Jenny Hudson, owner of Merrimack Media, a self-publishing company, used to think that publishing a paperback book was the right solution for everyone who wanted to get the word out about their expertise. After eight years of working with authors and learning what succeeds, she’s changed her mind. She still believes that publishing is definitely the thing that is going to help your business, but it may not be the first thing that you do. There are steps you may want to take to develop your audience first while you develop your content, but remember, publishing a powerful card to play to get the life you want. See the video below that addresses some of the issues and solutions and see the post below. Learn more
Should you publish? The fast answer is maybe not at first. As owner of Merrimack Media, a self-publishing company, I used to think that publishing a paperback book was the right solution for everyone who wanted to get the word out about their expertise, but after eight years of working with authors and learning what succeeds, I’ve changed my mind. Admittedly, there is nothing like handing someone your book or selling your book at the back of the room after your speaking gig. But they’re some needed steps to take to take before you get there. Not everyone has the right content or the right budget for a book. Most people I talk to would LOVE to have a best-seller and be a sought-after speaker. You’ve worked hard on developing your story and the knowledge you want to share with the world, but how do you know which medium will be the most effective to get you the attention that you deserve? Here’re some tips for assessing what you have and figuring out what to do first. Surprise. The book might be the last thing you produce.
- Do you have a skill that you are teaching? Of course, you can put this into a book and self-publish it, but wait: unless you already have a following, you may have a tough time selling it in today’s overcrowded marketplace. One of the most powerful ways of developing a following is to produce a series of videos that highlight the points and techniques you are trying to communicate. What if you produce your videos first, use the power of the YouTube search engine combined with the right social media platforms to get them noticed. Your videos can be used effectively as part of your blog posts, which leads me to my next point.
- Blogging has been around for a long time. By now you have an inkling that you should have a blog, or if you do have one, chances are you don’t get to it as often as you’d like. (Guilty here.) But did you know that besides being a great way of bringing people to your website through metadata, your blog posts can easily be imported to create an ebook (or paperback)? Create an outline of what you might want to eventually see in your book, and voila, you now have a list of titles of blog posts that you need to create.
- Publishing eBooks are a quick way for you to develop a product to send prospective clients, use as a lead magnet in a marketing campaign, and, if you market them properly, be the source of income, leads, and new business. You can easily place active hyperlinks in your eBook as well as video and in some cases, animation. Ebooks can be easily updated with no expense. You just need a professional cover (very important) and text of a minimum of about 10,000 words. This is a much easier entry than a paperback, and in some cases is a more effective medium for getting your message out there. There are lots of reviewers and websites that promote only ebooks. Through Kindle, you can do special promotions to raise awareness, all at no cost.
- Paperbacks are living, physical proof that you are an author. If your book is professionally designed, it says a lot about you and goes a long way towards validating your expertise, when you hand someone a copy. You cannot duplicate this with an ebook, but an ebook can test the market and develop your following before you self-publish your paperback. Having an audience that is receptive to your work, before you publish is imperative since it is tough to start from ground zero, scrambling to sell your book afterwards. The cost to create a really competitive book may not be recapped unless you take the right steps beforehand.
Hopefully, this gives you insight into some steps to take to achieve your goals. Once you are a successful author, you will get those speaking engagements (paid), but for now, look for opportunities to get in front of audiences with your book, blog, or videos; whatever you are creating to get your message into the world, even if it is unpaid, but have lots of business cards and some kind of an offer for future engagement, if only getting names on your all-important email list.
If writing doesn’t come easily to you, there are lots of techniques that you can learn to get usable content. I teach people to talk to their book or to use video as a tool to articulate their content. Some important items you should add to your toolbox: A killer bio, a website/blog, a good video, a social media presence.