Welcome to another episode of 7-Minute Marketing with Pam. My name is Pam Didner, and I love sharing a little dose of B2B, digital and content marketing, seven minutes at a time.
Ok, I reached a major milestone last week. While in London, I visited my publisher and finalized the manuscript of my 2nd book, Effective Sales Enablement. Now, the manuscript is officially moving to the production phase. I am not at the finish line yet, but I am very happy that the hardest part is DONE.
People approach me all the time asking about how to write a book and get it published. I want to share my experience with you, in seven minutes. BTW, my experience is more on writing a business book, not a fictional novel. So, what’s the difference? This is my opinion. I think it’s harder to sell a novel and it’s better to have an agent. For business books, personally, I think you can represent yourself and pitch it to a publisher directly.
Here is the process I used for publishing my 2 books.
How to start
Start with a topic that you are either the expert at or very passionate about. Writing is a frustrating creative journey. Unless you love the topic, it’s hard to get through the whole writing and rewriting process.
Put your ideas into a general framework or methodology to explain your ideas. Or you can dissect the topic into different elements and add adjacent subtopics. Frankly, there is nothing new under the sun. The secret is how you present an existing idea with a new twist or from a new perspective. For my 1st book, I created a framework called the 4C’s of Global Content Marketing. For my 2nd book, I discussed how to enable sales through various marketing elements. I dissected the topics from a marketer’s perspective.
Now you have a topic and a general framework, it’s time to write a book proposal. Hey, if you want a sample for your book proposal, I am more than happy to share mine with you. I am not saying mine is the best, but I structured the proposal in a way that makes it easy for the book publisher to get the gist of who I am, what the future book is about, and a sense of the overall outline and this topic’s competitive landscape.
Here’s what you need to do after book proposal
Once that’s done, you can send your book proposal to various publishers. Publishers are usually very good at letting you know if they are interested in your book proposal. For payments, some pay an advance, some don’t. I have heard that this is where an agent is helpful. Maybe! Most people write business books to get additional business opportunities or check off their bucket list, not necessarily try to make money off the book. You need to understand why you want to write a book. If you are driven by making money, I hate breaking the news to you. You are better off doing something else.
Many people prefer self-publishing. I don’t have experience with that. The two biggest advantages for working with publishers: hold myself accountable to a deadline. They set up a date, I need to meet their deadline. Another reason for working with publishers is to access their retail and international distribution channels. If you are self-publishing, you will probably sell it on Amazon or your own website. You have to work hard to get on other online channels. It can be challenging.
With or without a publisher, the next step is to buckle down and write. There’s not much more to it. One word at a time. Allocate time, sit down and write. Just do it.
The writing and publishing
By talking to various business book authors, the writing seems to take about 4-8 months. The production process is about 6-9 months if you work with publishers. They will do a layout design, typesetting, fact-checking and a series of other steps to get the book published.
After you’ve handed in your manuscript, it’s time to start working on the launch and marketing plan. Many authors work closely with PR agencies to create marketing campaigns. This time around, I decide to work with a PR person and focus on mainstream media promotion and interview opportunities.
When the book is published, there’s still a lot of work to do. Marketing and promotion never stop. It’s like demand gen, you have to do it day in and day out. I didn’t do a good job promoting my first book. This time around, I am making an effort to create an integrated plan with paid and organic marketing campaigns and content marketing efforts. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Are you ready and willing to take the plunge? As I said, I am more than happy to share my book proposal with you.
Again, send me your marketing questions via Twitter @pamdidner
Be well. Until next time.