I’m immersed in the middle of the five day long Australian Unschooling Conference. Feeling blissful and alight and wow-ed out. Have met some amazingly beautiful souls. Just feeling so grateful to be alive. Tonight, before we drove back to our cottage for the night to go cuddle up with Mr Dawson, Ostara and I found a tribe of ducks hanging out in the field. And we just watched them for the longest time in the golden sunset light. Ostara chirping away “bird! bird! bird!” and chuckling wildly (for those who know Ms Ostara, she really does have the best chuckle in the world.)
Life is good.
It feels like a good day to share good things.
I found this in my drafts folder.
And I’m pretty sure I’ve shared a lot of the goodies before. But I really don’t mind. They are delicious and worth revisiting.
So I wanted to share a behind-the-scenes on how & why I created my book.
This can be useful if you are thinking of writing one yourself, and are interested in:
how I managed to write a book (while being silly busy & a mama)
how I self published
why I did it
and where to from here!
So I thought it would be useful to give you the total behind-the-scenes of why and how I wrote the book.
Why I wrote the book
I have a pretty hilarious reason for writing a book.
In March, I had a stall at the North Queensland Spiritual Festival – the first spiritual event like it held in my sweet little goddess town of Proserpine. I knew that the vast majority of my clients were from everywhere else in the world except where I was, and I thought it would be nice to actually have some local goddesses. And I really wanted to meet other soulful people.
So I rocked up to the market with nothing physical to sell – I was really just promoting my website and e-courses and telling people to check me out online.
The festival ended up being SO busy and it was amazing… but I soon realised that it would be even more fun if I actually had something to sell, instead of just trying to get people to remember to go to my website with my fliers.
And I thought:
Hey you know what? For the next festival (that was six months later), I should have a book that I could sell! Instead of just telling people to go to a website! And people could buy it and read it and fall in love and remember they are goddesses!!! That would be SO FUN.
How I wrote the book
AKA How the BUGGERY DID YOU MANAGE TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
I had some really sweet emails and questions from goddesses.
I’m really, really excited about your book… but I have to admit, as another mother, how on EARTH did you manage to write it? Now, please … do tell me you haven’t done the laundry, your hair is dirty and you are on vacation for awhile …
Can you share how you do all you do, especially with a liitle one in tow? Do you have struggles? How do you overcome them? Do you plan your year? Set goals? Go with the flow? You are an intriguing soul!
So I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how I did it.
Just so you realise, I totally am NOT a crazy superhero of any kind!
How I got it written
So I knew I wanted to write the book.
But I totally put it off, until about three months before the festival.
So I had this hilariously small window in which to make it happen.
And I thought about doing it the old Leonie way – the way of setting myself a ridunkulously hard deadline & riding my wild donkey until goal completion or burnout (whichever came first).
And then I thought:
There’s gotta be a better way.
I needed to bring in extra energy to make it happen.
And so I deliberated, and decided to find someone to work with instead.
I posted on the Goddess Circle‘s group for writers exactly what I was looking for. Within 24 hours, I had 4 responses from qualified editors all super excited to go.
She lassooed some of my best work over the last few years, and edited it down to be the beautiful lil turquoise handbook it is.
(It’s really, really useful to be in a writing and publishing habit consistently over a few years. It’s like building a book blog by blog!)
And in the meantime, I went to work on crafting some new hand-drawn pages to go into it.
Then once it all came together, I wrote the intro & designed the outside covers.
Then because we were cutting it so close to the deadline, I express shipped a review copy to one of my US-based assistants who checked it over.
She made a couple of changes, and kablammy! we ordered a boxful!
So it was absoloodely, definitely a joint effort.
How did I arrange the joint effort?
I worked out a barter agreement with my editor – I was keen to give someone who was wanting to do editing freelance online some experience and a testimonial. So we worked out something that would work really beautifully for both of us.
With my life and schedule and commitments to baby, hubby, business and sanity, I needed extra help in order to make it happen.
Choosing A Printing Company
I decided to self publish. I looked around at a large range of companies, included investigating getting the books printed in China.
