I’ll Do It Myself

I'll Do It Myself book cover

Glenda Watson Hyatt’s 40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days Tour

Glenda Watson Hyatt of Soaring Eagle Communications has just self published her autobiography, I’ll Do It Myself.

Web Page Mistakes is honoured to have Glenda here today for an interview as part of her 40 Blogs in 40 Days Tour to promote her new book.

Web Page Mistakes:  
Hi Glenda! And welcome to Web Page Mistakes. It’s a pleasure to have you here today and hear all about your new book, I’ll Do It Myself.

Thanks. I’m excited to be invited to your corner of the blogoshpere today. As virtual book tours are still a relatively new concept in book promotion, I’m curious to see the benefits for both the host and the author. No need for lugging boxes of books around and no jet lag! What an exciting way to promote my newly-released autobiography I’ll Do It Myself in which I intimately share my life living with cerebral palsy to show others cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence.

Web Page Mistakes:
So, let’s start at the beginning. You were born and raised in Vancouver, BC and attended a regular school in between therapy sessions. So what was it like going up with cerebral palsy? I see you mention that as a child you won the highest award in Girl Guides (the Canada Cord), the Outstanding Junior Student Award and even a gold medal in horseback riding! Wow! That’s wonderful!

Yes, I was born in Vancouver many moons ago. A lack of oxygen at birth caused cerebral palsy, although an official diagnosis wasn’t forthcoming for several months. The lack of oxygen had caused permanent brain damage, resulting in a lack of muscle control and coordination. My physical movements are jerky and involuntary; one body part or another is in constant motion. My left hand has some function, while my right hand is generally in a tightly clenched fist. I can’t walk without support, and my speech is difficult to understand. Finally, my head control is tenuous, and swallowing takes a conscious effort.

However, this hasn’t stopped me from living life to the fullest. My parents’ philosophy was “to introduce Glenda to the world and the world to Glenda”. They were, and still both are, supportive in anything I wanted to do (or to try). In our home, the word can’t was not allowed, only try. Like my three brothers, I was expected to do my best, whatever my best may be. Essentially, cerebral palsy hasn’t stopped me; although, it does mean finding other ways to do things at times.

Web Page Mistakes:
What inspired you to write your autobiography?

As a child, I read books like Ice Castles about a talented figure skater who became blind but continued competing by hiding her disability, The Other Side of the Mountain about an Olympic-bound skier who broke her neck during a qualifying competition, and Joni (pronounced Johnny) who also became a quadriplegic resulting from a diving accident. Since that age, I have dreamt of writing my autobiography one day to share my story with others to hopefully inspire or motivate them in some way.

Web Page Mistakes
In the summer of 2006 you entered a contest to win a prize that included help publishing your book. Tell us about that experience.

Sure. Suzanne Falter-Barns of Get Known Now organized the Mega Marketing Makeover, a package of several products and services from various marketing experts and coaches. I was one of top four finalists. The winner was then determined by number of online votes. I really worked my network that week! The support and encouragement, even from strangers, was totally amazing. I won the competition by a landslide, receiving three times as many votes as the runner-up.

Since winning, I have been working my way through the prizes from the various contributors. However, in order to get my book out according to my schedule, I needed to put the Marketing Makeover aside for a bit. Now that the book is done and printed, I can now get back to the makeover with full gusto. I just launched my new Do It Myself Blog, designed by contributor Sharilyn Horne; contributor Nancy Cleary designed the banner. I’m looking forward to making this new blog home and using it to promote my book I’ll Do It Myself, as well as for other plans I have in the works.

Web Page Mistakes
Glenda has written about her experience publishing her book complete with pictures on her blog Just Write filed under I’ll Do It Myself.

The first shipment of books arrived in December 2006. Bet you were really excited! How is the book distribution going? Has the unusually snowy weather in Vancouver created a problem for you?

The day the books (seven boxes!) was an emotional one. I cried when I opened the first box and held the first book. They looked awesome! I can only imagine that is what it is like to give birth. And the response has been amazing. People say they can’t put the book down and are reading it straight through. Another individual saw the book at a friend’s house; he picked it up and started reading it. Now he has order a copy. Word of mouth is definitely an important element in my distribution efforts.

As for this weather, it surely has been unusual for Vancouver! It has made getting out to do local promotion impossible as my electric scooter doesn’t handle the snow and ice. This is one reason I’m doing a virtual book tour at this point: no need to travel! I stay inside where it’s warm and still promote my book any where in the world.

Web Page Mistakes:
You wrote about creating MP3’s for podcasts, tell us about that.

