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.
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 (

1611, 2016

Obstacles to Selling Your Book, Part 2

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In 7 Obstacles to Selling Your Book, we discussed the external factors that inhibit your book sales. In Part 2, we’ll look at how we get in our own way. I encourage you to take notes and write down your thoughts and, if you’re brave, let us know what you discovered.

Don’t believe in your book

Of all of the reasons that your book isn’t selling, one of the biggest reasons for lackluster or no sales at all is you don’t believe your book is worthy of the price tag you put on it. There are a few possibilities as to why you feel this way: you know you didn’t do the work to carefully craft and revise it, you didn’t hire an editor to edit it, you got negative reviews, or […]

811, 2016

7 Obstacles to Selling Your Book

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I’ve yet to talk with an author that says, “My book is selling better than expected and I don’t need to figure out how to sell more.” Most authors express the opposite. “How do I sell more books?”

In talking with authors about their books and their marketing or lack of it, there are similarities that arise that get in the way of improving sales. Many of these issues could have been resolved before the book was written and published and some are post-publication fixes. This isn’t an exhaustive list. Check back next week for part 2 when I discuss the obstacles an author faces personally when selling their book. For now, let’s talk about the 7 obstacles to selling your book.

No market

One reason a book may not sell well is […]

111, 2016

25 Quotes About Writing

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Quotes about writing are always the most popular posts on my social media platforms. Here are 25 of my favorites to inform, motivate, and inspire your writing:

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” 
― Toni Morrison

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” 
― Anaïs Nin

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” 
― Anton Chekhov

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

quotes about writing

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” 
― Louis L’Amour

“A writer is someone for whom writing […]

2510, 2016

Giving a Voice to Many

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Sometimes good fortune lands you in the right place. I could have been talking with another author who had a lovely story about how they came to writing. Or, I could have had a conversation with someone about the chilly weather or their growing family. But, while displaying at a book fair this weekend, Lee was my neighbor. Part storyteller, part story gatherer, and author of Reading the Stones: A Collection of Memories from the First State, Dr. Lee Anderson saved a historic landmark from bankruptcy and has enabled families to share their memories and personal history along the way.

Lee, a Wilmington, DE psychologist, never considered herself a writer when she went to a meeting which outlined the financially dire situation at Riverview Cemetery. Her father, along with approximately 36, 000 […]

2010, 2016

How to Write a Press Release for a Book

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You’ve just published or are about to publish a book and you want the world to know about it, right?

A press release is an effective way to capture the attention of the media and other organizations that may have a particular interest in your book…

IF you give news outlet, well, news.

Of course you are proud of your accomplishment. Your family and close friends think you are awesome. (I think you’re awesome!) But to make the various media print, post, mention, or shout it from the rooftops, you need to craft your press release that:

• Follows professional formatting guidelines
• Contains all pertinent information
• Makes it easy for the media outlet to use your release
• Is compelling information for their readers, followers, listeners, or watchers

How to Format a Press Release […]

1110, 2016

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging Your Book

By |Categories: Writing|Tags: , , , , , |8 Comments

There are a lot of bloggers out there eager to take their writing to the next level. It’s logical that they are poised to become the next authors in their area of expertise. Unfortunately, many fail to make a successful transition because it’s not a perfect translation between blog and book. There are two ways to approach blogging your book:

  • Take your blog posts and compile the posts into a book
  • Outline a book and write blog posts as you are writing

I’ll tackle the former because this tends to trip people up the most. Here are the 7 most common mistakes by bloggers making the transition to writing a book.

  1. No clear purpose for the book
  2. Failure to target a specific audience
  3. Unclear value-added proposition for the reader
  4. Lack of structure
  5. Reads […]
510, 2016

Why Writers Procrastinate

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Is procrastination plaguing your writing life?

It’s ironic that when preparing to write this post, I’ve checked my email, worked on a course I am writing, gotten a sandwich, and avoided writing it. Maybe the procrastination gods are playing a cruel joke on me. Nonetheless, I am here, butt in seat.

Procrastination is an odd phenomenon, yet an all-too-common one. We want to get things done and off our minds. We know we’ll have more time for the fun and joy in life and avoid the Tums-inducing stress of waiting until the last minute. If we get it done, no one will nag us, our bosses won’t fire us, or we won’t have to pay the late fees on whatever we put off. For those of us who are writers, our blog […]

1409, 2016

Your Self-Publishing FAQs Answered

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Self-Publishing FAQs

Questions. When it comes to self-publishing, we’ve got a lot of them. Although I’m just scratching the surface, here are the answers to self-publishing FAQs to make writing and publishing your book easier and faster. Please ask your own questions in the comments if I don’t answer them here.

What’s the difference between traditional publishing, vanity publishing, and self-publishing?

When a book is traditionally published, the author usually gets paid an advance and royalties. The publishing house pays for editing, design, publication, and distribution. That’s the good news. The bad news is that publishing houses are trying to make money and therefore are VERY particular about who and what they will publish. It is difficult to find an agent who then hopes to place your book with a publisher. […]