If you’re like 81% of Americans, someday you’d like to write a book. But, if you’re like about 99% of those aspiring authors, you won’t. Thanks to NSA Carolinas for presenting “Author Buffet: All Things Book” with book publishing tips for speakers and consultants from expert authors like Stan Phelps who gave us the would-be author stats.
As the VP of Membership Experience for NSA Carolinas, it’s my honor to serve alongside an inspiring group of board members including Mike Mooney president, Stan Phelps past president, Larry Long JR programs, Kevin Snyder president-elect, Jasmin Haley marketing, Russ Seagle, John Edwards, and Peter Agiovlassitis.
“Guarantee: When you publish a book, your speaking fees will go up.”
My own author experience includes contributing two chapters to two best-selling books published by Entrepreneur.com: the PR chapter in Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars and the LinkedIn chapter in Success Secrets of the Social Media Marketing Superstars. Thanks to Mitch Meyerson, the lead author, for including me in both books along with many of the world’s top marketing experts.
Here are my notes to inspire you and motivate you to get started on your publishing path. Apologies to every speaker for any inaccuracies, especially Pat Haggerty who presented the editing segment. Where are you on your author path?
Book Publishing Tips for Speakers and Consultants from Expert Authors
Stan Phelps How to write a book in four easy steps.
Step One: Come up with a title
Tip: Less is more, keep your title to one to three words, and make your subtitle as LONG as you’d like.
Listen to Stan’s Growing Social Now interview about how to be FLAWSOME.
Step Two: Create a cover for your book
least expensive – Canva
middle – 99designs or crowdspring $200-300
high budget route – hire a designer to concept and design your book.
Pro Tip: BoxShot is an easy way to create 3D versions of your book with cover and spine images.
Step Three: Set a release date
It can be two weeks or 20 years, but you have to draw the line in the sand.
Traditional publishing is a 12-18 month process.
Independent publishing can happen in as little as 5 days.
If you’re talking about a book or thinking about writing a book, that’s all you’re doing. You’re not writing the book.
Step Four: Tell Everyone!
You have to tell everyone you know, like, and trust about your book. Show them the cover and tell them the release date.
Best Approach to Writing a Book: 3 Story Acts
WHY your topic is important – 5-6 chapters
WHAT case studies – framework for what you’re proposing – 7 points, 7 chapters
HOW where do you start – step 1, 2, 3, 4
Patrick Haggerty Book Editing Process
Goal: write the most amount of content with the fewest possible words.
Five Part Book Editing Process
- Write the book
- Proofread it
- Content reader
- Disinterested party
- Word nerd
Book Editing Reference Books
Strunk & White Elements of Style
Truth: You can’t proof your own work.
Bruce Barbour Three Ways to Publish: Traditional, Hybrid, and Self
Guarantee: When you publish a book, your speaking fees will go up.
Traditional Book Publishing for Speakers and Consultants
You don’t pay for anything. The publisher does design, printing, and sales. You get a royalty for every book sold.
You assign all rights to the publisher: title, price, and content. It takes about 18 months to bring the book to market. The copyright goes to the publisher in all forms for the life of the copyright, which is your life plus 70 years. You have to buy books at retail price for your own use, or about $8 for a $20 book.
Amazon sells 70% of books sold today. All traditional houses work with bookstores and Amazon.
You can’t get a book publisher to look at your proposal without a literary agent. And, you’ll need to have a huge social media following to create interest.
Hybrid Book Publishing for Speakers and Consultants
Mixing a little bit of traditional and a little bit of self-publishing, hybrid publishing is a viable option for speakers.
The publisher gets your books in bookstores, pays a little bit more royalty, and gives you a contract you can terminate in 30 days.
Investment is usually around $10,000 or 2500 copies at $4 each.
Self-Publishing for Books and Authors
The average self-published book sells 256 copies.
The keyword here is “self.” You’re the publisher. How much do you know about publishing?
You control everything and get 100% margin after the cost of the book. You can sell through Amazon.
Most bookstores will not sell a self-published book. Some will with a 50% commission.
Jane Jenkins Herlong Book Marketing for Speakers
Checklist for Self-Publishing for Speakers and Consultants
- A GOOD BOOK
- Great copy editing
- Grammatical Editing
- Great Cover
- Launch Team
Everything you do should funnel into product sales. Reinvest your book sale proceeds in marketing your book and your speech.
Self-Publishing Book Budget for Speakers $5,000
Book cover $350
Copy editing $1,000
Grammatical Editing $500
Use the balance $3150 for Amazon Advertising
Pre-sales are huge! Reviews are huge!
Patti Zorr Launching Your Book for Speakers and Authors
Your book is your tool to move readers up your value ladder.
Recipe for a successful book launch
- Attract readers and sell more books while building your list
- Identify readers, so you can nurture time and ask for reviews
- Monetize – move readers up your value ladder so you make money with your book, not from your book
The Secret Sauce
- Lead with value
- Talk about your book
- Give yourself time to warm up your audience just like movie trailers warm up the audience, start talking about the book 30-60 days before launch
- Systematize your book launch marketing campaigns
QR Codes Strategy for Book Sales
Think about strategic places you can place QR codes throughout to make your book an immersive experience.
