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Archive for the 'Becoming a published writer' Category

How to perfect your book description so that it sells loads of books

Monday, January 18th, 2016
Find Your Passion and Purpose ebook coverv4300dpiIf you haven’t downloaded yet and reviewed, or you could do with a passion boost here’s the link to my new book, How To Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, available in paperback and eBook from Amazon here>> http://amzn.to/1W0IreR. I’d still value some more reviews!
Meanwhile I’ve been busy perfecting my book description. Writing a good description for Amazon is all about good sales copy. Sometimes the word ‘sales’ gets a bad rap. I like Dame Anita Roddick’s take on it, “We communicate with passion and passion sells.” She’s someone who knows! British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, she best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing natural beauty products that shaped the phenomenon of ethical consumerism. The Body Shop was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries. As she once said when challenged by someone accusing her of profiteering in what they claimed should be a not-for-profit mission, she replied, “If we don’t make a profit, we have no money to create change.”
If you are an author of non-fiction like I am, chances are you have written a book you hope will be helpful to others. To do this you need to reach as many people who need the advice you provide as possible. To attract people who need your book you need to be able to speak to their needs and desires, show them how you can solve their problems and market the benefits of your book. This is sales and marketing.
How to ensure your sales copy pops!
You also have to ensure your copy is eye-catching and heart-grabbing.
Thanks to Angelique Mroczka for her amazing step-by-step HTML guide and Paul Brodie for the tips from Kevin Kruse shared in his magnificent new book BOOK PUBLISHING FOR BEGINNERS http://amzn.to/1n5cdmH, I now have a shiny new book description. No doubt there is room for improvement but it is vastly better than my feeble attempt before…what do you think? 
 
<h3>Focus Your Energy and Time to Achieve Outstanding Personal and Professional Results With Absolute Certainty and Excitement.</h3><p>What if you could increase your success, health and happiness with a few simple steps? How would your life be different if you had more energy, motivation, confidence and self-belief? What if you could hit your business, personal and financial targets easily? Imagine waking up every morning looking forward to your day, working and living with purpose, passion and profit.<p><b>Amazon bestselling author</b> of <i> Mid-Life Career Rescue</i>, and <b>award-winning artist</b>, Cassandra Gaisford provides simple but powerful and easy to implement ways to find your passion and purpose. Based on survey research, personal achievements and her professional expertise and success as a career and life coach helping people achieve outstanding results – including lawyers, teachers, back-to-work mums, accountants, school leavers and creative entrepreneurs – Gaisford answers the question: how to do less and achieve more.<p> In <i> How To Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love</i>, you’ll learn:</b></p><ul><li>Why successful people follow their passion, not their pension</li><li>How to identify your REAL priorities</li><li>How working with passion can cure many modern-day ills – depression, anxiety, overwhelm and boredom</li><li>How passion and purpose reduces stress</li><li>How to be happy and successful</li><li>How to double your productivity effortlessly</li><li>How to boost your self-esteem and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change </li><li>How to change jobs and find a career you will enjoy, including self-employment</li><li>How to discover your signature gifts and talents and confirm your work-related strengths</li><li>How identifying your PPT will increase profit, peace and prosperity</li><li>BONUS: <i>Find Your Passion Workbook<i></li><li>BONUS: <i>Living with Purpose Workbook<i></li><li>BONUS: Making Decisions and Choosing Your Best-Fit Career Workbook</i></i> </i><p>If you’re like many people who don’t know what they are passionate about or what gives your life meaning and purpose, this book will help provide the answers.</p><p> If you have been told it’s not realistic to work and live with passion, this book will help change your mindset.</p><p> If you’re too busy, too tired, too stressed out to read a lengthy book, this concise guide comes to your rescue.</p><p><strong>Quit just existing and start really living!</strong></i><p>Buy this book now to start achieving outstanding personal and professional results with absolute certainty and excitement.</p></h3><h3><u>Pick up your copy today by clicking the BUY NOW button at the top of this page!</h3><h3><u>
 
 
As Angie says in her guide, “Looks like a mess, right? Now put it in a HTML viewer like Code Beautify” http://codebeautify.org/htmlviewer/ (hit ‘run’)and it look like this:

Focus Your Energy and Time to Achieve Outstanding Personal and Professional Results With Absolute Certainty and Excitement.

