The Janine Bolon Show with Chara Rodriguera - 99 Authors Project, Season 4, Episode 11

The 99 Authors Project – Season 4 – Episode 11 with Chara Rodriguera

Chara Rodriguera

Chara is the Creator of Sol Path Yoga, an Inspirational Best-Selling Author and Self as Artist. Since 1995, Chara has been a student and teacher of Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness and Inspired Living. She specializes in sharing life-changing practices and programs that empower people to live with more awareness, skill, peace and love. Known for her intuitive, poetic and loving style, Chara inspires people all over the world to shine their divine light, live their unique magic and honor their authentic path.

For more information and a life-changing meditation, please visit: www.Chara.tv.

Transcript of the Show

Bryan Hyde
Welcome to the Janine Bolon show, where we share tips from around the globe. As we guide practical people with their finances using money tips, increase their incomes through side businesses, and maintain their sanity by staying in their creative zone.

Janine Bolon
Hi, this is Janine Bolon here and today we are loaded with quality content. today. You know the show is all about saving your knowledge working on your business. Sometimes we throw in a few money tips, but today’s guest is going to help us with saving our sanity. And we can totally use that this day and age. This is the Janine Bolon Show. It’s a syndicated program of four podcasts that we were combining in October of 2021. I want to say thank you to all those listeners who have followed me ever since 2004. When I was joining power women, they call me an audio podcaster. And then we became podcasters instead of audio bloggers and you guys stayed with me as we did Three Minute Money Tips, The Thriving Solopreneur, The Writers Hour Creative Conversations. And for those of you that remember way back in the wayback machine of 2017, The Practical Mystic Show. Today, you know that I am interviewing 99 authors this year to get their guidance, their perspective on how to save your knowledge, how to create published books, how to do video series and how to do audio playlists. So depending upon what kind of creative you are, even if you don’t think you’re creative, today’s guest is going to help you understand a little bit more about yourself, we’re going to kind of take a dive within to your intuition.

Janine Bolon
So who is this mystery guest? Well, today, her name happens to be Chara Rodriguera , who has spent the past 25 years developing a very unique form of yoga. It’s called Sol Path Yoga and sol is “Sol” and she supports you being your best self, living your best life. Now I know you’ve heard that before. But stay with us just for a minute here. Not only does Sol Path Yoga help you with that. She also has life programs that provide the information, practices and tools to really live that life with greater awareness, skill, peace, joy, and love. And I know you’ve heard that before with other people. But just remember, Chara uses something different. She is an inspirational facilitator and author and a poet. She has insight. She has deep reflections and she cares about the sessions that she brings to you. And today we are fortunate enough, she’s going to do a little bit of a meditation with us here toward the end. So stay tuned. She also promises that you will feel welcomed, encouraged, uplifted, supported, guided and full of hope upon your very first meeting with her. So I highly recommend you reach out to her after you listen to what she has to share with us today. She is also a best selling author and her most recent book is Love. And it’s a compilation of poetry and images it’s quite a beautiful book. It’s one of those books that you not only want to have on your coffee table, because it just looks great. But it also has incredibly inspirational messages in it as well. So with that being said, welcome to the show, Chara.

Chara Rodriguera
Thank you so much Janine, and thank you, everyone who’s listening today. I’m so excited to be here with you.

Janine Bolon
So one of the fun things I like to ask people is, as writers, there’s always that moment that pivotal time, when you’re writing your book, you’re starting to put things together and you have that moment where you’re like, do I use my real name? Or do I use a pseudonym? Because you know, it’s very vulnerable when you write books, and you just put yourself out there. So did you use your real name? Or did you choose to use a pen name?

Chara Rodriguera
That’s a great question. I have a unique name. And I went with my name.

Janine Bolon
Cool. So that I found that with a lot of folks who are nonfiction writers or poets, that they don’t have a problem with using their real name, it seems more the fictional writers that try to hide a little bit under the pen name. So thank you for sharing that. Would you change your decision today? Knowing what you know, where would you totally stay with your given name?

