Baby, we’ve just birthed a book business!



Remember the character of Prissy in the movie “Gone With the Wind?”

“I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies, Miz Scarlett!” she whined.

Well, neither did I, until 30 days ago. But I’m referring now to birthing a book business.

I just can’t seem to help myself. Once a workaholic, always one . . . even in retirement.

After 30 years in the newspaper publishing business, the idea last fall was to retire quietly, publish a memoir and ride off into the golden sunset. Well, the book is not yet published (waiting on proofreaders) and, much to my husband’s dismay, I’m in the middle of building a business around my lengthy passion for books and the written word.

Blame it on a book marketing seminar.

With fewer deadlines in retirement, I have found my way onto several email lists dealing with book publishing. The ones on book marketing always catch my eye, so I bit on D’vorah Lansky’s Book Marketing Challenge. For the past 30 days I’ve listened to tele-seminars and read countless practical blog posts, all of them offering nuts and bolts directions about building a business around your book.

My initial goal in compiling and preparing to publish a memoir on a lengthy newspaper editing and publishing career was to shut my family up. “When are you going to write a book around your newspaper column?” they demanded. True, I also wanted something concrete to show for my life besides a copy of the contract selling the business I nurtured for so long.

“Letters from Home: Adventures with Mad Mother, Lemonade Man and The Kid” should be birthed in e-book and print format sometime later this summer.  I thought it would end with that and with sales to a few loyal newspaper readers and my family. I did not reckon with the avalanche of ideas that resulted from a month-long marketing series.

Now the practical marketing tactics given by so many professionals are melding into an indistinguishable conglomerate, but the pieces of advice that really stuck to these aging brain synapses were:

1. The encouraging idea that once you have taken the time to write and publish a book, you’re considered an expert in your topic area.

 2. The admonition to find something you are passionate about and develop multiple income streams around your passion.

Naturally I am passionate about community newspapers and the important role they play in a healthy democracy. I realize now that after writing a master’s thesis on the topic and soon to publish a book based on my years as a newspaper publisher . . . hey! I qualify as an expert! Epiphany!

The notes app on my iPad opened and I began brainstorming about how I could turn this passion into a new business. I listed several ebooks that could be written, developed a list of possible online courses and tele-seminars that could be built around it. And I phoned a good friend in the business and volunteered to lead a workshop on a topic that would possibly allow folks still in the newspaper world to earn more income.

Baby, we’ve just birthed a book business! My husband, the one whose idea was to ride off into that golden sunset, is less than ecstatic. But he usually humors my workaholism, thank God.

In addition to thanking God, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank each and every presenter, and D’vorah Lansky, for a practical and inspiring online program. Stay tuned for future developments as the birthing process morphs into infancy and adolescence. We hope it becomes an adult quickly.


46 thoughts on “Baby, we’ve just birthed a book business!

  1. Hazel

    Great post! You had me with the “Gone with the Wind” quote, one of my favorites. I’ll be looking for your book when it comes out.


    • Anne~ I really resonated with your term “indistinguishable conglomerate” to describe the powerful, huge collection of contacts and resources we have gained,, I am playing around with how to adapt the project specialist tools I’ve used with social entrepreneurial clients to serve those of us who are moving into a new stage of life ,with a new project ideas,, email if you want more info,, and Bless your work~


      • Christine, I just subscribed to your newsletter and will look you up on Facebook. I think my blog initially set out to do some of the things you are doing but I don’t feel like much of an expert n retirement yet. I love the philosophy you express on your blog home page. Looking forward to seeing more of your wisdom.


  2. We all not only survived — but we’re thriving! I too am retired, and jumping back into this new business with both feet. Fortunately, my hubby knows I’m happiest when I’m productive, so he is looking forward to me supplementing our retirement nicely! Looking forward to following you as we both expand and progress!


  3. Anne, you are indeed an expert. Your command of your subject, and your entertaining writing style, will take you far. All the way up to the top of the best seller charts. See you there!


  4. Anne, Retirement isn’t like it used to be, thank goodness. It used to be an invitation for an old person to move into your body! Thankfully we can write and market our books! D’vorah truly outdid herself, this time! She is a master teacher and loves her students- beautiful!


  5. Anne, I love your message and your writing style. People who read your blog will be enticed to find out more about your book(s) as your writing draws the reader in and makes them feel welcome and cozy!


  6. OH! Congrats! I am not retiring anytime soon, but see myself doing the same thing you are. We all value being valued and sharing your abundant amount of experience will be MUCH appreciated! Best of luck with the newborn & your new book!


