The Published Author Podcast

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff w/ Kristine Carlson

Kristine Carlson is a New York Times bestselling author and renowned speaker recognized worldwide for the global success of The Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book series she co-authored with her late husband Dr. Richard Carlson. Her memoir has become a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear titled, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story.

With over 30 million books in print, Kristine has emerged today as a leading mindfulness expert and transformational guide who has been featured on national radio and television broadcasts, including The Today Show, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Debra Evans also joined this episode. Debra is a developmental editor who worked with Kristine on her book From Heartbreak to Wholeness, and together they launched Book Doulas.

In this episode, Kristine tells her personal story of loss when her husband passed away unexpectedly and how she found comfort by serving others. One way she found to serve others was to launch Book Doulas, a program to help individuals tell their own stories by becoming authors.



Josh Steimle: Welcome to the Published Author Podcast, where we help entrepreneurs learn how to write a book and leverage it to grow their business and make an impact. I'm your host. Josh Steimle.

Today is a little bit different than in past episodes. I have two guests with me. I have Kristine Carlson and Debra Evans.

Now, Kristine Carlson, you may have heard of her. She's a New York Times bestselling author and renowned speaker. She's recognized worldwide for a little book that you may have heard of called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. She co-authored this with her late husband, Dr. Richard Carlson, and she wrote a memoir that's now become a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear, titled Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, the Kristine Carlson Story.

With over 30 million books in print, Kristine has emerged as one of the leading mindfulness experts and a transformational guide who's been featured on national radio and TV, including The Today Show, The View, and Oprah.

And also, with us here today is Debra Evans. Debra is a developmental editor and ghostwriter. She's very involved in books. She's worked with a lot of celebrities and she and Kristine connected a few years ago to work on her memoir From Heartbreak to Wholeness. Then they've gone on to launch a business together called Book Doulas, and they're helping people to launch books-- to give birth to books.

Kristine and Debra, welcome to the show.

Kristine Carlson: Thank you, Josh. So wonderful to be with you again.

Josh Steimle: I'm so glad to have both of you here and now, Kristine, we'll start with you. Let's give some background to our listeners of who you are, where you came from and your story with your husband and such, and how that led to all these books.

Kristine Carlson: Well, thanks, Josh. I was kind of one of those really reticent writers. Richard had written don't sweat. The small stuff was his 10th book, and it became a national phenomenon and international global phenomenon actually. Pretty much right out of the gate. And so, he was one of the first early branded authors with chicken soup for the soul series.

He was one of the first authors to brand a series like that. And so, after about the third book, he invited me to write don't sweat, the small stuff in love with him. And I was happy to do that because quite frankly, he was writing most of the book and I just was coming along for the ride. So, I was like, this will be fun, you know?

And then I felt like, oh yeah, yeah, I'm all done. My author's journey is finished. I'll go back to being a mom and being the crystal and his clock and his news. And he thought, no, he thought differently. He asked me at that point to write the first. Book for women in the series. Don't sweat the small stuff for women.

And I remember I had the same question on my mind that a lot of people and probably many of your listeners have on their mind, they had the, I, in fact, I didn't even have the desire to write solo. I really didn't. I always thought it was plenty just to have one author in the family we didn't need to. And so, but I really asked the question, who am I to write a book and.

Richard answered that quickly. He said, you know, you're my wife, you're my life partner. And you are enough to write this book. You can write don't sweat split this monster for women because you live this philosophy. So, I thought about it for 24 hours. He pretty much put it to me that if I said no, he would ask other women to do it.

And I was like, okay, game on. That's how I started my author career. And. And then I'm suddenly 10 years later at the 10th anniversary, literally at the 10th anniversary of don't sweat, the small stuff. Richard got on a flight to New York, and he was promoting a different book that he had worked on.

With a different publisher and on the descent of that flight, he died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism in 2006. I can tell that story now without crying because it's been almost 15 years and it's, it's been an incredible journey for me. I didn't just stand right up and claim my life as an author.

