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Passion & Purpose
I started this blog primarily to help fellow authors with health challenges (including hypothyroidism) and tight budgets to get their books written, polished, published, and sold.
And this is still the main driving force for HypothyroidWriter.com.
Because I want other writers with low energy and too-much-month-at-the-end-of-the-money to get their words out there, without waiting for someone else to decide it's worth publishing.
And I also want to help authors on a shoestring budget to create and publish books to get everything done and done right -- while spending as little as possible.
So, while I do provide freelance services for fellow authors -- including writing (and ghostwriting), editing and proofreading, formatting for ebook and print, transcription (plus formatting), and book cover design -- I'm also keen to provide free and low-cost resources to help fellow authors rock the D.I.Y. approach to self-publishing.
Because, as I said in a previous post, you don't always get what you pay for. And just because you're saving money by doing the editing or formatting or book cover design (or all three) yourself, it doesn't mean your book will be a lesser product than a book created using professional services.
I know many professional editors, formatters, and book designers may argue this point with me and say that those authors who can do all three of those things well enough are exceptions to a still-valid rule, but I suspect there are enough such exceptions to disprove rather than prove the statement, "you get what you pay for."
So, while I'm happy to help if you'd like me to take one of the book-creation jobs off your hands (and there's no shame in that; I've done it myself and don't regret it), I also want to help you do it yourself and do it well, if that's what you'd prefer.
The D.I.Y.-ers Caveat
I'm not saying the D.I.Y. route is for everyone, and it's definitely not the easiest way to get your book written and ready to publish.
If you want to edit your own work, you should already have a strong grasp of English grammar and mechanics. If you've edited other people's work and are proud of the work you've done, self-editing is a great option for you.
But if you don't know the difference between a run-on sentence and a grammatically-correct one, self-editing may not be wise -- unless you're willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to write well.
The same goes for formatting.
I learned formatting (for ebook and print) by watching videos by Tom Corson-Knowles and Derek Murphy. And I recommend their helpful videos to any author who would like to learn how to format their own books.
I paid $100 to format my first book for Kindle and another $99 to have it formatted for print. I don't regret doing this, because my experience working with the formatters was good, and I'd recommend them to anyone.
But in the interest of saving money (and drastically slowing down my debt accumulation), I decided to learn how to D.I.Y. the formatting for my second and subsequent books. And I don't regret that, either.
D.I.Y. Book Cover Design
When it came to book cover design, I had just gotten the cover for my first book to look the way i wanted it to -- with the help of Happy Self Publishing. I wasn't able to invest the same amount in my second book's cover, which was all about D.I.Y. journal and workbook creation, using Canva and CreateSpace.
So, it made sense to design my own cover for it. But first I had to learn more about how to create a cover that my target readers would love.
And that's where Derek Murphy's videos came in (again).
i also learned plenty from Canva's own tutorial videos, which are free, quick, and designed to teach the basics and then lead to more advanced design principles.
Tools for self-editing
The tool that has helped me the most when I'm copy-editing or proofreading my own work is Grammarly. I've used the free version and will continue to do so for as long as I can.
I did actually remove the browser extension (at least once), because it was being super anal while I was working with Canva. But when I'm working with Microsoft Word, I don't mind it so much.
I've also found a book that helps with self-editing: Editing the Red Pen Way by Anne Rainbow. Anne is an experienced editor herself who wrote the book to help fellow authors edit their own work. So, naturally, in my gratitude, I can't write a post like this without including a reference to her book.
A freelance editor who helps authors self-edit?
You've heard the saying, "If you give a guy a fish, he'll eat for a day [or part of it, anyway, unless it's a big fish]. If you teach him to fish, he'll [supposedly] eat for a lifetime [or until he gets really tired of fish.]"
I see no conflict between offering my freelance editing services to those who want another set of eyes on their work and providing the tools to help those who choose to edit their own work.
In both cases, I'm helping fellow authors. If I help as a freelance editor, I get to earn some money while polishing someone's book and making it read as smoothly as possible. If I help someone do a good job of self-editing, instead, I save them money.
Both are gratifying.
You won't get any shaming, here, if you start out thinking, "Well, maybe I want you to edit my work" and then decide, "Well, maybe I'd rather do it myself -- if you'll point me in the direction of some tools that can help me do it well."
The point of this blog is to help fellow authors with health challenges or tight budgets -- or both -- to become published authors. If I look over your work and think you could do a fine job of self-editing (if you're so inclined), I'll let you know.
On the other hand, if I look over your work and see a lot of run-on sentences and phrasing that doesn't read smoothly, I'll recommend at least a thorough copy-editing. (I can even edit a part of your work as a free (sample) demonstration, so you can see the changes and decide whether you'd like me to edit the whole).
I'd like to help make the self-publishing process as inexpensive and as painless as it can be for you -- while still helping you produce a book you can be proud to share.
Thinking big or small
So, sometimes we D.I.Y.-ers get some flack from those who disapprove of our wanting to do as much of the process as we can by ourselves.
"An authorpreneur outsources!" is something I read recently. I'm not ruling out the idea of someday paying someone else to do one of the book creation tasks, so I can focus on something I'd rather do with my time.
But for now, it just makes more sense to do as much as I can myself to save money or at least to slow down my debt accumulation.
Does that make me a small-time author? Someone who isn't looking far enough ahead?
Someone who's too cheap and short-sighted -- locked into a "scarcity mindset" (which goes really well with my scarcity reality, by the way) -- to make the leap and act as though I'm already loaded?
Yeah . . . I kinda did that for my first book (hello-o-o-o, credit card!). Kinda feeling the consequences of that. Still. Every month. And it hurts. It hurts a lot!
So, while I don't think survival is totally at odds with dreaming big, I have to be realistic, too. This is not a blog where you'll learn more about the "law of attraction" or of "manifesting" what you want to see in your life.
This is a blog where you'll see a lot of "let's see how we do this better -- without going broke and without asking for someone else's permission to do what works best for us."
This is a blog that will help you rock the D.I.Y. approach, create and self-publish your amazing books, and get them to as many readers as possible
And if I can't help enough with something, I'll be happy to point you in the direction of someone who can.
You're in the right place.
What else is this blog about?
- Saving money on products and services that help you thrive and create more
- Finding the right tools and resources to create multiple income streams
- Learning more about what can help us boost our energy levels, improve our mental clarity, and get the right stuff done each day
- Sharing reviews and recommendations on products and services that this author and blogger has tried
- Having fun while we work hard at becoming published authors and profitable creatives, whether we're doing this full- or part-time.
Actually, I don't mind being a "small-time author." I'm not in this to get rich or famous. I just want to earn enough working from home to not have to feel squeezed every couple weeks (starting about a week before each paycheck).
This is why I'm a big fan of multiple income streams (book royalties, affiliate income, freelance services, etc.). I'm working well over 40 hours a week to get this work-at-home thing going, but I'm getting closer to my goal, and I'm grateful for that.
My goal is to earn at least $2K per month with these streams, working from home, by next June. Even better if I make it by my next birthday.
Where are you? And where would you like to be?