Hey Guys! Nicole Gabriel here! I’m the host of the Let’s Get Your Book Published podcast. I’m also the author multiple books, a Book Designer, and a Publishing Coach as well as an intuitive Business Coach.
I’ve been in the book business for awhile now and I’ve helped many clients get their book published. On this podcast I share personal stories, client stories, and the truths about the publishing industry.
I love what I do but I don’t like seeing people being taken advantage of or given false promises on the journey to publishing their book.
I do my best to keep things real here and that means I won’t build you up with false promises of fortune and fame to influence you for my benefit. If you are a new author, you might not understand the importance of this, but the greatest gift I can give you is that I help you align the content of your book so that it returns the greatest value personally and professionally.…this approach helps to build your platform. Ultimately, I shoot to give you the truth about the publishing industry from a girl that’s been there and done that.
I was looking for a quote to begin this podcast, but I didn’t find the exact one I was looking for…it’s one that talks about how we only hear what we need to know.
A while back I was chatting with a client about the entire scope of writing a book and how I can help guide her. I mentioned a few facets of the project that later she asked me if I knew more about. Of course we had already had this conversation a few times but clearly it was not something she had the capacity to hear then because she didn’t recall having already talked about it. She was initially overwhelmed with the entire process but she so eloquently breezed through without ever letting me know what she missed…that was until she asked me about it later…then, I knew she never heard it all the previous times I mentioned it.
This scenario reminded me that we never have the capacity to hear any more than we need at the moment we need it. But, while I was looking for that quote I never found, I stumbled upon this one worth a mention. It’s long, but thoughtful so let me share…
“How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desires, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? If you listen through the screen of your desires, then you obviously listen to your own voice; you are listening to your own desires. And is there any other form of listening? Is it not important to find out how to listen not only to what is being said but to everything – to the noise in the streets, to the chatter of birds, to the noise of the tramcar, to the restless sea, to the voice of your husband, to your wife, to your friends, to the cry of a baby? Listening has importance only when one is not projecting one’s own desires through which one listens. Can one put aside all these screens through which we listen, and really listen?”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
So, my point in sharing this is that a book is quite a journey of self discovery, passion, pain, triumph, resilience, and it will stretch every facet of your being in more ways than you can imagine when you sit down to write…after you write…and, when you market, sell, and speak after you’ve produced it!
There are many things that have to come together in the process of writing a book, and many new authors tend to think of the writing and compiling as the tough stuff. But, it isn’t generally til they have the book in hand where then then ask, “now what?”
Since I’ve been in this business a while I’ve seen many things from many different perspectives. For new authors that have never done this before, they just don’t know what they don’t know. At no fault of their own, they just have no idea what they are missing or what should come next.
Many new authors go through the entire process up to the point of holding the book in their hand and then have no idea how to market, sell, advertise, or distribute the book. Most have not given this much thought up to this point. But, personally, in my coaching model, this is exactly what should be talked about the moment we begin speaking and a plan should be put in place well before you start to write.
Why are you doing this and what is your goal? If you haven’t thought out a marketing plan or aligned your content accordingly and you are holding your book in your hand clueless, then we are going to have to begin where you are. But, if I caught you early enough in the process, then ideally you should have planned all of this well before this point. And, do you know the thing I hear most in my day… “Nicole, I really wish I had found you sooner!” I put myself out there to be found the best that I can, but its always a challenge to keep up with the amount of work I have coming in and also showcasing myself. If you are an entrepreneur then you know what I mean. And let me apologize in advance for not being more easily found. But we’ve found each other now so let’s see what we can do from this point forward.
Unfortunately, a good percentage of authors end up producing a book with no real agenda. They just get through the process and then move forward trying to sell a few books. It’s generally a month or two after this where they begin to realize their level of success….or lack there of. Like many things, until you’ve learned how it all works you just can’t know all the details. And, I can tell you that not much of what I see my competitors selling is truly meaningful until you’ve reached this point and you learn that for yourself. If you are confused while holding your book in your hand then I can tell you that you haven’t hired a good coach.
I get many clients that come in just for design work and I’m not a part of the strategy in defining their platform or I may have no understanding what inspired them to take this journey to begin with. I’m not privy to the particular agenda behind their book and I may never understand their goals. I’m just hired to paint a pretty picture and design a nice cover and get it laid out for print. So, I don’t have a lot of room for guiding them in how to strategically write content, position branding, or implement marketing and sales channels. I miss my opportunity for influence and I’m simply a designer at this point.
