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A Better Way to Publish; Introducing Raven and Grace
Episode 318th July 2024 • The You World Order Showcase Podcast • Jill
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Raven Petty, project coach for aspiring writers joins us to share about publishing in today's world. She and her partner Jennifer Grace are launching Raven & Grace a hybrid publishing company. Specializing in helping coaches get their book's written and to market.

Learn More: https://ravenandgrace.com

Jill Hart - the Coach's Alchemist & host of the You World Order Showcase Podcast is dedicated to empowering life, health and transformational coaches being the change they want to see in the world. Join our private community, where you will find support, networking & collaboration, get featured on our podcast and we also provide coaching to help you find clients with podcasts. It all starts with joining our community! (it's free)

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Transcripts

Hi and welcome to You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we have with us a Raven petty Raven is a project coach for aspiring authors. They're launching Raven and Grace Press and she is here to share with us all about her latest project Welcome Raven.

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It's nice to have you here. Thank you.

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Thank you so much. It's an.

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Honor to be here.

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So I know you used to be a life coach and now you're transitioning into being.

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Project coach for people who would be authors. How did how did the transformation happen and why and what's your story? How did you get? How did you get to this point?

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It has been a journey that is for sure. I have. I graduated from HCI in 2022, I believe.

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And immediately had clients right out of the gate and that kind of transitioned into primarily women over.

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60 but I also do work a full time job, and in that job I have been in content for about 17 years. So I create content, edit, proofread all of that. So over the last several months, I've, you know, been thinking about what's next, you know.

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The things that I really enjoy doing.

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And I went to a vision board class back in January that Jennifer Grace hosted here in Nashville. A lot of your listeners probably know who she is. If not, she is the main coach for the Clarity Catalyst program, which has been kind of gifted to HCI students over the years.

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So she's very.

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Big in the coaching community.

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And we got talking and I won a coaching call with her.

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And so we got on the phone and I was just telling her kind of, you know, what I can do and what I was interested in. And she said, well, I don't really want you to come work for me. I want you to be my next business partner. I don't know what that's going.

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To be yet.

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But I want you on my team and so about a month later, she called me on a Sunday morning.

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And said hey, can you edit books?

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And I said absolutely, that's actually what I went to school for. My my main degree is a bachelor in in English where I studied linguistics and grammar and things. So.

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I'm kind of.

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One of those crazy full circle moments.

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But she asked if I would be interested in launching a hybrid book publishing company. And I said yes. And so Raven and Grace Press will be launching, you know, in the April, may probably April, we already have a couple of projects ongoing already to be published.

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We have a stand alone book and then.

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We have collaboration.

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Books. And so that's how we got. That's how we got here, yeah.

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That's kind of exciting. I love that you were a life coach and then you're.

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You're shifted into like the thing that you were supposed to be doing.

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It's. Yeah, it's, it's odd. You. You never know.

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Hello.

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Because I did the same thing, I started out as a life coach thinking that, you know, I have a lot of life experience and.

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Like took all the classes and stuff and.

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Then I'm just not doing life coaching. I'm a business coach.

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Yeah. Yeah. And it's it's interesting because I have. I've been in management, some type of leadership slash management role in my career since I was 17 years old. I was actually a.

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The grocery store manager at 17, so I've been in a leadership role, you know, pretty much my entire working life. And so this is just kind of a natural step for me to.

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To work with authors who want to start or complete their book, make sure that they commit to the project and get it done for one-on-one coaching and then you know they and they can sign with Raven and Grace Press to do the publishing or someone else you know that's it's totally up to them, but they they.

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Now have that option.

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And Jennifer Grace hosts writers retreats here in Nashville. And you know, other places all over the world where authors can come and and just.

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Just dedicate that time to right and be really, you know and creative environment. So there's lots of different options for new authors and there's lots of different ways for coaches to get their stories out there.

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I think that's an amazing venue that's really starting to break open. I see more and more people deciding to write books and and actually.

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Writing them and I I'm happy to see publishers coming alongside them because so many of them end up.

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Typos. OK, so we'll just put.

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It.

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Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. As a voracious reader.

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I can't help but like go through stuff and and look.

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Typos, just like hit me.

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Databricks, even some of the really popular books that are out there, have typos in them, absolutely.

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Yes.

