A Tiny Book Changed My Life

(Photo Credit: Quelcy Kogel)

It was an unusually warm day in January of 2012. After spending most of the morning obsessively looking out the window of my second-floor apartment at any noise I heard, the UPS truck finally arrived to drop off a box containing my very first book.

For months, I spent working with a writing coach, procrastinating with a writing coach, researching self-publishing, researching traditional publishing, feeling like an imposter, hiring a photographer, getting a website together, still trying to understand the publishing industry… all while working a full-time job and starting a side business.

And now, my physical copies had finally arrived.

I screamed to my boyfriend (now husband), Derek, and we both ran outside to get to the box of books as fast as we could. I was so excited that I didn’t want to take the box inside the house, so I started tearing it open in the middle of the driveway.

I’d dreamed about this day. I would go to the bookstore and hold these powerful books in my hand. They had a presence, a physical heaviness and thickness that matched the words. I said, “This is going to be me someday.”

And then I opened my box of books. My ninety-page book. The pages didn’t seem quite as thick as the books I remembered holding in the bookstore. It felt more like a pamphlet than the book that I dreamed about. I quickly threw the book in the box, looked at Derek, and said, “We gotta leave!”

He exclaimed, “What? Why? You just got your book! You should be so proud!”

I just kept saying, “Let’s get in the car, we gotta go! I can’t be here right now.”

And we left. I don’t even remember where we went or what we did. That whole afternoon was a blur. I felt feelings of shame and disappointment. I compared myself to every author I’d ever read. I finally had a book, but I didn’t feel like an author.

I had a huge book launch planned in the coming days and I even invited some local media, so I couldn’t give up. But I’ll be honest. I wasn’t really proud of this “should be proud” moment.

Then something happened.

People bought the book. People read the book. People still tell me they remember certain stories in the book. People told me they realized they weren’t alone.

That tiny book changed the entire trajectory of my career. I can link every single thing back to that book: the TEDx talk I did, the eventual book deal I got, meeting my co-founders at One Idea Press and The Wild Rose Co. It most recently led me to become a literary agent at Speilburg Literary Agency.

If there is one thing I learned, it’s that tiny books are a big deal.

They have the power to transform your readers and you.

They make you realize that your dreams, even bigger ones, are possible.

They help you set small goals and absolutely crush them.

This is why I am THRILLED to share that I will be teaching the Tiny Book Workshop – online! You can participate from anywhere in the world on the weekend of September 28th and 29th, 2019.

I co-teach this workshop with Alexandra Franzen, who is a writing coach, copywriter, and one of my favorite people. Fun fact: we actually met because of another (tiny) book I published.

If you want to write a tiny book, or even if you want to write a bigger, standard-length book, this workshop is a great place to get your thoughts organized, make an outline, get a gentle nudge, and get things into motion.

Excited? Register here before August 20th to save yourself $50.

Excited but definitely can’t afford this right now? Here’s a Tiny Book Workbook (PDF) that you can download… for free! Print it out, brew some coffee, doodle inside, and have your own DIY book workshop by yourself or with friends.

Wondering if this workshop includes video recordings that you can watch later, just in case you can’t attend the live classes? Yeah, it sure does!

Wondering if this workshop will be offered again next year? Probably not. This is like an eclipse. Special class. One time only.

Questions? Send me an email. 

Yay tiny books!


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