Working Moms Find Dream Job in Book Publishing

I never expected that the life of a working mother would qualify me to write a cookbook. My career started in the aerospace industry and then took me to the fast-moving hi-tech start up world, with long and exciting days. After two children, however, the excitement wore off and the days seemed rigid and restrictive. I wanted more time with my family. I also wanted greater control over my own work and destiny, to be my own boss, and to express more creativity.

I asked myself a few questions:

1) What do I like to do?

2) What do I want to be doing in 5 years?

3) What’s the most important thing to me?

The answers led me to consider starting my own business.

That’s when I called my college friend, Wona Miniati, with the business idea: a cookbook using ingredients from our favorite grocery store, whose prepared sauces, marinated meats, and prepped vegetables gave us miraculous culinary shortcuts. Wona was in a similar situation, struggling to find the best way to juggle a career as a marketing consultant while finding time for her family. She loved the idea and was ready to jump on board with me to make this book a reality.

The beauty of this cookbook was that it was more than just a book. It represented a survival tactic we had developed over the years that allowed us to put homemade healthy food on the table every night, despite working full-time jobs. Fast food and take-out simply weren’t options for us, and this new style of cooking helped us feed our families in the way we wanted. We decided other busy moms and professionals could use these time saving tips too.

Writing a book is the ultimate flexible job – you can use snippets of time to write -you can choose to do it part- or full-time. In the traditional approach, it takes no upfront capital, so why not consider the possibilities? Here’s how to start.

1. Brainstorm! Write about what you know and love. The world of fiction novelists might be intimidating to most and hard to break into, but the world of non-fiction writing is more accessible and just as enticing to readers. Consider all the nonfiction topics you could write about: how-to’s, references, self help, hobbies, personal stories based on life changes like parenthood or a career change. If you collect Southwest pottery, write about how to acquire and identify it. If you’ve adopted overseas, share your success story. If you have a unique viewpoint on how to organize finances, make homemade baby food, or become a successful consultant, that’s your niche. Come up with something interesting and unique-your hook

How we did it: There are hundreds of cookbooks on the market, but we knew the idea for ours was unique. As for how I stumbled upon the idea originally – it came to me almost effortlessly, because the subject matter was ingrained in my day-to-day life. If you write about a topic that has personal significance to you, not only will the writing be easier, but you’ll have fun doing it!

2. Size your market. Be realistic about how many people might be interested in your topic. Think about your audience-who will buy this book? How much are similar books selling for, at what volume, and is that enticing enough for you? Broadly speaking, topics like weight loss, sex, parenting, finances, cooking, and health sell well.

How we did it: We had a clear picture of who would buy the book. We knew that if we had seen this book on the shelves, we would have snatched it up! When everyone we polled said, “What a great idea! I want to buy one!” we knew we’d found an untapped market.

3. Write! Now it’s time to put your ideas on paper. Start by creating an outline so you can see the progression of your work. Give yourself uninterrupted blocks of time every day to brainstorm and write. Carry a small notebook so that you can jot down ideas throughout the day.

How we did it: We spent a lot of time upfront talking about the title, theme, and what would be covered in this cookbook. Once we had a table of contents outlined, we began to slowly add recipes to each section. We dusted off family recipes we had informally created over the years. As the book took shape, we added descriptions that truly captured the essence and quality of the food.

4. Enlist help. Tell everyone you know about your new project. You just never know who might have valuable knowledge or helpful contacts. A friend may have a connection to a publisher or agent, or your father-in-law might be a great editor (mine was!).

How we did it: To save money, we decided to take food photos ourselves rather than hire food stylists and photographers. We were lucky to have professional photographer friends who willingly gave us crash courses in food photography. It was tough but really fun!

We also enlisted help from our children and husbands for food tastings. It became standard practice in our homes for us to cook several meals and photograph them throughout the night. I knew how involved my 5-year-old had become when he said, “Wait!” and stopped us from eating freshly made pancakes. After he took a picture with his toy camera, he said, “Okay, now we can eat.” Now he thinks about recipes and even comes up with some of his own– like rice cooked with shrimp and cilantro, and he adds, “Make sure you tell Ms. Wona about this recipe, okay?”

5. Follow your act! Before you even finish your first book, consider your second book. Does your idea lend itself to volumes and follow-up editions? Plan out your path. This will decide whether you’re looking at a one-hit wonder or a publishing career.

