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 …

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Five-Star Reviews for “Quick Guide to Your Career in Transcription”

quick guide to your career in transcriptionI’m so chuffed, especially after some not-so-great comments on my cholesterol book – I have received my thirteenth and fourteenth five-star reviews for my book on transcription careers!
In fact, I do worry that this set of reviews will look fake. People normally have a range of opinions, and my other books certainly have a range of star ratings. But only one of my reviews on this book is by someone I know personally, and she bought it herself and used it for her career, too – it’s just I have lovely reviewers for this one (I did work hard on making the book as good as it could be, too!).
This one came in November:
Excellent guide! … Massively massively helpful with ideas I would not have thought of, useful tips and hints, and realistic perspective on this kind of work … Get to Starbucks, order a toffee nut latte, get your notebook out, and go through this book in one sitting (as I did), and then review it and your notes as they will be packed with good stuff. Thanks to the author! (read the whole review here)
and this one a few days ago, short but sweet:
Five Stars. Everything you need to know to set up as a transcriber. Helpful tips and advice.
The author of the first review  has got in touch with me to ask some questions, too – I love it when that happens, and really enjoy hearing how people are getting on and learning about what they want to know next.
Especially if you read books published by independents, please do pop a review on your book blog and Amazon, Hive, etc. – it really makes a difference!

I’m up to 13 five-star reviews for “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription”

quick guide to your career in transcriptionI was thrilled to find my thirteenth five-star review (twelve on Amazon.co.uk and one on Amazon.ca) for my book, “Quick Guide to Your Career in Transcription”, from a lady who’s now read three of my books (even better!). I have been popping reviews onto both my review blog and Amazon for books I’ve read lately, as I know how much it helps authors to get feedback on their books – especially when they’ve helped and/or entertained people, of course.

Here’s an extract …

A lot of helpful information in a relatively short book … it was definitely worth reading to find out what is involved, and what skills and tools are needed. There are plenty of useful tips about how to make life as a transcriber easier (both in terms of doing work and getting work). Plus, there are some very useful reminders about office ergonomics for all home office workers that spend a long time behind a keyboard. (read the whole review here.)

This book has obviously struck a bit of a chord, as I get more emails and contact about this topic than any of the other ones I talk about in my books and on my blog. With that in mind, I’m trying very hard at the moment to work this into a full-length book on transcription careers, based on my “Your Guide to Starting and Building Your Business” to add to the special editors’ edition I’m also putting together. These will be available in print and e-book versions automatically from publication, as I’ve found that the popularity of my print books is growing.

Do you prefer to buy non-fiction, informational style books in print or have you swapped to e-books for those? I’d love to know!

For more information and how to buy, visit the “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” page.

And this is why I’m glad I put my email address in the back of my books …

quick guide to your career in transcriptionI had an email enquiry in the week from someone who had read “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” but wanted to ask for a little more detail on a couple of points (one of which was more about general business stuff, one of which was about how to check your typing speed). I was very happy to hear from her, as I’d always much rather be able to fill in any gaps myself and have a happy customer.

I did mention in my reply that it would be great if she could pop over and add a review for my book on Amazon – and she did!

Great easy to read product – It was very informative. [I] emailed the author with questions to which she responded promptly. I would highly recommend it … (read the whole review here)

So if you’ve written a book and you’re wondering whether to include contact details, I think it’s a good idea. And if you’re considering emailing an author, I’d say do it – we always like to hear from our readers (even constructive criticism, as happened with one of the reviews on this very book) and I always like to take the opportunity to help someone.

For more information on this book (with its 11 five-star reviews!) and how to buy, visit the “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” page.

Lovely book reviews make me happy

I would say that pretty well all authors want to entertain and help people, maybe both. Yes, some people do write books just to make money, but I reckon that doesn’t do much for your sales, as it’s probably pretty obvious in the long run. I know quite a few authors of various different types of book, and what links us all is that we love hearing from our readers. I write to inform and help, and because I know there’s a need out there for advice on business and careers, because people contact me all the time asking for help. When I receive feedback that I have actually helped someone, that’s honestly the best reward, and I think it would be even if I made multiple millions a year from my books (I don’t).

Your guide to starting and building your businessSo, I’ve had two lovely reviews recently, the first on “Your Guide to Starting and Running Your Business“, which is my business omnibus, available in e-book only (until I get round to producing a print edition) and obviously read by someone with their eye on the transcription side of things …

A gem for wannabe transcriptionists. Wonderfully frank and informative. Liz has provided me with the confidence to give it a try … (read the rest here)

I don’t get many reviews on this one, so that was really nice.

quick guide to your career in transcriptionAnd then the second was on my “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” which does what it says on the tin (and might have been useful for that first reviewer, although this second reviewer could do with the above book as she moves forward from part-time work to more!):

An Inspirational Guide. This is a really helpful practical guide to setting yourself up as a transcriber. The information is clear, concise and current and Liz is generous with her tips and knowledge … As as result, and after some in depth typing practice to bring up my speed, I was able to confidently contact some professional transcription companies, and am now working for two of them on a part time basis along with my current day job! (read the rest here)

I know there’s plenty of transcription work to go around, and I’m so pleased that by writing about my experiences and pulling them together into my books, I’ve been able to help two more people with their careers.

