Books Open Insights #12:16 Years Ago, I Almost Quit Before I Finished My First Book with Ellen Violette

January 6, 2021

In this episode, I share why I wanted to become an author and why I almost quit before I finished my first book. I hope that by sharing my story, as well as those of a few of my students, it will inspire you to keep going if you’ve gotten discouraged on your journey to becoming an author or if you’ve been afraid to even try.

Resources mentioned
5-Day Bestseller Breakthrough Challenge

3 Key Points 

If you are not following your inner guide, you will get a wake-up call. Mine was agoraphobia.

Look at what problems you can solve for a market you are familiar with for the topic of your book.

The only thing stopping you from writing your book is a limiting belief.


Hi everybody and welcome to the first episode of the Books, Business Abundance Podcast for 2021. I hope you had a great Christmas. Now the holidays are over and it’s time to get to work and do something awesome!

So, just to get you caught up, last year, I spent a lot of time taking courses, going to virtual challenges and events and as you know, if you’ve been following my podcast, interviewing amazing guests, and now I’m super ready to get into action. And I hope you’re ready to, because I’m going to share something really great with you in this podcast, and it’s totally free, but first some backstory.

So, I’ve been teaching authors how to write profitable books and ebooks since 2004. And I get that the process can be daunting. It was for me the first time I tried to write a book, and it didn’t help that I wasn’t passionate about what I was writing, but I really struggled.

[01:02]: I always knew that I wanted to write books and I think it goes back to when I was living at home. And one day my mom declared that she was going to write a book and she went through into her bedroom to write. And then a little while later, she came out and she said that she was done and she’d written one page and she had nothing else to say, and we all laughed. And then I kind of forgot about it, but I was always drawn to books. My mom read to me as a kid, and that was one of my favorite times with her because she wasn’t a very warm person. And so, this was one of the few times that we really were close in my childhood. And so, this was extra special for me to be able to share that with her.

[01:44]: So, it had a special meaning for me. And I came from an educated family of professionals, doctors, lawyers, judges, and my grandfather who actually became a judge had earlier been a night editor for the LA Examiner. My grandmother had been an English teacher and my mom had been editor of her school newspaper. So, I really think writing was in my DNA. But as an adult, I kind of went in a different direction. I graduated from UC Berkeley without a clue what I really wanted to do with my life. But I knew that I was going to go into some kind of additional program. And I settled on architecture because I thought it sounded creative and they were recruiting students from the social sciences to make buildings more user-friendly, and my degree was in sociology with a minor in English. It was a three-year program at UCLA and I stuck it out for two years, but I really knew that I wasn’t going to do it after the first year.

[02:47]: I really hated it. I wasn’t good with my hands and building the models. I had a hard time getting my ideas from my head onto the paper. It just wasn’t my thing, but there was a lot of pressure for me to stay in the program. And so, I kept trying to make it work, but fortunately, or unfortunately for me, my inner guide, wasn’t having it. And I started having panic attacks.  I became agoraphobic and couldn’t leave my house for about six months. Around that time, I went into therapy and luckily the therapist was right down the street. I think I chose someone who was right down the street, although she was recommended because it was so hard for me to go anywhere. And in therapy, I shared my journals and my poetry, and I’d been writing since I was a kid.

[03:36]: And I remember after reading a poem to her, she said, have you ever thought of songwriting? And it was shocking to me because that was so out of the realm of possibility in my world, but it definitely sounded intriguing because I am basically a creative person and I decided to look into it and UCLA was right up the street from me. So that was another easy win for me to be able to go because I could barely handle getting there, but they had an excellent program. I enrolled and that’s when I started to come out of the funk. So, I immediately fell in love with songwriting. And I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. The teacher for the course was a very highly respected songwriter in the business. And he said to me, I was never going to make it as a songwriter because my lyrics were to Joni Mitchell-ish.

[04:30]: On the one hand, I was angry at him for saying that and on the other hand, it made me want to say, “I’ll show you.” And eventually, I did, and I got a Grammy nomination. But I was in the music business for about twenty years where that was really my focus. And during that time, I met my husband and we built a world-class recording studio in the house I grew up in, and we were having a blast. I loved doing it, but then the Northridge earthquake hit; it damaged our house. And then, my parents passed away within eleven months of each other and I had to sell the house and with it went my living.

[05:08]: So, we didn’t know what we were going to do at that point, but we moved down to San Diego and bought a condo. I tried to get into the songwriting community down here. And my husband went back to hypnotherapy, which he did when he wasn’t audio engineering for me-my parents sent him to audio recording school. But it was just really hard. It wasn’t working. And there was a hypnotherapist on every corner and the music business wasn’t here. So, that was hard. And we were just trying to figure out what to do, but in the meantime, our condo that we bought kept going up in price. And we made quite a bit of money when we’d sold my mom’s house. So, since we weren’t making money doing this, and we were making money buying and selling a house, we thought, “Well, we’ll start buying, fixing and selling houses.”