How we did it: We brainstormed other titles in the series upfront. This helped us stay focused on what this book was and was not (i.e., recipes that would fit better into future titles). It also helped us design a better cover, knowing that the format of the title would have to accommodate future variations.

6. Publish your work. You have several choices when it comes to publishing.

a. Self-publish using Print on Demand (PoD): This option represents the least risk and likewise the least financial reward. The concept is simple: books are printed as orders come in. Providers like and make it possible for practically anyone to write and publish a book, even on a shoestring budget. Pros: You don’t print books until they’re sold. Cons: You get no volume discounts since books are printed one at a time.

b. Self-publish in volume. Be your own publisher and distributor. Pros: You maintain complete control over your book; you don’t need anyone’s approval. There is also potential for higher profits since you’ve cut the middlemen out. Cons: Prepare to front all the publishing and distribution costs, which can be significant. These include: editing, typesetting, cover design, printing, warehousing, and distribution.

c. Submit your manuscript to conventional publishers. Pros: If your proposal is accepted, the publisher will take care of all the editing, printing, and distribution costs. Cons: The publisher is in control and decides if your book has merit or not. Publishers need to be convinced there is a market for your book, and that you’re the right person for the job.

How we did it: Because we felt confident enough in our cookbook, we decided to self-publish in volume. It was a lot of work to split up between just the two of us, without the benefits of large staff at publishing companies, but we called all the shots.

7. Promote your book! Whether you self-publish or go through a publisher, no one will promote your book better than you. Think about your target and the best ways to communicate with them. Whether it be via online methods such as a website or email campaign, or offline methods such as book signings, print ads, or PR, get the word out as quickly as you can. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth-tell your friends, family, and people you run into around town.

How we did it: We launched a website announcing our book, contacted every food editor we could think of, reached out to bloggers, and hired people to pass out flyers promoting our book. Most importantly, we asked friends and family to help spread the word. Our first orders were from friends and family, and they were critical to building the buzz about our new book.

You can find an unlimited source of information on the internet and in print (yes, there are lots of published books about how to publish a book!). Be focused, creative, persistent, and you might find that publishing is your dream job!

Motivation – How to Make It Blazing Everyday

My friends call me an ambitious person. And yes I am. But I got a problem with my endurance on reaching my goals. At first I would work harder than anyone else to reach my goals, or I could call it ‘my dreams’. Then I got into a problem. One problem comes after another. And eventually it makes me done with it and laid back. Somehow I forgot about my dreams again. Day after day it seems that the problem is getting worse and my dreams are flying away up high out of reach.

One day, I met one of my High school mates. And I tell him about how I feel and how I lost my motivation to get what I wanted. And then he comes up with a book in his hands and he told me, “Now here’s what you could do about it.” He opens the book and shows me the first page of it. The page was containing the title of the book and it was hand written. The book is entitled “My Dream Book”. Then he lends me the book and told me to open the pages of his book. When I open up his book I realized that it was more like an album than an original book. And it’s the album of his dreams. Every page got a picture of what he want to achieve in this world. Such as a house, a car, etc; there’s also pictures of places like Paris, Maldives, New York, Hawaii, etc. and in the last page was a picture of his family.

He told me that he always look up to that book every morning after he woke up and every night before he sleeps. He said that those pictures were his goals in his life. He even put some deadline on when he should achieve his dream on the below the picture shown. He said that it helps him a lot to focus on what he’s doing and make the best out of it. He always wants to make his family happy. There’s a picture of his mother smiling in the end of the “dream book” and he said that it’s the picture that motivate him a lot. He wanted to see his mother smiling like that again and again.

He inspires me to create my own dream book. And I made one myself. It’s such a great feeling to just look at it and imagine how it will make my family proud when I made my dreams comes true. I try to look at it every time I got the chance and it makes me willing to work as hard as I can to reach my dreams as soon as possible before it’s too late to makes my family proud of me. Well, make a “dream book” of your own and you will find how you will be motivated to get your dreams.

Chinese Dream Dictionary

It is not uncommon amongst the Chinese to ask someone who has just awaken from a short nap if he or she has just visited Grandmaster Zhou for a discussion. But what is this so?

