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  • Writer's pictureC. Booker Hamilton

Hi Creatives! 🌸


Let's pause for a moment, shall we? As business owners, it's so easy to get lost in the hustle. We constantly chase dreams, goals, and sometimes, the elusive perfection. I've heard the heartfelt stories of frustration, exhaustion, and confusion from many beautiful souls in our Facebook group, wondering how to reach their desired audience.

Remember this: It's okay to take a moment. Just breathe with me... Woosah! 🌬️ Our work, our passion, it's not going anywhere. The essence of blooming where you are, lies in cherishing every moment and doing what fills our heart with happiness.

Here are ten ways to make room for growth in your creative journey:

  1. Get Organized: A tidy space leads to a tidy mind. Start with organizing your computer files, Canva designs, business records, receipts, and invoices. An orderly space can set the tone for a productive day.

  2. Review Your Websites: Regularly check for any broken links, expiring sales, or fuzzy pictures. A fresh and crisp online presence can make a world of difference in attracting and retaining customers.

  3. Ask for Feedback: Approach a loyal client and request a review of your service. Offer them a discount as a token of appreciation. Their insights can open doors to better service.

  4. Seek Divine Clarity: Sometimes, the answers we seek are just a prayer away. Asking the Creator for clarity and guidance can lead to unexpected solutions and a serene heart.

  5. Make a Checklist: Lay down your thoughts and marketing strategies in a bullet journal. These journals are perfect for capturing spontaneous ideas and structuring them.

  6. Leave It for Another Day: Creativity flourishes when the mind is free. Take breaks, spend time with loved ones, and rejuvenate your spirit. Remember, every day is a new beginning.

  7. Consult ChatGPT: Whether it's business ideas, crafting affirmations, or designing social media posts, don't hesitate to ask for guidance and inspiration.

  8. Invest in Learning: Knowledge is power. Enroll in a course and acquire a new skill set. It not only boosts confidence but opens avenues for innovation.

  9. Embrace Nature: Take a refreshing walk. The beauty of nature, combined with physical exercise, is therapeutic. It clears brain fog and infuses joy, thanks to the wonderful endorphins.

  10. Prioritize Rest: Your well-being is paramount. Adequate sleep fosters creativity, sharpens focus, and nourishes the soul.

In conclusion, lovely Creatives, blooming where we are is all about balance. It's the harmony of work and play, dreams and rest, learning and reflecting. Embrace every facet of this journey, for in every step, there's growth and beauty.


Do what makes you happy; Do what brings you joy; and Do what keeps you grounded.


If you are looking to connect with an inspiring group of Creative Black women, please join my private Facebook group, Baring My Soul Creatives.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/baringmysoulcreatives/?ref=share


Be blessed,


Christine

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  • Writer's pictureC. Booker Hamilton

My 'Baring My Soul Creatives' Facebook group just finished our BMSC 5-Day Composition Challenge and we had a blast! Not only was the challenge engaging, it was very informative. Creatives from various backgrounds and skillsets participated in the challenge and shared their expertise along the way. What I loved most about the challenge is that it was a collective effort and we respected one another's process (no matter our expertise). Now that the challenge is over, some of us (including me) are trying to figure out what to do with all of our great designs. We are asking ourselves: "What's a good marketing strategy?; "What prices should I set for my books?"; and most importantly, "What publishing site should I use...Amazon KDP or LuLu.com?"


I use both publishing sites, but what works for me may not work for others. Plus, my marketing strategy can use some work! And, I probably should not admit this, but I didn't think about a marketing strategy before I started the challenge. So, I decided to ask an expert...ChatGPT. That's right, Creatives! I went straight to the artificial intelligence app to get my answers and this is what it generated:


Pros and Cons of Lulu and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)


Lulu


Pros:


1. Versatility: Lulu offers a variety of formats, including print (hardcover and paperback), ebooks, and even photo books and calendars.


2. No upfront costs: Lulu operates on a print-on-demand basis, which means you don't have to worry about upfront costs or managing inventory.


