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January 12, 2024 54 mins

What if you could unlock the secrets to turning your manuscript into a polished, published book? What if you had an insider's guide to navigating the complex world of self-publishing? Well, stay tuned because you're in for a treat in this episode with our special guest, Jen T Grace. As an award-winning author, top-notch speaker, and an expert strategist in publishing, Jen's insights are a treasure trove for anyone with a creative endeavor. She candidly shares her journey from being an advice-dreaming teenager to a publishing strategist, and how she successfully handles imposter syndrome.

We don't just stop at the journey. We also delve into the process of planning for a book, debunking the misconception of waiting for inspiration to strike. Instead, we underline the importance of discipline, a robust support system, and a pre-set plan to tackle difficult scenarios. Drawing from neuroscience and cognitive behavioral therapy, we'll explore how the brain works and how framing can significantly affect your success. As we navigate through Jen's inspiring story, we'll see hands-on experience and the ability to face challenges play a significant role in achieving success.

And as the cherry on top, we dip our toes into the intricate process of transforming a manuscript into a published book. We explore the paths to publishing - traditional, self, and hybrid. The value of investing in a professional team to handle the complexities of self-publishing cannot be overstated, which is why we discuss it in detail. This episode is a must-listen, especially for aspiring authors, to understand the importance of a team of experts in a successful self-publishing journey. So grab your headphones, settle in, and listen up as Jen shares her unique perspective and invaluable insights.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome everybody to another episode of the Modern
I am your host, as always, thehead of community here at Indie
Collective, Jan Almasy, andtoday we are going to be
interviewing a dear friend ofours here at the Indie
Collective Community, Jen TGrace.
She is an award-winning author,nationally recognized speaker

and, sadly, publishingstrategist.
She's also the founder ofPublisher Purpose, the acclaimed
hybrid publishing company thatgives first-time authors the
secrets to getting their bookswritten, finding an ear,
audience and marketing theirplace in the publishing world.
She leads ambitious authorsthrough every aspect of writing,
editing and publishing so thattheir book strategically aligns

with their business objectives.
Whether it's a business guidethat shows the breadth of their
expertise or an emotional memoirthat takes readers deep into
life's challenges, she helpsauthors articulate their purpose
and fulfill their mission.
She has published the books ofnearly 100 individual business
owners, entrepreneurs, speakersand memoirists, so more diverse

stories can exist in the worldand her authors can make a
positive impact.
She is the author of six books,including her memoir House on
She has been featured in Forbes, the Huffington Post and the
Wall Street Journal and, like Imentioned, is a dear friend here
at the Indie Collectivecommunity and presents to our
cohorts, every cohort.

Jen, thank you for taking thetime to hang out with us today,
and I'm super excited to spendthis next hour with you.

Speaker 2 (01:34):
Yeah, thanks for having me.
It's always fun to be in yourpresence.

Speaker 1 (01:40):
As you could tell, we always have a blast together
when we're rocking during thecohort.
So I want to start off becauseobviously we have a vibe, and
the vibe in the community is itsthing.
But for those that arelistening, some are Indie
Collective graduates, some havenever heard of the program
So to kind of set the stage sothat people can get to know you

a little bit, we just that intro.
You did a great job of talkingabout all of the things that
you've done at this point, but Iwould like to rewind a little
bit and maybe start where youfell in love with literature or
writing in the first place.
You don't accomplish a lot ofthe things that we talked about
inside of that list in yourintroduction without having a

genuine passion for the thingthat you are trying to build,
which in this case is publishingand writing.
So where did that all start foryou?

Speaker 2 (02:35):
It's such a good question.
I think it's often if I'm onsomeone's show or having a
I feel like it's not oftencouched in like literature
But if I go back in time and Ithink one of the early things
that I wanted to do for aprofession and so if anyone
knows anything about humandesign, so I'm a projector in

human design and it's kind oflike the people who are here to
kind of be a shepherd, if youwill, of others.
And this is information I nowknow in the last like four or
five years.
Clearly I did not know this as ateenager in the 90s, but if I
look at, what I was interestedin is that everyone always came
to me for advice.
It was just always like myfriend group, people I didn't

know, people I didn't know.
Everyone just always asks formy opinion on things, whether
they listened to it or notcomplete other story.
But I noticed when I wasprobably in middle school that I
was just obsessed with the DearAbbey column and wanted to be
Dear Abbey, like that was mything, in addition to being very

projectory of myself, ofwanting to do a bunch of other
things at the same time that hadnothing to do with each other.
So I wanted to also be ameteorologist as well as Dear
Abbey Two very different things,zero connection whatsoever.
Clearly, I went the path ofwriting and creativity versus
science, which I found out veryquickly that math is not my
strength, and so I really kindof leaned into the creative side

of things.
So it's just one of thosethings that wanting to be like
an advice columnist is reallykind of what was really a
catalyst for my writing and justI've always enjoyed writing on
a personal level, and I'mactually about to release my
seventh book, which will comeout in the fall of 2023, which
is around.
It's called Publish a Purpose,a step by step guide to write,

market, write, publish and growyour big idea, and so it's just
kind of my new thing now is howam I helping other people get
better and do better with theirwriting as well?

Speaker 1 (04:35):
I love that.
It's reminiscent to me and Ialso am a projector, which is
also something that I didn'trealize until the last couple of
years, especially over the lasttwo.
So it's been two years since Igraduated my first indie
collective cohort and I'vealready been the head of

community here for a year, whichis mind boggling for me.
But one of the side benefitsand my favorite part of being in
this position is that I get tocontinuously attend workshops
and I'm caught.
My full time role is being adesignated hype person, having
30 minute three to five 30minute coaching sessions with

indie collective members on aweekly basis and getting to hear
our experts really kind of diveinto the areas that they're
passionate about.
So it's been learning about myAneagram type and frameworks or
learning about literallyanything other than a
Myers-Briggs format.