Include Sales Pages Inside Your Book
- Company Information
Kevin C. Snyder What differentiates you?
How you position yourself as a professional speaker is key.
Meeting planners have options.
Having a book differentiates you from other professional speakers.
Writing a book is more about time than anything.
Ask: what’s my long-term goal? Without a book, you’re leaving money on the table.
Keynote Speaker Priorities
1 – Great speech
2 – Website
3 – Video
4 – One sheet
5 – Book
All can be done in six months.
Book Marketing for Professional Speakers
Feature your book on your website. To encourage engagement and show credibility, add a popup to give free access to a pdf, not the book.
In presentations, use a quote from your book and show a QR code for a complimentary copy.
You can measure how good your keynote presentation was by measuring how many people subscribed to your email and are connected now and in the future.
Meeting planners select the speaker by ruling everyone else out. What are you doing to stay top of mind six months or a year later?
Having a great speech is a prerequisite to being a great speaker. When you have a book, meeting planners can purchase your services with an additional budget line.
Start building your list as part of the book pre-launch strategy. Give away a chapter. Entice people with extra resources and tools.
Kevin offers a free 30-minute consultation for anyone who leaves a verified Amazon review of his book “Paid to Speak.”
Eddie Jones The Top 10 Mistakes Every Author Needs to Know Before Clicking “Publish”
1. Pay Too Much to Publish
Many self-publishing companies only want your money. If you pay any money, you’re self-publishing. Tip: Hybrid publishers offer speakers and consultants a clever way to expand reach.
2. Pay Too Much to Promote
Develop a plan with strategic goals so you can measure the effectiveness of your promotional efforts. If you’re a speaker, it may be okay to spend ad dollars to keep your book on top in your Amazon categories.
3. Hire a Friend for a Cover Design
Hire a pro and listen to their advice for cover and layout and fonts. Know Amazon KDP and Ingram, Lightening Source print on demand template, colors in your genre, and trending cover designs. [Jane says one of the cover trends is your books should all look the same.]
4. Failure to Hire a Content Editor
Include at least three round of proofs edits, each by a different proofreader. Enlist friends to be beta readers. Your book is only as good as the words on the page. Hire a pro with publishing house experience. Get macro and micro edits. Each proofreader needs to see a different version: Microsoft Word, pdf, and print proof copy.
5. Think Your Book Will Sell Itself
Selling a book is hard work. It’s a business and you are the business owner. Know the top 20 keyword phrases in your genre. Take the basic steps, most free, from Amazon’s book marketing action guides to get your book ready for release.
6. Try to Sell in Bookstores
Distribution through IngramSpark gets your book in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, IndieBound, and WalMart.
7. Price Your Book Too High
The consumer determines perceived value. Only after your book is established and selling well, can you raise the price. Be humble and price your book at a price point where you can make some money and get reviews.
8. No eBook Version
If you write non-fiction, price your ebook at $3.99 to $4.99 and DO NOT place it in KDP Select
Distribute non-fiction across multiple channels through IngramSpark. A good-selling non-fiction book may lead to print sales.
9. Think a Major Publisher Wants a Self-Published Book
If you’re self-published and sell thousands of copies with a $2.50 profit on each copy, why would you WANT to give up 70-80% of the income? If your self-published book does well, leverage that success into a second book.
10, Publish a Poorly Written Book
Sometimes an editor cannot fix a manuscript. Resist the urge to see your name in print. Instead, learn the craft. Buy great writing books and follow the expert advice.
What’s keeping you from writing your book? Is it writer’s block or something else?
In John Edwards’ presentation about overcoming writer’s block, he suggested you write the first chapter last. That’s great advice that gives you permission to start writing the easiest chapters first.
If you need help with procrastination, check out this “Growing Social Now” podcast with Dr. Pauline Wallin. And, for a way to write in bursts, follow Allie Plieter’s chunky method.
As someone who’s written 1200+ blog posts, I can tell you this: you can’t write and edit at the same time. It’s like having one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake. You’ll never get anywhere. So, write first and edit later. Or, just start talking.
Did you know that every 60-minute speech is about 7800 words? You can record and transcribe your keynote speech as a starting point. The target length for a nonfiction book is about 40,000 words. With five hours of content, you have a rough draft.
Thanks to NSA Carolinas and all of the speakers for an enlightening and motivating program!
Where are you in your book publishing journey?
Wondering what you should do next? Let’s talk! Book your idea session.
About Barbara Rozgonyi, Digital Marketing Trailblazing Keynote Speaker
Barbara Rozgonyi is a nationally recognized digital marketing leader and international speaker. Barbara is the founder of CoryWest Media, an innovative creative consultancy, co-founder of Social Media Club Chicago, founder of wiredPRworks.com – launched in 2006 and recently ranked at #11 in top PR blogs, and an avid podcaster. Her podcast Growing Social Now launched in 2021. Barbara’s work as a digital expert has been featured on Inc.com, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, Crain’s Chicago Business, and more.
Image: The Arts Club of Chicago Library by Barbara Rozgonyi 2022