Thoughts on Success: Truth on Book Publishing Part 1

You have probably come across adverts and testimonials encouraging you to sign up for webinars and courses that teach you how to make money online. Some of them are often focused on utilising Amazon KDP and Audible. It is true that authors, whether self-published or traditionally published make a substantial profit from their books. However, these quickly make money gurus will hardly tell you that publishing, just like a high street business, requires hard work and endurance. It’s probably easier to open a business on the high street because people will see your building and be intrigued whether they visit it only once or often. Being a published author requires the ability to wear many hats, including marketing, unless you have a large budget to pay someone to do this for you. Now, don’t be disheartened by this post. I firmly believe that if you have a passion for writing, expressing your creativity or have a natural gift in a specific field, you will find a way to build it into a business. This post aims to open your eyes to what being a successful author entails. The ceiling of traditional book publishing is very high and made out of sturdy glass. The road of independent publishing is steep, with many unexpected learning curves.

So you have written your manuscript, and you want to put it out to the world. Great. Now you need to make a decision. To self-publish or not? If you choose to explore the traditional publishing route, this will take time. First, you need to ensure that your manuscript is as clean as possible. Then, you need to submit your work to a literary agent who is the gatekeeper of the publishing doors. Most publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscript submissions for consideration without an agent. So, you need to do your research and compile a list of literary agents to submit your manuscript for representation. This process is relatively slow as literary agents read loads of manuscripts each month, and with a growing saturated market, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from them for months or not at all. However, once you break through the first hurdle, the literary agent will work with you to ensure that your manuscript is as perfect as possible, and they will find a publisher to turn your work into a book. Then you get paid. An advance. That’s the basic process of traditional publishing.

The self-publishing journey is simple. However, it requires a robust view of self-discipline, faith, and learning aptitude. You can write mediocre stories and upload them to a self-publishing platform; however, if you want to compete with traditionally published authors and have your books picked up by bookstores, you need to learn to finesse your work. As a self-published author, you need to learn the basic formatting and etiquette for paperback, ebook and audiobook. Once you have a manuscript, you can hire an editor and proofreader, a cover creator and a marketer to maximise your chances of hitting higher rankings once you publish your book. You need to research the genre and topic for your book, especially if you’re writing non-fiction. However, if you take a quick look on Amazon, you will also find the most popular fiction. If you cannot afford to hire the help you need, start learning to edit and format your manuscript. There are plenty of videos on youtube and websites from successful authors and other professionals. You can also learn to create your book covers on canva by watching Youtube tutorials. Research metadata to include in your book and during the publishing process, use the correct keywords to improve your book’s visibility on the platforms you have chosen to publish. Don’t forget to purchase ISBNs, although self-publishing platforms provide one for each book, highlighting your books as ‘independently published’. It’s not uncommon to have your book not generate interest from the audience when you start if you don’t already have an online community. This is why you need to learn how to use the power of social media and networking to market your book. Don’t expect Amazon or other platforms to market your book for you.

Once you publish your first book, I advise you not to wait for sales to write and continue doing the work. Start writing your next manuscript, draw in an audience and connect with them, set up your author website and profiles, learn as much as you can about the self-publishing business and find a strategy that works for YOU. Then rinse and repeat. Being a self-published author is not easy, but it’s rewarding, especially when you start seeing tangible results. Just make sure that you write books that you enjoy and would make people want to read. I will write more on self-publishing going forward, and I hope you found this post useful.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on self-care: 15 ways to affordably practise self-care

Ah, self-care! What a lovely way to take some time, recharge and connect with the self. Self-care can improve your happiness and align you with your relationships, friendships, and all things that unravel in your daily life. Self-care has been a massive part of my daily routines since I was a teenager, and I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Everyone deserves to feel good and their best. So continue reading the points below for ideas on practising self-care affordably.

Place yourself in positions that brings joy.

