Renée and I met at a workshop last fall that had a profound effect on both of us. I attended the workshop because it was being given by a friend and I wanted to support her.
I’ve often joked since then that if I’d known what it was all about, I would never have gone! So, meeting Renée was a fortuitous event because if I’d had any idea what I was getting into that week, I wouldn’t have been there.
Given the depth of what we were experiencing in the workshop, close bonds were created among all of the small group attendees, and it’s been a pleasure to see Renée step into her calling over the past ten months.
So, just who is this Money Savvy Woman? She is someone who uses her passion and expertise to help her clients, students, and readers transform their financial confusion and struggle into a clear purpose and relationship with money.
Her Savvy HarMONEY™ Process gives people the ability to manage their money effectively, resulting in freedom, improved money dynamics in their relationships, and the ability to get out of the “lack & consumer” mentalities and into living lives abundantly. In the last 12 months, many of her clients have moved from living paycheck-to-paycheck to having a savings cushion and making monthly investment contributions.
Needless to say, her book, HarMoney: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Money… Your Rules, Your Way!, allows couples and individuals to learn about her Savvy HarMONEY™ Process on their own, and apply what they learn to their own finances.
Tara: What motivated you to write a book?
Renée: Initially, one of my students asked me for a step-by-step guide. She planted the seed. But I was also tired of my clients thinking I was superior to them because I understood how money worked and that got the pen to paper. In fact, I was pretty motivated to teach the dynamics of money and how to stop making the same mistakes over and over.
Tara: What publishing options did you consider?
Renée: I only considered self-publishing as I had wonderful mentors around me and the budget was right. The idea of traditional publishing scared me. I didn’t like the idea of giving my book away; I wanted to keep control over it, so self-publishing was a perfect fit for me.
Tara: Why did you settle on the option you chose?
Renée: I self-published through CreateSpace, an Amazon subsidiary. Frankly, the process was so easy I could hardly believe it. They walked me through the process in a matter of steps… and BAM! I had a proof in my hands a few days later.
Tara: How easy was it to get your book done?
Renée: Well, honestly, I was in the middle of recovering from a serious car accident. The setbacks of surgeries, medication, and head injury delayed me somewhat. I still have a lot of laughs when I think about the process. I thought my work was done after I’d finished the content. But that was the easy part. I had several editors scrub the book for flow, content, and layout. That’s when I really rolled up my sleeves.
I remember when I got an urgent call after about six-unanswered emails from my consultant, “I need 600 words minimum to fill in this hole in two hours or less.” I was in the car with my hubby heading out for fun. The look on his face was utter disbelief. But in that moment, I felt like an author and wrote those 600 words in the car as we drove. I felt like I was in the big leagues.
Tara: How did you distribute the book after publication?
Renée: Honestly, my very first experience with selling the book was out of my suitcase at CEO Space International. I’d brought 50 copies with me, my first order. I wound up selling enough of them to cover my hotel bill! Currently, most of my sales are still out of my car’s trunk (hahaha) or online.
Tara: How are you marketing and promoting your book?
Renée: The majority of my marketing is through social media. As often as I can, I seed it into my blogs, vlogs, and posts. When speaking, I usually have the opportunity to sell at the back of the room or hopefully get my host to purchase a copy for everyone in the audience.
Tara: What’s working best for you to generate sales?
Renée: Speaking engagements work well as multiple sales take place. It’s a lot more fun to sell 30 or 100 books at a time. It can also work in place of a speaking fee if hosts are hesitant to pay a fee.
Tara: Which social network do you use the most and why?
Renée: Facebook is my favorite. It’s simple to use and most everyone has a Facebook account. My assistant does a lot of posting there and on Twitter for me, but more importantly, I personally post often each day and engage with those who comment. It’s been a lot of hard work getting the page to a point that it’s gained traction, but people I don’t know are seeking my services. Getting a return on the investment is the goal, and we’re on our way to making that happen.
Tara: If you had one piece of advice for someone thinking about writing a book, what would it be?
Renée: Do it! I would suggest working with someone who knows the ropes of book production. I was blessed to work with a woman who knew the process forwards and backwards. She was talented at getting my book out of me, found me the necessary editors to transition the book from instructional into an engaging, can’t-put-it-down read, and the layout and cover are B-E-A-utiful!
I’ve been blessed to have a couple icons of the industry compliment me on its production. One even gave me his first book to prove how much nicer mine was than his. Finding the expert to hold my hand through the process made my first book something I am very, very proud of.
Writing this book was a labor of love. I have a lot be grateful for… from my student who asked for it, to the car accident that gave me the time to write HarMoney: A Step-by-Step Guide to Your Money, Your Rules, Your Way!, to the expertise of my team.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning from Renée! Be sure to subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss out on future interviews and blog posts.
As Renée mentioned, having someone walk you through the ropes of book production is important if you’ve decided to self-publish and want the look and feel of a professionally published book. Take a look at how we can help you get from manuscript to masterpiece!
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