Chara Rodriguera
I would keep my decision. However, it’s funny you say that fictional writers usually have a pen name. Because when you are writing straight from the heart, like my sacred poetry books, I gotta tell you, when I was a new author, I was terrified of being so vulnerable, and I am putting my heart and soul out there. So come to think of it I if I had to do it over again, a pen name might have soothed my nerves a little bit but no having gone this journey, I’m glad that I was completely authentic and use my my full name.

Janine Bolon
Okay. Well, one of the things I like to ask because it just depends on people’s backgrounds. So you talk about how for 25 years, you’ve been reworking this yoga practice, you’ve come up with this new path, but did you have a marketing background before you started writing your books?

Chara Rodriguera
No. Zero, zero, zero marketing background. My whole focus was on writing the book and somehow going through all the it seemed like infinite steps to bring it to fruition. And then all of a sudden, I thought, now how am I going to let people know about this? So the marketing was a total afterthought at least saw my first book, and then I’ve written three so far. So now I try to think about that a little bit of ahead of time, a little bit more these days.

Janine Bolon
So tell us about your first book, what’s the title of your first book, and the marketing was done as an afterthought?

Chara Rodriguera
Yes, my first book is entitled “You Are.” And it is a book of 12 empowering messages that celebrate you. And technically, I wrote this book for my two sons when they were just babies. And in my mind, I was writing it for them. And then as I was writing each of the messages, my heart started to ignite. And I thought I want every child I want every person to know these messages. So it started, right, you know, as a book for my children. And now, it’s a very simple book, it’s self-published. But I just actually gave it to my piano teacher, and he started crying, he’s 26. And he said, this couldn’t have come at a better time, because as you said, it’s a challenging time for people. People are struggling to stay sane, to stay grounded, to stay centered, to stay in the embodiment of love, and anything that you can do or receive that supports your truth, your essence, your inner knowing, your path, your calling, then that’s what I want to be a part of.

Janine Bolon
So that was the first book you wrote it for your sons. They were a little. How old are they now?

Chara Rodriguera
They are 10, sorry, they are 11 and 13. My younger son just turned 11. 11 and almost 13. Yeah. And I still read them one passage a night, usually, before they go to bed. There’s 12. So I’ll say pick a number. And then we’ll read that passage together.

Janine Bolon
No, I loved reading to my kids to me, that’s where the the love of language, the love of learning comes from is having a parent or a guardian read to you on a nightly basis. It’s very soothing. So talk to us about your second book, then because then, you know, you know a little bit more, how did the marketing change for your second book, if you don’t mind, give us your title of the book, and then how the marketing changed?

Chara Rodriguera
Absolutely. So the second book is different in that it’s a book of sacred poems and self images. So not only are the words from my heart, the images are very soulful images that I have taken of myself or had people help me take of myself. And this is a bit interesting, because these days, it is common for people to take selfies, for people to post pictures of themselves all over the place. But when I was growing up in the 70s, and the 80s, and the 90s, nobody did that. You had a photographer and a model, nobody took pictures of themselves. But when I was early on in college, one of my photography teachers gave us an assignment to do a self portrait. And I had always had this inkling Janine, this feeling that I wanted to be behind the camera and in front of the camera at the same time, but I didn’t trust that inkling. I needed someone to give me permission to do it. And once I had that permission, I you know, for the last 30 years, I’ve been doing self portraits.

Chara Rodriguera
So when I started putting together this book of sacred poems, which is entitled “Breathe,” makes sense. I’m a yoga teacher and breathing is one of one of the things that have changed my life. I was so excited. It was the closest thing to my heart that I had ever created. And at the same time, I was absolutely petrified. And this book required a little bit more design, I guess, I’d say. And I was very particular about the layout of the text. And so I was so again focused on completing the book and all the steps it took to produce the book. I gotta say, I didn’t think that much ahead, other than to tell my students, to tell my immediate family that I was creating this book and I was a little bit more involved in social media at the time. So I did let people know a little bit more. And I did have a book signing at Barnes and Noble. And so and I did bring my book to classes. So that was sort of a natural way that I can introduce it to people where I felt safe. But I have to tell you, I was even more petrified to share this book than the first book because it was even more, so many levels more vulnerable than the first book.

