23 Apr Write YOUR Book! (5 Keys to Writing Your First Book!)
5 Keys to Writing Your First Book
We’re talking about getting YOUR book written and published! We’re doing a deep dive on the subject of writing and publishing a book. Have you ever thought about writing a book? I’m betting you have. I’m hoping you have because I think every person has at least one book in them but, hey, if you’re a DREAM THINK DOer, that probably means you’ve got five, maybe 15, maybe 25 books in you. And what I’ve learned about people is that they need to just learn a system for writing a book. Once they have that system down, it is entirely possible to not just write one, but many books.
Listen To The Podcast:
Lise Cartwright’s FREE resource for DREAM THINK DO-ers:
Specific Steps for Writing Your First Book!
Amazon’s Self-Publishing: kdp.amazon.com
5 Keys to Writing Your First Book
I’m going to be telling stories about people who have written books and turned them in Bestsellers. So, we’re going to dive into strategies that they have used, strategies that I have used to be able to achieve best sellers, but more importantly, get that book done and get that book out there. We’re going to dive into specific steps that you can start taking immediately. How does that sound? We’re going to get into the nitty gritty and have some fun as we do. How about that? Are you in? I hope so.
And I’ll tell you what. I’m going to tell you more about this at the end but just to tell you right now, go to mitchmatthews.com/224, there’s going to be a lot of different resources I’m going to reference some different tools that you can use. But one of these tools you’re going to want to grab right away and that is a workbook specifically designed for the DREAM THINK DO family by Lise Cartwright.
Now, you may remember Lise Cartwright. I have interviewed her I think three times now and she is a multi-time best-selling author. I mean, she’s had best sellers, at least 28 now, best sellers that she has written and then self-published. She’s a rock star and she’s a huge fan of DREAM THINK DO.
So, she has offered up … she has created a special workbook just for DREAM THINK DOers. I want you to go get it. It is absolutely free and she actually will also help you out in different ways, that kind of stuff. You can find out all sorts of free resources from Lise. So, just go to mitchmatthews.com/224 and you’ll see it right there, super easy to click through and grab that workbook just for us DREAM THINK DOers. Go do it. Go grab it.
Okay, now, let’s dive into some stuff here. Okay, so writing books … I once saw a quote from Tony Morrison that I absolutely love. It just grabbed me. She said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Whoosh! How about that, right? Like, that is the truth from somebody who’s written a ton of incredibly impactful books.
I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing that maybe you’ve just had that feeling inside, that knowing that … Maybe it’s a memoir. Maybe it’s some stories from your life. Maybe it’s some things that you’ve learned through some of the challenges that you’ve faced over time.
Or, maybe you’ve just learned a set of strategies for something you’re like freakishly good at and you just want the world to know those strategies. You want to share them with the world.
Or maybe it’s something you’ve learned about your faith and it’s just made a huge impact on you and you just want to reach other people and help them to experience the same kinds of things.
I’m not sure what it is for you, but I’m guessing there’s that knowing, that knowing that you’re supposed to write at least one book. Maybe you feel called to it and it’s just that there’s that longing. You’re not quite, you can’t even explain it but you just know it’s there. Or maybe it’s that satisfaction, oh, man, just that thought of having a book done.
I was once told by an author, and I can tell you, this was one of the things that pushed me through to get my first book done, was he told me he’d written about five books when we talked about this and he said to me, “Listen, if you only write the book, if only your kids and maybe someday your grandkids, and someday, your great grandkids read the book, isn’t that enough? Isn’t that enough of a reason to be able to do that?” I was like, “Gosh, yeah, right?” Like, that’s incredible.
My first book, that was Ignite, and just hearing that was what pushed me through. But then, to have it kind of come around and circle back around, I’ll never forget, in the first year that the book was out, it hit best seller status which I’m super honored that it did. We even knocked Oprah out of the top seat for a little while on Amazon which is crazy, so cool, right?
