Shred, Thread, and Breadcrumbs!

As a life-long Midwesterner, one would think I’d be used to the never-ending cold, grey, winter days. NOPE. This winter has been one for the record-books, as even the local weather announcers are lamenting the record-number of grey days since January 1 . . . reporting there have been less than 5 days of partial sun in the last 50 days.

No wonder we’re all walking around in a foggy funk . . . like zombies . . . just going through the motions!

What to do . . . what to do . . . ?

When I finally recognize I’m stuck in the fog (literally and metaphorically) and not moving in a positive direction, I rely upon a tried-and-true path for pulling myself up and getting myself back into a proactive mode . . .


SHRED . . .

Decluttering, sorting and organizing have been getting a lot of attention lately, with promises of “clearing out the old energy to make room for the ‘new and improved’ positive energy.” I KNOW it works . . . when I make the effort to DO IT. My old-habit pattern is to focus on the client work-at-hand, letting the stacks on my desk get higher until I reach a point of not being able to find the ONE thing I desperately need NOW.

LESSON LEARNED (again), “Shred and shed what no longer serves me.”

TODAY is the day to clear off my desk and get the “stuff” off the floor so I can look forward to walking into my office every morning!

THREAD . . .

I re-learned THIS lesson over the past weekend from our dog, Chewy. One of his favorite stuffed toys is a large green frog which “ribbits” when you shake it (he LOVES toys with sounds). I had placed the frog up on a shelf, as it needed repairs from when he chewed off one of the legs. Chewy spotted the 3-legged frog and proceeded to bark incessantly as his way of asking to play with HIS frog.

Silly me . . . I grabbed the needle and thread I keep at-the-ready for toy repairs and quickly stitched the frog leg back on before tossing back to Chewy. A few minutes later, I noticed the just-stitched leg laying all by itself on the floor. Yep, apparently Chewy prefers his frog with only three legs. He was even careful enough when he chewed it off again to leave the new stitching intact so the stuffing didn’t fall out. How NICE of him!

LESSON LEARNED (again), “The threads that bind us together don’t have to be perfect; perfection is in the eye of the beholder.”

Chewy is perfectly happy with his 3-legged frog. Who am I to try and convince him otherwise? It doesn’t have to be perfect to be loved. That extra leg has now been “shed” into the trash bin.


Even though the breadcrumb trail failed Hansel and Gretel, we still use the term breadcrumb trail to denote connected bits of information that may be followed back to the source. The “source” in this case is my WHY. My WHY is to serve our clients by helping them Find Their Brand Voice, Share Their Expertise, and Monetize Their Passion. When I’m caught in the fog of winter and not sure which path to take . . . I’ll ALWAYS be led back into the light of clarity and my WHY when I remember to follow the breadcrumbs . . .

  • Return that phone call
  • Answer that email
  • Take care of ‘loose ends’
  • Take a chance and connect with new people

LESSON LEARNED (again), “watch for the breadcrumbs  . . . AND pick them up.”

I’ve also learned that even if I can’t see the breadcrumbs, just keep walking . . . they WILL show up . . . as long as I keep in motion, with my eyes open wide.


What to do . . . what to do . . . ?

Are you in a foggy winter-funk with your overall brand or with the writing of your book? Then it’s time to activate the SHRED, THREAD, and BREADCRUMBS process!

Click HERE to schedule time on Cathy’s calendar to discuss your brand and/or your book . . . and breadcrumbs!

The Author-preneur Advantage

You are not just writing a book, you are growing your business!

. . .  and YES, you get to hear me say it again . . .

“It’s not about how well your book sells . . .
It’s ALL about how well your book sells YOU!”

The potential reader who picks up your book will always want to know “what’s in it for me?”  

Our goal, as Author Consultants and Book Designers, is to keep potential readers interested and wanting more so they ultimately buy your book! We want them to be “pulled in” by your cover, intrigued by the title, and motivated to read more based upon the relief they find in the sub-title.

Studies show when potential readers reach for your book, they notice aspects of the book in a particular order.

In our mind, the ultimate goal is to get a potential reader to pick up your book and buy it.
If the potential reader identifies with the front cover, it is highly likely the reader will continue to the back cover copy to learn more. If the overall cover copy and images have addressed their need for relief, the potential reader will then scan the table of contents, then look for your author credentials (via the endorsement page and author bio).

  1. Front Cover
    • title
    • picture/image
    • sub-title (offers relief)
  2. Back Cover
    • headline
    • subheads
    • photo captions
    • bullets
    • call-to-action
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Credibility (endorsements and author bio)

As an Author-preneur, you not only want to sell your book, you also want to engage your audience to begin a relationship with you and your business. Your book is one entry-point into creating a long-term relationship with your potential client. Working with a team who understands the idiosyncrasies of book design gives you the Author-preneur Advantage.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level through the power of publishing, give us call, 888-598-0886, or email Cathy HERE.

