How one email led to a masterclass, a book, a Summit appearance… and so much more

by Anna Featherstone
01 March 2024

Have you ever experienced the uncomfortable feeling that comes with being highly competent in your field but not a natural spruik-it-from-the-rooftops self-promoter?

Do you find it easier to lone wolf than join the pack? Do you ever miss out on opportunities because you don’t even dare throw your hat in the ring? Join the club!

But it’s a club I’m revoking my membership to.

Why I believe in taking chances

Results show me that when I reach out rather than retreat, when I make the call rather than curling into a ball, and when I decide to send it rather than sit on it – opportunities, energy and connections I didn’t even realise possible – boost my life and business to another level.

A great example of this came thanks to being a member of Rachel’s List. I’d been a long time lurker on FB and loved the weekly newsletter. Then I found myself scrolling through some of the masterclasses on offer ready to up my game when I had the fleeting thought, hmmm…maybe they could also use a presentation on self-publishing. At the time, I’d written four books and self-published three with great results, so I knew my stuff. But it took me ages to get the courage up to send an introductory email and propose a class.

Finally, I sent the email.

All that time wasted, thinking: Should I? Dare I? Will they even care? Is it rude to ask? Who am I to offer this? I’m no one and they’re all so professional? And the next thing I know, Rachel responds, she can see the value in it for other writers, it’s a yes to the class.

But it didn’t start and end there. And that’s the thing about taking that first step – whether it be an email, a phone call, a social media post, or buying a ticket to a real-world event or course – the step can rather quickly turn into a fantastic hopscotch adventure.

How the masterclass inspired Look – It’s Your Book

At the end of the self-publishing mini masterclass I did, Rachel said, that was great, can you come back and go into even more depth for our writers? And I thought about it, thought about the new research I’d need to undertake to do the topic justice, the new sources I’d need to find and interview, and realised, If I’m going to do all that, I may as well write the book too!

100,000 words later, Look-It’s Your Book! my guide to non-fiction writing and self-publishing for Australian writers, ended up on the Australia Society of Author’s recommended reading list. Read an excerpt of the book here.

And what you’ll discover too, if and when you write your own book (or one for a client!), is that just the process of writing it will make you an even greater expert on your subject matter. You’ll make ever more connections ranging from the people you interview to the readers who devour it, the librarians who invite you to give author talks to the media who interview you about it. 

Oh, and then that book led to speaker engagements…

If you write a book, you might even be invited to present at a conference, like I was at the freelance writer-affirming inaugural Content Byte Summit where I met so many wonderful writers and have become a part of their book-writing journeys too.

Writing and sharing the book also led to me being invited by the Alliance of Independent Authors to be their non-fiction book advisor and to co-host with some of my writing heroes on their international Publishing for Profit podcast.

… and other income streams.

Deciding to write the book and self-publish it has led to private coaching and book marketing services, to a workbook and the collaborative online course hub Bold Authors.

And importantly, it’s led to immense joy, especially now as books begin to appear on shelves by writers who have used Look-It’s Your Book! on their journey.

All this from just one decision to reach out, rather than choosing to sit it out.

Offering to present that masterclass led me to write a book that changed my life.

And because of that, more writers are working on books, and their books – your book – will potentially change more lives too.

Want to get cracking and make one move that may change your life too?

Rachel’s List currently has the Self Publishing Mini Masterclass + Book bundle ready and on a special deal for you – it includes my original masterclass and your own paperback copy of Look-It’s Your Book! so you can sticky note and highlight it to your heart’s content. And if you are thinking about traditional publishing, you’ll benefit from all the information about how to market and leverage your book, some of the biggest challenges of being an author today.

I suppose the thing to realise is that the world needs what you’ve got too. In whatever form that may be.

Back yourself rather than back away. Reach out, don’t tap out. Connect and enjoy the resulting hopscotch! And also, know that there’s an incredible community of writers around you who are so generous, welcoming and kind. I’m immensely grateful to Rachel’s List for giving me the spark and all the opportunities that continue to follow. Sure, it could have been a ‘no’, but it wasn’t this time. I’ll never regret reaching out.

Grab Anna’s masterclass + a paperback of the book it inspired! The bundle is now on sale for a limited time in the Toolkit.

The self publishing mini masterclass and book bundle for anyone who wants to write a book and self-publish it
Anna Featherstone