But my favorite, favorite thing that I heard within that first year was a dad wrote to me, sent me an email and said, “Hey, we bought your book,” and he said, “Personally, I just bought if for myself but we were on a big, long road trip and we decided to read it together because the book has a lot of questions in it, getting you to think about your dreams, talking about your dreams and all of that.” And he let me know that his family read through the book on this family trip and talked about their dreams. He was like, “We haven’t done that ever.” He said, “It was so cool.” So, I was like, for me, it’s like doing, so satisfying, right? I want that for you.
Or maybe you know that a book would add to your credibility. Maybe you want to establish yourself as a resource in a particular industry or a particular area and you’re just really good at it and you know that getting a book out there would help you to help others and also be then seen as a more credible source, right? There’s a lot of that, and plus, the satisfaction, the credibility, all of those things.
But also, marketing. I mean, it’s amazing. We had one of the books that I co-wrote with a good friend of mine, and we used it for a while as really a source for our marketing. We put it up on Amazon and people paid three dollars to buy it, you know, load it up on their Kindle or whatever, but there were a ton of different opt ins in the book and that drove people to the website for the training that we were selling at the time. It was amazing what that did. It helped us connect with a lot of great fit people that then went and invested in our training. So, it’s that there’s just so many different reasons to write a book.
It’s also amazing that there are reasons to do it, but there’s also there’s an unlimited number of people that should write a book that maybe don’t think they’re ready or they’re capable. Maybe they’ve never thought of themselves as an author. I think one of my favorite examples of this is Chandler Bolt. I’ve interviewed Chandler a number of times on DREAM THINK DO. He’s one of our favorite episodes a number of times. But he truly is proudly a C+ English student in high school and in college. He never thought of himself as a writer but he was passionate about some subjects. And one of those subjects was productivity.
While he was still in college, he wrote his first book. He partnered up with a buddy of his and they wrote The Productive Person. They took that thing to best seller status on Amazon and really learned how to do that. Then Chandler went on to write a book with his brother, Seth Bolt, who’s also been a guest on DREAM THINK DO, right? And that became a best seller and then he wrote his next book which was How to Not Suck at Writing Your First Book. How awesome is that, right? A great, great book. And then he’s gone on to write five best-selling books, all of which are around subjects that he’s passionate about. But at the same time, he never thought of himself as a writer, but once he found that passion and once he found the systems to do it, it made all the difference. And now Chandler teaches other people how to do it as well.
I mentioned Lise Cartwright as another example. She didn’t think of herself as a writer. But it was something that she started to get into, started to realize that she didn’t have to be Dickens. She actually said on one of the episodes, one of the times I’ve interviewed Lise, episode, let’s see what that was. The episode, I’m going to look it up here because I want you guys to hear it, Episode 15. She was one of my original interviewees, can you believe that?
But she said something on that episode that I absolutely love. She said, “You’re a relative expert in anything that you do on a regular basis.” I’m going to say it again. “You’re a relative expert in anything you do on a regular basis.” And that’s what Lise has done. She’s written 28 bestsellers on everything from overcoming worry to how to work a side hustle, how to get to your first $1000 in your business and numerous books on how to write books. It’s amazing. She even wrote a book on how to get in shape and how to turn your house into a gym even if you don’t have any exercise equipment and it’s done incredibly well. She’s not a noted dietician. She’s not a noted coach or a well-known performance person. She’s just done it for herself and put together a good system for being able to teach others.
So, I just wanted to share some of those examples because it’s a whole new world. The publishing world has really been turned upside down. It’s amazing. The possibilities are limitless. So, I just want to dive into some of these strategies that will help you to get clear on the book, help you to start writing it, help you to get it done and then help you to get it out to the world.
So, I’ll tell you what, we are going to go after five areas. They all start with P because my brain works that way. So, we’re going to talk about passion, person, product, process, and profit, okay? So, that’s where we’re headed. That’s our roadmap, passion, person, product, process, and profit.
So, let’s talk about passion. Now, a lot of people wonder when they start, what do I need to write about, right? Maybe they have a sense of what it is, but they’re not quite sure. This is a big one, right? I always say start with what are you passionate about? What are you passionate about? What’s something that you are passionate about?