There’s SO MUCH MORE to publishing your book than uploading it to Amazon.

Join the hundreds of other authors who have relied upon us to help them find their voice, write their book, and monetize their passion.

Tax-Exempt Status for Authors

Q: How can I avoid paying sales tax twice, when I am purchasing books I’m going to resell?  

Our authors are scattered throughout the US, and at least a half-dozen foreign countries. The greater majority are self-employed and are using their book as a marketing tool to build their brand and grow their business. Many are speakers and sell their book from their website as well as at the back of the room when they are speaking.

If you are an independent, self-published author, and are selling your own books . . . make sure you are not paying sales tax when you buy your own books at cost.

The best way to avoid this is to fill out the Tax Exemption forms on both Amazon/KDP and IngramSpark. Even if you filled out the Tax Exemption form previously on CreateSpace, you will want to check your new KDP account to make sure the information followed you to KDP when your account was transferred last Fall.

  • Click HERE for the Amazon/KDP Tax Exemption Form
  • Follow these instructions for the IngramSpark Tax Exemption Form
    • Log-in to your author account dashboard
    • On the left-hand side of your screen is a row of items to select; click on “Tax Information”
    • On the next screen, click the option, “Claim US Tax Exemptions”
    • Read the next screen, and answer the question, “Do you wish to claim an exemption from US State and Local Sales Tax? Click the “Yes” radial button.
    • Click the “Continue” button and follow the instructions to complete the process.

In addition, if you have arranged for the printing of your book through a local traditional printer, remember to also ask them for a Sales Tax Exemption Form. They will have one on file for you to fill out and sign.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all . . .

Top 100+ Book Marketing Ideas for 2019

As Professional Author Consultants and book designers, we’ve helped a long list of people — business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, doctors, therapists, helpers and healers — publish hundreds of books over the past 15 years. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and although the industry sometimes feels like it changes daily, we’ve captured what we consider to be top 100+ of the most important ideas for optimizing your book marketing impact in 2019. Remember . . .

 “It’s not how well your book sells . . .
It’s all about how well your book sells you!”©

Promoting and marketing your book is a full-time job, and if you are serious about growing your business, your non-fiction book is a key marketing tool in promoting that growth. Do not be intimidated by the depth of the ideas contained in this document. You do not need to do EVERYTHING listed here in order to have a successful publishing and marketing experience with your book.

For ease in organization and discussion, our “Top 100+ Book Marketing Ideas” list is divided into three phases:

PRE-LAUNCH: Ideas to add to your TO-DO list BEFORE your book launch.
LAUNCH: Ideas to add to your TO-DO list DURING your book launch.
POST-LAUNCH: Ideas to add to your TO-DO list AFTER your book launch.

Many of the ideas mentioned in each phase are interchangeable. Start small, step outside of your comfort zone — pick one (or two) and JUMP IN!

Click HERE to get your copy of Top 100+ Book Marketing Ideas!

If you’re telling a story, make sure it’s a SUPER one.

Research indicates that building one’s brand (personal or business) is NOT about telling everyone WHAT we do or how great we are . . . but rather about telling a story which paints a picture of WHY we do what we do. Kind of like seeing ourselves as entrepreneurial SUPER-heroes . . .

According to PIXAR , there are 22 rules for storytelling, based upon the simple formula of the “The Story Spine” created by professional playwright and improvisor Kenn Adams.


Be willing to build a SUPER Brand.

Sharing stories about how your work contributes to helping people or contributes to a broader movement creates connections and embeds you and your brand in the mind of those you meet. It’s how you build your SUPER Brand.

FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say you are a bricklayer. Someone asks you what you do. You have three possible answers to this question:

  1. I lay bricks in a row.
  2. I stack bricks with mortar to build walls.
  3. I’m building a school so our children learn to love learning. (HINT: this one makes you a SUPERHERO!)

Who wants to hear more about STORY #3?! . . . this option will spark interest and lead to more conversation!

Share Your SUPER Story.

Sharing a SUPER story builds stronger relationships. When you have strong relationships with people (family, friends, clients, prospects, etc.), they are more likely to share their G.I.F.T.S.:

  • Give you the benefit of the doubt
  • Introduce you to their friends
  • Forgive you for your faults
  • Trust and value you and what you offer
  • Send referrals your way

When we connect our functional duties with a larger vision, we work with a greater sense of purpose and energy, and attract more interest . . . and more new business.

Stories build the foundation of our lives . . .

