3 Tips for using a Self-published Book to grow your Business
Ever thought about writing a book? Renowned book editor, author, and entrepreneur Kelly Notaras is giving us so much advice in this episode for how you can actually use a book to grow your business. She tells us all about how to self-publish, 3 tips for growing your audience and driving sales, and what you need to have and hire to make your book successful.
HOW DID SHE GET HERE?
Kelly got her start as a book editor working for some big publishing companies in New York like HarperCollins and Penguin USA. She took her first step toward being an entrepreneur when she left there to run a division at a smaller publishing company in Colorado that was focusing more on transformational non-fiction.
She worked there for a few years before decided she wanted to be her own boss, so she started working as a freelancer, and ended up having to start hiring people because she was so busy, which is how kn literary arts was born. All of this led her to write her own book, The Book You Were Born To Write, which was published in the fall of 2018.
HOW IS SELF-PUBLISHING DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING?
Self-publishing is where you are the one responsible for every stage of the publishing process - the editorial work, the cover design, the interior design, having the copy proofread, etc. before it goes to press. Going to press from a self-publishing standpoint simply means you’re uploading your final files to a a self-publisher like Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, etc. or to a hybrid publisher which is like working with a traditional publisher except you’re paying for it.
Your book can go out into the world beyond where you yet can go.
You used to only see books published from the large, well-known traditional publishers, but then print-on-demand came onto the scene, where instead of having to print thousands of copies of a book, you could now just print one copy when it was ordered, which paved the way for so many authors to start self-publishing their work.
WHAT DO SELF-PUBLISHERS HAVE TO HAVE TO MARKET THEIR BOOK WELL?
Make sure you’re not aiming to hit a bestseller list right from the start - focus more on using the book to build your business. Get the word out to the people that already know you. If you want the book to spread your wisdom to the world and position you as an expert, that book needs to be good. Most people think a book editor is dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s, and just fixing the typos, but that’s only a very small part (and one of the last parts) of the book editing process.
Most books published through a traditional house will have 4-5 rounds of editing. You’ll have developmental editing to make sure the content is something people would want to read, stays on track, and makes sense. This is something you’ll definitely want to have professionally handled, because you want your book to seem as well-put-together as the books coming out of traditional houses, so it’s important to have this done by an editor who does this for a living and knows what works and what doesn’t.
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You’ll also want to hire a professional book cover designer. It’s their job to know what kind of covers sell, and that’ll be influential in whether or not people choose to buy and share your book.
You’ll also need technical editing, interior design for the book, and then proofreading once it’s set. These are all things that clean up the final copy of your book and make it good enough for your audience to read. In full transparency, if you’re going to self-publish a book that you actually want to see succeed, you should plan to invest around $15-20k. If you have a high price point item, just look at it as how many new clients would you need to cover the cost of that book, and then it won’t sound as much like a crazy, unattainable amount to spend.
WHAT ARE THE 3 WAYS THAT A SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK CAN GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
1. It’s word of mouth for you as an expert. You have something you believe in deeply to offer and a book tells the world that you’re an expert in this area and that you’re the right person they should work with to get the solution to this problem.
2. Back of the room sales. If you’re self-publishing, you always want to have around 100 copies of your book on hand, because if you’re ever out in the world giving a talk, at a networking event, etc., you want to have something there to sell. You’re trying to encourage customers to come to you for a particular thing, and that book goes home with them and acts as a glorified busy card.
3. Multiple formats. This is the new thing that amazing about writing a book. You can record your own audiobook, make it an e-book, etc. and this gives you the opportunity to find audience members who may have never found you otherwise.
Bonus reason: Turn your book into a course. Create a workshop or a signature course where each module is working through a chapter of your book. I call it workshopping your wisdom. It gives you a 1:1 coaching option or course that you can now sell in addition to the book to bring in a new audience and more income.
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