Whether you’re choosing to hang out with your loved ones, choosing a new job or venture, it is essential to ensure that you find joy in all that you do. There’s no point in placing yourself in situations that will make you unhappy. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. However, you should try to reevaluate your circumstances and plan positive change.

Read this book

Okay, it wouldn’t be a J.P. Mooney blog if I didn’t inject my own work. But on a serious note, I worked on this ebook to incorporate Neuro linguistic Programming strategies that will help get you where you need to be.

Play with your skincare product

No, don’t throw them around the room and make a mess. Instead, you can make time to use your skincare products as part of your daily routine. Lotions and potions moisturise your skin, although you can also use them to massage your face and body to release tension. Scented products can also elevate your mood, but it’s best avoided if you have allergies and sensitivity. If you don’t already have skincare products, there’s an abundance of good quality and affordable brands you can research and try.

Draw Something

Even if you don’t have fancy art supplies, take a pen or pencil with a blank piece of paper, let go and start sketching. This is therapeutic as it allows your mind to focus on being in the present.

Play With Art Supplies/ Paint

Similar to the above, if your budget allows it, grab some art supplies to create your very own masterpiece. Get in touch with your feelings and pour them on a canvas. Or, get your hands on an adult colouring book.

Buy or Create Bird Feeders

Photo by J.P. Mooney

You’ll be surprised and thrilled to know that you can attract wildlife into your garden and the neighbourhood. You can do this by creating or purchasing affordable bird feeders and food to hang on a tree or fence. I first hung a bird feeder on a large tree in the garden, and within two days, it attracted a variety of colourful wild birds. Hearing their sound is also high vibrational and calming.

Walk in Nature

Whether you have a small patch of green by your house, in a garden, or you have access to a majestic forest, connecting to nature is undoubtedly a great approach to self-care.

Do Some Gardening

There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you see your plants bloom in season.

Meditate or Just Sit Still

If you don’t know about meditation by now, then you’re in for a whirlwind of surprises. Meditation relaxes your mind and can support healing. Meditation can be adapted to meet your needs. There are various ways to practice, research and find one that suits you.

Light A Scented Candle

A scented candle can instantly change the atmosphere in your home and elevate your mood.

Spray Perfume

Likewise, a natural body fragrance or room spray will instantly make you feel good.

Use Essential Oils

Riveting orange, relaxing lavender or earthy patchouli…You’re in for a treat. More information here.

Read My Mated Fortune Series

Read Contemporary Poetry

Read Free Blogs

Reading is a great way to explore current world affairs, gain knowledge and expand consciousness. The beauty of technology is that you can read pretty much anything from anywhere. By reading blogs, you also show support to the content creators and contribute to their online visibility while enjoying the content you love.

Until next time.

Thoughts on discipline: How to mind your business and do you

The title grabbed your attention, and I bet you’re expecting today’s post to be catty. If you’re new to this blog, you should know that this is not how we vibe here. Sure, I strive to keep my posts relatable and engaging; however, my core value and aim are to open explorative conversations and help readers find solutions as they journey towards their higher purpose. This week I thought about the action of minding one’s business. This is not to necessarily say that we should shut ourselves out by sitting in the house with a pout thinking that we are better than everyone else, no. My reflection on this is that sometimes, we lose awareness of ourselves and fall off track when trying to achieve our goals. Sometimes, we also don’t realise that other people have infiltrated our mental and emotional space leaving us energetically empty. This is usually achieved as we scroll through social media which prompts us to care way too much about what everyone else is doing. In return, it makes us feel bad because we’re not doing the same thing and having the same ‘fun’ as celebrities and influencers. It may also be a case of having family, friends or even colleagues constantly dumping their unwanted funk onto you. Most of us know one person we feel stuck with (because sometimes the universal lessons take a lot longer than expected) and have to consistently protect our energy because nothing in their life makes them happy. Whatever the case may be, there are people and situations lurking like landmines that catch us off guard now and then. If you find yourself caught in too deep with someone else’s situation and detached from your own growth, below points may help you to reconnect with the self.