What if you could increase your success, health and happiness with a few simple steps? How would your life be different if you had more energy, motivation, confidence and self-belief? What if you could hit your business, personal and financial targets easily? Imagine waking up every morning looking forward to your day, working and living with purpose, passion and profit.

Amazon bestselling author of Mid-Life Career Rescue, and award-winning artist, Cassandra Gaisford provides simple but powerful and easy to implement ways to find your passion and purpose. Based on survey research, personal achievements and her professional expertise and success as a career and life coach helping people achieve outstanding results – including lawyers, teachers, back-to-work mums, accountants, school leavers and creative entrepreneurs – Gaisford answers the question: how to do less and achieve more.

In How To Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, you’ll learn:

  • Why successful people follow their passion, not their pension
  • How to identify your REAL priorities
  • How working with passion can cure many modern-day ills – depression, anxiety, overwhelm and boredom
  • How passion and purpose reduces stress
  • How to be happy and successful
  • How to double your productivity effortlessly
  • How to boost your self-esteem and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change
  • How to change jobs and find a career you will enjoy, including self-employment
  • How to discover your signature gifts and talents and confirm your work-related strengths
  • How identifying your PPT will increase profit, peace and prosperity
  • BONUS: Find Your Passion Workbook
  • BONUS: Living with Purpose Workbook
  • BONUS: Making Decisions and Choosing Your Best-Fit Career WorkbookIf you’re like many people who don’t know what they are passionate about or what gives your life meaning and purpose, this book will help provide the answers.

    If you have been told it’s not realistic to work and live with passion, this book will help change your mindset.

    If you’re too busy, too tired, too stressed out to read a lengthy book, this concise guide comes to your rescue.

    Quit just existing and start really living!

    Buy this book now to start achieving outstanding personal and professional results with absolute certainty and excitement.

    Pick up your copy today by clicking the BUY NOW button at the top of this page!

This was my original description for my book, How to Find Your Passion and Purpose

Finding a job you want and living a life you love is impossible without passion, enthusiasm, zest, inspiration and the deep satisfaction that comes from doing something that delivers you some kind of buzz.

Yet, it’s staggeringly, and dishearteningly, true that many people don’t know what they are passionate about, or how they can turn it into a rewarding career. Some research suggests that only 10% of people are living and working with passion. Hence my passion for passion and helping create more positive change in the world.

If you’re like many people who don’t know what they are passionate about or what gives your life meaning and purpose, this book will help provide the answers.

If you have been told it’s not realistic to work and live with passion, this book will help change your mindset.

Together we’ll help you get your mojo back, challenge your current beliefs and increase your sense of possibility. By tapping into a combination of practical career strategies, Law of Attraction principles, and the spiritual powers of manifestation, you’ll reawaken dreams, boost your self-awareness, empower your life and challenge what you thought was possible.

We’ll do this in an inspired yet structured way by strengthening your creative thinking skills, boosting your self-awareness and helping you identify your non-negotiable ingredients for career success and happiness. Little steps will lead naturally to bigger leaps, giving your the courage and confidence to follow your passion and fly free toward career happiness and life fulfilment.

What you’re about to read isn’t another self-help book; it’s a self-empowerment book. It offers ways to increase your self-knowledge. From that knowledge comes the power to create a life worth living.

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose will help you:

• Explore and clarify your passions, interests, and life purpose

• Build a strong foundation for happiness and success

• Value your gifts, natural knacks and talents and confirm your work-related strengths

• Direct your energies positively toward your preferred future

• Strengthen your creative thinking skills, and ability to identify possible roles you would enjoy, including self-employment

• Have the courage to follow your dreams and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change

• Find your point of brilliance

Let’s look briefly at what each chapter in this book will cover:

Chapter One, “What Is Passion” will help you explore the meaning of passion and discover the consequences of ignoring your passion. You’ll identify any passion blocking beliefs and intensify passion-building beliefs to boost your chances of success.

