1st September 2020 is a huge day. New beginnings, back to school week and it’s the publication day of my book ‘The Money Guide to Transform Your Life’. This is the book that I was born to write. Here is how to write and publish a book.
I am so so proud to write and publish this book and get this valuable guidance out to you, my loyal readers and followers and to the world. A book that condenses eight years of my best blog. video and podcast content into 200 pages and 40,000 words.
It’s a memoir combined with the best of financial guidance. If you’ve read my blog you know how much I share, real life stories of difficult life experiences and the solutions I have found to make improvements.
Part 1 is all about ‘The Now’.
Part 1 is packed full of chapters on money saving guidance for right now, hundreds of ideas to help you save money on a daily and monthly basis. Making some of these changes will save you hundreds, maybe thousands. If you made all of the changes, it indeed would be a transformation. We can all do with an extra few hundred pounds each month couldn’t we?
Especially at the moment.
Never has it been a more perfect time to release a money guide. Times are tough. 2020 has been the worst year for financial difficulties with so many people already losing their jobs, or income changing hugely. Millions need guidance on the simple steps that can be taken to save money.
I start the book with my story. My life has been a roller coaster, just like yours, with many big life events hugely impacting on my money mindset and behaviours.
I talk budgeting, debt, emergency savings, monthly money saving ideas, family money saving, food money saving, healthy body and mind and making money.
Part 2 is about ‘The Future’
When you have got to a good place with ‘The Now’ you can move onto preparing for financial freedom and The Future. Something I dream of, that I am preparing for (but also know is very far away).
In part 2 I talk about protection, so insurance and pensions. More on savings, investing your money and pensions. My last chapter is ‘Do What Makes you Happy’, wouldn’t it be amazing to earn a living doing something that you absolutely love?
Praise from Others
I was incredibly excited when Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee said that she would be my VERY first reader of my book and write my Foreword. I cried when I read it. Here is a snipit.
The Money Guide to Transform Your Life is a deeply personal and brave account of Lynn’s journey towards financial freedom. It is a rare glimpse into the life events that shape people, and ultimately their approaches to money. Lynn’s story from childhood and the loss of two parents to building a successful business, while being a single mum to three boys, will inspire you to make better decisions about your own finances.
My Penzance friend and fellow Personal finance guide Pete Matthew, was second reader of book said this.
“From the heart and from real, gritty experience, this book is crammed with actionable tips to help turn your financial life around – highly recommended!”
It is totally a book that you NEED to read. You will learn alot about personal finance and my life. And I can’t wait to hear what you think!
So How on Earth Did I write a book and publish it myself
At the beginning of May I was just pulling myself from the fog of lockdown and my ex-husband leaving. I was now a single mum, independent women and home owner. I wanted to do something huge. Something that would change my life and that of my audience who love my Mrs Mummypenny content.
Creative Writing Course
I decided to write the book that I had planned to write two years prior. In 2018 I spent a day in beautiful Shoreditch in an old chapel at a creative writing course. It was an amazing course where I met such an incredible group of women (including Julie one of my first readers), lead by author Jackee Holder. We spent the day being creative and inspired. We made collages, we drank tea, we bonded, we talked about our book ideas, and spent some time crafting our ideas into book plan.
The ‘Lore of Lynn’ was born. And it stayed as a rough plan of a book until 2019. In 2019 I wrote an eBook called Dear Debt – It’s time to say Goodbye. And submitted this to a publishing house to read. It wasn’t the right book to publish then, but they provided some incredible feedback. A better book idea was me to write about personal finance, my area of expertise.
Planning is so Important
I wrote the actual detailed book plan for The Money Guide to Transform Your Life on the flight home from Corsica in June 2019. Just before that holiday I had told my then husband that our marriage was over, and that we should spend this last week together as a family for the boys. It felt like the right time to plan out my book.
It stayed as a plan until May 2020. Those months that followed the holiday to Corsica until lockdown in March 2020 were the hardest months I have ever gone through. Even when I compare to my mum dying. I was incapable of writing my life story/personal finance guide.
