by Julie Bawden Davis

Writer/Author/Publisher/Speaker, Garden Guides Press

If you get published in your field, you can cement your status as an expert, increase customer respect and, ultimately, grow your business. Here’s how to turn this page.

soon found himself with almost more business and media attention than he could handle.SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 When his book on a groundbreaking way to look at ADD/HD was released in 2000, Dr. Kevin Ross Emery soon found himself with almost more business and media attention than he could handle.

“People began contacting me to see about working with them and their children,” says Ross, author of Managing The Gift: Alternative Approaches for Attention Deficit Disorder

7 Reasons You Should Write A Book For Your Business

7 Reasons You Should Write A Book For Your Business

Let’s face it, there are a lot of small businesses out there and you need a way to stand out. Writing a professional business book can give you instant credibility and it’s surprisingly achievable with digital technology to reach a global audience with your words. Attention is the first step in the sales funnel and a book is a great way to get you and your business noticed.

Here are 7 more reasons you should write a book for your business.

1. Demonstrate your expertise

You’ve spent years gathering your knowledge in a specific niche. You have notes and seminars, training programs and articles as well as a lot of know-how in your head but how do you quickly and easily prove your ability? A book with your name on front establishes you as the expert and provides an easily consumable version of your knowledge.

2. Increase your credibility and status

Authors are respected because they have achieved the concrete goal of publishing their work. People look at you differently when you say you’re an author. This increases your credibility in the market and will also give you more confidence in promoting your business.

3. Solidify and articulate your knowledge

You may have perfected your one-line elevator pitch but writing a book gives you the opportunity to expand and fully express your story. Business books are no longer dry and boring. They contain plenty of personal stories and anecdotes so you can share the unique aspects you bring to your niche. This also gives people a chance to know, like and trust you which is a key component in whether they will hire you or recommend you to others.

4. Expand opportunities for media and speaking

If you have a physical book it can act as a business card, demonstrating your ability to speak coherently on your topic. This is useful for media as there is existing credibility and a focused topic they can interview you about. A book is also recommended if you want to create or expand your own speaking business. The most highly paid speakers have multiple books associated with the topics they speak on and speaking is a great way to bring new people into your business.

5. Create multiple streams of income

You can sell your book online or at your live speaking events. You can also use the book as the basis of a larger product line to expand income streams. The book is your entry level information but you can also have an online multi-media course that expands the material, plus a full day workshop and 1:1 coaching around the topic. People might not be willing to go straight for the higher priced product but they will likely part with a smaller amount to read your book.

6. Grow your business internationally

If you market your books to a wider audience, you can attract new people to your business. They may read your book and then want to investigate your professional services further. You can easily and cheaply publish print books as well as ebooks on With print on demand technology, you can sell books to the huge US market as well as other countries.

7. The book you write will change your life

Many people have a dream of writing a book, but that dream can now become a concrete goal. You probably started your business because you are passionate about something and want to change people’s lives. You have a story that needs to be told. Well, your voice is important and your words can be heard if you get them out there.  In these days of digital printing, you can achieve your goal of writing a book even with a small budget. So state your goal, and get writing!

Make 2017 the year your business stands out from the crowd.

About the author: Joanna Penn is an Amazon bestselling author and professional speaker on writing, digital publishing, and internet marketing. Her business, The Creative Penn, helps people write, publish and sell their books. Follow Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepennWRITE YOUR BOOK TODAY! – Call or Text your Name and Email to 832-572-5285

Sara Watchorn Hits #1 Amazon Best-Seller List with “Sara Fay and the Elementals Book 4: Teelo and The Plant Kingdom”

Sara Watchorn Hits #1 Amazon Best-Seller List with “Sara Fay and the Elementals Book 4: Teelo and The Plant Kingdom”


Sara Fay and the Elemntals book4
Sara Watchorn Hits #1 Amazon Best-Seller List with “Sara Fay and the Elementals Book 4: Teelo and The Plant Kingdom”

Author Sara Watchorn, recently hit FIVE National best-seller lists with her new book, “Sara Fay and the Elementals: Book 4: Teelo and The Plant Kingdom”
Salt Lake City, UT–Friday, June 9, 2017 – Four-Time Best-Selling Author Sara Watchorn Hits #1 in five categories with her New Book, Sara Fay and the Elementals Book 4: Teelo and The Plant Kingdom” which was released June 6th, by – the nation’s #1 place to buy books.
On the day of release, “Sara Fay and the Elementals Book 4: Teelo and The Plant Kingdom” started its upward movement towards best-seller status in five categories with its June 6th release and has reached #1 best-seller status in: Mystery and Wonders, Flowers & Plants, Forest and Trees, Rocks & Minerals & Earth Sciences. This is the fourth time Sara Watchorn has hit the Amazon best seller list this year.
Learn about the magic of the “Elementals” in the 4th book of the Sara Fay and the Elemental series. The Elementals loving energy nourishes the land, plants, and animals that are found in the Three Elemental Kingdoms. In Teelo and The Plant Kingdom, Elmoraz, and the other Elementals, find our young heroine, Sara Fay, and continue to teach her about The Three Kingdoms and the magical powers they possess.
In this fun, uplifting, children’s book, Sara Fay finds a new friend named Teelo. She learns about caring for The Plant Kingdom and how plants keep us alive by giving us air, scent, color, and food.
Written in rhyme, this touching, inspirational series educates it’s readers about the importance of nature and calls them to action with engaging quests at the end of the book. Come along and save the day with the Elementals and Sara Fay!
Look for Sara Fay and the Elementals: Book 1,2 & 3 – Available on Amazon and your favorite bookstore.
About Sara Watchorn –
Sara Watchorn was a scholarship swimmer at Stanford where she graduated with a degree in English Literature. She began coaching other young swimmers as a teenager and has since worked with all age groups to improve athletic performance and to develop a healthy lifestyle. Her first published series, Sara Fay and the Elementals, lovingly reflects the important role nature plays in bringing humankind health, vitality and joy.
Sara has spent most of her life residing at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah. Whether it is appreciating their beauty, traversing their trails or speaking to a copper colored dragonfly, the mountains bring her peace, inspiration and often a rush of adrenaline. Through her writing, she seeks to identify the many blessings gifted by nature and to preserve them for generations to come.
Follow Sara at:

New Children’s Book

New Children’s Book

Coming Tuesday June 6th
B00k 4 in the Sara Fay and The Elementals Children’s Book Series.