  • If you are the best man at your brother’s wedding, you better have a story or two in your pocket to share during the toast.
  • If you are giving a keynote at the local Chamber luncheon, you’ll want a local community success story to share.
  • If you are writing a non-fiction book to highlight your expertise, you’ll want to use the power of storytelling to make your points and offer a real-life connection for the reader.
  • If you are writing a children’s book or novel, the entire book IS the story.
  • If you are providing copy for your website or e-news, prove your point by adding in a SUPER story.


So the next time you find yourself in a conversation, and you’re asked, “What do you do?” . . . avoid the redundant WHAT and share your story around the WHO and the WHY . . . emphasizing the SUPER RELIEF you offer.

Stories create relationships and relationships help brands thrive.

If you are ready to tell your story, make an impact, and transform lives, we can help.

Send me an email and let’s schedule a time to talk about branding and publishing.

(. . . and remember to pick up your SUPER SUIT from the dry cleaners!)


Hearts, Darts, and Thunderbolts.

I’ve been working with a client, Claire, who is positively in LOVE with what she does and absolutely KNOWS her topic.

. . . and THAT’S when the magic happens!

You see, we don’t work with just any body.

We work with people who are ready to
make a positive difference in this world.


Hearts, Darts, and Thunderbolts make the magic happen.

HEARTS. Our clients see the craziness we are living in right now and make it their personal mission to take a stand, lend a hand, and make a difference. They do not define nor segregate themselves by race, religion or nationality. They are global thinkers, feelers, healers, and helpers. Much like Claire, their passion is to UNITE, not divide.

She engages with HEART.


DARTS. Claire hired us to guide her through our Maximum-Impact PASSION, PURPOSE, & PROFIT Brand Program because she is ready to use her gifts to create meaningful change in the world. She recognizes it is time to take her business to the next level in order to make that happen. After helping her identify her purpose and clarify her target audience, she is ready to take aim and help more people using her unique set of talents and gifts.

She focuses and becomes the DART.


THUNDERBOLTS. The thunderbolts are the “aha moments” generated by our process. A thunderbolt moment usually comes with goosebumps and/or a quick breath of recognition that you are on the right path! Walking our clients through our PASSIONATE BRAND INTERVIEW is always an exciting time for each of us. Our interaction takes us down the path of discovery, releases “chaos, clutter, and confusion” and replaces it with “clarity, confidence, and connection.” As the thunderbolt “AHA” moments increase in frequency—much like the after-effects of a rainstorm—Claire becomes ever-more excited as the “old” washes away.

She welcomes the enlightenment which comes with a THUNDERBOLT.


Are you ready for Hearts, Darts & Thunderbolts?!

If you are like Claire and are ready to monetize your passion . . .
let’s schedule a time to talk.

I’d LOVE to show you how to take your helping, healing,
and transformational business to the next level.

Planting Seeds

As I watched the movie, The Lorax, this past weekend for the very first time, I fell in love with its message about planting seeds! January typically has us thinking about RE-solutions — a time for planting “thought seeds” to help us work better, feel better, and function better.

“When you plant a seed, it’s not about what it IS . . .
it’s about what it will BECOME!” — The
Lorax (via Dr. Seuss)

To help us plant our seeds for growth, many start their new year by reaching out to a personal or business coach for help. If you are thinking about writing a book, you would contact an Author Consultant, a Book Coach, a Publishing Mentor, a Book Shepherd or someone with a similar title.

Recently, it seems like just about everyone who has self-published a book claims to be an expert at teaching you how to write a book. In the wild-wild-world of self-publishing, there are a lot of people out there who are willing to share what they know, based upon their own experiences. But, there’s a HUGE difference between hiring an Author Consultant/Book Coach and hiring someone who has recently self-published one or two books.

You may be able to get some great advice from these novices, but they are only able to give you advice based on their own limited experience.

Sadly, I meet a lot of authors who say things like, “My neighbor just published her first book and she said ________________ ” (fill in the blank).

I can literally feel my heart sink as they begin to tell me the UN-professional advice they followed, thinking it would help them save money or time. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice . . . following this person’s advice has cost them money and time, with little or nothing to show.

An EXPERIENCED Author Consultant, on the other hand, will help you . . .

  • Minimize your investment
  • Maximize your return on royalties
  • Retain 100% of your profits
  • Secure ownership of your copyright
  • Access global distribution
  • Avoid self-publishing pitfalls

Ready to chat with THAT kind of book coach?

Give me a call. I’m an experienced branding expert and after many years in corporate marketing, I’ve spent the past 15 years growing our own business. I’m known for my combination of brand strategy, business-growth mindset, and my highly-intuitive radar for identifying your unique position for both your brand and your message (aka: your book).

Jack (my husband) joined me in 2008, and along with our team of hand-selected creatives, we have a solid track record of helping service professionals and solo-preneurs use the power of publishing to:

  • Establish Credibility
  • Attract More Clients
  • Monetize Your Passion

Let us help you plant the seed which will BECOME more than “just a book.”

