How to Publish Your Book & Reach More People with Jesse Wisnewski [Podcast]
On this episode of The Blog Chronicles we talk about how to publish your book so you can grow your audience.
The task doesn’t have to feel daunting. My guest actually works for a company that helps people like you become published authors.
In fact they have helped 136 people as of this podcast.
If you are interested in getting a book published, you can get more info here after checking out this interview. [Affiliate Link]
If you dream of becoming an author, lets talk about how a blogger can do that with today’s special guest.
11 Steps to Getting Your Book Published
Jesse Wiznewski Interview Transcript
(For those who like to read.)
Hello and welcome to this episode of The Blog Chronicles, I am your Host Matthew Loomis. Today we will be talking about how to publish your book, reach more people and grow your business.
This show is sponsored by my website Build Your Own Blog dot net–the full service destination for people who want to start their own WordPress blog and achieve long term success.
Okay, how to publish your book…I know this is something many bloggers dream about. You hear all the time that “everyone has a book in them” and there’s many people out there who want to write a book. I think that’s true.
Today we’re going to focus specifically on the blogger who aspires to add the term, ”author” quote unquote to their bio. Some folks start their blogs in hopes of turning their content into a book and that’s something definitely that you can do.
There are many bloggers wanting to know how to publish your book that serves their audience so they can expand their reach, boost their authority and even make some additional cash. All of these are worthy goals and doable. I could list a ton of other bloggers out there who have already done this.
If you are interested in becoming a published author, be sure to keep listening as my guest today is an expert at helping bloggers like you, get a book published that is of high a quality and something that you would be proud to hand out to your friends and business prospects.
His name is Jesse Wisnewski and he is the VP of marketing for Lucid Books. A company so far that has helped one-hundred and thirty-six people like you, start with nothing and turn an idea into a book manuscript and then get that book published in sixty-days.
Jesse is also a published author himself a blogger and knows how to bridge the gap between traditional publishing and self publishing. His advice can help an aspiring author who wants the benefits of both traditional and self publishing.
Ready to become a published author? Lets get to it by adding Jesse Wiznewski to The Blog Chronicles.
How to Publish Your Book, Reach More People and Grow Your Business
Matthew: Hi Jesse, welcome to the show.
Jesse: Hey Matt, thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.
Why Should Someone Write a Book?
Matthew: Yeah, I think a good place to start our conversation today is with the ”why”.
Why should someone take the time to write a book? Because it can be a bit of a gamble as far as return on investment goes.
Especially if a book has a business purpose to it, I feel most people have a book inside them. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, but many don’t act on it, because they don’t have a clear idea on why to write a book.
They don’t realize how a book can help them, so lets start with the ”why”.
You talk about six reasons why a book is beneficial to a business owner, particularly an online business owner or a blogger who wants to grow an audience. These are really compelling reasons to take the plunge.
So lets go through the six-reasons you wrote about on the Lucid Books blog and I will provide a link to this article in the Show Notes.
Okay, so the first benefit to writing a book is, you say; credibility.
How does a book help credibility?
Jesse: That’s a great question Matt and there is a reason I started off with that one in the post. Credibility in and of it’s self makes or breaks an individual or a business owner, because that’s just the key to success.
If someone doesn’t trust who you are or what you’re offering and what you’re all about then it’s going to be difficult for someone to succeed in their field or in their business.
The reason I started with credibility is because these conversations have been going on for thousands of years.
Aristotle in the fourth-century B.C wrote his book The ”Art” of Rhetoric.
*FYI*Aristotle, Greek Aristoteles (born 384 bce, Stagira, Chalcidice, Greece—died 322, Chalcis, Euboea) ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, one of the greatest intellectual figures of Western history. He was the author of a philosophical and scientific system that became the framework and vehicle for both Christian Scholasticism and medieval Islamicphilosophy. Even after the intellectual revolutions of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and theEnlightenment, Aristotelian concepts remained embedded in Western thinking.
And within that he lays out three different modes of persuasion – The first one being Logos, appealing to someones logic or reason, so facts and stuff that we use in our articles that we’re writing or in the books that we’re publishing.
Pathos, which would appeal to someone’s emotion and then the last one was Ethos, which is an appeal to the individuals personal character or credibility, as a business owners character or a bloggers character and credibility.
So as a business owner or as a blogger in many ways you can establish your credibility, such as being an expert in your field, having personal experience with the topic you’re discussing or obtaining endorsements from people organisations.
Take your blog for instance, when someone visits your website they’ll notice on the homepage in the top right hand corner is featured in Inc – Search Engine People and I believe you have Forbes on there as well.
So what this allows people to see is – and this is a good move on your part, because this lets visitors know who may not be familiar with you, that you do know what you’re talking about and you do have reputable organizations who vouch for you and your work.
Now what has this all to do with writing a book? It has everything to do with writing a book. Writing a book is an excellent way for anyone to establish him or herself as an expert in their field so quickly, that people know you are knowledgeable enough about your topic to write a book on the subject.
It proves theory here as to who should be your target market audience if you are a business or a blogger, that you know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about.
So I believe we’re going to address this a little bit later and writing a book is a great way of setting yourself apart in this industry.
