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Strawberry cream cake to remind me of Swedish summers

 

It has been a full 12 months since the publication of Knocked Up Abroad and I am celebrating by making it FREE to download on Amazon January 26-29, 2017.

I want more readers, more reviews, and more people to discover the amazingness that is held within this book.

It’s been a crazy year—two books published, one successful crowdfunding campaign, book launch parties around the world, and countless articles, podcasts, and other efforts to promote the series.

The first year is always the hardest with growing pains, learning curves, and teething. If I had to plot my knowledge of self-publishing against a growth chart, it would look something like this:

 

Notice how I added stress to the second x-axis? That’s because learning something new is stressful and painful. I stepped way outside of my comfort zone and I am still feeling the effects of living on the fringe of comfort.

Lessons learned

I have learned a lot about self-publishing, crowdfunding, and collaborating with women (and two dads, can’t forget them) around the world. Here are a few of my lessons learned:

1. Nobody enjoys marketing (except for marketers)

The secret to marketing anything on social media is to create fantastic content that people want to comment on and share. Do you know how difficult that is? It’s exhausting.

I’ve also discovered cultural differences when it comes to marketing (Brits, I’m lovingly looking at you). As it turns out, working with a bunch of introverted writers (me included) does not make for an easy recipe to help promote a collaborative book.
Also, my audience seems to want to share funny things, but I’m not that funny. It’s a challenge.

 

2. Exposure does not always equal sales

No matter how many articles I publish, how many guest blogs I post, or how many ads I pay for on social media, the amount of exposure does not always translate into sales. Converting exposure into sales is always a struggle and I haven’t quite mastered it yet. More calls to action!

 

3. We all make mistakes

I decided to forgive myself and to forgive others for all of the mistakes we make during this learning process. There are a lot of moving pieces when juggling writers who have never been published in a book before and a publisher who is learning how to fundraise and market. We are all learning together.

However, it pays to be upfront about any mistakes made as everyone appreciates transparency and honesty.

 

4. Organization is important

A missed email, a miscommunication, a typo, a deleted file—all of those things can cost you credibility and trust. I need to clean up my digital files and flag my final drafts of all of my manuscripts. Currently, my computer looks like the digital equivalent of a desk covered in sticky notes. I think I know where everything is but I am sure that I have scattered thoughts written down that can be transformed into something.

 

5. Drop the word “aspiring” from your vocabulary

I used to think that by saying I was an aspiring author or an aspiring indie publisher that people would understand that I was new to the world. Instead, I only demonstrated that I lacked confidence.

We all feel like frauds in the early part of our careers and I learned that until you own your role and say, “I’m a writer,” or “I’m an indie-publisher for women around the world to share their stories,” you aren’t going to be seen as the expert you are. Fake it until you make it.

 

6. It’s not hard but it does take time, effort, and money

There are so many tools, webinars, courses, and resources out there to educate yourself on how to self-publish your story. I believe that you can do whatever you want but without a personal commitment of time, effort, and funds no idea will ever take off the ground no matter how good.

 

7. The future is often unclear

Knocked Up Abroad was a catchy title and I had hopes that it would be the expat equivalent of Scary Mommy—funny stories, lighthearted anecdotes, and the like. What emerged, instead, was a series of emotional and very raw stories about loss, life, and love. I was not expecting the book series to end up where it did and I found myself along on a journey with an unclear destination.

Someone asked me, “Okay, you published a book. Now, what?” and I had no answer for her. What else did I want to do?

I struggled with my lack of clarity for a few months and it was only after much careful thought and prioritizing did I discover the direction in which I wanted to go.

There will be lots of moments of uncertainty and doubt. It is up to you to clear your head and find your way.

 

8. I’m going to celebrate and so should you

For three days only, Knocked Up Abroad will be free to download on Amazon for Kindle devices January 26-29.

If you’ve already read it and left a review (thank you!!), please forward this to a friend so they can also read it. Share the Knocked Up Abroad love.

All the best,

Lisa

 

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