Join the hundreds of other authors (well over 300) throughout the US and around the globe who call us first for our one-on-one hand-holding.

Ready to make the rest of 2019 amazing?

Click here to schedule a time to talk with me!

I can’t wait to help you save time and money . . . and reduce your overall level of stress!

Show Me the Money!

Although most authors don’t ask quite so bluntly, they ALL want to know how to recoup their initial investment when hiring someone to help them publish their book.

I have the exact same conversation with each author:

“It’s not about how well your book sells . . .
It’s ALL about how well your book sells YOU!”

Imagine your newly-published book in your hands. Fresh off the press, the aroma of fresh ink and newly-printed paper wafts through the room.

Now What?

Just because you “build it,” there is no guarantee “they will come.” Yes, your book will be available via Amazon.com and wherever books are sold . . . BUT . . .

  • Are you willing to step out into the public eye and speak?
  • What programs are you willing to develop around your book to help grow your business?
  • Can you identify potential collaborative businesses with whom you can partner and build programs which will help promote your services?

Your book is merely a high-end branding tool to market your business. Please don’t see it as the solution to your retirement plan.

If you are ready to learn more about how a book can highlight you and your business, give me a call, 888-598-0886.

We help you minimize your investment . . . AND maximize your impact . . . AND we hold your hand throughout the process (figuratively, unless you really want us to hold your hand).

Time to Write that Chapter!

If you’re anything like me, you’re feeling a mixture of excitement and fear coming up now that 2019 is here. 

There are still LOTS of bills to be paid, let alone new GOALS to be set . . . AND MET!

You are committed to making 2019 AMAZING . . . and we can help!

When you join our next anthology, “Living Well: Positive Perspectives on Creating a Life Worth Living,” BEFORE JANUARY 15th, you get 2018 pricing! Publish date will be just in time for Mother’s Day, 2019!

If you’ve been thinking about writing a book, but may not be sure where to start —



“I LOVED how easy they made the process!”


Maximize Your Impact & Reduce Expenses Through Collaboration

TAKE A TIP-TOE INTO THE PUBLISHING POND. An anthology is simply a collection of essays with a common theme and provides you the chance to be a published author — without the financial expense or time involved in writing an entire book on your own. Through the process of collaboration, more people learn about you and your unique offerings, at a greatly reduced price.

“Writing my chapter gave me the confidence
to finish writing my own book!”


Attract More Clients, Help More People, and Monetize Your Passion

POSITION YOURSELF AS THE EXPERT. As a contributing author to the anthology, you’ll spread your message and share your unique offerings through your own individualized chapter, while you expand your “tribe” and inspire others.


“Promoting my book with the other authors gave me the
opportunity to be introduced to all of THEIR contacts!”


Your business involves helping others and you are at the
forefront of making things happen for the greater good.


As a life coach, mentor, therapist, physician, educator, speaker, or other
professional service provider, a book helps you engage a larger audience.

  • Establish Your Credibility
  • Inspire More People
  • Project a Professional Image
  • Develop Greater Visibility
  • Attract, Retain and Solidify Your Client Base


Contact Cathy to reserve your chapter and learn more about our next anthology, “Living Well: Positive Perspectives on Creating a Life Worth Living.”

Early-bird pricing of $500 is only good through January 15th!

‘Tis the Season for Being

No matter your celebration of choice, the winter holidays are in full-swing, much to the delight of children . . . while many adults find themselves frantically checking off items on their To-Do lists.


I’m just as guilty as the next person with my own To-Do list. It’s not uncommon for me to “DO” myself into a frenzy during December, and end up catching some sort of bug (YEP – happened again this year!) . . . which in turn, slows me down.

One would think I’d figure out to stop “DO-ing” that . . . BEFORE I get sick.


So, during this Season of Giving, I’m sure I’m not the first to wonder . . .

What if there was a “Season for Being?”

What would that look like? I bet there’d be a beach involved. Temperatures in the 70’s. Warm ocean breezes wafting by. I can hear the waves crashing on the shoreline as it frames a golden sunset on the horizon.

I would BE:

  • Relaxed
  • NOT LOOKING for my To-Do list
  • NOT CONCERNED about time/deadlines, nor the next phone call/meeting
  • Reading a book (one made from paper, neatly tucked into a well-designed cover‑of course!)

OK. So I think I finally GET IT.
NOW is the time to plan for next December. It’s time to give myself the Gift of Being.

I love what I do, and I love helping our clients share their wisdom with the world . . .

But, next year, we’re going to GET IT ALL DONE before the holidays so WE CAN ALL focus on the Season of Being . . . whatever that means to YOU . . . time for yourself or time with others . . . or BOTH.