We are excited for the pre-order of Sara Watchorn’s Book – Teelo and The Plant Kingdom

Sara Fay and the Elemntals book4

Learn about the magic of the “Elementals” in the 4th book of the Sara Fay and the Elemental series. The Elementals loving energy nourishes the land, plants, and animals that are found in the Three Elemental Kingdoms. In Teelo and The Plant Kingdom, Elmoraz, and the other Elementals, find our young heroine, Sara Fay, and continue to teach her about The Three Kingdoms and the magical powers they possess.

In this fun, uplifting, children’s book, Sara Fay finds a new friend named Teelo. She learns about caring for The Plant Kingdom and how plants keep us alive by giving us air, scent, color, and food.

Written in rhyme, this touching, inspirational series educates it’s readers about the importance of nature and calls them to action with engaging quests at the end of the book. Come along and save the day with the Elementals and Sara Fay!
Look for Sara Fay and the Elementals: Book 1,2 & 3 – Available on Amazon and your favorite bookstore.

Buy now on Amazon

To get free bonus visit

Erik Swanson Achieves Two-Time #1 Best-Selling Author This Year

Erik Swanson Achieves Two-Time #1 Best-Selling Author This Year


Erik Swanson Hits #1 Amazon Best-Seller List with his book “Crush and Dominate.”
International Keynote Speaker, Author & Social Media Expert, Erik Swanson, recently hit 3 separate best-seller lists with the book “Crush and Dominate.”
Dallas, Texas – Friday April 21, 2017 – Best-Selling Author and Speaker Erik Swanson hit #1 in 3 separate Amazon Categories with his book, “Crush and Dominate,” which was released April 21, 2017, by – the nation’s #1 place to buy books.
On the day of release, “Crush and Dominate” hit best-seller status in three Categories. The book reached #1 best-seller status in the following three Amazon categories: Marketing for Small Business, Small Business Advertising and Education Workbooks. This marks his second best-seller in just two short months!

Erik Swanson has delivered over 6000 motivational presentations at conferences and meetings worldwide. As an award winning International Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author & Attitude Coach, Erik Swanson is in great demand! Speaking on average to more than one million people per year, he is both versatile in his approach and effective in a wide array of training topics.
Nicknamed “MR. AWESOME,” you can easily find Erik sharing stages with some of the most talented and famous speakers of the world, such as Brian Tracy, Nasa’s Performance Coach Dr. Denis Waitley, from the book/movie ‘The Secret,’ Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield, John Assaraf, & Millionaire Maker Loral Langemeier, Co-Author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ Sharon Lechter, among many others! Mr. Swanson has created and developed the super popular Habitude Warrior Conference which has a 2-year waiting list and includes over 33 top named speakers, all in a ‘ted talk’ style event which has quickly climbed as one of the top 10 events not to miss in the United States!
Due to his success, Erik Swanson has been recognized by The Elite Institute of Best-Selling Authors, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading independent best-seller lists.
To order a copy of the book, please go to
To learn more about Erik Swanson, please visit
About Elite Online Publishing:
Elite Online Publishing is the brand building publisher – write, sell, and market your book online. Elite Online Publishing helps busy entrepreneurs, business leaders, and professionals create, publish, and market their book, to build their business and brand. They are passionate about future authors sharing their stories, knowledge, and expertise to help others. Educate, inspire and motivate others by telling your story.
If you’d like to learn more about Elite Online Publishing or to see if we’re a good fit for your book project, please visit

Erik Swanson, Crush and Dominate



Should I Write A Book? Yes: Who, Why & How

Should I Write A Book? Yes: Who, Why & How


85% of Americans in business say they want to write a book. 5% do.

There is no easier way to reach the top 5%.

I’m just wrapping up a book and it’s reminded how awesome it is. My hunch is that you could probably benefit from writing one as well.

James Altucher recently said:

Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because self-publishing is the new business card. If you want to stand out in a world of content, you need to underline your expertise. Publishing a book is not just putting your thoughts on a blog post. It’s an event. It shows your best curated thoughts and it shows customers, clients, investors, friends and lovers what the most important things on your mind are right now.”

Writing a book isn’t what it used to be. You don’t need a publisher (and readers don’t care that you don’t have a penguin on your back cover). You don’t need to spend years researching it. You don’t need to be an “author” (or smoke a pipe or wear a tweed jacket). You don’t need to dedicate your entire life to it. These things are great for some people. Most people who could benefit from writing a book don’t need to go to these extremes though.

Here’s a preview of what we’ll talk about in this post:

  1. Who should write a book?
  2. Why should I write a book?
  3. How can I write a book?

Let’s do the darn thang.

[Note: We’re talking about nonfiction books in this post. Nothing against fiction, I just don’t have as much experience with it and there aren’t quite as many benefits.]

who me baby

Who Should Write A Book?

Not quite everybody, but pretty damn close. Your competitive advantage is that even though everyone “wants” to write a book nobody actually will.