Employing a Writing Coach & Editor
By May 2020 I was ready to write the book. I had the skeleton plan so I went for it. I asked my bestest friend since age 11, Rebecca Megson-Smith of Ridley Writes to act as my writing coach (and editor). And I went for it.
By Mid June I had written the whole of part 1 and sent it to Rebecca for a first review.
Writing a book is tough. It was the most natural process in the world to move the words from my head onto my computer, but it took so long. It was relentless. Every day I just had to sit there and hammer out words. I needed to take time off at the end of May/early June when I was hit with post divorce exhaustion of body and mind. I lost two weeks in the process. Rebecca and I discussed this and we moved the original launch date from 1st August to 1st September. I had space to breathe.
First Draft & Feedback
Rebecca went through the first draft very quickly and we had a Friday lunchtime meeting to go through feedback. Bec and I have been friends through everything since we were 11. Through death of parents on both sides, illness, babies, divorce on both sides, teenage angst, university, career highlights and lowlights. She has always been my life coach, knowing my exact history and why I behave in certain ways. Also 100% qualified to be my writing coach and be a person that I can take feedback from no problems.
The initial feedback was good. Great content, solid ideas, a good plan. But it needed a rewrite. It needed structure, it needed consistency and it needed a heart and soul. Rebecca is an author, playwrite and trained journalist. She knows the art of writing as if its second-nature to her. She knew exactly what I needed to change.
I listened to the feedback and spent MANY hours going back through part 1 of the book and rewriting, adding new sections, removing alot. It was not my favourite bit of the process.
But it prepared me well for writing part 2. I followed the new rules and it meant that the amends of part 2 from Bec were much fewer.
By the end of June the whole book was done and sent to Rebecca for the final review. I had a final review of final edits and the book was ready to be proof read. Editing is the most painful job ever. I hugely dislike it, but its an essential part of the book process (I kept telling myself).
Editing, Artwork, Online Shop
At the same time as editing I was also working with my website designer liz at Lingo on the artwork front and back cover of the book, all done to match the design of my website. Along with a shop page being built to allow for me to take pre-orders in the PR build up to 1st September launch day.
By mid July the book was fully edited and ready to send to my proof reader. Proof reading is such an important job and really does require a professional proof reader. Desa found SO many errors, I now realise that I have no idea how to use colons and semi-colons and I misspell the same words all of the time.
At the same time as proof reading, I had two first readers (Julie as mentioned and Faith from Much More With Less) go through the book to give a view point as another personal finance expert and as a real life reader.
Fast forward a week and it was time to make all the amends from the proof reader and from the first readers. There were ALOT.
I am sure you want to know the costs. Every part I paid full rate for (nothing free or mates rates!) There were 5 people involved in the costs of the book production. I paid for coaching, editing, proof reading, artwork, online shop building and 2 lots of first readers (although their fee was donated to Grief Encounter and the Rations challenge that Faith is doing). Total spend of £1000. There are also PR costs to add to this of sending out copies of book as gifts and promotional, competition copies.
Then it was done
The next stage was formatting and structure of the book to ensure that it looked amazing when printed out. Fonts, Headers, spacing, pictures, chapter titles, contents etc.
Finally at the beginning of August my book was ready to send to my printer (local Knebworth business Triographics) for test proof copy to be printed out. The proof copy was ready within a couple of days and there were then even more amends to make. When you see a copy of your book in actual print its easier to spot glaring errors.
All approved and happy I made the bulk order to cover the pre-orders, gift copies and future orders from launch day onwards.
If you have pre-ordered a HUGE THANK YOU, you will have it by now! And if you are waiting for launch day then you can buy a signed copy right here.
THANK YOU for reading, are you inspired to write a book of your own? Its a lot of work, but so worth the effort. I am so proud of what I have achieved, and now have a product to introduce people to who want more from Mrs Mummypenny all in one place. My place in history.
If you would like to sell my book or have any other queries about speaking, podcasts, interview etc please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org