In this compelling episode, Jill welcomes Aussie Sue Kennedy from the Author Academy, as she shares her journey to help others become authors. Through her five-step coaching method, she empowers writers to overcome obstacles, weave captivating stories, and enhance their craft with intuitive art.
Discover more on Sue’s Author Academy Website
Follow the Author Academy on Facebook
Follow the Author Academy on Instagram
Follow the Author Academy on YouTube
Follow the Author Academy on LinkedIn
Follow the Author Academy on TikTok
Follow the Author Academy on Twitter
Listen to the Full of Words Podcast
Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we are speaking with Sue Kennedy. She is from the author Academy and she is going to tell us how her darkest moments turned into her most successful business.
Where she now empowers others to achieve their dream of becoming an author. So welcome to the show, Sue, and I'm really excited to hear this story.
And how you help people become authors?
Thank you so much Jill for having me. It's an absolute pleasure to be here all the way from the other side of.
The world so.
Traveling back to visit with us.
Yes. So yes, so thank you again. Yes, for having me. So yeah, it started quite a few years ago now.
And it was from the darkest moment in my life.
Which is where.
I had lost everything and pretty much, you know, the house, the husband, the dog, you name it. I, you know.
Everything's came crumbling down and I fell into a very dark, deep depression which I didn't realise was going on at the time because I, you know, it wasn't really talked about as much as it is these days. So in a way it's a good thing that we do talk about it now because.
It was kind of like a silent killer.
Back then and.
Because we didn't talk about it. So yeah, it was it was quite horrible when I realised cause I did. I considered suicide. It was that bad and it was because of my dogs. I mean, I still have one of them. Only just recently lost the other that actually pulled me out of it. Like they realised something was wrong.
And just like with their paw, we're sort of like going, hey, you know, and that's what snapped me out of it. So I'm very grateful for them because I wouldn't be here today otherwise.
And from that I did some research to find out well what actually is going on with myself. And so I did a heap of research and then mainly to heal myself. And then I went, hmm, this actually could turn into a book. And then I can help a lot of other people as well. So why not?
Do that, and so that's what I did. I actually then ended up.
Turning that into a book and pardon me.
From that I wrote a heap of other books as well and.
I didn't have like a book coach. Like what I do.
Back then there, there was no such thing, so I would have been very grateful to have someone like me to help me and hold my hand through the whole process, cause it was quite a lengthy long process. It still can be, but at least you know I'm there to help guide someone now.
As far you know, instead of having to do it all on your own and not wondering whether you're doing it properly or not so.
All the mistakes that come along with that process.
Exactly. And you know, yeah. Like, is this the right way to do it? Is it not the right way to do it and to be able to just talk about things with people you know, and to with someone to brainstorm because you come up against blocks along the way and it's good to be able to have someone to be able to bounce those ideas off. So.
I that's why from that I wrote another. I don't know how many books after that. I've got over 10 at the moment and working of course eventually on more.
But yeah, from that I actually turned it into a business where now I actually am a book coach and help other people go through the same process and get their books written so that they can not only heal themselves but yeah help heal others because your story will resonate with someone else and will actually help them.
I firmly believe we're all here to share our mission and our message, our message and it's really great. I I've written a book before and it was just a really small.
But that I had written for a specific purpose.
And I understand and I didn't have a book publisher and I just self published on Amazon and I could have used somebody like you to say, you know, just do it this way.
And I looked all over.
For you know somebody to edit.
It for me and.
It was just it. It was really a nightmare when you're just trying to figure it out on your own. And it wasn't. I know that there are people that create books or have stories in them that they want to tell, but they really just don't have any idea how to get it all together.
And when you're staring at that blank sheet of paper or you're buying computer screen now, yeah, it's hard to get started. And so you help people with that actual process of getting started. Or do you take them from? They already have an idea.
Is fine, so it's whether you've got an idea and you're not sure if that's gonna work. I mean, a lot of people come to me and go right. This is what I wanna write about, so we start.
Working on that and then.
A little way in they go.
You know, I don't think this is what I should be writing about. So then we have a chat and then all of a sudden the real book or real story comes to the forefront and they get this. Ohh, this is it. They, you know, we get this huge aha. And so then we just, you know, go down that road and that there's nothing wrong with that.