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.

Print edition of Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription available now!

Quick Guide to your career in transcription print versionI’m thrilled to announce that I’ve finally got a print version of my popular “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” available in the shops. You can buy it from all versions of Amazon – pop over to the book’s page for a full set of links but you can see it here on Amazon UK. Market research has suggested that people are keen on reading print versions as well as e-books, so I’ve listened to my readers, friends and fans, and here you go!

It’s retailing at £4.50 in the UK (with the e-book still at £1.99) and I hope this means that I help even more people with no-nonsense and jargon-free information – there’s even a section to help you educate your own clients!

If yQuick Guide to your career in transcription paper versionou buy a print copy of this book, do send me a photo of you with the book or the book somewhere you have been, as I do like to see them in real life (and if you have a link or page, I will pop that on my Photos Page too as a little thank you). Here’s a photo of the print book in the flesh, so to speak (in the paper?):

Watch out for print editions coming in a week or so for “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital” and “How I Conquered High Cholesterol”. I’m on a roll!

Ten 5-star reviews for “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription”

quick guide to your career in transcriptionThe ninth five-star review for “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” on Amazon.co.uk (and tenth five-star review in total) was posted this week! This is definitely a book I wrote in response to interest, as I noticed that I was getting a lot of searches coming through to my website on transcription, transcription careers, etc. I’d been writing odd bits on the subject but put this book together – and I’m so glad I did! I’m hoping to produce a printed version, too, after a couple of enquiries convinced me that that would be a good idea – watch this space for news on that one!

that will be very helpful and useful to me I’m so impressed with this fabulous book, which explains everything so clearly and concisely … I was able to highlight plenty of relevant points in the book, that will be very helpful and useful to me. (Read full review here.)

By the way, it’s worth noting that on the day I received this review, I noted that I sold …

  • Some copies of my e-books via Amazon
  • A print copy of my book “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” via Amazon
  • An e-copy of my Business Omnibus via Smashwords
  • A PDF of my Cholesterol book via Selz

So it’s certainly working for me having as many different formats and platforms as I can!

Stop press – all of my books are now available in PDF via the Selz website – you can buy using PayPal, too!

For more information and how to buy, visit the “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription” page.

Great new book reviews – hooray!

My book sales have returned to normal after a dip in December – I can only put this down to people avoiding Amazon (there was a lot of talk about people boycotting the company for Christmas) and possibly some stuff around their new e-book arrangements. Then there was the fear over the VATMOSS issue – I’m happy to say that my prices have only ended up going up by about 15p for the higher-priced ones and I’ve left them there for the time being. I won’t see any of that extra money – it goes straight to the government in the form of VAT paid by Amazon (I hope!).

Anyway, I’ve been mightily cheered by two lovely reviews for my books …

How I survived my first year of full-time self-employmentThis review of How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment (was it really three years ago that I spent my January working hard once I’d got through my jury service?) was posted on 11 January …

Great break-down guide! … Liz’s tone is one you can relate to as it is approachable and warm. There are no gimmicks to this book; it delivers what it says … (see the whole review here)

It’s so lovely when someone really gets what you’re trying to do and picks up the aims of your book, so even though this review is short, it was very valuable and cheering to read. That’s my 24th four- or five-star review on Amazon UK for this book!

Find out more about this book here.

quick guide to your career in transcriptionAnd this longer review appeared over the weekend for Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription. I’m so pleased when I hear that I inspire people – it’s what I write my website and these books for. So, thank you, all of my lovely reviewers!

The most helpful book for anyone wanting to get into transcription I have just finished reading your book Liz and am completely inspired … Your tips were invaluable … Your encouragement is truly inspirational. (read the whole review here)

Find out more about this book here.

Anyone who writes books will tell you that reviews (good ones, or helpful ones, anyway) really make their day. Making that connection, knowing you’ve entertained, inspired or helped someone – priceless!

A lovely Canadian review for “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription”

quick guide to your career in transcriptionI received a message from a very nice woman who had read a few of my books and wanted to ask a few more questions about transcription careers. I noted that she was in Canada and checked Amazon Canada to see if she’d reviewed any of them (I wish I got automatically notified of new reviews – if you know how to do this, please let me know!) and found this lovely review for my “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription”:

Marvelous book filled with very helpful information … I’m so glad I came across this book. (Read the whole review here)

I was particularly pleased to receive this after a rather horrid and misleading review on my Cholesterol book which I’m not going to dwell on, but was quite upsetting when lots of people are going to be looking at that book after spotting it in the magazine. If you have read and not reviewed that one, well, I’m hoping some new reviews will push the one-star one down the list of recent reviews a bit.

Anyway, I’m really pleased to have my Canadian review! If you’re in Canada and want to have a look at my books on Amazon, they’re listed here.

A quick note while I’m here – Amazon have put up my UK and EU e-book prices a little  bit, to take account of the VAT increase imposed by the UK and EU governments but affecting us small sellers and buyers more than the big guys it was aimed at (search for VATMOSS or VATMESS for more info). I’ve left the changes as they are for the time being, to see how things settle – it’s only added about 10p to the cost of my most expensive books, so hopefully that won’t be too much of a burden.

Want to read this book? Have a look here for info and links to Amazon, Smashwords, etc., where you can buy.