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It's the the age of being able to self publish is kind of a double edged sword and and that you can get things to press quickly and it's it's it's not super easy, but it's not impossible either whereas.

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If you go through a publishing company and you and you hire a coach and you have some people alongside of you to help you with the proofreading and even even hiring people on upworks to proofread for you is not enough, because those people generally are not.

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You know.

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They're just not educated to the point where they understand the the nuances in grammar when it comes to actually writing a book or proofreading a book.

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So that's kind of exciting.

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Thank you as a reader.

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Thank you I.

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I it was so funny when I went to college, I wanted to be a proofreader. That's why I majored in English. That's why I took linguistics courses and grammar classes. Like all of my electives were linguistics and grammar, and and literature, you know? But.

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I wanted to proofread. I wanted. That's all I wanted to do when I graduated from college, was just proofread.

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And my my previous you know positions have allowed me to do proofreading, but it comes along with all this other stuff that I have to do. But I'm proofreading is just my jam. Just give me something and let me sit down and either mark it up or track changes or whatever and I and I'm good. What's interesting, I think about what we're going to do is that.

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Because we're so small right now, we have the time to give each project the attention it needs. You know, if you work with a big publishing house, you know, one of the Big 5 they have.

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Hundreds of projects at some point in the process, you know, and people are just people are probably a little overworked and little bit too much on their plate. And with a smaller publishing company like this, we actually have the time and the resources and the energy to, you know.

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Give it our all. I you know we and we know.

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Proofreaders and graphic designers and other editors and people. So if when we do need to outsource it, we have that ability too. So it's it is very exciting, especially to have the quality control and be able to really work with coaches one-on-one to get the the perfect product out. You know something that really represents them.

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Their brand and and the story that they want to tell.

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Yeah. And that's that's really amazing. And I would presume that it's going to be.

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Not as expensive as going to one of the bigger publishing houses. I really am not that familiar with actually publishing a book.

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Do you?

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I know you can self publish like KDP is out there and that's that's kind of the extent of publishing as I understand.

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Sure.

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I am a voracious reader, but not.

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Voracious publisher like I do, blogs and podcasts.

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So what is the process?

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Can you share that?

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With me? Sure. Sure. Well, first, I'll share kind of the differences. So there's traditional publishing, which is when you would hire an agent and they would kind of send out letters to the big publisher companies.

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You know like.

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Right, you know.

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Random House and Penguin and things like that. You know they would. They would send letters. You'd pay your agent. And if you got accepted, then that traditional publishing company would maybe give you an advance.

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To write your book.

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So they may give you like $10,000 or $40,000 or something. So you could write your book and you end up paying that back.

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To them, once your book goes for sale.

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Then there's self-publishing, which you were talking about where you do everything yourself. You upload it to, you know, Amazon for Kindle or even Barnes and Noble has a a platform for their their nooks. You do all the formatting and you're also responsible for marketing and selling the book as well, but you.

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Retain all of the profits you do a whole lot more work because even with traditional publishing, they're going to take care of a lot of the marketing and sales and distribution and stuff for you because they work with an app.

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Term.

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A hybrid company is the best of both worlds. So while the author pays a fee upfront.

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A. The publishing company such as You Know Ours, Raven and Grace Press. We're going to take care of all of the designing, formatting, printing, distribution. So we'll work with the larger publisher and right now we're doing Ingram. Ingram has a a platform, so we will upload the books and then.

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Ingram will print and distribute them to all the major retailers in ebook and in hard copy form. So.

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All the marketing and all the sales falls on us, the author, you know, just has to pay the upfront fee and and have a completed project.

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So that's that's kind of the difference for for hybrid publishing.

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OK, that that answers a lot of my questions.

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When it comes to actually helping the the cop.

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Or entrepreneur or whoever write the book. Are you helping Coach on that front too, or do they have to bring you a finished product?

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So they can bring us a finished product or they could sign up for one-on-one coaching with me to get that that project done. I am. I'm a time management beast. I'm all about organization and blocking time and really committing.

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And so I do have, you know, processes and a program in place where you know it's for we work together for 90 days or 12 weeks and we we get a big chunk of it done or a section of it done something, you know, it's really going to depend on.

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The size of the.

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Project and what the author wants.

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To do, but yes they do.

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Have that option.

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So they can either.