It took me a couple of years. But then somebody reminded me, I had written a New York Times bestselling book and I was like, oh yeah, I did that. And I wrote, don't sweat the small stuff for women. And I had the, I was asked to write a book, heartbroken, the open journey of my loss because people were just so profoundly touched about the awakening that I was going through during my loss and how I was handling it.

Josh Steimle: How did they know what you were going through?

Kristine Carlson: I immediately started writing on the website that we had. I would write a blog, more of an update, and I would just share my journey. My kind of my thought was like, this really is killing me that I'm going through this. Might as well wake a few other people up too.

So, I was like, you know, I was happy to have an outlet to pour out my feelings about this journey. We had a lot of people logging onto our website and. And leaving just incredible messages to our family. So, I wanted to address those people. And so, I did that pretty early. That's how people knew.

Josh Steimle: Isn't it interesting how turning our minds to others in a time of grief can lead to healing?

Kristine Carlson: Immediately. I think I immediately, I was fully aware of how difficult this process was and I sometimes I'd be lying on the floor just in heartbroken tears. And I would say. How does the normal person get through this? Because I had such an amazing support system. I had so many tools in my emotional tool belt.

I had never had any experience with grief, but I certainly knew that I was a highly intuitive person and I could figure, you know, I could allow this process to heal me. And I thought I need to really watch this because this is something that needs to be shared.

Josh Steimle: You said that you were approached to write this memoir, to write the book. Who was it that approached you and said, you need to write this?

Kristine Carlson: It was Bob Miller. He was the president of Hyperion. When, before Hyperion was sold to Hachette Books. All our books were published by a division of Disney then has shed bought Hyperion books and Bob Miller left to do an imprint with Harper Collins. It was called Harper Studios. And so, he took a few authors along with him and he asked me at that point if I would write a book.

I was like, yeah, I'll, I'll write a book. Sure. And that's how that unfolded. I had already published an hour to live an hour to love the true story of the best gift ever given. And that was a letter that Richard had written to me. And I published that as a national tribute to him.

And that's when I was on open. To, to really tribute him. And it was kind of ironic because I used to say, well, if Richard could choose where he would want his national tribute to be, it would be on Oprah. And so, we were on Oprah for that national tribute to him, which was just a really beautiful experience.

And then I had written my journal and my journal became the nemesis for Heartbroken Open. It was at the very core of that book. I just took the journal and, you know, woven a bunch of different themes that I had learned. The life lessons that I had learned, which kind of is, is really new, it was kind of a new way to look at memoir in a way because I was a self-help author writing a memoir.

Really woven in my teachings, like, and my lessons into the memoir. And then I thought that would be incredibly helpful for anybody who was going through profound.

Josh Steimle: You mentioned that Oprah was the place for the Memorial for your husband. Would you mind retelling that story that you told me when we talked on the Hope Strategy Podcast, about the first time your husband got connected with Oprah?

Kristine Carlson: It was so cute because he was in the green room and Oprah popped in to say hello. Oh, oh, oh no. Okay. Well, that was a different story. Okay. Now I know which one you're talking about. Yes, yes. The phone call. Now, I just want to say just a prerequisite is that when you watch the movie, this isn't how they portrayed it in the movie.

But that scene in the movie did happen at a different time. Richard was on Oprah four times. So anyway, this is how Richard first was on Oprah. It was incredible. We were having a discussion and he was about ready to quit writing because he had not gotten the kind of advance that he really needed after a full year of working on a book.

This was prior to when you write a book proposal and sell the book proposal, authors actually wrote a whole book, and he wrote this whole book and he only made like $5,000 on that. And it pretty much meant that we were going to look like we were going to go into debt the next year.

Josh Steimle: This was how he was supporting your family, right?

Kristine Carlson: Yeah. He had a few different hats he was wearing, but this was one of the ways, you know, he had his buckets of income, and he was as an entrepreneur. He was looking at this bucket as being much more substantial than $5,000 for that book.

We are having this discussion and he said, I think I might need to get a job in human resources or something because this is not cutting it.