My cerebral palsy has significantly impacted my speech: only those close to me understand Glenda-ish; to most other people, I’ve non-verbal. I have spent much of my life in silence. Through technology, I have found a way to podcast. Using text-to-speech software, I am able to convert my written word to spoken word, save it as an mp3, and, thus, the capability to podcast! How awesome is that!

I still need to explore how to effectively utilize this podcasting capability. This could really open more doors for me. At the moment, my monthly newsletter is also available as an mp3 . “Kate” by NeoSpeech is surprisingly clear for a computerized voice. I’m looking forward to having Kate do more speaking for me.

Web Page Mistakes:
Glenda, I see you have worked with some government agencies advising on accessibility issues. This is an inspiration to those with disabilities. How did you get started?

Actually, that was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I was just starting my business Soaring Eagle Communications and was doing the face-to-face networking thing. I met with a fellow from a dot com company who needed some work done choosing web colour schemes for people with colour blindness – like I had a clue! (My eyes are among the few body parts that work as they should.) One thing led to another and my colour schemes became the colours used on the British Columbia provincial government website (until the last election). That led to a few other reports and projects. Looking back, it is interesting how one contact or one project led to another.

Web Page Mistakes:
Wow! You certainly have lived an interesting life. You are an inspiration to all. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule promoting your book. Where does your virtual book tour take you next?

Thanks so much for hosting this appearance along my “40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days” virtual book tour. I truly appreciate it. My next appearance is Mary MacDonald’s Solo Entrepreneurs Blog. I will be posting links on my blog.

Thanks again, Susan. Make it an awesome day!

Glenda Watson Hyatt’s autobiography, I’ll Do It Myself is available through her website, Books by Glenda. Posts about her experience as a self published author and as a woman with cerebral palsy are available at Just Write .

Best Wishes for the future Glenda!

Read and listen to Glenda’s podcast appearance at Brain Storm! yesterday.

Updates on Glenda Watson Hyatt’s 40 Blogs in 40 Days Tour

Glenda Visits Texas on Her Book Tour
Austin, Texas, to chat with Mary McDonald, CEO/CTO of the McDonald Consulting Group on her Solo Entrepreneurs on WorldWIT (Women – Insight – Technology).

My Autobiography “I’ll Do It Myself” Gets Known Now
New York to chat with Suzanne Falter-Barns of Get Known Now.

Never Give Up is the Key When Living with Cerebral Palsy
Carlsbad in Southern California to speak with Judi Finneran, a health and fitness coach.

Virtual Book Tour Takes Glenda Down Under
Des Walsh in the Gold Coast region of eastern Australia.

Positive Role Models Needed for Youth with Disabilities
Chicago, chatting with 21-year-old David, who also has cerebral palsy.

I’ll Do It Myself Named AOL Site of the Day
Do It Myself Blog named AOL Ability’s Site of the Day.

Fitness Despite Disability
Paradise, California, to speak with Gillian Hood-Gabrielson, the founder and President of Healthier Outcomes.

Blogging Opens the World to Author with Cerebral Palsy
Chicago to chat with Andy Wibbels, author of Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging.

Busy Day on the Virtual Book Tour
I’ll Do It Myself Virtual Book Tour in Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska, to chat with her virtual twin Glenda Hinz.

Dropped off copies of autobiography I’ll Do It Myself at the Celebration Christian Store in Surrey.

Ingenious Marketing Strategy: Virtual Book Tour
Montreal, Quebec, chatting with Christina Favreau who helps professionals in the service industry run their small business, one step at a time.

Virtual Book Tour Takes Glenda to Ohio
Findlay, Ohio, to chat with Tracey Lawton. Tracey is a certified Master Virtual Assistant.

Making the Most of the Gifts Life Gives Us
Chicago to chat with Wendy Piersall. Wendy’s blog offers moms (and some dads) valuable insights into the true work at home lifestyle, challenges, myths, and rewards.

Virtual Book Tour Takes Glenda to Arizona
Mesa, Arizona, to hang out with Pam Slim. Pam coaches people on how to go from corporate prisoner to thriving entrepreneur.

Author Reveals Her Biggest Challenge as a Writer
Olathe, just outside of Kansas City, to speak with Yara Nielsenshultz of Red Pepper Writing.

Virtual Book Tour Goes to the Dogs
Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be interviewed by a dog. Shadrach the Neo Mastiff is a blogging dog!

Virtual Book Tour Takes Glenda to New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand, to chat with Liz Lewis.

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2 Responses to I’ll Do It Myself

  1. George Kilner Says:

    Im interested to know how successfull the blog tours were in promoting the book,

  2. Web Page Mistakes Says:

    The blog tour made Glenda very popular. She has the nickname “Left Thumb Blogger” now. You should check out her blog if you are interested in following how she is doing.

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