  1. The entrepreneur who needs to spread the idea of his company. Sure, blogging about your insights can help us understand that you know what you’re talking about. Every blog post you make is worth 10x more if you’ve written a book. Why? It’s proof that you’ve really thought the thing through. Anyone can stick up a blog post, not many people will think about something enough to write a book about it. Example: Chris Baggot has started and sold multiple companies for billions of dollars. When he built ExactTarget (sold to Salesforce for $2.5 billion) he wrote a book on email marketing.)
  2. Current business owners who want to increase sales. A book not only positions you as an authority, but elevates your business as well. Not only does a book increase conversions because people trust you more, it can also act as a lead generator. Example: Catrise Austin is a dentist. This is what she said about writing a book: “I would estimate my business has increased 30 to 40 percent as a result of the book,” Austin says. “People trust and support people who appear in the media or are published. I get to reach audiences I never would have had access to without the opportunities this book has given me.” Also, 37Signals/Basecamp.
  3. Job seekers. Imagine telling a company that you wrote a book on the job you want. That shows an employer everything they need to know about you. (1) You know what the hell you’re talking about and (2) you’re actually interested in the topic and (3) you’re a self-starter.
  4. Anybody looking for a place to start. Writing a book will help you prepare for your start while starting. It’s a project that you can get to work on now while figuring out what to do next. 
  5. Anyone who feels aimless in life. There are few things that can sharpen your focus, make you more curious, and make you feel like you’re working on something awesome than writing a book. Writing a book should have a definite start and end date so it’s relatively easy to commit to. Writing a book is open enough to not make you feel trapped yet focused enough to get rid of the aimless feeling. Examples: Half the books published on ThoughtCatalog.
  6. Consultants who want to boost sales. Most high-profile business books you see on the shelf are literally business cards for business consultants that work with massive companies. You don’t need to be a bestseller to get some of the same effect. Writing a book shows that you are on the cutting edge (and, I should mention, makes sure that you do actually know your stuff). Example: All of them! See David Meerman Scott.
  7. The web designer (or programmer, or any freelancer) that wants to get hired. There are few things that will boost your sales faster than writing a book. Again, show that you know your stuff. Example: Kevin Airgid’s ebook.
  8. The would-be thought leader/influencer who needs to show the thoughts he’s leading. A book is a declaration that you’re here to lead. That you respect your ideas to compile them outside of a blog post. That you’re not f*#$ing around. Example: Chris Guillebeau’s books all act in this way. Note that they also are massive lead generators for his events and courses (where he actually makes money.)
  9. The person who wants to leave a legacy. We all want to leave a piece of ourselves behind. We do this in all sorts of ways. Some people leave fortunes, some leave their names on buildings, some leave the feeling of love in hearts all over the place. Writing a book ensures that a piece of you survives your death. Even if only for future generations of your family or for your small audience online. Example: Every memoir, autobiography, or other book where the author cared about the ideas living on.
  10. People who don’t know what to do. (1) Writing a book will make you go through things that will help you find what you do want to do. (2) It’s a great way to test-drive a type of working without a super-long commitment (you can write a book in a month or less if you really want). (3) No matter what you end up doing after writing the book, you will have created something of value that you can point to the rest of your life. Example: You’d be surprised by how many books out there are in this category. David Meerman Scott began writing because he didn’t know what to do next.
  11. The person who feels like they know nothing. If you feel like you don’t deserve to write a book then you (maybe more than anybody) need to. Not only will writing a book prove to you do know something, it will also force you to learn a ton.
  12. Anyone who wants to become an authority/expert. When you’re done you’ll have proof that you are an authority. More importantly, you will become an authority in the process of writing it.

Why Should I Write A Book?

We touched on a bunch of benefits above but boy oh boy are you in for a treat. You’ll notice some overlaps with the “Who” section but these are universal benefits, divorced from just your specific goal.

“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.” – Benjamin Disraeli

  1. Establishes you as an authority which…
  2. Increases trust which…
  3. Increases sales.
  4. (By the way, you actually become an authority which is the benefit that really lasts.)
  5. Sets you apart from people who just write blog posts. This is true even if you compile a bunch of blog posts into an ebook.
  6. Instant boost in earning power. This is true especially for consultants and coaches but is just as true for anyone else.
  7. Creates massive amounts of focused content as a byproduct. When you write a book you will end up with tons of content that you can repurpose for use on your blog, for guest-posts, in slide-shares, videos, infographics, anything. As content marketing becomes more important this becomes a huge benefit.
  8. You create culture instead of just consuming it. The shift from being primarily a consumer to primarily a creator is huge. Writing a book is one of the most definite ways you can make the switch.
  9. You master one of the three most important skills for the machine economy: connecting with humans. I can’t overstate the importance of this one. When you write a book you are forced to consider how to effectively communicate to others. We are writing all day every day to each other. You should see some of the emails I get from StartupBros readers… they are totally incomprehensible. I feel bad because these people are stuck in life but it’s so obvious why: they can’t even write a decent email! Communication is necessary to do anything in life, the smoother your communication, the more opportunities you have. Think about it, how will you get hired if you can’t communicate why you should be hired? How will you get a significant other if you can’t communicate with them? How can you sell a product if you can’t communicate to someone why they should buy it?! If you’re stuck, mastering communication might be the best path to getting unstuck.
  10. It’s easier to get people to give you money. The entrepreneur who’s written a book may find it easier to raise money for his startup. The coach who’s written a book will find people more eager to pay him. The salesman who’s written a book will find people trusting him more, and therefore more willing to give him money.
  11. Blast your personal brand to the next level. There are few things you can do for your personal brand that are as straightforward and powerful as writing a book.
  12. It acts as a bridge for the wantrepreneur to becoming an entrepreneur. You’ve been thinking about this thing forever. For whatever reason, you haven’t started. Sit down and put all your ideas down.
  13. It can launch your “traditional” writing career. Publishers basically aren’t going to talk to you unless you’ve already published a book and you’ve got some readers. Don’t wait for permission; just write your damn book. (Oh, by the time a publisher knocks on your door you may not have any use for them anyway.)
  14. Gives you access to a different level of networking.
  15. Gives you immediate access to blogs, podcasts, speaking platforms, and other publicity you wouldn’t have been considered for before. If you’re trying to get leads from other people’s platforms you can skip the slog through the small guys if you release a book.
  16. Creates curiosity (and just makes life better in general). When you write regularly you see everything as fodder for writing. You begin to connect the ideas you’re writing about to all sorts of things in the real world. This not only makes the quality of your life better, it also opens you up to opportunities you wouldn’t have seen before.
  17. Provides a sense of mission/purpose. When you’re writing a book you’ve got a mission. You are working on something that matters. Things that would feel meaningless before suddenly take on a meaning because you can use them in your writing.
  18. Forces you into successful habits. Writing a book will force you to be (somewhat) organized, consistent, break large tasks into smaller ones, work even though you have no motivation, push through dips, and finish what you started.
  19. It gives you momentum. When you finish your book you will be hungry for the next project.
  20. It makes bigger goals seem doable. If you can write a book what else are you capable of? A lot.
  21. Gets you unstuck. I think I mentioned this before but it’s true. It works. I’ve used it.
  22. Launch a career (or venture fund, like Y-Combinator). Paul Graham sold his startup, ViaWeb, and was looking for what to do next. He started writing essays (which he compiled into the awesome book Hackers & Painters). These essays got so popular that he decided to give a talk about them to some Stanford students. That talk was so successful that he started a mentoring program. That mentoring program was so successful that Y-Combinator was born.
  23. Launch a career, Part II. Tim Ferriss was sick of working his ass off building up a supplement company. He was making okay money. He freaked out and cut his workweek down to 2 hours using productivity hacks. He gave a talk about how he did that to Princeton students. The talk went so well that he wrote The 4-Hour Workweek. That book did so well that he became the silicon valley, lifestyle-design, whatever-hacker guy. Now people don’t stop throwing money at him.
  24. Launch a career, Part III. Are you seeing the pattern here? If you put your ideas down they can lead to massive opportunities. You can’t see what those opportunities are. (Paul Graham didn’t start out thinking he would redefine the Venture Capital industry and Tim Ferriss didn’t release his book planning on being “The Grandfather of Lifestyle Design”.) The point is that releasing a book allows possibilities to emerge in your life that would never have existed before.
  25. Oh yeah, you’ll help people. Contrary to popular belief, this is actually a benefit to you. After we can pay for life and eat Chipotle and pay for books and movie tickets (I’m projecting, clearly) life gets better in direct relation to how much you make other people’s lives better. Writing is literally allowing other people into your mind. Maybe you can make them believe in themselves again. You can make them feel less lonely. You can help them make more money. You can help them be a little happier. You can help them not be bored. You can help in so many ways.
  26. You’ll discover benefits I haven’t dreamed of. These are all just benefits that I’ve experienced and witnessed. I didn’t even mean to get to “Z” but I couldn’t stop thinking of benefits. Your experience is your own and I guarantee that you find something even more awesome when you write your book.

