How to become an internationally famous author

– and make money!

Imagine walking into a bookshop whilst on holiday and seeing your book for sale, right there on the shelf.  It’s an amazing feeling; I know, because I’ve done it!

According to Gallup more than 80 per cent of people have a lifelong dream of writing a book.  If this is one of your dreams, thanks to the Internet, it has never been easier or cheaper to make that dream come true!

How would you feel if:

  • You could present your friends, family and potential clients with a copy of your published book?
  • You had a stack of books beside you to sell whenever you gave a workshop or speech?
  • Money appeared in your bank account for books sold online – without you having to lift a finger, pack a Jiffy bag or go to the post office?
  • You have real evidence of your expertise to share with others all over the world?
  • The media contacted you regularly to ask you to comment on specific issues – because they’d read your book?
  • You could finally cross ‘write a book’ off your To Do list?

Are you beginning to feel excited?

jowithautumnwindow08smallLet me introduce myself ­– my name is Jo Parfitt and I’ve written 30 published books.

I’m not some kind of a whizzkid and I don’t have a relative who is a director of Pearson. I do not have an English degree, in fact, I have no training whatsoever!

This is how it happened; when I was in my early twenties I had a good idea for a book, that book was called French Tarts.

  • I did not invent any of the recipes myself,
  • I was not a cook,
  • I had no writing experience (other than school essays)
  • I had no publishing contacts

I did a bit of research and my very first pitch resulted in a contract.

In 1985 French Tarts was published by Octopus, translated into French and was part of an exhibition in Paris for the best cookbook of the year. To say I was chuffed was an understatement!

French Tarts cover 8cm

‘How did I manage that?’ I asked myself as I drove to London in the Peugeot I had bought with my advance.  I was excited as I had a few boxes of copies of my book in the boot to sell to my friends to give as Christmas presents. My friend Alison bought 50 copies to give to all her family and friends that year!

I was not long out of college, but my experience gave me the courage to start my own business as a freelance writer – a career I’ve followed ever since, and one I really love.

When people asked me what sort of writing I did I used to answer: ‘Anything for money!’ and I meant it.

Over the years I have written all sorts of books, including:

  • 13 (yes, really) word processing handbooks for publishers such as Macmillan and McGraw-Hill
  • How to Get There From Gatwick for British Caledonian airlines
  • Another cookbook, Dates, for Zodiac (Yes, I have now taught myself to cook!)
  • A Career in Your Suitcase
  • Find Your Passion
  • Release the Book Within
  • Grow Your Own Networks
  • Expat Entrepreneur
  • Mastering Word Processing
  • Easily into Desktop Publishing
  • And many more . . .

My husband, Ian, works for an oil company and we’ve lived in Dubai, Oman, Norway and now the Netherlands. Not only have I been able to follow my chosen career wherever we’ve settled, but it’s given me tons of ideas for books and articles – most of which I’ve been paid well for!

In 1995 I formed my own publishing company, Summertime Publishing, and have now published many of my own titles as well as those for my clients. I’ve learned what people want to read, how to edit to a high professional standard and all about the process of writing and publishing books.

To say I’ve tried it all is probably true. From mainstream publishing, to print on demand, partner publishing, digital and offset methods; I’ve first hand experience. I’ve stuffed my fair share of books into Jiffy bags and worn a groove to the post office.

Online printing methods have removed all that extra work so that I simply upload my books to Amazon and sit back and wait for the profit to land in my bank account.

Somewhere along the way I discovered I had another hidden talent.  I was not only successful in writing my own books, but I started helping other people to create their own books.

arvind devalia main“Jo Parfitt mentored me to write and publish my first book Get a Life in just 4 weeks! Not only did she guide me through the many complex steps, but she edited my manuscript and sorted out a cover designer, typesetter and printer.

Throughout the 4 weeks she was there by my side, guiding, cajoling and also being blunt when necessary to make sure I met my own tight deadline. Without her, my first book would have never happened.

