Joining Angela in last week’s episode of Book Journeys was author Melissa Heisler who talked about her first solo book, From Type A to Type ME: How to Stop “Doing” Life and to Start Living It. Melissa is a stress reduction expert and her book started as a story of her own journey from type A to type Me that evolved to be a framework to help others to go through the same journey. With a lot of people becoming type A’s or having learned behaviors because of all the stress and overwhelm coming from today’s busy lifestyle, Melissa prescribes a way to get back to the “unique ME” where one enjoys and chooses their life instead of feeling a victim of circumstances.
Melissa’s journey into book publishing jump started when she joined a contest to get a publishing contract. She looked for an editor to help her with the content editing, and from her editor she learned what it meant to be a serious author, coming to understand more about presenting materials to individuals, not just focusing on what she was saying but more on what would be heard by her readers. Her strong advice to people about working with an editor is to completely remove the ego. An author should look at their book not as their baby but as their gift to the world, and so it’s not about them but about their work. They should be open to everything that comes, and even disagreements with an editor could be something to learn from. For her, the best way to get the most out of the editing process is to be open to feedback and to making it the best work that it can be.
Melissa decided to self-publish so she could focus her efforts on getting the book out instead of looking for that one publisher that would help her. She was contacted by Wise Ink who impressed her with their level of professionalism and support that they give to authors, ensuring that every author gets heard, and supplying the needed industry knowledge to come out with a professional piece. To market the book, Melissa started with her network of friends and family, calling out to people she knew who supported her and asking them to put her blogs and articles in their site and to introduce her to groups where she could speak. But she is now reaching out of her network and doing some pitches towards local media and larger organizations that she doesn’t necessarily have a connection with.
Melissa’s advice to authors struggling with finishing their own book is to ask themselves hard questions such as: What is holding you back? Why did you start doing this? What is your mission? Is it still important to you? Melissa herself took seven years to come out with her book, but she knew she wanted to move forward, so that’s when she entered the competition for a publishing contract. But when it did not materialize, she put up a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money for publishing her book, thinking that if she had the money, then she would just have to do it. The crowd-funding campaign helped her to understand the value of her book as she positioned it to people who might be interested in funding it. And doing this gave her the confidence in her work as well as hints on what she needed to recraft in the book. For her, it is important to understand the positioning of the book so that people really know what you’re giving to them in the book. She also speaks highly of the editing process and cannot emphasize more the importance of having others look at your work and not be afraid to do this.
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.