The feature of last week’s Book Journeys episode with Angela Lauria was business and life coach Mitzi Weinman, the author of It’s About Time! Transforming Chaos into Calm, A to Z. Mitzi is the founder of Time Finder which is a program that helps people with time, planning, organization, and other similar topics on improving productivity. With more than 20 years of experience in conducting one-on-one coaching and workshops to different organizations, it was clear to Mitzi that a book was in the making even as her clients and friends encouraged her to put all her work together and write a book. Mitzi’s uses an A to Z format, in which every letter discusses a particular topic that can be read independently from the other chapters. This way people do not have to read the whole book but can choose the topics that are applicable to them.
Mitzi struggled with her first attempt at writing the book, which was in a format that she realized wasn’t working. She started picking up again when she had an “aha” moment, and this was the idea to write the book using an A to Z format. She admits though, that while she found the formula that would work for her, there were still a lot of stops and starts in her writing process, having had to deal with issues in her personal life as well as in other areas. What became key for her was when a friend advised her to just sit and write something everyday, and this became her goal which helped her to be more focused on getting it done.
Mitzi looked at different ways and means before deciding on how to publish her book, talking to people who had self-published or used a traditional publisher, getting information online and reading articles on the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing. She finally decided to self-publish when she realized that she wanted to have more control over her book, having heard of a friend’s experience with a traditional publisher where she had to turn over her book to somebody else who practically rewrote a lot of her book. Then a friend helped her through the editing process until she felt it was ready to be uploaded to a publisher. She approached five self-publishers and made a choice based on how they approached working with her, finally settling with iUniverse whom she found very professional and wanted what was seemingly best for her.
Mitzi decided to hire a publicist, which for her was an opportunity to make the most of the book, and they proved to be very helpful, getting her into a lot of radio interviews and working to get her into TV interviews as well. They have also been helping her find media inquiries in HARO, a social networking tool which led to her being cited in Money Magazine.
Mitzi gives some time management tips on writing a book, emphasizing the importance of understanding one’s priorities then looking at ways to block out time and recognize the best times to do the writing. She suggests doing a project plan for the book, outlining the steps needed to get the book written, putting a timeframe on each step, but not being afraid to readjust the timeframes, and to just persist and keep going.
Watch out for Angela’s interview with another exciting author.