Be Selfish- Help Others
We are taught to help others. I teach to help others. I, myself look for opportunity to help others. One doesn't really have to look far.
Simple acts of kindness.
We are also taught and I teach to expect nothing in return. Meaning, by you bestowing love and kindness on someone else, they don't owe you anything. You are not "one up" on them. The person being bestowed your gift of time, energy or physical product may not even acknowledge you. May not even show gratitude. Might even be crabby about it.
Be kind anyway. Help others anyway.
You are kind and helpful for the mere sake of being kind and helpful whether anything comes from it or not.
But here's the thing... something ALWAYS comes of it. I have been "catching" myself being kind, FOR the very reason that I KNOW I'll get something back from it.
I have become selfish... greedy!
I have found that when I am sad or depressed, if I focus outward, and do things for others... I feel better.
It may not come directly from the source as in say a "thank you" or a five star review, or even a smile... but, it does come back around.
I recognized this when I started being "kind" on the down low... and now it's my favorite thing to do. Help others when they don't realize they are being helped and if they did... they don't know where it's coming from.
Sometimes, I do things for others, only because I know it will make me smile. I know! Selfish!! Sure, it blesses the other person, but... oh how it makes my heart swell and feel light.
I know... I know... selfish.
I have a Book Club on this website. It's filled with books from brand new authors finding their footing in the author world which involves a heavy load of marketing. Things that most writers are not aware of when they embark on this journey. If you haven't seen it, you should really take some time to check it out... (Click here! Warning- be sure to block some time, because there is SO much to see!)
I charge a small fee to showcase their books here. I present them to you fine people and I help them build an audience. I could charge a lot of money for this service. I could do it for free. But I have found that charging a small amount allows them to feel empowered, and take the opportunity seriously.
I will not get rich from this service. Not monetarily anyway, but rich in so many other ways. I don't get to see the faces of these authors, but I remember the first time I saw my book's cover on the interwebs... it was amazing. And even if one new set of eyes saw it and remembered my name... that was progress.
Most authors don't get rich or even have a lot of money to invest launching thier baby out into the world, but one person at a time builds an audience. And so I give them access to my audience. And I get to impart small tips and tricks along the way.
I have found that when I offered to do these same things for free, it was a completely different vibe. I am treated differently. Not always, but enough that "they" trained ME how to better serve them. I still offer great advice, even if they don't order. I spend hours every day answering questions for authors, but it's different when you put money into the game. You treat advice and service with a bit more respect. You value the other person's time.
When I charge a mere $5, I am met with gratitude. I am met with eagerness to do more, learn more. I am met with a camaraderie of being inaugurated into the Author's Club. And I feed off it. Not the money... those feelings. I am selfish. I admit, I love the five star reviews. I love the thank yous and notes of gratitude sent to me... but mostly, I love seeing new authors spreading their wings and getting their work out into the world. It's no easy task. But when I scroll through the images of these books, most that are brand new to the market... I smile... selfishly, that I have them on my site. That my audience are some of the first that get to see them. That when I lay my head on my pillow at night, I know that I've helped my fellow authors in my own tiny way.
I believe I have more than one purpose. I believe we all do. I believe we are given clues to our purpose by the strengths we have been given. One of my strengths is to be able to help elevate others. It is a pure, selfish joy of mine to lift others who may be struggling in one way or another. It is a strength to help others find that missing piece of where they are to finding joy and happiness that is within reach, but they just might not be able to see it. And selfishly, I pursue this purpose. Or perhaps, it pursues me. It makes me happy. It helps me to suspend any grief I may have and I find happiness in helping others.
I am humbled that I am a person that people reach out to... to share with. It is fulfilling to me to lift others who may have stumbled. It's a privilege to be that hand they reach out to and together with both our strengths lift them back up on their feet.
When I am just focused on me... and my sadness or grief, I can't be of service to others. I am happy that my need, that selfish need to smile and feel proud of how my fingerprint was left behind on someone else's happiness propels me to stay up on my own two feet.
So, may I offer, if you are feeling sad, or disconnected or depressed... take a little bit of time to be selfish... and help others. You'll be glad you did.
Writers on Writing-
Why Aren't You Rich?
I am so very proud to say that my sixth book is on the verge of hitting the bookstore shelves and perhaps, more importantly the Amazon virtual shelves. That being said, people are curious why I am not swimming in pools of money.
