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What do You Look For in a Book?

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

There are so many ways to buy books these days, that you'd be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed. And, knowing what I now know about self-publishing, I can tell you that the hype about a lot of books is usually written by their authors!

So who do you trust to give you an honest review? The people you know, that's who!

But, let's say you have some time to spare and you decide that you'd like a book to read on your next holiday. Do you go online and buy an eBook, or do you head out to your local bookstore to feel the tome in your hands, and leaf through it's pages?

Right now, those bookstores are opening up and getting ready for the Christmas rush. Some might be the big stores, but there are many others who nearly went bankrupt because of covid.

I'm normally the kind of person to go to the "bricks and mortar" bookstores. I love picking up the books and reading the covers, having a sample read of the text, and then making my choice. I especially love those new-agey stores!

But the fact is, there are so many more millions of books that are not available that way, and your only hope of finding them is online.

I've often tried finding eBooks in my local and university libraries, but occasionally will purchase books online, based on reviews written by strangers.

It's then that I realise how wide the range is, of quality writing. What looks fantastic because of rave reviews, ends up being poorly written and in need of a good editor.

After I wrote my first book, [RE]BIRTH: Self-Transformation over Tea and Tarot, I paid for the privilege (I say tongue in cheek) of attending a seminar on book marketing. The presenter engagingly talked about her writer retreats and sold her books to guests. The one I bought ("48 hour author") was full of errors, and was an incredibly hard book to read. I threw it in the recycling bin!

When I launched my first book, I had no idea, about anything! I only knew these three things:

  1. I could write (as a scientist, my work was published after peer review; but I also wrote serials in high school, and my classmates loved reading my fiction);

  2. I had an awesome idea, that nobody else had come up with; and,

  3. I had over 500 copies of my paperback to sell.

I knew nothing about selling - anything! It didn't matter how much I believed in my book, or my business ideas, or all the other expertise I could offer; I didn't know how to get any of that to people who would buy what I had to sell.

At the same time, I was launching my business, The Centre of Serendipity, and was part of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme. That meant I had government support and a business mentor.

Still, I didn't learn anything about how to sell, or even connect with potential buyers and clients, despite this support!

Now, you could ask, why I didn't pick up a book and teach myself? I didn't, because marketing has never been on my list of interests. I just wanted a business mentor to show me the ropes - someone to show me what would work.

Instead, I spent a lot of time learning all the things that wouldn't work. Oh, and money! I spent a LOT of money.

It's so typical of being human!

We try to do things ourselves and sometimes fail, sometimes succeed. We might find ourselves a mentor, and rely on them to show us what to do. Occasionally, we find the answers, for which we've been searching for so long.

So, I’d like to ask, what do you look for in a book? Do you look for a quirky story? Do you look for an interesting or inspiring biography? Do you look for personal development or motivation?

Would you like your beliefs challenged? Would you like to develop your spirituality?

There's one other way to discover whether or not you'd like a book: that's to read other things written by the same author. For example, you can sign up for an author's mailing list and read their blog posts.

You can sample my writing style in my blog posts and emails. The way I write here is the way I write my books, except that my books are longer and organised into parts that have a distinct feel and purpose.

For instance, my second book was another self development book, called Study Skills for Success: How to Learn, Know and Show You’re "The Expert". I had learned a few hard lessons, both from self-publishing with Balboa on my first book, and from studying the hard way. I wrote this second book after doing the research I needed before going to uni! If I had this book then, or even when I finished primary school, I would have been a much more confident and competent student.

Instead of going through school and my tertiary studies - feeling like I was stupid - I could have tapped the incredible potential of my brain, and realised I wasn't stupid at all! I was actually pretty smart! I might have even won the University medal ...

Well, that book (Study Skills for Success) is organised into three distinct parts. You can see the way the brain organises and retrieves information. You can see how to study alone and with a study group. And, you can see how to reduce stress.

While [RE]BIRTH is also organised into three distinct parts, it's a totally different book. That's because it's about using tarots for reflection. The first part uses my version of "the fool's journey" allegory. You get a picture of what it is to be human. I encourage you to draw what you imagine while you're reading (it's great mindfulness, and also creativity is perfect for developing intuition). The second part of the book helps you to explore your relationships, interactions, and experiences. The third part, then leads you to imagine your future.

With both books, I assume that you don't have any experiences with their subjects. You don't know about tarots, and you don't know how to study successfully. But I do assume that you have unlimited potential. I do assume that you have hopes and dreams which you'd like to realise. And, I'm with you every step of the way. You feel my heart beating with your own, as you embark on your fantastic adventure!


Here are some handy links to books, meditations, meditation school, tarot and oracle card reading. You might like to consider what kinds of transitions you need to make in your life (Ahem. I am Certified Results Coach, and you can book a free strategy session over the phone, anywhere in the world).


Feel free to like, comment, and share ...

Please remember, if you like what I have to say, please feel free to purchase books and meditations, and to leave a comment! Two happy reviews on Amazon and other online retailers earn subscribers a 50% discount on their next book (if both are purchased from this website).


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