Past, Present and Future of the Ebook

The concept of storing text digitally has been around since the 1970s when Michael Hart reasoned that “the greatest value of a computer should not be merely computing, but also storing material, retrieving it and searching for knowledge kept in libraries”.  The first book to ever be stored electronically was The Declaration of Independence and quickly the concept of storing information in this way picked up and large scale dissemination began. Some say the first e-book was the thriller ‘Host’ by Peter James published in 1993 on two floppy disks. It seems when trying to find out the answer, it very much depends on what your definition of an e-book actually is.

Initially e-books covered more specialist areas such as technical manuals and manufacturing techniques and were designed to be shared between experts in their field. As the market became more fragmented e-books became more widely available which leads us to today where over 3,000,000 e-books are downloaded every month.  Quite a journey!

Who are e-books most attractive to?

Like anything, e-books are more popular with some groups than others and also go through periods of growth and decline. For example in 2011, only 25% of users aged 18-29 read an e-book, this increased to 47% in 2014. This is the highest percentage of any age group, so when thinking about your audience, then this is a good one to focus on. It may be worth bearing in mind however that they are one of the most inconsistent groups in terms of figures fluctuating.   The reasons for this perhaps that this age group are the most liable to follow trends and switch their alliance more easily.

It would be right to assume (according to experts) that this is a high number due to the amount of devices this age group has access to (and is confident in using!) With access to these devices the millennial generation are able to take advantage of the low prices and amazing selection of e-books.

Between 2011-2012 the 30-49 age group jumped from 25% of them having read an e-book to 41% and this number has only increased by 1% in the 5 years since.   The relatively static nature of the figure would indicate that this age group are most consistent in their reading habits opposed to the younger generation whose figures have jumped higher, but are more likely to fall back down over the next few years.

It may not come as a surprise that in 2011 only 19% of the 50-64 age group have read an e-book. Although it is still worth taking them into consideration in your marketing plans because it is increasing at a steady pace jumping to 35% in 2014.  One age group yet to fully embrace the e-book, and being the only group to decline since 2014 is the 65+group. This could be due to a couple of reasons, one being that there aren’t as many books of interest to them and the other being that a large proportion of this age group have not adopted technology unlike their younger counterparts.

Happy Liberation Day!

Does the topic matter?

Again the popularity of certain genres of e-books go through trends dependant on what is popular, what is happening in the world and who and what is ‘in’.  This can change as often and as unpredictability as the British weather! (We are fickle beings you know!).

The most popular topic for an e-book is fiction, and within this romantic fiction. The graph below from Nielsons shows that between 2013-2016 fiction stayed at around 50% of the e-book share of purchases. Other popular topics include education textbooks, technical manuals and ‘how to’ e-books.

There are some genres however that just lend themselves more to print than a digital format. In busy lives with very little ‘spare time’ digital products are convenient, quick and easy to access and more importantly instant in our increasing demands and expectations.  But the nostalgia of reading a book to your child before bedtime, or leafing through a cookbook handed down the generations of your family your grandmother’s pencil notes still in the columns, just cannot be replaced.

As the diagram below shows children’s literature remains (by a substantial amount) the most unpopular genre in a digital format, closely followed by non-fiction. “People prefer to give, or read, children’s books like Harry Potter titles in print, and healthy cooking titles and biographies sell very well in print compared to e-book format” agrees Lotinga.

Ebook Share of book purchase
Source: Nielson Books & Consumers UK

The future of the e-book

Depending on what you read and where, there are some that say the e-book is on the decline.  This is a pretty generalised statement and many making it are not really providing the full picture. It can be very difficult to get an accurate picture of where e-books sit in the market due to the amount of formats available and factors to consider (what constitutes an e-book, how does the e-book need to be downloaded to count, how are e-books without ISBNs tracked, so on and so forth).

What does make sense however is that the busy lives people lead, the continuing rise of online purchasing and the growth of the population being technology literature is that the e-book industry is here to stay. state “By 2018, e-book sales are forecast to account for about a quarter of global book sales. Consumer e-books alone are projected to generate nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2018.”

What is also clear is that the e-book market share has drifted significantly towards “non-traditional~ publishers as evidenced by this chart produced by Nielsen.

Market Share by Major Publisher Categories
Source: Nielson Books & Consumers

The end, or just the beginning?

In conclusion e-books are still extremely popular and an excellent platforms for starting out as an author.  They allow you to acquire an audience, explore your writing and these day are easy to publish.  E-books are quick to access, easy to accommodate and easily portable all attractive features when considering their benefits.  As with all things in life technology isn’t going to go away and as new generations are born old traditions will be lost.  Who knows where the next 50 years could take the e-book, perhaps it will be replaced altogether with something newer and more attractive, but for now, it’s here to stay.

First they said CDs were no match for vinyl. Then they said MP3s were no match for CDs. Now they say streaming music services are no match for MP3s. They’re only happy looking in the rear-view mirror.” Charlie Brooker.


The Journey of a Self-Published Author

Like in many aspects of life, each self-published author’s journey will be different. We all start in different places, have access to different support, and approach things in different ways. Another point to consider is that we are all invested differently in the books that we publish- all of us emotionally, some of us financially- and this will surely impact on the journey that we take.

However, the same types of questions will be running through your head and being furiously typed into google:

  • ‘How many books does the average self-published author sell?’
  • ‘How many self-published authors are successful?

Well, these questions are hard to answer, and they very much depend on each individual’s perception of what success looks like.

Let me give you an example.

Our first indie author may publish their book and expect to sell 1000 copies in their first week, but instead they sell 100. They might view this as a total failure and therefore unsuccessful.

Our second indie author may publish their book and expect to sell 10 copies in their first week but in fact sell 50, a huge success in their eyes – see my point?

The first question I would ask  you to consider is what do YOU view as successful?

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 As one of our recent blogs, Top Five Most Successful Published Authors, which looks at some of the most successful self-published authors over the years, tells you the definition of success varies according to different individuals and needs.  But how many books on average does an indie author sell?


Again, this question is a hard one to answer and there does not seem to be a consistent (or accurate) answer to give.

