Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week that was: 27 February

I said sports cones.... This is why I do the shopping in our home!
Now that I am NOT working full time on my book business I finally get how it takes so much time to get anything done while trying to self-publish, raise a family, keep the man of my dreams happy, work part-time, manage the house, shopping, cooking and keep the laundry from overtaking the universe.

Self-publishing is hard work. Working with illustrators who also work full time elsewhere is hard work. Finding time to write each chapter for a kidlit book for tweenagers is hard work. Keeping the networking going with other self-publishers is hard work. Marketing my kids ebooks on Amazon and promoting workshops is hard work. Keeping my son's uniform clean, this is REALLY hard work.

I have learned that for me, schedules, priorities and caramel lattes go a long way to getting stuff done. Take this last week for example. I've been working selling product at a conference, working with Zac's teacher on his behaviour problems at school (nailed that issue), talking to Kiara about decisions to behave like a princess not a walrus (long story), dreaming and planning about a new product line and I have had a million late nights in a row, each there on purpose. I've been stressing about how I was going to fit in workshop preparation for this weekend, especially when I am accountable to every person who has registered and paid for that workshop to take place. I chose last week to plan the week well. I chose last week to take Thursday and Friday off work (in lieu of conference hours) so I could finalise details for the workshop and be totally prepared. I also chose to remove fear and anxiety about the workshop far from me.

I am master of my own actions and reactions. I am master of my own schedule and priorities. I am master of my own business and how I am accountable to responsibilities and people in my care. Kinda liberating really. Every mistake that is made - and every victory won - is a direct result of how I master myself - not anyone else. Do you get that? 

If you want to self-publish your book or story, if you want to make your dreams come true, you and you alone are responsible for that taking place. You are the one who makes time each day/evening to write your manuscript. You are the one who makes time to create illustrations. You are the one who learns about what it means to be a self-publisher. You are the one who learns about your new 'trade'.

You are master of your own actions and reactions. When I was learning about withholding tax and the need to reduce the amount I was paying - 30% is ridiculous especially when you can change that to 5% - I did all I could to learn how to take advantage of the double tax agreement that NZ has with the states. I learned that I could get a US tax number called an 'Employee Identification Number' or an EIN as we all call it (Click here for our post on this). Once I had this number I then needed to give that to Amazon and they would reduce my withholding tax amount for me.

It took me over a year to get my EIN number because I was scared of a little old international phone call. One phone call could have saved me $4300 NZD over my first year. That is right - over $4k! I chose to let fear of one international phone call rob me of over $4k. I chose that, that was my mistake not someone elses.

I am also responsible for the amazing journey this self-publishing adventure has taken me on. If you would like to hear more about my self-publishing journey or on how to get into self-publishing, please email us at

All the best for your self-publishing dreams this week. May you master every aspect of your journey with exciting results!

~ Joy Findlay

PS: There are still places available at our workshop this Saturday 1 March. 


  1. Totally get that! Everything has an element of personal choice :-) Loved the sentiments in this article, Joy!

    1. Thanks Zee! Hope you are enjoying writing on your own fantastic blog and books! Much love! When are we doing caramel lattes next?

    2. Maybe the week after next? Will text you after the weekend and we can organise a time :-)

  2. Well said, or well typed in this instance. As a self published writer dealing in hard copy books only, the biggest challenge in life these days , (apart from having little money) is to find time to actually write!

  3. Thank you Judi, yes, I've heard a few NZ self-publishers say they are focusing on writing this year instead of marketing/promoting. The down sides to being so creative and needing more time that the day allows for I guess! Welcome to time management 101! :D