use of affirmations. So many writers don't understand what a powerful tool they are in creative pursuits.

Stay inspired!
Ray