Various figures are thrown around as to what an average might look like with popular estimates being between 300 and 700 in their lifetime.  Factors to consider in these figures (which perhaps we should take with a pinch of salt) include:

  • What do self-published figures include?
  • Is this online sales only or also tracking sales made at conferences, events, book signings, friends and family?
  • Are publications, leaflets and shorter publications included in this?

Instead, let’s look at some facts and figures we do know (some findings from a 2014 survey by the Guardian):

  • Readers prefer longer e-books, with bestselling books tending to be over 100,000 words
  • Books as part of a series, outsell standalone books
  • Between $2.99 and $3.99 is currently the sweet spots for most e-book bestsellers

In general authors who price their books modestly earn more. $0.99 isn’t going to get you very far very quickly.

  • Romantic authors earned 170% more than their peers, while authors in other genres fared much worse with literacy fiction coming into last place
  • Typically female authors with education and in their early 40s are the top earners when it comes to self-publishing
  • Self-publishers who received help (editing, proof reading, mentors) made 13% more than average

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The challenges self-published authors face

There are lots of hurdles and challenges to navigate as a self-published author, perhaps the main and most difficult one being yourself. Most self-published authors at some point or another will struggle with the feelings of not being good enough.

It is important to overcome these feelings and ensure you have the right support network in place to guide you through your journey. Knowing that you want to share your story or write your book is one thing, knowing how to go about this and the processes involved is another. It is therefore important that you source the right kind of support, mentoring and guidance to help you each step of the way.

Other issues faced include not knowing how and where to promote your book. In a world where social media is one of the most effective sales platform, if you aren’t 100% confident in your skills you could get left behind.


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So what can I do to be successful?

Whatever your version of success looks like, it seems there are some common factors that will help you along the way. Combined with some of John Kremer’s ideas (author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books) we have helpfully listed some for you:

1. Create a good book – Simple!

2. Create lots of good books – Books in a series perform better than single publications and authors do not make a living on one or two books

3. Price your book for the market

4. Promote, promote, promote – to everyone and everywhere

5. Go social – embrace social media, use Facebook ads, use twitter

6. Create a podcast, video channel or both. Do something weekly and build an audience

7. Consider how you may be able to get into retailers (check out this blog which discusses this in more detail)

Keeping it real

With self-publishing figure steadily increasing year on year and print sales falling, the there has never been a better time to take that leap of faith – the window of opportunity is open to you. Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book said “Self-publishing is absolutely still booming, You can see print books down, and ebooks as a whole up – but a lot of that is driven by self-publishing, which has a much higher growth rate.

It is important, however, to set yourself small and incremental targets with your progress and success and manage your expectations wisely. Like anything else, being an author requires you to build your brand and your customer base. In an article by The Guardian, Steve also stated “As authors are becoming more established, they get followings, just like mainstream authors, so the self-published market is becoming more like the traditionally published market.”

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers said “If you expect immediate results, you’re likely to be one of the many authors who get discouraged and give up prematurely”. So to conclude, remember that success is individual, it stems from having a clear “why”, purpose and vision and that whatever it is that you are writing, be passionate about it. The book you are writing is not merely a book or product to sell, it is an experience; it is an expression of your passion. Daniella Blechner, Founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing says, “It is not the product that is valued the most but the experience it creates.”


Image result for roald dahl I began to realize success


 Written by our lovely Claire Lockey from the Conscious Dreams Publishing Team. She is an amazing VA and budding author. Do check out her blog Claire Lockey’s Blog 

Self-Published Authors: How to Get into Retailers

Nearly all authors dream of seeing their work on a bookshelf. The order and satisfaction of seeing piles of your novels with crisp, uniform jackets waiting to be chosen and taken home is exhilarating.  Most of us passionate about writing feel nostalgic about bookshops, consider them a safe haven, an escape from the real world. To have your book be part of that, on any shelf, is something special indeed.


“Jake went in, aware that he had, for the first time in three weeks, opened a door without hoping madly to find another world on the other side. A bell jingled overhead. The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.” 
Stephen KingThe Waste Lands


But just how easy is it to get your book into a retailer?  You’ve written a book, surely the hardest part is done now? Unfortunately, writing is only half the battle.

The first thing to consider when thinking about getting into retailers is how informed are your ideas surrounding this?  Should you measure your success on whether your book is stocked in shops?  In a changing world where increasingly an online presence is considered the key to success, perhaps not.

Mike Shatzkin summarises the point nicely in his blog ‘The future of bookstores is the key to understanding the future of publishing. “Publishers are going to have to think about how they maintain their appeal to authors if putting printed books in stores becomes a less important component of the overall equation.  We are already seeing big publishers quietly moving away from publishing books that haven’t demonstrated their ability to sell as ebooks: illustrated books, travel books, reference books. That implies an expectation that the online component — particularly the ebook segment of it — has already changed the marketplace or certainly will soon”

Just because you are self-published, this doesn’t mean you can’t get your books into shops. Granted, this may be easier as a traditionally published author, however, being traditionally published doesn’t carry all the advantages.


Even if a book is successful, an author with a publishing deal is unlikely to receive or make huge amounts of money.  In addition, most published authors will have an agent who will take a further 10-20% of their earnings. Advantages, however, are that initial investments are made by the publisher so authors don’t have to front the costs of editorial services, cover designs or promotion.

With self-publishing, authors have to invest in themselves as there is no money upfront. This does mean that when you do start making sales, payment is regular and you do not have to wait for money earned to be received.  You are also more in control of your sales as you will have ongoing access to real-time figures.  It can be difficult under traditional publishers to keep abreast of how much you have earned in royalties, and then who knows how long you will have to wait to receive this.

Obviously, with the backing of a traditional publishing deal comes the added support and expertise in marketing and publicity.  Although, with the number of books being bought online increasing year on year, the shop window for self-publishers is growing!