And we live in California. We live in Bay Area, California. That is like one of the most expensive places in the entire world to live and always has been. We had this discussion, and I was like, you can't, you can't quit. This is your passion. I know you're going to hit it. It's going to happen. And he was really despondent, and we had taken two different cars.

So, I rolled into our driveway first, walked in the door and I'm not kidding you. When I walked in the door, the phone rang. I ran to it. I picked it up and the woman on the other end was a producer from the Oprah Winfrey show.

 She said to me, " the strangest thing just happened. 15 minutes ago, we were talking about this. I was bent down in my library, and I was kneeling down.

I was looking for books on stress management and your husband's book popped off the top shelf and hit me in the back of the head." And she said, " I looked up, I looked at the book and I was like, no way, this is the perfect book."

Then she asked, "could Richard be on a plane to Chicago the next day?"

Absolutely. I can be on a plane to Chicago the next day and it turned around. It was a pivot in his career at that point.

Josh Steimle: Such an amazing story, because if the book hadn't fallen off the shelf, she wouldn't have seen it. He wouldn't have gotten Oprah. He would have quit being an author and the other 20 books or whatever he wrote after that might never have happened.

Kristine Carlson: Yeah, it's possible. I mean, it's, it's, it's an amazing thing. When you know, the divine energy of life intervenes. Something like that happens. And it just really, it, he did that. Most people quit. Most people quit before they're right before they're about to make a real break and in what something they'd been working for.

And usually, it takes about 10 years. Richard's agent always told him it would be his 10th book that really took off. And certainly, it was his 10th book.

Josh Steimle: That's good advice for some authors out there who might be on their fifth or sixth book and say, "This isn't working out. It's the 10th."

Kristine Carlson: I know most people think 10 books. How would you ever birth 10 books? And boy, you've written a couple books yourself. Haven't you?

Josh Steimle: Yeah. And it's a lot of work to write a book, even currently with Amazon and self-publishing and everything. It's a lot of work to write a book.

Kristine Carlson: It is well, it's a lot, it's a lot of work to push a baby out. That's why Debra and I call it birthing your book.

Josh Steimle: So, so maybe we can fast forward to Debra. Let you tell the story of how did you and Kristine first meet?

Debra Evans: So, Kris and I both attended a workshop here in the Bay Area. Friends of ours were leading this workshop. It was a weeklong commitment and neither of us really wanted to do it on a certain level we've discovered later. But we both were being very supportive by our friends to do it.

I personally followed my gut and thought, okay, I'm resistant to this, but I'm going to do it. And Kristine was at the workshop and the workshop by the way is called, Why Have You Come to Earth?

And it's a very powerful, very profound week. I'm so glad that I did it. And one of the greatest gifts was meeting Kristine and. By then, well, I have a funny little story because I, I knew that Kristine was somebody that everyone in that community talked about and had great admiration for, but I never had heard her last name.

She was talking at one point to our whole group midway through the workshop about the book that she was running. And she was taking some questions from her audience, which is us, the 40 people in the workshop. And I happened for some reason. I forgot why, but I asked her if she was planning to go the traditional route or self-publishing.

And I didn't know this was Kristine Carlson, you know? So, it was a really funny moment because of the look she gave me in that and the answer she gave me, I wish I could remember, but it's that the. The tone of it, this incredulity and humor, and everything all rolled into one. Here I am asking a New York Times bestselling author...

Kristine Carlson: I remember exactly what I said because of course, I didn't know that you were an editor, a developmental editor either. I thought you were just a person that was asking, you know, and I did kind of assume maybe you did know who I was. So, I was just, like I said, Oh, geez. I sure hope not, but I mean, I'm open to that possibility.

Debra Evans: I remember that. So, by the end of long story short, there's by the end of that week. We had gotten to know each other a little bit. And we talked about her book, which she had, I think you would just know you hadn't yet sold it to the publishing company yet.

Kristine Carlson: My proposal is nearly done, but I haven't sold it.

