Business, Publishing, and Life Vlog Episode #9

by Kristina Ludwig
Sep 8
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: September 8, 2014 at 10:41 am

This past weekend, Antonio and I shot the latest episode of our BPL vlog! In it, we share a business tip specifically for writers about diversification in products and pricing. We also share a publishing tip about DRM versus non-DRM. And finally, in our life tip, we unveil a surprise from our 1-year wedding anniversary. It’s a super-fun episode, so you should definitely check it out!

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Writers, what so you think of the tips? Have you found the business and publishing tips to be true in your own careers? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Business, Publishing, and Life Vlog Episode #8

by Kristina Ludwig
Jul 28
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: July 28, 2014 at 9:01 am

This weekend, Antonio and I shot another short and sweet episode of Business, Publishing, and Life. Be sure to check out the YouTube video, where you’ll find tips for success in business and publishing, as well as the #1 way to optimize your physical and mental performance, keeping your energy level strong throughout the week!

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Also, I’m pleased to announce that I will be launching my latest Amish ebook, Amish Baby: Hannah and Jakob’s Book, tomorrow, July 29, 2014! I’ll post links here on the blog, as well as in my newsletter and on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

What tips did you enjoy most from BPL? Anything to add? As always, I love to hear what you think!

Business, Publishing, and Life Vlog Episode #7: 3 Essential Tips for Indie Authors

by Kristina Ludwig
Jun 23
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm

The “lucky #7″ episode of BPL took place in beautiful Pismo Beach, CA, home of best selling self-published author, blogger, writing coach, and speaker Jason Matthews. We were excited to interview Jason to find out his  tips for success for indie authors! Jason shares awesome tips about platform building and preparing your book for publication. Plus, he gives an amazing life tip from his new book, “Better You, Better Me.” Click the image below to watch the video. Enjoy!

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6 Life Lessons from Watching the NBA Finals

by Kristina Ludwig
Jun 16
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: June 16, 2014 at 10:03 am

I’ll admit this up front: I’ve never been a big-time basketball fan–until this season. Although I was fairly decent at shooting hoops and even was a basketball cheerleader in high school, I used to sleep through the games on TV. However, once I gave basketball a chance and started watching games with Antonio, I gained an appreciation of this fast-paced sport and all the athleticism and agility that goes along with it. My favorite part of the game is the players themselves–their dramas and egos. Basketball is full of interesting characters, and for a writer who loves observing people, that’s golden!

There was a lot to observe this playoff season, and I was sucked in immediately. But basketball is not all about the drama or even the sport–we can learn important life lessons from the players and coaches by paying attention to their hardships and their successes. Here are 6 life lessons I learned from watching the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. Thanks to my brilliant co-author, Antonio, for coming up with the fresh new concept for this post, as well as the tips!

Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs celebrate their great victory. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs celebrate their great victory. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Use your failure as motivation - Last year, the San Antonio Spurs were on the verge of winning the NBA championship. They were up by 5 with 28 seconds left on the road against the Miami Heat. A yellow security tape was brought out to surround the court. The Heat fans started fleeing for the exit. Then miraculously, the Heat hit 2 incredible shots to tie the game and pull off an improbable comeback, and eventually win the title. Instead of pointing fingers and making excuses, the Spurs used the loss to fuel their fire. They came back stronger and more focused. And they won this year in decisive fashion.
  2. Trust your teammates – We’ve all heard it before: There is no “I” in Team. The Spurs showed this beautifully. They got all their players involved–not just their “Big 3.” Of course, the Big 3 were their excellent selves, but their role players made all the difference. They played selflessly and put on a clinic in passing, making one amazing assist after another. Patty Mills, the second-year man from Australia, was contributing with his relentless defense, quickness, and 3 pointers just as importantly as Tim Duncan, one of the all time greats.
  3. Believe in yourself - Kawhi Leonard, just 22 years of age, had arguably the toughest task in the Finals: guarding the best player on the planet, LeBron James. Not only did Kawhi match LeBron with his effort, intensity, focus, drive, rebounding, and chasing loose basketballs, he also in some cases outplayed him. Kawhi believed in himself, and so did his coaching staff and his teammates, who gave him the opportunity to play free, and shoot the ball. His hard work paid off, and he was rewarded with Finals MVP, becoming the youngest player to win the award since his teammate Tim Duncan did it in 1999.
  4. Diversity is key - The San Antonio Spurs are the most diverse team in the NBA. 8 of their core players are international. They have Tony Parker and Boris Diaw from France, Tim Duncan from the US Virgin Islands, Manu Ginobili from Argentina, Tiago Splitter from Brazil, Patty Mills and Aron Baynes from Australia, and Marco Belinelli from Italy. This mini-United Nations of players combined their diverse set of skills, experiences, and attitudes to create the most powerful team in the NBA. In life, diversity allows us to expand our viewpoints and become inspired by ideas outside our norm. Recipe for success!
  5. Work with what you have - The answers to the most difficult problems in life often reside inside of us. When the Spurs faced their heartbreaking defeat last year, they looked inside their team, buckled down, and worked harder. Most importantly, they never gave up believing in themselves. When we face setbacks in life, there is often no need to go outside to fix our problems. Many times, we can take a lesson from the Spurs: Look inside ourselves, work hard, and believe.
  6. Be humble - Success can often create unwanted side effects–specifically inflated ego and overconfidence. During the NBA finals, there was no better example of this than the comments of Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. He told a Sports Illustrated reporter that the Heat were going to win Game 5, regardless of the odds, because, “Odds are for people that can’t do it.” The Spurs, on the other hand, went into Game 5 humbly, and their drive and persistence allowed them to come back from a 16-point deficit in the first quarter, and ultimately to win the game!

