One of my newsletter subscribers, Ryan, published his book, One Step Closer, in November 2020. He has an interesting story and shares a little bit about his book here.
What are your goals for 2021?
My goal is to sell 5000 copies of One Step Closer in the first year (November 2020 — November 2021).
In order to accomplish this, I am reaching out to at least three potential partners each week. I am mainly focused on podcast interviews but also have incorporated guest blog posts and email collaborations.
As momentum for the book has continued to build, requests for interviews have begun coming in on their own. While I will prioritize those opportunities as they come in, I have a list of other partners to continue to reach out to whenever it slows down.
Publishing my first book was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Going into it, I felt incredibly overwhelmed and unsure if I would be able to pull it off. I wondered, “Will anyone read this? Will it all be a waste of time?”
Thankfully I came across some incredibly helpful resources to make the marketing aspect less scary. Blogs like www.ausoma.com and books like Your First 1000 Copies gave me the information and confidence I needed to bring this project to fruition.
If you are on the fence about publishing or hesitant to share your work with the world, I hope 2021 is a year you can look back on as one that saw your author journey come to life!
On November 20, 2009, 21-year old college student Ryan broke his neck and became paralyzed below his shoulders. He launched his website in 2013 to share rehab updates with family and friends. It soon expanded to his writing about faith, marriage, and the power of holding an eternal perspective. Learn more about Ryan here: https://www.ryansatkins.com/meet-ryan/
It’s an honor to share with you this interview with another one of my LinkedIn connections, The Book Professor, Nancy Erickson.
• Tell us a little bit about your business.
We turn people who aren’t writers into authors of high-impact nonfiction that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. We strictly work with authors who want to offer hope and help to others.
• How would you describe your ideal client?
Our ideal client is a businessperson, speaker, or coach who has a message to get out the world, but doesn’t know how to write a book. We help you do that through our step-by-step process that takes you from your initial idea to the published book.
• How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?
2020 was probably less challenging for us than others. Our staff was already 100% virtual, and since our clients are all over the globe, we already communicated with our writers via video conferencing. Because we had greater capacity to serve our clients, we were able to continue to do so.
• What is your favorite tip for using social media?
Find someone who loves to engage on social media and hire them to help you!
• What are your goals for 2021?
Through our two book-related businesses, The Book Professor and Stonebrook Publishing, we hope to publish an additional 50 high-impact nonfiction books in 2021. We want to help more people get their messages of hope and help out to the world.
Nancy Erickson is known as The Book Professor because she helps people who aren’t writers become authors of high-impact nonfiction books that can change lives, save lives, or transform society. She works with public speakers, coaches, physicians, attorneys, financial planners, small and large business owners, and everyday individuals to translate their unique message into a book that can change the world, one reader at a time. All you need is an idea for your book to get started.
A couple of years ago an author in New Zealand contacted me for social media assistance. I was very pleased to know that my reputation had reached so far! Enjoy reading about Jenny.
Tell us a little bit about your book and business.
My latest book, Love America: On the Trail of Writers and Artists in New Mexico, arose from a visit of mine to Taos and Santa Fe, which turned into a literary pilgrimage. Afterwards it generated an exploration of New Mexican history and the ways New Mexico has influenced writers and artists (often from New York) who visited over extended periods or, in some cases, settled there permanently. For instance, D H Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Willa Cather, Frank Waters. Also, the heiress and brilliant collector, Millicent Rogers. The book offers a different approach to travel, one which I have found transformative.
As for my business, I am first and foremost a writer so that is my top priority – to keep writing and not let my time trickle away attending to all the other aspects of the writing business. I am lucky to have found an enthusiastic publisher for this title. The book had a great designer and publicity management. After my last title, which was self-published, I sought help from Sue Canfield with managing social media and that was well worthwhile. I have also had my website renovated in time for the launch of the latest title and am well pleased with the result.
Why did you write your book?
I felt a strong desire to make sense of my lived experience, to make it intelligible, coherent and beautiful. Inspiration for a new book has come following an unexpected connection between two hitherto unconnected things. For instance, my experience of the Rugby World Cup played in New Zealand in 2011 and my need for a sense of belonging resulted in my third book, Not For Ourselves Alone.
How did you publish your book?
This title was published by a traditional publisher for a niche market.