Chapter Two, “Discover Your Passion,” will help you to identify your own sources of passion and passion criteria. What you’ll discover may be a complete surprise and open up a realm of opportunities you’ve never considered.

Chapter Three, “Passion At Work,” will assist you in identifying career options and exploring ways to develop your career in light of your passions and life purpose.

Chapter Four, “Live Your Passion,” looks at passion beyond the world of work and ways to achieve greater balance and fulfillment. You’ll also identify strategies to overcome obstacles and to maximise your success.

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose concludes with showing you how to identify your point of brilliance. I’ve also included a link to two free workbooks.

Find a job you love and finally live the life you want. Scroll up and click “Buy Now” before it’s too late.

It wasn’t bad for a first attempt, but I knew it needed to be better.

Even with all those extra tweaks I’ve shared with you above and creating a super-persuasive book description there’s no way I can guarantee  that everyone will buy your book. BUT, I’ll bet you’ll feel better about it and agree that the chances of increasing your conversion rate will soar considerably.

I spent about 40-minutes writing this blog post just for Y-O-U. If you think you will sell even just one more book, (hopefully more) will you give me a $0.99 tip? Just…

Grab your copy of the How To Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, available in paperback and eBook from Amazon by clicking here NOW>>

To fulfil your potential you have to step out of the comfort zone

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

shoot for the stars by Kimberly Gordon ReelandWhilst it’s commonly stated that we should do what comes naturally, this may not be the best advice!

To fulfil your potential you have to step out of the comfort zone of doing what you do well and embrace the uncertain world of trying something new.

In doing this you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing whether you swim on a new current of fulfilment and success – something others refer to as ‘flow”.

Just as Jilly did, the wonderful lady in her 70’s who has become a photographer, and whose story I shared in Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy).

Listening to Jilly’s stories of reinvention, it’s clear to me that variety, learning and new challenges are some of her most important values. “‘I’ve always followed my dream – I wasn’t a mid-lifer who found what I wanted to do. I always took chances and jumped in with both feet!” She said. 

Read her inspiring story in Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy), or check out her website – her work is really, really special. Her natural affinity for dogs, and the skills she’s developed with the camera, creates something truly magical. She has now had several exhibitions with two more coming up next year. Also she has been invited to join Getty Images.

 

 

But what if you  don’t swim? What if you sink? At least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you tried, and the great fortune of implementing your lessons learned in your next attempt!

Refresh Your Life With Change

Sticking with what you do well can be the worst thing to do if you want to live a meaningful life. To develop new skills, new ways of being to become someone other than who you believe yourself to be takes a willingness to change.

As astrologer Sarah Varcas shares, “It takes courage and fortitude, a willingness to be a new-born again, discovering life from scratch, adopting a new perspective and fresh guidelines. Of course we can take our strengths and abilities with us on the journey. They’ll come in more than handy! But to see them as the be-all and end-all, the extent of our ‘tool kit’, is to live a half-baked life in the shadow of who we could actually be if we allowed ourselves to grow.”

Here’s a few questions to ponder, the answers may prove liberating:

  • What would you be willing to try if you were 10 times bolder?
  • What wouyld you try if you knew success was guaranteed?
  • How could trying out new ways of being or working enrich your life?

Finding My Passion and Purpose

I put into motion my own advice late last year and published my first two books in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series on Amazon. What fun! I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

Since embarking on change I’ve published a book a month and recently penned my third book: How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, is more of guide, than a book – a nice short, easy to implement tool kit to help you live and work with passion and purpose.

