Helping to Bring Your Story to Life

Being a ‘one-woman’ show with a new business and tight budget was certainly challenging. I decided very early on that my business relies on its clients, so my focus must be on them. For professional services like graphic design, editing, and printing, I often outsourced experts in each field so that my time wasn’t swallowed up by tasks that others could do.

By focusing on client relationships from the start, I have grown my business quickly through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customers. By doing this, I have also been able to invest in training to up-skill myself, saving myself and my customers the expense of outsourced professionals. This reduces publishing costs for both my business and the client.

For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?

Finding balance is always a challenge for women in business. We often juggle several roles at once, which can lead to burnout and resentment. The truth is, becoming a mother makes us aware of just how special and powerful we are. Often, this leads to us wanting more from life and being ready to take on bigger and better goals that previously seemed unachievable.

I see the usual ‘cons’ of being a business owner like financial stresses and responsibilities, overseeing every facet of the business, and monotonous administration tasks, to name a few, as a pro. It’s not a control thing either, it’s knowing that each day, I’m making the most out of my business and having the confidence that every client is treated with respect and courtesy.

I use good business practices like managing my time well so that I keep business separate from home life. It can be hard at times, especially when I know my home office is always there, needing attention, but when I stick to my routine and respect each facet of my responsibilities, life runs smoothly.

Hopes and dreams: What next?

Since the success of ‘6 Steps to Self-publishing’, I have published more books, established Bowerbird Publishing, and founded a fundraising campaign called ‘Book Angels, Books for Kids with Cancer’.

Short-term goals:

Bowerbird Publishing – publish 6 new authors in 2023 (I already have 8 on the books and 1 already completed earlier this month) and begin working on my own new title, set for publication in 2024.

Book Angels – Raise $5,000 in 2023. This will fund the production and distribution of 500 ‘My Brother Sebastian’ books to kids and families facing cancer in Australia. I have received donations of $2,600 (as of 15.04.23). ‘My Brother Sebastian, Explaining Cancer to Kids’ is a children’s book I penned in 2022, focusing on educating and supporting children and their families faced with a cancer diagnosis. It is supported and distributed by the Children’s Hospital Foundation, RedKite, Camp Quality, and Canteen, to name a few.

Long-term goals:

Bowerbird Publishing – in 2024, I want to employ a part-time editor and a casual bookkeeper. Beyond 2024, I want to establish a dedicated printing contract with a local printing company. Printing remains the most expensive service that I outsource. Establishing an exclusive contract would hopefully bring those costs down.

Book Angels – I am working with JCU (Cairns) to provide copies of my first book ‘Boy of Steel’ to medical students and graduates throughout their 5 campuses. I propose donating a specified number of copies to JCU each year as new students begin their studies. I donate copies to students I assist with their case studies on my son through the Cairns Hospital Pediatric Oncology unit. I envision widening my reach by making the books available to all incoming medical, nursing and psychology students. ‘Boy of Steel’ is a memoir I penned to share our experiences with a childhood cancer diagnosis. It gives readers a unique insight into how a family copes with the emotional, financial, and social challenges a diagnosis brings.

‘My Brother Sebastian’ is donating to families undergoing pediatric cancer treatment. I dream every incoming family would receive a copy of ‘My Brother Sebastian’ via the RedKite cancer bag initiative.

Visit Crystal’s website to find out more, and follow Bowerbird Publishing on Facebook and Instagram.

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