How did things change for you as an author in 2020 and how did you manage to weather the pandemic?
I worked on the manuscript with a mentor/publisher who, upon its completion, offered to publish it. During our 5-week covid lockdown I felt unable to write and worried that nothing would come of the plan. Her trip to New Mexico was cancelled and with it our hopes of finding a US publisher with a view to a co-edition. Linda was still keen to publish in NZ however and the book was launched in early November. Now she has returned to the idea of seeking a co-edition partner. How will the continuing pandemic affect the result? We’ll see!
What is your favorite book marketing tip?
To seek and follow the advice of experts in the field, especially that of social media. To spare nothing in learning to apply this knowledge of engagement and then to work out a comfortable personal balance between time spent on social media as against writing more books.
What are your goals for 2021?
To publish and market a children’s picture book for which I have completed the text. Next, to write a new adult book, Never Stop Travelling. And of course to achieve a better balance between working to deadlines and taking time out.
Jenny Robin Jones is a writer of many years standing.
Born in Wellington, where she now lives, Jenny spent her formative years in England, returning to New Zealand as a young adult to begin her working life as a teacher.
She was for many years executive director the New Zealand Society of Authors, served as its representative on the board of Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) and was a long-term chair of the selection panel for the CLL awards.
She also chaired Peppercorn Press, publisher of the quarterly review journal New Zealand Books.
Book Coach Kim O’Hara and I connected on LinkedIn a few years back. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and can highly recommend her services.
Tell us a little bit about your business.
I am a Book Coach to Best Sellers®. I stand by that title with my company A Story Inside because I have seen eight authors alone this past year get to that status with fantastic books I have helped them germinate from a dream to distribution.
How would you describe your ideal client?
My ideal client is a go getter, ambitious, a thought leader and willing to invest in the best coaching for a book that can stand out among all the rest. They are seekers of higher education whether it be in the Navy, Masters programs, coaching programs or in their profession.
How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?
In 2020, I finally leaned in to what people have been telling me to do for years and started a podcast You Should Write A Book About That, which is exactly what my clients have said to them so many times before they finally surrender to the process and write the darn book! We are on all podcast platforms and very quickly passed the 15,000 subscribers mark in Covid. On the show are all kinds of folks with stories to tell, who may or may not write a book, but they get their moment in the sun.
What is your favorite tip for using social media?
On social media I would not direct sell to people just because they are now in your network. I always wince when someone friends me, I accept and six seconds later I am receiving some blanket pitch for their program or event. Get to know me first. Ask me about my day, or my business, or even make small talk. People use social media as a knee jerk and it should be a longer game.
What are your goals for 2021?
My goals for 2021 is to increase the amount of white glove clients I sell and have more access to my teachings and coaching with entry level offerings like Own Your Authorship which launched for 8 weeks on December 28th. Mindset work for people who are almost ready to make the leap into private book coaching but feel blocked.
Where can authors find you?
Authors can find me everywhere! I am on LinkedIn and very accessible. I am also at my web site at astoryinside.com where an email is posted. If you sign up for my newsletter (which gives you a series of free teachings) you can know everything I am up to. Also, if someone has a great story, I would love to consider them for the podcast. It is funny how transparent I am and people still hold back to reach out.
I hope that everyone who is torn about becoming an author change agent reaches out so we can talk about how they can fully step into their greatness!
Book Coach to Best Sellers® Kim O’Hara knows how to get to the root of the story. She guides her clients from the dream of writing a best-selling book through the creation to publishing and marketing. Her authors have been on the Wall Street Journal top ten business books lists, USA Today top 150 and numerous Amazon #1 best seller lists as well as #1 in all of non-fiction. She has been a storyteller for over thirty years with a previous career as a movie producer and screenwriter. She also has a successful podcast You Should Write A Book About That® where she interviews fascinating people with a story to tell. Her own memoir Kicking Abuse in the Ass, faces the effects of sexual abuse denial and recovery. She can be found at astoryinside.com.
Faith Wilcox was referred to me by her editor Candace Johnson. I’ve enjoyed so much working with Faith on her social media marketing and now on her book publicity. We’re in the midst of a six-month long publicity campaign for her new book which will be released in June. Let’s have Faith tell us more.
Why Do I Write?