Janine Bolon
And then you have a third, then you have a third book. So I’m walking people with you down your marketing journey, because like the first book, it was like, nobody knew about it at all until it was done. It was published. Yeah, the second book, you’re starting to let people know. So talk to us about your third book, because that’s where you got your bestseller status was your third book. And that’s a whole different story. Yeah.

Chara Rodriguera
That’s right. Well, I Janine, I actually thought about it ahead of time, a bit. And what I did was I, I was still a little nervous, but not terrified. Because I had already been through this before I was used to it I was used to sharing. And now I want to say the scales tip toward the energy of excitement. So I really was excited to share this book coming out. And I really felt it was going to touch people’s hearts in a very deep way. And one thing I would love to express to your audience is that when I shifted from the word marketing, to sharing, that helped me a lot, that I’m sharing something that I’m passionate about, as opposed to trying to sell it, that was a big shift for me.

Chara Rodriguera
So I created I want to say, like a contest with my readership, and my audience. And I said, the first I want to say 10 people, 20 people who bought the book and wrote a review, I gave them gifts. And I had different levels of gifts. So I was, you know, starting to share about this ahead of time I created, you know, that more of a launch, and we did a countdown of the day it was gonna launch. And then again, the first however, many people who bought the book and wrote a review, they got special gifts, and I was so excited to give them the gifts and they were excited to support me. So that’s how it became a best seller was through, you know, really taking time ahead of time to think about this, and a few of my author friends helped me with those ideas. And I want to say that the writing community, the community of authors is so supportive, right, we all want to support each other, right? Read each other’s books, give each other’s books as gifts, write reviews for each other’s, introduce our audience to each other. So the more time I spent in this community, and the more authors I know, they also helped me with these ideas to give my launch a bit more energy behind it. So I guess just wait until my fourth book comes out then.

Chara Rodriguera
Then things will be very different.

Chara Rodriguera
For that one, we didn’t get to this question. But actually, I’ll wait till you ask the question, because I do want to touch on what I will do for my next one.

Janine Bolon
Right? So from from the past three books, what most surprised you about the book marketing and the book sharing process?

Chara Rodriguera
I would say what I just mentioned how absolutely supportive and excited everybody seems to be about it. I thought I would you know, I was all timid and didn’t want to bother people. And people have just been so excited, so supportive, so helpful. So that was a great surprise. The surprise that I guess I wasn’t anticipating was how much continual sharing in quotes an author needs to do to keep putting it out there. It’s almost like ongoing 24/7 sharing, which can feel a little bit overwhelming at times, especially if you’re doing it by yourself like I am right now anyway.

Janine Bolon
What would you change? If you started marketing your book today? What are some adjustments you would have made in your process?

Chara Rodriguera
Well, that’s the question I want to answer. So thank you for asking because this is what I’m going to do with my next book, which is already in the process of being created. So number one, anything anybody can do that’s listening to streamline their process of sharing on social media, sharing with their if they have a newsletter, streamlining that process to make it as easy and as fun as possible so that you don’t dread doing it. That’s my number one suggestion.

Chara Rodriguera
Number two, I am going to probably hire a marketer for a little bit of time before, during and after the launch of the book, my budget may not necessarily support a full time marketer all year round. But for the launch, I think it’s really important to have that support. Because, as you heard, as the author, and those of you authors out there, too, I’m guessing your focus is on making the book as best, the best possible product, you can you want to be so in love with it, that you can’t wait to share it. So a lot of I know my focus is going on the product of book. And if I could have somebody helping me, thinking ahead with the marketing, telling me what steps I can take, then I’m more apt to do the steps as opposed to if I need to come up with that, at the end of the day after working on the book and taking care of my kids and doing the dishes, and it’s probably not gonna get done, or I’ll do you know, just whatever is the easiest possible thing for myself. But to have that special, dedicated person cheering you on and giving you the steps to take, I think it’s well worth the investment even for that period of time.