Because of the deadline & because it was a fairly small print run, I decided using a Chinese printer wasn’t the best option.
I’ve used Lulu before in self publishing my very first book “Today I Grew Like A Wildflower.”
I was grateful for the experience of printing with Lulu and overall it was positive…
but there were a couple of things that niggled me:
1. Books that were printed at different times looked fairly significantly different from each other.
2. At some point, the file for the book broke in Lulu and they removed it from sale and required it all reformatted again. (And I didn’t reformat because it would take a buttload of time again. So book is no longer for sale.)
3. It had fairly limited distribution range – the book could only be purchased from the Lulu website, not through Amazon or bookstores.
Now – this is totally not indicative of what Lulu would be like now – I self published that book five years ago, which is a lifetime in internet years.
But I wanted something more powerful.
I asked a few other business owners & on business forums for recommendations, and had a few glowing recommendations for CreateSpace.
What pushed me to choose CreateSpace.
1. They were quite cheap. I think books ended up being about $6 each (for an 6×9 inch paperback, 220 b&w pages) plus postage. For me living in Australia, postage is about $100 for 50 books ($2 each), but because I’m usually needing them urgently, my two orders have been express shipped which ends up being about $180 for 50 books.
2. They can distribute through Amazon plus bookstores. Woo!
3. Other authors who’d used them said the print quality was lovely.
As part of my Grand Master Plan to perform the ultimate miracle and open up my small town spiritually and become a Goddess town, I really wanted to make sure my book was available in as many places as possible in Proserpine. I want the turquoise love letter to be read, ya know? I want it to be out there, creating miracles, opening hearts, helping women remember they are goddesses.
All I really, really wanted was to be able to turn up to this sweet little town’s festival with a turquoise love letter, and say to people:
here. this is who I am. this is the work and the wisdom that has utterly changed my life. maybe it will change your life too.
I didn’t write a book as a profit making thing. Books really *don’t* make that much profit at all.
I have a deep and profound love affair with books. Books are, and have always been, my dearest companion. I curl up in bathtubs with them when my soul is needing replenishment. I turn to them when I’ve lost my joy for life, and need a whole new world awakened within me. I flick them open as an oracle. I soothe my spirit with them. They are my crystal ball, my best friend, my dreaming, my mind-opener, my wisdom teacher, my sage. They are comfort and kindness and inspiration.
I become who I am through books.
And I wanted to be able to pour everything I know out onto cream pages.
To write a letter of everything I know to be true out into the world, everything I want to say, everything I need women to know. I adorned it with pages of my handwriting and drawing.
And I wrapped it in turquoise.
And that, my darling heart, is how and why I wrote a book.
I’m just so ding dang blessed & grateful by all of you.
This book was just going to be a side project that I just sold here in Proserpine at the NQ Spiritual Festival. But so many goddesses asked for it to be available for sale online, and so I popped it on there, not expecting much at all.
So it totally left me shaking my head amazed when it hit #4 on Amazon in the Spirituality/Occult section the day it launched.
And I get tears in my eyes whenever goddesses post photos of their own copies on Facebook, or share their beautiful thoughts on it.
There’s also been a bundle of questions about the book.
I’ll try & answer them all here in one handy-dandy place incase you’ve been wondering.
1. What if I live in the UK/Europe/Malaysia/South Africa/Uzbekistan? Can you sell your book here?
I’m only able to sell through Amazon US and CreateSpace, both of which are based in the US but they DO send internationally.
(I should know. The kajillion Amazon boxes with my name on them are evidence of this. And my book addiction. And the Post Office ladies who know me by name, colour preference, zaniness and post box number.)
For those living in the UK, I’ve asked for it to be sold on Amazon UK. Hopefully it will get listed there soon. It should be able to – but no promises.
Otherwise I’m really sorry if the postage costs are prohibitive. I decided to sell through Amazon US as I know they are the best book company that can service most of the world.
What you could do otherwise:
Get together with a friend or two to buy your books at the same time – or buy a number of them for presents. Postage costs don’t suck as much when you get more books. This is what I tend to do – get an Amazon order with 5 or so books.
