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.
1304, 2017

Top 7 Reasons for Taking Writing Courses

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You are curious. My readers, in general, are curious people. It’s awesome! I love sharing what I’ve learned and seeing your (LED) lightbulb go on in your head. I started my company because I wanted to make it easy for aspiring authors to publish their books. Soon after, I realized that writers need help with writing and organizing before they get to the point of publishing. You want to know your book is good BEFORE you publish it, right?

In order to satisfy your ravenous appetite for information about writing, publishing, and book promotion, I’m developing a series of online writing courses aimed at giving you exactly what you need and delivered in a way that’s easiest to consume. Before I wrote one word or […]

604, 2017

25 Things I Learned About Writing in Italy

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I just got back from a fabulous 2-week vacation in Italy and loved every minute of it. I explored the history and sites of different cities, towns, and countrysides and, most of all, the people. Within the immense beauty of the land and cultural history, I came away with thoughts about writing and life, in general. Let me take you on a little tour of the lessons I learned about writing while I was there.

  1. Something well created lasts longer than those which were created fast. Iconic buildings throughout Italy took years or even decades to build. We can write a book in a week, but long-remembered books took time to develop and write. Powerhouse Margaret Mitchell took ten years to write Gone with the Wind.
  2. People are motivated by fear […]
2903, 2017

How to Frame Your Book

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Let’s say you’ve got an idea for your nonfiction book, but you don’t know exactly how you’ll write it. You need a framework to give structure to your book and help sell it, too. Although you can probably build a house by hammering boards together, it’s more effective and efficient to build the frame first and then include the walls before you fill out the interior.

The framework for the book is WHAT you say and HOW you say it. Here are some ideas to find the best way to present your book. The most effective way to find great ideas is to brainstorm them. If you need some help with how to brainstorm a book idea, or anything really, check out my post 6 Ways to Brainstorm Your Book.

You’ll find […]

2103, 2017

What’s your VISION?

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What’s your vision? Once you define why you’re writing a book, it’s important to envision your life as an author. If your book is wildly successful, what does that look like? If everything you ever dreamed about as an author all came true, how would you feel about yourself? Where would you be? Who is with you?

I’ve heard many authors tell me they want to be on the New York Times Bestseller List. Terrific. But, what does that mean?

Does that mean having a staff of people working for you in a New York midtown office? Are you flying around the country or the world promoting your book or doing radio and television interviews? Have you quit your job and moved your family across the country? Are you in constant […]

2802, 2017

The Memoir Through Line

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All books, fiction or nonfiction, have story arcs. Memoirs are no exception. According to memoirist Adair Lara, the story arc is, “the emotional framework” of a memoir.

Your book must have an emotional driver from the first word of the book to the final period. Writers call this by a few names: the through line, the desire line, or even the happiness line. For you, the protagonist in the book, you hope for something. You NEED something.

I want…is a good way to start.

I want to live to see my children grow up.

I want my mother to love me.

I want to be first chair violinist in the London Philharmonic.

I want to climb Mt. Everest after the loss of my leg.

You can see in these statements how a single desire can drive a story […]

2102, 2017

Unearth the Gems Inside of You

By |Categories: Inspiration, Writing|Tags: , , , , , , |2 Comments

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

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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 […]