May 2011 18

Author Gary Young talks about his book, Loss and Found, which is about the death of a spouse while you’re a young person.

Gary is an experienced author and very insightful.

Gary is a great example of a successful self-publisher.  He’s also an active member of IWOSC, the Independent Writers of Southern California. It’s a great organization that puts together programs for writers on lots of different topics, like writing workshops, marketing seminars, writing for business, blogging…plus it’s a great way to meet other writers.  As writers, we so often write alone or in small offices, so it’s great to interact with other writers.

 
Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

May 2011 12

An excerpt from our book, Making Divorce Work, was published by Mediate.com this week and went out in their newsletter. Hooray!

You can read it here: 8 Peace Practices

If you’re not familiar with Mediate.com, they’re a portal for all things mediation. They have a great free weekly newsletter (which is where the 8 peace practices was featured) and offer all kinds of services to mediators. They’ve been in business a long time and I’ve met the owner-operator numerous times at mediation conferences.

I’m not affiliated with Mediate.com but love them. They are very generous with their knowledge and do their best to help mediators and arbitrators stay on top of their game.

Apr 2011 26

I used Kim Dower as the publicist on my 1st book, Your Divorce Advisor . She was terrific.

She has a new book of her own now, a book of poetry, called Air Kissing On Mars. She’s going to be reading from her new book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC this weekend.

She’s been a book publicist for 20 years and has a lot of good advice to aspiring authors as well as first time authors. Check out her advice in the video!

As an author, I was very surprised to learn the following:

  • the average book advance is about $5000
  • the book publicists that work for your publishing company will spend about 1 month promoting your book. Then they’re on to the next set of books they have coming out
  • Once you get your advance, you may never see royalties because first you have to earn back your advance via book sales and many publishing houses are sloppy bookkeepers.

How crazy is that?

So why would anyone want to write a book?

Well, for starters, it’s really really cool to open that first box of books when they arrive. So cool! Then you can tell people you’re an author, which is also very cool. As the nerdy little kid who spend her entire 3rd grade summer vacation reading, being an author was a lifelong dream.

But there are more practical reasons to write a book:

* To really crystalize the advice I give clients all the time. Making Divorce Work really did that for me.
* To promote my practice, Peace Talks. We mediate so that people can have uncontested divorce california and redefine their families after divorce without scorching the earth. That feels like important work to me, so writing a book to help get the word out was worth the time and effort.
* The book makes a nice give-away to clients, referral sources and libraries. Of course, Plan A is to sell a zillion copies, but in reality you probably won’t sell enough to retire. Giving away books when you’re using them to promote yourself, your practice, or [fill in the blank] is a pretty inexpensive investment. Plus it shows them that you’re an expert.
* To get better at what you do best. Nothing like teaching a course in what you do to insure that you know what you’re doing! I never learned so much as when I taught a class on family law to budding lawyers, or when I train new mediators. The same is true for writing a book.

It’s a lot of work to write a book. I have had co-authors on all 3 of my books and I enjoy the synergy of working together and sharing ideas. That sort of cut down on the work, but when you work with others you also have to mediate your differences and set a uniform tone to the writing, which are issues in and of themselves.

It’s also more work than you think to write a book. You get started and it’s a fun project. You sell the book, or decide on a self-publisher, and then you have to FINISH the book. When Katie and I turned in Making Divorce Work to our editor at Penguin, it was 250 pages. We got back 182 comments and things to change. Ooops. So we’d turned in the book and then we [basically] had to re-write the book.

But still, you open that first box of books and nothing can compare.

Diana Mercer is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Perigee 2010). Join the conversation and community on our video blog and check out Diana’s divorce blog on the Huffington Post

Mar 2011 21

Project Vic isn’t going well. My own efforts to walk my talk as a mediator and mend my relationship with my dad have taken a rocky turn on Thanksgiving.

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Mar 2011 17

Attorney Kelley Finan explains how collaborative divorce works

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