Or, maybe an easier question for you is, who are you passionate about? Maybe there’s a specific group of people that you just feel so passionate about that you want to defend, that you want to take care of, that you want to support, that you want to encourage? Maybe it’s not so much the what, maybe it’s the who.
I know I just completed an episode here recently of DREAM THINK DO on how to encourage your kid’s dreams. As I recorded that, man, the response to it has been amazing. But I just realized, man, that’s just an area I’m super passionate about. I knew that before. I love being a dad and all of that. But talking with other parents about their kids and about encouraging their kid’s dreams and all of those things, I just realized, wow, that is something that I’m fired up about, right? That’s kind of the what and the who. I’m fired up about our kids and dreaming.
Maybe you’ve got that same kind of thing. Maybe for you, there’s just this population that you’re super, super excited about or that you want to help in huge, huge ways. I don’t know what it is for you but give that some thought.
Another angle on that question around passion could also be what ticks you off? What makes you mad, right? Because sometimes it’s interesting, some people will say that if you really want to know what you’re passionate about, dig into what pisses you off or what ticks you off, excuse me. It’s that whole thing of being able to say, like, what does tick you off to your core? Because there’s a very good chance that that has probably ticked you off your whole life. Maybe it’s something about injustice, or maybe it’s a particular group that you feel in underserved, right? Or maybe it’s just something that you see in the world that’s not quite right, and you want to fix it. That could be a very, very, good place to start.
And, it’s interesting, I put this out on Facebook here recently to say, “Hey, what questions do you guys have?” And [Megan Primous 00:13:40] put out, “How do you overcome writer’s block?” For me, this is where it starts, is to be able to say, “All right. Who am I passionate about? What am I passionate about? Or what do I want to fix in the world?” Because if I get clear on that, it can help me bust through a whole lot of things, including, but not limited to writer’s block.
So, Megan, I hope that helps but as we go deeper, I think even more of the things that we’re going to be talking about are going to help. So, that’s passion. It starts there, right?
But then we need to go a little bit further. And that is to talk about the person. What I mean by that is to decide who are you writing to? Who are you writing to because that is huge? It’s important, and this goes back to Megan’s question around writer’s block, too, because I think a lot of the reason or one of the main reasons people get locked up as they start to write their book is they start to get unclear about who they are writing to, or they have what I call a grumpy uncle whispering in their ear, right? That grumpy uncle that might just shoot down ideas, or that person who just doesn’t understand what you’re talking about.
Well, I want you to dismiss them totally. I want you to forget about them because you know what’s interesting about writing a book is you don’t want to write a book that appeals to everyone. You don’t. You don’t want to write a book that appeals to everyone. If you do, then that’s, I guarantee you, a direct ticket to writer’s block because you’re going to try to be impressing everyone, helping everyone, taking care of everyone and generally, that tends to make your writing very vanilla and it tends to make it so broad that it’s not going to help anyone.
So, another author that I’ve had on DREAM THINK DO, a guy named John Morgan, brilliant marketing guru, he shared something that’s priceless. He said, “When you’re doing something like this when you’re writing a book when you’re putting something out like this, you don’t focus on the grumpy uncle. You don’t try to reach everyone. You need to remember the 20-60-20 Rule.” Now, we’ve talked about this a couple of different times on DREAM THINK DO, but I’m going to revisit it here because it’s important.
The 20-60-20 Rule is to just remember that with any artist, with any musician, with any actor, with any writer, what we want to do is focus in on the 20%. Because if you look at any given market, we can really divide up any market by the 20-60-20 Rule. The 20% or one of the two 20’s is 20% that will love you. They will adore you, they will eat up everything that you put out there. They are so excited that you are writing this. They need it. They want it. They love your voice. They can’t wait to hear more from you.
And then there’s the 60% and that’s the group of people that are kind of [inaudible 00:16:47], on the fence, maybe not excited about things, probably not excited about much, maybe not excited about life at all. They just kind of meander, right in that middle. They are just kind of the vanillas and that’s just fine, right? We’re not going after them.