There's all of these differentlayers and connections.
I'm wondering as a projectorsometimes and I know that there
are other projectors out therelistening to this show as
somebody that feels like otherscontinuously come to them for
Was there a period in your lifewhere there was a lot of

imposter syndrome associatedwith that, where you were like,
ooh, why is everybody alwaysasking me for advice, or did it
always kind of feel natural foryou that, oh, this is a
superpower of mine.
I do lean into this and I kindof accept that and move through
that as you started to come intothat realization?

What was that like for you?

Speaker 2 (06:26):
That's such a great question.
It's interesting because I feellike it's so rare that I find
other projectors.
Number one there's probablypeople listening to us who are
like what are these two talkingabout right now?
But it's definitely.
I think it's a rabbit holeworth going down because it
really shows a lot about how weshow up in the world and how we
I would say and I've never hadthis question before, so I'm
really thinking about it I thinkit has been always just part of

the DNA of who I am as a personthat everyone just comes to me.
I mean, and I've always had awide friend group with people
with very different backgrounds.
If I grab three friends fromcomplete extreme scenarios,
people will be like how couldone person be friends with all
three, like those threedifferent types of people

Is it the same way?

Speaker 1 (07:16):
Yes, 100%, yeah, go ahead.
I was just going to say.
I empathize with that so much.
I consistently get that it'sbeen part of the reason why I
think I've been able to flowbetween different job fields as
well, Between military, being anRN and now owning a marketing

agency and being ahead ofcommunity.
Those are very different.
I've had to embody differentparts of myself in different
ways, but in every single one ofthose positions what I noticed
is that I was whether I wantedthe and I don't even I think
spotlight is the wrong word butwhether I wanted the weight of
leadership on my shoulder or Iwanted people asking me

I couldn't avoid it and I spenta good chunk of my life kind of
like moving away from it, notwanting to accept it or like,
hey, I'm kind of introverted,low key, I don't want to be the
person that everybody comes toall the time, but the more that
I started to lean into, like youmentioned, that this is a

rabbit hole worth going down inthe human design kind of space.
If you're listening to thisright now and again, you don't
have any idea what we're talkingabout.
Just Google, human designprojector, and that will start
your rabbit hole.
You can find the differentcategories there kind of gave me
that solace where I'm like, oh,this is part of me.

Speaker 2 (08:46):
Yes, mm.
Hmm, yeah, I feel likevalidating or liberating or
something, where, because I feellike for so long and going back
to kind of like the impostersyndrome, I feel like there's a
piece of imposter syndrome thatI think sneaks up on all of us
regardless of what's going on,like I, even in writing my book
that's coming out, that's aboutwriting and publishing.

Even in there, I kind of wroteit in a way where it's like
writing it in real time, so thatway the reader can be
experiencing my emotions while Iwas writing it.
And I actually have like thingsthat I write in there where at
one point I'm like, even as Iwrite this, I don't know what my
editors are going to thinkabout this, and it does make me
nervous and anxious and all ofthose things, because I, you

know, because I'm questioning amI a good enough writer, even
though I've been writing prettymuch my whole life and I'm on
the seventh book.
So I don't think it excuses anyof us from it, but I do think
that there's some level ofpressure when you know that you
are the go-to person foreverybody around you, where I
have friends that are feuding, Ihave, you know, different kind
of dynamics and relationships,and everyone still always comes

to me because I'm the vault andI'm the the keeper of everyone's
secrets, and so there's alwaysthat kind of comfort level.
And I think having a label or atitle of a projector To kind of
overlay on top of that I thinkhas been very freeing, because
it's like oh, that's just who Iam, this is how I'm, this is how

I show up in the world, this ishow how others see me.
Why am I?
Why am I fighting it right?
Because I think that there'slike some level like why are
people asking me, I don't knowwhat's going on?
Like I don't know any more thanyou do, but there's some way of
kind of synthesizing whatever'sgoing on around, to be able to
say, hey, this is what I woulddo if I were in your position,
and that in and of itself istypically enough of what

someone's looking for.
But I think there's somethingfreeing about not having to feel
like you have all the answers,because I certainly do not.

Speaker 1 (10:40):
Yeah, I am.
I had a great conversation witha psychologist friend of mine
and he mentioned that because Ihave a Immigrant mother that is
not a native English speaker,that I was, you know, through
being raised in that household,was gifted, by Kind of nurture,

the Gift of metaphors andanalogies.
Right, because we had to figureout how to explain things in a
couple of different waysSometimes for them to make sense
, and that basically translatedinto, to your point,
synthesizing somethingcomplicated.
If it's been useful in thenursing field, it's been useful

in complex business situationsand, yeah, so definitely take
time to explore that.
I, without risk of us justcontinuously like I feel like we
could both just spend an entirehour talking about this topic,
and so I you said somethingright there that that kind of
sparked something in me as well,which is that the emotions and

the, you know, the Resistance orthe imposter syndrome, whatever
we want to call it, was presentnot just in book one, not just
in book two, but also in bookseven.
Right, and I'm sure are youfamiliar with Steven Pressfield?
So, yeah, so most writers are.
If you're not, if you'relistening to this and you have
no idea who Steven Pressfield is, I highly recommend looking up

his book, the war of art, and hetalks about, you know, this
Thing that you encounter as awriter or as a creative called
the resistance, and that it's aNecessary part of the creative
And you know there's some peoplethat are listening to this and
I know I was this person for thelongest time that just assume

that Writing happens as like alightning bolt of inspiration.
You know you're, you'redrafting it out, it's coming
freely, whereas I think whenyou're on the other side of it,
whether you're a consistentnewsletter writer, like I am,
you're a author Of a book andyou know there, you're a
columnist In a newspaper.

