As someone who’s had a podcast now for a few years I’m watching the birth of many new shows pop up as a result us all being locked in at home. Some of them are really great and I hope they stick around.
Podcasting is a great way to communicate if you have something to say, but I’m kind of looking at this like the gym after new years. It will boom and then everyone will get tired of all the work it takes to keep up with fresh new ideas, finding guests, editing, and production. Many may also begin to phase out when they lack quantifiable results or they’ll simply just go back to work.
Having a podcast may not produce a direct return on your investment but it’s a great tool for creating awareness of the other things you do. Since it’s not supported monetarily the only way you can gauge results is on visitor numbers and just sorta hope you can get them to convert. But, what are you converting them to? Have you built the “thing”?
It might be said that podcasting is easier than figuring out the book writing process and it’s far more personable and immediate to share your message, but like writing a book, if you don’t have a plan for it it will not produce results. Information is cheap as they say, but if what you are discussing doesn’t have a backbone then you’ve just invested a bunch of time with no financial return.
Writing a book (or, at least, the coaching systems to help you) are also booming in this time. But, this isn’t an apples to apples comparison as there are many different motives behind authoring and self-publishing a book. The book gives you a lasting impression and it will stick around long after you leave this lifetime. But there is a difference between a professional book and a self-published book. You see, the professional book is the book that gives you a leg up in your area of interest.
The self-published book is more a bucket list kinda thing or it’s a memoire, novel, or training manual…it’s the idea that it doesn’t have to look like a New York Times book to get it’s message or story across. Generally this style of book is under a limited budget and sometimes pressed for time. This might be the indy author for example. Perhaps it’s a love story, a thriller, or a romance novel. The professional book is in an entirely different league.
If you were to punch in “self publishing” in a search engine you’d find a plethora of material and much of it would be geared toward fast printing and run through publication systems with print on demand output. This material would also generally lead you to believe the success of your book is all about marketing, sales, distribution channels, and techniques that will lead you in the direction or mindset of selling copies and getting exposure.
Now of course this is important, but honestly you could spend thousands here and trust me, these advertisers know it too! You can easily get over your head and buried trying to sell a measly $25 book. Imagine the cost to produce and the time and money it takes to get a decent return on your original investment with a $25 sale. Your profit might be just $5 a book. It takes a lot of $5 sales to make a good income!
This game of book sales or gaining exposure is time consuming. You’ll nearly have to quit your day job to manage book positioning and sales with little return. Even as an ex corporate marketing guru, this approach is geared to an audience I honestly don’t work much with. I would rather see you using your time wisely.
Let me tell you who I do work with…
I prefer to work with the “professional” book writer. This author knows the value of a purposefully aligned book. The book is to get on stage to speak, to present workshops, to teach, train, to inspire or motivate with influence. The book is top notch for image and branding with quality content, superior design and layout, and professionally printed on superior paper with a hard cover and jacket.
A “real” book takes six to nine months to produce because it’s used to smartly position and brand you as it also aligns with your core income or business. It’s your business plan and, as such, its appearance is top notch. It’s like when you wear a suit over casual business attire. Its content matters. It’s look matters.
The system I have designed will teach you the typical roles a publishing house would play and you can choose those you can play or the ones you might farm out for help. Then you define the content so that it’s leverage-able in all communication and initiatives going forward. The content is king here because it’s all re-purposed in all speaking, coaching, teaching, training, and online or social media communications. When you do this right you can package your offerings. You can build it all out intentionally to be leveraged for an online training program, YouTube videos, or podcasting. You also are smart about how and when to launch your book so that it corresponds seasonally, professionally, and intentionally.
You see, the barrier to entry may be low, but creating a book that looks professional and is indistinguishable from both a low-budget self published system or even keeping on par with a "real" or traditional publishing house can be a bit more difficult and requires a more sizable investment of both time and money.
This approach isn’t for all authors, but it is for smart business owners, entrepreneurs, and top tier professionals. This is not a book in a weekend kind of book, nor is the program or coaching I offer. The investment you make upfront by properly positioning your content, your platform, and launching with an aligned marketing plan will pay for itself over and over again in your future. If you do the heavy lifting and handwork now you can save so much time later. Imagine showcasing sections of your book or referring to chapters so that your time is freed up for prospecting or individual coaching or relationship building. And by documenting concepts you have a repeatable system defined for years to come.
OK guys, I’ve given you a bit of a reality check on the differences between a “real” or “professional” book and a self-published book. I hope you can see the difference and you can now stop looking aimlessly around all over the internet for advice. If you're an indy author by all means…keep looking around, as you’re in the business of selling books and there are some great tools and advice to be found. But, if you’re ready to up your game then slow down, take some time and move into a professional book.
Always fun to share…until next time!
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