Well… it doesn’t actually work that way. We see the J.K. Rawlings and the Stephanie Meyers and the Steven Kings of the world and expect it to be a celebrity experience for all authors. Wow, I would love it, if it was so, but it is not.
There are a lot of really great writers out there that are not getting the recognition they deserve. They are not getting movie deals and they are not getting the media attention that will get their work into the public eye. It's just a fact. There are thousands upon thousands of authors out there and you only hear about a fraction of us.
A lot of it has to do with “It takes money to make money”. Sure, there are some who sneak through the crack and whose manuscripts land on the right desk at the right time, but that is rare.
I write because I can’t not write. There is something inside me that inspires me to put pen to paper and release the stories, the thoughts, the revelations that I have learned and pour them out in a new way. It is only recently (about six years) that I have shared my work with others. But I have been writing and creating for as long as I could hold a utensil. It is my passion.
I don’t write, or rather share my work to become rich. If I could reach the point that it would comfortably pay all of my expenses without fear, I would be ecstatic!! But that has not happened as yet.
There are a few ways that I get paid for the books that I have published.
To give you an idea of how much money I make- when I sell a book overseas… While it is a huge feather in my cap to be known as an International Author, I only make twenty cents per book…. before taxes. Twenty cents....
It’s going to take a lot of books to make my first million. Lol.
The more money I can spend on marketing, the more my brand gets out to the people all over the world. The more money I can invest in hiring a publicist and an agent, the higher my chances are of getting my name to become more familiar with more groups of people. The more I can get out to the people, the more people can put a face to the name and in turn, they become the most loyal of followers because I am not just a name, but a real person.
I do not have a lot of money. I market as much as my budget allows and then, not even that often at times because I get distracted with… more writing.
For me it will take being in the right place at the right time or having the “right” person read my book for me to get the recognition and the income that would make my living arrangements more… comfortable!
So for now, I am not rich. I do make an income, but won’t be sipping champagne out of a shoe any time soon.
That is why I rely on your support as a reader and one who believes in my writing to always help to spread the word. Share my posts, buy my books, leave reviews. (This applies to all authors! If you love what they have written, share the love! Let everyone know! Reviews on places like Amazon, Goodreads, Barns and Noble make a huge difference to our exposure to new readers, which is what it’s all about!)
I write because it makes me happy and I am constantly in a creative process. I publish because enough of you have told me that you enjoy what I create and have requested more.
For more ways you can help your favorite author, click here!
Do you have a question you'd like this author to answer? Leave it in the comments below and I'll do my best to get to it!
Writers on Writing
My latest manuscript, A Detour Home, has been sent away to my team of editors and I am supposed to wait patiently until they arrive back to me covered in red ink.
It is a most anxious time for me and I have to remind myself not to text them with silly, insecure questions like: Are you reading it? Do you like it? What part are you on?
I just need to trust them and give them their space and hope it comes back marginally inked to death. (With every book, I try even harder to watch my grammar and punctuation as a competition with myself to see if I can improve with every venture.)
I do have lots of work to do in between the time that the editors are reading and when I get it back to do the correcting and formatting, like marketing plans, new projects and more, but this time, I thought I would try something new.
Once people find out that I am a full time author, they first off, wonder why I’m not rich and then they have a multitude of questions for me. I am all to happy to answer, and am flattered that people would be interested in my passion for writing and creating.
I recently put out a few memes that give snippets of some of the behind the scenes of being an author and they were well received prompting more questions.
So I thought, just in case you never get a chance to meet an author in person and ask questions, I would share the questions and the answers asked of me, here with you. I have about a dozen questions lined up from those who have previously written to me or have met me out and about, but if you’d like to add one I’d be most honored.
You can ask it in the comments below, or shoot me a message via the contact page or through my Facebook page.
Hopefully it will keep you entertained (or perhaps if there are budding authors out there, it may inspire) and it will keep me from pestering my editors and slowing down their progress. Fun experiment, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s a few inquires that I have gotten:
Please feel free to add to the list!
The answers can only apply to my writing quirks and you would probably get a different answer from every other author you meet, (or follow). But this is me and for what it’s worth, these are my quirks.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. I love writing and teaching and hope that my offerings touch your heart in the best of ways, even if sometimes it has to sting at first. I write from a place of love and hope that it brings you happiness!
Stay tuned for Operation Keep Elizabeth Distracted…
How Can You Help?
With the overwhelming series of unfortunate events surrounding my Leading With Love tour, I must say that your outpouring of love and concern have been so heart-warming.