Grandmaster Zhou (also known as Zhou Gong) who lived approximately 3000 years ago is credited with the earliest Chinese Dream Dictionary known as “Zhou Gong’s Book of Auspicious and Inauspicious Dreams”. Legend has it that this is the same person who is credited with the development of the Yi Qing or the Book of Changes. Therefore whenever you dream, it is like paying a visit to Grandmaster Zhou!

You can find a section of his book in the Chinese Almanac which until recent times is found in most Chinese household. This also explains the popularity. It is not uncommon during my parent’s and grandparent’s time to refer to this section of the almanac whenever a member of the family has a dream, more so a strange one.

In the Chinese Almanac (also known as the Tung Shu or Tong Sing) dreams are presented in seven categories. They are astronomy, home and surroundings, gods and spirit, person or body, music and disharmony, living creatures and lastly clothing and miscellaneous items.

Some of the interpretations are somewhat logical. For example if you dream of sunset, then you parents are sad. Or of you dream of eating cooked meat versus eating raw meat, it is a sign of good luck.

Some of the interpretations are not so logical. For example if you dream of a blue snake it is a good sign. Or if you dream of sharing an umbrella with someone, you will be separated from your family members.

Some are hilarious. For example if you dream of your own wedding, then it is a sign that you will be separated from your wife! Worst if you dream that your wife is pregnant. It means that she is engaged in an adultery affair!

I would strongly urge you not to take the dreams interpretation too literally especially the one mentioned in the last paragraph.

You may be interested to know that the type or meaning of dreams was use – in conjunction with other methods – as a medical diagnostic tool. You can find it in Yellow Emperor’s Medicine Classic – Miraculous Pivot that dates back over 4000 years!

Different type of dreams e.g. fearful, sad dreams, relates to deficiency in different parts of the body! For example falling dream is due to deficiency in the upper and excess in the lower part of the body. This is often seen in water retention in the kidneys and deficiency of yang in the heart.

That is interpreting dreams for you – Chinese style!

Write a "How to" Book Fast – Keep Your Book Dream Alive

Yes, Virginia, there is a book Santa Clause.

You don’t even have to wait for Christmas.

If you do some market research and find out what audience wants what problem solved, you can start there. If you have a deep desire to learn about that needed particular topic or are an expert in that topic you are on your way to write a how to book that will so please your audience, you’ll sell plenty.

Categories to Get your Ideas Going Include:

1. Business to Business. This includes sharing your skills such as book editing for a General Manager’s book.

2. Health and Fitness. This includes women’s health, men’s health, disease prevention, different addictions and how to treat them. Sex is always a hot topic.

3. Money and Employment. This includes investing, debt management and home businesses.

4. Computing and the Internet. This includes internet marketing including copywriting, article marketing, and website design.

5. Sports and Recreation. This includes football, golf, and coaching.

You probably have a lot of ideas. Just sit quietly and choose the topic your audience wants and you are most passionate about now and will be for two years, and write that book first.

After your first how to book topic is chosen, write a list of all the one audience’s problems and challenges it will address and solve.

Once you get a list for the whole book, categorize each one kind of problem and make a chapter on its related ones. For instance, if you write a book on time management, write down the particular problems such as procrastination. Then, for the middle of that chapter, write your audience’s questions such as, “Why do I procrastinate?” “What do I lose by procrastinating?” and What are five ways I can stop procrastinating?” Once you get the middle part of your chapter written, you can address the hook and introduction, and the final part, the conclusion.

If an audience has a problem and you have the solutions, you have a perfect marriage in your how to book.

When you write a how to book, put it together fast with pieces. Each chapter will flow naturally from your answering your reader’s questions. You’ll realize your book dream and produce a book that some people will love and pay you handsomely for.

Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad… It's a DC Dream! –

(Photo: Warner Bros)

In a new feature series on, Ora TV’s Shira Brown joins us to offer up a preview of Warner Bros. upcoming schedule of DC Comics movies.

It won’t be long before the most anticipated DC blockbuster of the year, Batman vs. Superman, graces us with its presence. But that’s not the only movie hitting theaters this year, with Warner Brothers building out a series of films slated to be released throughout the years. They have really taken it upon themselves to build out a DC universe for fans to get lost in, and it’s looking like it won’t disappoint!

