The Gift of Maybe
by Allison Carmen
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Allison Carmen spent many years fighting a powerful addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol or fame. It was an addiction to certainty. If she didn’t know what the future would bring – and who does? – she felt anxious and afraid. This decades-long struggle followed her through college, marriage, parenthood, and a successful law career. While everything seemed fine from the outside, Allison was in a constant battle that was unwinnable, sapping her energy, attention, and spirit. Until the day she discovered The Gift of Maybe.
Maybe is a simple yet powerful philosophy that has transformed Allison’s life, and the life of her many clients (now that she has ditched her legal career and has become a successful life coach). The message is this: In the face of uncertainty, Maybe opens your mind and heart. It creates a little space for hope. It allows you to take a deep breath, stay in the present, and forge your own path.
Many things in life are beyond our control, but the mindset of Maybe presents a simple, powerful way to stay connected to what’s possible, and work to make it happen. It is just one change of perspective, but Maybe it changes everything!
How Can Maybe Help You?
You may be wondering how something as easy as thinking or saying the word “Maybe” can have the kind of impact I am describing. That is precisely the beauty of Maybe. The idea of Maybe is so easy to apply, and at the same time it can have a profound effect on whatever part of your life you choose to apply it to. Whether you have been recently laid off from your job or you are having health concerns or money problems, whether you are looking for love or success or just looking to live life with less emotional pain, the philosophy of Maybe provides you with a tool to help you find your way. It helps you alleviate stress or worry, helps you embrace the uncertainty in your life as an opportunity, helps you enjoy the present, and helps you live with less emotional suffering. It is a mind-set that can influence all aspects of your life, a strategy you can use when life throws you an unexpected curveball.
As you experience the mind-set of Maybe, it will take on a meaning unique to you. Maybe creates a space where so much more is possible. Maybe becomes the constant that never lets you down.
Maybe is not a plan or a story; it is the offer of an unfolding experience. Embracing Maybe is a process, one that evolves and will continue to improve your life in new and
exciting ways. For this reason, the true power and nuance of Maybe will come to you outside the pages of this book, when you experience your first moment of joy and vigor in the face of uncertainty.
Maybe is just one change of perspective, but it is one that can change the very direction of your life. So, let’s take a journey together into the land of Maybe, and may we all find a life of peace, happiness, hope, and success. Just Maybe!
I know that you had originally self-published. Did that help or hurt you on your journey to selling to a traditional publisher?
The Gift of Maybe was published by Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on November 4, 2014. What some of you may not know is that I originally self-published my book in February 2013 (the original title was The Book of Maybe). In my particular situation, I believe that self-publishing was crucial to selling my book to a big publisher.
Many years ago, I landed a reputable agent a few months after I sent out my first book proposal. My agent recommended an editor and I decided to complete my book before I sent it out to any publishers. When my book was complete, my agent sent my rewritten book out to several big publishers and I immediately got rejected. The overall response was, “We love the concept but the author is unknown and has no platform.” I didn’t even know what having a platform meant, but I figured it out and worked to build one over the next year. I became a blogger, made YouTube videos, created an author Facebook page, and tweeted and pinned my posts. I begged my agent to send out the book again and against her better judgment she did. Over a one-year period, we came close to a deal twice but ultimately my “unknown” status prevailed and all I had was a bunch of new rejection letters.
A few years from the time I landed my agent, I found myself sitting on my couch in my apartment thinking about what my next move should be. I had a finished book in my hand and most people in the industry were telling me to wait until I had a larger following. But I had never waited for someone else to give me permission to start helping people and this book was a vehicle to spread my work.
It all happened in about 15 minutes. I used Createspace, the Amazon platform for self-publishing. I joined the Kindle Select program, giving me the option to deeply discount my book or give it away for free for a limited time. Toward the end of the 90-day period I decided to give my book away for free for three days. It was an easy decision for me because I’d written the book to help people and I had not been very successful in marketing it even though my web presence and following had grown significantly over the years. Suddenly, I was number one on the free bestseller list on Amazon for self-help books. When the free book promotion was completed, more than 29,000 books had been downloaded and it was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. All of these people had my book! Better yet, MAYBE some of them would suffer less in their lives after reading it.
My agent and I had not spoken in a while. When I called her she didn’t really know what to make of the entire matter, but she sent my book out again to ten publishers and sure enough, this time I had my choice of publisher! I had several meetings but the minute I met Marian Lizzi, the managing editor of Perigee (an imprint of Penquin Random House), I knew my book had found its home. I called my agent and they negotiated a deal. Having a big publisher was much easier than being on my own. It opened up many doors for me. I am now blogging for The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Mind Body Green and Inc.com. I also launched my book at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble in New York City, which is a dream come true! I also do a lot of radio interviews and have had other media opportunities. The doors have really swung open. I am trying to make the most of this opportunity and have my book reach as many people as possible.
In the end, self-publishing my book helped me build a large enough platform to attract a large publisher.
Allison Carmen is a business consultant and life coach and the author of The Gift of Maybe, a book offering hope and possibility in uncertain times. Allison is a blogger for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today and she has been featured on Psychcentral.com, InnerSelf.com, LifeHacker.com, EnergyTimes.com, bookcountry.com and examiner.com. She lives in New York City.
Twitter is @giftofmaybe https://twitter.com/giftofmaybe
Website is http://allisoncarmen.com/
One randomly drawn commenter will receive an autographed copy of the book. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card. Prizes are awarded via Rafflecopter.