All the elements in producing a book
There are several problems with taking your expertise to market. The largest one is not dedicating time to it. While writing a book or program is unwieldy and time-consuming up front, if you’ve got a big PURPOSE for writing a book for business, boom, motivation problem solved. This could be helping a charity close to your heart or shining the light on a problem that’s been a past source of agony for you.
Problem: One Offer, Low Revenue Base
Independent consultants and coaches need to grow income from more than just services, to diversify some away from their TIME. When someone is sick, their billings stop—and so does their income. Also, it’s really hard to sell the business or spin-off assets left and right with one-to-one services.
To create more streams of income, you must offer books, audiobooks, an online training course/s, keynotes or group work, presentation, and if you’re game, online memberships or apps. (I don’t recommend creating an app).
For the base of all this, a visual model is recommended in order for people to understand easily what your system stands for. Sometimes it’s not a visual tool; it could be a set of acronyms that are steps. (Renee Hasseldine says the ideal is 3 to 7 steps for an educate model.)
A worthy goal is both rewarding spiritually and will eventually repay your time and investment into learning and creating.
Rule 1: Any products added must make a gross profit of 30%
Look at your business model and see if you already have a gross profit. Any new product or package you offer must have this profit margin built in. It’s just good business!
Rule 2: Employ better branding and positioning, make 1-to-1 rare and lucrative, and add bonuses for packages or online programs.
Laser-focussed branding and positioning will help you attract higher-level people, so you can increase your value. Ensure all your content marketing material is speaking the same message to your niche segments (or one niche).
Rule 3: Add online systems that solve problems for selected people, rather than working more consulting hours
You can set up a sales system that starts from a low-cost buy (e.g. a book) and offer various up-sell products for more in-depth needs. You can do this with Samcart (link below).
Group training might be more effective profit-wise than even one-on-one coaching and you can still add the ‘personal touch’. Denise Duffield-Thomas does this very well, with her Money Mastery group events.
Rule 4: Break down the steps and make better Intellectual Property
Communicating of your key message — your IP that has the highest value — is often hard for the professional. So much to offer! Begin by breaking it down into simple steps or a visual model. This can really help to write the book / training program.
1. Create authority and credibility with a well-produced book and a clear message, thus attracting clients to you.
2. Add to that with an online course and an audiobook
3. Getting some friendly sales but not enough income? Add to that with a membership site or an upsell system. Try Samcart Basic to help sell, online. It’s $19US a month instead of the $99 a month mentioned on their website pricing page. I am not an affiliate.
4. I use Memberpress here for Book Creation Success club, and it’s fantastic. From US129/259 for a whole year, depending on if you get it on sale.
Remembering your Purpose for Writing a Book
Along with this, it’s important to remember your purpose all the way through the process of book publishing. It’s no good spending all your time on your book and nothing on promoting it on your blog, in media interviews, in podcast guest spots, or other ways. Remember the 5 marketing things every day that Jack Canfield & M V Hansen did when promoting Chicken Soup for the Soul.
If you keep in mind the purpose of reaching your audience with your impassioned message… no doubt you will succeed.
There is a chasm between how novice and expert authors outline and write their book. Now, a lot of people writing a non-fiction book approach their writing like this:
Have an idea, start brainstorming, attack it with gusto, have too much content, rearrange it, find an angle, hire an editor, editor does a review and two rounds of changes, mould a final book, write blurb, hope it sells.
I used to be one of those people, so hey, I get it. But then I thought, what if I put some planning and research into those steps… would that help?
1. Producing Your Book Costs Time and Money
Writing a ‘serious’ book takes a really long time. Producing a book takes, in some cases, even longer. In one case, it took 72 hours to proofread, layout, produce, administrate and convert the eBook for a self-published client book.
If you want a copy editor to do a ‘quick run-through’, remember that she or he must take it to a publishable standard. Editing a book properly takes quite some time, but this depends on whether your book needs structural editing help, developmental suggestions (a manuscript review)–or simply a copy edit. It is not just your budget that constrains this editing; it’s also the skill level of your editor.
So, a 30,000-word non-fiction book may take between 22 hours and 30 hours for me to line edit in one pass. I’m good at spotting things that don’t sound right. So, a client-focussed editing project might cost between AU$1,400 and $2,000 for a 30,000-word book, for a rough idea. Overseas editors might charge less, but you might not know if they are up to standard.
Producing and Marketing a Book with Virtual Assistance
Self-publishing processes and book marketing takes much time to learn. Many novices Google to find a solution and end up with a basic author services package that costs $2,000 – $3,000. This normally doesn’t cover the marketing angle! There are a few good Australian self-publishing companies whom I recommend, e.g. Publicious (small, Gold Coast) and Fontaine (large). Under no circumstances should you just choose a company you clicked on the Google ad of, without further research.
So, perhaps spend 2-3 hours researching and interviewing a local freelance book editor, marketing VA, and book designer. It’s worth it. A Virtual Author Assistant will free up your time. There is a small group of Australian virtual author assistants on FB and although it’s a closed group, you can apply and say you’re a client.
You can also try to find an author VA on the global VA Directory. The worst place to find an Author VA would be Upwork or similar; I think you know why.
The best thing an author can do is to focus on benchmarks that they want to achieve.
Book Production or Marketing Tasks to Outsource
Some of the fiddly and time-consuming things an awesome Author VA can do:
* Fill out all the ISBN details at Thorpe, once collated.
* Ensure the book’s Search Inside (Amazon) is working and upload PDF preview or widget to website.
* Communicate with your book designer on some matters, like the PDF and upload problems you don’t want to handle!
* Fill out meta data at your Printer/POD, and send your final PDFs
* Advise on and/or create a website book sales page, if they have this skill
* Set up your Amazon author page at Amazon Central.
* Set up your Goodreads author profile and claim any books you’ve written
* Set up a BookLife, Scribd and BookBub profile and book title (optional)
* Integrate book promotion images and ideas into your social media postings
* Update your social media profile headers to include the book and author image.
Keep Focussed on your Outcomes, Not Production
What do you want to do with your book? There are lots of ideas for utilising it:
- Sell it at training and speaking events?
- Give it away as a prospect offering (ensuring to capture contact details)?
- Send it out to referrers?
- Keep it low-priced for new subscriber offers on emails?
If the multitude of things in the ‘Tasks to Outsource’ list above sounds like it is worth it to outsource (your hourly rate being at least twice theirs), then offloading means you can focus on strategy and relationships.
Building relationships with similar others and educational portals in your niche is a wonderful thing. Focussing on your Linkedin and blog content can pay off too; not forgetting trade magazine articles, Women’s Network articles, etc.
Preparing a 1-sentence pitch about your book’s thesis can also come in handy, when someone asks for your expertise.