Debra Evans: Long story short, she ended up inviting me to be her editor with, you know, working in tandem with her as she was writing From Heartbreak to Wholeness, which is actually a self-help book. It's guidance. Readers through the journey of returning from grief to wholeness, into joy. And it was such a profound and delightful experience to work with Kristine.

Because we live close together, close by, we got together in person several times to work on it together. And, you know, the hour spent listening to Kristine’s stories and getting to know about her relationship with Richard and getting to know the soul of this person, Kristine Carlson.

It was such an extraordinary experience. And joyful and, and productive. And we got the book done in time and into the hands of her publishing company on time. And it was a regulatory thing we thought, okay, this was so good. We both had talked about and expressed a desire to work with authors to help them through the process, knowing that it can be as hard as it is.

It can also be so. Illuminating and transformative. I'm sure as you know, Josh and you learn so much about yourself in the process of writing a book and there's a desire to help people to get it done, to take that dream and make it real and tangible. And so, we joined forces to create Book Doulas.

So that was how we met. And I'm so grateful because she is a constant source of inspiration to me as a business partner and as a friend.

Kristine Carlson: I think one of the cool things we found out is Debra and I are born on the same year. Just about what two days apart. You're the third, I'm the 5th of July.

So, we have all our stars are very aligned. I mean, we're very, very have a lot of the same kinds of qualities. And we just do really, well together as friends and business partners and, you know, and I think when I found out Debra Evans really worked with Debbie Ford. I was a huge Debbie Ford fan and had done the shadow process with Debbie.

And I just am just really surprised. I never ran like Debra and I had never met, you know, When I found that out, I was like, oh my God, she'd be great to work with, you know, because she's got, you want to work with somebody, of course, that sort of understands your genre of speak and, and everything that, that really can dig in and, and create all those weavings that, you know, really help you.

I knew I had a limited amount of time, so it was really looking for, you know, a higher level of developmental editing to just help me in the whole process with that.

Josh Steimle: So, with Book Doulas, who do you focus on? Who's the ideal audience or customer, student, who would participate in this program?

Debra Evans: That's a great question. Well, I think there are various answers to that, Josh. I think that somebody who has a burning desire in their heart and soul, there's something that just won't let them forget about it. And sometimes it takes them up in the wee hours of the morning.

Whether that's a book that has to do with parenting or relationships or health and wellness or entrepreneurship or whatever the book is it, Kristine and I tend to work with people who are writing non-fiction transformational or self-help books and somehow two books.

We have worked with some people who write we're writing memoirs as well. Especially given that Kristine has written her own memoir, but we tend to think of those as our ideal. Participants are writing more of a teaching memoir, a memoir that they're also using to turn toward the reader to various points along the way in the book to inspire the reader in a very kind of direct way.

And so that's the first thing I would say that burning desire that that won't let you forget that it's there. Kristine, is there something you want to say about that?

Kristine Carlson: I think our ideal client is somebody who's also still in the investigation stages of their book and who may know they have a book in them but doesn't really know what that book looks like yet.

What that, how it's going to come out, how they're going to dive into the creative process. That's why we came up with a program called the book incubator. I mean, almost all our birthing terms. And we do have men in our course, but we, you know, we, we really have made that association with the idea that, you know, you really birthing a book is low, is that it's, it's creating it from the inside.

It's cultivating it, it's growing and it's giving it nourishment and everything it needs in order to become that, you know, kind of a lot easier to. Child than mine ever was, but, you know, pushing it out is very, it's very similar. It's a big process. And we find that most people that come to us, even in our incubator program go through quite a transformation.

Just at the whole thought the, the, of writing a book. So, our incubator is really designed to help cultivate the author as much as the book itself. So, we really teach people how to build their platform, how to brand themselves, how to. The important aspects of what this journey of being an author really is.

And in an, I think what's great is that a lot of people might have the burning desire to write a book and they might go out and pay a lot of money to do that. And then they don't have a platform and then their book doesn't do anything. So, we kind of created this program. To assist people so that sometimes we've had people even do the program.