[06:02]: And so, that’s what we did. But then the market got too hot. There was nothing to buy. And so, we took a property management job back in LA just to stop the money from going out too fast while we tried to figure out what to do next. And that’s when I really started thinking about writing my first book. So, I got online and I started doing some research.  I found a New York Times bestselling author who did consultations. And so, I contacted him and set up an appointment with him. I was nervous about that meeting because I remember thinking, “Am I too old to start writing books?” It makes me laugh now to think that because I was in my late forties or early fifties, but that is one of the concerns that I see a lot of people have. And he said my writing was really good and to start sending stuff out on spec.

[06:52]: And I was like, “No, thanks.” I did that for years in the music business. And I was so over it because we would send stuff out. And if you were lucky enough to get a cut, which is once in a blue moon at the level I was at, even though I was winning awards, was you make ten cents a record and everybody else was getting rich off your creative work. And so, I just didn’t want to do that again. And I really liked the idea of being self-sufficient and not having gatekeepers because, we’d go to a meeting and they’d say, “Well, my job is to say no and your job is to tell me why I should say yes.” And then they would turn around and say, “Why can’t you bring me a song like this song?”

[07:35]: And it would be a song by an artist that only an artist could write. So, you just look at them like, “This is insane,” but anyway, I discovered ebooks going online and looking around. And I remember getting so excited when I found them, because I love the idea that you could self-publish and nobody could tell you, “No, you can’t.” And I remember running through the house; I was ecstatic. I was so happy and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to write an ebook, but then the question was, “What am I going to write?” And again, that’s another issue that comes up for a lot of authors. They just don’t know what to write. Even when I’ve worked with coaches who have a business,  they still don’t know what to write. So, I help them do that, but they have it all in their head.

[08:33]: They know what it is. They just don’t make the connection between what they’re teaching and how to put it into a book. And they just don’t realize how to do that. But we’d been living in the properties that we were fixing. And so, we were moving every six months or so; it was really high stress and exhausting, but one of the things that came out of that was I got really good at packing up and keeping everything organized. And so, one of the movers remarked at how good I’d gotten at moving. So, when I decided that I was going to write my first book, I was thinking about what problems can I solve that I’m good at that I could help others with by writing a book. And so, I decided moving was what I was going to write about.

[09:19]: So, I started to look for a coach and I also took a publicity course. And the publicity instructor said, “Oh, you should become the moving doctor.” And I was like, “Oh no, no, no, that doesn’t sound exciting to me at all.” But I was writing this book and I felt like I needed help. So, I looked around, I found one book and one e-course. I bought the book and I started writing, and I was really gung ho at first, but as it went on and on  for weeks, and then months, I was starting to lose interest and that part was really tedious, really boring, really frustrating. And we went to the Big Seminar. That was the big conference back then. And I was so sure I would find a coach there, but there were not any. I was really surprised.

And then, that’s, when it really clicked for me, I thought, “There has to be a better way and there has to be somebody doing this.” And the fact that there isn’t is just mind-boggling to me. And I know that I could do this and help others as well as helping myself. So, as I said, I really wanted to quit at that point because the book was taking forever. But once I realized that, then it gave me the momentum and the motivation to keep going, because how could I teach other people if I couldn’t even write my own book? Right? So, the other thing is I had put in so much time and effort and money. And so, I hired the only coach I could find, which was the Guerrilla Marketing coach. And it was expensive and frustrating and time-consuming.

[11:00]: And I was not a happy camper. But eventually, I finished the book and I was also learning Internet marketing at that point. And the course of the day that was really hot back then was Teleseminar Secrets. And it was taught by Alex Mandossian. And one of the first things Alex said was that the money wasn’t in the books, it was in teaching what’s in the books. And at first, that was really deflating to me because I just wanted to write books, but then I thought, “Okay, well, I’ll try my hand at coaching.” And so, I hired a coach to teach me how to coach. And he had an ebook journal that came with that program. And as I went through that, at that point, I was already at the point where I knew I was going to teach it. And I asked if I could update his journal because I knew I could add to it and make it better. And he said, he really wasn’t interested in that. And he said, I could just go ahead and take it and do whatever I wanted with, with it. So, I did.