If you are a writer, thatrequires a deadline, you know,
or has a specific angle in mind,there's a piece of discipline
and routine that kind of comesinto that.
How have you been able to facethe resistance, not just across
one book or two books, but nowLeaning into your seventh?

What does that look like foryou as far as your writing

Speaker 2 (13:21):
Yeah, it's another good question, I think.
I think it really is thediscipline right.
I think in so many ways we Dobelieve that inspiration is just
gonna strike and then out ofnowhere it's like poof, here
comes a book.
It's not how it works, and somuch of what I actually write in
this newest book is how do wefind a system, a rhythm, a flow,

a process that works for eachindividual person, versus the,
the cliche adage that everyonehears, where it's like oh, take
a sabbatical and go lockyourself in a cabin in the woods
for six months.
That doesn't work for anybody,right like, and it probably
doesn't even work for StephenKing.
So it's one of those thingsthat I think.
There's all this very clicheand corny advice out there that

actually does not work foranybody.
So for me, it's about having aplan in place and knowing how
you're going to move throughthat plan and factor in the ups
and downs as you go through,because I think a lot of times
what happens and a whole kind offramework we use it at PYP is
Having the right support systemin place.

So for me, what I have seenover and over again and I've
worked with hundreds of authorsat this point is there needs to
be someone who's focused onstrategy, someone who can act as
a therapist and someone who canact as a cheerleader.
Those are the three primaryroles that anyone who's, I think
, taking on any creativeendeavor most likely, but in my
opinion, especially for books,we need to have that type of

support system, and if we don'tknow who those people are at the
start of the process, then howare we going to reach out for
help when we need it, or how arewe gonna reach out for that
type of support when we need it?
And I think there's otherthings, such as All right, it is
at the time of this recordingthe last week of summer vacation
, and so for me, I know thatthis week is a little bit, a

little bit more hectic thanothers.
So if I were trying to get anywriting done which thankfully
I'm not, because I'm inpromotion mode at this point I
would say all right as it standsright now, if I am interrupted
by my teenager, then I'm notgonna get mad, I'm not gonna get
annoyed, I'm just gonna focuson it next week instead.
So, having these kind ofstatements in preparation of if

this happens, then I'm gonna dothis to make sure I stay on on
track and on my plan.
I think it's little things likethat of having the right support
systems, having the rightplanning in place, knowing what
your end vision is.
If you can kind of package allthat together, none of it's
knowing how to use proper.
You know commas or colons right, it's very much around.

What is it that we need aspeople to be able to hold
ourselves accountable and getexternal accountability to
actually get this process done?
So I think it's so much lessabout the actual Writing and the
creativity part of it and moreabout just kind of the
discipline and knowing what typeof discipline you as a person
benefits the most from.

Speaker 1 (16:13):
Yeah, I agree with that wholeheartedly.
I'm gonna double click on liketwo different statements that
you sent there and I always tryto add in I'm obsessed with
neuroscience and you know, formy nursing background I I worked
as a psych nurse for multipleyears and two things that really
stood out to me.
There is that there your brainis pre-wired, especially if

you're a creative.
Typically you're creativebecause you're a pattern
You are in an open state ofconsciousness and so getting
into a narrow, focused state ofconsciousness is generally
Generally difficult for acreative individual and your
brain has this natural barrierto entry Into that creative
And it generally takes betweenfive and ten minutes For your

brain to actually regulate andsay oh, we're focusing now, um,
it fights you, it genuinelyfights you for the first ten
minutes or so, um, and thenit'll slowly start to release
the neurochemicals that arenecessary for you to focus.
And just that acknowledgementthat, like the first ten minutes
of this, are going to beterrible.
Every single time I do this, nomatter how often I do this, um,

and I find that that I learnedthat initially, um, from
somebody that's in martial arts.
It's, you know, no matter howmany times you get on the mat.
The first couple of times thatyou roll, I, you know, enjoyed
your jitsu thoroughly.
The first couple of times youroll, your body's not awake yet
you need to activate all ofthose neurons, um.
And then the second thing is,um, that discipline, the

creativity and kind ofpre-setting the difficult-sisted
scenarios and pre-scripting Umsolutions to those scenarios
inside of your head.
That's, you know, kind of inthe realm of a cognitive
behavioral therapy, a CVT typeof mechanism there, um, and and
what that does.

There is actually multiplestudies.
I, I want to say it was at theUniversity of Memphis, um, but
they took two groups of peopleand one group of people.
They spoke to them and saidthis is a difficult task.
No one has successfullycompleted it yet.
Now go out and attempt tocomplete this task.
The second group they said thisis a difficult task, it is

difficult but it isaccomplishable.
Now go out and attempt to, youknow, complete this task.
And just the framing caused adrastic difference in the
success rate of thoseindividuals.
So I think, um, whether it's,whether you're listening to this
and you're like, well, you know, yeah, I don't want to be an

author, like, how does thisactually even apply to me.
If you are just thinking aboutgoing independent, starting a
business, it doesn't have to bea book to be any creative
endeavor, um, and I do thinkthat launching your own business
is is a creative endeavor, um.
It's framing that and allowingyourself the forgiveness that
not everything's going to beperfect.

