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.
2103, 2017

What’s your VISION?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

By |Categories: Speaking|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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 […]