In this episode you will learn about self publishing, getting help writing your book and how to attract the perfect client.
Julie Broad is an expert in ghostwriting and marketing books.
This is the 94th session of Smart Brand Marketing.
MY BIGGEST TAKEAWAY:
Speaking gigs start with a great hook.
What makes you different?
- Why publish a book?
- Self publishing vs traditional
- Great hooks that get you on stage
- Marketing you vs the book
- The unique extractor
- Writing process
- The most difficult part of the writing
- Online courses
- Paid speaking gigs
The Art of Writing a Book
Anyone who’s ever had experience running a business online will tell you that the hottest business model right now in the Internet is actually telling people what to do. Producing content like webinars, e-learning courses, blogs, and articles are in-demand these days since people are always looking for an easily accessible source of information that they can draw from in addressing very real concerns and problems in their life.
One of the more potentially viable ventures in this field, however, remains to be books. Shifting from other online content to books does take some time to getting used to which is why you should learn a few things first about the process before you attempt to venture here yourself.
Why Write a Book in the First Place?
This should be a no-brainer but the reasons for writing a book are as varied as attempting to set up your own business. Deciding to write a book is a major decision in itself which means that you also have to weigh in the pros and cons and this will include trying to determine why you’d want to write a book in the first place.
There are several popular reasons why people would want to write a book now. Here are some of them:
- 1. It’s Your Passion
This is quite simple a reason for you to start with a book-writing venture. You’re a write already and you just need to write. This is why a lot of content creators find the transition to book writing and publishing to be easy as they are basically performing the same process with the only difference being that the end product is more detailed and can cover more topics than their usual output.
There is also the fact that writing is not exactly a demanding field when it comes to your credentials. To be a writer, you just need to master the basics of writing. That’s it.
- 2. Self-Publishing is a Thing Now
Back then, the norm used to be that writers have to secure a deal from a publishing company and only hope that their work ever sees the light of day. And if they want to make sure that their work sees the light of day, they have to make sure that their work passes standards which can be different from one publisher to another. Hell, even a successful author like JK Rowling had to suffer 12 rejections from publishers before her story of a young wizard was printed.
This is no longer the norm these days with the rise of self-publishing. Basically, all you need is a computer, a constant connection to the internet, and a whole lot of creativity to make your own book. Once it is written, you have all the control over it especially on how it is to be marketed online. Of course, since you’re calling the shots, every earnings that that book makes goes back to you 100%. Who wouldn’t like that?
If that is still too labor intensive for you, then there’s reason #3 which is….
- 3. Amazon
When it comes to online publication, Amazon is the current reigning king. The platform offers a straightforward and intuitive method for would-be authors to publish their own work as well as for customers to find the books that they like. Basically, you can expect for Amazon to do most of the heavy lifting in making your book visible.
The keyword here, however, is “most” as Amazon expects you to do the marketing and PR for your book yourself. Don’t worry, though, as the platform does have some tools to help you do just that.
- 4. To Earn Money
Here’s the thing: ideas are not profitable unless you find a way to convert them into something tangible. That’s basically what you’re doing with writing, converting your ideas into something that people can read and use as reference for in solving real problems.
Once you get that book published, you can expect a near-constant stream of income to come to you. For instance, if you priced that book at a measly $2.00 at Amazon and there are approximately 4,500 downloads of it, it means that the book has earned $9,000.00. Depending on whatever profit-sharing agreement you have signed up with the platform, you can still net somewhere in between $6,000.00 and $8,000.00 out of a single book.
Of course, there is the potential to reuse that content in the future. You can convert the book to an audio book, use it as a script for your online learning course, and even discuss some parts of it as speaking gigs. In other words, there is more than one way that you can monetize your creation.
The Writing Process
So, how do you go about writing a book? Just like all things, it follows a process which can be simple enough that even someone with zero writing experience can follow it and still come up with something decent or, at least, readable.
- 1. Pre-WritingBefore you can write about something, you have to identify what that something. For instance, you are passionate about writing love stories only to realize that romance is perhaps the most overcrowded genre out there. What do you do, then, to make your own book stand out? You find a unique angle that nobody else has done yet.
