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How I Got Started Writing Novels

Posted in: Journal by LaRene Ellis on February 10, 2010

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Journal

For five years of my life, I had been a real estate agent and enjoyed it. Finally at the end of my fourth year, I decided to get my real estate brokers license. After, I received it. I made the choice to go out on my own. For me, it was the smartest thing, I ever did.  What happened next made it possible for me to deal with the changes that were about to take place in my life.

It was November 2000 and for the first time in my career, I had sold my entire inventory. It was strange to have no buyers either. In my area, November and December are traditionally our slowest months in real estate. Ever though, I have written and presented offers on Christmas Eve. This year, it was going to be different. I was tired and grateful to take a break.

Five days into my vacation, I had the most bizarre event take place in my life that has permanently changed my life. I woke up discovering that I couldn’t speak. My voice was gone. When I tried to force a whisper, it caused my lungs to go into long coughing spells. If I laughed, the coughing spells would appear. It sounded and felt like I was coughing up my lungs.

The problem didn’t make it easy for me to go out into public. I wasn’t sick. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me. They just called it a virus assuring me that I would have to ride it out. Little did I know that it would take me ninety days for my voice to return and my lungs be able to take a deep breath again.

The winter was long and cold. We had little wind and storms in our area. When you live in the tops of mountains, you can easily get an inversion where the cold air is trapped to the floor of the valley. This happens when you have little wind or storms. Even if no one lives in the valley, it can happen.  Our inversion spread from Provo, Utah to Pocatello, Idaho and it was thick.

I struggled to go outside and breath the air that winter. Never in my life had my lungs been a problem for me, so why was the winter of 2000 to 2001 different. My health problems trapped me inside a room in my home. I couldn’t be away from the humidifier or air purifiers without my lungs coughing to hard it could cause my bladder to have problems.  They weren’t portable. So every morning, I picked a room and stayed there all day breathing fresh, moist air.

In November 2000, I did not have an email address and I don’t think I knew someone who did. Maybe, I did know someone. I just didn’t use them because I was terrified to write. I do know they weren’t as popular then as they are today. Either way, I had to write down my thoughts on a note pad if I wanted something. Remember, I told you earlier that I found writing emotionally painful and it terrified me.

This virus seemed to perfectly design to force me to face my fears. In the process, I discovered something very special regarding me. Those ninety days, I spent trapped in a room with a humidifier and air purifier has forever changed my life. It changed my career and how I view the world in away, I cannot ever go back…

This post is getting a little long. In my next post, I’ll tell you what happened, during those ninety days. My hope is it inspires you find something special about yourself. I’ll see you next time.

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How I got Published – part four

Posted in: Journal by LaRene Ellis on May 04, 2010

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Journal

I’m a published author with four books and two more on the way. They say it is easy to become a published author. Yet, it can be very difficult. For this amount of money, we can help make the experience easier for you. Is it really true?

People come up to me all the time and tell me that they have a story they want to have published. I see apprehension and excitement in their eyes and I know what they are feeling. When I decided to get my story published, I found it daunting.

For help, I turned to a few books. The first book I read was written by a literary agent and he was very discouraging. According to his book, he receives 5000 requests a week for his services. You can only imagine how many rejection letters he sent out on a daily basis. A literary agent will not take a new author unless they find a publisher first. Most publishers will not look at you without a literary agent.

After reading numerous books, I decided to publish my book myself. With my background, I probably have put more deals together than some literary agents. The biggest problem with self-publishing is you can and usually do make expensive mistakes. This is why I decided to mentor people. I would have loved if someone reached out and talked me through the process when I started. It cost me money and it was very emotional. I never felt so alone in a business as I did during this time of my learning.

Since I love to learn, I decided to go out and see if the books were telling me the truth. I hired someone to get me into some important places. My journey started in New York City. On this trip, I saw and spoke with people who educated me.

The first person I saw in New York City was an associated editor at Scholastic Magazine, named Lisa Feder-Feitel. As we got off the elevator, Scholastic’s offices took me back. I didn’t expect the bright colors and the décor. For a moment, I felt like I was in an elementary school. I had expected to sit in an office. Instead, we sat down at a table where our knees barely touched the edge of it. I expected any minute to have kids join us with their crayons and coloring books. It was really fun and Lisa was very warm and wonderful to talk with.

On this trip, I visited with Mark Schoenwald, an Executive Vice President of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I learned how a large publisher works and how they view new authors. You can read more in my e-book.

My visits didn’t stop with Thomas Nelson Publishers. I spent time with Peter Cannon of Publishers Weekly magazine. He was one of their editors and I learned a lot from talking with him. Publishers want to get a good review from Publishers Weekly on their new book. It helps stores buy a book they have coming out. I thought it was interesting to talk with him. For me, I never bought or read a book because of a review. I bought it because someone I trusted recommended it.

From Peter’s office, I went to a meeting with Bowker. They are the source for ISBN numbers for your books. They have other services that are important to the success of your book as well.

