A lovely new five-star review for “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase”

IRunning a successful business after the start-up phaset’s slightly tricky when someone you know reviews a book you’ve written, in that Amazon often tries to suppress these, thinking they’re fakes. But I promise that this isn’t a fake review – it’s a lovely one written by someone slightly less far along the self-employed editor pathway that I’m on, too, and one that certainly made me very happy.

As I mentioned in my post about why I wrote my books, this book has never done that well, presumably because I don’t describe it adequately or haven’t done the best marketing angles on it. It’s packed full of useful advice I picked up once I’d got my business going, and is aimed at sharing what I learned and helping people to build their business, make more money, and get a work-life balance that’s acceptable and not exhausting.

Anyway, I was particularly chuffed at this part of the review:

I found the book particularly strong on how to develop a social media profile. I have read similar articles before, and have generally retired, convinced there is no part for a die-hard introvert out there. Liz has succeeded in convincing me that’s not true, and that you can manage social media, and not let it manage you.

… as well as this, of course.

This is an accessible and realistic book, which I found immensely readable.

You can read the whole review here and find out more about “Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase” here.


Why did I write my books? Why did you write yours?

Liz Broomfield booksThe other day, I was chatting with someone who didn’t know I’d written several books. I found myself explaining why I wrote them … and now I’m wondering why people write their books. So I’m going to share first, then I hope other people will do, too, in the comments.

I wrote my first book, “How I Conquered High Cholesterol” for two reasons. The first was that I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, given a really quite unhelpful single A4 sheet by my doctor (which tried to cover the diets of all of the ethnic groups in the UK in one page) and threatened with medication. Once I’d worked everything out and got my cholesterol lower and staying lower, I wrote it all down and added some recipes. The second reason was that as an editor and proofreader, I was working with quite a few people who wanted to self-publish ebooks, and I wanted to see what that process was like from the inside (I used that same reasoning when I later put together print versions of my books).

When I went full-time self-employed, I blogged about the process for a year, and then I put those blog posts together into a book, “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment“. I did that one for two reasons, too. The first was, to be honest, that lots of people were turning blogs into books and I thought it would be easy (it’s not that easy to make it not seem like it’s just a load of blog posts shoved together into a book, by the way). I thought I could produce a side-stream of passive income which would generate itself as I worked on my full-time job, and the books have done that to a certain extent. I did also write it, again, because I couldn’t find many resources covering my specific situation, as a 40-something wanting to dip gently into self-employment rather than risking everything. I also wanted to make it approachable – a book I would want to read, and my readers have appreciated that (even the one who said there were too many cardigans in it …). The subtitle, “Going it Alone at 40” was the original title, another error!

I kept on blogging, and I realised I had more to say about running more of a mature business, once you’ve done all the start-up stuff. So I put together the ultimately not hugely successful “Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase: Who are you Calling Mature?” I added loads of stuff about social media, websites and how you know when your business is stable and levelling out, then how to build income, etc., and people who read it like it, but I’ve never really been able to explain it very well, I fear, and it lags in the sales department.

Then I put these two business books together into “Your Guide to Starting and Running your Business” which I offer at a discounted price compared to the two individual volumes, because I honestly feel that I want to provide this information in the most cost-effective way possible for the reader. I feel very strongly about books that promise much then try to sell you a course with the author: by putting together the omnibus, I tried to provide as much as I could for as little as possible.

My next-best selling title after the Cholesterol book, “Quick Guide to  your Career in Transcription” came about because I kept seeing lots and lots of searches coming through to my business blog around transcription. I’d blogged a bit on the topic and I wrote more for this guide – including adding a section on ergonomics when an early reader complained that topic wasn’t included! The books I found on the topic were quite pushy and get-rich-quick, so I thought there was room for a no-nonsense and friendly guide along the lines of my other business books. I included some basic information on setting up a business from those book, but tailored everything else towards transcription itself.

Showing that you can be too clever, I sprung at the idea of stuffing your title with keywords and put together “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital“. Oh, they will all search for these terms and come to the book, thought I. Well, again, people who read it find the brief, no-nonsense guide to networking in person and through social media useful, but it’s not picked up the sales I hoped for.

Looking to the future, I really want to write a main and quick guide to your career in proofreading and editing. I’m including a self-mentoring guide in that – the reason for that being that a lot of people ask me for formal mentoring and that’s not something I have the resources to do. The self-mentoring guide will then be published separately in a more general version to help people with their businesses.

If I cast my mind back over all of these books, the main impetus has been to help people, and to write the book I wish I’d had when I was in that situation. What about you? Why did you write your book? I’d love to know (feel free to include a link to your book in your comment, but I’ll monitor the responses for spamminess so please share your story as well as your link).

Over to you …

A lovely new review for “Running A Successful Business after the Start-up Phase”!

Running a successful business after the start-up phaseI’ll be honest here – I’ve never quite marketed this book correctly. First of all, I called it “Who are you Calling Mature?”, a title which I had tested on people but which, it turned out, made people think it was a book about ageing disgracefully (oops) – even though it had the same cover as you can see here, but with the title and sub-title reversed. So I rejigged it all, got the cover re-done, re-did all the versions on the various platforms where I sell it, and tried again.

I still think I’ve got the title wrong, though. It’s all about social media, building your business, knowing when to say no and when to say yes, picking your customers, etc. – which is actually useful for start-ups as well. Anyway, whatever’s happened, it’s always lagged behind my other books, although it does better when it’s part of my omnibus volume, “Your Guide to Starting and Running your Business“.