What more could you possibly want!?

And now for the How!

How Do I Write A Book?

A Note on Famous Habits

I’m not sure exactly how you’ll write a book but I’m exactly sure that it won’t be like anybody else. Let’s talk about writing environments, tools, and drugs first. Then we’ll get into the vastly more practical part: how you can start writing your book.

  1. Place. Stephen King wrote part of Carrie sitting on laundry machine. Maya Angelou had a motel room she wrote in every day. Nietzsche wrote in a notebook he carried on day-long walks. Woody Allen has written on the same type writer at the same desk in the same corner of his house for fifty years. Some people are consistent, some are sporadic. Some people like coffee shops, some like libraries. The thing that beginning writers don’t get is this: it doesn’t matter. If you think you need a certain place to write then you probably won’t. You’ve got to be able to get words out no matter where you are. It might be worth setting up a place that you go to write but don’t be a slave to it.
  2. Drugs. Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote drunk until realizing that was actually a bad idea. Kevin Smith writes while blazed. Carl Sagan did some of that as well. Ayn Rand wrote a ton of Atlas Shrugged on amphetamines. Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road on Benzedrine. Writers are notorious for sucking down unreal amounts of coffee. I’m not going to lie, coffee will help your creativity. I have a hunch it just makes your more excited about ideas that are already there. Either way, it’s never a good idea to be dependent on anything. The vast majority of successful writers don’t need any drug. They just sit down and do the hard work. Steven King was an alcoholic for a while, then a coke-addict, then he burnt out. His writing got worse rather than better. For decades he’s sat down and pumped out 2,000 words without the assistance of any drug.
  3. Inspiration. Writers often talk about being visited by the “muses”. They will also tell you that muses only show up after putting in a whole lot of hours without them. The act of creating is the only way to consistently be inspired.
  4. Tools. Somebody who doesn’t actually want to sit down and write will agonize over the proper tool to use. I mentioned earlier that Woody Allen has been using the same typewriter for 50 years… and he produces about a movie a year. The tools don’t matter, writing matters. That being said, I just started using Scrivener for writing books and it’s been pretty great. If you don’t have that then I’d just use Word or Google Docs for now.

Now for the how-to-how-to.

Really, there’s only one thing that matters:

Define Your Goal for the Book

You can break down the book writing process like a movie production: there is pre-production (getting your idea, outlining, setting your goals, foundation for marketing, etc), production (writing, editing, rewriting, writing), and post-production (design, cover, typography, publishing, marketing, etc.) We are going to focus on pre-production here and then dip lightly into production and post-production.

(For more information on how to write better check out our Ultimate Writing Guide for Entrepreneurs.)

