Hey Guys! Nicole Gabriel here!
I always like to take themes I’ve experienced throughout the week into these podcasts. This weeks theme is all around identifying the content to leverage it properly for all communication and initiatives.
So, by now you’ve figured out that I’m all about aligning you with the reason you’re writing the book in the first place. You know, I get a lot of people asking is a particular topic would make a good book and well…my first response is always “what do you plan to do with it?” Though its admirable to write a book to help people, the greatest gift you can give to ourself is being uber crystal clear as to why you are writing it to begin with.
I’ve told you that writing a book is a huge commitment of time and money but honestly, until most authors are all done writing and producing and spent a few months basking in the creation, sales, and marketing of their book they really have no appreciation for what I’m talking about when it comes to aligning the book. I’ve beat you over the head with this on these podcasts I know, but the number one thing I see when I take my book clients in for primarily book design and layout is that they are very unclear what the message is that there are trying to convey. Honestly, this is confusing to me that they would make it this far along and not know who their target market is, what the book should look like when they market to that audience, and then more importantly…what the book title should be. I’m not exactly sure how they’ve written the entire book and still don’t have a title. What’s in the book? What were you thinking when you wrote it? What is your why? OK, so lets back up a little bit here…
Can you tell I get a bit heated about this?
OK, so you have a story to tell and you feel like you either want to be on stage speaking or in a room teaching or using the book to transition or pivot into something else. If you are doing any of these things with your book then you have to have already built the platform for the “thing” you are moving into. The book is just the tool to identify that the thing is ready.
I get so many clients coming to me saying they aren’t happy with their day job and expect that writing a book is going to be that magic fairy dust that makes the new thing appear. But, the thing that makes it appears is…guess what? Actually building it! Yeah, I know I just burst your bubble with a dose of reality, but I’m here to bust open the truths about not just the publishing industry but to give you practical advise from someone that’s been down this road a few times.
So this discussion is best served by giving you an example. I have a new client that came to me wanting to completely transition out of his day job as a fitness coach, but he’s crazy busy doing this so he’s clearly very good at it. He wants to move into coaching, but more as a life coach. He’s got a specific background and one heck of a positive go-getter attitude. He wants to use his book to pivot him into that new thing. But, he hasn’t yet built that new thing. So, I told him that he has a huge audience of loyal followers and honestly, just flat out leaving them would leave things a bit sour.
So, I guided him that he might want to leverage the audience he has and write this book in alignment with where he currently is and let people know what he’s moving into. As his fitness clients transition into this new coaching model he begins to build with the launch of his book he can grow his new business. He has no idea whether this new thing is a good thing since…well…he’s just beginning it. So, I told him to use this book to position the idea of the new thing and then he builds out his new coaching model and then introduces a new book at the time he’s ready to more fully transition into it. Since he’s a go-getter I would suspect he has a few books in his future.
The reason this all became a discussion point with this client is he came to me with his book already written and couldn’t come up with the right title and tagline for his book. I know this is a tricky thing for many authors. So you have to back up a bit and think about your goals…what do you expect the book to do for you? Your content…would it be misleading to give the book a title that doesn’t align with the content? Yes! Where are you selling the book? If you are selling the book online then you need to be sure that whatever is in the title and subtitle is equal to the keywords people use to find your book. If you’re a fitness instructor or coach then people will punch these words in a search engine to look for you. Are these words on your book? If I have no idea who you are then I might stumble upon you because your book title matched my keyword search on Amazon as I’m shopping around for books. If you have a key word that you use in your work you might just title the book this one keyword but those new to you might not find you. If you are out engaging audiences then each time you speak you announce your book. They will know you as the guy with the green shoe on the book cover or something like that if they can’t remember your name. They might remember that key word if you say it over and over in your speech. You see…you have to have a catch, a brand, a platform, a thing…
So, I want you to make a list of all the keywords for how people would find you. Are you a coach? A teacher? A speaker? Once you make that list then I want to challenge you to find a way to get the most important words in your book title, subtitle, tagline, or book description. For the life of your book these words will serve you because its how people will find you.
