Monthly Archives: April 2018

#NoMakeup

The no makeup trend purportedly started when Alicia Keys announced in May of 2016 that she was quitting makeup—not just in her daily life but also on her airings as a judge on The Voice as well as her professional life.

Lots of celebrities quickly followed suit, inspiring young girls to show off their unfiltered self with boldness, courage, and confidence.

No disrespect to Alicia, and the rest of the VIP’s, but I quit makeup over ten years ago.

Which got me to thinking:

Did I actually start the No Makeup movement?

A few years ago a friend wanted to share something with me, but she didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

I responded with an immediate “please tell,” but inwardly nervous about what she was going to divulge.

She hesitated awkwardly and then blurted it out.

“You look so much better with makeup.”

My response: “Uh duh. You think I don’t know that? But I like my makeup free look.”

My daily beauty regimen goes like this:

Wake up. Wash my face. Slather on sunscreen. Wash my face. Go to sleep.

I’m not saying I’m anti makeup. Trust me, when I’m in the mood, I can cake it on with the best of them.

But 99% of my life is spent free of anything on my face but SPF 30.

So sorry Alicia, you did not start the no makeup trend. It was Moi!

And I also think I should get credit for the #NaturalBride movement!

Here’s why…

At my then hair salon five or so years ago, a pretty young blonde girl walked in with her mother for a bridal makeup trial. I can still vividly recall that her youthful face was perfection. Her clear, bright skin was dewy and unwrinkled. She had piercing blue eyes and naturally pink lips.  Gorgeous!

The three of us left the salon at the same time. I hated my hair, and there was no denying from her body language, Miss Bride-To-Be hated her makeup.

She looked older, and her face was laminated with a combo of foundation and blush. Her eyes were darkly lined and thickly mascaraed, their cerulean color barely discernible. And her ruby red lip corners turned down in sadness.

For whatever reason, she asked for my opinion. Her fretting mother looked miserable.

“What do you think?” I asked the once fresh-faced, soon to be bride back at her.

“I feel clownish and way too done-up,” she whimpered. “I barely recognize myself.”

Pathetically, she looked to her mom, who in turn looked to me and asked, “What do you think?”

Now, if you know me at all, my mantra is this:

You may not like what I have to say, but you’ll always know where I stand. So, if you don’t want to know what I think, don’t ask.   

They both asked, so I went in for the kill.

“When you first walked in, you were beautiful, fresh, and natural. Now? Not so much.”

I looked from daughter to mother, and no one was crying, so I plowed on.

“Why not go for a touch of mascara, a tint of blush, some lip gloss, and be done?”

Mother and daughter looked at me like I created a miracle, collectively shouting “YES!” and then gave me a too long and too hefty of a hug.

Awkward!

But I bet she made a beautiful bride.

#TeriStartedIt

Self-Publishing Tips

Self-publishing is often the best, and sometimes the only way for writers to get their works into print.

Self-publishing is challenging, but the concept that all self-published books are subpar is untrue, and more and more writers are choosing to take publishing matters into their own hands.

The old adage that traditional publishing is the only way to make a living as a writer is also untrue.

Self-publishing, once considered a low-end publishing option, offers authors publication speed, complete control, full rights, and no excess inventory.

Self-publishing is the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry, but be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort getting the word out about your book.

As an example, Fifty Shades of Grey was originally self-published, and E.L. James is now considered one the wealthiest authors in the world.

In addition to E.L. James, here is a short list of famous self-publishing authors:

Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass
Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn
John Grisham: A Time to Kill
Richard Bolles: What Color Is Your Parachute?
Ron Hubbard: Dianetics
Irma Rombauer: The Joy of Cooking
Richard Nixon: Real Peace
James Redfield: The Celestine Prophecy

This is just a small sampling of self-published writers whose works have sold millions of copies. And some of them are still self-publishing and still making a ton of money with their self-published books.

Despite what the traditional publishing conglomerates would like you to believe, readers like what they like, and read what moves them. They could care less if a book is self-published or not.

I receive hundreds of emails asking me the same self-publishing questions over and over. The bottom line is that they are looking for the top tips or the top rules.

But there really are no set rules, and no wrong or right way to self-publish. It’s all up to preference and how much money you want to spend.

And I’m not claiming to know everything about self-publishing.

This article is but a small sampling of what I have learned along the self-publishing way. If anyone has anything to add to this list, please comment at the end of this article.

Once your book has been written and before you sign up with a self-publisher go to https://www.copyright.gov/ and copyright your work.  And make sure to include a copyright page in your book.

Every good self-publishing company will offer you a free editing assessment, so before making a final decision, ask to see what editing changes they would make to a couple of your chapters.

First things first—you will want a non-exclusive contract. Paperback books are less expensive to produce than a hard cover version, and black and white is less than color.

One on one customer service is crucial. And you can negotiate editing services as part of your package, but make sure their editors are competent.

Make sure all distribution of paperback/hard cover and eBooks are in your name, and your name only.

Make sure you purchase a package that offers worldwide distribution for paperback/hardcover and eBooks.

Approximately 60% of all eBooks are sold through Amazon and distributed through Kindle which is marketed by Amazon. If you want wider eBook distribution, like Nook, you may have to pay extra.

Try to get your eBook on as many eReading devices as possible. In addition to Amazon, some distribution examples are Google Play, iTunes, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Kobo Books, and Smashwords.

An average cost for a quality self-publishing package can range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,600.

There are of course more expensive packages, but unless you are using a ton of four-color inside pages, you shouldn’t need to spend more than that.

Book distributors traditionally get 55% of the retail price of the book, out of which they pay 40% to the bookseller.

You will want to back into the retail price of your book based on how much it will cost to print.

So for example, if it costs $3 to print your book, you may want to put a price point on it of $12.

Then, 55% of the $12 price point or $6.60 would go to the distributor. So, $12 (retail price) less $6.60 (distributor) less $3 (printing) leaves $2.40 in royalties.

Pay close attention to royalties in self-publishing packages.

In my case, I use Breezeway Books and receive ALL royalties.

Some self-publishing packages require a royalty percent, but I wouldn’t personally sign up with a company that does.

And make sure your package includes: ISBN Assignment, Library of Congress Control Number, and EAN/Barcode.

Make sure the font size in your book is large enough. I would recommend that you choose your type size and font yourself, so you know and like what you are getting.

And you should get at least ten paperback/hard cover copies of your finished product.

Your book design is also a key component of your self-publishing package. You will need a paperback/hard cover format, eBook format and custom interior formatting, and a custom cover design.

You should be able to see two design versions of your cover, including the back cover and then pick the one you like best.

Make sure you can print your book at a wholesale publisher cost and that you receive at least one physical proof copy.

I like to see digital proofs at each stage, but that’s me.

If you decide to go the self-publishing route be prepared to do a ton of marketing because obvi no one else is going to do it for you. See my blog post re: marketing tips.

Good luck and happy writing!