I love the program. I learned so much, I'll be able to use what I learned elsewhere, but I don't think I want to be an author, you know, and we've had that too. Not as often, but most people come and they, everything that they learned from us, you know, whether it's SEO and branding or how to structure their book is able to help them in all areas of what it means to be an entrepreneur these days.

Josh Steimle: What does the program look like in terms of timeline? Is it structured? It goes a certain amount of time or is it join whenever you want?

Debra Evans: Well, the incubator that Kristine has mentioning it is 10 weeks and it's very live interactive with the two of us for the 10 weeks. And our next incubator is starting on February 17th, 2022, which makes it to April 21st.

And so, we meet with everybody as a group. Every week via zoom like this, and we have an hour and a half call together, a lot of teaching, a lot of content delivery with them. And also, we have half an hour of time where we can do laser coaching with people and a lot of Q&A time. So, it's, it's, it tends to be a very personal experience because there's a lot of dialogue back and forth.

So, we deliver a lot of information. Like that's very usable right away. We also have. Teachers that come on to speak about specific topics. So, so that's the heart and soul of it is our weekly calls. And then we also have five Saturday boot camps during that 10 weeks. And as the name implies, it's sort of a roll up your sleeves together day, where we meet on zoom in the morning and then everybody structures their day.

However, they want to. Get to work. And then we come back together in the afternoon for another zoom session together and people read their work if they want to, they get feedback if they want that. And it's just a great way to keep that train, moving down the tracks for them. So that's like the bulk of it.

And then of course we have the Facebook private Facebook page that goes with that so that the people can be working or inspiring each other along the way.

Kristine Carlson: Our groups tend to get tight-knit. It's interesting. Like our last few groups, the chat has been wild. People are like on the chat right away and you know, very interactive with each other.

So that's been really cool to see these relationships build over zoom as well.

Josh Steimle: Can you share some success stories with us? What published books have come out of this?

Debra Evans: We just started in the fall of 2019 and so it's you know, Book Doulas that are incubators, relatively new. We have a couple of books coming out this spring from a couple of our authors.

Do you think it's okay if I name names, Kristine?

Kristine Carlson: Yeah. Michelle Hernandez, we’re super proud of her. She's one of the top 10 chosen CNN heroes. So, if this comes out, please vote for her. Please vote for her.

She's has a foundation called Soaring Spirits and she's written a book about her time through loss called Different After You.

And we're super excited. That's published by New World Library. And we're super excited that that's coming out in just a couple of months now.

Debra Evans: Yeah, that's coming out in April, I think, or March. And then another woman that we have worked with who's publishing her book. It's coming out with Greenleaf Publishing, which is a hybrid publishing company.

Amy Wong is her name and her website. Living on

The reason Living on Purpose is on my mind is because that's the title of the book. Exactly, but always on and Amy's book is oh, the subtitle is Five Deliberate Choices to Create The Life Of Your Dreams.

And she is just a dynamo communication expert. And you know, why. And leadership coach working with a lot of of the like executives in Silicon Valley and that type of thing. So those are two of our most recent successes. And then we've got a few books kind of in the cooker, as they say with a few more authors where we have high hopes for them.

And it's a little soon to talk about their, their books, but one of them has to do with, with becoming a six-figure entrepreneur. It's a book written for me for women.

Kristine Carlson: I think it's seven figures.

Debra Evans: We've just signed on another person. Who's going to be working with us. She did the incubator with us and she's going to be going all the way through the birth of your book process and who has a company of her own and with her husband.

The books that we're working on are very rich, very beautifully written. And it's, it's we're at an interesting point, Josh, because we've been doing this now for. Not quite two years. And so, we're at that point where we are starting to see, you know, these, these books that have been gestating starting to take shape.

And even some of the people that got to start early on with us and let their project kind of incubate and percolate inside of them for a while and are now coming back to like to roll up their sleeves further and take it all the way. So, it's, it's a great process. I think probably by this time next year, we’re going to have probably another three books public coming out.