You know there are other thingsin your life that are going to
require your attention, um, andthat's okay.
And and it's not the end of theworld if you get it done next
week, you know it's.
It's being able to stay in thegame the longest and the most
It's not about OCD levelhitting it every single time, um

, you really only need like an80 percent to pass the class,

Speaker 2 (19:33):
Yeah, yeah, and I think some of us struggle with
that side of it of the.
What is the, the minimum viable?
Right like there's the minimumviable product, but then there's
also kind of like the minimumviable number, data point
accomplishment that we willaccept as a human.

Just because others will acceptit doesn't mean that we will
accept it.
So I think that there's somethat kind of really struggle in
that gray area too.

Speaker 1 (20:02):
Yeah, agreed, agreed.
So this kind of you know takesme into another place.
You know you've mentioned thatyou worked with so many authors
and that was did you startworking with authors before
publish your purpose was a thing, or did you kind of was publish
your purpose kind of a mission?

That was created and then youstarted working with the authors
, like was it the cart beforethe horse?
How did that situation play outand what was the you know?
Walk us through the birth ofPYP.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
I will try to give you the abridged version.
So and I have been able to makeit all make sense, even though
at the time it was very, youknow, like they.
They we've all seen that memewe're on the left side, it's
like here's the path to successand it's just like you know the
stairs going from one you know,very clean, clean shot, and then
like the reality where it'sjust this big scribble disaster

of a mess.
Yeah, so it sounds like thestairways currently.
However, at the time it wasvery much that scribble.
So if I go back in time, I usedto do consulting work within
financial services and insurancefor fortune companies and
around marketing andcommunications, and when I was

doing that work I had a lot ofclients who were like, when are
you going to write a book?
And so I hadn't really had itdirectly on my radar, but I had
already been writing a blog forprobably two years at that point
and it was very much a dearAbby style blog.
So that kind of ties that backin where it was.
I called it questions from afriend and it was a friend of

mine who was a nursepractitioner who did not know
how to treat or speak to orcommunicate in any way with her
LGBTQ patient population, and soI was like I am not in
healthcare in any way, shape orform.
However, the question she'sasking are very basic, like
there's nothing complicatedabout this, but she wanted to be
sensitive and intentional withthe folks that she was working

with, so I started writing thatblog.
That blog still, to this day,has like 600 blog posts on it,
and it's all still crawling theinternet.
And so when I had clients whowere like hey, when are you
going to, are you going to writea book?
And so I was like all right, Ihad this question been asked

And in addition to thatcorporate consulting work, I was
also working with small LGBTQowned businesses as well, and I
noticed a pattern at the sametime that I had like three
clients that were all working onbooks.
In addition to like I wassupporting their businesses in a
lot of different ways from amarketing standpoint, but they
were working on books, so I'mkind of in the trenches with
them, I'm working on my own.

It all started to kind oforganically unfold, and so this
is probably early 2012, 2013,2014, somewhere in that
timeframe, and so around 2015,.
I was like all right, so manypeople have asked me to help
them with their book and I don'tknow what to like.
At the point, at that time, Iknew what I was doing and I had

the imposter syndrome of likewell, why is it?
How is it that I'm doingsomething that is not like?
I searched the internet, right,I found other people.
I figured out a way to figureit out and so, in February of
2015, I launched a program thatwas, at the time, a three month
It still runs today.
It's now six months, but it wasbasically teaching people how

to publish their book, and itwas, you know, 14 weeks, and I
grabbed seven people that I knewand I was like listen, I'll
give you your money back if thisdoesn't work for you.
However, I'm committed tomaking this work and I'm going
to make it up as I go.
I did not have anything likelike I was.
I was doing it in real timewith them to just kind of see
the results, and even now, wekind of iterate over and over

But it was that early 2015period of time where I was
showing people how to do it,that people had gone through the
program and they're like thisis such amazing information I
can technically go off and do iton my own.
However, I would rather justpay you and have you and your
team do it instead.
And so it was a very quick, avery quick transition of wow, I

have this great program, it'sscalable, I can serve a lot of
I'm doing this really awesomework to.
Oh, now I have to figure out howto run a publishing company,
because that's what people arespecifically asking me for, and
so I started PYP in 2016, afterhaving that kind of year of
working with people and tryingto help, kind of showing them
how to do it, but at this pointin 2016, I had already written

four books, so I had alreadygone through it a lot, and then
helped a couple of other friendsdo it, and so it all kind of
like came together and all makessense.
There's a lot of other factorskind of going on around me at
the same time that are not asrelevant to this, but yeah, so
it very much kind of landed onme.
And then, if we go back to thewhole projector thing for a
minute like the whole conceptwith projectors that you have to

wait for the invitation andwhen I look back in hindsight, I
was invited by multiple peopleto start this business.
I think if I had started itWithout having that invitation,
I don't think it would have beensuccessful.
I think it's because I wasinvited in to start this
business because there was ademand by a number of people.

It's really what made sure thatI was in exact alignment for
where I was supposed to be andthat's also now where I get to
be, you know, the CEO, which isa beautiful position to be in,
where I have a team that is inthe day-to-day kind of weeds of
all the work, but I still get tobe top level strategy, knowing
exactly where all of our authorsare at in the process, knowing

exactly what their goals andtheir visions are.
So it's kind of this beautifulcreation of all of the things
that I need as a projector, kindof all coming together in just
a really beautiful way.