It can lead to opening up new doors for you, your work and your business.
And so I think that’s one of of the primary reasons that leading with credibility of writing a book is beneficial for business owners and bloggers.
How Does Credibility Help You and Your Book?
Matthew: There is just something that’s sexy about having ”author” as part of your title, you know what I mean?
Jesse: Oh yeah, I think so. I feel like you should just start wearing cardigans, smoking pipes and wearing glasses without prescription lenses. Hahahaha…
Matthew: Hahahaha… exactly right, yeah that too.
You know credibility; actually just having a book that you can hand out to people. I think I read somewhere that it’s great, because you don’t have to go into selling mode or try to tell someone that you meet, that you know what you’re talking about. You could just hand them the book.
Jesse: Ya know, absolutely.
That’s absolutely the case, for instance a real estate agent named Bradley Bevers, he wrote a book called –Texas Farm and Ranch Guide.
For him it’s a way that he can give a copy of his book to a prospect or a client and that just establishes himself as a credible authority in that and it also helps save him time in that he’s able to basically just through the book form let somebody know about Texas Farm and Ranch Guide and people that are interested in that.
It’s a very niched topic, but it’s proved to be helpful to him as terms of generating new leads for his company.
What Other Examples Are There For Books That Boost Credibility?
Matthew: Can you think of a few other off the top of your head niches or businesses that books really boost credibility for?
Jesse: Yeah, I mean honestly I think it really helps with everything, but in general a few that are coming to mind is; some of the consultants.
Regardless of what they are consulting on, whether it’s a small business consultant, you could be a consultant in the energy industry. You could be a consultant in accounting, you know all sorts of things.
Writing a book and having one published in your field would take your work to the next level in terms of validating you as a credible source on the topic.
In the same case here with the real estate agent I just referred to, you could also use that book to send to potential prospects.
You could use that book to get then to the people you have worked with in the past as a way of generating more word of mouth interest.
There’s another thing too that important, it’s not just writing the book of itself, it’s also being selective in what you’re doing. If I ‘m writing and publishing a book as a business owner or a blogger then I want to be sure that whatever I am writing or publishing on; not only is connecting with my target market or my target audience; it’s also fulfilling the objectives I have for my business and the objectives I have for my blog.
Jesse: For instance, if I’m you and I’m publishing a book, like you might have an interest in writing a fiction book.
You can do that by all means and have the freedom and the flexibility but as a business owner, I imagine you don’t have a ton of time to pursue a writing endeavor.
So to you it just seems like you would want to write one within the topic and the objectives of Build Your Own Blog dot net.
[This is an affiliate link. I get a modest commission from Lucid Books for any referrals who become published authors.]
Can a Work of Fiction Help Your Business?
Matthew: Right, when I said fiction, I was actually thinking; something out-of-the-box like ”the gift”.
(I think it was called the gift?)
If you could come up with some sort of a story that ties into with your business, do you think that could work?
Jesse: Yeah absolutely.
We’ve seen that done here before.
Narrative is a powerful means of connecting with people and going back to the different modes of persuasion we were talking about earlier in terms of connecting with people emotionally.
So yeah, if you could find ways to weave that into your personal story or even create a fictional story that’s based and built around your business, that’s tremendously beneficial as well and we’ve seen that done at Lucid Books.
We’ve worked with an offer that’s employed that tactic and I’ve been a part of other books that have employed a similar strategy as well.
It’s a way of engaging people from beginning to end with your business or with your blog and with the topic that you’re discussing.
How Can You Generate Leads with Your Book?
Matthew: Yeah absolutely.
So you also say that a book can help generate leads, how does that work?
First and foremost, just kind of going back to what we maybe jumped on again a little earlier with, was that, once your book is published.
You can send physical copies, you can send digital copies of your book to prospects or even have them on hand after you meet initial contacts and stuff.
You can provide them free or on your website.
You can provide a book downloadable free after you’ve provided some information. Whatever you would need as a person to qualify for downloading it potentially for your business, and I think what I was trying to get at earlier too, that one thing important to keep in mind is maximizing or optimizing the book itself.
One of those is to include your contact information in the back of it.
So whether you want people to be able to reach you via your phone number or physical address, website or e-mail. Include that information about you and your business and additional products or services you potentially provide.
So one of the best places to put that, would just be in the back of the book, which is called a Back Matter Add, which is the information that follows the pages and the body in the conclusion of your book.
Another tactic that we found helpful working with authors is; creating additional resources based upon the book that you are writing upon.
So this could be a free downloadable worksheet based upon the book, maybe a discussion guide, maybe additional tools that couldn’t fit within the book, by providing eternal links within you book to point back to a landing page or your website for people to go there to download those resources free, but maybe with an e-mail opt-in.
So that way you can collect their information and you can further nurture those leads that you gain through the book by providing the valuable information with the downloads and then even through the e-mail sequences and such as that.
Writing a Book Can Be a Great Promotional Tool.
So a book can be a great promotional tool which is the third benefit that you list.
Jesse: Yeah, absolutely.
Once you have your book, you could just print physical copies and hoard them and keep them to yourself in the comfort of your own homes.