And then there’s the other 20%. That’s the 20% that may, in fact, not like you at all. I’m going to even say it. They may hate you, right? And believe it or not, you want that. You want to be able to make some people dislike you. Maybe it’s because you’re so hopeful, or maybe it’s because you’re so positive or strong or maybe it’s because you have an opinion on something, right, and that other 20%, they don’t like it. They don’t like you. They don’t like your message or anything.
Now, some of you, we’re DREAM THINK DOers, right? We want to take care of the world. We love everybody, all of that. So, for some of you, the thought of ticking somebody off or having somebody hate you is kind of uncomfortable. Maybe you don’t like that thought. I mean, and I don’t know that anybody loves that thought, but what’s interesting is if you have that, if that other 20% exists, the haters are going to hate, right?
If they do, what’s amazing is that as they do, what is ironic, interesting and almost happens time and time again is that the 20% that love you will do what? Well, they’ll love you more, right? They’ll come to your aid. They’ll come to your rescue, right? Whether it’s trolling or whether it’s mockers, whoever it is if they’re trying to bust your chops, the people who love you will absolutely step in and love you more, right?
So, 20-60-20, now, what’s interesting is you look at any artist, Taylor Swift as an example, right? If I go into a food court and yell, “Taylor Swift sucks,” right? 20% of the food court is going to totally agree with me and 20% of the food court is going to gouge my eyes out, right?
So, you want that. And what’s amazing is that as your platform grows, as you start to reach more and more people, that 20 to 60 and 20 are still going to hold true but the numbers within each of those groups will just grow as well.
So, don’t write to that person who may not understand what it is you’re writing about. They may not understand your perspective. That’s okay. You’re going to find those people who do, and they’re going to need to hear from you. They’re going to want to hear from you.
Plus the key is to know that person really well. I mean, we’ve talked about one of the other keys to success in marketing and branding anything is that if you can describe that person, the person you’re writing to, that person you’re wanting to serve. If you can describe their problem better than they can, they automatically assume you’re part of their solution.
If your book lays out some stories that help to inspire them, maybe it helps them to feel less lonely, maybe it helps them to realize they’re not the only person on the planet that’s facing that particular challenge, they’re going to want to get to know you better, right? They’re going to want to buy more books. They’re going to want to hang out with you. They’re going to appreciate what you do for them.
Or, maybe you’re writing some non-fiction and you’ve got some specific steps or strategies to help them with their life or their business or a hobby. And they see it and you’re able to describe like, “Oh, I had this challenge, does that sound familiar?” And as that person reads it, they’re like, “Oh, my gosh, this person has a camera in my house. They have a camera in my office. How did they know I was facing this just today?” As they see that, they’re going to be like, “Ah, I want more, I want more.”
So, it’s a beautiful part. So, that’s why we want to get to know that person and write to that person and don’t worry about anybody else. We’re just writing to that person. So, that hopefully will help a little bit. That’s where we’re going, and you’re not writing to everybody just that kind of person.
All right, now, here’s the thing. A number of people started to ask about publishing, self-publishing versus going after kind of the typical route. Jim is an example. He said, “Mitch, this is great but I think it would be beneficial to discuss publishing options, self-publishing or a publisher, pros and cons, etc., etc.”
So, let’s go after that a little bit as we talk about the product here. Now, here’s the thing. As I mentioned earlier as we were talking, the publishing industry has changed dramatically.
It used to be that if you wanted to get your book published, there would be a couple of ways to do it. But really, one primary way is that you would write a chunk of your book, and then you would basically enough to then try to go out and market yourself to an agent.
Oftentimes, you would go and connect with or try to connect with a number of agents and honestly, get shot down a lot, until you found that right agent who would be willing to represent you and then that agent goes out and then represents you to a number of publishing companies and often times those publishing companies would shoot you down until you finally get in.
I know that you know, there’s different lore about different books, whether it’s Harry Potter or Chicken Soup for the Soul, but you’ve probably heard those stories of authors getting turned away, 50, 100 times. Those are great stories, and it’s amazing to then hear the successes and the breakthroughs and all of that.