Speaker 1 (25:40):
I love that.
I actually just heard a storyon a I believe it was the diary
of a CEO podcast with StephenBartlett Great podcast for those
of you that are listening, ifyou have never heard of that
podcast, he's I believe it'scalled the Dragon's Den.
It's basically the UK'sequivalent of Shark Tank,

fantastic entrepreneur and hewas telling a story about a
gentleman that was collegeroommates with the son of the
Kohler family, ie like theplumbing company, right, and he
mentioned it.
This person that was beinginterviewed mentioned that the
roommate who was the son of theKohler family.

He asked him why are you inschool?
You know, like couldn't youjust be getting a business
Cause they were going to schoolfor, like the trades?
He had already been a plumber,but now he was like going to get
his business degree.
And the gentleman was asking youknow why haven't?

Why didn't you just skip and godirectly to the higher level
You, your family, is alreadysuccessful and he mentioned that
his father said that it youknow these positions are waiting
for you, but you have to be aplumber first.
You have to have done it, youhave to have encountered the
resistance, you have to havebeen able to quote a project you

have to have, you know, foundpipes that you don't know what
to do with and call somebody forhelp, and experience that
humbling moment.
There is all of these thingsthat you had to experience to
get to the place where now youare able to strategize and have
the bandwidth and the in-depthunderstanding and empathy to
talk to.
You know multiple authors andmultiple phases of the process

at the same time, because you'vetread that path already, which
is something that really standsout to me, and it stands out to
me every time you give yourpresentation during the cohort
as well, because you come tothose workshops from such a
place of I have experienced thisand I want to make your path a

little bit less squiggly.
I know how a squiggly mind wasin that beginning.
And then the second piece thatI want to double click on that I
think is super important to notjust people that have, you know
, a projector personality orsomebody you know, even if
you're listening to this andyou're like, well, none of my

friends constantly come to mefor advice, like, how does this
apply to me?
I think that when you arelooking to launch a business or
you're looking to launch a newservice line or product within
your existing business or reallyanything.
Right, You're looking for thatnext MVP.
You know it generally startswith some type of intuitive

impulse, right, you get thisintuition that your brain picks
up on a pattern or you knowsomething starts to click.
But I love what you said aboutreceiving the invitation and
that's what made it successful.
I find that one of the best waysto destroy imposter syndrome is
to walk people through reverseengineering why they feel this

pull towards this specificproduct or service, and most of
the time, like dollars to donuts.
I've had 150 plus coachingsessions with Indie Collective
members at this point.
Almost every single timethere's three to five people in
their life that are likeactively putting pressure on
them to come out of their shelland do this thing, and I always

say, hey, we always try to.
You know we're a little bitself-bias.
This humans, that's what ourbrains do, and so we tend to try
to trust our own opinion.
Right, and if your opinion ofyourself is a little bit off,
why are you mistrusting fiveother people's opinions of the
thing that you have a superpowerin?

Like, how dare you doubt themand allow them to kind of be
that push, to kind of push youout into the market.
So I think that that's beautiful, right.
It showcases that you not onlyhave this talent that the world
was recognizing, but because youreceived the invitation, you

were able.
The path may have been squiggly, but you were still able to
find a path, and a bunch offactors came together and you
said it two or three differenttimes.
It felt like it just landedtogether, right, like all of
these pieces in the peripherystarted to connect to the next
You knew like you had thisthing and didn't even know

exactly where it was gonna endwhen you first started, right?
It's like Michael Scottstarting a sentence in the
office, right?
So you start a sentence thatyou're not really exactly sure
where it's gonna go, yeah, butif you never start, then you
won't know where it ends up.

Speaker 2 (30:40):
And I think sometimes when you know too much, you
know too much, and I think thatthat's what stops people from
actually doing the thing thatthey need to do.
And I feel that is absolutelytrue in my case, because I look
at this writing program that westill have, that we run cohorts
in the spring and fall and it'sa six month program that gets
It gets them the manuscript atthe end of the process as well

as knowing what goes into thepublishing process.
And if I look at that and howthat kind of has evolved and I
think about just all of the waysin which I have been, I don't
know, I guess sometimes we likewe stand in our own way
sometimes too.
And so if I look at thatprogram and I think it's

scalable, I have facilitators, Ifacilitate every now and then.
It is a beautiful thing thatjust kind of can stand
independently and run on its own.
Why did I have to throw apublishing company into the mix?
Great question, because I wasinvited into doing that.
If I had said, all right, Ihave this really awesome,
profitable, scalable programover here, you know what I wanna

I wanna throw in a whole otherbusiness, a complicated business
nonetheless, with very lowprofit margins, that sounds like
a great plan.
So I think for me, if I hadactually looked into what
resources to take to create apublishing company, what profit
margins like, how reduced thoseprofit margins are, because it
takes a lot of people to createa good book, and so if I looked

at all of that, I feel confidentit would have deterred me from
doing it.
I would have just stayed, Iwould have played small, I would
have stayed in my lane, beenlike all right, I'm just gonna
keep doing these writingprograms.
They're very effective, theywork, they do the thing, but it
obviously I didn't know what Ididn't know and I think that was
the biggest blessing in thisentire scenario.

Speaker 1 (32:26):
Oh my gosh.
Yeah, one of my favorite thingsto talk about with my team.
So Apex Communications Networkis my agency and I went to
school for nursing and clinicalpsych.
Right, like part of the reasonwhy I needed to join Indie
Collective is because we hit ourfirst six figures in revenue
and I was like, oh shit, this isreal.
I don't know what I'm doing.
I don't even know the lingo.

