I always seem to have a number of projects on the go. My body may not want to ‘go’ a lot of the time, but my mind seems like it never stops. So I wanted to tell you about my latest project, which initially may not sound like it has anything to do with the CFS/ME/Fibro/Spoonie community, but keep reading and you’ll get why I believe it does.
In the beginning….
Over 4 years ago a relatively new friend of mine (at the time) started telling me I should be blogging, getting on Twitter, and basically doing all these things that I had very strong views against at the time (ie “It’s all just gossip”, “I don’t need to tell people every time I go to the toilet” blah blah blah). Yes, I had a very narrow, uninformed opinion of blogging and Twitter at the time. But the more the conversations kept going, the more I sensed it was something I needed to look at. Whenever I resist something a lot it’s always a sign I need to give it a go (ie it’s really fear or my opinions holding me back, NOT the issue at hand).
The final straw came when my charismatic, mind-reading (and frankly annoyingly right) friend said these words: “Just think, each blog you write could be a chapter in your book”. And Louise was in!! I’d never shared with my friend that I wanted to write a book, but in our 6 month friendship he obviously knew me well enough to pick up the signs. I won’t say what I said to him at the time because it has expletives, but it was to the tune of “Darn you for knowing exactly what to say to break through my resistance barriers!”
So I started a blog. Not a great one, but I started. And not long after that, this same friend brought out HIS first e-book. It wasn’t earth-shattering stuff or particularly new information, but it WAS really good, inspiring, and well-written. What it did though was it got me thinking that maybe I could write an ebook about a thing or two that I knew something about.
My First E-Book Is Born … And Where CFS /Spoonie Stuff Comes In
So, while on holiday in Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne (sans daughter who was away with her Dad), I started writing 31 ideas for parents to spend quality time with their kids in small windows of time. My working title was “Power Plays With Your Kids”.
My girl was 6 years old at the time (now 10!!), and I had had 6 years of bringing up a child while living with CFS and electrosensitivity. As anyone would know who is a parent and is bringing up a child/children, there are many challenges involved, and one of them is the guilt I often feel that I’m not spending enough quality time with my daughter (as I’m resting/sleeping/got a headache or doing what I need to do to keep the household afloat in the small windows of time that I can muster the energy to do them).
So any real, quality time spent with my daughter usually involved short windows of time where I specifically set aside the time (when I was feeling my best in the day) to do an activity with her – take her to the playground, play a board game, watch her on the swing or trampoline. Or they were small moments grabbed within my “busy”, CFS-managing, mothering day.
What I realised in this process was that my daughter never really asked for or wanted much more than 10-15 minutes of my time. That obviously gave her the boost of Mummy time she needed in order to feel valued and validated, and then she would happily go off and do her own thing.
This gave me an insight into kids and quality time – and how we parents perhaps misunderstand the term. WE think that quality time means setting aside a whole day or half a day to spend with our kids. But in my experience, that’s often not the case. Frankly, I think they get bored with us after a fairly short time! 🙂
Sitting on the shelf getting dusty …
I wrote 20 tips/ideas in my book during the holiday, but after that my many other projects and commitments got in the way, and I never finished it. It just sat on my computer, occasionally reminding me it was there, but because I had other priorities I just thought it might be another project that didn’t quite get finished … until recently.
Recently, I realised how silly it was to have put so much work into something and not finish it – especially when it probably wouldn’t take much time to finish. PLUS my finances could do with a boost (understatement!) and I was thinking of how I could possibly change that situation a bit quicker than with the plans I have for this blog. Maybe this could be the key that I’d overlooked for so long …
15 Minute Power Plays With Your Kids: How To Be A Better Parent In 15 Minutes A Day – An E-Book
So I got creative – in more ways than one – and 15 Minute Power Plays With Your Kids was completed … or almost. I was daunted by the design process, so instead of spending ages trying to work it out myself (as I had done before for my 200 page football history book), I decided to look into employing a freelance designer through Elance. Before I knew it, I’d lodged a job, got lots of applicants, chosen one I thought looked good and employed them for a very reasonable price.
I gave myself a week to finish the main part of the book – which got my act into gear!! – and then handed it over for Raheel in Pakistan to pretty it up with some photos and a cover. Meanwhile I continued to work on a Bonus Resource List to go with the book … still going but not far off!
What Raheel produced, from the cover, to the design, was way beyond my wildest dreams. I guided him with what I wanted, but he really GOT it, and suddenly I HAVE A REAL E-BOOK!! (Update: The eBook went live on 24.12.2013. It is now for sale at this link, and if you read below, there’s a special coupon for spoonies/ppl with CFS /ME to use to get it for a bargain!)
Initially I was only planning to buy a domain name and put up a sales page for the book, but after spending so much time on it and realising how passionate I really am about the subject, I decided “in for a penny, in for a pound”, and to build a website around the book.
Once again I’ve employed a freelancer from Elance to set some of it up for me (to save my headaches from the computer and my energy, which is lacking still from the detox – see previous posts).