I was going to say published by us, but that's a whole other conversation.

Kristine Carlson: Yeah. We are going from book publishing to book doulas publishing. We published my heartbroken open book, the paperback version. That was our first experience. So that's something that we're looking toward for our near future is to, is to start our own publishing company from this then.

Josh Steimle: With the people that you're working with, what are some of the common challenges that come up that they face and start their book, working on their book, finishing their book? What are some of the trends or commonalities you've seen?

Debra Evans: Well, I'll start with that one. And I know Kristine has a lot to say about this too, but I love this question, Josh, because and this is one of the core reasons that I wanted to get into this with Kristine anyways because I know from experience that so many of the hurdles that people face are hurdles that can be jumped over and moved beyond.

Then I know that that feeling of despair of, oh, I'm never going to get this book written can be moved through and had the privilege of sitting next to so many people to get their books done. I know it's not easy, but I know it's totally doable. So, and I would say that one of the number one obstacles of people that we see people facing is, and something Kristine alluded to before, it's, it's not having a clue.

Structure for the book, what we call the architecture of their book. And, you know, they may have a clear concept. They might have a core idea of, you know, I want to write about X, Y, and Z, but they don't necessarily know what type of book it is yet. They don't know if it's self-help or if it's a memoir. If it is self-help, they may not know how they want it to flow.

They don't want. If they sit, sit down to write a chapter outline, they get stuck. Like, I don't know how I want this to roll out. They don't know how it's going to get fleshed out. Like what, what stories will I bring to it to bring it to life? And who wants to hear my story? Anyway, kind of that, that question comes up a lot.

And so, I would say that the structure piece not having it. Is, it really gets in the way. And one thing I want to add to that, and I know you've probably heard this Josh just like Kristine and I have, there are so many people that we meet who get a lot of information coming to them and through them. And they'll talk about getting downloads.

Like I'm getting lots of downloads about my book. And they're writing these things down and then they're sitting in documents in their computer or, or in their notebook. And, and then they're stuck again like I have these downloads, but I don't know what to do with them. And so, helping people to get to find and shape their architecture is such a thrill.

And it's something that's a part of our book incubator, and it's also a workshop. We decided to create a workshop that only focuses on that. Which we can tell you about when you know when the time is. Right. But so that's the first thing I would say is, is people wanting to write a book, having some real clear ideas about what they want to write about, but not knowing how to go about actually implementing those ideas.

Kristine Carlson: I also will just add that. I think when you don't have any kind of structure, you don't know, you know, what the format of your book is, or even what kind of book you're writing. That's a real problem because the structure in this case creates a lot of freedom.

And structure will open up the highway to inspiration, because you then have it's like, I don't know, you probably have experienced speaking on the platform. I've had that experience when I, when we go speak or some like there early on in my speaking career, I was just like, I don't want to prepare. I'm just going to go wing it. And so, I would get up there in front of like, you know, a whole audience of people and I did okay.

But once I started learning that, well, if I just prepare a little bit, I'm going to deliver a much more meaningful speech and. So, I started to learn the value of just creating enough parameters for myself so that I could have the freedom of flow. It's like having a container for your own wisdom and your flow.

And the same thing is true as a writer. When I sit down to write a blog or anything, A lot of times I let my inspiration come, but then I asked myself the poignant question, what is the point of this blog? Like, what do I want to point to? Because I don't want to point to everything, then nobody gets anything.

And so, we also find like with new authors and first-time writers, a lot of times they think they may have a body of work that they've been working on for many, many years. So, they're very knowledgeable they're experts in their field. But they have no focus. And so, they bring this book idea and it's literally the whole kitchen sink.

It's like, everything in the kitchen is in this book. And so, we really teach them how to deliver on one promise of their book, you know, like really focused in what, what is the promise of this book? What do you want your reader? To know at the end of this book, how do you want them to feel? And what do you want them to walk away?