After I met with Bowker, I went into an hour-long meeting with Barnes and Noble’s head and regional buyers. Now, I understand how they work. Before the meeting, I bumped into Barnes and Noble Vice President, Robert C. Knowles, and I had a nice chat with him.

Now, I understood how large bookstores handle buying books. I wanted to know if it was different for small family-owned bookstores. I stopped in and interviewed numerous bookstore owners across the nation. Every bookstore owner had the same attitude on how they chose their books.

While I was there, I had some owners give me the names of independent distributors. Then I called them up to learn what challenges they had working with bookstores. They have a hard job and I really appreciate what they do.

I love the business side of publishing as much as I do writing. Most authors aren’t wired for business. Since I have so much vast knowledge of the publishing field, I decided to mentor others. It made sense to use the Internet. This way, I can mentor and still have a career and life.

If you are interested, contact me below and tell me what you are looking for.

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How I became a published author –

Posted in: books by LaRene Ellis on April 13, 2010

I’m a published author with four books and two more on the way. They say it is easy to become a published author. Yet, it can be very difficult. For this amount of money, we can help make the experience easier for you. What do you say?

People come up to me all the time and tell me that they have a story they want to have published. I see apprehension and excitement in their eyes and I know what they are feeling. When I decided to get my story published, I found it daunting.

As a friend, I want to do something different here. I’m going to be blunt and tell you what it’s really like. If you still want to become a published author, as a friend, I will mentor you through the maze. You can get really hurt emotionally and it is easy to pour money down the drain. I will tell you what it’s like to be picked up by a publisher or to become self-published. You can read the material and decide for yourself.

Many seasoned authors are choosing to follow the self-publishing route. You might want to read why in my free e-book, “What Does it Take to Become a Successful Published Author.” If you really want to become a published author, then you can join me and I’ll mentor you through the process. Before I mentor you, I want you to understand the advantages of both sides of the publishing world. That way you can make an intelligent decision and understand what I’m telling you.

When I decided to enter the industry, it was very overwhelming. For help, I turned to a few books. The first book I read was written by a literary agent and he was very discouraging. According to his book, he receives 5000 requests a week for his services. You can only imagine how many rejection letters he sent out on a daily basis. A literary agent will not take a new author unless they find a publisher first. Most publishers will not look at you without a literary agent.

After reading numerous books, I decided to publish my book myself. With my background, I probably have put more deals together than some literary agents. The biggest problem with self-publishing is you can and usually do make expensive mistakes. This is why I decided to mentor people. I would have loved if someone reached out and talked me through the process when I started. It cost me money and it was very emotional. I never felt so alone in a business as I did during this time of my learning.

Since I love to learn, I decided to go out and see if the books were telling me the truth. I hired someone to get me into some important places. My journey started in New York City. On this trip, I saw and spoke with people who educated me.

The first person I saw in New York City was an associated editor at Scholastic Magazine, named Lisa Feder-Feitel.  As we got off the elevator, Scholastic’s offices took me back. I didn’t expect the bright colors and the décor. For a moment, I felt like I was in an elementary school. I had expected to sit in an office. Instead, we sat down at a table where our knees barely touched the edge of it. I expected any minute to have kids join us with their crayons and coloring books. It was really fun and Lisa was very warm and wonderful to talk with.

On this trip, I visited with Mark Schoenwald, an Executive Vice President of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I learned how a large publisher works and how they view new authors. You can read more in my e-book.

My visits didn’t stop with Thomas Nelson. I spent time with Peter Cannon of Publishers Weekly magazine. He was one of their editors and I learned a lot from talking with him.  Publishers want to get a good review from Publishers Weekly on their new book. It helps stores buy a book they have coming out. I thought it was interesting to talk with him. For me, I never bought or read a book because of a review. I bought it because someone I trusted recommended it.

From Peter’s office, I went to a meeting with Bowker. They are the source for ISBN numbers for your books. They have other services that are important to the success of your book as well.

After I met with Bowker, I went into an hour-long meeting with Barnes and Noble’s head and regional buyers. Now, I understand how they work. Before the meeting, I bumped into Barnes and Noble Vice President, Robert C. Knowles, and I had a nice chat with him.

Now, I understood how large bookstores handle buying books. I wanted to know if it was different for small family-owned bookstores. I stopped in and interviewed numerous bookstore owners across the nation. Every bookstore owner had the same attitude on how they chose their books.

While I was there, I had some owners give me the names of independent distributors. Then I called them up to learn what challenges they had working with bookstores. They have a hard job and I really appreciate what they do.

Again, I wish that I had someone talk me through the publishing business. You really have no idea what it’s like until you have to do it. When authors come up to me, I listen and my heart aches for them. I know most of them will never get started or they will quit at the first bump in the road. There is so much you need to learn and they have such a learning curve ahead of them.

I love the business side of publishing as much as I do writing. Most authors aren’t wired for business. Since I have so much vast knowledge of the publishing field, I decided to mentor others. It made sense to use the Internet. This way, I can mentor and still have a career and life. Join me today by downloading my free e-book, “What Does it Take to Become a Successful Published Author.”  Then we will talk! E-bookJ