Friday, November 21, 2008

Publishing my first book

Finally I accomplished a major milestone! I sent the final copy of my book to the publisher.

I like to write and I also love to hear personal stories because I believe that each person has a unique story to tell. In case you are thinking about writing your story and publishing a book I will let you what I have learned about this exciting process:

There three options for publishing a book:
1- Relax on the beach: Find an agent and they will take care of the process.
2- Half-way: For an upfront fee a publisher will help you publish your book.
3- Wash the dishes: Self-publishing where you will need to take care of everything but printing.

Here is what I did:

First, I decided to find an agent. Many first time writers try this option first with hopes and aspirations.

The best way to get an idea of who are these agents and what type of book they are looking for is to sign up for Writer Markets. The monthly registration fee is $3.99 and you can query the site and get list of agents by name, area of expertise and type of literature. Or you can also try Agent Query which offers free search services.

I began actively contacting agents and publishing houses that matched the profile of my book.

Please don’t be discouraged by all the requirements listed in their websites. Writers need to have A LOT of patience. Sometimes you will find an agent only after you get 100 rejections. Yes, it could take 100 query letters before you can find an agent. I wrote 15 letters and got 15 rejections.

At least, most of the agents and houses treated me with respect and responded back to my letters. Even two agents expressed some level of interest and requested additional information. However, nothing happened.

At this point, I lost my PATIENCE. And I decided to find a self-publishing agency that will guide me through the process.

I checked three agencies including Authorhouse, iUniverse, lulu and a handful of other sites. I selected because of the great interaction with the publishing agent.

Of course, there are two negative side of this model:
1- You need to invest money at front
2- You need to take care of formatting the final manuscript which is cumbersome and time consuming process.

Last but not least, here few more things for you to consider when you are doing self-publishing.

- ISBN Registration
- Bar Code Generation
- Library of Congress Registration
- Copyright

Good Luck Publishing Your Book!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Connecting with a Mentor

I said that I will update the blog once a week. However, I just posted my first entry yesterday and I am back again.

Today first thing in the morning, I met with a young associate to talk about mentoring. He is in a mentoring relationship with a senior manager and both of them are learning and getting value from the interaction. They are crossing the lines and connecting instead of watching from their side of the road.

Mentoring is a two way street.

Later, I attended a Women Executive lunch where I met several women who shared with me the importance of developing role models for young women. Young women and men can benefit from a mentoring relationship because mentors can serve as a sounding board or even become role models.

In particular, today young women are faced with an overwhelming number of options and they could benefit from strong role models that can inspire them. The lack of role models for women in the IT profession is one of the areas of focus of mine.

Together with many other women in NCTA WISE , we organize networking events and programs for women in the Charlotte NC and provide the opportunity to meet and talk with role models who have achieved career success while balancing their career and personal goals.

Just read about a study conducted with more than 25,000 students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). More than 70 percent of women responding said they did not have a consistent source for advice and support.

My last though for today is that Mentoring and Networking can be very valuable only when first you have an objective or a goal in mind. In other words, do not come to a Networking event or ask for a Mentor waiting for a miracle to happen.

COME with a purpose in mind!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Welcome to my Blog: “Dots2Connect”
I am calling my Blog “Dots2Connect” because this conversation is about You and Me and We all have many dots to connect in order to plan and achieve our goals and dreams.

First let me tell you few things about me that my professional and leadership profile will not tell you. I like to travel and discover new things. I have traveled extensively and lived in three countries. I also enjoyed writing including writing poetry. In my 25 years of a professional career I have worked across many different sectors and enjoy roles where I need to overcome obstacles and can create new things.

I am passionate about many topics and I will write about them in my blog. Sometimes I will talk about emerging trends, social media, mobile, and emerging technologies but most of the time, I will share my thoughts about Mentoring.

The last two weeks, I have been very busy reviewing, editing and formatting my book: "Connecting My Dots" - A woman's leadership guide to multidimensional success. This is because I decided to do “self-publishing” instead of waiting for an agent to knock on my door.

Women and Multidimensional Success - I think it is important to talk about multidimensional success because many young women want to achieve career, family and personal success but are afraid that they will not be able to have a family if they choose an executive career when they see that a large percentage of high achieving women do not have children or a long lasting relationship. For many women success means achieving not just professional recognition but also a fulfilling family life and personal happiness.

But the question is at what cost? Success does not come without making trade-offs or personal sacrifices. However, with every obstacle you find in your road it comes an opportunity to define your plan and determine what achieving multidimensional success means for you.

From my involvement in mentoring I have learned that people like to connect lessons and advice with real life stories. My inspiration for the book came from mentoring young women who want to plan for career success, but to my surprised I found out that many men also expressed interest in reading the book.

The way I plan to host this blog is to do small posts on different topics. I will probably update the blog once a week. And for a quick update you can always find me on Twitter under:

I hope that you will find my Thoughts = helpful and my Perspectives = refreshing.

I would also like to hear your personal stories on how you are “Connecting Your Dots.”