Ask a local bookstore to order it in for you. I’ve enabled it for extended distribution so all kinds of bookstores can order it in.
2. What if I live in Australia? Can I buy directly from you?
Some goddesses have asked if there was a way they could buy from me directly. I wasn’t planning on offering this, but I’ll have extra copies from my next order, and can send a few out.
Price is $25 Aussie dollars (including free shipping & handling anywhere in Australia)
Delivery date: Will get to you by end of November.
UPDATE: Payment button now fixed! YAY!
To grab one, just click here:
(FYI: I’m only going to be receiving orders for this for a couple of weeks. After that, I’ll only be selling through Amazon.)
3. When does the launch price finish?
The book is sitting at $11.11 until 11/11.
4. When’s the last date to order a Proserpine Goddess Gift Pack?
I’m only taking sales for the limited edition Proserpine Goddess Gift Pack for the next *four* days – until 30 October. I don’t know if I’ll remember to update that the sale is ending, so if you’re wanting one, please remember to grab one.
As a reminder, the pack includes:
a personalised, signed copy of 73 Lessons Every Goddess Must Know from me to you
a Goddess Town bumper sticker (designed by Goddess Circle sister Julie Turner)
a 10 pack of Goddess Town Proserpine postcards (2 designs – photographed by Goddess Circle sister Trish McNeill – includes photo of me & Ostara!)
a 6×8 inch “Keep Calm & Carry on Cowgirl” art print canvas (designed by Goddess Circle sister Julie Turner)
All orders will be delivered by Christmas. I envisioned it as a beautiful present you could give yourself from Proserpine.
Price is $75 and includes FREE international postage.
5. How the HOLY DINGER did you manage to write this book?
I’m writing a mother-load of a huge post that will be published v. soon with a behind the scenes look at how I wrote and self published the book. Hopefully this will help answer all your beautiful questions dearest!
Thank you again for celebrating with me dearest hearts.
I am beyond honoured to be doing this work, sharing these words that are inside me. I can only hope that they meet you where you are, giving you just what you need. I just have so much faith and belief in the beauty of this world. And I’m going to keep making miracles. Keep sharing as much as I can. Sending out my words and art out into the world like rainbow-winged angels, flighting off to find the ones who are needing them.
My little turquoise book hit #4 on the Occult Religion & Spirituality category after The Secret.
(BTW: I have *no* idea why it’s under that category. But whatevs! It’s near The Secret! Heyo!)
#282 out ALL FLIPPING BOOKS ON AMAZON?
I was pretty much walking around all day, saying OMG OMG OMG. *Literally*. And that’s not an abbreviation for “Oh my gosh” either. I like to invoke my teenageeist self and just mutter OHHHHEMMMGEEEEEEEEEEEE over and over.
Chris finds it very endearing, I like to think.
And thank you so much for all your orders for the Proserpine Goddess Gift Pack signed book editions as well. I think the beautiful Trish has decided to order some more stacks of goddess postcards now we’ve eaten through her supplies. YAHOO. MORE GODDESS!
I’ll be sharing soon some of the behinds the scenes of how I wrote the book & published it.
In the meantime, I wanna celebrate my booty off.
I have this dream. This big, glorious, sacred dream.
I want my crap in Big W.
I know… I’m so eloquent, aren’t I?
But really… it’s true.
I want to write books. SO many books.
I want them to go out into the world and help SO many women.
And I want them to be in Big W. I want them to be published by Hay House.
So that every woman who is looking… who is lost… who is dawdling down the aisles of Big W trying to find something you know? Something that would help make the world make sense. Something to remind her she was beautiful. Something to remind her she was loved. Something to remind her that life can be excruciatingly, exquisitely beautiful.
I want her to find me. I want to want her to have access to these teachings.
I want her to know she’s a ding dang GODDESS.
So this is me.
I don’t have my book deal from Hay House (yet).
I don’t have my books in Big W (yet).
But I keep turning up. Keep writing. Keep pouring everything that’s inside me out into the world.