The story that they started might be a part of that. It may just go sit on the shelf for good or for later. It's, you know, it doesn't really matter. So and then there's people that.
Have no idea. Don't even know. You know. They know. They've got this urge to write their story or a story, but don't know where to start. So we again, we have a discussion and we work it out and.
Go from there and then get it written. And so we go from the very beginning all the way through to my packages actually include me coaching, but also proofreading and editing the design and layout of the book. And then also printed copies of the book. So it's all included in it. I mean, I do it without.
Usually it's like crazy. Why wouldn't you take, you know, the whole?
Package for the.
It's all done and dusted for. You don't have to worry about ohh now I have to go over here or I have to go there so yeah.
It was the.
All I have to go over here and I have to go over there and I have. You know why I want this image work properly for me and ohh yeah, it's 2 pages, not just one for the cover and it's all backwards.
Time. It's so much time just figuring stuff out. So yeah, I don't know why anybody wouldn't just go with the whole package when it comes to publishing. Do you actually help them get it published?
Do you are you a publishing company?
Yes, yes. So we, yes, we do that as well. Well, I'm not a traditional publisher in the sense of you know where we then sell it for you and I'm not, I'm not that kind of publisher. They're actually quite difficult to find and get into actually they're I think they're.
I don't know. I mean, I think they'll still be around, but I think they are kind of a dying breed because of the, you know, the likes of Amazon and all those places, but.
And then you know, you put it on Amazon, you're just another product to them, so you know.
It gets put on there and it just sits there unless you tell people it's there cause Amazon don't.
They don't care. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, imagine if they promoted everything they had in their store. I mean, it would be a huge undertaking.
That's what they have affiliates for. Amazon built their business with affiliates and.
The reason it.
Blew up is because they had all these people out there selling their products for them, so they didn't have to.
Yeah, that's right. Well, I mean, imagine if they did have to imagine how many people they'd have to employ to be to do that.
That's, you know, when people talk about affiliates these days and it's just like it really did hit me that that's how Amazon got so big because they had hundreds of thousands of people selling their products for them for, you know, now it's pretty poor Commission. But before they used to pay.
Like 610% on something.
So they were able to drive how what things were being sold by the Commission structure.
That they were offering. It's kind of a it was a really interesting business model to me.
Yeah, and when?
It comes to book publishing. They're they started out in book sales, kind of interesting. They've gone full circle and now they publish.
Them for you.
No. Yeah, honey, that isn't it anyway.
Do you promote?
The books that are published with you or.
Yes, I do, and I've also got an online bookstore and I put the their books on my bookstore as well, where we promote and yeah, you know, get it out there. I mean, yeah, they have to. The authors have to actually promote it as well. We can't do all of it.
Because you know that, as I say, what many hands make light work? So the more that people you know, everyone puts their, you know, their little bit in towards it, the more successful it will be.
Like podcasting? And I know you have a podcast also.
Which? And tell us a little bit.
About that, the full of words podcast.
Yeah, it's Paul.
Yeah, it's cool. Full of words. So I actually met. I I've always wanted to do a podcast on my own, and then I just went, you know, it'd be so much more fun with someone else. And so I met my Co host, who is CJ Catherine James, and she's a copy.
Rather, and so we, because you know book coach, copywriter, we thought.
They're pretty good together, so we talk all about words and the power of words and language and how that's, you know, affects you, you know, in your life and business and everything so.
Yeah, we have an episode every week, we sometimes it's just us talking, but we also have guests on. So yeah, it's a lot of fun. And yeah, we really enjoy it.
That's really interesting. I love words. Also, they, they, they enrich your life. The bigger you have, the vocabulary, the bigger your.
Thoughts can be it's.
Kind of like magic, but when you have a really limited vocabulary, you have limited options in your life because you can't. You don't have anything to conceptualize the larger opportunities that exist for you and my kids. And I used to like to find obscure words.
I love you. I remember when I was younger. I always used to, you know, go right. I'm gonna get a word of the month and just, you know, run with that and try and upskill myself. You know, this is when I was a teenager or something and.