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You know, sign up for coaching to really stay committed and and get the project done or they can bring us a project and have us review it. We're not going to take everything obviously, but we will let an author know what kind of work needs to be done if we're unable to accept the.

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Project at that time.

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So it's kind of a you give them a?

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Review what they.

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Yeah, absolutely. And some a lot of other publishers won't publish a book unless the author has a large social media following. We are less interested in that. I'm really more about the story and how how good the project is. You know, does it really have a strong message?

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They step out into the.

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You know, do we see potential in it? So even if someone.

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Coming up and they don't have this huge social media following. That's OK, you know, they can submit the 1st, 30 or 50 pages or whatever they have and let us look at it and say, you know, yes, this is a project or or it needs work.

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Interesting. Interesting. So how would people like start to work with you and that you mentioned that you have a free resource for them to download. What what does that look like and how?

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How would they work with that?

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Yes. So the website is Raven and Grace Press. No, hold on. It's Raven and grace.com. Ravenandgrace.com is the website. Sorry, we will have we have two two resources. One is 8 ways to get booked as a professional speaker.

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Yep.

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So Jennifer Grace is really big on podcast and professional speaking and and she really helps a lot of people get their foot in.

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The door that way.

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And then the other resource is 5 tips on how to get the book out of your head. So these are just, you know, this is jumpstart your project. So if you've had an idea in your head for weeks and months and years about writing a book and you've never done anything, this is where to go to start that process.

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I love that I love that cause it it allows people to.

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Actually.

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Get in action before they commit to you and and it allows you to see if you know they're really going to stick with it or not. If they haven't at least done the five tips then.

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And just like.

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Please go back to the beginning and start over.

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It's.

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You know, writing a book is.

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A big project, Jenna.

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Oh yeah, you know.

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For rote 1.

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Years ago, and she published with Hay House. And, you know, she can speak to that experience. But I wrote one in college for the college I went to. I wrote a college guidebook my junior year of of College. And it's daunting. It is a daunting long process. And so.

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It's so important to have support and it's so important to have accountability because it is very easy to let everything else get in the way.

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Of writing that chapter or writing that little snippet that you need to do. You know, because it it does, it takes time and dedication to sit down and say I'm going to do this at this time for this long until it gets done, you know, and if it's a if, it's a big book, it's going to take a while.

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And and being able to segment how you want to approach.

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The project cause.

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I've I've heard from other people that are in this space that you don't have to to right from the beginning to the end, which I thought was kind of interesting. You don't have to start with chapter one. You could start with Chapter 6, but you have to know what the overall scope of The thing is and you have to have a plan in order to be able to.

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Do those kinds of.

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Piece to be able to piece it.

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Together that way.

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Absolutely. I recommend people do an outline, even just just an outline, to organize their thoughts and really think about what messages they want readers to come away with. And I think that helps to kind of make the project a little bit easier and organize it a little bit because you can't.

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A good editor can.

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Cake.

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A bunch of random stuff and put them together into a cohesive book. You know a cohesive project. That's what a good editor is going to do. So it's perfectly fine for people to just start writing, but if they do need a little bit of structure and outline is a great way to, you know, to start and to really kind of hone in on those messages.

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That they that they want to deliver, you know, and that they want readers to.

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So.

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Yes, it sounds a lot like creating courses and I've I've done a lot of that in my life and using like a Trello board or something where you you have columns of what which would be each chapter, what what you want to cover, you can move them around, kind of like the old school with the.

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3 by 5 cards, you know, and you have the little soap topics that you can also move around. And I know that there's software out there for writing books that allows you to do similar things, but.

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And we're talking mainly about.

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Coaches creating books about their stories, not non. Not fiction stories where you've got like characters and character development and stuff like that. We're just it's a different.

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Right, right.

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Category of.

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Of publishing. Yes, yes. And right now we are focusing on non fiction books. So coaches who want to who want to share their stories. I think we also may have like an Oracle card book slash deck that's going to be in the the queue very soon AC cookbook.

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Is coming up as well, so there's lots of options. The collaboration books are also really cool because they're themed and we're going to select 20 authors to just have a chat.

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Chapter so an author can pay for a fee to have a chapter in the book, and then they'll get 50 copies to sell and they'll recoup that money the rest of those proceeds will go to a charity that Raven and Grace Press is going to select. And so once all the distribution and printing.