The first thing to do is decide on your goal for writing the book. Books can serve a lot of different purposes and it’s good to know what you want your book to do before you make it. Some possible goals:

  • Increase authority and establish yourself as a thought-leader. This, for first time authors, is often the most effective goal to set. If you’re trying to close more sales, enter a new industry, get hired, start coaching or consulting business, increase your company’s position in an industry, or find a new direction this will probably be your goal. You will be able to show what you know while you increase your knowledge base. What will you do with your new position of authority? Sell something? Lead something? Contribute to larger platforms?
  • Make money. Books are almost always better at making money indirectly than directly. A consultant might happily lose money getting a book to the best seller list (you can guarantee this for about $200,000) because they understand that the sales that follow will more than pay for the promotion. A web designer that has written a book isn’t questioned about whether or not he’s an expert. That being said, you can make a decent chunk of money selling ebooks. Steven Scott is making upwards of $60,000 a month selling $1-$4 ebooks that he writes in a month or less (he is now taking 6-8 weeks to bump up the quality and depth of books he releases). The important part of this: the book is only the beginning, you’d be amazed at the opportunities that follow.
  • Raise awareness for a cause. Maybe you’re passionate about a certain cause. Writing a book is a great way to spread the ideas you think are important. Books carry more weight than individual blogs. Writing a book will boost every other form idea you spread (social media, blogs, etc).
  • Launch a writing career. If you want to be a writer then self-publishing is the best strategy out there. You’ve got to be an “authorpreneur” now. No publishing house is going to discover you or anything like that. The tools to publish are free, we’re just waiting for you to write your book.
  • Launch a business. This is especially true for coaching and consulting businesses.
  • For yourself. Maybe you just want to write a book. You’re not trying to build your career with it. You just want to prove that you can do it.
  • Help people. This should be part of the plan regardless.
  • Learn something in depth.
  • Any goal you can think of. There’s no wrong goal. The important thing is having an aim for the project. Everything you do in the process of creating the book will be guided by this aim. The topic, title, cover design, writing style, and the way you market it will all be determined by what you want your readers to get from the book.

This helps you start with the end in mind (even if the end is still uncertain). It helps you see who you want to think what.

Speaking of “what”, what are you going to bring in the world with your book?

Decide on the Type of Book You’re Writing

Here are some possible types of value you can deliver with your book:

  • New information. Or information presented in a new way. (Examples: Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan, Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, and pop-psyche books.)
  • Entertain them. You can scare them or make them happy or make them cry. All good books are entertaining, some focus on it as the primary goal. (Examples: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, E. L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey…)
  • Hope. You can show them brighter possibilities. (Example: Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart.)
  • A feeling of not being alone. Showing people that other people have been where they are and made it through is powerful. (Example: Most non-technical books fit into this category.)
  • History. This can also be recent history, like what happened in the marketing industry in the last five years and where are we now? (Examples: Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me, I’m Lying, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit.)
  • Guidebook. A guide to getting something specific. This might range from a textbook to a New Age self-help book. (Examples: Seneca’s Letters to a Stoic, Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work, Taleb’s Antifragile.)

Actually Writing the Freaking Thing

We are going to skip over the stages of verifying market size, choosing a topic, and building a marketing campaign into your book in this post because that process will be different depending on what you’re goal is for your book.

If there is no right way to eat a Reese’s then there certainly isn’t one right way to write a book. After spending enough time writing you will find your own best practices. What I’m offering here is a general guide for things to try starting out. If you find they don’t work for you, discard them quick. The only thing that matters is that you actually finish your book. (For our purposes, it would be nice to write it in under 10 years. Under 2 months is even better.)

1. Figure out what you know and what you need to know.

Without any outside resources start writing down everything you know about the thing you’re writing. Write it down even if it doesn’t seem obvious right away, it popped up for a reason!

I’m always surprised by how much I actually know when I do this. You have probably naturally done a lot of research while living, reading, and living in general. Maybe you’ll remember an article or author to reference, just make a note and go back later.

As you do this you will notice that there are some chapters that you could write without referencing anything else. Other areas may seem totally foreign. Actually, more than anything you may notice the gaps in your knowledge and feel “holy crap I know nothing, I have no business writing this book”. That’s the voice you tell to shut up and just keep writing. Those gaps are what will drive your research. No author has full knowledge of something when they go into writing a book. Often they start writing the book just because they want an excuse to research more about it!

After half an hour or so you will begin to see patterns emerging.  Nothing is concrete, you’re just finding your way around. That being said, you’ll probably find yourself writing chapter headings and sub headings, you’ll start grouping things into a blurry version of an outline.

2. Research (specific and general).

First go fill all the small gaps you identified. Facts, statistics, quotes, and other well-defined pieces of information.

After you’ve filled in all the definite gaps, begin getting gradually wider with your research. A lot of the gaps will be much broader than that. You may need to trace the whole history of some company. Maybe you just need to generally know more about some school of thought.

Then expand slightly broader. Think of other books or movies there are about your topic and go take them in.

The research stage is dangerous. It feels safe and it’s fun to learn so you’ll probably just want to stay there forever.

Set a limit on how much time you’ll take to research and then force yourself to move on.

Honestly the research won’t just stop. I added information to my newest book after the fifth draft. You are constantly taking in information that you will want to work into your book. The idea is that after a certain period your focus will not be on research but on production.

3. Outline.

I like to use one huge sheet of paper and then create a kind of detailed table of contents. Usually I’ll transfer that to the computer. A lot of readers love writing ideas on notecards and arranging them into an outline. You make a mindmap online.

The process doesn’t matter. What matters is that you create a document that will always let you know what to write next and makes your research available to you right away.

The better your outline is the faster your draft will happen.

The outline is rarely the final structure of your book though. In the process of writing you may find an awkward transition or that Chapter 2 should actually be Chapter 4.

4. Write your first draft.

This is the step everyone thinks of when they think of writing. If you’ve done your prep work well you will fly through this.

Here are some good rules to get you safely through your first draft:

A. Set a daily word amount to hit. I’d recommend 500 to start. This means that every single day (holidays, weekends, sick days, all days) you write 500 words. One month of this minimum amount will get you to 15,000 words in a month. The magic is that you inevitably writing way more than your 500 word requirements. You will regularly find yourself hitting 1,000 and 1,500 words easily.

B. Hit that minimum limit every single day no matter what. There will days where this feels impossible. It doesn’t matter. You have to hit that limit. No excuse is valid.

C. Write terribly and keep it private. Don’t worry about the quality of your writing, worry about hitting your word count. Don’t let anybody see what you’re writing no matter what. If you try to write well you will feel insecure and get writer’s block and if you let other people see your writing you will feel judged and get writer’s block.