Janine Bolon
I have to agree, I’ve seen that happen over and over on when people talk about the way they would change things. So tell us what worked best for you, when you were selling your books, what was something that works the best?

Chara Rodriguera
Okay. So I mentioned this, before, what worked best for me was tapping into my audience, the audience who knows me, loves me, and trusts me. So those would be my family, my friends, and my yoga students, and anyone who’s taken my courses, those people that I’m in communication with on a regular basis. They are all 100% going to support the all the authors out there, your audience, who knows and loves and trusts you, I think they’re the best place to start the best place to tap into. And one thing I did was to start infusing the book into what I was already doing. So let’s say I would be teaching my weekly yoga class, I would read a poem from the book, or maybe a part of a poem. So I, I really suggest to any of the authors out there or aspiring authors out there to start creating your audience now, with your loved ones that are already in your life, and start to infuse your messages that are going to be in your book. Or already, if you finished your book, start to infuse it into things you’re already doing. So again, I did that in my yoga classes.

Chara Rodriguera
And finally, book signings were really successful for me. I did a book signing at Barnes and Noble and the line was out the door. And we weren’t even serving chocolate or wine. So that was at Barnes and Noble. My next one, I’m going to have a book signing at a fabulous venue where, you know, maybe we’ll have some wonderful food, teas and coffees, if someone enjoys wine, maybe some special baked things. So to be in an environment where people feel comfortable, feel warm, there’s wonderful food and drink. I think that is going to be super successful. And I already have my place picked out where I’m going to do it.

Janine Bolon
Cool. And what year did you do this at Barnes and Noble?

Chara Rodriguera
I did the Barnes and Noble book signing for my first book. So that was, let’s see, let’s see if the year’s in this book. That was 2013 or 2014.

Janine Bolon
Right? I like to put a date on it because so much has changed not only in the publishing industry, but in the way book signings are being done. They’re no longer being done at bookstores or book venues, you’re finding them. I’ve seen thrift stores and I’ve seen consignment shops and like you’re talking about already have a venue picked out. We’re not using traditional venues anymore. And so I just wanted to kind of bring that to the forefront. The other thing that I wanted to ask you this is my favorite question to ask because this is where I learn is, what was what was the process that you use? What was the system you use? And it was an epic failure at selling books, because that saves us. Thank you for saving us by making these sorts of experiences you save us. So.

Chara Rodriguera
Yes, okay, so I had two and you know, I love the word, I love the phrase epic fail, but I probably wouldn’t consider them epic fails, because like you’re saying you learn from them. So technically, maybe they’re not a failure. But I’ll say the one thing I did where absolutely not one person bought a book. And it cost me money was in, buying advertising. Paying for ads for my book, you would think that’s getting to like 1,000s of people. And I did ads on Facebook and Instagram, and I’m already on Facebook and Instagram. So I thought that was like a no brainer, not one person bought a book. And again, I think it’s because what I’ve learned is the people who are going to immediately say yes, and spend that money are the people who already know you and trust you or have at least seen you. So when you just go and buy ads, and it’s going out to somebody who doesn’t know you, they’re less likely to, you know, put that money up front and, and make that leap of faith. However, at least those people who didn’t know me saw the ads a few times, and you know, maybe over time, they will come across me and eventually buy a book. So that didn’t work out so good, so well.

Chara Rodriguera
The other thing that I wanted to share with your audience is, I think going on shows and podcasts are an amazing way to share whatever it is you might be doing. However, my epic fail was going on a show with an audience that was different than my usual audience. It was, this show the way you describe it, this is so perfect. Like I could talk all day here. And I feel I can even feel the audience from here, that we’re kindred spirits. But this particular show, which happened to be the biggest show I’ve ever been on, was very mainstream. And I knew that I really knew that and tried to tailor my message to be more mainstream. But when I was done, what I heard and felt were crickets. The person who connected me with these hosts, talked to me afterwards and he tried to be very kind, and basically said, yeah, you might have been a little too out there for them. And that was my mainstream version of me like, that was me really trying to rein it in. And so what I would say is, when you are sharing your amazing book, or whatever gifts you’re sharing in the world, do your best to find the audiences, the podcast, the shows that you feel really in alignment with it, you can be yourself, because I remember trying to tone myself down and not allowing myself to fully speak from my heart for fear that it wouldn’t be received. And even in that version of me, it wasn’t received. So I say go with where you feel comfortable with the audience members that are going to understand you and appreciate you.