3. Control over pricing: Authors have a high degree of control over how much their books sell for.


4. Global distribution: Lulu has a wide distribution network that includes not just its own platform, but also Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers globally.


5. Rights and control:Authors retain all rights to their work and can easily make changes to their books at any time.


Cons:


1. Complex interface: Some users find Lulu’s user interface to be less intuitive and more difficult to navigate compared to other platforms.


2. Less visibility: Although Lulu has wide distribution, books published through Lulu may have less visibility than those published directly on Amazon due to Amazon's market dominance.


3. Slow proofing and shipping:Some authors report slow turnaround times for receiving proofs and shipping books.


Amazon KDP


Pros:


1. Huge audience: Amazon is the largest online retailer, which provides a massive potential audience for your book.


2. Print-on-demand and ebooks: Like Lulu, Amazon KDP also supports both print-on-demand and ebooks, and it makes it easy to create Kindle-compatible ebooks.


3. Ease of use: Many authors find Amazon KDP's platform more user-friendly and intuitive than Lulu's.


4. Royalties: For ebooks priced between $2.99 and $9.99, authors can earn a 70% royalty, which is higher than what most traditional publishers offer.


5. KDP Select: This exclusive program gives authors the chance to earn additional royalties through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and access promotional tools like Kindle Countdown Deals.


Cons:


1. Exclusivity: If you opt for KDP Select, your ebook must be exclusive to Amazon—meaning you can't sell it anywhere else.


2. Royalty structure: For ebooks priced outside the $2.99-$9.99 range, the royalty rate drops to 35%. Plus, you pay a delivery fee for larger files.


3. Limited print options: Compared to Lulu, Amazon offers fewer options for print formats, and no options for specialized products like photo books or calendars.


4. Rights and control: While you do maintain rights to your book, making changes after publishing can be more difficult on Amazon KDP compared to Lulu.


Here's my two cents...Click the link below to see my KDP vs LuLu comparison chart based upon a 75 page composition book. Yesterday, I uploaded similar books to both sites to compare the costs and other differentials. Note: You may need a Canva account to view.

https://www.canva.com/design/DAFqXy8a7sQ/86SiD7JTHpxWftbViCTISw/edit?utm_content=DAFqXy8a7sQ&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link2&utm_source=sharebutton


The bottom line is that you have to do what is best for you. Determine your desired outcome and don't stress over low royalties from Amazon KDP and Lulu. Do a little market research, set competitive prices, and develop YOUR PLAN to present your remarkable products to the world. We are in this thing for the long game...which is to build our brands, businesses, and legacies. Let's affirm and agree that we are abundantly and wonderfully blessed...individually and collectively!


Take care,


Christine

Baring My Soul Creations






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  • divamaker

Updated: Jul 24






As I was reflecting over my life, I began to think of things I had not accomplished. I felt a moment of disappointment that slowly dissipated as I transitioned to thinking positive. The more I focused on the things I had accomplished, I realized I am AMAZING. I am not boasting, in fact, I feel very humble in associating myself with being AMAZING. I put the word amazing in all caps because I wanted to emphasize how amazing I felt about myself.


Too often the word amazing is expressed about other people in my life or even a celebrity or two. I tend to downplay anything I do that ends with success. Why? I am not sure. I believe there are others like me that never acknowledge their success but focus on what did not happen. Do I see the glass half full or half empty? I believe in seeing things half full because there is always more room for growth than thinking “I’m done, why try?” My accomplishments are simply a scratch off and move on to the next goal. It is others in my life that tells me I am amazing. I hear what their saying. but it is no big deal in my mind.


The revelation of seeing myself as AMAZING is quite refreshing. It is a big deal that I achieved many goals and is living a successful life. Many of you reading this blog, may have always seen yourself as being AMAZING. Thank you for acknowledging your truth. For those who have struggled like me in recognizing how AMAZING you are. Let us start today in saying “I AM AMAZING!” as a part of our daily affirmation. You may not accomplish all your goals in life and let that be okay. Keep setting goals that helps you to walk in your purpose. Continue to live life with purpose and be mindful that “YOU ARE AMAZING.”

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