I thought you know that that'll just add to, you know, my vocabulary and I it'll be fun and so.
And then I find interesting ways to use the word as it was good fun.
It is good fun.
We, my daughter, found a word called Pogonip, which is it's a kind of frost and we have pug unit around here, but it's it. It makes crystals on the limbs, like the tree limbs. It's frost, but kind of like ice frost.
Instead of just like fog.
And it it's kind of a combination of.
The two so.
It's always fun to remember that when it happens, it's like and then I remember the conversation that we had together when she was telling me about the word.
And then I.
Looked up words for evil.
Jason Norris is one of them.
What is a fastener orus?
SRS used to call Fauci, Fauci, Norris, Fauci.
This is my personal thing. I was trying to come up with a different word than I.
The man is insanely evil, but that's my opinion.
Well, it's a bit nicer than.
Just talking about words.
Yeah, a bit. Yeah. It's a nicer way of saying it than evil, isn't it? So yeah.
But someone knows what it means, but it just sounds nicer.
Yeah, this is like it's a title. Unless you want to go look it up, most people won't.
No, no, I would guess not.
Words are fun though.
So how do you how do you find people? How do you have like a five step method or is that how you what you're doing?
Yes, so my coaching program is a five step method and of course it's the, you know usual if we work out what the outline is and we you know get all the chapters line.
And worked out. Now they don't necessarily have to stay in that order and you don't have to write them in that order. I you know, when I ever I've written my books, I wake up in the morning and go.
Man, what do?
I feel like writing about today and that's what I generally write about. I've found, for me anyway, that that was a lot easier than.
Trying to force myself to go right. I'm up to chapter 3. I now need to write about Chapter 3 and then go.
Just don't want to write about Chapter 3 today so you know if I feel like writing about Chapter 8, then I write about Chapter 8. It's there's nothing wrong with that so.
So we go through that and then you know, of course all the other making short flows and all that kind of stuff and.
Then I also cause I. I'm actually an art therapist as well and I love doing my art. I do intuitive art and thing called Neuro Graphic Art, which I've just bought in into the mix as a tool because.
I find and I. Yeah, I didn't. I love cause I love art. I'm like, oh, what do I do? Do I do the art? Do I do the writing? And then I why not do both?
Combine the two, so that's what I've done. So the art component of the coaching is when you get blocked, it helps you unblock. But it's also a healing tool as well.
So if you are bumping up against something that's a bit, you know, not so comfortable, we can then do a process on that and get you through it. And we don't make you relive anything. It's all nice and gentle. And I just love it because I I've used it on myself and of course others and.
Yeah, I find it. You know, just amazing. So I do that and then of course, the other parts, as I've already mentioned, we proofread, do a professional proofread and edit we.
Design and out do the outline of it and we also.
Give you printed copies of the book, and I also have a professional copywriter who is CJ, my co-host who does the copywriting or the sales blurb for the back cover of your book.
Which is really important.
It's very important, as is the cover and the content.
Exactly. Well, I mean, the covers, the first thing, then when someone looks at a book, the first thing they see is the cover. The next thing is the back.
And then to me, I then if I if the first page gets me in I then you know read all that get open the first page and if that first page gets me in, I will generally buy the book. If I if I don't get pulled in on that first page. I'm yeah not interested but that's me and a lot but there are a lot of people.
Like that. So you have gotta grab the audience, your readers straight away.
So that you get the.
I imagine that's more important now than ever before because people's attention span is so short and getting them to read anything is difficult.
Yes, yes, there's, there's just so much information out there now. It's. Yeah, I agree. It's, you know, I find that, you know, even though.
You know so much information like for instance, I have a, a, A.
I'm part. I'm part owner of a printing company and you know for books and the information on that website there is just so much information like we pretty much told them how to do it. Apart from the printing like to set it up to do this, that and the other and we still get people going. How do you do this and it's like.
Well, it's on the website.
And it's because people just don't either.
Just don't have the time to read the information or just would prefer to speak to someone.
You know there are different reasons but I think a lot of it is time like I know I like to have things in small snippets. I tend to look at that more only because of how busy I am. You know if.
If you weren't so busy.
Yeah, but of course with when you're working with your clients, it's a different story. But when you're looking at, you know, other pieces of information, you try and grab it in little chunks.