Really understand from this book. And even those simple questions are such directive questions for somebody to ask themselves. And even those questions, answering those questions for yourself right now will help you in discovering what your book is and what, how it's valuable to your reader. Because at the end of the day, you want to write a book that's valuable to the person who's reading it.

Debra Evans: I'd love to add another piece to that, Josh, and that's, you know, I think one of the things that is just so integrated into how Kristine and I coach and teach people that it's, it's so seamless for us, but I'd like to just differentiate that we are both very practically minded and also very Soulfully directed.

So, you know, when it comes to writing a book and I know, you know what, I'm just getting to know you now, but I can tell that you already know this. Like it's, there's like the very kind of left brain, right. Brain aspects to writing a book. And like Kristine is saying we really love helping people to get the structure down that allows them to.

To write with greater freedom than they thought it would ever give them. And the piece I wanted to add is that with the whole kind of, you know, teaching piece of how do you get your book written? I know that we're always really supporting writers on one level or another. To really connect with the reader, you know, with that one reader on the other side of the page of that book, that's not even written yet, but it's in the process of getting written, but we really encourage them and a lot of direct ways and a lot of indirect ways to really be feeling into and thinking into that person and creating an intimate connection with your reader.

And so, it's such an interesting thing because Kristine is great about it. Really writing for herself. Like I know having worked on from heartbreak to wholeness with her, like she, it's so natural for her to write from her own heart and soul for herself and at the same time to be writing for other people.

And that comes through in her writing, whether it's in her books or in a blog like you can feel it with her. And, and that's really what. I love to encourage, and we both love to encourage and new writers too, is how to do that. Like, how do you, how do you write for yourself? How to give yourself the freedom to express what you want to express without censoring yourself, and cultivate a connection with your reader so that they can feel when they're reading your book, that you have them in mind. And that makes all, as you know, that makes all the difference.

Kristine Carlson: A lot of times when I write like that, I'll have to write as if I'm writing in my diary like that. I'm only writing for myself because I get to the rawness of, well, nobody's going to read this then what would I say? You know, if nobody's ever going to see this, but me, what would I say to myself right now and how real can I be?

And so, I do my best to go to that place. And then later I'll go back and I'll, I'll ask myself to edit it. So. I've included my reader in this conversation. And that's a big piece of, of one of the things we teach in our courses is the artful way to do that when it's so subtle. It's, it's just so, so subtle that the reader suddenly feels like you're with them and they're with you.

And I think if you can let a reader into your mind and into your heart, that's when you really impact them. You know, that's when they feel this sense of, I know this woman. I feel her. I feel she understands me. You know, and, and they, they really appreciate that. That's what I have found anyways, is that your reader really appreciates you doing that when you're able to.

Josh Steimle: You said some magic words there, feeling like you know somebody. I noticed that when I was writing articles for business magazines or on LinkedIn. Then I would meet somebody in person who had read what I wrote, but it was the first time we were meeting. And when they came up and said, I feel like I know you, I felt like I had succeeded on some level because I felt like, well, that's great. If they feel like they know me, I must be doing something right in my writing to make that connection or make them feel like there's that connection there.

Kristine Carlson: Absolutely.

Josh Steimle: You have The Incubator Program. So that goes for 10 weeks, they go through the incubator and then after that, do they have the option than to become a client of Book Doulas and you help them through that on a more customized basis?

Kristine Carlson: Yeah. So, after the incubator, we have a program for a much smaller group of people called the momentum program. And we opened that up and, see who from our group at that time wanted to come. And so far, we've always filled it. It's usually about five or six-person.

And from there, they get individual time with us. So, they get a lot of one-on-one coaching with us. And they're still in a group because what we found is that people want to continue, they get so much out of the group experience and it's so productive for them that they really want to continue that part of it on.

So, we have designed the momentum program and then Deb, you want to talk about how somebody might work from, with us after.

Debra Evans: With that momentum program that Kristine is talking about we do get our hands into their writing. They, they get our eyes, they get our developmental editing perspective on their writing, and we always get at least one chapter fully edited with them.