Image result for book shops

If getting your book into retailers IS your ambition, then there are some key points to follow to help you along:

  • In order to sell your book, it needs to have an ISBN and a barcode. You can find out more information about ISBNs here:  You can also get free barcodes here:
  • In order for shops to sell your book, you need to know how they buy their books. List your book in print – the main directory that booksellers order their books through.
  • Get your book stocked in a UK based distributor such as Ingramspark who distribute your book amongst 39’000 online retailers
  • Having an ISBN makes your book available for libraries, booksellers and retailers to buy
  • Ensure that you have a Nielsen Title Editor account and that your book data is logged. This enables booksellers to order physical copies of your books and stock

“Not all marketing people are writers, but all writers must learn to be marketers” – Joanne Kraft

In order to make your book known, you need to market it in every way possible.  Create professional marketing materials, create a marketing plan and learn how to use social media!  Ways to market your book could include:

  • Sending press releases to newspapers, magazines and newsletters
  • Utilise local media – newspapers, local magazines, blogs, notice boards, church groups – the list is endless
  • Give some copies away and ask for feedback or reviews
  • Announcing your book by requesting book reviews, offering to write articles, making yourself available for interviews and locating appropriate columns and magazines

The best form of advertising is word of mouth, and it is free.  Talk about your book everywhere by arranging speaking events, talking to groups, clubs, attending conferences and networking events.


In order to have the best chance of getting your book into independent stores, it is important to consider your approach.  Turning up on a bookstore’s doorstep unannounced and clutching a spiral bound copy of your book hoping to speak to a manager just isn’t going to cut it.

Do your research and find out who you need to contact. Check out their website; they may even have guidance as to how to go about approaching them. One example of this is Jarrold’s of Norwich who helpfully have an excellent set of instructions. These are well worth a read as they include some excellent tips and points to consider:  

When Daniella, The Founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing, went about getting her book into retailers she went about it the traditional way. She sent an application form to Waterstones Head Office with a copy of her book and had it returned with a rejection. However, having realised that establishing relationships is key, she contacted her local Waterstones bookshops to organise author talks. Forming relationships with events managers is key as they will be the ones who will give you the green light to hold events and book signings. Having a following is important too as once you can prove that you have an audience and are willing to do the marketing yourself, they will feel far more confident when booking you for an event. The worst thing would be to organise a book signing that sees you, the author, seating looking lonesome at a table by the door desperately trying to sell books to anyone who passes you buy. Create interest, establish an audience and get people to book the event in advance!

Having formed a relationship with the events manager at her local Waterstones, she secured a book signing event and author talk in which the bookstore also bought 50 copies of her book Mr Wrong and, to her surprise, the cherry on top was that it appeared in the front window of Croydon Waterstones on Valentine’s Day. What more can a new author want? Relationships are key.





An Advanced Information Sheet is a one page CV of your book. It should contain all the necessary data linked to your book so that retailers can easily locate your book on the database and order. The AI normally gives basic bibliographic details, key selling points, a blurb, cover image, brief author information and (not least) ordering/availability details.  Here is a great article about how to create an effective Advanced Information Sheet and why self-published authors should have one. Read here



Getting your book into retailers seems to be reliant on a number of factors coming together at the same time.  The process is certainly one that will take time and research, dedication and hard work on your part, but something ultimately that is achievable, for some.

It is important however to remain focused on a couple of things.  The first being that the booksellers are not your customers, your readers are.  It can become all too easy when chasing the dream of getting into retailers to forget why you wrote your book in the first place.  Focus your energies on reaching your audience, sharing your story and pleasing your readers, everything else should come second.

A fantastic article well worth a read by Suw Charman-Anderson, a self-published author herself, summarise this point nicely – “Booksellers are distributors, rather than end customers, and while booksellers are an important link in the supply chain, it does seem a bit odd to focus your marketing and processes on serving a distributor to the exclusion of the people who buy your product.” (You can read the full article here:

Written by Claire Lockey and Daniella Blechner from Conscious Dreams Publishing.


Top Five Successful Self-Published Authors

Successful Self-Published Authors

The definition of success is ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose’, so if your aim is, or was to publish a book, and you do so, then you consider yourself successful, don’t you?

In the world of self-publishing, there have been some extremely successful authors. It seems, however, that success can be measured in a range of ways.  Success may be selling the largest volume of books worldwide.  To some, success comes in the form of money.  Some authors view success as their novels being made into a series, the satisfaction that people are connecting with their story line and characters, so much so that they want to read about them again and again.  In our modern world where success is often measured by television and media exposure, one might say that you have made it as an author when your book is adapted into a film. For others, they cannot think of anything worse and their only desire is to see their lovingly crafted words on the paper page. As an author, you may feel that success is measured by the achievements of the words, for some, exposure for themselves as individuals is what they seek.

Over the last two decades, indie authors have achieved all of this which shows that with hard work, talent, dedication and a sprinkling of luck, self-published authors can achieve the levels of success they desire.

Here are some of the most notably successful indie authors:

James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy was a former therapist of abused adolescents.  He published his first book in 1993 and sold 100,000 copies from the trunk of his Honda before Warner Books agreed to publish it.

Redfield went on to sell over 20 million copies of his book and spent 165 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.  Not only this, his book has been adapted into a film with three sequels.


If money is your aim, Amanda Hocking author of the My Blood series and Trylle Trilogy was the first self-published novelist to make over $2 million publishing only e-books.   At the time, she had sold over a million copies of her nine books, and was averaging 9000 book sales a day.   Hocking then went on to sign a conventional publishing contract in 2011 valued at a further $2 million including a four book YA paranormal series called Watersong.



Some author’s dream is to reach as many people as possible with their writing and Lisa Genova was certainly successful in this.  A trained neuroscientist whose debut novel, Still Alice, is about a women with an early form of Alzheimer’s spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into a phenomenal 25 different languages.  Still Alice has also adapted into an Academy Award winning film starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore.


As you can see, there have been quite a few self-published books adapted into films, none more well-known however than E.L James50 Shades of Grey trilogy.  A lot of people don’t know that the trilogy started out as fan fiction of the Twilight series and then later developed into the erotic trilogy we know today.  The self-published book quickly spread being dubbed as ‘mummy porn’, its popularity perhaps due to its escape into an exciting and forbidden world of desire and intrigue.  Soon after the books had become a worldwide sensation with a movie adaptation on the way.  This example is an interesting one, as many have criticised the quality of the writing, however there is no denying that if your novel is something people want to read, you have the opportunity to do magnificent things.


