This note is inspirational because accelerating change often starts us thinking that we are in impossible situations.
Yet I know that self publishing gives us great flexibility.
Self publishing allows me to work at our penthouse on Ecuador’s beach or…
at our Florida home or…
at our North Carolina mountain summer house and…
self publishing even allows me to work in my deep woods office on our North Carolina farm.
This note from this reader is inspirational because accelerating change does create increasing problems. Yet it creates boundless new opportunities in the publishing field. The more change… the more people need to know and the greater the opportunity as this reader shows… since she started her self publishing as an “underground business in the 1980s in Moldova” a republic of the USSR at that time… before “perestroika” when any entrepreneurial activity was prohibited.
He is what she has shared.
To Gary Scott: Thank you and thank you again! Thank you for an inspiration!
Everything is happening for a reason. That is why I want to ask you for something, but I want to tell you my story first….
I got your Self Publishing course and it made me feel so excited that I have missed my work day to write this letter. A weekend before I twisted my back and could not move, lying on the sofa. No household chores, no dishes to clean, no weeds to pull out, just relax and read. It was your course that I finally took time to go through. The more I read, the more I understood that it was the one that appealing to me. It made me to look at my previous small publishing experience from the different angle that I never thought seriously about. It’s similar to yours, but with a twist…
My first publishing idea came from the demand. I used to work at the tourist agency and dealt with the weekend trips of tourists who came to my city for sightseeing and shopping. Sightseeing part was taken care of by the agency, as far as the shopping part concern these people were on their own for 3 days not knowing much about the city which they were visiting but willing to shop till they drop. The idea was to give them a direction or being very specific – a shopping map. My husband created a map (he is a designer), we made copies that easy to handle and understand, and my part was to offer the map to the tourists who repeatedly asked me the same questions any way: where to go and what to buy. The cost of the map production was $0.30; the price to offer to tourists was $ 1. The overall profit per map was $0.70. So my profit was 233%. I managed to sell around 1000 maps and used money for a nice family vacation. But the background of the story makes it clearer: my activity was qualified as an “underground” business only because I am talking about 80s in Moldova (former republic of USSR) and it was before “perestroika” when any entrepreneurial activity was considered if not exactly criminal but prohibitive. I had to move on….
I literally moved to the other country (Israel to be exact) as I did not see any future living in the same place forever. And 18 year history behind that move shows me that I was right….
My next publishing experience was quite different to the other extend: it helped me to move again.
I was teaching English people who lived in Israel and who had plans to immigrate to Canada. In the middle of 90s on the other part of the planet there was a mass itch to move to North American continent. USA opportunities were quite limited but Canada kept its doors wide open for the proper type of immigrants who met the financial, educational and professional criteria but… with “the cherry on top of Canadian ice-cream” – you have to speak reasonable English to go through the qualifying interview with the Canadian immigration officer at the Embassy. It was the most intimidating part of the process as I was repeatedly told by Immigration Lawyers who charged thousands of dollars to allow you to go through the loop. My new publishing experience started as a part of my curiosity: why people exchange Mediterranean resort-like life style to live in snowy Canada, what an immigration officer may ask you during an interview and what are the keys to the successful process. I made a research; bought books that I could find (not many were available, just couple), interviewed some people who went through the process already and decided to put all information I got together.
I wrote a book of 160 pagers, full of practical information, useful contacts and addresses, and created the “know-how” part: questions and answers that might help to pass the interview with the immigration officer successfully. I tested it on my husband and he went through the process so smooth that even I was surprised. I had published 1000 copies as a tester. And the name of the book was “Do-It-Yourself Guide to Immigration to Canada”. The cost was $6 per copy including the professional graphic design. I offered it to sell to my students at $49 and books had gone within 3 months. I was lucky to keep 3 copies for myself as samples. I have learned through your publishing course how to specify the profit: I made 717% profit. Some years ago a person who was familiar with my book told me that he had seen my book at the bookstore in Israel again. Interesting: the same cover page design, the same text, but under the different name. Needless to say that someone who reprinted my book did not share the profit with me.
We moved from Israel to Canada then, and I put that experience on hold as I started new career as a Financial Planner. It was 2001 when the market was down and stayed down for unpredictable number of long months. I managed to find my clients through those people who read my intriguing articles about money and investment as well as through the seminars. I saw people who proudly brought the collections of my articles to my seminars… I was doing well in the business for my status as a newcomer to Canada, as a woman in a male dominated environment and as a rookie. Soon I got a position of the manager; got some professional certifications in the financial areas and I keep running my profitable business. But there is an itch that is coming back to me from time to time… Publishing and traveling makes me feel excited.
Gary, in your course you have shared tones of experiences of yours which you got hard way, your knowledge, your research work and intuition. I could not do it better then you did. My offer is: I would be interested in teaching your course here in Canada, introducing your experience and your Publishing ideas to local business people. I love teaching especially if it’s interesting, feeds thoughts and creativity. Based on what I understood about you, you are very creative person, full of ideas and have an ability to see beyond the crowd. Maybe my offer will generate a stream of new thoughts and ideas for you.
My reply to this reader is “Thank you for the inspiration and kind words!” I hope her sharing these interesting experiences helps you as well.