Kristine Carlson: They know the structure fully like they are, we have really worked with them on the structure of their book, like, like gone in there and with a toolset and really examined it and pulled it apart sometimes in a good way and worked with them on that.

Debra Evans: And one of the aims in that is that they have a chapter that can be their guiding light, their co their blueprint.

And they're way shower forward. So, whether they work with us or go on to work with another editor or support, just continue on their own for some period of time that we want them to have a beautiful chapter where they go, this is how you do it. This is how I do it. And so that's momentum. And then the birthing, your book process You know, because there's just so many hours in a day and in a week, in a month, in a year, we can only take on so many clients.

Right now, that's looking like somewhere in the range of three to four clients a year. And that's typical, we're working with people for about a six-month period where we're helping them to get that book written all the way through and edited, completed, completely edited. And we have basically a very intricate kind of multilayered editing process because they're getting the developmental editing with us.

They're getting the substantive editing. Sometimes it's called content editing. They're getting the line editing. And at the end, a good full copy editing of the book. And then and they're getting Kristine as well to work with them on if they want to discuss things around branding and author platform building along the way during that process, they're also getting her eyes on that and a lot of emotional.

Psycho-spiritual support along the way from Kristine and for me. And so, and we're just, I mentioned earlier that we're, we're starting to work with a woman in January. She's done incubator with us. She did momentum with us. We just finished that up and mid-January. We're going to go full steam ahead on her book and, have that completed by July of this coming year.

That's some, that's one of the greatest joys is to, I wish that we could work with more than we can, but since there are two of us, but we also have a growing kind of pool of wonderful editors that we feel great about who we're recommending. And like we know from the spirit of the way you work, that.

There, there are so many wonderful professionals out there. And so, we want all the people who work with us to win, to get their books written no matter who they go to. And so that's a key thing is that we'll recommend editors to those who want to keep going if they're not working with us. And again, our main goal is that if we never get to see them again, we want them to be off on their way with all the tools and support that they need. And so, you now are one of our supports we can send people to as well.

Josh Steimle: Thank you. So now you have something coming up on December 1st, right? And we're recording this as of November 9th, but you have something releasing on December 1st, right? Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Debra Evans: Yeah, so it's a brand-new workshop. It came out of the incubator. It was born out of the incubator program because there's a part of the incubator. And it's, it's an important part. It's such an important part. And it's exactly what we were talking about. It's a four-week workshop starting December 1st and ending on December 22nd.

So, it's four consecutive weeks of live interactive with Kristine and me like the incubator. And it's all about architecture. It's called the architecture of your book. And it has to do with learning that framework that will allow you to have the freedom to get your book written. So, our, our decision to do this in December is so that people can start the new year with a clear.

Action plan and have that, the joy and the, and the empowerment of knowing the architecture of the book. Having a chapter outline down, having that flow very clear, knowing exactly what their book is about. Kristine, do you want to say anything more about it?

Kristine Carlson: There's just feed a lot of, you know, a lot of work with us on, on downloadable worksheets and, you know, there's, there's quite a few materials that they're going to receive too.

So, it's not just us talking, they're going to have things that they take away with them that are really going to help be those guiding those guideposts to getting that book structured. And it's like, it's almost a real readiness book. The course just to get really like ready to go in January, you know, and we think December is like a perfect time because it's such a reflective time and people are of course busy during the holidays, but maybe a little less busy since still, COVID is out there.

I don't know. Everybody's kind of going for getting COVID, which is a sign with me, but there's still, you know, there's still a lot of time to reflect and December.

Josh Steimle: And where do people go to sign up for the course? Where can they go to learn more about book doulas and everything that you're doing?

Kristine Carlson: Visit us at

And if you don't know what a doula is, it's a birthing person. Usually, doulas help birthing babies. And so, we're book doulas because we're going to help you birth your baby book.

Josh Steimle: Perfect. Well, thank you so much, Kristine, for sharing your story, talking about your story and your husband. Debra, thank you so much for being here today on the Published Author Podcast.

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