After I sold 2,000 copies of my first book, Jo guided me to set up Nirvana Publishing through which I have since published my second book Get the Life you Love and my third book Personal Social Responsibility.”

Arvind Devalia, author of Get the Life You Love

I know what works and what doesn’t. I have learned the hard way. Oh yes, I’ve made mistakes.

  • Shall I tell you about the remaining 400 copies of Forced to Fly that have followed me round the world from garage to attic and back to garage?
  • Shall I name the book that has sold fewer than 50 copies in the last three years?

Or would you rather hear about Career in Your Suitcase, the book that:ciys3coversmall

  • Has made me a world expert on life as an expat?
  • Has resulted in being invited to speak at conferences?
  • Is now in its third edition?

Why do I think I have been successful? That’s easy; at least it’s easy now that I have hindsight on my side. In fact, I am so convinced that I may be onto something that I’ll share my seven secrets of publishing success right here, right now. Ready?

The 7 secrets of publishing success

  1. Focus on one topic
  2. Find your niche
  3. Know your market and how to access it
  4. Know your reader
  5. Believe in your idea
  6. Have a wow factor
  7. Have a great title

There’s another reason why I’ve discovered the secrets of success – I talk to other successful authors and ask them how they did it. And then I share those stories with my clients and students so that they can benefit too.

You can listen to my interviews with successful authors at my Writers Abroad Radio Show, where I speak to a different published expat writer every week in a short 15 minute interview. But first, let me tell you about Arvind Devalia.

Back in 2004 Arvind had a dream of writing a book.

As a coach and consultant, he is passionate about helping his clients to lead a life they love.  He came to me with an idea and we had a long phone call. I listened to him and advised him on the quickest way to write a book that would boost his profile and make him some passive income.

Front cover for Get the Life you Love for websitesA week later he sent me his draft manuscript. Yes, you read that correctly. Arvind wrote Get the Life You Love in just a week.

I edited the text, found him a designer and helped him to decide how best to print and distribute the published copies. His initial print run of 2000 soon sold out and so he formed his own publishing company and created a new edition.

By the time you read this that will have sold out too, bringing his total copies sold to 5,000.

What is stopping you from writing that book?

So many people tell me that they will write a book ‘some day’. When will that day be?

  • When your house is in perfect order?
  • When nobody else is making demands on your time?
  • When you’ve finished all the things you promised yourself you would do?

Well, let me tell you a secret:

Procrastination is the best friend of writer’s block

You will never run out of other things to do. And let me tell you another secret:

Thinking, planning, researching or note-taking are part of the process

Yes, that’s right, even when you are reading other books like the one you hope to write, that is part of the process.  It’s part of what we call in the business your Work in Progress or WIP. Isn’t that liberating? Now you can start telling people you are writing a book, can’t you? Because you are. Even reading this page now counts as a step on the road to publishing success.

That’s great – but having lots of notes and ideas isn’t writing a book

You’re absolutely right – you’ll need to sort them out and organise them into a planned structure so you can write something that people want to read about, in a way that makes it easy for them to follow.

Do I hear you worrying about how good your writing is?

  • Do you have a mental block about spelling?
  • Are you confused about punctuation?
  • Do the finer points of correct grammar escape you?

Don’t worry – that’s not what writing is about – and also why you have an editor and a proofreader (no, they’re not the same thing).  Your job is to get the information organised and put it into words; even if they’re not grammatically correct, spelled properly or perfectly punctuated!

Being brave enough to get started is a big step – and keeping focused needs a little dedication; but you don’t have to be an English graduate to write a good book.

carolynvines“I came to Jo 18 months ago with little more than an exciting book idea. Not only did she believe that my idea could blossom into a published book, she encouraged me to believe it. I’m planning to launch my book in March 2010. That’s what sets Jo apart as a writing mentor. She sees possibilities where a writer may only see a jumble of words. Her insights are as accurate as her comments inspiring. If I could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring author, it would be to work with Jo. Thank you; you’ve helped me more than words could ever express.”