Our final example shows how sometimes the focus can be more on the individual, than the actual writing itself and this is very much down to the personality of the author behind it.  David Chilton published his book of financial planning advice in 1989 out of his own basement. The book still remains today one of Canada’s best-selling books of all time. The easy to follow style of the book made it accessible and appealing to millions and in 2008 Chilton wrote the sequel The Wealthy Barber Returns.  Chilton not only found success in his book, but as a result of his down to earth tone and supportive nature found success as a celebrity and he is now one of the dragons starting on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.


But what should I write about to be a successful self-published author?

Hopefully, by now, you will see that all self-published authors are different.  Their journeys are different, as are their levels and measures of success. There is no magic equation to write the perfect novel as a self-published author, no guaranteed key to success.

All the authors we talk about in this blog have written about different topics, and all of them have found success in one way or another.  Some of the authors wrote about their jobs, giving their writing a sense of depth and expertise. Sci-fi and fantasy is another popular choice allowing authors to let their imaginations run wild and creating alternate worlds and mythical beings that perhaps they have carried with them for years.  Many self-published authors write fiction, getting lost in creating new characters and blending their life experiences into the authors own.

How did they start?

All self-published authors will begin at different points and their self-publishing journey will take different paths. They will have all started in the same place though – with an idea.  How that idea is brought to life is up to you! You can see that some of our successful authors spent years building their novels and selling them out of the trunks of their car for example. Others rose to fame very quickly, their novel catching like wildfire and becoming an overnight sensation.  The point is however, all of them started somewhere.  If you are unsure of where to start, why not book a free consultation to talk things through?

To start your journey and talk thong through book your free consultation here:

Book my consultation

Putting things in perspective

For the point of this blog, we have highlighted some of the MOST successful self-published authors in the last twenty years. It is important to remember however, that each year there are hundreds of thousands self-published novels produced. In 2015 Bowker Self-Publishing Report shows that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles.  Success to this level is like anything, in the minority.  This doesn’t mean to say  that it is not attainable, or that you shouldn’t try.  It is about putting things into perspective.  The first thing to do is to manage your own expectations and consider what YOU consider successful. What is important to you?  I am sure none of the self-published authors we discuss today started out thinking that they would reach these levels of success.

A parting note is to remember “Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer.


Written by our lovely Claire Lockey from the Conscious Dreams Publishing Team. She is an amazing VA and budding author. Do check out her blog Claire Lockey’s Blog 


















8 Top Tips to Getting Your Book in the Press

1. Find out the name of the person you are contacting!

Press get 100s of emails a day promoting organisations, events, products, authors, movers and shakers so it’s important to get noticed. People will always respond to a personal touch rather than a blanket email entitled “Dear Sir/ Madam” or “Hi!”

2. Find out what that person and brand like.

You want the person to be interested in you and your product so it is vital to show interest in them. What attracted you to choosing The Voice over The Daily Mail. Was there an article in there that interested you? Do you or your book have anything in common with the person you are writing to? Mention it. Example: “As a lover of bikes, I thought you might be interested in my book XXX. The lead character rides a Ducati Monster!”

3. Write an innovative email title

Instead of writing a blanket email entitled (NAME OF BOOK in NAME OF MAGAZINE/NEWSPAPER etc.), use your research to find out more about the person and brand. To mark the end of 2015, I had a full page spread interview featuring my book Mr. Wrong. How did I do it? I found an article in The Mail Online based on relationships and I entitled it Re: Jo, I loved your article Why Men Cheat.I went on to tell her about my book and I received an instant reply. This approach has worked far better than Mr. Wrong in The Daily Mail.

4. Three Things: Who. What. Why.

Send three short paragraphs that succinctly answer these three questions. 1. Who You Are. 2. What You Do 3. Why People Should Care. You have a short space of time to get across who you are and what your “noble intention” is. Connect to the person you are writing to. How can your book assist, contribute and add value to others in a way that similar products cannot. What makes your book different? Send three short paragraphs that succinctly answer these three questions. 1. Who You Are. 2. What You Do 3. Why People Should Care. You have a short space of time to get across who you are and what your “noble intention” is. Connect to the person you are writing to. How can your book assist, contribute and add value to others in a way that similar products cannot. What makes your book different?

5. Press Release

A press release is an official statement issued to newspapers giving information on a particular matter.  In this case…your book? If you chose to sign up with a PR company they will write you a professional Press Release and send it to contacts in their media database. They will be responsible for scheduling interviews, meetings and getting you features for radio, magazines, TV, newspapers and blogs. Alternatively, if you are on a budget or if you prefer, you can do your own PR with the database you have and sourcing contacts through networking and research. Some people say that Press Releases are outdated and that the press now prefer a more personal approach, however, my belief is that it is good to have as it is a professional CV for your book.

6. Attachments

Remember to send attachments such as author headshot, bio, cover of the book, press release and a PDF copy of the book for them to read.

7. Have Hope and Follow Up

Now that you’ve fired off your emails, be patient and wait for a reply. Whilst waiting, have hope and faith that what you have to offer is of value and that the media you have contacted can benefit from what you have to offer on their show/magazine/paper, etc. Remember though, that they receive 100s of requests a day so it is important to follow up.  polite email such as,

Dear Joanna Blogs, I hope you are well. I recently contacted you in regards to my book Mr Wrong. Have you had a chance to read it yet? I would love for you to consider featuring Mr. Wrong (the book, not the man!) on your show.

Have a great day


8. Contact Details

Remember to attach your contact details under your signature such as phone number, blog and website and if you wish, any nominations for awards you have received. It just gives an extra bit of information on you and allows the recipient to follow you on Social Media and check out your links!

For more on our services or to purchase a copy of The Book Journey Mentor’s Guide to Self-Publishing  (extract taken above) visit

To attend the third session of The Power of Your Story Workshop, book your tickets at

Want to know how to get your book in the Press? Do you have a book published by no media coverage? Well Haddy A Folivi is your woman. I am excited to announce that Haddy will be guest speaking and leading a session at “The Power of Your Story” workshop on 18th Nov. Her session, “How to Get Your Book in the Press” will show you :
📚How to pitch your book to the media, without seeming salesy
📚How to identify the relevant media angle
📚How to give a captivating media interview

Haddy, PR Guru and FounDer of Clarity Media, is phenomenal at what she does. She has secured pieces in Forbes magazine, Cosmo and Marie Claire and is responsible for over $2.5 million worth of media coverage in 46 countries. Want to learn from her? Book her session today! Visit,

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A Night to Remember..

