Lois Hoffman is the founder of The Happy Self-Publisher an award-winning author of Write a Book, Grow Your Business, The Self-Publishing Roadmap, and Don’t Touch That, Oscar!.
She is also the creator of her course platform WritersSuccessSchool.com where she challenges aspiring authors to imagine what is possible and helps them realize their vision.
She helps new and experienced writers confidently share their voice to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others through personalized writing, publishing, and book marketing services.
She values a diversity of people, thoughts, and ideas to promote more knowledge and greater understanding in the world. And, because she believes in the power of words to change lives, a portion of course, workshop, and book sales are donated to organizations that support writers and the next generation of storytellers.
She also elicits countless smiles as a professional juggler along with her husband, Michael, who perform as The Juggling Hoffmans.
Lois lives in Newark, DE where she juggles her creative pursuits with enthusiasm and joy. You can find her playing with words online at happyselfpublisher.com.
Lois shared how she met her husband via juggling which is actually how my family and I met them and they have been married for 30 years.
Lois transitioned from juggling to writing when she started writing stories for her own children when they were young, it then snowballed from there. She learned how to not only write children’s books but also learned how to publish her first book that is how the Happy Self-publisher was born.
Lois was the guest speaker at the Authors Meet and Greet Book Signing on May 20th and did an excellent job talking to fellow authors and attendees on not only self publishing but the importance of marketing your books.
I asked Lois if she believed that we all have a book inside of us, and she agreed, however, external forces such as imposter syndrome can stop us in our tracks. That little voice inside that states, “ I can’t be as good as this person, or I can’t write as well as that person”, however, we all have experiences that can be shared, as we’re all born storytellers; that’s not to state that when first starting to write, it’s going to be great nor should we expect it to be!
Lois stated that we just have to be able to share what we know, what we’ve experienced, because it enriches everybody’s lives when we do. I also asked if as a kid, did she like telling stories or did she like reading other’s stories?
Lois responded that her mom kept buying her huge books to satisfy her curiosity, however, her first experience with writing was in middle school, where she wrote really “sappy love poems”.
She did love to read, loved to watch and loved to experience things in life. She also always wanted to be a teacher, so it was just a natural progression to writing and coaching others because of her love of helping people.
Self Publishing is Not New
Lois receives a lot of questions from writers about self-publishing with many new authors asking questions such as, “ I really wanna write this book, but do I have to have a ghostwriter or a copywriter?”
Much of the confusion comes from the fact that there is so much information on the internet. When Lois started 10 years ago, self-publishing was still a dirty word, and being traditionally published was really the thing to do.
“ I think people are still in a mindset of the traditional publishing industry dealing with questions about marketing; pricing; royalties; where to publish and the details of getting your manuscript into their proper format as well as questions about ISBN or copyright concerns.”
Lois understands the reason why there are so many questions and that’s where her love of learning and teaching comes into play. She loves to teach in a manner so that everybody feels confident in the end. Not just for her clients, but for those who read her blog or emails; she wants to help people feel more confident in doing it themselves with or without help.
She has read many other’s manuscripts and books and feels that if you’re only going to spend money on one part of the publishing process, it should be editing. As humans we miss things and it doesn’t matter if you use a computer program like Grammarly or Pro Writing Aid, because we will still miss things. It may be due to our eyes getting tired or we get used to saying certain words, so self editing isn’t always the best choice. Lois even suggested reading your manuscript backwards because that helps you catch a few more errors.
The great thing about self-publishing and errors is that you can fix the errors found after ordering only 1 author’s copy. However, with traditional publishers, who are ordering thousands of copies of your books, it’s crucial that there are no errors because it can become really expensive as they are not just printing a few copies at a time.
Author Success Toolkit
Most writers aren’t writing full-time, and they’re working part-time at this craft, and most are trying to figure it out piece by piece. Lois understands that so many authors are overwhelmed and confused by all the information found online, so she works with them on a plan to pull it all together.
She provides the strategies and strategies with a purpose, so that you’re not just going out and throwing things against a wall like spaghetti hoping something sticks. That is a waste of your time and money so she works on strategies during the pre and post-launch of your book.
There are several things that you can do before you launch your book, before it’s published, and that’s really a sweet spot. Lois can help you build a community because you need a community to buy your books. By sharing a lot of interesting, informational or inspirational content, you can then gather people around you. This helps for when your book is published because the people in your community are more likely to buy.
Being a guest on a podcast is a great strategy that can help you leverage yourself in other communities. We can’t be everywhere, but if you go on different podcasts it’s really one great way to share your book in multiple communities.
Our conversation continued and Lois shared more great self-publishing tips and you can listen to the entire episode here
“Start with your why. Start with your vision for success. And your vision really guides everything you do, how you write it. But if you have big goals, You know, you’re gonna need to spend more money, so how are you gonna make that happen? And marketing is the same thing. So if you have a big why, then giddy up. We’ve gotta get going, right? We need to, we need to get to work and learn some things and, and, uh, get our mentors and our advisors together to help us do what we need to do.”