Carolyn van Es-Vines

Oh, I know, you have another fear . . . a fear that prevents you from moving forward. A fear that stops you really believing you can do this.

But what if nobody buys it?

I know, that’s a biggie!

Well, let me get tough for a moment. No one will read it if you don’t tell them about it.

No one will read it if you don’t make an effort to do some publicity, to get reviews on Amazon or offer free copies to the media.

Luckily, I know how to do all that too. And if I’m not an expert on things like writing a press release, ensuring you have a gorgeous cover or getting you on the radio, then I can connect you with all the experts you’ll want, who can either do these things for you, or show you how to do them yourself.

Of course you want people to buy your book. You want to make a profit, right? Lots of profit. Well, I have good news. As soon as your book is available on Amazon you will start making passive income without lifting a finger.

As soon as you start to get savvy and ensure you always have box of books in your car, you will be able to make more than 50% profit on every copy you sell.

Even better, when you publish your book the way I recommend (and that many traditional publishers are using for their backlist) you can earn more than ten times the profit per book than you would make if you used a traditional publisher.

Yes, you read that right.

Traditional publishers will offer you a paltry royalty of approximately 7% of net receipts (that means after discounts and costs). Get published using the methods I will tell you about and you could earn a royalty of 60%.

The honest answer to the ‘what if nobody buys it?’ question is this: ‘they won’t buy it if you don’t do anything.’ The secret is knowing how to promote your book in order to make the most money with the least effort and the least cost.

There seem to be so many ways to publish a book –

how do I know which one to choose?

You could spend hours, days, weeks or months doing your own research into the best way to publish your book. What you need is to learn the short cuts and easy routes from someone who has tried every method and knows what works and what doesn’t.

University TransitionsJo Parfitt’s Mentoring and Publishing services have made it possible for me to not only put my ideas to paper, but also to reach the audience for which it is intended. Her mentoring along the way is bringing my wildest dreams to fruition. I anticipate the reach will be wider spread than would have been possible with a traditional publisher and I certainly have had more creative input by going this route. Jo’s professional and life experiences have made her the best possible choice in publishing for the type of book we are creating together.”

Tina Quick

author of The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an answer to that burning question by simply writing a short email  and getting the answer far quicker and in much more depth than you could achieve alone?

There’s a way to short circuit all these challenges – and have your book in your hand sooner than you think!

Not everyone has the dedication of Arvind Devalia.  Most people need help – and that’s what I’m offering.

How would you like to have someone working alongside you who knows all the pitfalls – and all the short cuts to success?

If your answer is a resounding ‘YES’, what you need is a mentor!

From Brainwave to Bookshelf … and Beyond to Blogging, a Business and a Brand… without the pain

There are three steps to having your book in your hand – and you can choose to get help in any or all of them.

Phase one is Pipedream to Planned and this covers:

  • Helping you to brainstorm your idea
  • Finding your voice and focus
  • Discovering your WOW factor
  • Honing your idea
  • Developing an outline
  • Creating a style sheet
  • Creating your road map for the rest of the process

That’s not all:

  • You’ll get the help you need to research the market and come up with a plan that works for you.
  • Have an appraisal of a sample of your work with lots of ideas on how to make your book even better.
  • You’ll have chapter one and the introduction edited and polished to perfection by me
  • You’ll get expert advice on how to plan the entire book so you have a blueprint from which to work.

All the editing, proof reading and close scrutiny you need in planning your book and creating a perfect first chapter is provided free of charge. You can also spend up to two hours talking me by phone, Skype or face to face.

Wow!  How do I get all that?

That’s easy – it’s part of the mentoring service – and all you have to do is to sign up and pay just €997 + VAT

But don’t rush off – there’s more!