If this is the case, when they come to me confused, I know that they have missed out on key strategic opportunities. But, in all fairness, those that are new to the process just don’t know what they don’t know. It always kinda breaks my heart when a new author moves into creative elements while still not clear on their initiative. No one should be this far along and asking “what’s next?”. So, let's back up a bit and let me guide you at a high-level in terms of how I’d see this optimally playing out and then where we go from here…
Before you produce your book you should know what your goals are. If you are planning to use your book to coach, teach, train, or consult with clients then you need to build this model out well before you write the book. The book will create awareness of you and what you have to offer so you’ve got to have this in place before you launch your book. If you launch before the backbone is ready then you come up dry on the book launch. What I mean by this is that you may sell a few books, but you’ve missed some great opportunities for an upsell. You should always have a strategy in place well before you complete writing the book. But, if you are now holding a completed book in your hands, then lets take it from here with a few ideas on what can come next…
You should have likely printed a proof book or may now be preparing to receive your final printed books. Hopefully you’ve hired a distributor and sent some books direct from the printer to them so that you don’t have to pay for shipping twice. But, if you haven’t, you will need to get a relationship set up with a distributor that gets your book into the Ingrams network. I generally help you with this as a part of my coaching program. But, if you are not a client or came in from another resource then you will need to do a bit of research on how to find the best distributor for your needs. There are many distribution networks out there and many have a particular niche of authors that they work with. Some are business book distributors while others are spiritually focused. I can assist you in finding the right one, but it is a good idea to get in with one so that you are always doing things the most professionally. If you aren’t in a distribution network your book will not have the legs necessary to stand out in a crowd and it will not be able to be purchased or sold in bookstores or public libraries. And, if you’ve decided that going with a print on demand system is your approach you will always be labeled as a self published author in the eyes of a pro. You will not be able to sell your self-published kindle print on demand book in bookstores or libraries as it is not considered professional. I often chat with new authors about the disadvantages of going with these print on demand systems but it doesn’t always make since to a new author what the downfalls are. I will save this topic for another discussion, but just know that going with one of these systems has plenty of downfalls.
While your book is off at the printer you can begin working on your marketing materials for the launch, your website, your eBook, business cards, or even your speaker one sheet. There are plenty of things a new author needs to do to begin creating awareness of their book. Of course, I’ve always said, and will continue to say, that your book is just a tool in your overall brand or image tool belt. By this, I mean that it helps solidify your platform.
You should have already begun working through ideas for launching your book, but a simple approach for someone that hasn’t fully integrated a book into their platform might be to start updating your website to create awareness that it is coming, to plan a few events to introduce it, and begin working through a few marketing pieces that you can hand over to a podcaster or other interviewer so they can showcase you on their platform well before the event. You want to make it easy for interviewers to find you and all of the relevant information they need to introduce you. Making them find details about you without providing those in advance may mean they don’t turn up the most professional author photo or bio. So it’s best to prepare something professionally that is a quick hand off to showcase you professionally. It’s easy to send people over to your website, but the thing many miss in this whole process is that your image is at stake. How you show up and the quality of your materials says a lot about you. So, yes, print the hard cover book, have a professionally designed website, get professional business cards, and always have collateral materials available to hand off to a potential interviewer or new client. Sure you can save money and do the minimum but image is everything. If you can afford the best, do the best. Sure you can save money printing soft copy books but how does that make you look? Are you displaying yourself as the most professional candidate for the gig?
Not only do I work with my clients as a Book Coach, but I also work as a Graphic Designer so I’m kinda a one-stop shop here. A good percentage of my clients work with me to coach them on the process of writing and publishing a book, then work with me for the design and layout. But, I have a background in brand management and marketing so many of my clients stick with me well beyond the book to develop many of their collateral materials for the business around their book. Let’s talk about what some of these items are.