There’s a lot to be said for that and that can be one way to do it. But just know that if you’re going to do that, it’s going to take time. And then, there’s also going to be the challenge of revenue. Because there are so many people, the agent, the publishing company, the book seller, whether it’s Amazon, Barnes & Noble, whomever, there’s going to be a good chance everybody’s going to take their chunk.
If you go that route, and let’s just say you sell your book, you wind up getting your book into a publisher and that publisher winds up getting that book into Amazon and Barnes & Noble, that’s wonderful. But let’s say it’s a hardcover, and it sells for $20, there’s a good chance that you’ll stand to make $2 or less of that $20, just because there are so many people that are a part of that puzzle.
So, that to me is just one of the reasons that make the self-publishing world so, so, enticing because that’s really where the publishing industry has started to move and that is the world of self-publishing.
Now, it used to mean that self-publishing would be that you would write your book and instead of going and finding a publisher, you would write your book, instead, you would go and find a printer who would then print your book but generally, you would need to print anywhere from 2000, to 5000, to 10,000 copies of your book. Then, you would be in charge of then marketing those books and shipping those books out and all of those things.
In fact, I just talked to an author this week. He’s written a beautiful book. He went that route. It still exists and he said he had about 5000 books sitting in his basement. That is one route to go. There have been some people that have been successful that way.
But I actually suggest a slight tweak to that and that slight tweak is much easier now. It’s something that is called on-demand self-publishing. So, instead of having to go and buy 3000 or 5000 or 10,000 copies of your book and then also have to be responsible for shipping them and all of those things, selling them through a website, all of that, you can simply go with something that Amazon has made available. It used to be createspace.com but Amazon bought it. So, now you can go to kdp.amazon.com. We’ll include all of these links and all of these resources at mitchmatthews.com/224 as well, so you can remember that. But kdp.amazon.com offers you on-demand self-publishing.
Now, there are other options out there, but what’s beautiful about KDP is that it makes it seamless to be able to start selling your books online on Amazon specifically immediately. Now, the numbers vary a little bit but anywhere from 70% to 75% of all books now are sold through Amazon. So, if you’re going to sell your book somewhere, I highly recommend Amazon. And that doesn’t mean you can’t sell it at Barnes & Noble or smaller retailers, but if you go this route, it does mean that you are selling it on Amazon.
Now, what’s beautiful about kdp.amazon.com is you can go there right now. It is an ugly website but it’s rather intuitive. It’s not beautiful and it’s not super easy but it is rather intuitive. You can create an account and then download a template. You can basically go in and decide what size book you want. You download a template. You write your book. You upload the template back up when it’s all done and then you’re able to sell it online on Amazon immediately as a Kindle book or as a paperback. You can even do hardcover but those are a little bit more limited.
Now, what’s beautiful about that is that that allows you a number of things. One, it allows you to retain ownership of all of your content. So, if you have a particular book that you really want to write, and you wonder whether a publisher would really allow you to do that or not, that’s something that you don’t have to worry about because with on-demand self-publishing, you retain all those rights and you can change them however you want to, which is beautiful.
In fact, I have a good friend that’s an author, very, very popular author, very successful author, but the next book that he wants to write is a lot about his faith. He wants to talk about Christianity and his take on Jesus and the Bible. His publisher is not a huge fan of that. He’s had business books up to this point and they’re not real comfortable with it. In fact, they’ve told him no. That’s really frustrating. So, he’s trying to get out of his nice publishing contract just so he can self-publish and do his thing.
So, it’s amazing. There’s a lot of authors that are really actually trying to get out of their relationships with big publishers just because they can then own the rights and really control what goes in the book.
One of the other things is, you can set the price. The on-demand self-publishing aspect of this is that, basically when you go in if you use kdp.amazon.com, I don’t get any payback or flip back or money from them for that, I just want to get you the tool, but if you use that, then they’ll tell you how much it will cost for you to sell the book. Let’s just say it’s a 150-page book and KDP tells you, “Well, that’s going to cost you $4.” So, if you set the price at $15, then there’s a very good chance you’re going to make about $10 on that.
