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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Terry Sprouse is both a successful real estate investor and the author of two books. He also has a great blog called "Fix em Up Rent em Out" that I have been following for some time now. So I was really excited to read his new book. What I love about him is not only that he has real world experience to pass on, but he is very good taking a difficult topic and breaking it down into easy to understand steps.

Terry has a very interesting story to tell about how he started investing in real estate, and what prompted him to take that "next step" and write his books. This book is a quick and easy read that is sprinkled with quotes. I found it both informative and entertaining at the same time.

In his newest book "Carve out Your Niche", Terry talks about creating your perfect life; one that allows you to live your passion. He also gives us a blueprint for telling "our story" or writing the book that lives inside of us. He manages to break down this subject so well that we are left feeling like we too can do it.

Terry covers important topics such as identifying your niche. He defines your niche as "the world you live in; a world that you create that is built around a profession that is spiritually satisfying to you".

He also talks about how his niche of buying fixer upper houses has created a better, more secure life for him. This book is not only for folks interested in real estate investing, but for anyone committed to creating a better life for themselves. Terry demystifies the whole process of how to write a book and get it published.

Last but not least, he breaks down all of the components of marketing your book to the masses. This information alone is worth the price of the book. He does a great job of breaking this complicated task into bit sized pieces.

I would strongly recommend this book as a must read for anyone still trying to create their niche and live a life that is both professionally and spiritually satisfying, and certainly for those of us that still have the beginnings of that "unwritten book" inside of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Back in 2007 I had the experience of reading Mr. Sprouse's book,Fix 'em Up, Rent 'em Out: How to Start Your Own House Fix-up & Rental Business in Your Spare Time; or, Investing in Real Estate and Creating Wealth with Fixer-Upper Houses, which dealt with buying old houses, fixing them up and renting them out. This theme went along perfectly with what I was doing at the time (still am for that matter), although rather than renting them, I sold them. One of the remarkable things about that particular book was that Terry did not make wild promises of untold wealth or promises that you will become the next Donald Trump if only you follow his advice. No, his first book was modest, realistic and was more of a "get off your duff and start thinking and doing for yourself" type of book than anything else. I loved that book, still have it and the advice he shared is more pertinent today than it was when the book was first written.

And so it is with this latest offering from one of the most practical, mellow and laid-back author's in this genre I have ever read. Terry Sprouse is real, has his feet planted firmly in reality, and is willing to share is wisdom with all of us. More about wisdom later).

In this book, the author has turned his hand to the self publishing industry which is becoming wildly popular. As with his first work, Mr. Sprouse has kept his head out of the clouds and unlike so many books of this nature, has not promised the reader that they will become the latest Stephen King, Earnest Hemingway, or James Patterson. No, we are given a very nice little game plan to help supplement income, have some fun, explore new world and indeed, help other people.

Now let me be perfectly clear here; this is NOT a technical how to do it book. You do not get a text book type," lock-step do this and then this and then that" type of reading. What the author does do is point out the fact that all of us have something to share. It may be an aspect of our jobs. It could be a hobby we have a passion for. It could be a field of personal interest that we are knowledgeable about or it could be that we just like to write. What ever the case may be, Sprouse quite well points out the fact that we all have knowledge, experiences, passions and expertise in some area of our lives and that all of us are capable of writing about these things and sharing our knowledge with others. He also points out that this is a very nice way of picking up some extra coin here and there; always a nice thing. He points out that in today's scary and unsettled times, a person should not put all their eggs in one basket and that the secure job you have today my vanish over night...it is a good thing to have a plan A, B and C ready for those unexpected hard times.

Also, this is not a book telling you how to write a book. I preparation for this review I visited the local small library and out of curiosity counted the books there that told you how to write a book; there were a total of 78. This is just a fraction of the works available. If you want to know how to write a book...go to your local library.

The author does go into a bit more detail in that he gives the reader ideas of how to get started, how to market your book and some of the recourses available. He concentrates more on hard copy print books than on e-books but the principles are the same in either case.

Terry Sprouse is a wise person and he shares that wisdom with us. Some of his comments are rather profound while others deal with common sense practical matters. As an example, he stresses the absolute fact that it is a very good idea to get a professional proof reader to go over your work before you publish. Anyone who has read some of the self published books of today will see the wisdom in this advice instantly. For a couple of hundred dollars an author can save themselves a lot of grief. I personally know of at least a dozen active and retired English teachers and professors who, for a comparatively small fee, would be more than happy for the extra income. (Wish I had one of those proof readers available to go over my reviews...goodness knows I need it).