Liverpool is an amazing place. One of those places you need to visit again and again to get the real feel of the place. It is full of culture, history and vibrancy. But why were we there? We were there, of course, to attend the National Diversity Awards.  The National Diversity Awards is a prestigious black-tie event that recognises, honours and  celebrates roles models, charities, organisations and entrepreneurs that are dedicated to enhancing diversity, equality and inclusion.

And I was amongst them…

I was honoured to have been nominated, let alone shortlisted from 22’000 applicants, to receive an Award for “Entrepreneur of Excellence.” Although I did not win, it was amazing to have been recognised and I appreciate all those that voted.

The Journey

My partner Dean and I jumped in a taxi with a couple we heard were going to the same place as us. We immediately clicked. As we got talking,  it was clear that we were sitting amongst two very special people. James Sutliff told us that he suffered from dystonia, a rare disorder that affects the neurological system as the body suffers from abnormal and repetitive spasms. This means speaking and eating can be a real challenge for James. It’s an invisible disorder. He said he just woke up one day feeling unwell. After he took a nap, he woke up and realised that his speech was slurred and severely distorted. He has been living with it for nine years.

His wife Sam is a phenomenal woman and never have I met a couple so in sync. The intuitive connection they both have was quite moving. Although we could understand most of what James was saying, Sam seamlessly filled in the gaps and interpreted. James told us in the car that he was nervous and that he hadn’t planned a speech. He had been nominated for Role Model for Disability.

Having an understanding of what it is like to live with a disability or disorder, James knows what it is like to feel marginalized. He is now a Disability Fitness Coach and model who coaches those who have severe autism, suffer from low self-esteem and have disabilities. He works on their physical fitness as well as their confidence at an emotional level and he achieve results! He is on a crusade to raise awareness about dystonia. By the time we left the car, we wanted James to win and were excited to have met such a down to earth and incredible couple. Read more of James’ story here:

James’ story

nda james and co
Dean Williams, James Sutliff, Samantha Sutliff, Daniella Blechner (me)

The Cathedral

On entering the cathedral, we were greeted with champagne and canapes. It was a glamourous affair and it was refreshing to be amongst movers, shakers and change-makers. I have to give kudos and respect to Paul Sesay, The Founder, for having the vision to create this event to celebrate so many people making a difference in the world. We took a few photos and I practiced my pose on the cathedral stairs (still working on it)  before we made our way to our table. Table 37!


Table 37

Now, I have to say,  I think we had the chattiest table in the whole cathedral. What I loved the most was that it truly was diverse. Each and every one had a story and a cause that was important to them and the support and cheers from the table were particularly touching. We had only known each other for the space of a few hours but were rooting for each other to win.

Here are a few of our table buddies who were up for nomination

  • Faye Waddams – Positive Role Model Award for Disability (her blog is here).
  • Revd. Andrew Foreshaw-Cain – Positive Role Model Award for Race, Faith and Religion
  • Kerri Swindells – Community Organisation Award for LGBT (National Ugly Mugs)
  • Gary  Pollard  –  Community Organisation Award for Gender (Men Tell Health)

     –(taken from Gary Pollard’s blog Men- Tell Health) Read here: Gary’s blog

Other table mates were Kieran Bohan, Dell from Ugly Mugs, Luke Levine and Jacqueline Pollard (Gary’s lovely wife.) It was also great to finally meet my Facebook friend Sarah Lovatt-Ellis from Hyper-Fusion Theatre Company in the flesh who had also been nominated for an Award as well as the lovely Leanne Armitage, a young woman with a huge vision.

Table 37
Table 37

Two hours in, and we were ecstatic that Gary won it for Table 37…er I mean..all the fantastic work he has been doing. On a serious note, his organisation, “Men Tell Health is a male-focused mental health Community Interest Company. Their aim is to reduce male suicide and to help men understand, manage and accept their own mental well-being. They do this differently to almost everyone else. They do it in the way they talk about mental health, initially by using humour to destigmatise and to engage. This extraordinary organisation is the brainchild of Gary Pollard who lives with PTSD, depression and acute anxiety. What started out as a blog expanded to fill a major gap for men struggling and looking for help, creating a site that talked to people like a friend would, not like parents or Doctors. Men Tell Health are now the only men-specific mental health organisation in the region of Teesside, running three different types of men-only groups including SpeakEasy, PopStart, and ReBoot. Their life changing work has not gone unnoticed.”- NDA website.

Gary is a legend and truly deserves this Award and I know he will go on to help many more men. Men need outlets just as much, if not more so than women, as they are often taught to “suffer in silence” or grow up with the notion that “Big Boys Don’t Cry” or told to “Man up.” My belief is it is this very conditioning that suppresses a man from expressing himself and therefore leading to expressing himself in a much more harmful way further on down the line. What I love about Gary’s work is that he offers men a safe space to share their story and anxieties without judgement and with humour.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, glasses
Gary Pollard, Founder of Men Tell Health


Another highlight was seeing my good friend Robyn Smart. I first met Robyn when I interviewed her on my Periscope Show, “Book Journey Mentor Uncut” on WOWTV. See interview here Interview Part I    Interview Part II    Prior to that, I remember spotting her at The Mind, Body and Spirit Festival quite a while ago now and being impressed with her plight to empower young children who were going through and overcoming an illness. I also loved her mission to empower young girls of Black Caribbean and African Heritage by creating strong protagonists, celebrating their culture and putting them on the map of  Children’s Fiction in the literary world!  She too had been nominated for an Award and was up for Positive Role Model for Gender.  Ten minutes before the second half of the Award ceremony, Robyn was saying she did not think she would win…

Screams exuded from our table when her name was announced as the winner! Well done Robyn. Well deserved!


nda robyn
Robyn Smart and I. Amazing woman!

The Learning

Taking the opportunity to explore Liverpool, we visited the sites, one of which was Slave Museum. Having visited many similar museums and exhibitions before, I wondered what would be new. What struck me most was not the horrific abuse my ancestors faced but that the long-lasting effects of slavery still hang in the air. Reading the accounts of some of Liverpool’s residents (1940s-1970s) was heartbreaking. The overriding thought at the end of it all was, how much has really changed?  In school we are taught that slavery was “abolished” in 1807, however, slavery in British Colonies was only brought to an end in 1838 and 1865 in the USA, 1869 in Portugal and 1888 in Brazil. The ending of the slave trade did not end slavery itself. I look at the world today and wonder how free are our minds? Although the physical chains and shackles were removed, racial prejudice and systemic racism are very much alive and kicking today.

