About Shelley Hitz

My Journey to Best-Selling Author:  My Successes and Failures

I wrote this bio for one reason. What is it? Simple: The people I really look forward to connecting with online are people who I feel I know personally.

Listen. Information alone won’t help you succeed with publishing and marketing your book. Why? Well, there is far too much of it. So besides getting information, you need to be able to get that information from a reliable source.  I also share a couple videos at the end of this post if you prefer video to text.

In other words…

Someone you trust!

about shelley hitzWhat I discovered is that the people that helped me the most are the ones I got to know. Otherwise, to me, they were nothing more than a name on my computer screen.

Who was that person on the other end? What did they stand for, and what were they against? Why are they in the publishing industry? What’s their story?

With that in mind let me share a little bit about myself, so I’m not just another name on your screen. I am doing this because I truly feel I have some outstanding strategies that could change your life and influence others, and I am going to do everything I can to get you to read about them, and more importantly…Act On Them!

You See, I’m Not Really a “Writer”

about shelley hitzI first was introduced to the world of publishing in the fall of 2008…accidentally. I actually never intended to write a book.

Honestly, English was my worst subject through high school. I never saw myself as a writer. But, I knew that I had information that was potentially life changing for teen girls in the topics of self-esteem, body image and faith… and so I was determined to make it work.

My husband is the creative writer, not me. However, he calls me a “prolific” writer because I can write a lot of information and get it done in record time. And I’m like my mom in that I have been given the gift of teaching.

I Actually Started Out as a Physical Therapist

about shelley hitzThe first 12 years of my career were spent in the medical profession as a Physical Therapist. I loved it because I was able to work with people helping them overcome injuries and get better. It is rewarding to see a child walk for the first time or a grandfather have tears in his eyes because for the first time he can play with his grandchildren without pain.

My husband and I even spent two years in the country of Belize as missionaries where I worked with children with disabilities. It was an amazing and life changing experience. However, due to some poor decisions on our part and the failure of a youth event we were planning, we ended up leaving Belize broke and thousands of dollars in debt.

We returned to the US where I continued to work full time as a P.T. and my husband started his speaking ministry traveling around the US speaking to teens and adults. But we were also looking for additional ways to earn money to help pay off our debts.

My First Website…

about shelley hitzIt was at that time that I stumbled upon Sitesell.com and began my first website in 2004. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to make it work. I didn’t know anything about building websites, HTML or how to run my own business. But, through that first website, I learned a lot…and it  earned me $600- 800/month until I sold it in 2011 to focus on writing, publishing, marketing and helping other authors do the same.

Even though we were desperate to get out of debt, it seemed like we kept going deeper and deeper into the big black hole of consumer debt. We needed to buy two vehicles after returning from Belize and start back up a household. However, we had also gotten into the bad habit of spending more than we made. Not good.

Within a few years, we were in over $70,000 of consumer debt (as well as $100,000 mortgage) and saw no way out.

The Darkest Days of My Life

It was during that time that I walked through some really dark days. My parents divorced. Culture shock. Over $70,000 of debt. My faith is very important to me, but during this dark time I almost walked away from it all…my marriage, my family, my faith.

The Light at the End of My Tunnel

I can’t explain it any other way except that there was a supernatural intervention in my life. There is no other explanation. It wasn’t a “wonder woman” transformation, but slowly over time, I began to heal from deep wounds of the past. And a transformation began to take place before my eyes – I became a different person.

I was a career woman and although I supported my husband’s speaking ministry, I really didn’t want to be involved.

That is, until I had a life transformation. Once I came through those dark days and had healing and hope, I knew I had to share it with others. And it was in the fall of 2007 that I began joining my husband and speaking to teen girls.

Sharing Hope With Others

about shelley hitzAnd so I began to share my story to teen girls. However, I realized that speaking to them for just one hour wasn’t enough. Since I already knew how to build websites, I felt prompted to start a website for teen girls.

And FindYourTrueBeauty.com was born.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, I published my first book, “Mirror Mirror…Am I Beautiful?” from the articles on the website. That same book then turned into a PDF eBook, Kindle eBook and audio book (mp3/CD). I then went on to write a book with my husband and several other books for teen girls.

Finally Debt Free

And at the same time we began paying off our loans one at a time using the “debt snowball” strategy by Dave Ramsey. By the summer of 2011, we were finally debt free!! What an amazing feeling. Wahoo!!

This enabled me to quit my P.T. in the fall of 2011 to go full time into ministry – writing and speaking.

The Twists and Turns of Life

I honestly thought I’d be a Physical Therapist for my entire career. I never planned on writing 30+ books (and the list keeps growing). I never planned on being a speaker – traveling throughout the US and internationally sharing with teens and adults. I never planned on starting an online business to help other authors write, publish and market their books.

However, I’m so thankful for all the opportunities God has given me to help and encourage others.

And that’s what I’m doing through this website and my signature program, Author Audience Academy. Once again, I’m helping others by sharing my knowledge and life experience.

Overcoming Obstacles

I believe we all have a “book” in us. And I’ve heard that approximately 80% of people want to write a book “someday.” However, many times we face obstacles to accomplishing our goal and crossing over our “finish line.”

In 2010, I accomplished two things I thought were out of my reach. I finished a half marathon (I was very slow – but I finished!) and I completed my first sprint triathalon. I’m not sure that I’ll ever run a half marathon again in my life, but I learned a lot from the experience. I learned to push through the pain, to train hard and to enjoy that feeling of crossing over the finish line

about shelley hitz  about shelley hitz

What Is the Finish Line?

In some ways, for an author, the finish line is publishing your book. However, that’s when the book marketing just begins. No matter where you are in your journey of writing, publishing or marketing your book; I encourage you to persevere and in the words of Winston Churchill…”Never, never, never give up!”

Helping you reach more people with your message,

Shelley Hitz

about shelley hitz

Award-winning and internationally best-selling author

Owner of Author Audience Academy

Podcast host

Professional speaker

But, most importantly…wife, sister, daughter, friend and follower of Christ.


p.s.  One of the best things I have done as an author is to publish eBooks.  We earn the most royalties and sell the most books in eBook format.  To learn the system I have used to publish all my Kindle eBooks and download my Kindle template, click here.


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