D. Writer’s block isn’t actually a real thing. Everyone can write something all the time. Most of what you write isn’t going to be good. That’s why we edit. You have to write a lot of terrible things to get to the good stuff. It’s just the way it is. I recently watched an interview with an Oscar-winning script writer. He writes 20-30 pages a day and feels lucky if he gets a single usable paragraph out of it! We don’t need to win any Oscars but we do need to be willing to put down words that won’t make the final cut.

E. Write casually. If you try to sound smart you’re going to sound like a jerk. If you try to impress your readers you will repel them. Write like you’re talking to a friend. Your knowledge is going to be obvious if you trust yourself to write plainly. Use little words, not expert-sounding ones. Have a personality. Everyone is writing today and there are about 3 blogs I actually care about reading. People are afraid to be themselves but that’s what the world is begging you for: yourself. You are going to edit this, if you say anything too ridiculous you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get rid of it before the public can see it.

5. Your second draft.

Wait a little while after finishing your rough draft. Congratulations, by the way! Writing a rough draft is tough stuff.

Now it’s time to tighten things up. Get rid of the glaring mistakes. Fix typos.

6. Have a trusted person read it.

This will probably be a friend that you can actually get feedback from. Someone who is in your target audience.

Get their feedback. Actually listen.

7. More drafts.

Go through it again, fix stuff.

Then again.

Maybe you can stop there. Maybe you’ll need to make another pass.



8. Final draft.

Get that baby in proper form to get published.

It’s squeaky clean. There are no typos.

People can read it because they want to and not just as a favor to you.

9. Publish.

There she goes!

10. Marketing.

But you’ve got to help push her along.

What Else?

There’s this word being used now “authorpreneur” to describe the fact that authors have to do everything now.

You have to write the book without anyone telling you to.

You have to write the book without an advance

You have to determine the market demand for your book (if you care about it).

You have to edit it (or hire an editor).

You have to design the cover (or hire a designer).

You have to set your own deadline at stick to it (or get in a group who will hold you accountable).

You have to have your own audience to sell your book to (this is true of traditionally published authors as well).

You have to market your own book (this is also true of traditionally published authors).

You have to publish your book on your own. (With Amazon or someone like them, actually.)

You have to do it all. That’s the overwhelming news.

The good news is that all these things aren’t difficult to do anymore. There is free (or cheap) software that puts the power to accomplish all these tasks in your hands. You don’t need the resources of a big company behind you because you have technology.


Original Article HERE:



Why Self-Publish? An Interview with Richard Paul Evans

Why Self-Publish? An Interview with Richard Paul Evans

Why Self-Publish? An Interview with Richard Paul Evans
by Carolyn Campbell

Return to DIY Publishing · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version

Richard Paul Evans ( originally wrote The Christmas Box to show his two daughters he loved them, and to tell his mother he understood her grief in losing a child. Yet through his persistent determination and marketing genius, Evans parlayed his self-published novel into a $4.25 million advance contract from Simon & Schuster and established himself as one of the most financially successful authors of the ’90s.

The Christmas Box made history as the only self-published novel to hit #1 on The New York Times best-seller list as a self-published book. It further set a precedent as the only book to simultaneously hit #1 on The New York Times hardcover and paperback best-seller lists. According to The Wall Street Journal, in 1995, The Christmas Box had the highest one week sales of any book in their list’s history.

What do you see as the most important first step in considering self-publishing a book?

First, don’t start by considering self-publishing. Becoming self-published is not the easy way to become a published book author, but it is sometimes the only way.

In studying self-publishing, you will see both history and the law of chance aren’t on your side. When I decided to self-publish The Christmas Box, no publisher wanted it, yet I sensed that readers wanted it very much. I would definitely begin by submitting the book to traditional publishers through an agent rather than trying to send it to publishers directly.

Are there ways to sense when it is time to shift from seeking traditional publishing to deciding to self-publish? How long did you wait?

You have to listen to your gut instinct. I quit sending The Christmas Box off to publishers really fast. I sent to six publishers. My mail all came back and said the same thing, and even all the local publishers had no interest. You need to listen to what the rejections are saying and ask yourself if they are all saying the same thing. If they suggest changes that make sense to you, as far as making a better book, do it.

But at the same time, realize that if you have something that is a new paradigm the experts often aren’t experts. A paradigm pioneer is going to be rejected because it doesn’t look like a best-seller. Both The Christmas Box and The Celestine Prophecy didn’t look like what was succeeding at the time when they were released. Now everyone wants to see a book that looks like one of those two books.

Are there ways to anticipate whether a particular book is marketable as a self-published book?

One way is what I call the tuna casserole syndrome. Say you have a great tuna casserole recipe. You invite friends over for dinner and they say it’s great. If some of the people at your party go out and start making tuna casseroles, that isn’t the time to self-market your recipe. But if someone calls back a week after the dinner and says they are coming to get the recipe to start making it for their friends and their friends start calling you for the recipe — that is when you know you might have something.

Before you decide to self-publish, start sharing your book with people around you — family, friends and business associates. Be sure you are convinced that you have something special, because it takes a lot of work to take your book outside your own circle. And I would start with agents, not publishers.

Once you have decided that self-publishing might be your route, what financial and artistic considerations should you keep in mind before you begin?

Make sure you have the funds to print, design and market the book. Above all, your book must not look like a self-published book. Ninety-nine percent of the time, readers, distributors and booksellers can pick out a self-published book. If your book does not look as good as a book published by Doubleday, which is who you are competing with, don’t bother.

How significant is book design in contributing to book sales in self-publishing?

There is a phrase called “nephew art.” This is where someone says, “I had a nephew who was a hippie van painter — I’ll let him design my book cover.” Sad to say, lots of time when you get a friend to do illustration, you kill yourself in the market. Friend illustrations are too often sappy and cheap and don’t compete on a level with national publishers.

When I decided to self-publish The Christmas Box, I decided on a very simple cover design with no illustrations. When Doubleday called, they told me mine was one of the most attractive self-published books they’d ever seen.