Stories from men and women growing up in Liverpool during 1940s-1970s

What this reinforced to me, is that we still have a long way to go in terms of equality but  it is up to us to put ourselves out there, break the mould and make a change. If our image cannot be found in mainstream books, if there are no Black literary heroes, if we are not celebrated and portrayed positively in mainstream media, then it is absolutely up to us to not sit back, to not complain about the way things are, but to make a real change and break barriers in a space of unity and strength through collaboration and with the spirit of “umoja” (Swahili for togetherness/unity).   As Martin Luther King said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.“~ Martin Luther King, 1963


What was reinforced to me was the importance of the journey. It was great to have been nominated and it would have been amazing to have won, but my appreciation and gratitude are rooted in the steps that it took to get there. Conscious Dreams Publishing started off as a seed, an idea sprung from meeting so many women with powerful messages and stories that went unheard as well as a desire to place the unseen and unheard in the spotlight so that we can become our own storytellers, game-changers and change-makers. It started with a dream and the dream is coming true.  Three years ago, I published my first book looking for validation from mainstream publishers and getting “Nos.” I knew nothing of the industry but my determination to share my message with the world was stronger than my desire to stop. Stopping would have meant that 25 valuable stories and books would not have been published.

Journeys in our lives count. It’s easy to stop when the journey gets tough, but we mustn’t. No matter what we are going through, push on. Meeting James was a humbling reminder that, no matter what we face in our lives, we can turn it into a positive; we can turn it into a way to lead the way for others. Meeting James reminded us to never take anything for granted and to appreciate every step of the journey for tomorrow, as we desire it, is not granted.

And, as he graced the stage to accept his Award, Dean and I knew that our night was complete. Our cab companion we met at the start of our journey, who was so nervous about getting up on stage and speaking, won the Role Model Award for Disability, and as we cheered him on, I couldn’t think of a more deserving winner!

James Sutliff: Award Winner for Role Model: Disability


For more on National Diversity, visit their website 

If you have a powerful message or story to share with the world and have a strong desire and urge to publish your book, book your consultation with me here:

Book My Consultation!









3 Reasons People Fail to Publish their Book

Publish thsi book


1.Lack of Knowledge

Entering the world of publishing can seem like a quagmire. You’ve spent years writing and perfecting your manuscript and now it’s crunch time. There is a plethora of information on the internet offering a variation of different ways to publish. If you are not well versed in the world of publishing, this can be extremely daunting and an easy place to simply become stuck. It is often on this highway of information, many authors stop due to a lack of clarity, understanding and direction.

My advice is to research, research, research. Get familiar with publishing terms and the different avenues you can take. If you are really passionate about your book, become an expert at it and create a vision for its journey. Writing a book is like having a baby; you have to gain and equip yourself with the key tools, knowledge and resources to raise it. Gaining knowledge is the first step to elevating your book from manuscript to publish.

2. Lack of Money

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard someone say, “I can’t because of money.” or “finances are tight.” Whilst this may be true, we have to understand that these concepts are first formed in the mind before they manifest into reality.

Publishing a book is costly. I can tell you that because I have been through it. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you really want to publish this book or not? How passionate are you really? Having a dream means achieving it by any means necessary and sometimes we have to get creative about how we achieve that dream; this includes how we fund it. I strongly advise starting a Crowdfunding campaign. I raised £1’100 in six weeks through setting up an Indiegogo campaign. Contributors contributed money in exchange for a copy of the book and other perks. We, in turn, now help other aspiring authors to do the same.

We need to remove the stigma of asking and see it as a valuable exchange. A donation to see your book come to fruition in exchange for the completion of the book is a win/win situation. You can do a sponsored walk, have a book sale, set up a book club, and/or have a pre-publish book event and raise money that way. You can seek sponsorship or partner JVs who may pay for advertising space in your book, if you wish to do it that way. There are never ending ways to make money. Money doesn’t always have to come from our 9-5.

3. Lack of Belief

We all suffer from fear and doubt at times especially when we are attempting something new. Writing and then publishing a book is a huge feat and accomplishment and it is natural to feel uneasy at times. What I will say though is never allow fear or doubt to penetrate your mind. You were born for purpose and if writing and publishing a book is your life-long dream, don’t let anything stand in your way. Not even lack of belief.

When ‘fear’ and ‘doubt’ tell you ‘No’ you tell them “YES!” When they tell you “you can’t” you tell them “I CAN AND I WILL.” When you feel doubtful or lack in belief, make sure that you can call on positive people who support you.

Surround yourself with the right people. As Oprah Winfrey says, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

Lack of self-belief can be soul sabotaging and the thoughts you tell yourself on a daily basis become our reality. Make sure you are surrounded by those who challenge you when you are doubtful and support and celebrate your successes. Their voices, whether positive or negative, will have an impact. Make sure it is positive. Even when you may not “feel the part”, acknowledge that that is where you are but dress up and show up anyway!

You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.”~ Zig Ziglar

Conscious Dreams Publishing is passionate about assisting aspiring authors through the self-publishing process and showing them how they can stay in control of their book’s journey. We believe there are far too many women with powerful messages and stories to share with the world to unheard. If you have a powerful message or story to share with the world and are not sure how to get it out or are daunted by the process, do get in touch as we offer one to one mentoring and publishing services and have a workshop with lots of value and content coming up in October. The workshop is and intimate workshop for women who are serious about publishing their book.

Visit The Power of Your Story Workshop to book. There are 9 spaces left!

Have a beautiful day and remember, “You CAN and YOU WILL.”

Daniella Blechner

AKA The Book Journey Mentor

“Be the author of you own destiny.”

You Will Never Be An Author…


You Will Never Be An Author…

Unless You Make A Choice To Give Birth To The Book Inside You!

This Is The Time For You To Share Your Story

What is your Story? What unique, talents, gift or skills do you pose that can have a positive impact on others? How are you going to make sure that your story does not die with you?