First up this year is Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is placing two of DC’s most iconic characters against one another. There are a number of details about this move that have comic book fans gripping with excitement. The biggest one might be Doomsday, and how exactly Zach Snyder will connect him to the Justice League. Will it take DC and Superman back to Krypton? Snyder says there is good reason for the move, but fans will just have to wait and see for themselves.

Suicide Squad is the next flick to be released (Aug 5) and bringing an anti-hero cast to the screen that could make a grown man quiver.

Next up from the DC universe in 2017 will be the Wonder Woman solo film, with Gal Gadot, which promises to bring the powerful superhero force she is known for.

And closing out an epic 2017 for DC fans will be Justice League: Part 1, out on November 17th. This looks to be quite a couple years for comic book fans, and one thing’s for sure is audiences can’t wait!

In the mean time you can check out Michael Shannon offering Larry King up some new details about his Batman vs. Superman role:



You can check out Michael Shannon’s full interview with Larry King on Ora TV.

"The Dream Catcher Tour" by Paula Buermele – Book Review

Outskirts Press (2007)

ISBN 9781432703530

Buckle your seatbelts; you are in for an adventure you won’t soon forget! Welcome aboard the Northern Experience Tours! You will be traveling with 46 other women on a trip around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. You are certain to meet some of the most interesting people you have ever met and perhaps you will make some new friends along the way. Emily is our tour guide and she wants to spend some time with each individual tour group member and be certain that they have a good time.

Of course, when you have this many different people from so many different walks of life, you are sure of having many life stories. As the group travels from one location to another, another person is spending time with Emily and sharing their life stories. From one city to another, you are able to enjoy the sites and unique characteristics of each locale. Some of the tourists’ attractions are as follows: Mackinac Island, the Soo Locks bordering Canada, Munising, Houghton and Crystal Falls.

Paula Buermele has done an excellent job in providing a great storyline and travel book all in one. Through the pages of the book, you will feel like you are right there on the bus and getting to know these people that you are traveling with. Through descriptive paragraphs you will feel like you are seeing these places with your own eyes. I certainly hope that Paula Buermele writes more books. I loved “The Dream Catcher Tour” and would definitely like to read more of her work.

Reviewed by Lori Plach for Reader Views (11/07)

Goal Busters

At this time, you have evaluated your wheel of life and decided where you need to focus extra attention. You have set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a deadline. So why do so many people give up after only a few weeks into a new resolution?

Unsupportive Friends – Be careful with whom you share your dreams, visions and goals. Not everybody will see what you see. Some people may rain on your parade. It is helpful to find your cheerleaders who will encourage you to keep going, applaud the little successes.

The hardest challenge is if your closest friends aren’t your cheerleaders. ‘It is hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.’ You may need to find a new group of friends that can support your endeavor. This may be very simple – if you find a local interest group that has the interests that align with your goals.

Writing Your Goals Down – Studies have shown the success for achieving goals goes up dramatically if you write them down. I find visualization fuels the passion and keeps you pressing towards your goals. Find pictures of your dream/goals and place them on a wall, dream board or notebook. I have a notebook with sections for each of my spokes of the wheel of life.

Speak Only Positive Words – If you say “This will never happen.” Or “I will never get this done.” You are right. If you proclaim, “My dream will happen.” Or “I can do this.” You are right.

There is death and life in the power of the tongue. Be careful of what you speak about yourself or your dreams and goals. Those off hand remarks like “I am so stupid” or “I am such a klutz” are destructive. They aren’t as innocent as they may seem.

When Jim Carey was an unknown “want to” be actor, he had a dream book. He knew he wanted to be a world famous actor. Not only did he have a dream book, he went regularly to the hills overlooking Hollywood and proclaimed his dream. And the rest is history.

Review Your Goals – Keeping focused on your goals helps you take action, do things that move you toward your dreams. Professing your successful completion of your goals daily helps you stay focused, helps you visualize and keep the passion burning.

Periodically you need to review your progress. I look at that quarterly. What steps do I want to have done in the next 3 months? Those are measurable, keep them realistic and achievable. Based on how I did for the quarter, I set the goals for the next quarter.

I don’t beat myself up, if I fall short. Life happens, issues come up, distractions occur. But where would I be if I didn’t have a compass to keep me focused on what I have determined to be important.

We will always be a cheerleader for you – especially for your financial goals.

Stay tuned for Financial Goal Setting! Dreams, visions, goals, achieving, dream board, wheel of life

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