I’d suggest hiring an advertising agency or graphic design firm to do your book — it’s worth the money to make your book look like more than it is. If you put out $5,000 to print your book, it’s worth $1,000 to make it look right. It’s easily worth 10% to 20% of the printing cost to make the book look its best because if you make it look wrong you waste all of your money.

Once your book is designed and ready to market, what is the next step?

You have to have adequate distribution. Call the bookstores and ask which distributors they are working with. Distributors can make more money with your self-published book than with a national book coming down, so they are your sales force. Distributors are locally-based, so call the ones near you and ask a lot of questions.

How do distributing and marketing intersect?

If your book looks good, and you have the promotion and design, you will get more distribution. Back to the tuna casserole again. Say you walk into a store and want them to sell your tuna casserole. They’ll ask why they should sell yours when they have a deli there. You tell them it’s because you are doing a radio show and telling people to come to their store. You are making them money.

The only question in all marketing is “what’s in it for me?” You have to give them a reason to sell your book. A crucial aspect that I learned is that there are two sales that take place — one to the bookseller and one to the consumer. With The Christmas Box, consumers forced the booksellers to take the book in. It hit #2 on The New York Times best-seller list, but was only in 20% of the bookstores, so every bookseller in America was looking for The Christmas Box. When I went to the ABA show, booksellers told me, “You are the guy that ruined our Christmas.”

How important is self-promotion when self-publishing a book?

It matters ultimately. Someone has to care about your book, and if you are very lucky, you’ll have a publisher and a publicist who care a great deal. If you’re not willing to work for it, the publisher will usually back out and back down to your level… and you will limit what you have. At the ABA show during my first year with The Christmas Box, I sat next to young woman who also had a self-published book. While my book was doing very well, hers wasn’t selling at all. I thought her concept sounded good, so I was curious about her lack of sales As we talked she said she wouldn’t go on radio shows because she hated her voice, wouldn’t do newspaper interviews because she gets too nervous, and wouldn’t do book signings because she hates to speak in public. She was doing absolutely nothing and had an excuse for everything. I soon decided she didn’t want her book [to sell] that much.

What avenues of self-promotion did you find to be most effective and accessible?

Radio is the easiest and most accessible. In the beginning at least, it’s too difficult to get on TV. But there is always a little 1,000 watt radio station where you can call and asked to be interviewed. Now, when I go on tour, I do 20 cities and there is someone to meet me at every airport. But in the beginning, I did it in my own car, got a hotel room close to the airport, got a rental car and started driving. You can buy radio station guides, or find them at the library or on the Internet. I’d look for talk stations and ask to be on their show. I’d get up in the morning and do interviews. When I wasn’t touring, I did a lot of radio interviews by phone at my home.

When I first started, I was trying to get a local independent chain to sell my book. They were not real interested until I told them I had already ordered a billboard campaign. They were a lot more interested when they understood that I had put as much money behind promoting my book as I put into printing it.

In the beginning, I put $7,000 into the Utah market. I sold my book for $4.95 and put $1 into promotion for each book I sold. Initially, I hired a local publicist at between $1,000 and $1,500/month. It’s worth it if you have the money. It’s also important to realize just how big the United States is. You can drop $100,000 in marketing and not make a dent.

With the small window of opportunity that you have to be successful and get noticed, the best strategy is to be a big fish in a small pond. Focus your money on a local market. If The Christmas Box had been brought out nationally, it never would have sold among 80,000 other titles. In the first year, I concentrated on the Walden Books just in Utah. The other regions saw our sales record and realized The Christmas Box was not on their list, and they ordered it for the next year.

What advice would you give self-published authors about book tours?

Book tours can be tremendously valuable sales tools. If you are going out to sell your book as a self-published author, tell why you wrote the book, the effect it had on you and others, and give people reasons to buy the book.

I’m the first author I’ve ever seen hand out fliers at book signings. To help keep people from shying away from approaching an author sitting at a table, hand them a flier, tell them about the book, give little quotes or testimonials. But don’t plan to go to bask in great glory. Remember that this is not an ego trip. If you think it is, you will get eaten up emotionally. Always go on tour to work. A lot of authors drop out of touring. But remember, you have to pay the price if your book and the message you are sharing really matters to you.

What do you see as your most innovative promotional strategy?

A really defining moment happened at the Mountain Plains book show. I wanted to meet the booksellers, who were all out meeting the well-known authors who were brought in by the publishers. The booksellers would get their books autographed and then get back in line behind another established author. I could see that I was really missing the audience here.

It suddenly hit me that if I didn’t care about this book, who would? I noticed there was one empty seat at the end of the table where the big-name authors were sitting. I went and sat down in that chair with my books. One of the organizers saw me. I could tell by the look on her face that she intended to ask me to leave. When she came up to me, I looked up and asked, “Am I late?” A bit flustered, she asked, “May I get you some water?” I saw her the next year, after The Christmas Box became a best-seller with a $4.25 million advance from Simon & Schuster. She said I’d come quite a ways and I thanked her for not throwing me out. She asked, “What did it hurt?”

What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?

Let me say that my failures were the best thing that could happen to me. If I’d gotten a publisher right off, I wouldn’t have the success I have now. Because I had to promote it myself, I learned how to become market-driven. I needed to be real honest about the dynamics. When I saw what happened locally, I knew that if I could duplicate that nationally, I could have the number one best-seller in history.

Along the way, I discovered it’s very difficult to get national media attention for fiction. Talk show hosts feel that fiction isn’t intriguing or relevant enough for them to sit down and talk about it. Eighty percent of the books featured on talk shows are nonfiction, where they can talk about relationships or dyads or near-death experiences. They feel that asking a fiction author to “tell me what your book is about,” doesn’t make a good interview. Luckily, I had a story behind my book (his mother losing a child to death) that made it interesting to the press.

When you become market-driven, you find out who likes your book and who your market is. I crossed paths with the author of a book called Twelve Golden Threads, about the lessons learned tying quilts. She was having meetings and book signings with quilting clubs. I thought her focus was a good move. Once you find the basic example of who is buying your book, that is the key to success on a larger scale.