Now as the author points out, there is work involved in this endeavor. He y folks, there are no free lunches, but the work, if done correctly, will pay off. I happen to have been corresponding on a regular basis with three young ladies over these past years that have started publishing e-books. These are short stories and children's books. They do this as a hobby. These are very nice little books. Other than time, they all have very little invested in their projects. Each of these young ladies, working at their "hobby" part time is puling in a round one hundred dollars each month for each book they publish. Will they become rich doing this? Nope, but then again they are having fun and I do not know about you but I am certainly not one that would turn my nose up at a couple hundred dollars coming in here and there on a fairly regular basis.

Anyway....

When you start a road trip in your car, the fist thing you do is turn the key and turn the starter over. Think of this book as the key and the starter...your journey into publishing has to begin somewhere!

Love this little book...I found it useful and down right inspiring. Use it to give yourself a jump-start.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Carve Out Your Niche is a fun, easy to read book based on Terry Sprouse's personnal experiences in getting your ideas down on paper, formulating your book, and publishing and marketing your own work. With intelligent quotes and a personal, humorous style Terry askes the right questions to get you to reach down deep inside and bring out those thoughts and experiences to bear that make you and your book unique. He gets you so excited that you can't wait to grab your pen and paper or to start pounding on your keyboard to get that book idea rattling around inside you head written, published, and sold. Carve Out Your Niche is not a tech manual, but a nice piece you can easily carry around and read at your leasure. It is a great book to buy to read on your next flight, or to keep handy at your desk to read and refer to time and time again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend "Carve Out Your Niche" for anyone who aspires to be an author. This book will not only show you how to write, publish and promote your book, but it will also inspire you to reach your dreams!

The author's suggestions on book promotion are especially useful. He discusses topics such as blogs, speeches, ezine articles, YouTube, etc., and tells you how to connect them all together in one powerful steamroller. I was especially impressed with the author's extensive, and in-depth, techniques for utilizing Amazon as a fundamental part of your strategy to sell books.

His sections on "My System: Follow the Money," and, "The Greatest Secret of Amazon: Hitch Your Wagon to a Bestselling Star," were extremely instructive. Sprouse says that we are "happy hitchhikers on the fame of other books," when we follow his far-reaching techniques. If you have a book (or are considering writing one), these are techniques that you should know!

His sections on using radio interviews and speeches were also right on the mark. That personal touch allows you to really connect to people, and the opportunities are virtually unlimited. If you are anxious about communicating in this fashion, Sprouse advises to "just focus on telling your story, that's all people really want to hear. And, work in a few jokes. People enjoy some humor with their stories, like cream with their coffee."

Perhaps the most memorable part of the book is the final chapter, which is an engaging story of how one young couple got started on their dream, or rather were forced into it, when life presented them with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. But, the couple chose to see this potentially disastrous obstacle as an opportunity to get on a new path, a path where they could determine their own fate.

The story ties the pieces of the book together, and is an uplifting example that we would do well to follow.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is different from Sprouse's first book in that it is not a how-to book. Rather, it is a way to get the reader started on a new path towards personal growth and development. However, Sprouse, being imminently practical, provides steps to help you realize what you are truly interested in and the steps to start down that path. It is exciting to read a book from someone who does not craft himself as a "guru," whether it be a relationship guru, career guru, building guru, etc. Sprouse just represents himself as the rest of us--struggling to find a path that can provide money and an inkling of enjoyment. A similarity to his first book, though, is that it is readable. This is the type of book where you can easily read a chapter before bedtime, mull it over for a few days (or weeks), and then pick up on the next chapter. It is not an intimidating tome, which makes it stand out from a lot of other self-development
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I had the good fortune of running across this wonderful book at a very opportune time. I had published my first book last June and my second book was now collecting dust on my desk. I had only written the first 40 pages of my second manuscript when I was given a copy of this book by a good friend. As a direct result of reading this book, I finished writing my second book and published it as well. All of this took place within the past 30 days. Need I say more? If you are even remotely considering writing a book of your own. You owe it to yourself to read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book and very helpful for anyone seeking to succeed! I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking insight on how to succeed in the market place!
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on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Never underestimate a good read in a weary world. This positive and practical little book provides useful and humorous information for the would-be author, landlord, soul-seeker or dishwasher scribbling-out lyrics in soapy film at Denny's. Although bookshelves are overstocked with "inspiring" self-help books on just about every subject imaginable, this one actually feels sincere without recourse to lecturing. While many of us have switched careers in mid-stream, I don't think one can ever read about happy endings enough. The book might have been a little thin on embracing concepts from past careers, as finding commonality in (seemingly) dissimilar processes can be very rewarding in itself, and tugs at universal themes embedded in life (Emerson?). Nonetheless, I suggest reading this little book with your morning cup of coffee, especially if you are feeling trapped at work.
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on October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Terry Sprouse writes in a very simple way to express very important concepts. I could have stumbled along for years finding all the resources that Terry has found for both publishing and marketing his book. Thank you Terry; job well done.
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