- Start with the philosophy of ‘How can I help people’ when writing your self-help book.
- Prepare for your success and have the patience for your own success (Louise was a counsellor & practitioner for 12 years before Hay House became the success that it is) Reid says, “In my opinion, it takes 10 years to become an overnight success”.
BUILD YOU AUTHOR PLATFORM
- Read Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform – Reid laughs that this is the book he would have written but Michael did such a good job. It’s all about how to build your author platform and create a direct connection to your audience through:
- Magazine articles
- As a speaker
- Social media
- It’s much easier to build a platform now through the use of social media than it was even five years ago.
- If you have 10,000 people on your list that equates to a $200,000 business. If you have 50,000 people on your list that equates to a $1 million business but you must communicate regularly
- Hay House has 3 million people on their email list and approximately 8 million people following them on various social media
- Publishers give advances depending on the author’s platform. This money helps cover living expenses while you write the book – however, you must make the sales to cover the cost of the advance
- Your brand name is You – don’t hide your identity behind a different brand name because people want to get to know you! If you have another make brand name make sure people equate it with you. For example: Richard Branson & Virgin
- Use your name as your brand and not your book title because books will come and go. Don’t waste money setting up individual websites for books. Have tabs on your website for each book.
WHAT PUBLISHERS LOOK FOR
- The 2 things that self-help publishers look at when determining whether to publish you are:
- Topic and how well you can write about that topic
- Your Platform – Have you been in the media, what is your social media following like, what are your credentials and are you a leader in your industry
- For non-fiction, you can start to build your platform before you write your book.
- For fiction, you need to write your book first. Reid suggests writing a series to help you build your brand in fiction. He tells the story of Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series) who answered every email from her first book personally to help develop a rapport with her readers). It can take several books before a series takes off.
- Foreign rights can be lucrative! Consider foreign rights when publishing and distributing your book. Reid’s eye was captured with Bronnie Ware’s book The 7 Regrets of the Dying because her book was a bestseller in Germany.
- Royalties for hardcover are 10-15%, paperback 7.5-10%
IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD BOOK COVER & EDITING
- Book covers are a very important part of the process. You can often see the difference between a traditionally and self-published book by the cover!
- Go into a book store and study book covers of the top 10 bestsellers in your genre. Reid suggests to create similar designs because there are reasons why those books are bestsellers. Book covers have a general industry standard for each genre– because they have been proven to sell books.
- Don’t put a picture of yourself on your book cover unless you are famous.
- Check out 99Designs.com for great book cover designers.
- Editing is the other most important part of the process. You need to have a content/structural edit and a copy edit/proofread. This is another distinguishing factor between most self-published and traditionally books.
E-BOOKS – THE CHANGING FACE OF PUBLISHING & DISTRIBUTION
5 years ago the publisher’s job was to get the author’s book into a store and the author’s job is to get the book out of the store!
Then came ONLINE SELLING and online book stores such as Amazon, Booktopia, Book Depository.
e-Books through companies such as Book Depository are aggressive in marketing and pricing.
30% of non-fiction books in the US are sold as e-books
50-80% fiction books are sold as e-books
e-books provide a good marketing opportunity as they cost $4.99 or less. They introduce people to you without a big financial commitment from them
In the US, e-books are generally $3.99 but if you price your book at $1.99 people will buy from you even if they are not sure. It’s a great introduction to you
Reid has found that if you have a good e-book, good topic, well written and with word of mouth marketing, the e-book starts to take off then the physical book starts to sell. Therefore consider a low price e-book as a starting option
DISADVANTAGE OF TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING
Takes a long time. If you want to publish a book now it would not come out until 2017. The process of publishing the book can take 6 to 9 months before it gets to the retailers because of editing, book cover design, descriptions, promotional material designed and endorsements.
ADVANTAGES OF SELF-PUBLISHING
Use it to promote your business
Takes less time
If you have a sales record of 3000 self-published books sold in your first year, traditional publishers will take notice.
Louise Hay, Esther Hicks, Deepak Chopra all self-published first
Consider using Print-on-demand services. They are free on Amazon, Apple, Kobo (however it is highly recommended you get a professional editor and bookcover designer)
FALLACY OF HIRING A BOOK PUBLICIST
Some people think all they have to do is hire a book publicist but Reid says that won’t make you famous. Rarely do book publicists help beginning authors succeed and they can cost you $20,000. You can’t buy success!
The best person to promote your book is YOU!
A recommended book is God is my Publicist by Gabriele Bernstein who offers great tools and techniques.
The key to bookselling is WORD OF MOUTH.
Become a star in your own back yard first
Do promotion and publicity yourself, book in local radio talks or Practise with smaller shows so you are ready for the bigger shows
Blog or guest blog in your genre
Reid tells the story of how Wayne Dyer travelled around the country for a year promoting his first book, Your Erroneous Zones until he got a spot on a national television show. His wife used to call local book stores, speaking in different accents asking for Wayne’s book, so they would have to order it in!
Get to know your book store owners, book signings in local bookstores.
Establish yourself with local and online communities
80-90% of effort in selling your book is YOURS
Need some guidance for writing your book?
Download my free ebook, Guide to Write and Self Publish Your Memoir with a Printable Checklist: HERE
Book in a free 30 minute consultation with Leeza: HERE
(images by pixabay)