Now, there’s some different math depending on some different things, but you tend to retain a lot more of your selling price than as if you went through a publisher and because of all those hands being in the pot and all of that. I could tell you that on one of the books that we have written and published, our return on a $12 book is about $6 per book which is pretty amazing in the publishing industry.
But not only that, because it’s on-demand, if somebody orders the book online from Amazon, you’re not having to go to your basement, put it in an envelope, put a label on it, and drive to the post office and send it. Nope. They will print that book, ship that book and then deposit the difference in your account at the end of the month which is pretty sweet. So, kdp.amazon.com, highly recommend at least checking it out.
If you want to go the big publisher route, that’s absolutely fine, just know that you’re probably looking at a couple of years of process and sometimes that can be valuable. Just know that you won’t wind up owning the content of your book, the publishing company will. And also know that you won’t probably get to set the price and you probably won’t get that kind of cut on your final price.
So, for me, self-publishing has been the solution so far. I highly recommend it. I know a lot of people that really have been able to master that. I highly recommend that for those of you who are wondering about publishing versus self-publishing. So, kdp.amazon.com, go check that out.
Okay, now, we’ve talked about the product, now let’s talk about the process. So, here’s the thing. A funny story behind this, I won’t go into it but, or in depth into it, but a while ago, a very successful author had come to town. This guy had sold millions and millions of dollars of his books, business books. But a friend of mine knew that he was coming to town to play golf and was able to get me in as this author’s caddy.
Now, it’s absolutely comical and I’ve talked about this on DREAM THINK DO’s on the past but I am an abhorable golfer. I mean, the worst golfer. I didn’t quite realize it until this particular golf game, but apparently, my abilities or lack thereof are contagious. So, if you’re even close to me on a golf course, I guarantee you, your game is going down. And that’s what this golfer experienced as I was his caddy and there were just some horrible, horrible experiences to go with it. I won’t go into them here just know it was tragic.
But before I ruined his game, before we got out on the course, I had some time to spend with him. I asked him, you know, this guy had written like 30 best-selling business books. I was like, “How’d you do it, man?” And he gave me a really amazing strategy, and it was something he called the five folder system.
What I love about this is anybody can use this strategy especially if what they’re writing on is a part of their daily life. So, if you’re writing on a subject that you’re interacting with on a daily basis, if it’s something that you’re living out, you can use this strategy and write books. In this guy’s case, he was writing a new book every six months which is absolutely incredible.
So, basically, what he would do is he would decide on the subject of the book. Then he would get himself five folders. On those five folders, one was entitled Introduction, then Main Point One, Main Point Two, Main Point Three, and Conclusion, so five folders. With Main Point One, Main Point Two, and Main Point Three, he would just take some notes on basically the key points that he wanted to make on each of those sections of the book. Then, he would just go and live life.
So, as he would be doing his thing, whether it was selling or leading, as an email came in, and he had to deal with the challenge, he might think, “Oh, my gosh, that helps me to make my Main Point One,” right? Or maybe he’s in a meeting and somebody asks him a question during the Q&A, and he thinks to himself, “Oh, my gosh, that really was a good illustration. That would help me with Main Point Two.” He would just jot down some notes and stick them in that folder.
Maybe he was staying in a hotel and they dropped off a USA Today at his doorstep and as he looked at it, he realized the little infographic on the front cover was, boom, some data that would help him with his introduction. He would just rip that out and boom put it in his folder. He said basically he would wander around filling these folders for around three months and at the end of that three months because he was living his book, oftentimes he would have more than enough content to then turn around and write his book. He would lay those things out and then start to write out his book. He said, “You know, it was basically researched by wandering around.” How awesome is that?
So, I highly recommend that system. Now, you might be more of a techie. You might have electronic ways to do it instead of a folder, but whatever way you choose to do it, try to give that five folder system a try. Intro, Main Point One, Main Point Two, Main Point Three, and Conclusion. Live, gather and write and just see how you turn that around. That’s the process.