I felt so overwhelmed, my firstcohort, just hearing all the
acronyms, I'm like what is theCTR, what is all of these
different things?
And I always liked to say thatone of the reasons why we were
successful quickly because fiveyears later we've got seven
staff, we're working acrossmultiple states, we've got a

great book of business and Ireally love my team is that we
didn't know what rules weweren't allowed to break,
because none of us were trained.
Like I came from a nursingbackground.
My co-founder that is myintegrator, but my bread like if
he did not exist, the companywould not run because I am
disorganized as hell.
He came from a sportsmanagement background, but we

all had this common theme ofbeing really passionate about
empowering people.
So we came up with thisbuilding relationships,
realizing dreams and that becameour foundation, and because we
were able to circumnavigate andlook at it.
Well, okay, I get that all ofthe marketing textbooks say that
we have to do it this way.
Why is that?

Like, we're seeing, this waymakes a lot more sense, it's
cheaper, it's more effective.
Why don't we just do it thisway?
Um, and to your point, Idefinitely would have not done
those things if I would havebeen indoctrinated into like
well, this is the format, here'syour, here's your formula for
Um, the other thing that I wantto dive into, because I know

that there's probably peoplelistening that are Are less
familiar with the publishingprocess.
So when you say you know we gofrom zero to ending with a
manuscript, what is a?
What is a manuscript and whatdoes that set you up for in the
publishing process?

Speaker 2 (34:35):
Yeah, it's a great question.
It's one of those words that Ikind of take for granted that
everyone would know.
But why would you so?
A manuscript is really the, thewritten first draft of
someone's book before it become,before it turns into a book.
So the manuscript writingprocesses, you know, sometimes
it's done with an individualcoach, sometimes people are able
to write it on their own,sometimes people need a group

setting lots different ways inwhich it gets created.
But at the end of that process,which for some people can take
decades, you know, like somepeople are, you know, some
people can kind of sit down,write a book in 30 days.
Some people take, you know,three years, 10 years, whatever
it happens to be.
But then once you actually havethat first draft of your
Manuscript, that's when you cango and figure out what

publishing path is going to makethe most sense for you To then
figure out okay, how am Iactually going to take this,
this basically stack of pagesthat are in a word document, and
turn them into something thatsomebody can read?

Speaker 1 (35:28):
Okay, so is the manuscript youyou mentioned it's the first
draft, so is part of thatprogram to get you from zero to
And then I'm assuming thatmanuscript needs to go through
multiple editing passes andthings of that nature.
You're gonna have to probablycreate like a cover For the book

and things of that nature, so.
So, once the person has thatmanuscript, what does the
process look like?
From manuscript to Book is nowavailable for purchase.

Speaker 2 (36:00):
That's a another great question.
So it really Depends on dependson what path the person is
So everyone's a little bitdifferent.
There's three kind of pathsthat are available.
So there's traditionalpublishing, which is finding an
agent, going to the new yorkpublishing houses Creating a
book proposal, trying to pitchit.

That's a multi-year process andthe the odds of actually
getting a publishing dealthrough traditional publishing
are very, very low.
It's like less than 10% at thispoint.
So it's not really a path.
It's a viable for everybody.
So when people kind of go thatroute and they're like, wow,
this doesn't work for me, let meswitch and let me go

There's a lot of moving piecesand parts that go into
self-publishing a book.
So it is you have thatmanuscript.
Now you need to know what typeof editors to hire, because
there are four different typesof editors and most people just
think of like editors being likeone person.
There's actually four differentphases of editing and then
Cover design, then there's theinterior design, there's getting

isp n numbers, there'sregistering with the library of
There's getting copyrightprotection, there's categories,
keywords, your book description.
There's so many.
I think our project plan last Isaw was like 206 steps, like
there's a lot of moving piecesand parts that go into
publishing a book, and so Somepeople hear that and they're
like, oh my, how am I going todo this on my own?

I'm trying to run a business,trying to manage a team, I'm
trying to help my clients.
How am I going to do this allon my own?
And that's where hybridpublishing, which is kind of the
third option for publishing, itcomes in.
And that's what.
What p?
Yp is, where it's more of a payfor services model, where
you're getting the strategy andexpertise from the traditional
publishing side of the industry,but the expenses are much more

in alignment if you were outdoing it on your own, and
sometimes they end up being lessexpensive Because now you're
actually working with a team whoknows what they're doing,
rather than you know.
Like I'm working with somebodyright now who Basically had
their entire book typeset, whichis basically what the the book
looks like on the inside, butthen didn't have anybody edit it
, and so now he went back andhad somebody edit it, but it's

already been laid out, and sonow trying to do that process
costs like three or four timesthe price Because it was
supposed to have been editedonce.
It was when it was still in aword document, not when it's in
a PDF.
So you know, it's things likethat the end of costing people a
lot of extra money that'sunnecessary and when you're
trying to become basically yourown publisher, you have to learn

all of these nuances.
But there's these big bouldersthat are so overwhelming like
editing, cover design, interiordesign that you miss all of
those grains of sand in betweenthat are really the things that
are strategic and intentional,that actually sell books, and so
the information is just notreally readily accessible.
Or you go to Google and you tryto find information and you come
back with four hours ofresearch and nothing conclusive.

And so that's where kind ofjust working with a company of
some kind can be a lifesaver,whether obviously it doesn't
have to be PYP, but like justsome company.
That's in kind of a stewardshiptype of role where they're like
all right, this is what youneed to do, this is how to do it
Let me walk with you doing this, rather than you and Google
trying to figure this out onyour own, because it's not an

easy task, unfortunately.
I do everything I can tosimplify it and try to like
break things down for folks, butat the end of the day, the
internet is not friendly when itcomes to finding the right
You need to do this the rightway.
That's actually gonna improveand help businesses succeed.