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Cost or or paid anything else after that that you know any other sales from the book will go directly to that charity. So there's lots of.

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Options, both small and large, that coaches have to get, you know, to get their their project published and their their message out there. So if someone doesn't want to write a whole book, they can just commit to a chapter in a in a themed collaboration book and start there.

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I really like that I've seen a lot more of that happening and this I think the word of the year is collaboration this year anyway, but.

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It just seems to have come up, but there's a lot of book opportunities where you could just do a chapter in a collaboration of other people who have similar stories or under a theme of the book. And the I like the idea of.

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It.

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It helps you get some experience writing your story on a smaller scale. It's easier to like just get all the words down and then.

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Then you can fluff it up more to make a book.

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Than it is to just sit down and think, OK, I'm going to write my life story and.

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And then it's like there's just so much, especially for us.

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Like.

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Older girls, you know?

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Absolutely. And collaboration books are a really great way for coaches to then say now I'm a published author. So when they're, you know, one chapter in a book that gets published makes you a published author. So coaches can then say they're published.

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You know they have the book as a resource. They can take that for speaking engagements or to build just credibility, you know, in the community they're trying to serve. So.

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So yeah, it's a it's very, it's a very cool way to to get a little taste into publishing. And what what that looks like.

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Yeah, it's really exciting and.

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For for people that have been bloggers for a really long time, 3000 words isn't that much. But for somebody who doesn't really write all the time.

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3000 words is pretty daunting.

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Absolutely, absolutely. I I blog and and have blogged for most of the companies I've worked for the last 20 years, and I can crank out content, but it has taken practice. I mean it and it does, and it's and it's one of those things.

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Where your environment has to be really conducive to being able to write too. You know it's going to be really hard to write if you've got kids running around the house.

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Son, you know or like my I'm an empty nester right now. My son is grown, but my dog will drive me crazy some days because he's in and out and doing this. And I'm like, you know, so you really do have to make sure the environment and it is right and make sure that you have, you know, the time to sit down and really focus.

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Because it's it's hard to even write 500 words if there's a lot of noise. You know you got to turn off notifications on your phone like, you know, shut off social media. That's.

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Do all your chores first, because your house will chat at you while you're trying to focus. It's like the.

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Yes.

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The buffet wants you to dust it. This, yes. Laundry done.

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Till.

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It's.

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Laundry needs to be done. Yeah, yeah.

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The the pros and cons of working from home.

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Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And it it is. And people who aren't used to writing, you know, they feel very overwhelmed by it and they don't know where to start. I always tell people, just start. It doesn't matter what you say. It really doesn't just start getting words out.

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On something.

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When I write I I like to type in like a Google doc or something like that, but sometimes I have. I mean I have tons of notepads and paper lying around where I take notes throughout the day. So just, you know, make sure you just write things down and it'll all come together eventually. It it will.

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Or even just make notes on your phone. You can make audio notes these days. It's super easy it it, it's just when you when you actually sit down to do it, allow yourself to just.

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Vomit on the page. Just tell my kids when we were homeschooling because it's easier to pair stuff down than it is to.

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Yes, yes.

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To just try to make the perfect sentence, don't worry about the punctuation. Don't worry about the spelling. Don't worry about the anything. Just get it out there and then see where it goes and then massage it later.

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Who?

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Yes.

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And or let your editor do it right like that. That's what. That's what the editors are for. That's what the editors and proofreaders are for. The people who are going to take that and, you know, and start marking stuff out.

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Yeah.

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All the and.

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And making it you know and making it cohesive, you know, and able to breed. So yeah, I I tell people just just start type something and even clients will ask me they're like well, what do I what do I even start with? And I'm like just start with I don't know what to say. Let that be the first sentence. I don't know what to write.

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Or I'm frustrated because I don't know what to write, just anything, because I guarantee once you get that first sentence out, it's going to start coming start flowing.

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I actually used that exact technique last night. I'm I'm writing a series of emails for this challenge that I've got coming.

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And.

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I was trying to think of a a story.

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To like get it started and then then I had to. There's a bunch of information that I had to put in the e-mail cause I'm trying.

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To like.

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Have it has a purpose, so in the middle of the e-mail it it just like OK, so I'm struggling here to tie these two together here. Let's look at it this way.

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You know it's perfectly acceptable to.