That’s not going to help you or your audience, but yeah when it comes to distribution and kind of going back to what we were just talking about.
As long as you have all your contact information in there; way to get in touch with you, links to your website and stuff.
That once you distribute your book and make it available through a variety of channels, whether it be Amazon, physical bookstores, personal websites, social media accounts.
Where people will be able to create awareness for them and their book. Which in turn will create awareness for their business or for their blog or whatever it is they are looking to accomplish.
How Does a Book help Increase Speaking Engagements?
You also say increased speaking engagements, how does a book help you create speaking engagements?
This is a great question and I think it’s a valid one and one for people to consider.
So if someone is interested in speaking, apart from speaking itself and getting out there and having speaking engagements and getting that experience.
Writing a book and getting back to the credibility part of it, it turns into a great lead generation tool.
For if you are targeting certain speaking engagements by sending copies of your book to organizers or to the events themselves, which again is going back to proving your credibility on the topic you want to speak on.
So this kind of goes back to what we were saying earlier as well that, if you are speaking on a specific topic and you wrote a book on that topic.
Then yes, send a copy of that book to people as a way of credibility on that topic ans stuff. So along with your samples of speaking and stuff if you have them available.
YouTube is Also a Good Medium to Being Heard.
Matthew: Mm mm, nowadays people can look you up on YouTube as well and see your speeches, you know sometimes.
Jesse: Oh yeah, absolutely.
So if you’re currently engaged in speaking then you’re making samples of you work available. Whether it’s on YouTube or your personal website, video or what have you is a great way to generate credibility.
So that way people and organizers can see your work or see if you fit their event and they can see a sample of what you do. That’s just a great way to access leverage to your speaking experiences.
How Does a Book Help You Develop Additional Products and Services?
Matthew: Yeah, that sounds good.
So how does a book help you develop additional products?
This is a good conversation and one we were having with different authors and stuff and so it just all really just depends on the author.
So one of the ways for a business owner that I like to talk with them about, is not looking at the book as the bottom of the funnel.
In other words, don’t look at publishing a book as in just generating revenue off of either a signing bonus or a number of royalties, based on a number of books you sell.
Think of your book as the top of the funnel or maybe the middle part of the funnel in that you write a book and the point of the book is to generate leads or sales, or maybe an online video course that you based upon the same topic.
Then that book and that video course then leads to the next step down down, which could be your higher end services, such as your one-on-one consulting business or a higher end products and services that you offer and so everything is just creating that stairwell.
So instead of looking at the bottom, take it up a few rungs in the ladder, the funnel as a sense and then develop products based upon that. You can start with building the product and then write the book off of that content.
So it doesn’t have to be either or, or one-way or the other.
I think if people look at it in terms of special business owners or bloggers or online entrepreneurs; looking at it in a more holistic sense in terms of how can everything as an ecosystem build off one another and point back to one another.
So if I’ve got a book and I also provide courses and I speak or I consult or I have these new products and services. Making sure everything is integrated and pointing back and that there’s a funnel in place.
That somebody new to your website or listened to you speak for the first time or purchasing a service or product, can then find and get access to these other products and services you offer.
And then your sixth reason and this is the reason that so many people are interested in this is – increased revenue.
How can a book help someone increase their revenue?
Jesse: So as a business owner, going back to our example about the real estate agent I mentioned earlier.
He gave a lot of books away, but it wasn’t about him generating royalties from his book. He gave hundreds if not thousands of copies away every year and return on investment for him as a real estate agent, is based primarily on the new clients he obtains in the real estate industry.
So the business owner is more than just writing the book and getting their loyalties off of the book, it’s about creating multiple streams of income.
So from book sales, additional clients and speaking engagements the sale of additional products, one book in and of itself, if done well can breakup into multiple streams of income for one business owner.
You can build a growing and thriving business just off of the book itself.
What Qualifies a Published Author?
Matthew: I know what you’re saying is intriguing a lot of people right now.
So what qualifications does a person need to become a published author?
Jesse: That’s good to know Matt.
When we talk there’s a lot of fear in here I think with the writing, you know with writing in and of itself.
Openly even speaking personally, once you put it from your paper or from your word document or whatever you use to write with and you give it out there to the public for critique.
There’s a lot of fear in that.
But I would say if someone is interested in writing a book; is first identifying the topic that they want to write upon.
Again, if you’re a business owner or a blogger and you want to write a book that will benefit either you business or your blog. Then make sure that the topic of your book fits well with the business and the topic of your blog.
The first thing would be identifying your topic.
Matthew: Okay, right.
So you’re talking about going about doing it?
Matthew: We’ll definitely get to that here shortly.
Jesse: I think with the qualifications of a writer, they just have to have that desire to write.
If they have that interest and that desire to write then express that desire of your heart and write.
I understand getting into that process is easier said than done for a lot of people.
Unless your experienced doing it, it’s always beneficial to have a team of people.
Whether that’s family or friends or people you know personally, to help you get through that process. If you know a publishing company that could help you work through that to help you to write, to publish and to promote your book.
No Degrees or Training Beforehand?
So they don’t need any certain degrees or any training before hand?