[11:57]: So, I updated that and I offered it for free. And then I got people into what today is called a masterclass. And I shared everything I knew to prove to them that I knew what I was talking about. And about that time, there was an Internet marketer who’s now passed on. His name was Mark Hendricks. And he put together this giveaway that was called the Twelve days of Christmas. And he got together seventy-seven marketers who all gave something for free and all promoted the event. And I grew my list, which at that point was about 200 people. I’ve been doing it for a few months, just getting people offline. But I grew my list of 1600 people, and I was immediately in business,  and I created my first book writing workshop. And I had just two people in that workshop. I was devastated, but it was great as it turned out because they told me what wasn’t working, and then I fixed it.

[12:58]: But also, from this list of 1600 people, a lot of people said they wanted a marketing workshop. And so, I then offered that and I made about $13,000 in the first few weeks, as soon as I put it out. And then that first year I made almost $50,000, and I made six figures at two and a half years. And then I just kept giving the workshop, and I just kept getting feedback, and making it better, and better, and better. And I’ve given it thirty times now over the years; the last time I gave it was in 2015. And the name changed over the years because, in the beginning, people saw ebooks and books is different. Now it’s all the same. I work with clients and we just do a book, and then we do it in the different formats. But it’s now called the “Write your Bestseller in 7 Days” bootcamp.

[13:51]: And even though it’s been going since 2004, the process, but basically for writing a book remains the same. It’s a step-by-step system that I created back then, and then just continue to work with. And it’s worked for hundreds of people that I’ve worked with in these workshops. It’s worked for Marianne Kelly who was in her early seventies when she took it. She’d given up on her dream of ever writing a book, but I convinced her to give it a shot. And she has since written a three-book series called The Molly Chronicles and created a cottage industry with tote bags and other things that she sells. And it’s really cute, and she loves it. It also worked for Jackie Ruka, an expert happyologist. Jackie wrote her book, Get Happy and Create a Kick-butt Life, A Creative Toolbox to Rapidly Activate the Life you Desire in the workshop.

[14:47]: And she’s done great since then. She has been offered magazine covers and all kinds of great opportunities from them having written that book. It also worked for Jeff Herring. Jeff was known as The Article Guy at that time. And he and I actually used to have a mastermind together and he had several books, but they were all collections of articles, and he was having trouble writing one from scratch. So, he decided to take my bootcamp and Jeff explained, “My production rate, essentially doubled based on the whole notion of having a system, saving yourself, time, energy, and money. And one of the other things you did, you kind of had everyone settled down a bit. You have a nice way of laying the groundwork and you said, ‘You can do this.’And it anchored people. And what it did for me was my latest ebook just flowed.”

[15:39] “So, what I want to highlight, having done it before, piecing it together with articles and then struggling with the flow of it. And now it just flows having taken your course. It absolutely gave me the confidence to know I could pre-sell my latest ebook from the work I did with you. I knew I could finish it. And in a few hours, it was already bringing in income! It’s just following your system.”

And that’s just a taste of some of the amazing feedback and testimonials that I get from my bootcamp. Now, as I said, I haven’t given it for five years. And with COVID raging and people hurting, I decided it was time to bring it back, which I’m doing later this month. So many people want to write a book, but they just don’t know how to get started, or they think it’s going to take so much time that they convince themselves that they’re just too busy, but Books Open Doors; books give you instant credibility and expert status.

[16:32]: They help you reach a bigger audience, make a bigger impact and make more money. And really, the only thing stopping you is a limiting belief that you either can’t do it; you can’t write; you’re too busy; it’ll take too long; whatever it is. And I’m here to tell you that it’s wrong, you can do it. And I know because I’ve watched hundreds of my students do it, and it only takes seven days to go through the bootcamp. But rather than trying to convince you, I want to give you the opportunity to see for yourself. So, I’m going to be doing my first ever challenge. It’s the 5-Day Bestseller Breakthrough Challenge. And I hope you’ll join me because in this challenge, I’m going to help you take your book from idea to outline. And I want to tell you that the first three parts that we’re going to go through, it works for anything.

[17:22]: It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a product, a program, whatever it is. So, we’re going to cover how to pick the best topic for your book, how to find your best target market, how to position your book,  so it stands out from the competition and make sure your clients are begging you to buy it, and how to write your book outline in just minutes. Not only that, but I’m going to share some of my secret hacks to getting quick results in the free challenge as well. And then after our five days together, you’ll be ready to fill in the chapters and be a hundred-percent confident that you’re on the right path to making your book a bestseller and attracting your dream clients.

And then for those people who want more, there will be an opportunity to work with me later. So, if that sounds good, go to and opt in there. That’s And we’ll be going live next Monday at noon Pacific and 3 p,m. Eastern. And once you opt-in, you’ll get all the details.

I can’t wait to see you inside. This is going to rock! So, see you there.

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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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