Other bloggers out there, what do you think of these tips? Did you watch the NBA Finals, and if so did you learn anything from them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Business, Publishing, and Life Vlog Episode #5

by Kristina Ludwig
May 19
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: May 19, 2014 at 9:55 am

Yesterday, Antonio and I shot a brand-new episode of BPL. This is my favorite episode yet since we have our first-ever special guest, international business expert Edward Layoun!

Edward shares 2 awesome business tips that you’ll want to apply no matter what your chosen field, and one life tip that will inspire you to reach new heights. Edward has great energy, and I hope his tips will jump-start your week! Click here to watch. Enjoy!

Business, Publishing, and Life Vlog Episode 2

by Kristina Ludwig
Mar 31
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: March 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm

This week has already been an exciting one. I was interviewed for the My Fire Point podcast, and will be sharing that with you as soon as it’s posted! This show is extremely motivational and fun, so I definitely recommend checking it out.

And, in keeping with my new Monday tradition, here’s the episode of BPL that Antonio and I filmed this weekend. We share 3 more tips in the fields of business, publishing, and life.

My publishing tip is about using free days on KDP Select, and I can’t tell you how valuable that has been for me. Here’s a blog post I wrote on the subject.

What do you think of BPL? Are you interested in being a guest? If so, feel free to comment below or email me at I’d love to hear your tips.

Introducing: Brand-New Vlog About Business, Publishing, and Life

by Kristina Ludwig
Mar 24
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

Last week was an exciting one, with the launch of the Amish in College series and a weekend full of early birthday festivities for me! Antonio and I also started the project we’ve been talking about for months: our new YouTube show.

The show is called Business, Publishing, and Life (BPL for short), and we will be filming a short episode every week. We will interview special guests in a variety of fields, and each speaker will offer up his or her best tips on business, publishing, and / or life. BPL is an ideal show for writers because of its publishing flavor, but its heavy business and motivational components will make it a great fit for anyone looking for inspiration!

The idea of BPL came to Antonio and me during one of our reflective sessions in the hot tub. We’ve always found the hot tub to be the perfect place to come up with awesome new ideas, or even just to reset ourselves to conquer the week. We wanted to do a YouTube show that combined our areas of expertise: self-publishing and writing for me, and business and information technology for him. And voila: BPL was born!

Click here to watch Episode 1. In it, Antonio and I share our own tips for business, publishing, and life. I hope you enjoy it! If you’re interested in being a BPL guest, email me at

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Life on Fire Event: 3 Takeaways to Help Indie Authors Ignite Their Passion

by Kristina Ludwig
Jan 13
By: Kristina Ludwig Posted: January 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Life on Fire meeting in downtown San Diego. This event included entrepreneurs with diverse business backgrounds ranging from DJ to marketing expert. At the event, I was able to network with individuals from all over; most people were from SoCal, but some attendees came from “faraway” places like the U.K., New York, and Chicago.

I would highly recommend a Life on Fire seminar to anyone looking for more inspiration and empowerment in career and life. The theme of the day was, “You can do anything you put your mind to,” and I definitely left feeling that way!

However, because of the wide spectrum of attendees and their varied backgrounds, the tips were pretty general. Here are some of my takeaways from the conference, tailored to indie authors.


3 Takeaways from Life on Fire:

  1. Your income is the average of your 5 closest friends: Who you network with is important. I believe that in self-publishing, an indie author’s income is the average of his / her 5 closest contacts, meaning those writers he / she most interacts with at conferences, on social media platforms, and in everyday life. Self-publishing is a very collaborative field, and there’s so much to learn from our fellow authors. If you’re a beginning indie author, forming a group of successful indie author friends is a great way to learn tips to increase readership and financial gains.
  2. Imperfect action is better than no action at all: The speakers at the event emphasized the concept of “imperfect action,” which is so applicable to authors. I think many of us are perfectionists, and don’t want to put our work out there unless we’re convinced it’s flawless. While this is a noble goal, I’ve heard too many aspiring writers say, “I’ve written a book,” or, “I’m writing a book,” but they never finish and/or publish it because they’re so sucked up in being “perfect.” We’re human — we’ll never be perfect! That being said, I do think it’s important to put your best work out there, and that means professionally edited and re-edited. So “imperfect action” is a balancing act.
  3. Setting goals is the way to go: Okay, I knew that, and I’m sure you did, too. But I learned many awesome goal-setting techniques at the meeting. For example, the speaker outlined a strategy of goal-setting that revolves around making small goals at first, meeting those, and creating a quantum leap over time. Also, posting goals publicly (Ex. on Facebook) is a great way to increase your accountability and chances of success.

The event organizer, Nick Unsworth, is a Facebook marketing expert, and posted a video with Brett Gregory that helped me to dramatically increase the likes on my Facebook author page with targeted members of my readership audience. I got about 500 likes in 48 hours using this technique, so if you’re an indie author looking to grow your readership by connecting with your audience on Facebook, I’d definitely recommend this video!