Jesse: No, absolutely not!
Just even speaking for myself my experience has not been normal in the sense of writing and having a book published.
I failed English in high school.
I had to take a remedial English course in college. I had to take an English course in graduate school.
Over the years from graduate school I happened to write a tremendous amount of research papers. Then I got into blogging and doing other things.
Over the course of a period of time, I realized, I ended up picking up the craft.
So the craft of writing is that you don’t have to go to school to obtain a degree on writing.
The craft of writing is something anyone can pickup on and learn.
As it would be as the craft of woodworking or the craft of building a website. You could take classes to help enhance your skill set.
You don’t actually have to go through this ten-step process of acing all your classes or getting a particular degree in college or getting a certificate or anything.
Those are helpful and beneficial and I don’t want to undermine the value of those, but they are definitely not required requisites to publishing a book.
How to Publish Your Book With Self-Publishing, Traditional Publishing or Both
Matthew: That’s fantastic!
Now are we talking about self-publishing or traditional publishing or a combination of the two?
Jesse: Yeah, so there’s three big ways to publish a book today.
Typically the first thing that comes to mind is traditionally published or self-publishing a book.
The model that we at Lucid Books employ, is what is called hybrid publishing or what we like to call partnership publishing.
For us, we look to blend the best of traditional publishing and self-publishing together.
So self-publishing the hybrid model that we employ is similar in two ways. One is that there is a publishing fee that offers to pay to publish your book.
Then also the self-publisher, once the manuscript is completed – we have the capability of turning the published book around in sixty-days or less.
So we have worked with authors before, who might have a particular time frame that they want to hit in terms of, ”hey, I need a book to be published in the next three, six months”.
Whatever it is, that’s when we work well with those particular authors that have a window of opportunity they’re looking for.
In the traditional publishing sense, where you’re going through an agent and you’re looking to get picked up by a publishing house – it could still be twelve to eighteen-months or more after your book is accepted, before it’s even published.
So if an author has a particular time frame or wonder that they’re working with, then you know we work well with those authors.
Now the similarities that we have with traditional publishers is that; we don’t require someone to have an agent. We are more selective in what we do publish.
So we want to really partner with people and his or her message.
We work with authors whether it’s by word or mouth or there’s someone submitting an application online or through different means.
Then we go to great lengths to get to know the author. We want to get behind the message and see what the motivation is and really work with someone in a message that we can really get behind and partner. So we are selective in the editorial process.
Unlike self-publishing companies who will publish the books that are submitted just in general.
So whereas we look to really partner and increase in quality and go after high level authors who really believe in the work that they are doing and in the message that they want to share with the world.
Can You Make a Book Out Of Your Blog Content?
(Blogging Has Paved the Way for Countless Authors Today.)
Matthew: Got it, sounds good.
So if someone has been blogging for a while, can they take a bunch of their blog posts over time a make a book out of it?
Jesse: Yeah absolutely.
I mean blogging before you write a book is great for many reasons.
It helps people practice writing, for bloggers it enables them to build an audience around their topic. It helps them flush out ideas to see if they’re viable, see what people are resonating with and what they’re not and more.
So a lot of people are hesitant to do that, because they’re thinking, ”well if I give away all my content for free online, then no one will end up buying the book”.
That’s not really the case, if you look at chefs that give away all the ingredients and how they actually cook and prepare their recipes, people still go out and buy his or her cookbook, they want that extra touch and stuff, whatever that could be, they want to have that on hand. So that way they don’t have to go look around online and have to look and find stuff in a file all.
And also you know, blogging before writing has paved the way for countless authors today.
So we’ve seen that to be the case and whether authors are blogging extensively before publishing a book. Building audience so that publishers can see it. So there are basically people that are in place that are interested in you, what you have to say and would be more compelled and interested in purchasing that in a book form.
Now in regards to the second part of the question, blogging is a great way to help you publish a book.
So there might be authors who write blog posts, expanding them into eBooks or maybe expand them into physical books, or even online courses.
That’s one kind of way to go about it and there’s another way a method that I found successful, is for people to consider that if they have a topic of a book and they have a general idea of what that outline is. Then they could write individual blog posts that could be sections or maybe even chapters of the book depending upon the link that they would want to write that upon.
Then write that out over a course of weeks or months and then take that content and have it edited, maybe expand it and then you could just easily turn that into your eBook.
Now, that’s something that I personally did on my website.
I wrote blog posts on a particular topic, that I had already outlined beforehand and then turned them into eBooks to give away and I expanded it; some for that purpose and worked with other people in doing that as well.
So that’s one way of going about it or if you want to expand your material is you write your blog post that you are putting together and you just kind of build off of that when you’re wanting to turn it into a more extensive trade book.
What Steps Should I Take To Get Started as a Writer?
Matthew: Yeah, this all sounds so promising.
If someone is excited now, after listening to you talk about this and is interested in getting started.
What are the steps that need to happen?
Jesse: The first thing that I would recommend for people to do is visit: Lucid Books dot net to get-started.
That will just have some basic information, there’s a short submission form. You’ll receive a partnership publishing guide for free which explains who we are at the company, which has testimonies of people that we have worked with in the past.