Now, let me give you another strategy here, too, in regards to the process. I told you I was going to get specific and that is, I want to offer you some software, a relatively new software but you may or may not have heard of it but it’s called Scrivener, and again, we’ll put a link on the post-mitchmatthews.com/224. We’ll get you a link to the Scrivener software.
Now, Scrivener is specifically designed for writers, so it’s word processing but it has a number of features that really help you to write a book. It allows you to organize these things electronically, but then when you’re done, or as you’re writing, I should say, you can move content around super easy.
So, unlike a Word document or maybe a Google Doc where you’re having to cut and paste things around, this is where you can take chunks, whether it’s sections of chapters or whole chapters, you literally can just move them around. It’s almost like, well, they’re actually visually there are note cards on a corkboard visually, digitally, where you can take the content and just move it around.
It is super easy, but then also when you’re done, it is set up for self-publishing so you can export your final document as an EPUB doc which then allows it to interact with the KDP that we talked about earlier. So, it’s something that totally sets you up for success, unlike a Word document or a Google Doc where you’re going to have to do some reformatting and get one of your techie friends to help you get it to the right format so that you can self-publish it.
Scrivener just allows you to do it. And it’s actually pretty reasonable software as well. So, go check that out. I hope that helps you with the process. Again, Scrivener software, but go to mitchmatthews.com/224 and we’ll have links to the actual company and the actual software.
Okay, the last thing we’re going to talk about is profit and this is something that’s really important. Because when you’re writing a book, you might start writing a book because you feel called to it because you feel like it’s necessary because you just want to get it out. And maybe you are just writing this book to your kids or to your family. Or, you think to yourself, you know, if five people read this book, it’s going to be enough for me. If that’s you, fantastic.
But if this is something that you feel like, maybe, could be a part of your calling. Something that would help you to go to that next level, maybe you want to reach even more people. Maybe you think, “Gosh, if this hits, I would love the thought of doing this in life or as a part of what I do in life,” maybe as a speaker or maybe as you would continue to write that that would turn into your full-time gig.
Do you need to think about how are you going to profit from this? And one of the ways is just that sheer satisfaction, that impact, the calling and that’s great. If that’s you, awesome. For many, that’s enough. And if that is your reason, then go for it. Do it with a smile. Do not worry about whether it becomes a best seller. Just get it into the hands of the people that you want to read it and call it good, right?
But if you’re thinking a little bit more of the longer game, more of the bigger picture, start to think about ways that this could help you. Maybe it is like we’ve talked about. Maybe it is something that you could do to establish credibility.
It’s interesting, I had a friend that wanted to establish credibility in a particular industry. He had not written a book yet but he knew that that would really help him and help his credibility. But he also thought, “Gosh, that could be a way to really network.”
So, what he did was, in his industry, he was in marketing and branding, so he actually reached out to a number of experts, people he really respected, some people that he knew personally, but others were just authors or people that were kind of in that next strata, that next rung. He just reached out and said, “Hey, I am putting together a book and it’s going to be on this subject and I would love to have you write a chapter.”
Now, some people said no, some people declined, but many said, “Absolutely, I love it.” He said, “I’ll curate the book. I’ll edit the book and when we’re done, everybody can get a copy. Everybody can promote it and hey, in the end, you can say you’re a published author.” So, it was something that he only wound up having to write one chapter himself. He did have some editing to do, of course, and some organizing but once that happened, that book actually catapulted to best seller status because everybody that was participating in the book helped to promote it. They wanted to get the word out about it as well.
So, shoom, it was super successful. He looks back on that as being a true turning point in his career because it helped him to become an established, or at least a first-time author, which is fantastic. But more so, it helped him to create connections, real value with a number of people within his industry, and it really catapulted his credibility, so that’s something to think about as well.
Or maybe you thought about speaking, or consulting or coaching and having a book really is something that helps to establish credibility. You know, I’ll never forget, I just recently had a talk in Chicago and it was for about 400 college students and college leaders and faculty. I loved it. It was one of those things I would speaking on dream jobs. I spoke about my book Dream Job Redefined. It was incredible. It was one of the reasons why I got to keynote at this conference was because of the book.
