It's Fun to Sell Books

My friend hosted a small book signing event for me. Mostly women in their 60’s and 70’s attended. Their finances, as far as I know, are in good shape. Nevertheless, these folks were fascinated by the conversation about how we can take charge of our finances and the profound difference that this can make in our lives. A community banker also attended, and helped make the conversation interesting. He asked me whether I think that there is any debt that is a “good debt”. I said that I thought mortgage debt could be a good debt, as could educational loan debt. But even with these, it’s important that we have a plan, have financial goals, and make sure that the amount of mortgage debt or school debt is not so large that it cripples us in advancing our other financial and life goals. So — I sold 5 books that night. And sold another 5 books at a couple of other events during the week — a meeting of the non-profit board on which I serve, and at a holiday party! At a friend’s suggestion, I’ve started to carry a few books and a square reader with me wherever I go!!!

Goals and Tools make winning the money game possible!

Last month, an old friend came to visit me. It was a long time since we’d been together and it was great to have the opportunity to reconnect. In the course of our visit, I began to understand that my friend was in the same boat that David and I had been in 2008 — just as we had not, she didn’t understand what it looked like to win the “money game”. So, little by little, I shared a few ideas to see how she would respond. She loved it! By the end of the weekend, we had put together her monthly budget and she had articulated her primary financial goals. Since our visit, she has met with a realtor to look at how best to prepare her house to sell, she has created a game plan for selling the house and moving into a rental property. She updates her monthly budget every few days so she knows how much is left to spend that month in each of her spending categories. And she has made informed decisions on how she is (and isn’t) going to spend her money. For the first time ever she is the boss of her money. My friend now knows where she is headed financially — because she has her goals. She is in control of her money — because she has her budget. The quality of her life has changed. This is the kind of impact I love to have on people.

Entrepreneurship

In addition to my focus on promoting The Money Game and sharing with people our journey paying down debt and building savings, I’m also doing some work helping small business owners/entrepreneurs. I have a small business client who I consult with — primarily around relationship development and sales communications. I also reached out to the Entrepreneurship Center at our local community college. Through them, I was connected with the Business Education program at WCC and was invited to speak at their “Business Pro’s on Campus” day. I spoke to two accounting classes and one marketing class. The focus of my brief remarks was: the skills of an entrepreneur vs the skills of a manager — and why both are critical to small business success. I also spoke about a couple of structures — a monthly review of financial metrics, a bi-weekly staff meeting, and building a team of strong outside experts — which I believe are critical to small business success. Lots to do this week — write my article for The Credit Professional magazine, and type up a first draft outline for Money: The Long and the Short of It workshop.

Writing and Speaking

At the starting point of two new directions. Will be crafting a 500 word article for The Credit Professional magazine about what it took for us to get ourselves out of debt. Nice opportunity to promote the book, as well as provide value for readers. Also meeting in a few weeks with a rep from a local organization that provides employee training programs. I’m looking at creating a workshop called something like “Money: The Long and the Short of It” helping people to set short-term and long-term financial goals and a plan to achieve them.

What's Next

Thinking about what my next steps should be. Definitely looking forward to a book-signing event at the home of a friend on December 3rd. Will begin this week inviting people to that event. And would like to move forward on the next, and probably final, event of my “launch season” - at a local independently-owned bookstore. Hoping in the next few weeks to stop by my top choice bookstore for that event. After that my next areas of focus will be 1) Making requests of folks I know bought the book to write reviews on Amazon, 2) Writing 500-word content pieces to promote to Personal Finance magazines and blogs, 3) Begin development of a personal finance workshop — meet with key influencers to scope out the project, and create a content outline. Lots to keep me busy. Nothing is urgent. All is exciting and engaging.

Another Speaking Gig: Financial Counselor Training

I had a great time speaking at the Ann Arbor Credit Professionals monthly meeting last week. It was a small but lively group. Lots of interest and excitement, and I sold nine books! My friend Kathryn who is my contact to this group, asked me to speak again next week as part of a Financial Counselor Certification training day she is delivering. Sixty people are expected — my largest group to date! I may have an opportunity to sell books — Kathryn is looking into that. Other potential speaking opportunities are emerging. More on that later…..

Amazon reviews and Next Steps

A friend and book marketing/promotion mentor told me you should have at least 50 reviews on Amazon. And the best reviews are the “Verified Purchaser” reviews. As of today, I have three verified purchaser reviews, and one other review. Four in all. Last week, I dreamed I had five reviews, only to wake up and discover I had only the same three I’d had for weeks (I picked up my latest one a couple days ago). Ugh — that was weird to dream about Amazon reviews. I think the trick is to make requests of people - one at a time - to write a review. That’s what has worked so far. Especially right after they have finished reading the book. Next steps: I am presenting a “lunch and learn” this Tuesday to the Ann Arbor Credit Professionals monthly meeting. And will hold a book signing event at the home of a friend in early December. My final “book launch” goal is to hold an event at a local independent bookstore. I’m thinking of Bookbound on Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.

First Speaking Gig!

A couple days ago - on September 26th - I was one of six local authors to speak at Local Writers LIVE, an event hosted by the Ann Arbor District Library. Each author had 5 minutes to speak. I used my time to chat briefly about the “money mess” we were in, and how our journey of fixing our money mess led me to write my book. I used the remainder of my time to read an excerpt from Chapter Seven, titled “Eye of the Storm”. After all the authors spoke, we each were available to answer questions and sell copies of our books. I sold ten books!! These are the first books I have personally sold, and it was so exciting!!!

Ups and Downs

Such an interesting experience — the launching of a book! My pre-launch listing on Amazon was perfect. Then, on the launch date itself, the Amazon listing got messed up — suddenly the book was no longer available through Amazon and only available through third-party sellers at crazy prices. It took over two weeks to straighten it out, but now -thank goodness - the listing shows Amazon Prime again, with the normal price. Still ironing out a few things, but we are back on a good track. The book is selling - I don’t know yet how many. I’m looking forward to getting my first monthly report through Thomson-Shore which is representing my book to Amazon and the other wholesalers. I also just posted on Facebook about an upcoming event at the Ann Arbor Library - Local Writers LIVE - in which I will be participating on September 26th. I will be speaking and selling/signing the book!!!

Launch Date of my book!

Hi there.  Today is the official launch date of my book.  I'm thrilled about that!  What a road I traveled to get here!  Unfortunately, to my (hopefully temporary) dismay, Amazon is listing the book as available only via third party sellers.  Ugh.  And for higher $ than the list price of the book!  Double ugh!  And no Amazon Prime!  Triple ugh!!  Hopefully this will all be fixed soon - today if I'm lucky.  Still - I'm excited that the launch date is here.