With all the unrest that is happening in this world, it is more imperative than ever for you to tell your story. Your voice could be the calming factor that helps someone to make the right choice or decision that will ultimately lead to a positive impact. Let me ask you a few questions.

  • Have you had to overcome adversity in your life?
  • Have you kept going even though you wanted to give up and reached your goal?
  • Have you told your story and it has impacted one life?

If you have answered yes to just one of these questions, then now is the time for you to tell the world your story.

Your story can no longer stay inside of you. This is your gift to the world and the people who are waiting to hear it. Let’s start your journey today.

What We’ll Discuss For Your Journey 

During the free phone consultation, we will ascertain where exactly you are on your book journey and offer expert advice no matter what stage you are at. The 30 min phone consultation will include;

· Assisting you in discovering your “why” behind the book

· Assisting you in creating a structure for your manuscript

· Creating a vision for your book

· Offering and strategizing promotional and marketing advice

This Was Meant To Be…


“Deliberating about what I wanted to ask Daniella, my phone rang on the dot and all thoughts and questions disappeared! I like to chit chat and she reigned me in and took charge of the call..:D BOOM! She is interested in what I have to say about my book, she likes the sound of it and I felt she understood the concept.

Knowing that I am close to finishing my book, this call gave me the kick up the ass that I needed to get on with the last few pages. Daniella shared lots of her knowledge with me and was very open and empowering. If you are thinking about speaking to Daniella, all I can say is do it! I came off the call, 100% more positive about publishing my book; I know it is for the people but just needed that push to carry on. Thank you from the bottom of my spiritual heart. You know I love you and always recommend you.”

Is NOW a Published Author and enjoyed success in the Top 10 Bestseller List in 3 categories and was No2 in Hot New Releases with her book Zoetic Soul!

​~Jan Mayfield, Author of Zoetic Soul, UK

Professional All The Way


“The world of self-publish is filled with those claiming to offer us writers the perfect service. When I decided to write 101 Lessons I Taught My Son, what I needed was a guide and 

r. Someone who took as much interest in getting a quality product into the public domain as I did. Someone with the time and expertise to ensure I was not frustrated as I walked this new and unfamiliar path.

Dani and her team were always available and never made me feel my request were too much. Her suggestions and tips really help form the book and much of the positive public response to the book is directly linked to Dani’s input.

Truly a professional and personal service”

~Paul Lawrence, Author of 101 Lessons I Taught My Son, UK

Janine Cummings

More Than A Coach and More Than A Mentor


Daniella worked with me over 6 weeks on a programme which had clear structure, goals and completi

on deadlines. Throughout the process, Daniella had a firm but compassionate approacand exercised great patience particularly with me being a first time author not yet fully proficient in the industry. Her coaching techniques are achievement and target driven, and I felt confident in her leadership and professionalism.

Daniella delivers great value and the coaching programme supported my growth as I developed a greater understanding of what is required a self-published author.that transform, inspire and empower. We want to read non-fiction manuscripts from authors who can offer new and fresh ways of exploring new ideas and provide” information that heals and elevates. With a can do approach and endless positive energy, Daniella Blechner is by far a leader in the Coaching to Publishing industry. At the end of the 6 week programme, I was equipped with great support and a wealth of knowledge as I published my first novel. It is without question that I will be returning to her services again with the publication of my second novel.

A five star service that delivers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the 6 week Coaching to Publishing programme and would highly recommend Daniella Blechner to those getting ready to publish a book. Hitting the Top Ten in three categories on Amazon when I released my book Everything was amazing! Having the support of Daniella; being taught a simple but strategic approach to getting my book on the Bestseller List was invaluable.”

~Janine Cummings, Author of Everything.”

About The Book Journey Mentor

Hello, my name is Daniella, founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing and I will also be your Book Journey Mentor. I am passionate about empowering you through the self-publishing process and assisting you in fulfilling your vision. Publishing a book is not so much about the physical process of publishing but the journey you have planned for your book’s life. Almost anyone can publish a book, however my mission and vision is to coach and publish authors with stories and books that empower, educate and inspire.

In 2014 I accomplished my biggest achievement to date (next to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in 2000 and getting to the top with the flu!!) and published my debut book Mr Wrong. Mr Wrong hit 3 Best Seller Lists rising above The Joy of Sex, Women Love Bitches and the infamous Steve Harvey’s Think Like a Man, Act Like a Lady within hours of being published. I can share with you strategies that boost your chances of getting that sought after Best Seller status too! I have since gone on to publish poetry anthology 7 Shades of Love and a Mr Wrong Workbook.

My belief is that we all have a unique story and that we can use our stories and experiences to engage and ignite others. My clients have found that having a Book Journey Mentor has allowed them to achieve a greater understanding of the self-publishing process, accelerated their growth as an author and raised their profile within their chosen fields.


Your Story Can Impact A Life, So Make Sure You Share It. 

Copyright Conscious Dreams Publishing 2017

3 Essential Tips Before You Publish Your Book

BJMFor those of you who do not know, I have an online Periscope Show called, “Book Journey Mentor” Uncut on WOWTV (Women of Worth TV) Women of Worth TV is a highly successful channel on Periscope set up by my very first mentee, Janine Cummings who is now UK No1 Female Live Streaming and Social Media Media Strategist and Author of Everything.

Book Journey Mentor Uncut is all about providing insight tips and advice into the self-publishing and writing process as well as a platform to interview, showcase and promote new and upcoming authors. Tune in every Tues 7pm GMT/2pm EST. You can watch by following @womenofworthtv on Twitter and view via Periscope or Twitter

My 1ST Show: 3 Essential Tips Before Publishing

Watch Video here


3 Essential Tips Before Publishing

1.Know Your “why”

Everyone has a story inside; a unique journey and purpose. We all have our reasons for wanting to do things and a desire to fulfil goals and dreams in our lives. But what is our “why?” Simon Sinek, visionary and author of “ Start with Why ,” believes that success does not stem from what we do but why are doing it. So many of us go to work every day with no idea as to why and end up feeling unfulfilled when we know why we are doing it and are more than comfortable with the answer, we are in a much better position to connect, inspire and empower others.
What is your book’s raison d’etre?