The Amazon details and link are here: http://amzn.to/1W0IreR

A new thing I did for the first time was creating my own cover – using my own art work too. The feedback I’ve received about both the book and the cover has enriched my life in ways I couldn’t have perceived. I gain from the satisfaction and fulfilment of being fully autonomous in all aspects of publishing and gaining from the immediacy and intimacy of the feedback from readers.

“Simply delightful, witty quick read, packed with excellent information. I’m actually believing now, I could change my career after 18 years!” Wrote one Amazon reviewer.

“I feel I want to read this book now! The red energy swirl suggests an invitation to enter a journey of discovering ones passion,” shared another person when she first saw the cover.

Of course, sometimes when you try new things, even successful new things you can attract criticism. I did when I wrote my second book. A reviewer said,  “I loved the inspiration, content, and message. There book rambles a lot though.”

Ok, I thought. I won’t ramble in my next book – I’ll be more concise!

How To Find Your Passion And Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love is available through Amazon at the special introductory price of $.99 for a limited time. http://amzn.to/1W0IreR

How to create a new life – harness the power of one and achieve your goals

Friday, January 1st, 2016

one thought,
one feeling,
one intention,
one desire,
one challenge

A very warm greeting to you on this most auspicious day  the first day of the first month – the beginning of a wonderful new year.

One has become my favourite number. I love its simplicity. In an era where overwhelm threatens the peace and equilibrium of so many, ‘one’ makes things easy.

My one goal last year was to overcome my own self-doubt and follow my passion for writing. I love writing. It’s what I was born to do. If I don’t have a pen in my hand, a notebook at the ready, I feel lost, anxious, irritable, Writing soothes my soul. Writing allows me to connect with others and to express the things I care deeply about.

And so with this in mind, I made one promise to myself in 2015 – to publish one book. And then another in my Mid-Life Career Rescue series. Books which would share my own mid-life journey to career nirvana, and the journey of other seekers too.

And in turn, my hope was that sharing these stories would inspire you.

So it’s been exciting to read the reviews and hear from people who have read my first books in the Mid-Life Career Rescue series. People like Hillary who said, “This is the perfect gentle nudge needed to move me forward and make those scary life changes.

I was scared last year too. I wondered how my books would be received. I wondered if anyone would like them. I feared public rejection, bad reviews, losing the time and money I had invested – all those things. But my desire was stronger. I didn’t want to wonder, ‘what if.” What if I had taken a risk and published my book. I took the risk, and it’s been worth it. I chose to change my focus  – to create in my minds eye everything I that dreamed of and saw in my mind’s eye, that I wanted to become ‘true.’

Going to bed last night on New Year’s Eve after celebrating the last day of 2015, to find Mid-Life Career Rescue: (What Make You Happy) twas #1 on the best-seller list on Amazon was amazing. And waking up today on the first day of 2016 and finding it was still #1 was fun!

So if there’s one thing I would encourage you to do this year it would be this – feel the fear and follow your passion anyway. Be curious, be playful, be adventurous and see where these feelings take you.

If you know anyone who needs a gentle nudge this year to make a change for the better the link is here http://amzn.to/1JmGq5C

What’s one intention you could make this year that, when followed through, would make a tremendous difference to your life? Please let me know on in the comments section of this blog

In the meantime I leave with you with this inspirational sculpture created by renown New Zealand Sculptor Chris Booth. My partner commissioned it for my 50th birthday last year. Together the three of us named it Viewfinder, which I love given my passion for photography. Of course, a viewfinder is the tool that enables you to find your point of focus. The viewfinder is the single most important user interface on any camera. And your viewfinder – your point of focus, the thing that captures your interest, your attention, your passion, is the most important tool in creating your best life in 2016. Set your focus, capture your desires and allow them to motivate and guide you throughout the hours, weeks, and months which follow.

Viewfinder Chris Booth web

I wish you a very happy new year. May 2016 bring you continued happiness and joy.

How to quit your job and still pay the bills

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

 

Quitting is for winners…

My daughter quit her job with no job to go to yet – she’s never been happier. But only two days prior she was in tears. Months of bullying, manipulation by managers and being promised magic that never eventuated took its toll on her self-confidence and self-esteem.