Meditate like your life depends on it

There are several ways to meditate, and you don’t have to jump into a full hour of meditation if you’ve never done this before. Find a quiet place and allow your mind to wander to eventually be still. You can also meditate on the breath as a guide to balance your mind when it’s full of chatter. Do this a few times a day and be patient with yourself as you go through the process. Eventually, meditation will be integrated into your self-care and mental health routine, enabling you to be aware, fluid and adaptable in situations and around people.

Mine your business

In the age of technology, social media and faster wifi connections, it’s becoming increasingly easier to create a side hustle doing something you love and boosting your income. Suppose you find yourself always complaining about how much you hate your job or your current financial situation and seeing other people living their best lives tick you off. In that case, it’s time to consider removing the lack mindset and tap into your entrepreneurial spirit. You don’t need much to start a business, for most of them you only need a phone and good wifi. Figure out what you love doing for free and find a way to get paid for it. Do note that it’s essential to do your research and start small to build your clients and your brand. Ensure that you have all the facts before you make any financial investments. I can’t promise that you’ll be wealthy and successful quickly because having a business takes time and sacrifices. However, the process will keep you occupied, excited and disciplined; therefore, you’ll barely have time to be concerned with what everyone else is doing.

Read books

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but books are packed with information that will fascinate you. Business and finance, fiction, health and wellness and the list go on. Below are books I currently recommend.

Business and finance knowledge: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Richistan by Robert Frank, The intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham

Fiction escapism: Mated Fortune Series by J.P. Mooney, Ice Cold Boss by Olivia Hayle, The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Poetry: Mercury Retrograde Poems by J.P. Mooney, Sea Sores: A Brightonian Book by Nick Wood, Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell

Consciousness expansion: Sciencia by Matthew Watkins, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, Ley Lines by J.P. Mooney

Some of you may find it difficult to detach and focus on your growth in the current age. It’s important to understand that sometimes we may go through undesirable situations. However, there’s always a lesson in disguise. Just remember to reflect, acknowledge the lesson and keep moving forward.

Until next time.

Thoughts on knowledge: The importance of reading

Reading is a great resource to find information for educational purposes and self-development. I have to be honest and confess that I couldn’t always read and write confidently in the English language. But I will always remember a wise person’s words that were told to me as a young person, ‘reading is the key that opens doors into new dimensions’. Growing up, I always thought that only ‘serious’ books were educational. Thus, the authors who wrote them were the only voices worth expanding my library for. I even thought ‘real writers’ and ‘real books’ didn’t belong on a kindle. Of course, that was me at such a young age, before I even dreamed of writing stories or building a literature business. For me, reading is and will always continue to be a way into gaining self-knowledge, to detach and re-charge my energy, and enter a world full of opportunities regardless of the genre.

Books are portals to indulge in fantasy, connect with characters and explore the author’s expression. They are also a way to understand history, culture and the expansion of life. It doesn’t really matter if you’re excellent at reading and writing, what matters is our overall understanding of the messages that have been written on pages and how we use it to improve our lives. You can also use books as a way to communicate and connect with people, to teach the generations to come. Regardless of personal preference in genre, kindle or kobo, Amazon or bookshop, we are moving into deeper integration with technology where authors’ works will become even more accessible. Now is the right time to venture into new genres and explore someone’s story.

What are you currently reading?

Until next time.

J.P. Mooney’s read of the month

In this riveting book, Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank explores the lives and lifestyles of a new breed of millionaires and billionaires – many of them self-made and from blue-collar backgrounds – and how this new gilded age is affecting wider society. Profiles of ‘instapreneurs’, dot-com billionaires, and eccentrics from the lower and upper reaches of Richistan take us into the rarified world of people like Ed Bazinet, who became a multi-millionaire by selling miniature ceramic villages, and Tim Blixseth, who earned billions by trading remote stretches of timberland. The influence wielded by the newly wealthy goes far beyond their earning power, and Frank also explores the lifestyles developing around them (butler schools and a new type of service employee, self-help groups for people worth $10 million or more) as well as where their money is going (the commodification of the art world, the rise of ‘market-driven’ philanthropy). As wealth creation becomes more and more globalised, Richistan looks behind the glitz to find the real story of new money and its impact on the world.