I’ll also put you touch with a member of our team that will talk you through that process.
Eleven Steps on How to Get Your Book Published
(Your Genre or Topic)
Matthew: Sounds great.
There was another writer who wrote the eleven-steps to getting your book published. I was wondering if we could just touch on those eleven different steps. They’re more like pieces of advice that you should do to get started.
Out of the eleven, the first one is to determine your genre or audience, can you talk for a moment about that?
So even touching on that, maybe even earlier is your genre – the topic of your book? What you want to write upon?Then your audience, you know think it through.
Who is your target audience at the end of the day? Who would benefit most from reading your book?
Thinking through who those people are.
The demographics. Gender. Economic Status. where they spend their time online?
So this will help people think through – Alright, this is the topic I want to write upon.
”How can I write this in such a way that will resonate with the people that I think will benefit most from reading it at the end”?
(Blogging Great Content Helps You Get Noticed.)
Matthew: Don’t you agree that blogging helps a person determine who that audience is and helps them find out that audience?
Jesse: Oh yeah, absolutely, I mean, sharing. Whether it’s publishing a book, blogging…
The first and foremost step is creating great content, because at the end, great content is going to rise to the surface.
That will create an audience around the content that you Create.
So if you’re blogging this ahead of time, you’re going to get a good idea through your analytics. If you have that set up on your website.
Then even the engagement that you are receiving through your social media channels, to see whether it’s been read or viewed online. It’s been liked. It’s been shared. To whether people are commenting on that, on the blog post itself. Or maybe through your social media channels.
It’s going to give somebody a great opportunity or idea of; okay this stuff is resonating with people or maybe this stuff isn’t resonating with people.
Or this is resonating, but maybe I should change it based on the feedback I’m receiving.
(Read Quality Books.)
Another step that Lucid Books talks about to get your book published is to read good quality books.
I think this is really two-fold, ”Writers are Readers at the end of the day”.
Stephen King said along the lines of; ”Apart from writing in and of itself, will help you become a good writer”. but ”reading books will help someone become a better writer”.
To see how the people are writing and for someone that’s interested in writing I think this really works in two ways.
Read broad. Read general. Read things that you like and have an interest in.
Whether that’s fiction or biographies, history or business books, whatever that maybe.
And the two, read books within your topic, within the niche that you want to write in. To see how are other people communicating their ideas.
Identify with books that have done well. Whether it’s the best seller list or else seeing, ”okay what is it about their book that people resonate with”?
Or other potential. Look at the reviews that are there.
Are there potential gaps that they missed? Or positive things that people highlighted? Or negative things?
These give people ideas like, ”okay, if I want to write on this topic, I need to maybe include and fill this gap that was left”.
Or ”I need to steer clear of this type of style or tone”. Or maybe, ”I need to emphasize these things that they did well”.
So then reading broadly and then specifically will help people interested in writing and publishing a book to get ready to write a book.
(Write, Write, and Write Some More.)
Matthew: Which leads to the next step; Which is to write?
Jesse: Oh yeah, absolutely.
At the end you just have to; Write.Write.Write.
Don’t worry about editing and don’t worry about people looking at it. Just write for yourself at the end of the day.
A lots of books start out with tens of thousands of words and end up being fifty-thousand manuscripts, and somebody cut one-hundred-thousand words or fifty-thousand words from it.
So writing in and of itself, whether some one’s blogging, journaling or writing letters.
Or even look at e-mails as an opportunity to practice your writing.
As silly as that may seem. That can be as many e-mails as we send each and everyday, that could be a great opportunity to practice and hone your craft.
(Saying Things Well With Less Characters.)
Matthew: Or maybe social media posts?
Jesse: Oh yeah absolutely.
I mean, in trying to say things well in a hundred-and-forty characters or less, like on Twitter or that. That is a really BIG challenge.
I can’t remember who wrote this years ago; he said something along the lines of this. ”Sorry my letter was so long, I didn’t have the time to make it short”.
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” – Mark Twain
A better translation of this statement is “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.” – Blaise Pascal
A similar version is also attributed to Pascal: “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” – Blaise Pascal
I love that quote and I think that’s Mark Twain.
Jesse: Yeah, I couldn’t remember and didn’t just want to say anybody’s name, but I just loved that and it resonated well.
I think that what’s really true is; writing well doesn’t have to be provost; but getting that down to what you really want somebody to know and how do you want them to feel when reading it.
Trying to clearly communicate that in as few words as possible is always helpful.
A lot of time, probably very similar to sculpting, is that you start with a huge piece of rock.
Then you get rid of all the stuff that you don’t need; to get to that sculpture, to that image that you want to create.
So it’s the same way with writing.
At least for me personally, I like to start with a lot and then work my way down to really get to what I’m trying to say.
Should I Seek Professional Opinions?
(Table of Contents.)
Matthew: Yeah, love the sculpture analogy, beautiful.
Another step to getting your book started is to get professional help. I’m curious if you recommend, waiting until the entire manuscript is done to get professional opinions?
Or should you just write the first chapter and then start getting opinions, what do you think?
Jesse: No, I don’t think so.