But now she’s jumping for joy. She’s claimed her power back and made a stand for what she believed. And she’s done it all with her eyes wide open – clarifying first what she really needed in a job to feel happy.

Do you want to quit your job? Do you feel overwhelmed thinking about what else you could do? Or are you looking for a blueprint for success?

Quit a job you hate and start living again

Sometimes all it takes is one line, one sentence, one book to radically change your life. As one man who purchased Mid-Life Career Rescue: What Makes You Happy write to me “I wish I had this book ten years ago! Making a career change was really challenging, and overwhelming. This book is quick and to the point, very well organized making it a great easy-to-use resource. The step-by-step tools are what set it apart, though. I’m recommending this to my cousin who has been wanting to make a change but doesn’t know how. I really hope this book pushes him into action to find a career that makes him happy! Great stuff.” ~ Jason Sperling.

Here’s a few strategies I share in Mid-Life Career Rescue: What Makes You Happy:

 Is lack of finances holding you back?

‘I’d love to quit my job if my mortgage would let me,” someone wrote to me.

I hear you! I’ve been there too. Here’s a few things you may want to consider:

1.) Plan your great escape. If you can’t afford to quit right away, make an escape plan. Put the challenge out there, “How can I quit my job and still pay the bills?” Ask friends, family, Google. Listen to your intuition. Could you negotiate a four day week to give you time to develop a hobby into a career? Is it time to spruce up your CV and activate a job search plan?

2.) Do some creative accounting. Could you take out a loan with family to see you through? Leverage off a loan interest credit card? Sell your kids? (I’m joking!) You get the idea. My daughter’s using her downtime to promote her business ideas – hours after resigning she generated the equivalent of a week’s wages.

3.) Utilise equity. Burt Munro, of ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ fame mortgaged his home. Could you use the equity in your own home to finance your career? If you don’t want to remortgage you could try asking for a mortgage holiday. Many banks allow 2–3 months of no mortgage payments.

4.) Share the load. Who else has a stake in your success? Perhaps they may be able to inject more cash into your joint cash flow. Keri had always earned more than her husband. Her dream career meant taking a $40k drop. Together they worked on a strategy to help him advance his career and earn more money. Not only is he happier in his job but now Keri has built a flourishing business as a corporate life coach.

5.) Seek investors. Use other people’s money to create the momentum you need. Remember there’s good borrowing – borrowing to increase wealth – and bad borrowing – borrowing so you can consume more. Most people spend all their spare income on non-asset-producing consumption. Banks, family members and friends are all possible sources of investment income. Sam Morgan, who established TradeMe, convinced his dad to back him, and earned him millions of dollars in return. You may not pay back millions but if your idea is sound, your investors can sleep at night knowing they will be repaid.

Money doesn’t have to be an obstacle to making a change to more fulfilling work. With sound planning, a willingness to prioritise and juggle conflicting demands, financing your career can be more affordable than you think.

 

This is an edited extract from Midlife Career Rescue: (What Makes You Happy): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.

Three days to train a horse. Three days to change a habit.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

IMG_2846Golden Dream, one of the pregnant mares we’ve been babysitting, started eating the fences while we were away for three days. My partner said, ‘Something has got to change, either the horses changed their behaviour or they have to go.’

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with writing or any act of creativity? I didn’t want the horses to go, just like I don’t want to give up my dream of being published in fiction.

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of talk that it takes 21 days to change a habit, but where’s the evidence? Why 21 days? What if the truth was it only takes three days to change a habit? That would be cool.  Three days is manageable, easier to chew and simpler digest. Then add three more days, and three more, until voilà you have achieved seven sets of three and a new habit is ingrained. Of course it can’t stop there. A new habit has to continue to be effective.