What all this is leading up to is the fact that I was thrilled to get a lovely new five-star review for this book, especially, as – you guessed it – the poor thing lags a little in the review numbers, too.

Another useful and insightful review from Liz … Even if your business isn’t anywhere near mature, there is still plenty of information in there that may help you to think through, and potentially avoid, some issues without having to go through the pain of experiencing them … (read the whole review here)

I know I labour this point, but this is why reviewing books you read, especially those from small presses and independent authors, is so important – it cheers us immensely, for a start, and this review, with its explanation that it’s useful for all stages of business life and talking about social media, too, helps other readers to find the book and make use of it.

Read more about “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase” here or pop straight to its page on Amazon.

You’ve started your business … what (do you read) next?

Running a successful business after the start-up phaseI received a delightful email from a reader this morning – it really made my day. They told me how they’d been inspired by my first business book (How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment) and had set up their business, and were now looking forward to my upcoming book on self-mentoring for businesspeople. However, they seemed to have missed the fact that I have also written a book specifically for people who have already set up their business, but want to look at the next stages.

Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase covers just these issues. It drills down into using social media and blogging to support and grow your business, but also talks about getting the balance right, increasing your income by getting the right mix of clients, deciding who to work with (once you have the luxury of not having to scramble for Every. Single. Job.) and how to say no (again, once you have the luxury of doing so – although sometimes you just HAVE to say no).

I originally gave this book the title “Who are you Calling Mature?” but feedback suggested the title implied the book was about growing old disgracefully! So I swapped the main and sub-titles round, and re-issued it, but it’s never quite had the success of my other books.

I don’t know if this is because more people start businesses than continue them, or if it’s because people know there are start-up books out there but didn’t realise there are other books on growing and developing your business (I can see that there are fewer of the latter, but I was looking for that information, just like I was looking for information on starting up a business, which is why I blogged about a few of the topics, then wrote the book).

You can also pick up both books together in my Omnibus: Your Guide to Starting and Running your Business, because both of them are useful for new businesspeople, and I want to offer as good value as I can, so there’s a saving on the price of the two books separately.

And now I’m saying it loud and clear: here’s a resource for you if you’ve set up your business, got the basics going, but you want to refine your customer base, get more profitable, get your life back and learn when to say yes and when to say no!

If you have read this book, do let me know what you thought about it, how I could improve the description on Amazon and Smashwords and whether you’ve been inspired to write a review!

Find out more about Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase.

New blog review for “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase”

Running a successful business after the start-up phaseTo be honest, I’ve been a bit disappointed with the reception for this book. I worked really hard on it and filled it with information from my experience on how to develop your business, say no to clients, get your client balance right, get your work-life balance sorted out, blog, engage with social media – all the stuff I think is important once that first rush of starting your business is over and you’re settling in to make it work. I changed the title after some market research that suggested it appeared to be a “growing old gracefully” book, and I ran a competition in my newsletter to win a copy, hoping for some reviews or feedback … that never came.

So I was really pleased when I sent a review copy to business consultant Roland Millward and not only did he tweet about reading it, but he posted a long and careful review on his blog, making sure to tell people all about the book and who it could help. I particularly liked this comment:

“Liz has worked her way through that early period of starting a business and the challenges that self employment brings. She is therefore writing from experience and I believe that you will always learn more from people like Liz.”

and he also pointed out,

“This book is certainly for anyone who has started a business or indeed I would be happy to recommend it if you are considering starting out. The book covers many aspects of business including advertising, social media, blogging, pricing, return on investment, different ways of finding customers and much more.”

Roland also kindly popped a review on Amazon for me, something that we indie publishers always appreciate just as much as a review on a blog. Read Roland Millward’s full review here, and see the Amazon review page here.

A final word: if you enter a competition to win or request a review copy of a book by an independent or small publisher in particular, please do try to post a review, even if the book isn’t for you but you can recommend it to part of your audience. A friend was recently worrying about posting a review of a book an author sent her which she didn’t love. She did, however, explain why it wasn’t quite for her and made it clear who the book would appeal to. She asked my advice and I suggested that she did tell the author about the review, as they would want to know it had actually been read and reviewed. And she received a lovely reply from the author, thanking her for being good-hearted enough to explain her reaction to the book and talk about why he wrote it.

Find out more about “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase” including where and how to buy (Amazon and otherwise, print and e-book).

A lovely mention for “Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase”

Running a successful business after the start-up phaseI recently interviewed editor Tammy Ditmore over on my Libro editing/transcription/business blog, in a series I publish about fellow small business owners, their progress and lessons learned. She was kind enough to blog about the experience of taking part in the series, also mentioning how useful she has found this book:

“I have found far more information available about getting started in a small business than continuing in a small business, so I’m happy to have her insight in book form.”

Read the whole blog post here. Thank you, Tammy!

Relaunch of my first two business books – new titles and covers!

Hello there! On Libro’s fifth birthday, it seemed appropriate to officially announce the relaunch of my first two business books, “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment: Going it Alone at 40” and “Running a Successful Business After the Start-up Phase, or, Who are you Calling Mature?

After doing some market research, I swapped the titles and subtitles around, to clarify what the books are about and to make them easier to find. You can find more about each book by following the links above, but here are the new full print covers – and they’re available now from Amazon!

Print cover - how I survived my first year of full-time self-employment

Running a successful business after the start-up phaseI’ve also relaunched and redesigned my Omnibus e-book edition, which combines both books in one special value volume:

Your guide to starting and building your businessPop to the books’ individual pages for more information including where and how to buy.

… And here they are in person!

Liz Broomfield print books