Regardless of whether you’re rich , dreaming of being rich or simply just want to peek through the lives of the wealthy, Richistan has illustrated great insight into the inner workings of new money.

Note, this is not a sponsored review of this product.

Thoughts on finance: J.P. Mooney’s guide to holiday gift-giving

It’s that time of the year…again and although it feels like it was only yesterday that we bid farewell to Christmas, with our body clock stuck in the limbo of lockdowns, that supposedly thrilling part of the year is leering around the corner. Today’s post is dedicated to the art of gifting. I love gifts, and I think everyone around me loves to receive gifts too. Even if you hate surprises, the idea that you could potentially receive something you really want or an item that could change your life for the better (and for free) is thrilling! Below are a few suggestions I have tried and loved that I think are worth a browse.

Anything and everything Rituals

When I recently discovered Rituals, I absolutely fell in love with their products. My home was fragranced like a spa, and my skin felt like I just walked out of a spa, whilst, Rituals products remained affordable. There’s a wide variety of gift ideas to choose from such as divine relaxing candles, bath and shower foams, hair and travel sets, makeup, perfumes and refills! If you’re stuck for choice, you can try a gift set from their exciting collections or The Rituals of Advent Calendar. This is perfect for distributing as stocking fillers or gifting to an exceptional loved one to indulge. 

Check out Not On The High Street

This site contains various original gift ideas suitable for anyone on your list. Not On The High Street is suitable for quirky presents catered for baby showers, birthdays, weddings, Christmas and so much more. I guarantee you’ll be able to find something suitable for even the most challenging recipient in your life.

The ever so trusted Amazon

Where would we be without Amazon prime? Last-minute gifts are no longer a thing because with amazon delivery you can pretty much order anything you want direct to the recipient’s address, gift-wrapped and without a price receipt for peace of mind. This means your recipient won’t need to know how much you actually spent on their gift. 

Find your unique treasure on Etsy

Etsy is a beautiful marketplace that caters to all your gifting needs. The magic of Etsy is that the majority of their products are handmade and original from local artists and boutiques around the globe. Etsy has a variety of sections to choose from, e.g. Jewellery and accessories, clothes and shoes, home and living, wedding and party, vintage and collectables etc. Whatever you decide to gift your loved ones, you are very likely to find a unique version of it on Etsy. Even if you are undecided, the site provides a seamless browsing experience as they consistently promote on a high standard. The only issue is that the products are so creative and beautiful, you may become obsessed!

Browse the trail of luxury on Net-A-Porter

NET-A-PORTER is a game changer when it comes to making luxury fashion accessible. If you love fashion and high-end designers, then this site is for you. The site sections are as follows:

What’s New– This shows you all the new pieces and trends that have just launched.

Designers- Here, you can search the collections by designers. This is easier if you have a favourite designer and know what you’re looking for.

Clothing, Shoes, Bags, Accessories and Jewelry and Beauty- The most popular section on the site.

Editorial and What To Wear– Let the articles and edits inspire you. Even if you opt to not make a purchase, they are still an enjoyable read.

Buy my books

It would not be a J.P. Mooney blog if I didn’t take an opportunity to promote my own work. If you’ve searched all over the internet for the perfect thoughtful present and still couldn’t find anything, then perhaps have a look at my books. I have a collection of contemporary poetry and an expanding catalogue of romantic thrillers that I am soon distributing wide for you to choose from. If you have book lovers in your life or you just want something pretty to gift your loved ones, have a browse here

Do you have the wealth yet, still stuck for ideas? Perhaps the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine may inspire you. Whatever you decide to do during the holidays, it’s also important to remember that while materialism is fun, there is no greater gift you can give someone than your time.

Best Wishes.