When do you recommend beginning self-promotion efforts?

Start a year in advance to plan the best time to release your book. Author Dave Baldacci (Absolute Power, The Winner, Total Control) released his book this year in mid-December. The year before, he released a book on Jan. 1. Why Jan. 1? Because all the major guns are dropping their books in November and December. Michael Crichton came out with his book Feb. 1. Lots of books come out during Christmas, when all the sales are.

Why did you write The Christmas Box? Why should anyone write a book?

I wrote The Christmas Box because it mattered to me. In the beginning, publishing wasn’t a consideration. The book was written with all of my heart for my two daughters. If the only result was that they understood that their father loved them, that would have been enough. If my mother was the only one who read it and she knew that I understood her pain over losing a child, that would have been enough. The Christmas Box worked because it mattered to me. Write something because it matters.

Copyright © 2001 Carolyn Campbell
This article originally appeared in Inscriptions.

This article may not be reprinted without the author’s written permission.

Carolyn Campbell has published more than 600 articles in national magazines. Her articles have also been published internationally in China, Japan, Germany, England, Denmark and Australia. Campbell is the author of Together Again: True Stories Of Birth Parents and Adopted Children Reunited, Love Lost and Found: True Stories of Long Lost Loves Reunited At Last, and Reunited: True Stories of Long Lost Siblings Who Found Each Other. Campbell lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children.

10 Ways to Make Money With a Book

10 Ways to Make Money With a Book

It is Jenn & Melanie again.  We want to share with you the top 10 ways to make money with your book!

Check out this quick video.

Here is a quick summary of the Top 10 ways!
1- Have a Lead Capture Page
2- Pre frame a meeting
3- Foot in the Door Strategy
4- Meet with a VIP or Celebrity
5- Get Speaking Gigs – Sell your book at the back of the room – On Stage Giveaway or Sale
6- Trade Shows & Events – Trade your book for a business card or drawing
7- Call to Action
8- Free Giveaway to a bigger product
9- Joint Ventures
10- Press Release & Media
BONUS – Charge More MONEY as an Expert in your field.

Learn More by reading the book BOOKS TO BUCKS


10 Reasons Why You Need to Write a Book

10 Reasons Why You Need to Write a Book

by Jeff Pinkerton – October 19, 2016

It really got my attention when I read the statistic that 81% of adult Americans, at one time or another, have a desire to write a book. That number seems extremely high, doesn’t it? But then I started reflecting on how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I should write a book on this or that”. My guess is, at some time or another, you’ve probably had a similar thought. Maybe as you are reading this that thought is crossing your mind?

As one who has been through the process, I urge you to take action on that little voice that keeps nudging you towards writing “that” book. Whether it’s a book built around a “how to”, a cookbook, a novel, a biography, on travel, etc., there is a reason you hear that little voice. To me, the sad part is we leave too many books in the “to be written” category in our minds.

I’ve found there are ten great reasons you need to write “that” book.

  1. 1. It can crystalize your thinking. Engaging in the writing process will cause you to crystalize and clarify your thoughts. I think you’ll be amazed at how fragmented thoughts in your mind can be crafted into a work of art.
  2. 2. It can establish your platform. The quickest way to establish your platform is to write a book. A book gives you instant credibility to share your stories, experiences, beliefs and philosophy.
  3. 3. It will help someone else. If your book will help one person, it’s worth the effort. It’s been my observation that helping one person leads to helping others.
  4. 4. It can expand your influence.  A book gives you the opportunity to expand your message far beyond the paths you walk every day.
  5. 5.It will hone your verbal skills.  Bringing clarity to your thoughts in a book will help you verbally communicate more effectively in all areas of your life.
  6. 6. It might have income potential. For most of us, writing a book won’t result in a lot of income, but who knows, until you test the waters? You may well pen the next best seller.
  7. 7. It’s a great resume addition. Adding that you authored a book to your resume often puts you in a class by yourself.
  8. 8. It’s not as hard or expensive as you think. We live in a time when book publishing couldn’t be easier. Self-publishing companies have created an easy and affordable way to publish your book.
  9. 9. You’ll learn a lot. You’ll be amazed at the knowledge and education you’ll gain through the book writing experience.
  10. 10. You’ll leave a message for those that follow. One of the greatest gifts, and maybe one of the most important that you can leave your family and those who follow you, is by memorializing your words and thoughts into a book. Words in a book will last far beyond your time on this earth.

I truly believe inside every one of us is a story to be told. If you feel that story needs to be told in a book, write it. What you may think of as only “common knowledge” will become “uncommon wisdom” when shared in a book.

As always, if I can help you in any way, let me know. –

Get Common Sense to Uncommon Wealth, 10 Simple Steps to Building Wealth

Melanie Johnson’s New Book – LIFE LEGACY CHALLENGE

Melanie Johnson’s New Book – LIFE LEGACY CHALLENGE


On August 27th, 2016 Melanie Johnson will be speaking at the TEDx
Conference in Houston.  We are honored for the opportunity and we are
excited to announce the launch of her new Book August 26th, 2016!

LIFE LEGACY CHALLENGE: Write a Book! Share Your Wisdom, Ideas and Stories to Profit Future Generations

If you were dying next week, what wisdom would you want to leave your children, family, the next generation and the world.
The largest generation is the baby boomers, 76 million strong. But a baby boomer dies every 50 seconds and all their knowledge wisdom expertise, information and inspiration goes with them, unless they do something about it.  Record your wisdom and create a sustainable knowledge library system, by writing a book.

You may be a baby boomer or you may not. Either way – you have a story to tell. You may say who am I to say I’m an expert, that I have a story worth telling. Everyone’s an expert at something. Everyone has a story worth telling. No matter what age you are. You don’t have to be a baby boomer to have valuable wisdom or expertise to share. This book is for all generations, who want to write a book to leave a legacy. What knowledge will you share with the next generation?
Life Legacy Challenge BOOK

The book is listed for just $.99 cents and go to Amazon and buy your copy TODAY.

Here is the link to the book.