Chara Rodriguera
Well, what is the biggest change that you’ve seen in yourself since you started marketing your book?

Chara Rodriguera
This is a great one. Janine and everybody out there. I would say it’s confidence and trust, I’m actually getting chills. Trust in the messages of your heart, trust in the product that you are called to share. As I said, my first and second book, I was terrified, petrified to share my heart because I was so afraid of what people would think that maybe they wouldn’t understand or they wouldn’t resonate, or they wouldn’t like it. And now thanks to so many supportive people, but also thanks to me, trusting myself more, not everybody as you heard that whole audience that whole show we’re like, yeah, okay.

Janine Bolon
That’s a no.

Chara Rodriguera
They didn’t resonate. And I will say it took me out for like, 24 hours, I had to curl up. A little beside myself, but I breathed. And people reminded me of my worth and I reminded myself of my worth. And the process has really taught me to trust myself and to create for the love of creating because I’m sharing what I find to be beautiful. I’m sharing what touches my heart to the depths of my soul. And I trust that there is going to be someone who will also resonate with it, it might not be the entire world, but for the ones who have resonated and will resonate. It is life changing. And that’s why I do it.

Janine Bolon
That’s the important part. I totally agree. Yeah, the confidence is key.

Chara Rodriguera
And the trust, the trust.

Janine Bolon
And so we’re going to move on to what are the top five tips that you would give authors when selling their books?

Chara Rodriguera
Yes. Number one is what I just said, to trust your own heart and to create your book, because you are called to do it, because you want to do it. Because you find it to be beautiful and meaningful and helpful. Certainly seek advice, like we’re sharing advice here, but to go with your gut and your heart. There were a lot of people who told me to do certain things or not do certain things down to the covers that I chose for my books. And no, not one person chose this cover, not one person. And I, I just couldn’t pick another cover, this was the cover that my heart wanted. And so in the end, trust your gut, when it comes to creating your book and marketing your book. Did you want to add something Janine?

Chara Rodriguera
Two so second, and I mentioned this think of marketing, as sharing. Instead of trying to sell something instead of trying to get people to buy something. Think of it as sharing, you have something of value that you want to share, and you want to let people know about. That takes a lot of pressure off for me. And the whole tone. And language comes across different, I think and I certainly appreciate that when I feel that someone is sharing something of value as opposed to just trying to sell something.

Chara Rodriguera
Three, oh, I recommend creating a Kindle version, if possible. Because they’re usually a lot less expensive and you can send it immediately. So number one, it makes that decision of saying yes, a lot easier for some people. It’s immediate, and it’s usually less expensive. And the other thing is, when you have a Kindle version, it makes it so easy for you to change the price. And for you to send it as a gift. So if you want to give out books to people, it’s a lot less expensive than giving away 100 hard copies to people. So I highly recommend if at all possible, creating a Kindle version, it makes everything easier.

Chara Rodriguera
Post your favorite passages from your books, pages from your books, pictures from your books, just that’s how you can share it and have people really get a feel for your book is to post bits and pieces from it. And lastly, to seek out podcasts and collaborations such as Janine’s show, this is such a gift to be able to share from my heart, with Janine and with all of you again with an audience that I feel aligned with. So as I said, I love to support other authors. Other authors are very, very supportive of me, write reviews for other authors, and they’re going to want to write reviews for you, introduce your audience to other authors, and they’re going to want to introduce their audience to you. So these collaborations, just this mutual sharing has probably been one of again, one of the best ways that people have come to know me and my books.