We don't have time to read pages and pages like you know, the old sales letters. These do those long form sales like they would go on for like 10 pages.
Yeah, you just can't do that anymore. And you have to break it up and you can have long form sales letters, but.
Man, they got.
To there's got to be some really good copywriting going on to get people to go through them otherwise.
They're like scrolling.
Nah, I'm out here.
Yeah, exactly. I think they still do it. They and then they reckon it still works. But yeah, I think unless you're really, really interested in that particular service or product you.
Won't read it all.
Again you got to hook them right in the very beginning that you got to tell them why they need to do whatever it is that you want them.
And they have to have that value themselves.
Exactly. But it's the same as in a book. You know, you need to hook them in straight away, but you gotta keep that hook happening throughout, because if you stop after that first one, you'll lose the reader and they won't finish the book. And of course, they won't recommend your book to anyone, so it's very important that you keep that flow happening.
And keeping it interesting all the way to the end.
And with them wanting more.
I've seen it.
Yeah, yeah, I.
I've been an avid reader most of my life, and lately I read where the crawdads sing. Actually, it's been a few years. I thought that book was really interesting in that.
It kept you on the edge.
All the way to the last page.
Thought it was really masterfully done.
I have heard of it, but I haven't read it.
Yet it's cool. Good.
Hmm, I have heard that it's very good.
The descriptions are great.
You're not really sure about some of the things all the way through the book.
And you really.
Do not know.
What happened until the very last page?
Wow, that's good.
It was really good and it it's suction in the beginning and spits out at the end.
That keeps you, but keeps you to the end, so that's good.
That's what you want.
Yeah, it is what you want. I've seen a.
Few authors do it.
Over the years.
And they're usually.
We used to call them page turners.
You just aren't going to put that book down until you're.
Done with it because you.
Just have to know what happens next.
Exactly. Well, I mean, you know, I've heard of people. The books are that good that they've got the book in one hand, they're cooking dinner with the other cause they can't put it down. It's so. So that's.
A good book.
Maybe I don't know.
How dinner turns out. But anyway, that's OK.
I used to. I used to.
Be like that we.
Didn't have television when I was growing up because we lived overseas and it was just like a bother to get TV and it would be in a foreign language anyway and we didn't.
Understand it. So we read a lot and.
I would I.
Would take the trains to school, but I'd go through the train stations.
Reading my book, just like you wander through I.
Lived in Japan. So everybody.
Kind of. Just like you got.
In the lane and.
The crowd just pushed you to your train and you.
Got it on the.
Train and you could still read.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's.
Cause everyone did it. Yeah, it was safe.
Yeah, those days.
I don't know what it's like now.
But that was like that then. So.
You do have a 30 day writing challenge that you offer people and how can they get a hold of that? What is it and how?
Can they get it?
I do have and so I do have a page that people can go to where there's a few different free gifts and it's all through academy dot com dot AU forward slash gifts, so GIF TS.
And the as I say, yeah, there's a few in the 30 day riding challenges on there. That's one of them. And so pretty much what happens is when you sign up for it and they're all free, as I said, you just have to put your pop your e-mail in and every day's day for 30 days, you what happens is you get an e-mail and it's an image.
You have to look at the image for 5 minutes and then put a timer on and then write for 15 minutes about that image. And it's really fun and it really helps with unblock.
Your story because or you know the writing block that you have because yeah, you're just looking at the image and then all of a sudden all kinds of stuff come to you and you just start writing. It's great. It's a really great tool. A lot of people have said to me they have really enjoyed it.
And it's helped them.
That sounds like a lot of.
Fun I I'm probably going.
To sign up.
Because it just sounds like fun.
Kind of sharpens your writing skills too, I'm sure.
So what's the one thing you want the audience to take away from our conversation today?
I just want the audience to stop and think about this story.
The fact that it will not only help you to write about your story, but just remember that there are going to be people out there that your story is going to help and heal. And to me that is the biggest blessing that you could give anyone is to know that you know on some level you've helped them.
And I think if you keep that in mind and get your story written so you can help others would be just beautiful.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us today, Sue.
Thank you, Jill so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure.