How I saved time and made money by becoming a publisher

Can you publish Kindle books without actually writing them? Yes, I did it earlier this week, let me tell you how…

I love Kindle books – both reading and creating them –  but working part-time around young children means I don’t have much time to actually write books.

So it made sense for me to partner up with someone who has a lot of material for a book, but who doesn’t have the time to work through the Kindle publishing process.

Self publishing is far easier than it used to be, but physically publishing a Kindle book and publishing a Kindle book that people will actually buy are two different things!

So I partnered up with Becky Goddard-Hill of Baby Budgeting and Family Budgeting. Becky is an expert in budgeting and has a few books under belt now, so writing a book wasn’t a big challenge for her.

I took the same  role as a traditional publisher: I did the proof-reading, editing, arranged a designer to do the cover, formatted the book, uploaded it to Amazon, sorted out the pricing and chose categories and keywords. Unlike a traditional publisher who does little or no marketing, I’m also helping to promote the book.

And here it is: 100 Easy Ways to be a Thrifty Family

It’s a great book – I know, I read it several times as I was editing and proof-reading it! 🙂

So the moral of this story is that you don’t have to do everything yourself as a mum with a business. You don’t even need a business partner in the traditional sense. You can partner up for a small project or even just part of a project.

If you’re struggling to work out what product or service to offer your customers, look first for a problem that they would like you to solve. But don’t assume you have to make or invent a product to solve that problem all by yourself, look at how you can compile, bring together, introduce, partner with someone or even outsource the answer to that problem. For example, I know people need to save money these days, but I don’t know enough about budgeting to help them personally. Becky does.

If you’re a mum who would love to be self employed but aren’t creative in the art, craft or design kind of way, don’t despair. You don’t need to be arty or a designer. Use your creativity to come up with a solution to a problem, then be the project manager, entrepreneur, networker, leader – or even the geek – instead.

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I was struggling with my goals for 2013 until I tried this…

Happy New Year!

I have to admit I was struggling with setting my business goals this year. I could set the goals, but somehow I couldn’t break them down into actionable steps.

But I’ve found a planner which is really helping me and I’ll tell you all about it in this video:

Here’s what the author, Leonie Dawson says about the workbooks and planners:

The 2013 Create Your Incredible Year workbook, planner & calendar is an incredibly popular & useful tool to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year in life or business (or both!). Over the last four years, thousands of women have used this workbook with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet!

Used by entrepreneurs, artists, mamas, creatives, coaches, teachers and women of all ages, the Creating Your Incredible Year workbooks are filled with dozens of pages of powerful worksheets & a printable calendar to help you create your amazing new year.

If you’d like to get a copy for yourself, click here for all the details and to buy. (I’ve updated this link so that you will click through to the 2016 planner)

Contains an affiliate link


That’s it. No more New Year’s Resolutions!

New Year’s resolutions have never worked that well for me. But that didn’t stop my brain filling up with all the things I needed to better in 2013.

  • I need to create lots of new training courses
  • I should lose some weight
  • I should get fit
  • I should do  more voluntary work
  • I should get more clients

It was all getting pretty exhausting, and that was before Christmas had even begun!

So this year I’ve decided to NOT do more. Instead I’m going to simplify.

I’ve made a video that explains how I’m going to do it….

If you’d like to join me, please do leave me a comment to tell me what you’re going to stop doing this year!

Image courtesy of gubgib /

Don’t miss a thing in 2013! Click here to get my newsletterI’ll also send you a copy of  my e-book Running a business around a family: 9 steps to success.

Why you shouldn’t bombard your customers with discounts this Christmas

I don’t know about you, but this year I feel bombarded by Christmas discounts.

Sellers often think that they’ve built up enough goodwill by mailing regularly (but not too often) the rest of the year to allow them to bombard their users with discounts during on the run up to Christmas.