I proved my horse theory of behavioural change today. Day three and the horses are retrained, I’m still working on training myself to change unhelpful behaviours, including procrastination, but here’s a few things I’ve learned recently from other pro’s:

Don’t be discouraged by the size of the task

Don’t be discouraged by the size of the task. Robert McKee, story guru to the stars, including Peter Jackson and many other high achieving creatives, says it takes 10 years before you can master the craft of writing. Joanna Penn, New York Times and USA Today best-selling novelist and author of one of the top 10 blogs for self-publishers, wrote recently of author Blake Crouch’s 10 year journey through different forms of publishing – his Wayward Pines series is now a TV show. 10 seems to be a magic number, just like 3.

 

Think like a pro and be prepared to learn

Think and act and feel like a pro. No one achieves pro status without some sort of apprenticeship. Like any apprentice you have tasks to learn from other experts on the journey to craft mastery.  Joanna Penn, for example attends workshops and learns from other successful people in her field. Other pro’s do the same.

“Excellence of any kind is based upon knowledge,” says Robert McKee. “You have to do research, you have to know what it is you are trying to do. The more you understand what you are trying to do the better you will be at it. The notion you can rely in instinct is foolishness.”

 

Do the work

“Show up, show up and soon the muse shows up too”, says author Isabel Allende. Show up, put your bum on the seat, and put your pen in hand and do the work.  “You can’t actually make a living from writing if you’re not actually writing, ” says Joanna Penn – very wisely! Some authors suggest writing at a set time every day, others advocate for a more flexible approach. Know what works for you and stick to it. Determine the goals you want to achieve. Whether it’s a quota, a set amount of time to write, or a defined task to conquer, determine what you are going to do and stay at work until your done.

 

Write faster

Prolific Amazon best-selling author Steve Windsor, warns against over thinking. Write faster, he says. This is a great way to minimise the internal critic and the perfectionist. They can come out to play later, the main thing is to get down the bones, at least then you’ll have something to work with. If you have no words you have nothing to go back and edit later. Steve Windsor speaks from experience – with nine books out in eight months he knows how to be a writing machine.

 

Practice habit creep

Changing human behaviour is often considered to be one of the hardest things to do in business and in life, writes James Clear.  James studies successful people across a wide range of disciplines — entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and more — to uncover the habits and routines that make these people the best at what they do.

What if,  he asks in a recent newsletter, we trusted that becoming more successful  came as a natural side effect of improving our normal routines? It makes absolute sense that as our normal habits improve so will our successes – whether this is because our daily word count goes up, or we churn out more books over a year, or what ever else we want to achieve.

James Clear has coined the phrase ‘habit creep’  to describe the idea of ‘slightly adjusting your habits until behaviours and results that were once out of reach become your new normal‘.

He advocates two primary ways to change long-term behaviours and improve performance for good:

  1. Increase your performance by a little bit each day. Most people take this to the extreme, he’s says.
  2. Change your environment to remove small distractions and barriers. Most people never think about this.

 

I’ve been implementing many of these strategies to increasing success. I’m breaking the task of finishing a book of fiction into manageable tasks. I’m practising habit creep and writing fast by working in 40 minute intervals of timed writing bursts, followed by 10 minutes of cardio!It’s so important as a writer not to be sedentary.

I’ve also changing location, moving out of the house and into the garden to minimise the distraction created by unlimited WIFI and interruptions at home. Look, even Golden Dream is cheer-leading me on as I write!

Watching podcasts by writing professionals, and joining writing forums and communities of writers with similar aspirations has been fabulous too, tuning up my mindset and providing me with ‘my tribe’ and a sense of belonging.

It’s day one of making these changes in my writing life, but having trained the horses to stop eating the fence in three days by making slow, incremental adjustments to their routine, I’m optimistic that I can create new habits that lasts a lifetime too.

 

Everyone gets obsessed with achieving their very best day—pulling the best score on their test, running their fastest race ever, making the most sales in the department. I say forget that stuff. Just improve your normal day and the results will take care of themselves. We naturally make long-term changes in our lives by slowly and slightly adjusting our normal everyday habits and behaviours.” ~ James Clear

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