But then to also hear back, I literally got a handwritten note from a professor who had attended the conference and said, “I wanted to thank you for the message, but I also just wanted to tell you that, as we were driving home, the students were talking about the things you spoke about in your talk but also were realizing it was in your book, and they were taking notes, and they were talking about it and all that. I just want to thank you,” and I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”
You know, I got paid for that, and it was incredible because it also helped me to then reach other schools and set up other talks and all of that. But it was also the satisfaction, right? These kinds of things you profit by the way it can help to set up maybe speaking or consulting or coaching, whatever that is, but at the same time, it’s the satisfaction. It never stops. It’s wonderful. It’s incredible.
Or, maybe you want to be an industry leader and maybe you want to be a trainer within your industry. Maybe you’re really, really good at what it is you do. You know, what if you could write a 100-page book? It doesn’t have to be a 400-page book. It could be a 100 page book on something really specific within your industry.
Or, maybe it’s a short read because you know your reader doesn’t have a lot of time. Maybe you’ve got a strategy that helps moms, and you know that moms do not have a ton of time, right? So, you actually keep the book brief because you know your reader. It’s that kind of thing. So, it doesn’t have to be super long to be able to be a bestseller, to actually have an impact and actually bring in the profit that way as well.
And something else to think about is just then being able to say our additional books. I know with Lise Cartwright as one example, she could have written one book that was 500 pages, but instead, she broke it up into five books. She really let those build on themselves, they kind of marketed themselves and all of that, but she has been able to do quite well, again with 28 best-selling books that are all self-published all on Amazon. She continues to get residual checks from those every month from Amazon. Thank you very much.
Now, some of them are much more successful than others, but it’s in some ways it’s almost like having that rental property that’s just continuing to put money in your account but instead, for you, it’s you don’t have to worry about cracked windows or AC units, you’re just writing content and getting it out there and finding that person that needs it. And it’s turning into residual income for you.
So, there’s a number of ways where you can profit from a book but I wanted to throw those out to you, to again, keep you inspired to go after it. Now, I went after a number of the questions that you guys asked. If I didn’t get to them, please, please, please, let me know because I want to help you.
Again, leave a comment or a question below.
But I will just say this as we wrap this thing up. I know that you have at least one book in you. You’ve got genius in you. You’ve got a set of experiences. You’ve got things that you’ve done that people need to learn, right? And just think about, what if you were able to help just one person, or a hundred people, or a hundred thousand or a million, you just never know. Well, actually, you’ll only know once you write that book.
So, start the process and learn about yourself. Of course, learn about the industry. I’m hoping these strategies have helped you to take a step forward and say, “Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it, Mitch.” I hope you do. And as you do, please let me know. I can’t wait to hear from you, but here’s the thing I do know is that the world needs to hear from you. And one of the best ways to do that is through a book. So, if that’s your dream, I hope you dream it. I hope you think about it. And I sure as heck hope you do it.
Cathy P JohnsonPosted at 07:55h, 25 April
I’m inspired now, my husband’s aunt passed away 7 years ago and left behind several journals. My goal was to put them in book form. Now I’m ready, thank you!
Mitch MatthewsPosted at 08:19h, 25 April
Great to hear the episode helped to inspire you Cathy! Sounds like it would be an incredible book. Keep us in the loop on it!
Lani McKinneyPosted at 09:27h, 25 April
Thanks, Mitch. I needed this today. I need to start somewhere. I wrote a poem yesterday while walking out to the parking lot from Jeep. Gotta start somewhere. Here we go…..
Mitch MatthewsPosted at 09:38h, 25 April
You rock!!! Glad it came at the right time!!!
Jeff MeisterPosted at 10:47h, 25 April
Great episode, Mitch! How did you know I needed this today? My first book is in the works… my self determined deadline is July 5th. Already thinking about #2. Loved both of your books by the way. Thanks again for a super valuable episode!
Katie McGrathPosted at 11:29h, 15 January
My best friend dreams of being a writer, so I just sent this to her. I cannot wait to read her first book, and I am gonna you is for myself too! Thanks Mitch!