The top 5 support collateral materials for your book are:
It used to be that a new author would post on a public billboard or print flyers to hand out around their local town or city to introduce the launch of a new book, or perhaps would do a book signing in a location selling their book, but today we don’t have as many of these opportunities. This is both due to the pandemic as well as the closure of many bookstores. Therefore, the most effective way to launch a book these days is via social media or guest appearances on a podcast or video interview. Most people don’t necessarily care about the fact that you wrote a book and many won’t care so much about the content…or for that matter, they won’t even read it! What most people want these days is entertainment. Can you entertain a listener or watcher as a guest on a show? If you can hold someones attention, and they like what you are offering, then they might join you in your ecosystem and purchase one of your books. But, no matter where you show up, you’ve got to show up professionally and with a goal in mind. It is assumed you will have the basics to represent yourself.
Let’s begin by talking about the book launch flyer.
Book Launch Flyer
The flyer is not just “hey here’s my book” but it’s a one sheet that tells everyone what your book is about and how to find it. This will usually be just one page showcasing the front cover of your book; a write up about your book (generally this is already on the about the book flap); then it will highlight all the details on your book like the ISBN Number, the page count, if it’s hard or soft copy, who the publisher and/or distributor are, the library of congress control number, the price for each format, if you have an ebook or audio book, and then finally, the best place to buy your book.
A book business card will usually showcase the front cover of the book on one side and your personal information on the other
Social Media Banners
Once you have your book in hand and you’re ready to begin selling it you can update your social media banners. Many new authors make the mistake of doing pre-sales. Personally this is not something that I support as it looks like the author is struggling to complete the project and is looking for financial help to do so. I don’t find it to be professional to begin taking orders for your book until you can fulfill orders. So keep this in mind as you begin marketing your book. Most professional authors don’t want to manage that logistical nightmare of holding orders til they can be fulfilled. It’s best to hit the ground running as soon as you not only have a marketing plan in place but you also have a shipment of books in hand. But, as far as social media goes, you can announce that you are an author and you now have your book for sale and where to get it. I also think it’s always best to sell the thing the book makes people aware of because this is a great opportunity to create a fresh new look and feel to how you do your business. The book is just a way to introduce that thing you are an expert of.
Speaker One Sheet
If you are looking to do speaking of any kind now that you are an author, or you have been doing speaking and the book is being used to bring new life into your platform, then you should have a speaker one sheet. The Speaker One Sheet showcases you as the speaker, what you speak about, the break out classes you teach, and the book or other materials that are a part of your entire ecosystem. Many times the speaker sheet will have a picture of you on stage in front of an audience. As a new author you may not have this kind of experience yet or the book might be the tool to begin speaking and therefore you should use this as an opportunity to highlight the key talks you give and why you are an expert in the thing you speak on. Are you entertaining? Are you informative? Are you a teacher? How do you want to position yourself and your brand. The Speaker One Sheet will often times be used to get speaking gigs and might be mailed with the book as part of your pitch to get the gig. It will immediately speak who you are and what your talk is. It will have a look and feel that is your brand image.
Since many in person events are no longer happening, it’s not as likely you will have an event banner, but many new authors are now using these as a backdrop for their zoom calls. You can get these designed to match your brand’s look and feel and when things open back up you can take it with you for your in person book signing events or speeches.
So, now that you are done with the book writing, editing, and design phases of your book… the next steps will create all kinds of awareness on how smart you have been with identifying your content, building out your platform, and synchronizing your overall campaign and message. This is the culmination point of all your efforts. What you do next showcases how aligned you’ve been with your “why” as you begin to move into your “how”.
You see, when you know your audience and how to speak to them, you’ve likely done that all along. Now that your book is complete, you should simply need to figure out how you broadcast your value-added message to your audience. This is the point where you become aware of your passion for your topic because with no true passion you will not get very far showcasing your message.
If you’ve written your book with the idea that you have no idea who will read it and you’re standing there with it in your hands not knowing what to do then perhaps you’ve not been aligned as your wrote out the content. I see this all the time with poor coaching models. Many systems or coaches will tell you to just get the book done with no real accountability on how aligned you are with your topic, your content, or your audience. It’s one thing to get your book done by following some generic system and another to write it out very comprehensively so that it positions you to build out your platform, broaden or enhance your life… or the life of your audience.
With all this being said, I always prefer to work with new clients before they begin writing so that we get you aligned right from the start. However, I’m happy to help you wherever you are at on your book project. Check out my website for some great downloads…including an eBook of my book Let’s Get Your Book Published book. Listen to a few podcasts then give me a call to get started. You can contact me on my website or call or text me direct at (808)280-5559. I look forward to working with you!
As always - wishing you peace, love, and light!
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