Self Published & Top Shelf

18 Feb
Boy do I have a treat for all my author friends out there today. You and I both know how difficult it is to not only get the book written but to get it out there on the shelves.
Well, joining us today is Jill Exler. Jill  provides great tips for self-published authors on the radio program for work-at-home-Moms, Blog Talk.

Katrina: Great to have you here Jill. Tell us a bit about what you’re working on.

Jill: I’m working on my website,, which is a place for writers who have self-published their books to list and sell them.  It’s a great place for readers to find unique books, as well!

Katrina: What made you start Jexbo?

Jill: I started my site when I was looking for a place to sell my own book and couldn’t find anything that was a good fit for me.  Either the websites I found were too difficult for the average reader to find unless they knew exactly what they were looking for, or else the website took a high percentage of the sales (jexbo takes just 5%).  Self-published authors have a lot of choices about where they have their books published, but they don’t have the same outlets to sell their books that writers who have their books traditionally printed have.  Self-published authors have to do a lot of the promotion themselves, and not everyone has that talent or the time to do it.  My site is also a great site for writers who are WAHMs because they can have total control over their book and they can do it from home.

Katrina:  What has been the greatest challenge of starting Jexbo?

Jill: The biggest hurdle has been finding a web developer who is able to make my site exactly what I want it to be.  One challenge that us probably unique to me is that I live in Germany, 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so often if I have a question or problem I need answered, I have to wait until the next day for answers.  This however is also helpful in that I can do much of my work even before people in the US have gotten up.

Katrina: What tips do you have for WAHMs juggling work and home life.

Jill: My biggest tip for raising children and starting a business is find a time you are able to get work done – either early morning, late night, or while the kids are at school.  This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to let things slide if you don’t have a routine, and working in fits and starts might work for some people, but it’s better to have a schedule of some sort, even if it does have to be flexible.

Katrina: What advice do you have for moms wanting to start their own business?

Jill: I think other mothers who want to start a business should go for it.  Find a mentor or friend you can count on for support, because there will be plenty of times you just roll your eyes and think “I’ve had enough,” and you’ll need someone who is able to encourage you.  Also join other groups of entrepreneurs who can give advice and provide constructive criticism.  You can find a wealth of help online, or check out your local chamber of commerce for groups in your neighborhood.

Katrina: What advice do you have for self-published authors trying to get their books out there to the public?

Jill: Self-published authors nowadays can market their books in a number of ways.  If you’ve used an online publishing house, see if they let you list your book on their website, if you’ve used a local publisher, ask if you can leave a few copies of your book with them.  Brainstorm with friends to find your target market and focus on how you can get your book into that market’s hands.  For instance, if you’ve written a history of your hometown, check out the historical society to see if they have a newsletter which could promote your book.  Get in touch with your hometown newspaper to see if they’d run a story about your or your book.  To reach a broad market, consider listing your book on my site,, for 99¢ per month.  From my site, you can print bookmarks with your name, the name of your book, and “buy my book on” which you can pass out to let people know you have a book and where they can find it.

Katrina:  How can our viewers locate you if they have questions or would like to aquire your services?

Jill: I am always happy to talk to anyone who has questions about jexbo and I am best reached by email at

Katrina:  How has your family supported you in starting your business?

Jill: My family is very supportive and understanding that even on weekends I have to spend at least some time on the computer checking my site and answering emails.  Also because of the time difference between Germany and the US, when I have interviews or need to talk to someone in a different time zone, they know to not interrupt even if it is at an odd time here.

Katrina: Thanks so much for joining us today. I look forward to hearing more about Jexbo Saturday on our Kat Logic Out Loud podcast.


Yesterday’s goody bag winners are: Lin Neiswender and Joyce Anthony. If you two could email me ( )with your mailing address, I’ll send your goody bag.


Posted by on February 18, 2009 in encouragement


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4 responses to “Self Published & Top Shelf

  1. joylene

    February 18, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Great interview, Kat. Jill, you’re doing a wonderful job. Kudos to you for reaching out to others. Best of luck.

  2. Deb Hockenberry

    February 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Great interview! I’m not a WAHM (unless you count my cat that thinks she’s a person) but there was some useful info in this interview for me too! Keep up the good work!
    Deb 🙂

  3. Sharon

    February 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    HI Jill. I enjoyed your interview with Kat about those who self publish their books. I am sure there are many out there who benefit from your advice and experience. Thanks for all the info.


  4. Lisa

    February 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Wow that’s great. I really got a lot out of the interview. What a wonderful idea. Lisa


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