However, during December your customers could be receiving several emails a day that are exactly like the emails you’re sending. And if you keep sending them, there’s a good chance that your subscribers will lump your emails in with the rest of them and simply hit ‘delete’.

A customer isn’t just for Christmas

The long-term relationship you have with your customer has to come first. Instead of trying to maximise your gains from your holiday sales in the short term, aim to maximise your long-term customer value.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to sell your products during the holidays. You should. But don’t do it at the expense of your relationship with your customers.

Email only two or three times maximum during the run up to Christmas. Send enough mailings that you let your customer base know about your offers, but don’t try to pressure them into buying.

Making your products stand out

If everyone is receiving multiple sales emails every day, the answer is not to mail them even more often to try and get sales. Instead, try to make your offer stand out.

Ask yourself why they signed up for your email list or purchased your products in the first place.

If you’re selling jeans, they might have signed up because they want to look great. If you run a website for work at home mums, they might have signed up because they want to make more money.

Identify what the core desire of your market is, then try to tailor your offers to that core desire. Instead of just discounting, try to come up with more creative offers that stand out.

Tailor offer around past purchases

Instead of just mailing all your customers with the same offer, try to segregate your list based on products they’ve purchased in the past. Then send offers based on what people have bought in the past. Whether this is possible for you or not will depend on how you have set up your mailing list. So if you can’t currently do this, it may be worth looking at the information you gather on your clients so you have the option to do it in future.

Ideally, this should give you a higher conversion rate as well as a lower unsubscribe rate.

So there you go, three ways of making the best of the run up to Christmas without annoying your customers.

Don’t miss a thing! Click here to get my newsletterI’ll also send you a copy of  my e-book Running a business around a family: 9 steps to success.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Karen Roe

Now this is definitely on my Christmas wish list…

You already know I’m a blogging and social media nut who lives half my life online.

In fact, some days I wonder if I’m starting to pixelate around the edges  smiley


Since I got my Android phone I’m glued to that too. (When I’m not in front of my PC, that is.)

So you might be surprised to hear that we don’t have a single iPad or Android tablet in our house. Mind you, it’s only a matter of time!

Ever since my Mum and Dad got a tablet each I’ve been experiencing tablet envy. I mean it’s not right that my folks are more technologically advanced than me, is it?

So you can imagine why I’m rather tempted by new Sony Xperia™ Tablet S.

Designed to be used in your living room or out and about, here are some of the things you can do with the Xperia™ Tablet:

  • Listen to high quality audio with the ClearAudio+ application
  • See a list of your Facebook friends’ ‘liked’ songs  with the ‘WALKMAN’ application
  • View, sort and share pictures and videos captured with the Xperia™ Tablet and consolidate users’ photos posted on social media sites like Facebook using the ‘Album’ application. (You can also store your photos in the cloud).
  • View, sort and manage all your social networking services and news feeds through one user interface, alongside your friends’ feeds and posts with the ‘Socialife’ application.
  • Enjoy video with high picture and sound quality with the Movies application.
  • View the latest movies, music and photos from a single account through the Sony Entertainment Network
  • Browse content for PlayStation® Mobile, and purchase and read your favourite digital books using the Reader application.
  • Control your home entertainment system e.g. switch on your TV and cable box, select inputs, adjust volume and more.
  • It has a slim aluminium body, splash-proof design – which will protect it from some of what your children will throw at it – and a wide range of accessories including covers, docks and stands.
  • And a built-in universal remote control.
  • Plus cross-device connectivity, network services and it looks good too.
  • And it’s powerful enough to enjoy your media, apps and games with a NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor and Android 4.0.3 operating system.


One feature I particularly like is ‘Guest Mode’, which lets you create individual profiles for family members. You can even set wallpaper, icons and apps access to for each person in the house. If your kids are getting older and are ‘borrowing’ your toys technology you’ll appreciate how useful this can be!

So do go take a look at the Xperia™ Tablet website and see what you think. Then please do leave me a comment and let me know which feature you like the best.

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