So often when authors undertake something of this magnitude, we feel like we are "in it" alone. It makes sense; we do spend a lot of time alone. I write best when I'm alone... I research alone... I daydream alone... I create alone... And while all of my creations are meant to enrich the lives of others, they must have time to steep in quite and solitude.
My book signings and workshops are my main opportunities to really get to be with people and interact with them.
All that to say, I always just assume that I have to find solutions to my problems... alone.
So for the first few dozen folks or so, when they ask me "What can I do to help?" I've said, "Nothing, I just have to figure things out."
For person number thirteen, that was an unacceptable answer. I got the "No man is an island" speech.
So... (short of sending me food and gas money) I have come up with a list of ways you could help me keep my head above water with little to no cost to you.
This list will actually help any author on your love list but allow me to thank you in advance by participating in any, or all of the following suggestions!
1. Have You Bought A Book? (or several?)
Contrary to popular belief, I do not make much money from the sale of my books. However, every time a book is purchased through Amazon, it raises my status and ranking. I make more of an income when I sell my books at fairs, books signings or out of my trunk (lol). But the actual "public" sale of my books help me more in the long run. So if you haven't done so, go to amazon.com and search my name and purchase a book!
2. Leave a Review (5 stars?)
Once you read the book and realize how wonderful it was, while the moment is still warming your heart, head back to Amazon and leave a really great review. This too, raises my ranking (even more than the purchase. So if you have already purchased one of my books elsewhere, PLEASE, please, please go leave a review!) The higher ranking, the more Amazon will promote my books and get them in front of new readers. (A lot of new authors are purchased thanks to the "if you liked this book, you might like this.... method!)
Goodreads.com is also a really great place to leave a review!
Also- if you loan your book out to anyone else to read, please encourage them to leave a review as well!!
3. Amazon Searches
Every time you go on Amazon for anything, search my name. Type Elizabeth Bourgeret into the search bar, whether you need a new book or not. (Even if you are shopping for vitamins, fishing lures or cookware or... whatever) Again, it helps to trigger Amazon that maybe they might need to make my work a bit more accessible. If you are like me, I shop for everything on amazon! I also let Amazon know who I am similar to. For example, I'll do a search for Joel Osteen, Karen Kingsbury, Tony Robbins or Francine Rivers and THEN I'll do a search for my name. It starts to link the names together.
4. Social Media
Love it or hate it, I have to be a part of it. I do love it for the great way it allows me to connect with readers and give those who are interested quick updates of the highs and lows into the life of Elizabeth Bourgeret and her Great Dane, Meera.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
Whether you are on there sixty times a day or once a month, please like and follow my page.
I try very hard not to post too often and I am always considerate of inflammatory content. But my pages are a great way, like I said, to get quick updates, share stories and thoughts and be privy to new blog posts or books.
5. Share Posts
Yes, not only do I ask that you like my Author page, I do ask that you share posts or comment on them. (The demands are getting greater!! Sorry you asked yet? Lol) If you have found a reason to like me, there's a chance that someone connected with you just might like me too. Please encourage others to like my posts and hopefully, my page.
There are a lot of Elizabeth Bourgeret memes floating around with my quotes either made from my camp or elsewhere, but if you see one, PLEASE like it and share it!! It helps to build name recognition!
6. Local Bookstores
While you are out and about, stop in at your local bookstore (big or small) and request that they carry my books. (This can also link back to #1. If you want to help support your local bookstore AND me, this is a great way to do it! I love to promote and support the smaller bookstores! Just request that they order my book for you to purchase and maybe they'll get an extra to carry in their store. OR when I get around that city they may be more likely to allow me to come in for a book signing!!)
7. Invite me to your Book Club!
Book Clubs are SO fun! I'd love to support your book club! I am happy to help with book discounts for bulk purchases, I'm happy to Skype with your group and answer questions or if you are within a 60 mile radius of where I am located, I'd be most honored to make a live appearance, sign books and chat about whichever book you guys are reading!!
So, there you go. There are seven suggestions that you can help me get past this dreadful "hump" that I'm having trouble getting past. These are little to no cost, but just take up a bit of time. (Add a post-it note close to your computer to help remind you of your favorites so they can be done multiple times...!)
I can't say enough how much I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement and now actions. I am thrilled that you have chosen me to invest a piece of your heart in. It reminds me that I am doing good things and am where I am supposed to be.
Thank you, and thank you again.