Speaker 1 (39:29):
I find that that's such an interesting topic right
now of discussion, especiallywith AI hitting the market and
information being as readilyaccessible as it has ever been
and is gonna continue to be.
Really readily accessible isthat there's no longer this

barrier to access of information, right?
They used to use the term right.
Oh, now it just escaped mybrain Dang it Basically that the
currency used to be ideas.
Right, that somebody thatthought leadership there we go,
that's the term right.

That being a thought leadermeant that you had unique
thoughts and that was extremelyvaluable because information was
not as accessible as quickly.
So somebody that had a highskill set of pattern detection
and, pre-google, was able tocome up with new innovative
ideas and stuff like that, thatwas a very high value.
At this point you could reallygo onto Google and find as much

information as you want.
It's the contextualization ofthat information for your
specific circumstance, alongyour specific journey, with your
specific budget, set of issues,the type of book you're
publishing, all of these nuancesto your point, those grains of
sand in between, all of thosesteps that really only an expert
can find, and to change it intoan analogy that maybe, outside

of publishing it might makesense.
Imagine you're putting up awall and there's a lot of stuff
that happens behind a piece ofdrywall.
Right, there's electricalwiring, there's plumbing,
there's carpentry, there's awhole bunch of stuff that goes
into a house.
Imagine how frustrating itwould be to lay it all out and
then not pass code over and overand over and have to cut that

drywall out and rewire and cutit out again and rewire.
And that's exactly what you'resaying with skipping the editing
process, getting that typebased on.
I think that that's really partof the value and to kind of
bring this full circle back tothe beginning part of our
conversation, finding somebodythat experienced the squiggly

line and figured out a 200 plusstep process to make that line
less squiggly is an extremelyvaluable person to have inside
of your corner when you're goingthrough this process.
You don't pay somebody to comein and know which screw to turn

It's knowing how tight to turnwhich one specifically.
That is like the most highvalue piece because you can
learn it through trial and errorif you'd like.
But you start to get intoattaching value to your time and
how much extra time are youactually spending?
And if I'm charging $150 anhour for my clients, or a

hundred bucks an hour, and I'mspending 10 hours a week trying
to figure this publishing stuffout on my own and it's taking me
six months.
That really stacks up really,really quickly.

Speaker 2 (42:37):
It really does.
And I think if we look at justthe amount of damage that can be
done to a brand from a book, itis incredibly high.
Like the stakes are pretty highwhen we actually look at books
and because you never wanna beon the receiving end or on the

hearing it like, oh wow, theirbook just isn't as good as they
are right, like when you havesomeone who's super dynamic and
amazing speaker, who's standingon the stage, who's commanding
an audience and commanding apresence, and then they go and
read the book and the book justlands completely flat or it
wasn't edited properly, or thecover just doesn't look.
The cover doesn't look like theslides that were on the screen.

Like I mean, like there is somuch that goes into an
intentionally created book thatelevates a brand versus detracts
from it.
And I think, unfortunately, thisis why there still is a little
bit of stigma on the selfpublishing side of things is
that people don't know what theydon't know, and it's not even a
criticism, it's just it's life.

We don't know what we don't knowuntil we experience it.
And so when people are like, oh,I'm gonna, I'm just gonna
create a cover in Canva, it'slike you can, but how much
damage to your reputation isthat gonna create?
You're better off just hiringsomeone who knows how to design
a cover and someone who knowshow to edit a book, rather than
just saying, oh, I'm gonna havethis retired English professor

edit my book.
It's like sure they can do mostof it, but they're not a
trained book editor and they'renot a trained book cover
And when you're not workingwith the right pieces and the
right people, it can really bereally damaging.
And it breaks my heart when Isee it happen, because people
will send me their book afterthey decided to do it on their
own and I don't have the heartto tell them how tragic it is,

like because you know and itstinks, because you're like, wow
, this person's so amazing,their story is so amazing, their
business is so amazing, and yetnow they've created the
disconnect that didn't need tobe there.

Speaker 1 (44:41):
I feel that with websites, all the time too, with
people self-design and they'relike look at this, like I made
it all myself, and I'm like, haha ha.

Speaker 2 (44:49):
Or a logo.
Right yeah, logos too, and yourown logo.

Speaker 1 (44:54):
Yeah, I don't know.
I think that there's justreally a beautiful thing having
especially the way that you havePYP set up and I've noticed
this in the first workshop thatI ever watched you do that like
having a team and I noticed thisfrom the marketing side, the
branding side as well having ateam that all understands here's

this author, here's wherethey're going, and the cover
editor, the four different typesof book editor, the person
running the strategy, thewhoever like that entire team is
all on the same page, allaligned towards the same goal.
It's so much more beneficialEven just trying to self-publish
And if you were to go out andsay you had that knowledge base

and you knew there was fourdifferent types of book editors
and you knew you needed thehigher cover editor, you knew
you needed a strategist, youwere still kind of the PM
inadvertently on that Versushaving a team of that all enjoy
each other's company, that knowhow each other work, that know
how to empower each other thebest.

I think that's something reallyspecial.
We're getting close to our timehere and I wanna make sure that
we have a little bit of spacehere for these last like
A couple of questions, and thefirst one is really I think we
already kind of hit a lot ofthis throughout the podcast
episode, but I always like tokind of open up the floor here
at the end which is is thereanything timely or up and coming

in your life that you wouldwant to highlight or let people
know, and where can they connectwith you online?
Yeah, that's a great question.

