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From Nardi Media

If You Have A Book In You (And I Think Everyone Does), Here Are A Few Tips To Get Started By Ashley Bernardi

Everyone has a story to tell or a message to share. As a publicist who works with dozens and dozens of authors, I’m constantly in awe of their unique stories, their desire to share them with the world, and their authenticity and vulnerability in opening up so others can benefit.

I bet you, too, have a story to tell. Think about the past experiences that have molded you into the wonderful being you are today. Think about the lessons you’ve learned, the insights you’ve gained, and the wisdom you now have – wisdom that has the chance to resonate with audiences worldwide, or maybe even change lives!

It wasn’t until the height of the pandemic that I realized I had a book in me – let alone a self-help book! As an 11-year-old, I witnessed the sudden death of my father to a heart attack, and after many years of learning how to cope with the trauma I endured, I developed my own toolbox of healing techniques which I felt compelled to share during the pandemic for those struggling. The feedback I’ve received from my book Authentic Power: Give Yourself Permission to Feel has been incredible, and the support I’ve received has been absolutely surreal. Never in a million years did I think I would ever become an award-winning author, let alone have the best publicity team at Nardi Media behind me to help spread my message to the world!

If you need more of a reason to write a book beyond having a story to share, just look at the data. A recent study proves that more and more of us are reading since the pandemic. In fact, the average American read 20 minutes a day in 2020, up from 20% in 2019. It’s also the most time Americans have spent reading since the early 2000s!

If you’re inspired and ready to write your book, here are a few tips to help you get started!

Before you put pen to paper, get a consultation!

I would highly recommend looking into getting a professional consultation from a literary agency before you start writing. In other words, just simply share your idea and see how it lands! Lucinda Literary is our wonderful agency partner that works with aspiring authors and writers on book proposals, query letters, and more.

Check out their website here, which also has a free essential guide for writers, workshops, private consultations, and much more.

No time to write? Consider hiring a ghostwriter.

I love writing (to the point where I have dozens of journals scattered around my house!), but as a business owner and mom, I couldn’t have finished my book when I did without my writing partner. If you find that you have a book idea and need the support to get pen to paper, there are many ways to do so. Among them is KN Literary. The founder, Kelly Notaras, is a dear friend of mine and has helped countless authors write their books. Her incredible team pairs you with a professional writer to match your book needs and message, and works with you every step of the way to ensure you hit all of your publishing goals and deadlines. Because I was simultaneously juggling at-home mom life and entrepreneur life throughout the pandemic, I would send audio voice texts to my writing partner, Melinda, and she would dictate them into the book manuscript right then and there. She was amazing! Having a partner was truly a Godsend for me.

Don’t discount self-publishing.

Hiring a self-publishing firm can get you some of the perks of a traditional publisher, but you’d be paying for it out of pocket. This can include cover design, copyediting, proofreading, uploading your book to Ingram, and coordinating the e-proof and hard proof of your book. The perk of self-publishing is that your intellectual property is ALL yours, as is 100% of the profit!

If you’re curious about self-publishing, I recommend checking out these firms:

Want a mix of traditional publishing and self-publishing? Try this hybrid.

Literally called hybrid publishing (also called partnership publishing), this model allows your book to have the quality, aesthetic, and national distribution that you’d get when working with a traditional publisher, plus the higher royalties and creative control that you’d get with self-publishing firms.

This is the route that I took with Authentic Power, and I recommend the experts at The Collective Book Studio, who are known for their world-class partnership publishing.

Join our Nardi Media Author Connection Calls!

These new monthly calls are meant to create a space for authors like you to network, share ideas and advice, and ask for help on any questions surrounding speaking, author events, publicity, book awards, brand building, connections, networking, and more.

I am also honored to be moderating and leading the calls! The truth is, as an author, I found myself wanting to connect with other authors on a more regular basis, which is exactly what inspired me to create a group to do just that!

This group is for published authors, self-published authors, or authors who have a book coming out. Come join us once a month and make author friends and connections, and learn more about what others are doing to promote their books!

Click HERE to register!

I hope you feel encouraged and inspired to take the next step and share your story with the world. As I said, I truly believe everyone has a book in them, and with some gentle and loving guidance and direction, I have no doubt that you’ll get there.


Tracy Mccubbin


"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 


Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

New York Times Best Selling Author of Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 


Susan McGinnis

Correspondent, CBS Newspath

“I am so pleased that Ashley is embarking on this new venture. For many years she has shined as an outstanding booker and producer at CBS News and at start-ups including Clean Skies News.  She was my first hire at Clean Skies, and was the shining star among the pack. She has always had  tremendous dedication to her work, and an untiring ability to accomplish whatever faces her, letting no obstacle stand in the way of an outstanding product.  She consistently goes above and beyond expectations, and never takes “no” as an answer, and never settles for less than outstanding. I would hire Ashley again. And again. And again.”


Jennifer Oko

Partner, Mad Squid Media

“Ashley and I have worked together is a few different capacities, including CBS News, energyNOW!. I cannot say enough good things about her. Ashley is smart, thorough, quick, creative, and incredibly hard working. Most importantly, to be a successful media liaison and guest booker, relationships are everything. Ashley is a genuinely lovely person, and she wins the respect and trust of everyone she works with. She is the first person I call whenever I need a guest booker or segment producer.”


Margaret Ryan

Energy Journalist & Analyst

“Ashley Bernardi is a dynamic professional who consistently produces excellent results.  In my three years working with Ashley as the head booker at Clean Skies News/EnergyNOW!, I never saw her fail to complete a job she had been assigned – and complete it admirably. Ashley is creative, energetic and goal-oriented, a true team player who works congenially with other professionals but can also be relied on to execute an assignment on her own. Ashley is the person I wanted on my team when I faced a challenging assignment!”


Hardy Spire

Senior Producer, CNN’s Reliable Sources. Former General Manager at CleanSkies News and Senior Producer at CBS News.

“Ashley Bernardi has every rare quality in a TV producer — aggressiveness, insight, creativity, a strong work ethic, and pure charm.  She has all this plus she’s a kind and positive person.  And she has great contacts!”


Silvio Marcacci

Principal, Marcacci Communications

“Ashley is hands down the best media trainer I’ve ever worked with, and she uses her considerable producing experience to make clients feel at ease and ready to learn. In addition, her ability to book clients on television and radio interviews is quite impressive – be ready for hours of interviews if you’re working with her!”


Mary Jordan

Washington Post National Correspondent and Founding Editor of Washington Post Live

“There is nothing Ashley Bernardi cannot do when it comes to media.  She books top people for TV shows and national conferences and knows the business inside out. I worked closely with Ashley at the Washington Post  and she is not only savvy, but great to be around. She is the always cheerful, smart voice on the other end of the phone who persuades busy people to drop everything they are doing and do what Ashley tells them.”


Scott Behson, PhD

best-selling author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home

“I was a relatively unknown first-time author and Ashley was fantastic in getting my name out there, and ultimately booking me on national TV and radio, as well as major podcasts. She also provided top-notch media training and was always a great listener and advisor. Finally, she was on top of everything and we communicated constantly. I couldn’t have been happier about her efforts on behalf of my book launch!”


Ron Friedman, Ph.D

author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

“Ashley Bernardi is extraordinary at her job in every way. Smart, strategic and relentlessly energetic, Ashley is someone I’d want on my team in any public relations campaign.”