You can even draw inspiration from existing work to create your ideas. Just make sure, however, you don’t rip them off point by point because a. that’s against the law and b. people can smell a ripoff a mile away. Just ask any hardcore Star Wars fan of their opinion on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi and they will tell you that both are point by point rehashes of A New Hope and Empires Strikes Back, even Jedi with it’s expectations-subverting gimmick.
The goal here is to gather as many ideas as you can, brainstorm on them, and come up with a truly unique concept that will make your book stand out. Of course, this is also the time for you to outline the flow of your book by identifying what topics to be covered and in what sequence.
- 2. Writing
Now that you have your idea and an outline of your book, you can start filling in the details. Arguably, this is going to be the hardest and most painstaking part of the process since you are basically filling in your outline with content. It is also that this point that you start hesitating as to what to write and how to write.
The best tip here? Forget about spelling and grammar. Don’t even worry about going off in a long tangent that has nothing to do with the topic or going past your set word count. Let the creative part of your brain work at optimum levels so your hands can write freely and uninterrupted. What you’d end up is your very first draft which leads on to the next part of the process.
- 3. Revisions
This is now where we use the more logical side of the brain and make your work even better. Most writers use the ARRR approach to revisions which involves:
- Additions: Take a look at your work and see if there are aspects in it that you feel are not properly discussed. If there are, then you can add additional paragraphs to discuss them in detail.
- Rearrangements: The question you’d have to ask here is if the entire narrative flows coherently from one point to another. There are some books out there with chapters that feel out of place when compared to preceding and subsequent ones. You have the option here to move them slightly one chapter ahead or behind or entirely move them to a different module.
- Removals: Now this is where the fat trimming begins. The one thing you have to avoid doing here is overloading your readers with information or giving them the same information the same way at a different part of the book. Also, you’d rather not feed them information that doesn’t have to do anything with the overall topic.It is important here that you read through the entire thing and find out which parts need to be removed completely. The goal here is to say the bulk of your idea in the fewest words and most direct manner possible.
- Replacements: Ask yourself this “which parts of my book can be said in a better manner?”. Do certain parts contradict one another? Do some parts need clarification? Do some phrases or ideas that do not sound right when read or spoken? You can ask other people to critique your work beforehand and find out which places in the book need improvement. If something is offf when you read it, you should definitely replace it.
- 4. Editing
Now that your book has underwent a massive overhaul, you must then fine-tune it line by line. This is where things like spelling, grammar, and subject-verb agreements will come in important and you must check your work for any technical defects. At this point, you have the option to hire an editor yourself who can do this part for you or use editing programs available online. The fewer mistakes your book makes, the better its reviews will be.
- 5. Publishing
Now, that you’ve finished improving your book, you should now find a way to publish it. If you are a bit of a traditionalist, you always have the option in looking for a publisher who can help market your book. Of course, traditional publishing does have its disadvantages, chief among them that it takes quite a while for you to get a deal with any company especially if you’re a nobody.
Your next best option is to self-publish online and platforms like Amazon do have the tools to help you publish your work at their site. Since these websites will do the heavy lifting for you, the only thing you have to do on your part is to do the marketing for your book to build up hype. There are some pre-launch strategies that you can use to generate interest for your work and these had been discussed a few blogs back. The point is that if you can build up hype for your work, it’s visibility in the online market should remain at a high for a few solid weeks or months, depending on how well people respond to the actual book.
The Hardest Part?
So which part of the writing process is the hardest? You might resume that it’s either the writing, editing, revisions, and publishing aspects as they tend to be quite labor intensive but you’d be dead wrong.
The hardest part is actually Step 0: Committing. You see, writing is not a one-sitting affair. It’s a long process that will take a few days to a month to complete, and that’s just for the first draft. At this point, you’d be wrestling with yourself to start the writing process as you get too busy doing other things or you find absolutely nothing to draw inspiration from. It’s why so many great book ideas are left half complete or barely begun at all.
The best that you can do at this point is to devote at least an hour per day to formulating your plans for the book. Slowly, your concept would shape up and you should get the inspiration you need to follow through on your project. In time, you should be holding in your hands a copy of your final draft ready for publishing which should launch your career as an author and, of course, earn money for you.
Have you had considered writing before? What obstacles have you faced venturing into the field? Let us know in the comments below!
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