Speaker 2 (46:31):
So my new book, as I kind of mentioned a little bit,
is called Publish your Purpose astep-by-step guide to write,
publish and grow your big idea.
We'll be out on October 11th,and the intentionality behind
this book is to really packageall of my processes and to
really help people see that theycan actually get this done.

So it's broken into three parts, which is mindset, which is all
the things that we're kind oftalking about at the start of
this interview, then it's kindof writing and then it's
publishing, so anyone can kindof come into it with an idea of
all right, I know I have a bookin me, but I have no idea how to
get from point A to point Z,and so it really covers all of

And I did it in a way that it'snot because there's a lot of
books out there that are writtenand it makes sense for me that
they're written and it makessense for books to be written
this way, where you're showingthe why but you're not giving
any of the how, whereas in mycase I'm doing it's the why and
the how, because I want peopleto be successful and I want it
to be.
I want to make this informationaccessible to others.

So that is, it'll be availablein hardcover, paperback, ebook,
It's in all of the formatsavailable on October 11th and
I'm doing three orders onpublisherpurposecom.
If anyone cares to have asigned copy of bonuses or things
like that but I'm excited aboutthat and if anyone's listening
to this and you don't have theeconomic means to purchase a
book, you can certainly reachout to me and I'm happy to

provide one at no charge BecauseI just I really want to make
this information as accessibleas possible.
And then in that book, ifsomeone's like, hey, I read the
book, but I need more help, wedo have our Getting Started for
Authors program.
We have two of them, startingSeptember 12th and October 24th,
and that is the six monthwriting program that I was
mentioning before.
The September 12th one Ihappened to be leading because

we're making some updates andmodifications and I haven't led
a cohort in years, so I'm reallyexcited about that.
So if anyone wants to work withme directly, I will be in that
group setting starting onSeptember 12th.

Speaker 1 (48:33):
Part of me is like I want to be in something like
that, and then part of me islike that is mid-cohort delivery

Speaker 2 (48:40):
It is a lot of work too.

Speaker 1 (48:41):
Yeah, yeah, so I'm gonna keep that in mind.
And then the final questionthat I always like asking, and I
have a hunch that I might knowthe answer to this, but I'm all
about providing resources, andit doesn't have to be anything
business related either.
I kind of opened this up tojust something that you might be

passionate about, and so Ialways like to ask do you
consider yourself an avid reader, watcher or listener, and,
depending on which one of thosethree you lean towards most,
could you recommend a book thatyou found interesting, a podcast
or a YouTube channel that youthoroughly enjoy?

Speaker 2 (49:20):
Oh, my God.
Okay, so my, of course, becauseI work in content all day, my
answers vary, but my preferenceis leaning toward audio.
So I like to listen to memoirs,but I like to read fiction on a
Kindle and I like to readnonfiction in a print book.
So it really just kind ofdepends on what I'm up to.

Speaker 1 (49:40):
But audio is cool.
I think that's the first timethat I've ever had somebody
divide that that way.
I love that actually, because Ithink that I can really
empathize with that, like it'sdifferent formats for different
types of things that you reallyenjoy consuming.
I love that.

Speaker 2 (49:57):
Yeah, just to interrupt, but that's just like
really quick.
No, to me it's differentpurposes, but my default setting
, I think, is audio, because Ilove listening to audiobooks, I
love listening to podcasts.
So from a podcast standpoint,there is along the lines of
There is a podcast called theCreative Pen and Pen with two
ends, and the host of it isJoanna Penn and she's been in

this kind of indie publishing,self-publishing.
She does like thriller, shewrites thrillers, but she also
teaches authors how a lot of theins and outs of kind of
self-publishing their books.
I just find her absolutelydelightful and she's been.
I think her podcast is on likeepisode 700 something.
So she's just kind of like agood source of industry

information for me.
But if someone's like, hey, I'mkind of thinking about writing
fiction, which is not somethingI have expertise in, we focus on
But if you're like, hey, I'mthinking about getting into
fiction writing, she's anamazing, amazing resource.
So I highly recommend herpodcast.

Speaker 1 (50:55):
Love that.
Well, we are at our timetogether.
So thank you again for takingthe time to hop on.
I thoroughly enjoyed thisconversation.
I really feel a calling toauthorship.
I also and I write constantlyI've been writing newsletters
for multiple years and save asyou.

There's a blog out there with,you know, 100 something, 200
something blog posts on itthat's just permanently crawling
the internet, and so this wasvery interesting for me, because
it's not every day that I getthe chance to dive deep on
something like this with someonethat is in that space, right,
and I know that that's also thevibe that our listeners will

You know, this is a very uniqueplace and something to talk
about, so thank you for writingyour expertise.

Speaker 2 (51:49):
Yeah, my pleasure.
This is fantastic and I lovethat we now know that we're both
That makes my day.

Speaker 1 (51:57):
And so, for those of you that are listening that may
want to learn more about theindie collective experience or
experienced Gens Workshop inreal time in the indie
collective cohort, we arelaunching our next cohort
October 6th of 2023.
It is a 10 week curriculumcalled the launch pad.
If you want to learn more aboutthat, you can go to

wwwindecollectiveco, or you canreach out to me directly on
I'd be happy to set up a 30minute call.
I'm always into introducingpeople, meeting people.
If there's anybody in thecommunity that you can be
connected with, I would love tohave the opportunity to connect
you with them.
We do not gatekeep our members.
We just empower them and loveconnecting good people to good

You can find me atyonlookslakejam J-A-N Allmassy
on LinkedIn, and that's probablythe best place to connect.
So until next time, this hasbeen another episode of the
Modern Independent here at IndieCollective.
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