It really depends upon the individual; but I don’t think at the end of the day, that somebody needs to have written their entire manuscript before having a professional opinion.
I think if you’re having the title and the topic that you’re wanting to address then a working table of contents. These are the big ideas I want to hear. Whether it’s four-six-ten-twelve or more.
I think just having really two chapters written; is sufficient enough to give people an idea of what you’re about.
I think it is definitely important to have a title and a table of contents, you know as well.
So that way to really review someones contents; you want to kind of see; One, the quality of their writing. Two, how will this fit into the topic of the book and how they want to say it?
Writing a book professionally is about editing not only line by line but making sure that somethings are grammatically correct.
That everything’s pointing well together from beginning to end and that helps the reader from the beginning to read it.
Engage him throughout the whole process and it will really finish well.
(A Table of Contents Gets You Focused and Organized)
So the table of contents can show how organized your plan is?
Jesse: Yeah, absolutely.
Then just having those chapters written and ready for review. I think that’s sufficient just to help people get started.
How to Get Your Book Published When You’re Not Organized
Matthew: I’m sure that helps your chances of getting a publisher, right?
I mean, as far as how organized you are. Publishers might like your idea, but are they going to spend a lot of time advising you?
Like, ”you should put this in there, maybe you should do this”.
Does that happen a lot?
Jesse: Yeah, absolutely.
For our team it does. It kind of goes back to; we really want to create a partnership with the author and his or her message.
So we have a director of publishing.
Who also has a team of editors and writers along with her. So in the beginning. In the middle and to the end,
We’re providing input to help the manuscript and the message to be as clear as possible to be easily read.
So we’re providing the line by line edits. We’re providing content edits.
Just making sure that everything is fitting well together and connecting. As well as other suggestions and stuff. So that’s important.
Even though writing is a very personal thing in terms of the ways someone wants to communicate and express him or herself through the written word.
It is still important to have a team of people together that help you really say your message well.
What About Commercial Potential?
(Three Key People To Connect With.)
Matthew: Yeah. That sounds reassuring. I think, for a lot of people to know that you’re going to have a team of people kind of helping you out.
Do you guys help the aspiring author determine the commercial potential of the book?
Jesse: Yes. We’ll walk through that as well and help them to do it.
This all just goes through the beginning. We also help with the book marketing and promotion aspects of it as well.
We go through initial questions to help us assess. This is the title of the book. This is the audience. Where are they at online and stuff?
How can we best target and connect with him or her to do that?
There’s really three facets of book marketing at the end of the day and I believe this was from Tim Grahl who wrote your first one-thousand copies;
He tells as an author; how you want to sell as many copies of your book as possible to your audience. You want to equip your audience to share the message of your book.
So that way, word of mouth is one of the most powerful means of spreading the word about the book or any business for that matter.
The three people you want to connect with who are people of influence who are seen within you target audience. For example; Who do you want to read your book at the end?
To connect with him or her or organizations who are also connected or speak into that.
So if I’m a business and I’m an entrepreneur and my book is about entrepreneurship; then yeah, you’re looking probably at:
You’re looking at Harvard Business Review
And then there’s also hundreds, if not more of different business and entrepreneurial type of blocks right there. That you would want to try and connect with.
Whether it’s writing guest blog post or whether it’s trying to obtain an interview on a podcast or whether it’s a T.V show or I mean the options are endless.
Ask Why You Want To Publish Your Book Before Asking How to Get Your Book Published
(Are You a Good Fit?)
Matthew: Great. This ought to be a fascinating quick peek behind the curtain.
You guy’s also help aspiring authors ask themselves; why do you want to be published? So yeah, how do you do that?
So that’s one of the questions and that helps us. One of the questions on our submission form is – What’s your goal with publishing?
With publishing houses it really depends, not every author is a good fit for every publishing house.
It just helps us understand. What is somebody’s objective? What is their goal behind the book?
That also helps us assess it on our side, especially when we’re talking about marketability.
Some people just have an interest in writing a book and they maybe just want it for family and friends or just to give it away a gift and that’s totally fine.
It’s good to know these types of things upfront.
Or someone might be interested in growing a business. So when we’re taking it in, just knowing somebody’s motivation at the beginning. Helps us understand how to assess his or her manuscript and the objectives behind the book.
To see if we are a good fit. That is going to help you accomplish your goals as an author.
And some times that is the case and sometimes it’s not.
Can My Book Become A Potential Stream of Revenue?
(Taking at Good Look at the Bigger Picture.)
Matthew: Do you ever say to people like; ”Hey, you know you say you don’t care about profit right now or making an income”? But actually, ”we think this could make a really good income stream for you”.
I mean, do you ever tell people that?
We have had many conversations like that with authors, especially business authors.
It’s like looking at your book and then helping them see the bigger picture and yeah, ”this is more than just about your book”.
”There’s a lot of potential here to generate and create multiple streams of revenue for you and your business”.
So maybe looking at the individual tree. As really backing out and seeing the forest.
Like, ”Wow, there’s really all these different pieces and parts that really can influence”.
We’ve had some helpful conversations there. Helping authors to take a step back and see ”the bigger picture”, in how they can use his or her book.
