The (Not-So) Glamorous Life of an Entrepreneur (+ How to Add a TOC Page to Your eBook)

It occurred to me today that entrepreneurism runs in my family. Both of my parents were self-employed before they retired; my dad had his own insurance business and my mom did home loans and real estate. It kind of makes sense now that I also embraced the all-so glamorous life of an entrepreneur.

I’m so kidding about the glamorous part, if you can’t tell. 😉

If there’s anything I’ve learned about having your own business, it’s that you—and only you—end up doing everything to keep the business going. (That is until you make it big and can afford to pay people to do things for you.) I’m talking about a lot of manual labor and blood, sweat, and tears (especially the last bit!). As an indie author, this means learning how to do everything from making your own book cover, editing your story, formatting your manuscript for publishing, and marketing your book once it’s published.

Eeks. It’s so not a glamorous life. 😉

The boy in the photo is pretty much what I look like when I’m trying to do one of the above tasks. But (here’s the silver lining, folks!), I’ve grown so much in my skillset over the years that I could actually provide these services to other authors and charge them for it. See what a savvy entrepreneur I am?! LOL. I’m totally kidding though because I’m not a fan of self-torture and I still want to have time to write books (oh, and take care of my family, too!). However, since I’ve gained so much support from other indie authors and know how important it is to have “a village” as an entrepreneur, I’m more than happy to share what I’ve learned with other authors.

One thing I can do fairly well now is create a Table of Contents page for an ebook, which I’ll share below. There are several steps to navigate through, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it without too much moaning and groaning. Trust me when I say if I can learn how to do this, anyone can. 🙂

How to Add a TOC (Table of Contents) Page to Your eBook (for Microsoft Word documents):

  1. Insert a blank page in your document where you would like the TOC to go.
  2. Type “Table of Contents” at the top of the page and list the chapters and additional back matter pages underneath it. (See the image for an example.) 
  3. Go to Chapter One in your story and select the words “Chapter One” (place your cursor at the first letter and drag the mouse to the right until you reach the last letter).
  4. Go to the “Insert” menu and choose “Bookmark”. Type in a name (an abbreviation such as “Ch1” is a good idea since you’ll be doing this multiple times) and click “Add”.
  5. Go to the TOC page in your document and select the words “Chapter One”.
  6. Go to the “Insert” menu and choose “Hyperlink”. Click on “This Document”, then click on “Bookmarks”. The bookmark name you added in step 4 will appear. Select the name and click “OK”.
  7. The words “Chapter One” on the TOC page should now be underlined. Check to see that the hyperlink is working by clicking on it (it should take you to Chapter One in your story).
  8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 for the remaining chapters and any additional back matter pages.

Easy peasy, right? 🙂 If you have any questions at all or if anything I wrote is unclear, please leave me a comment and let me know. I’ll try my best to help and share a virtual tub of ice cream with you if needed.

Here’s a song by Jason Chen called “Blank Check” to inspire you while you work.

Are you an entrepreneur or know of someone who is? What pros and cons do you see about having your own business?

Love’s Choice is Born!

My newest book baby, Love’s Choice, has arrived! 🙂 I shared a cover reveal a few weeks back, and am so excited, anxious, and relieved that the story is out in the world now. It’s always a strange love/hate, thrill/fear relationship that authors have whenever we publish a new book. Will readers like the story? But more than that, will the message we tried to convey through the story be heard?

These are two big questions I have about Love’s Choice because, to put it simply, it’s not an easy story to swallow. It’s very different from my other books, which tend to be lighthearted and fun (it does have funny moments though!). This story deals with the tough issues of abuse and an unplanned pregnancy, and also gossip within the church. Not happy topics people usually want to talk about, right? But I felt strongly that these are things we need to address. And there’s no better way to do hard stuff like this than in a fictional setting. (That’s one thing I love about writing fiction.)

So, I hope and pray you will give Nate and Missy a chance and see what truths you pick up from their story. You can preview it below and buy it for only $1.99! And please support all the other authors of the First Street Church Kindle World. Melissa Storm wrote the core series and there are now 40 books in the Kindle World. Yup, that’s a lot of books, but you can take this nifty online quiz HERE to see which book may interest you more (besides mine, haha). The best part is that all the books are part of Kindle Unlimited, so you can read them for free with your subscription. You can even try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days (click HERE)!

I’ll leave you with the playlist for Love’s Choice, which includes a High School Musical song I listened to on repeat while I was writing the story. (Yes, I’m such a teeny bopper at heart). 😉

What tough issues do you appreciate authors addressing in their stories?

Thoughts on Turning 21 (x2)

It’s November, which means it’s the best month to have a birthday. Any other November babies out there agree? 🙂

I’ll admit I hated turning 40. Thirty didn’t seem so bad (I was also too busy and hormonal being pregnant with my first munchkin at the time to care), but 40 just sounded old. (No offense to anyone over 40!). Now, 2 years later though, 40 doesn’t seem so bad. To be honest, 50 doesn’t seem as scary as it used to be either. The thing is, I’ve finally gotten okay with aging. Not so much with the white hair, wrinkles, and memory loss(!), but other than that, I don’t mind adding another candle to the birthday cake. Because the reality is, aging is a blessing and a privilege. To be able to experience one more year of life is HUGE. It means I get to spend time with the people I love and I get to do a lot of amazing things that I love. It doesn’t mean that each day is perfect or even “new” (’cause dishes, cooking, and laundry get old real quick, let me tell ya!), but over the course of days, weeks, and months, I get better. Better at trying, better at loving, and better at living. My physical body may be sagging and lagging, but my heart feels lighter and stronger and fuller. I’m reminded of these verses:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Yup. Age is just a number. Peace, joy, and love are timeless. In Jesus, we have the hope of eternal life. There’s so much to look forward to that outweighs all the human stuff that bogs us down today.

I hope you’ll celebrate each moment you have and each breath you are given. I know I will be as I blow out all 42 candles on my birthday cake (haha, just kidding; I think that might be a fire hazard!).

Here’s a video I’ve been grooving to (does using the word groove show my age? LOL), Kurt Hugo Schneider’s Evolution of Boy Band’s Mashup. It’s fun to see how many songs you know, which may or may not have something to do with your age. 😉

How do you feel about growing older?