A lovely new review for “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment”

How I survived my first year of full-time self-employment A new review has come in for my first business book, “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment“. I’m so glad that this reader has got the idea that the  light-hearted bits on tea and cardigans, etc., are supposed to make it more fun and approachable to read, and I love that they say that it’s inspired their own career – exactly what I wanted to do. Hooray!

I get fewer new reviews these days, but every one still counts, even on the books that already have quite a few reviews. So just a reminder that if you read and enjoy a book – especially if it’s by an indie author – it’s always useful to pop a review on Amazon or wherever else you bought it.

This reviewer said,

Insightful, informative and invaluable – a little gem! Liz gives the reader sound, invaluable advice that has served to inspire my own fledgling career. The book is also interspersed with light-hearted insights that makes the reading a pleasurable experience … ” (read the whole review here)

Read more about “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” including how and where to buy.

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 …

Another lovely review for “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment”

How I survived my first year of full-time self-employment You know what? I really am going to have to take the bits about tea and cardigans out of the new versions of my books specifically for editors and transcribers … although then what would people have to write about in their reviews? This reviewer has also been in touch with me for further information – I, like all authors, I’d imagine, love it when that happens. It’s all been either nice comments or questions, so far, however!

Anyway, there were some lovely comments in this review, and I really appreciate all reviewers who take the time to publish their thoughts on my books!

A field of gold, full of treasures … I loved and appreciated the fact that she is so willing to share the wealth of information that has enabled her to be where she is now, this is truly worth emulating for all whether business owners or not … All in all a great, practical book and I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It is to be read over and over again. (You can read the full review here.)

If you’ve read this one, what do you think? Should I take the tea and tracksuit bottoms out of my new omnibuses or tell it how it is, fleece and all?

Read more about “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” including how and where to buy.

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.

“How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” receives its 25th 4 or 5 star review!

How I survived my first year of full-time self-employment I was thrilled to notice I’ve had my 25th review (all 4 or 5 stars) on Amazon.co.uk (it’s got three more on Amazon.com) for “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment“. I’m really proud of this book, and I’m enjoying rejigging it for the new edition purely for proofreaders and editors – I’m glad I shared my own experiences to write the book I wished I’d been able to read when I was starting out – everything was so pushy and risk-it-all or else wishy-washy without good worked examples and detailed information.

A really useful perspective … It has given me plenty to think about, but also boosted my confidence that I, too, can build a successful business. Thanks Liz! (Read the full review on Amazon)

I’m always glad to know when I’ve boosted someone’s confidence – that’s what I set out to do and it’s gratifying to know that it’s worked!

Read more about “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” including how and where to buy.

A lovely new long review for “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment”

How I survived my first year of full-time self-employmentAuthor and editor Steve Dunham has posted a lovely long and detailed review of “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” over on his blog. We did a review swap – I reviewed his “Editor’s Companion” on my own book review blog but, just like doing competitions offering free books or giving physical copies to reviewers or any other of the myriad ways we try to get our books out there, you can never assume that a) you’re going to get a good review, b) you’re going to get more than a one-liner, or c) you’re going to get a review at all.

Steve really “got” what I was trying to do with the book …

Liz invites you to take a walk with her through the year, encounter the ups and downs with her, and learn the lessons as she learns them.

and has understood that I’m explaining my process as an example, not a prescription:

Liz describes her methods for scheduling work and keeping accounts, knowing that readers will need to devise their own ways of organizing pieces of a business, and simply offers her ways as an example. Her description of how she handles her bookkeeping will encourage you to do yours promptly and regularly, even if your system is different. If you’re self-employed, or thinking about it, just reading how she does things will probably give you ideas for your own business.

It’s not a puff piece – Steve makes the very valid point that I wrote this (partly unintentionally) for a UK audience, and I will address this issue in the version I’m rewriting specifically for editors and proofreaders, making sure I explain British terms and provide dollar conversions, so I’m glad he reminded me of this. It’s also true that different kinds of readers will like the different levels of detail on various topics in the book (I know some people who’ve loved the bits on tea; others have memorably criticised me for including too many cardigans!).

So it’s a very fair review, with a lot of detail and understanding – and that’s the best kind of review, in (of!) my books. Thank you to Steve, and I’m glad he found my book worthwhile.

Read more about “How I Survived my First Year of Full-Time Self-Employment” including how and where to buy.

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.

Three lovely new book reviews!

I’ve been seeing a drop in my book sales recently; whether that’s to do with the Amazon boycott or people not wanting to start new businesses in December, I’m not sure. But I was mightily cheered by these three recent reviews for my books!

Your guide to starting and building your businessFirst off, a lovely note about my Omnibus edition of my two business books – which I created to give the best value I could, as it’s a lower price than the two bought separately.

Wise advice. … The book is packed with calm, realistic advice drawn from Liz Broomfield’s own experience as someone who isn’t a high-flying, entrepreneur, but has built herself a sustainable and successful business … She makes no empty promises, but delivers sense and practicality on every page. (Read the full review here)

quick guide to your career in transcription

Secondly, this just in on my Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription:

Excellent, accessible guide. Really useful, pithy, no nonsense guide … I will definitely use Liz Broomfield’s advice and I’m sure I’ll regularly dip into this ebook for her useful tips. (Read the full review here)

I’m so pleased that this one is continuing to help people with new careers.

Quick guide to networking, social media and social capital

And last but not least, the third review for my newest book, Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital:

A useful and well-written guide to social media. … The information is explained very clearly so as to be easy for even a newcomer to internet social networking to use, yet the guide is detailed enough for those more experienced in social media to also learn something from. It is well worth picking up … (Read the full review here)

How lovely! As ever, I’m so glad I’m helping people – that’s why I got into writing books in the first place! And it’s encouraged me to push on with my next writing project, a version of the omnibus just for editors and proofreaders, and a self-mentoring guide for anyone who is setting up or running a small business!

Find out more about Your Guide to Starting and Building your Business, Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription and Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital including where and how to buy by following the links.

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