To reach the people that will not only benefit from the book at the writing, but also benefit from some additional products and services that they offer.
(The Goal of the Author)
You guy’s help people then build their readership, is that right?
Jesse: It really depends on the goal of the author.
We work with some authors, to maybe just getting started on the front-end. So we have the ability to provide some support and coaching. Consulting on the front end to help him or her develop audience to hone their craft and stuff.
There are other authors that we work with; that have been blogging for several years now and so it’s just less talking and working with them in thinking through; here’s your blogging strategy; your social media strategy.
How can you really work everything together over the next nine, six, three months. To help prepare people, you know your audience to compel them to purchase your book and even to share it with his or her audience and network.
Can Having a Blog Help My Writing?
Once again, don’t you think a blog might help with this?
Jesse: Hahahaha…. Matt absolutely, blogging…
I mean blogging before publishing a book is one of the best things people can do to get noticed in a busy world. So some authors, not many have the luxury of the secluded cabin in the woods and writing and publishing a book and people will buy it, because they have brand recognition.
Or they’ve been publishing for years, but for first-time authors or authors that don’t currently have some sort of national or regional recognition. The best thing is to start blogging and sharing your message as far in advance as you possibly can.
Seth Godin’s advice for first time authors is that, you should start three-years in advance.
Sharing your message and getting your word out there, before you publish a book.
Jesse: That’s a fast and hard three year roll for him.
I don’t think that’s the case personally, but I think if someone’s wanting to publish a book and their goal and objective is for people to read it and buy it. Then the first reason that people typically buy books is because of the author.
It’s like… Do I know the author? Am I connected with the author?
For some authors when they publish their book, people are going to buy it, because it’s a Stephen King or a James Patterson or whomever.
The first time aspiring authors who don’t have a lot of connections at first, because they may not have that recognition.
Regionally or nationally or whatever that may be.
Jesse: Then they need to start building that audience up and around that instead. That will help them create their audience via blogging that will have people in place here getting ready to purchase the book.
(The First Goal on How to Get Your Book Published Is…?)
Matthew: Yeah, this is sounding exciting.
What about another step, which is setting goals?
That’s one of the first questions I ask authors. ”What is your goal for publishing your book?”
So it’s important to identify if somebody wants to sell five-thousand copies. Or ten-thousand copies. Or you know, here’s the number of books they would like to sell and here’s the date we would like to sell that by.
So then it’s working with the author to help them identify a strategy to put that together to achieve that goal.
That’s also not the only goal, some of the goals are; I just want to establish myself as a credible expert in this field, so that I can enhance my speaking engagements.
So it’s working with them to do that. Or, ”hey we’re publishing this book”. A secondary goal of mine is to generate five-hundred or a thousand or five-thousand more e-mail opt-ins.
And so as we’re looking at that, it’s like, how can we position the book? Your website and other things you’re doing to help you reach your secondary or tertiary goals?
So it’s really just breaking it down and working with the author. All the goals are going to change and adapt and this could even be for a non-profit leader.
So non-profit leaders are interested in creating awareness for the cause they believe in. An organization that they’re behind is saying, ”hey, through publishing this book, I’d really like to create more awareness through this”. and ”look to generate more donations and stuff on a monthly or annual”.
So it just really depends on the author. The objectives that they have and then how does a book fit within that, to help them reach their objectives?
What Makes Lucid Books A Good Fit For An Author?
(Reaching Out With That ”Personal Touch”)
So Jesse, you also advise aspiring authors to research publishers. So feel free to go ahead and talk about that.
What makes Lucid Books a good fit for an author?
Jesse: I think the thing that makes Lucid Books a good fit for authors is that at the end our primary goal is that we built a company.
In a particular case, Casey Cease the CEO and founder of Lucid Books set off to partner with authors to create that experience.
The company was started with the conversation that Casey had with a friend who had a terrible self-publishing experience.
And so the concept was that he didn’t get help.
He didn’t feel supported and wasn’t guided and he wasn’t impressed with the quality of the book after it was done.
And so we were talking a few years ago. It was like, ”how can we create a new business model or publishing model”?
In particular Casey, to work and partner with authors. That they would feel valued in the process and in the creative process.
So that they are able to get feedback in the creative direction of the book. The book cover, the layout and the back cover design. They have involvement in the manuscript itself and that they also build value in the marketing process.
We talked with traditional published authors and worked with them in that.
One in particular that stands out is that, this person didn’t feel valued or supported well enough. When he had a speaking engagement and he needed some support and he wasn’t provided with that.
So we are able to come along with authors in situations like that. They don’t have to publish a book and then they’re done in three-moths if it doesn’t hit and do well.
We can work with authors and help them relaunch books and we can help them in creative ways to reach out.
We really want to provide that personal touch with authors. So we are purposefully keeping ourselves in a smaller boutique sense. In that way, we can provide that one-on and personal group coaching for authors and set ourselves apart in showing people how to publish your book.
How To Prepare For Submission.
So how does an aspiring author prepare their materials for submission?
Jesse: The easiest way is to go to Lucid Books dot net / get-started and from there they can just fill out the form. There’s just a few questions there like, your name, your contact information and from there that’s really it. That helps us start up a conversation.