Janine Bolon
That’s five. And so I’m going to move us along because you know, we have these 13 questions we’re trying to crank out here. And that is the question number 12 is what is the one thing you most misunderstood about being or becoming an author? What was something that was a paradigm shift for you?

Chara Rodriguera
Well, at first for sure, I did not know how much of an investment it was going to be. I mean, right. I knew it was gonna be a lot of steps. I knew it was a process. I’m been an artist my whole life. I just didn’t realize how big of a process it is. It’s, it’s certainly worth it. And when you just take little baby steps, you absolutely can do it, and will do it. But the other piece of the investment is there’s a cost investment, you know, if you are self publishing. You have a publisher, Janine, so you would know more about that. I have self published my three books, there’s an investment that you need to be willing to make and why I was willing to make that was because I was ready. And I had a vision, and I knew I wanted it to be a certain way. So I wanted total control. And I was ready to start immediately, I didn’t want to wait for somebody to have to find me or give me permission to begin. I just wanted to start. So it was a big investment.

Janine Bolon
I totally agree. My first seven books were self published. And the four books after that, it was a hybrid, it was half and half investment. And then book number 12. What we’re working on right now, that one, I have a publisher, but there’s still a cost. And I listed out for the authors that are helping me with that cost. So but what is the primary thing? What is your biggest reward at being an author? To me, this is the this is where the rubber meets the road.

Chara Rodriguera
Yes, this is why we do this, I’m gonna give you two reasons. And initially, the first reason was that if I could touch someone’s heart, if I could save someone suffering, then that felt like my calling. And recently, I had a parent tell me that he’s giving his daughter a copy of “Love,” the book you mentioned, for her graduation gift there, the book “Love” is very much about self love. And romancing the soul, it’s a lot less about it’s not a lot about romantic love. It is love, embodying love and reflecting on love. And he said, it is so perfect, the perfect gift for her for her graduation. And my heart lit up to think that he felt this book would support his daughter. So that is the reason that’s the number one reason.

Chara Rodriguera
The second reason, which actually in some ways has become my primary reason is because it brings me joy. To create from my heart, there is a satisfaction of birthing a project that is so authentic, so true to your heart that when it is complete, you feel like you couldn’t have done anything more with that book, or whatever project someone in the audience might be creating. So there is a self fulfillment, it is a birth of sorts that you have something in you that only you can create. And so that personal satisfaction of facing your fear. And saying yes to yourself, that what you have to say and what you have to create is worth it. For you. That would be my second reason.

Janine Bolon
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule away from your students to be on the show today and to talk to us and share with us. I really appreciate you being our spotlighted author today Chara.

Chara Rodriguera
It’s my pleasure. Do we have time for the meditation?

Janine Bolon
We’re going to have to move along in a little bit. And thank you so much to Chara who who has answered our questions. And if you want more information, there is so much in store for you if you go to her website, “www.Chara.tv”. If you go to that website, you will find information there that is very helpful to your soul. Also, if you are an author or you know of an author that you would like us to spotlight, please visit our website “authorpodcasting.com” where you will find the 99 Author Project listed. We talk to authors of all walks of life as we build out book number 12 which is “Advice from Authors to Authors” that will be published in 2023. And this is Janine Bolon signing off with you today and all of us here at the 8 Gates that produces the Janine Bolon Show. We wish you a wonderful week and we encourage you to get your story and your knowledge out into the world and make it a better place. There is someone out there that is in the world that needs your story that you have between your ears. We wish you to get it out for them to be able to see, to hear or to read. We’ll see you again next week and until then keep sharing what you know with others, keep shining that light that is you, and don’t forget to go out today and just do something that’s just plain fun. We’ll see you next week.

Bryan Hyde
Thank you for listening to the Janine Bolon show. Be sure to subscribe to our show notes by going to www.theJanineBolonshow.com, where you’ll find additional resources as well as the opportunity to sign up to receive our program in your email each week. Be sure to visit our sponsor at www.the8gates.com.

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