Three important questions to consider before you read any further are.
1. What is your “why?” Why are you writing the book?
2. What is the message you want to convey?
3. What impact do you want your book to have on the reader?

These three questions are key to aligning your book, your message and your raison d’etre/purpose with your valuable readers. If you are unsure, find a trusted friend or loved one and ask them to support you in

2. Create a Clear Vision

We must remember that our book is not just a way to get our message out there but also a marketing tool. It is important to think about what we want our book to do for us. Having a book can open many doors so it is essential we know what doors we want it to open. Have a think about what organisations you may want to approach, what JVs (Joint Ventures) you may want to create, what events you wish to speak at or press you can see your book featuring in. Make sure though that these are all in alignment with your vision, mission, why and purpose. For example, I was approached by a glossy magazine having heard of my book Mr. Wrong. They wanted me to “dish the dirt” on exes and send in pixelated images of myself with them to feature in their magazine. Had they read the book, they would have realised that it was not about scandal but more so about accepting responsibility for choices we have made and forgiving ourselves in order to make better choices. Whilst this would have boosted my readership or visibility, it was more important to me to attract the right audience and opportunities that were in alignment with my core values and mission. When you are clear about your values, vision, mission, why and purpose you will attract the right opportunities for you and weed out the ones that are not. Integrity is key.


3. Know Your Audience

Many aspiring authors I speak to say that their audience is women. That may be true but the more specific about your audience you can be, the more likely you are to serve them well. There are 3.52billion women in the world. Is you book for ALL of them? What are their interests, employment status, background, culture, beliefs, pain points? What problems are you solving for them if any? What things make them laugh, entertain them make them think? Where do they hangout. If you want to have a successful book and ensure it reaches the right hands, research is key. Find out exactly WHO your audience is and find out where you can find them. Wherever it is, you and your book should be there too!


To get an interview on Book Journey Mentor Uncut, message us at with the subject line WOWTV together with your bio, headshot and PDF of your book. Alternatively, fill in the contact form below.

Daniella Blechner

AKA The Book Journey Mentor

“Be the author of your own destiny.”


12 months, 12 books, 12 workshops, 6 Bestsellers, 1 Book Journey Mentor

This year has been a phenomenal year for us. And it all started with a simple dream. I had a dream of creating a platform where our powerful stories and messages could be heard. I had a dream of working with aspiring authors who want to see their ideas through to fruition. I had a dream of using our powerful stories, experiences and journeys to empower others and the dream has now begun!


What I want to stress to you is that no dream is ever attainable by man or woman alone. A dream is only as big as the team one chooses to surround themselves by; this includes your support system as well as the physical team you choose to hire within your business.


Conscious Dreams’ foundation is passion fused with the belief that we are living in a world where so many of our stories are silenced by gatekeepers who are looking for the next “best thing.” Self-publishing, however, is an honourable way to get started. In fact, 58% of ebooks are written by self-published authors. What sets us apart from the rest? We care about your journey and our aim is to empower you through helping you to understand the self-publishing process and create a vision for your book that doesn’t just end with publishing. Your book should always be seen as a passport to somewhere else so the clearer you are on your vision, the more successful your book will be. We help you to create that vision and stay in control of your book sales or royalties. We don’t act as a middle wo/man.



Reinvent You!

Since we launched in May, we have run two six-week workshops for women who are serious about getting published.  Since our first six-week workshop in Oct-Nov, The Power of Your Story one of our attendees and mentees, Divorce Recovery Coach, Zina Arinze, (AKA Reinvention Queen!) went on to publish her book, “Reinvent You! How to Move From “We” to “Me” After Divorce” and went on to reach No8 on the International Bestseller List in the Divorce category! Reinvent You! is a testimony to Zina’s own story of overcoming a painful divorce and relationship and offers real insight and practical advice for recent divorcees in such a warm and friendly manner. We helped Zina to set up her own publishing brand, “Believe and Live Again” so that all her forthcoming books can now be published under her own brand! Congratulations Zina!



Poetic Surds

Sat 14th January was a very special day indeed for our youngest author, Micah Dolphy. Micah came to Conscious Dreams Publishing- after I visited her school and was blown away by her poetry- with a dream and a vision. She simply told me, “I am ready to publish my book.” She had written over 100 poems in honour of her late father who always used to encouraged her to read and write her poems. Her book Poetic Surds, is a collection of poems that address issues such as, mental health, being “different,” grief, loss, nature, self-worth and spirituality. Micah is wise beyond her years and testament to the fact that you can never be too old or too young to stand in your purpose and live your dreams. Not only did Micah become a published author on her father’s birthday, but she became an International Bestseller. No 1 in Women’s Fiction and No 2 in Women’s Poetry as well as making the front cover of The South London Press! Congratulations Micah!

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Zoetic Soul

 Zoetic Soul, written by Psychic Medium Jan Mayfield, is a very interesting read indeed. This book took slightly longer to birth but came out just when the time was right! Zoetic Soul gives the reader real insight into Jan’s live as a psychic medium. Jan Mayfield channels the energies and voices of souls who have evolved and transcribes them. Read the dialogue of the souls who pass on valuable messages and worldly predictions. Regardless of belief of faith, there is no doubt that there are some powerful messages all of humanity can take heed from and apply to their lives in order to live in a more harmonious and enriching world.  Jan was on the Bestselling List for over 1 month in 3 of her categories and was the first Author from Conscious Dreams Publishing to be featured on Amazon’s Hot New Releases! Congratulations Jan!


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Full collection of books published and/or mentored by Conscious Dreams Publishing include

reinvent you                           101


tears                              words

                            Poetic Surds by [Dolphy, Micah]

bestseller                                                     bestseller


Crazy Not to Dream                 PTFP



bbcf       51TLTGHS0VL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_


Jnaien Cummings Everything     Conscious Dreams Publishing





Mr Wrong image

If you would like to be Conscious Dreams’ next published author or attend any of our workshops, do get in touch with us at
I am also offering free 30min phone consultations to discuss your book and help you gain clarity with your vision and direction. Book here: www.tinyurl.consciousdreams30mins
Have an awesome day and remember no dream us ever too big to achieve!
Daniella Blechner
AKA Your Book Journey Mentor
“Be the author of your own destiny!”