There’s nothing in terms of they have to go through any particular process to get things ready and stuff at the moment.
Once we start the conversations and assessing whether this is a good fit for us and a good fit for you, then we’ll have a look at submitting if they have a few chapters ready. Or some others might have a written manuscript ready.
Some others that we talk to to have a book idea and that they just want to publish a book and they really just need help at the beginning. They are just thinking through the book topic and their audience and how they want others to see their message and stuff.
So it really depends.
Do You Fear REJECTION?
Matthew: Okay. I was just curious to see if they needed to submit something initially or not. Okay that sounds good.
And then finally Jesse, you advise people to be okay with rejection, what do you mean by that?
I think it kind of goes back to the fear of writing. It’s being ”okay” with the fear of rejection.
It doesn’t mean not being rejected for publishing a book.
But in terms of getting a book published, authors have had the experience of being rejected dozens of times, before they find a publisher that will work with them.
So I think it’s kind of understanding that it’s competitive to have a book published. But, to go in with the right expectations.
Whether to pursue traditional publishing or whether you’re looking to Lucid Books for a hybrid partnership publishing type of model or whatever.
To go in with the right expectations. But there’s a chance I’m going to be rejected by several people, that doesn’t mean anything against the author or his or her manuscript.
It just means finding the right publishing house who will get behind his or her message.
Jesse: So there’s many authors and there are countless stories out there from authors, that have been denied by multiple publishers.
Who end up being your Stephen King’s or who end up being your New York Best Sellers.
At the end it’s not just about the author of the manuscript, it’s about finding the right fit with the author. The manuscript and the publishing house.
How Has Your Experience Been as a Blogger and an Author?
(A Few Personal Questions.)
Matthew: Great, so you have provided a lot of really helpful and cool information on becoming a published author.
And I want to now close Jesse, with a couple of more personal questions for you.
Matthew: Jesse, you have been a blogger for a couple of years now. Even before working with Lucid Books and you are actually a published author yourself .
So how has your experience been as being a blogger being an author and how those two things have worked together for you.
Jesse: Yeah absolutely.
So I just stumbled into blogging and that was helping out a friend of mine with the organization he was leading and providing blog posts and resources and stuff.
Matthew: I think, when I started following you a couple of years ago you were freelance copywriting?
I didn’t do that a lot, I’ve done some freelance writing and I also did write in terms of content and strategy management and stuff. I think that was probably a year ago.
So the book I wrote was published in 2011 and I don’t think anybody either than my family or friends bought it. That’s okay, I just wanted to write the book at the end of the day.
The book in and of itself, even though the goal wasn’t to generate it, actually ended up opening the door for new professional opportunities.
So soon after that so much later I was able to come aboard as a non-profit organization with the church and serve as a content strategist and a write for them.
Writing that book, even I didn’t know at the time proved as a credible resource, to help myself get into that.
Which has been paving the way to being in the publishing industry today.
Jesse, How Has Blogging and Being an Author Changed Your life?
This is the closing question now and this is the question that I ask every guest this; So Jesse how has blogging and being an author changed your life?
Jesse: Yeah, I would say completely!
I can go back to when I was interested in writing a book back in 2010 – 2011.
I didn’t know what I was getting into. I just had an interest in writing on a particular topic and so I did and I had it published.
I didn’t foresee how it ended up changing my life, in that in a professional sense is that it opened up new professional career opportunities for me. It led to blogging as well as publishing a book; as well as to multiple contract opportunities.
As well as providing a blog writing post for organizations or even providing content management solutions for others.
Then most importantly, it’s even led to the work that I’m doing today and so here I am five-six years later in the publishing industry.
Going back as a teenager who failed English. Then as a college student who had to take remedial English classes and then as a budding graduate student who had to take remedial writing, who is now led into working for the publishing industry itself.
So it’s definitely not the path that I would look back on and say whoa.
But now I’m thankful for what I am doing in writing, blogging and publishing a book has made all the difference.
Connecting With Jesse Wiznewski.
Matthew: Jesse, how can people get in touch with you or follow you?
Jesse: Absolutely, the best place would be; I write regularly on Lucid Books dot net on Twitter @thejessew and @lucid_books
I’m more active on Twitter than I am on Facebook that’s @thejessew
I share a lot on publishing and content marketing and marketing strategy and on the website The Jesse W dot com,
but I’m not writing regularly and stuff there, but if they do go there; they can download a free eBook on effective content creation.
Just to let everyone know that I will be linking to all of these things Jesse just mentioned in the Show Notes.
Matthew: Well thank you for coming on the The Blog Chronicles today Jesse.
Jesse: Hey, you’re welcome Matt, thanks for the opportunity and I’m glad I had a talk with you and your audience; about writing and publishing.
Matthew: Yeah, this has been super fun and encouraging too.
And when you’re ready to republish your book, you just let me know.
Matthew: Alright, take care.
Jesse: Excellent Matt, you too.
Thanks for tuning into this episode of The Blog Chronicles. If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe on YouTube or iTunes and leave a rating or review to help other bloggers find us.
If you want to chat, look me up on Twitter @mattloomis