The site will have a section where people can tell their own stories of their favourite quality time moments/times with their kids or as kids themselves (not necessarily 15 minute Power Plays, just any quality time). There will be a standard question/answer format, so I will be encouraging many guest bloggers to step in and tell their stories, while also getting a chance to promote their blog, website, book or whatever. Quid pro quo!
I’ll also have sections for Resources, More 15 Minute Power Plays, 31 Day Challenge and the usual suspects … About Page, Buy the Book, Contact and …
(Update: The website is now ‘live’. I’m still working on getting some more content up there, but all the pages have SOMETHING on them. If you want to be a guest blogger please let me know – it’s just a matter of filling in a list of standard questions via email!)
And An Affiliate Program … Which Is Where You Come In (If You Want To!)
I will have a very generous affiliate program available for my book, which, in simple terms, means if you happen to like the book and want to refer it to others, you could make some money out of doing so. If you sign up to my affiliate program, for every person you refer (with your own unique link), you will earn 50% from the sale of every book from each person who goes through your link – whether from your blog, website or email – whatever!
My special deal for the CFS /ME/ Spoonie Community
Because of my passion for people with CFS & other chronic illnesses living their purpose (particularly through the internet) and, ultimately, being able to earn a healthy income, I want to offer the CFS /Spoonie community my e-book for a quarter of price it will retail at. So anyone reading this blog, who does the following, will be able to purchase my e-book at $5 rather than $20. This will include a number of bonuses, such as a Resources list and other goodies.
So what do you have to do? There’s always a catch, you say! Well, kinda, but not a big one. You just have to Like my 15 Minute Power Plays With Your Kids Facebook Page, then message me via that page with the word #spoonie in the subject line or body, along with your email contact address. That way, when my ebook goes live I can send you the link with the code in it to get your special spoonie-priced book.
(Update: As the eBook is now ‘live’ and available for purchase from www.15MinutePowerPlaysWithYourKids.com, all you need to do is put in the word “spoonie” into the coupon section when you get to the checkout and the price will be adjusted once you update the cart)
Why am I doing this?
I know people with chronic illness often have a lot less money than other people. I know this because I’ve LIVED this for many years. Sooo I want you to have a copy of my book, I want you to love it (this is mandatory!! ;-)), and then I want you to join the free affiliate program and start recommending the book to your friends, blog audience and anyone else you want to. AND THEN I want you to start earning $10 from every referral sale (or $5 at this stage as there’s an introductory price of $9.99).
I realise that for some of you, earning any sort of income can jeopardize your government support, and that it differs from country to country. For me, in Australia, I can earn up to a certain amount without it affecting my disability pension, then after that amount I start to lose something like 50 cents in every dollar that I earn. I am very willing to lose every single cent of government support if I am earning a regular income that is above what I get from the government. And that is my plan!! To eventually be self-sufficient.
I know the US system is different, so you will have to weigh up whether it’s worth you earning money through my or any other affiliate programs – there are heaps out there – but definitely find out all the specifics before deciding it’s not worth your while.
Imagine if all us spoonies out there could all manage to become completely self-sufficient financially just by doing the things we love on the internet – for me and a lot of others that is blogging, but there’s also a lot of other legitimate online ways to make money. (Can you tell I’m a bit passionate about it?! Read my earlier blogs on Passive Income & CFS and Making Money Lying Down: Affiliate Programs – iherb)
So what do you think?
So there it is. My story behind why my first e-book is about something apparently not at all about living with chronic illness – but kinda is! If you do decide to at least Like my Facebook Page and go on my list of spoonie-special-price ebook buyers, I want you to promise me one thing. If you REALLY don’t like the book (and the bonuses that go with it), you will tell me. And I will promise you that I will then return your $5. (Liking my Facebook page is no longer required to get the discount, but I’d love it if you popped over to my page and clicked Like anyway!! I’m planning on amping up the fb page this year)
Obviously I want you to like my book, but if you don’t that’s okay. I’d rather you tell me and we remain friends (don’t want $5 to come between us!!). And also, IF you sign up to my e-book Affiliate Program, I want you to be genuinely referring people to a book that you like, enjoy, have got something out of and genuinely believe they will too. Frankly, I think that’s the only way an affiliate program can be a success and add value for everyone concerned – and that really is one of my main goals!
I am planning a live launch party for my book on 14 November 2013 at 9am AEDT (My Dad’s Birthday), but I’m still looking at the platform. I’m checking out Google Hangouts as an option. Like my postponed launch of my audio blog, I plan to have party hats, balloons and all the party gear, and really just spend a bit of time celebrating a milestone – hopefully with some of you CFS /Spoonie friends who I becoming connected with through here, Twitter and Facebook. (This one didn’t quite happen. My health was pretty rough right then, so it took me until Christmas Eve to get it all finished. The Bonus Mega Resource Guide took me ages to do, but I think you’ll find it worth my effort. I hope so anyway!!)
If you think you might be able to join me for the launch, just pop over to my Get Up And Go Guru Facebook Page, Like the page if you haven’t already, then message me your email so that I email you directly with the info. I plan to write another blog about it before then, but in case you miss it, you’ll get the info in the email.