Throughout the past two decades, writing has saved me. I began writing when sitting by my thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s bedside while she was receiving treatments for a rare pediatric bone cancer. I was overwhelmed, devastated, and in a state of shock during the first months after her diagnosis. I started to write as a way to release the thoughts that I kept buried inside, process what my daughter and I were experiencing, and express both my fears and hopes.
Why Did I Write Books?
And after my daughter’s death, I wrote while in a maelstrom of grief. Writing created a passageway through my grief, and years later, as I was healing, I wrote about moments and ways that I found comfort and peace. Poetry emerged from my writing, and in time I wrote and self-published a book of poetry, Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child, which is intended as a companion to those on the journey of grieving and healing.
Years later, I reread my earlier writings and from them wrote a memoir of my sorrows and joys, my despair and hope, my grieving and healing. My most recent book, Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again, will be published by She Writes Press, an independent hybrid publisher, in June 2021. At turns both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Hope Is a Bright Star reveals how abiding love can heal a family.
Finding a Publisher
Finding a publisher was quite an expedition into a field with which I was unfamiliar. The publishing world had changed considerably since I first self-published my book of poetry. I dove in and learned from influencers about the publishing world and researched the benefits and drawbacks of self-publishing, hybrid publishing, and traditional publishing. I asked for advice from people who had recently published a book, and I listened to both cautionary tales and stories of success. I wrote to traditional publishers that required an agent and those that didn’t. I submitted my book proposal to publishers, agents, and one hybrid publisher. I was thrilled when She Writes Press, recently recognized as the number one indie hybrid publisher, accepted my manuscript for publishing.
Working During the Pandemic
The disruption of normal life and work during the pandemic has been limiting, but I discovered an ironic silver lining. A quieter life has meant that I’ve had more time to work on my book production with She Writes Press, expand my social media presence, and make plans for book publicity. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the multitude of steps during the book publishing process as I’ve worked hand-in-hand with my publisher. And, having a quieter life has allowed me to meet every deadline in the process!
I’ve also dedicated time to growing my author platform, which includes writing frequent blogs about how, when one is undergoing stressful medical events, a daily practice of writing can improve physical and psychological outcomes. I frequently cite evidence-based research that confirms these findings. I’ve reached out to and connected with influencers who attest to the benefits of writing and have written numerous guest blogs for and been interviewed for several podcasts by these influencers. My followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and my connections on LinkedIn have increased significantly.
Increasing your author platform also includes creating book marketing strategy and executing it. As Hope Is a Bright Star will be published in June, I am setting the stage for my book publicity with Sue Canfield of Ausoma. In addition to promoting my memoir on social media platforms, Sue and I will submit my book’s Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) to reviewers searching for endorsements, to award contests, and to influencers. Sue will prepare press releases for local media, national magazines, my college alumni magazine, and more. Together we’ll arrange for in-person and Zoom interviews promoting Hope Is a Bright Star and for events at bookstores.
My Favorite Book Marketing Tip—How to Get Endorsements
To begin, create a list, including contact information, of all of the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence. Include your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, college alumni connections, book club members, trade association connections, and more. Reach out to these connections, explain that you are writing a book or have written a book, and ask if they have any connections with authors or influencers in the genre of your book. You may be surprised by the number of contacts they will generate! Simultaneously, broaden your reach to include your social media friends and followers. The goals are two-fold. You want the influencers to get to know you, and you want to contribute something of value to them.
Reach out to your “old” and new connections. Ask them to read your manuscript or ARC. Ask for endorsements. Plan months ahead of your publishing deadlines. Give everyone plenty of time to read your manuscript and to respond.
Goals for 2021
As I mentioned above, my plans for 2021 include writing on my social media platforms, expanding my sphere of influence, and promoting Hope Is a Bright Star. And, of course, visiting with family and friends after the pandemic is behind us!
Finding My Books
You can find Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again on my website , on Amazon, on INDIEBOUND, or on Apple Books. Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child is available on Amazon.
Faith Fuller Wilcox believes that self-expression through writing leads to healing. Her writing is reflective of a growing body of medical research about “narrative identity,” which highlights that how we make sense of what happens to us and the value we give to experiences beyond our control directly impact our physical and psychological outcomes. Faith learned these truths firsthand when her thirteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that took her life. Faith’s journey from grief and despair to moments of comfort and peace taught her life-affirming lessons, which she shares today through her writing.