About Lois Hoffman

Lois Hoffman is the author of The Self-Publishing Roadmap: A step-by-step guide to publishing the book of your dreams. She is a writer, speaker, workshop facilitator, and coach for new and experienced writers. Combining her life-long passion for teaching with her expertise in self-publishing, Lois founded The Happy Self-Publisher to encourage writers to become authors and aspiring writers to put their thoughts on the page. She teaches writers to overcome writing, publishing, and book marketing obstacles through workshops and on her blog at www.loishoffman.net. She is also the author of The Almost Perfect Birthday Party: A sanity-preserving guide to planning a party your child will love. As a professional juggler and entertainer, she performs with her husband, Michael, as The Juggling Hoffmans. They share the gift of laughter at corporate, private, and community events. Her experience as an event planner and participant in 20+ years of birthday parties lead Lois to write about successfully, although perhaps not perfectly, planning a birthday party for children. She has also been published in Highlights for Children. Lois lives with her family in Newark, Delaware where she juggles her creative pursuits with enthusiasm and joy.
2102, 2017

Unearth the Gems Inside of You

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We’ve all seen rocks. We’ve kicked them, collected them, and skipped them over ponds. Rocks located near rough waters or lining fast-moving streams get tumbled and worn, smoothed and reshaped. Rocks tumbling down mountainsides range from jagged boulders to tiny pebbles not much bigger than seeds which accompany them on their downward path.

Yet, what looks like a rock on the outside isn’t always the case. While many rocks divided in two are bound to become smaller versions of the mother rock. Others conceal one of nature’s great surprises. Deep within Earth’s crust and buried beneath mountains of rocks, hold crystallized minerals known as gemstones.

Chiseling away below certain rocks reveal shimmering beauty. Colors so brilliant they can only be found in nature. Yet, each rock reveals something quite different. Whether […]

1402, 2017

Author Platform Success Plan

By |Categories: Book Marketing, Writing|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

I speak to many aspiring writers. When we discuss writing, eyes are wide open. When we talk about publishing, writers are curious. When I mention building an author platform, I’m met with blank stares. It’s pretty universal.

Writers, in general, are creative sorts and not natural-born marketers. Yet most seek some financial reward for their effort. Many hope for major success. So, how do you fill in the gap between knowledge and desire?

When I decided to make writing my business a few years ago, I looked at my numbers. Zero blog posts. 100 +/- friends on Facebook. Zero email contacts beyond friends and family. I had a long way to go. Maybe you can relate. I needed a plan to get where I wanted to go. But first, I needed […]

702, 2017

Lessons from the Life of a Juggler

By |Categories: Inspiration, Writing|Tags: , , , , , , |10 Comments

For those of you who don’t know me well, besides being a writer, I am also a professional juggler. For 25 years, my husband and I have performed for audiences large and small, young and old. For the last couple of years. I had been trying to push the juggler me to the back so the publisher me, the professional one, can shine, but I realized I AM the sum of all my experiences.

Juggling speaks to who I am as a person, as an entrepreneur. Trying and failing and trying again is how I built my first career as a juggler and that’s how I’m building my second one as The Happy Self-Publisher. All the things I learned, I’ve taken with me on my new journey.

I also am […]

3101, 2017

Should You Use Kindle Pre-order?

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You’ve likely heard of Kindle Pre-order as an option for releasing your book early. There are many reasons to take a slower route – more time to find readers, generate anticipation, and line up reviews for launch day. Who wouldn’t want those? But is Kindle Pre-order right for you?

Let’s start with the details.

What is Kindle Pre-order

Kindle Pre-order allows you to make your ebook available for pre-sale on Amazon up to 90 days before the book is released. Amazon generates a pre-order sales page for customers to pre-order your book and receive it on its release day. Customers are charged for the book the day it’s released.

The Advantages of Kindle Pre-order

Because you already have a sales page, you can advertise your book pre-release and send readers to your page instead of […]

2401, 2017

Bearing Witness: The stories we tell

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There are times in our history that are marked in books, noted in lectures, and remembered for generations. These historical markers can be positive or negative, joyous or heart-wrenching, but all signal a time of profound change. Some events have divided our country while others have bound us together in an unshakeable union with a single-minded focus. Many more events are a combination of the two.

History doesn’t happen in a vacuum. While there is often a single event noted as the day which changed the course of history, all were preceded by smaller events. Like a series of breadcrumbs through the forest, these events include stories of mini triumphs or not-so-minor injustices from individuals and groups of people. These stories contain our common humanity, our best ideals and hopes for […]

1701, 2017

Write Children’s Stories for Publication

By |Categories: children's books, Writing|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Writing children’s stories is imaginative, expressive, and lots of fun. It also requires an understanding of what makes a children’s book successful. With practice, your stories come to life with memorable characters, an engaging story, and age-appropriate design.

Characters

When you write children’s stories, feature a child as the main character who is slightly older than the reader. The child drives the action in the story and solves the problem themselves without the help of an adult or another character. Despite a flaw or desire, they are likable and relatable to children. Of course, not all children’s books include children (or animals) in the story, but when they do, feature them and let them be the hero.

In the series of Clifford books, Clifford’s flaw is his largess. He wants to help, but it […]

1001, 2017

Learn the Craft of Writing

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I admit it. I’m a learning junkie. I love to find out more about so many things it’s hard to narrow my focus. As someone living with a ravenous curiosity, I make it my mission to learn something, anything every day.

In New Year’s Resolutions for Writers, one of the goals for the year is to learn more about the craft of writing. There are lots of ways to do this from quick and free to long-term and costly. You hear me say this a lot, but what you choose depends on your goals. The investment of time and money is dictated by whether you want to make writing a career, if writing is part of growing your business, or if you’re simply passionate about your hobby. If you’re not […]

2012, 2016

How to Create a Speaker One-Sheet

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The beauty of being a writer is the diversity of opportunities it presents. Many writers and authors teach workshops, offer editing services, mentor or coach other writers, meet readers at book signings and book fairs, and speak. If your first reaction to speaking isn’t “YIKES,” you need a speaker one-sheet to attract and convince event organizers to hire you.

A speaker one-sheet is a two-page (one sheet) advertisement of your personality, speaking topics, and benefits to the audience. It’s one of the best marketing assets in your toolbox to get in front of decision makers charged with finding engaging, relevant speakers for their event. Your job is to convince them that you are the one they should, no, NEED to hire.

According to Karen Saunders, a speaker one-sheet should answer these […]

1312, 2016

Writing is a Gift

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You are a gift to the world, my fellow writer. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, moving testimonials or light-hearted poetry, you’ve brought forth the courage to put your thoughts, dreams, and aspirations on “paper.” The very act of creating something from your mind’s eye is an exemplary act of faith. Kudos to you.

gift of writing

It takes even more courage to share your work. But, that’s where the magic happens. If you dare to share your writing with even one person, you allow your gifts to be opened. There is a bond between writer and reader. You set part of yourself free to enlighten, entertain, amuse, or inspire the reader knowing their world will change, even if just a nudge. They see […]

2911, 2016

Why Aren’t You Published Yet?

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If you aren’t published yet, there are a few things to overcome in order to get it done. Let me first say, you aren’t alone. Here are some obstacles and solutions to problems many writers face.

Knowledge

The most successful writers do a few things over and over again to be the best they can be. They suck up knowledge from all sources and arm themselves with the gifts of the writing world. Here are some things you can do to increase your knowledge about writing and publishing.

Read

Learn the craft of writing from the best in the business. Before you go to bed each night or as soon as you wake up in the morning, absorb some wisdom from writers like Stephen King (On Writing Well), William Zinnser (