  7. sarahbutland

    Enjoy your continued success in retirement, you’re doing your family proud and inspiring many like-minded people to follow the same path.

    Wonderful connecting with you. See you in the electronic pages 🙂

    Thanks for reading,
    Sarah Butland
    author of Arm Farm, Brain Tales and Blood Day


  8. I enjoyed reading your blog post. I wish you the best with your new book. Since you have taken the 30 Day Book Marketing Challenge, you will know exactly what to do when your book is published.


  9. Ann, are you sure you’re not married to my husband? Although he is reluctantly supportive, his picture of retirement was similar to yours – only my husband is Greek so you can multiply your husband’s harrumphing and deep sighs by 10 and add a straight line where his mouth used to be. I sooo get it!


  10. Thanks for sharing your journey. I, too, worked in writing and publishing. I worked as a freelance journalist for magazines and newspapers for about 30 years. I also had an overlapping career of Religious Education. I would say that D’vorah has taught me just about everything that I know about book marketing. I’ve written over a dozen books since I retired three years ago. I started a business teaching people how to write their books. I love teaching! I love watching people’s writing improve as they go through the process. And I naturally love writing, as well. I seemed to go from book project to book project and missed all of the marketing. I wasn’t naive enough to believe they would sell themselves, but I just had no motivation or knowledge beyond sending out press releases. I knew I could do book stores, but with them closing and not actually carrying the book…I felt stuck…then I took a Virtual Book Tour Boot Camp with D’vorah and then immediately began my VBT! I think when I enrolled in D’vorah’s class, it gave me not only knowledge but courage to do it…after all, what good was writing if I wasn’t going to market?

    I’ve since launched my own Boot Camp…sort of an online writers’ conference. I fell in love with this sort of marketing through interviews. I plan to do more teleseminar series…make it a usual thing! The Book Marketing Challenge was fun and informative. It was also a great opportunity to share Press Releases as a Book Marketing Tool.

    Hope you enjoyed the Blog Hop Fun…this is a great way to get visitors to your blog! And go you for starting your book business!


  11. Hi Anne! I love your post & tweeted it. I related to being a workaholic and never retiring, although I had to go on disability in 1998. Now my life is filled to overflowing with writing, blogging, listening to mountains of fascinating things on youtube along with courses like the BMC. Another one called “Transformational Author” started on May 19 and went for 10 days. Between BMC & this one, I was listening to about 4 hours of incredible marketing ideas all for FREE. I was challenged with keeping up because I also began volunteering at the Chamber of Commerce office & as secretary for 2 political organizations. Now that I know I can ‘work’, I’ve also registered to be a substitute teacher which will begin in the fall. Hopefully the SSD & Medicare doesn’t get messed up because for a number of years I didn’t pursue anything because I didn’t want to risk losing any benefits. Moving forward includes over-coming my fears and having faith that I will succeed with all my new life ventures.


  12. Lee

    Hi Anne

    I love your vitality and way of expressing yourself.

    You got me thinking that deadlines & workaholism how they are lived can be different in our post-main-career-for-decades lives, yes?

    Lee (former news reporter where I covered KKK rallies-yuck; almost moved to Ava, Missouri; lived and worked for four years in Costa Rica)


  13. Thanks for a great post. Your journey sounds a lot like mine. Isn’t it exciting when it goes beyond what you expect and develops a life of its own! I think it shows you’re on the right track. Looking forward to your book when it comes out.


  14. Yes, practical, and fully encompassing marketing tactics, including meeting interesting people like you. Wishing you all the best! (having problems posting my replies… mostly they point to my old blog)


  15. Anne, Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. In your case, I guess retirement will just have to wait OR you may never need to retire if you LOVE what you are doing. Good luck with all of your endeavors and “Enjoy the Journey”.

    Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti
    Author and Publisher
    Free Audio Book Sample:
    Fax: 866-369-1008


      • Hi Anne! Love your Blog post – and your reference to Gone With The Wind. We had a tornado whip through my home town when I was a teenager and it was that book that I found flung to the ground on the golf course behind my friend’s half-demolished home. (Her family was fine.) Just revisiting your site as I was unable to post a comment the first time around. Problem is solved now. I too, have workaholic tendencies. I’m now tempering that with long holidays in between work. As a career counsellor for Boomer women, I know many of us will not be doing traditional ‘retirement.” I’d like to keep in touch with you.


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