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In my worldview, to just tell the audience, hey, I'm struggling here. I don't know what I really want to say. And if you're talking to somebody when you're writing.

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That's true.

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And the old typists can type as fast as they can talk. So.

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It's just if you just can imagine that you're talking to someone through your fingertips.

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Yes.

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Yes, just have a conversation with them. Explain all the things.

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Yeah, absolutely. And I like to keep. I like to keep my client, you know, or reader in mind when I'm writing things, especially, you know, writing emails is a great example. If you do e-mail marketing, but really keeping that person in mind, you know what, what would they appreciate? What do they want to hear?

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What are they interested in? You know, just kind of keep that top of mind as well. And sometimes I cut stuff out because it's it's too much information. You know, sometimes I think we can over share. And so if I feel like I may be oversharing, like, that's kind of weird. I'll, you know, take it out.

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But yeah, it's I think people really appreciate authenticity and feeling like they're they're reading something written by a real person and not a machine. You know, as a as a writing professional for so many years, I've been asked so many times what I think.

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Of chat JPT.

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What I think of AI?

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Adding.

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Roles and I'm fine with them. You know I have. I have cranked out some quick content using ChatGPT. It's nowhere near what I could do, so I have to edit it really heavily, but in, you know, if somebody is unfamiliar with writing or uncomfortable with it, it's not a terrible tool to start with.

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You know, and to kind of see what comes out and then use your your own voice and make it your own, yeah.

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It's the getting that something on the piece of paper.

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Takes that step for you and and you go from there and you can just like massage it, you know, move stuff around.

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Change it up.

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Yeah, ask other people to read it, you know, send it to a couple family members or friends and say, you know, does this suck or what do you think? And and pick people who are not gonna be like your biggest fans, you know, cause your biggest fans are not gonna tell you something is terrible. You know, pick somebody who's actually going to give you an honest opinion.

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Is my other thing and and let them review it and see what they say. You know, do ask them what they felt when they read it. Do you know? Did it evoke any emotions? Did were they surprised by anything?

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That's always a, you know, a good place to start too, just to get.

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Some general feedback.

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And it's a good place to start in terms of what do you want your audience to feel, because really writing is about evoking emotion.

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Yeah. And you want to take them on an emotional journey with you and.

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If you start with the end in mind, that's where often.

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Caution to do if you know what emotion you want them to feel, then it makes the.

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The process easier, it's easier to go back to the beginning to get.

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To the end.

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Yes. Yeah. And what do you want them to learn? I think is a is a big thing too. What did you learn? You know, if you're, if you're writing, what were your biggest lessons from from the story, you know, how can you, how can you give those to your audience so they experience that as well?

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Yeah.

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Yeah, all of those things. So mostly you do one-on-one with people or do you have group coaching sessions? How do you imagine all that this?

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Is going to shake out.

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Right now, just one-on-one. And if we see a demand for group coaching, we will absolutely do group coaching. Jennifer Grace has.

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She mostly does group coaching, so she is very familiar with that. I am very familiar with the one-on-one staff so we will just kind of see how that goes. You know with demand.

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I mean, plus we only have so many hours in the day. It may be it. You know, there may be groups that need group coaching and the people who need individual attention. So we hope to cater to to all of those, all of those people. Yeah.

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Yeah, that sounds awesome. So.

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How do people get a hold of you? Do you have like a Facebook group or are are you just strictly on your website?

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On the website right now or the sub stack that's coming up will be the wit and Wisdom blog, yes. And then people can e-mail me directly if they want. It's Raven at ravenandgrace.com is my e-mail address. But yeah, I mean we'll. I'm sure we will. We will probably have knowing Jen. We'll probably have a TikTok.

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Count at some point because that's where she loves to spend her time. We may have a, you know, at the we may have a Facebook group this summer. I'm a little bit more familiar with Facebook and Instagram, so.

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All of this information should be available by the time the listeners are tuning in.

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That is wonderful. So what is the one thing you hope the audience takes away from this conversation?

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From today, I hope that they take away the message that they are brave enough to share their story.

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It just takes one tiny step to start that process and that they have a story to tell. So to just be brave, not be afraid of what people are going to think and just start doing it, start spreading the message and and sharing it with others.

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That's awesome. Thank you so much for joining me today.

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Thank you so much. I hope you guys have a great rest of the day.

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Thank you.

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