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 …

All of my books for small business (and my book on beating high cholesterol) are now available in print editions

Liz Broomfield books

I’m really excited to announce that all of my books are now available in print editions, as well as the e-books which have always been available. This was in response to some market research that I did, and also people reaching out to me to ask whether and when the books would be available in print.

The new ones – the Quick Guides and How I Conquered High Cholesterol – are in a handy 5″ x 8″ format, so nice and easy to pop into your bag. They are priced as low as I can – I have never believed in charging a huge premium and making a large profit on either my print or e versions, so please be assured that they are priced to take into account the royalty that Amazon takes, the cost of production (in the case of the print books) and a small profit for me. I want to make sure they’re accessible.

The print books were produced through CreateSpace so available on a print-on-demand basis from Amazon. I know some people aren’t keen on Amazon – I’m committed to helping lobby the government on tax avoidance, but unfortunately Amazon is the main market for me. However, if you’re not keen on buying from there, you can buy my e-books from Smashwords and the very independent Selz, so hopefully that gives you enough options.

If you buy one of my print editions, please let me know and tell me what you think about it. If you take a photo of yourself or something representing your business with the book, I will post it on my photos and reviews page on this website, with a link to your business if you’d like.

Phew – it’s been hard work, but hopefully it will be worth it in terms of getting my books into the hands of people who they can help. That’s what it’s all about for me.

If you want to find out more about how any of these books can help you start and build your business, network and work with social media, take up a career in transcription or manage your cholesterol, do take a look at the individual pages for the books …

How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment | Running a Successful Business after the Start-up Phase | Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital | Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription | How I Conquered High Cholesterol

PS I made screen shots as I created my print versions and I’m planning to post instructions on here detailing exactly how I did that – would you find that useful? I’ve also blogged about whether this venture is proving successful.

First 5-star review for my “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” on Amazon.com

I’ve just received a lovely five-star review for “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” on Amazon.com!

Quick guide to networking, social media and social capital

It’s particularly nice that the reviewer is a social media expert themselves, but still found points of interest and recommends it to novices:

Great pointers and perfect for beginners! … This is a great book to have in your business resources arsenal!

See the full review on Amazon.com here. I don’t get so many reviews (or sales) on Amazon.com as on the UK site, but the reviews from there copy across to the other regional Amazon sites, so this is extra-valuable to me.

By the way, I don’t know why it says pricing info is not available – it’s $2.99 and that shows up when you visit my author page. Maybe that’s because I’m looking from the UK.

P.S. I know an increasing amount of people are not keen on purchasing from Amazon and there are calls to boycott them in December. All of my e-books are also available on Smashwords, for the same price, and downloadable for Kindle, Kobo, Sony eReader, in pdf, etc. They’re also in the iBooks Store on your iPhone. So there are lots of choices if you don’t want to use Amazon.


Find out more about “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” here. Read about my other books here.

A new 5-star review for my “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital”

I’ve had a lovely new five-star review for “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital”!

Quick guide to networking, social media and social capital

This one was a review copy sent out to someone who’s running a small business and I trust to be honest and careful in their reviewing. I’m really grateful that they were able to put up the review so speedily, as it does help to build the reputation of this new book. L White made plenty of useful comments, including this one …

Very sound, practical and useful advice for businesses … Very helpful advice to anyone unsure why or how to build a social presence, either online or in person.

See the full review on Amazon here. It joins the first two on Smashwords/Amazon and Goodreads, which I posted about the other day. I’m so pleased that people are seeing the worth in this book and that my hard work on it is paying off in terms of being able to help people.


Find out more about “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” here. Read about my other books here.

First reviews are in for “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital”

My new book, “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital”, is out now and available on Amazon and Smashwords as an e-book (find all the links on the book’s page on this website).

Quick guide to networking, social media and social capital

And the first reviews are in!

Joanna Penn of the well-known The Creative Penn website and brand, and also an inveterate social media networker and entrepreneurial guru, kindly reviewed the book on Goodreads. Here’s an extract of what she had to say:

… This book will help you to understand the more detailed nuance of social media, with tips on how to use the technical side of Twitter, Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn, as well as how to be generous on the networks and work for mutual benefit with your connections. There’s also a section on the psychology of networking for introverts, which is helpful as many people feel their personality holds them back online.

I particularly like the summing up section, where Liz advises “Be kind.” If everyone online followed this advice, the world would be a fantastic place! A useful little book for the newbie social networker. (Read the full review here)

Linda Bates was one of the first to read this book, and she posted her review on Amazon and Smashwords. It included these words:

Liz has a lovely clarity of style that works especially well for conveying information in an accessible way. I would recommend this guide for anyone who wishes to use social media for a small business or a voluntary organisation such as a drama or Scout group. (Read the full review here)

Linda even sent me a photo of the book on her Kindle – it’s great to see how well the cover comes out in black and white!

Networking , social Media and social capital on kindle

I’m so pleased to receive these lovely reviews, and it’s particularly nice to know that these readers have got what I was trying to do – help people, and explain the etiquette of networking face-to-face and via online resources. I don’t specifically state that I’m writing for introverts, but the advice I give does pay attention to those people who do not naturally claim the centre of attention and need to choose their events wisely to avoid exhaustion, and Linda makes a very good point about the wider application of the tips and hints (other feedback has pointed out that it’s good for fundraisers, too).

It’s great to see my new little book out in the world and getting talked about, and I hope it helps a lot of people as it makes its way out through the circles and networks!


Find out more about “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” here. Read about my other books here.