OK, so what about the interior content? I want to get you aligned with the why and the how. Why did you write this and how will you share your message? If you plan to motivate, lead, to speak, to tell a story…build that message into your book. Think in advance how you are sharing the message. If you are speaking then put parts of your speech in your book. If you are teaching then align it with the platform of the program or workshop you are teaching. Not only is this important for that environment but all the content can be leveraged for all the communication channels. Are you going to create YouTube videos? How about a podcast?
You move into these social media platforms later and you do the work now…guess what? You will never run out of content. Just open up a book and say…cool there is todays content! Now when you are ready to shift up the content you write that new book and build out that platform. Cool, huh?
You see, the largest challenge most people have when they move into new platforms for sharing is “what in the world do I say?” This is where doing the work now is so important. You are not just writing a book, but you can use this time to think smart about the output after this large commitment of time and money. Your book is far more like a business than a story when you see this right. It doesn’t mean that you have to write a business book but it does mean that you should be thinking about the business of your book. If you’re writing a novel and you want to become a writer then you need to get into the business of writing books. You will now be promoting yourself as an author. If you are writing a memoire you have to know that unless you are famous you may have a hard time marketing your book of personal stories and experiences outside of your family unless you find groups of like-minded people to share with…and here you may still be in the business of selling books. Are you ok with that? What is your goal? How can you position such a book to move you closer to your goal?
It’s my job as a coach to tell you that you have to prepare for what you plan to do with your book with both the content and the approach. You really have to get a clear platform. The more clear you can get with your platform the more clear you can get with the approach. The way I explain this is that you have a tool bag and you want to build a house. The book is the hammer but you can’t build an entire house with just a hammer. So, let’s start with the plan and the blueprint and start filling our tool bag with a few more tools.
One of the things I was the most challenged with when I wrote was that I’m far more diverse than one book would be able to represent. I find this to be a challenge with many authors. Really this is a good problem to have now that I’ve moved into becoming an author of multiple books. I don’t have just one platform. I don’t know really that many of us are that one-dimensional really. I have my first two books - Finding Your Inner Truth and Stepping Into Your Becoming that are more experiential and spiritual in nature. But a theme that follows through these books is my love for my dogs. On the surface these two books are congruent, but then my third book is a book about natural dog health - it’s called Healing Your Dog Naturally. But, upon closer attention one might notice that my subtitle of that book ties into subjects in the first two - Discovering the Connection Between You and Your Best Friend. And my tagline is A Transformational Guide to Well-Being. So, they really do connect. When producing this podcast I considered that talking about writing a book in a general sense was great as an overall process but as time has gone on I’m realizing some common themes in how writers struggle or thrive. This are related to every subject but all come back into the process, trials, errors, issues, challenges, victories, and triumphs of the book publishing process and the end result when holding that book in your hand.
For the sake of this podcast I said let’s just make it more organic because writing a book is an art…what the process looks like is similar but also slightly unique to each author. The subjects our authors write about is crazy varied so the topics we discuss here might be about books one day and who knows…spirituality or dog health another. And honestly, I’ve considered writing my next book soon and it’s not going to be another book about writing a book. I’ve considered focusing on the topic of overcoming or thriving amongst obstacles. We’ve all had a global and collective obstacle to navigate recently. And you know…the topic you write about will be even that more popular if it’s in alignment with what’s trending. So how you position it and when you launch it does matter.
It’s my goal to get you aligned with your why during either the idea-gathering phase or before you get to far along writing. No matter the genre or subject matter I want to see you make the most out of this effort and come more clearly and powerfully into your message. I want to take you beyond just the words in your manuscript. I wouldn’t be doing my job as a coach if I didn’t challenge you to write with clarity and purpose.
I will leave you with this quote from Abraham Hicks:
“Most rarely align with their true power because it seems illogical to them that there is power in relaxation, in letting go, or in love or joy or bliss. Most people do not understand that their power lies in releasing resistance which is the only obstacle to their true power.”
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