Phase two is First Draft to Final Manuscript and this covers:

Once you have completed your book, what we call a manuscript or MS, you’ll need to ensure that is perfect too. This stage covers:

  • Complete read through of your manuscript with my comments added and some editing.
  • Checking for consistency, repetition and focus, suggested additions, omissions, tone, voice and whether your book does what you want it to do.
  • Personal help, advice and critique available every step of the way.
  • Connections to experts, reviewers and people suitable for case study and interview.
  • Access to a huge international network of expatriate experts.
  • Advice and connections to help you acquire a top class foreword from an expert in your field, if required.

In addition you’ll get:

  • Connections to first rate editors and proof-readers, if required.
  • Access to  tutorials on layout, promotion, writing articles and much more.
  • Guidance on what price to charge and how to maximize your profit.
  • You can also spend up to two hours talking me by phone, Skype or face to face.

The First Draft to Final Manuscript package is just €997 + VAT

The only thing you pay extra for is page by page editing and proof-reading (and you may need a few rounds).  This is an essential step for a readable book – a step you cannot afford to skip – and do ask us for a quotation; we’ve got a team of professional editors at very reasonable rates all ready to polish your whole manuscript to perfection. 

Keeko The Gecko

“Thank you very much for the fantastic editing, the story now reads the way I wanted it to, I am really happy with the new version.”

Emmalene Stockton, author of Keeko the Gecko

Then there’s a third stage – Book to Bookshelf.

Our publishing service is normally only available to existing clients and is an add-on service rather than a profit-making enterprise. If you come into the process at this stage, simply wanting us to project manage the publishing process and get your book to market in Kindle and print formats, then you will also be charged from €10 per 1,000 words for a preliminary read through, after which we may or may not recommend further editing.

Once a book is deemed ‘ready to go’, you will receive:

  • Additional assistance, guidance and editing of your cover text.
  • Assistance with front and end pages, reviews, title, subtitle and back cover blurb.
  • Connections to top class designers.
  • Checking you have all your pages in the right order, a foreword, bio, bibliography and all those extra bits that are so easy to forget.
  • Checking and approval of your design and galley proofs.
  • The best print on demand route to market there is, with expert digital printers, Lightning Source, who have offices worldwide
  • A direct route to Amazon, ensuring that your book is available online in record time with maximum profit availability.
  • 60% commission on the profit made from print and Kindle sales (conversion to Kindle and set up costs an additional €350).
  • 10 copies of your book delivered to your door.
  • The ability to buy additional books, delivered anywhere in the world, at big discount.
  • 6 review copies supplied to local  journalists and reviewers free of charge.
  • 5 copies of your book lodged with the British libraries.
  • Your book included in the Nielsen BookData PubWeb service, allowing bookshops worldwide access to your book.
  • Your book available through international distributors, Ingram, Bertram, Gardners etc.
  • Your book receives its own page in the ExpatBookshop at
  • You receive an author profile on ExpatBookshop.
  • We will post and disseminate, via Twitter, Facebook and other social media, at least 10 posts by you from ExpatBookshop in addition to linking to subsequent reviews and articles. (normal cost from €150)

And the cost?   Only €1397 + VAT.
Please note: this fee does not include  proof-reading  nor a complete read-through of your manuscript.

There is one final stage – Beyond to Blogging, a Business and a Brand

Once your book is out, it needs to be promoted. People need to find out about it. This last stage of the process is an optional extra but can make the difference between your book selling – or not.Benefit from one to one advice and help on every stage of the promotion process:

  • Details of your book sent to  potential reviewers.
  • A press release written for your book by a professional international PR consultant and sent to 400+ expatriate publications
  • Setting up a Twitter account and using Twitter to grow your network and promote your book
  • Setting up and running a Virtual Book Tour
  • Setting up and growing an active blog
  • Organising guest posts on other active blogs
  • Advice on how to use forums effectively
  • Advice on how to increase your Amazon ratings
  • Setting up and using Amazon’s Author Central tool
  • Writing and pitching articles to the websites and print media read by your target reader
  • Helping you to plan author readings and book launches
  • Issuing review copies to key bloggers and publications
  • Advice on how you can review books yourself in order to promote your own book
  • Advice on how to spot potential journalists and reviewers
  • Advice on how to talk to bookshops
  • Advice on producing a book trailer
  • Advice on  the production of promotional materials such as bookmarks, postcards and so on
  • Advice how to turn your book into a brand
  • Advice on how to turn your book into a business, with speaking engagements, author readings and so on


And the cost? This service is available from a full à la carte menu. You can choose which services you require. Prices start at €100.

All clients also receive the following bonuses:

  • Free access to author interviews, videos and podcasts
  • Free video of Start Writing Life Stories – only available as part of the Write Your Life Stories home study program (priced  €147)
  • Free audio recording of interview with Robin Pascoe, publisher, author of four highly successful books (worth €20)
  • Free audio recording of interview with Jo Parfitt (worth €20)
  • A free copy of Release the Book Within (worth €12)
  • From 60% royalties on your book sales – that’s almost ten times more than you would get if you found a traditional publisher
  • Access to a tried and tested team of editors, proof-readers, designers and webmasters
  • Unlimited emails
  • Up to two hours of Skype, phone or face-to-face meetings if required at each stage of the process (three stages)

Each step will be invoiced  at the start of that process and the price will be fixed for one year from date of invoice.

We are not a vanity publisher, but a partner publisher. In order to maintain our high standards we like to focus on books that are familiar to us.

We specialize in:

  • Expatriate issues
  • Overseas living
  • Entrepreneurism
  • Personal journeys
  • Self-help and motivation

And have experience with

  • Children’s books
  • Faction (stories based on real life)
  • Memoirs

If we felt we were not right for your project we would say so.

Would you like to find out whether you and I could work together?

Let us assess your idea free of charge.

Just send us a sample few pages (maximum 2000 words), and a table of contents as well as a half page synopsis and will review your idea  by email within two weeks of receipt. To contact us you’ll need to use the email listed on this page.

How much is getting your book out of your head

and into the bookstore worth to you?

Pipedream to Planned                                     €997 + VAT

First Draft to Final Manuscript                                             €997 + VAT

Book to Bookshelf                                                             €1397 +VAT

Kindle conversion and set up                                     €350 + VAT

Beyond.. to blogging, business and brand           from  €100 + VAT

So, you have kept reading to the end? That shows you are serious about writing a book!

Don’t wait a moment longer – subscribe right now.  Remember, this isn’t a ‘automated’ product, you get a real person who has the expertise you need to make getting that book in your hand easy.

I can’t wait to hear about your brilliant book idea.


P.S.  Don’t forget that what you pay includes unlimited calls, emails and up to two hours of Skype conversations during each stage of the process.

P.P.S. Don’t forget those bonuses I told you about . . .

  • Free access to author interviews, videos and podcasts
  • Free video of Start Writing Life Stories – only available as part of the Write Your Life Stories home study program (priced from €97)
  • Free audio recording of interview with Robin Pascoe, publisher, author of four highly successful books (worth €20)
  • Free audio recording of interview with Jo Parfitt (worth €20)
  • A free copy of Release the Book Within (worth €12)
  • The chance to be published by Summertime Publishing
  • From 60% royalties on your book sales – that’s almost ten times more than you would get if you found a traditional publisher
  • Access to a tried and tested team of editors, proof-readers, designers and webmasters
  • Unlimited emails, phone calls and up to 2 hours of Skype calls
  • Face-to-face meetings if required

P.P.P.S.  I can’t work with more than a few people at a time.  If you really want to get your book written, published and read by thousands – get in touch now and guarantee your mentoring slot.