Writing a book, getting it printed, and selling it is quite a process. This is what I learned in writing, marketing, and releasing my first book.
It is more than I ever imagined. It is in essence a job which must be worked as much as any other job. If not, it will take longer to complete and will not yield the results you expect.
To do things well, you need to have a process in place for developing and writing the book.
You should have a good idea what you are writing about and what you expect your readership to get out of it. Otherwise, if you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there. And it could be a long, circuitous one.
Once you know what you want to write about, you need to clarify the details and how it will be organized. I had many points I wanted to make about business successes and failures. There were stories for each area. I laid out what each one contained and then grouped them into one of three areas:
- Good – successes
- Bad – trouble
- Ugly – failures.
I then wrote my introduction for these sections and my wrap-up of the entire book. I followed the rule that you tell your audience what you will cover. Then you cover it. As a finale, you tell them again what you told them. That way, you get your points across three times.
I knew I wanted illustrations, so I found an illustrator, Jess.
I shared my writings and where I thought the illustrations should cover. We then discussed what they should represent and she drafted concepts. With a lot of back and forth, we hit on what she and I both envisioned. One picture is definitely worth 1,000 words.
Only after I had all of this done, did I look for an editor and a coach.
They were with me through what was the most challenging part of this. It was getting the book publication ready and paving the way to getting noticed for sales that was the most difficult aspect of the work..
Having a professional editor is worth the time, money and effort. My editor, Jeff, made what I thought was a good writing, a great writing. He adjusted the grammar, clarified my thoughts, verified my quotations and references and made the subject understandable to someone who might have no background about the subject matter. The book now flowed and was an easy and interesting read.
Meantime, my coach, Renia, put me to work. I did more writing about the book than I did in the book itself. I wrote posts and blogs that set the stage for the book. I joined various social media such as LinkedIn, Medium and YouTube. While I had used these somewhat before, I was now into them big time.
I hired a person, Mark, to develop a website regarding myself, the blogs and the book. Once this was done, the site went live and I started posting blogs. That in itself was a process. First I wrote the blogs. Then we edited them. Then they were then run through WordPress. Each had to be formatted and modified before they were blog ready and published.
In the meantime, I was making connections.
I was hooking up with people via meetings and connecting on LinkedIn. These contacts became connections, followers and future advocates for purchasing, buying, and in some cases reviewing or publicizing the book. I also started an email list of people who were then contacted regularly about the blogs and the books. I also needed to get some authorities to endorse the book. Calls to respected professionals, got me six fantastic people (Rich, Jim, Joe, Joe, Donna and Rodney). They wrote wonderful things about me and the book.
Editing continued along until we were finally finished. Now it was time to find a printer. We chose Book Baby, a well-respected New Jersey firm. Working with them brought a new round of reviews and edits. It isn’t a slam dunk to take a manuscript and get it into a book format. We had four reviews before everything was correct and approved. By then end, I had read my book four times and could quote it by heart.
Now came the sales part.
I got the word out to people through presentations, social media and emails, asking them for help. Most people posted about the book and told their friends and business contacts. I did and posted videos, podcasts, and interviews. This all led up to the big day, release of the book (February 27, 2020). The entire process had taken almost one year from when I typed the first word on my computer.
The progression still continues. I am still blogging, posting, conducting interviews, doing presentations and meeting with other influentials and influencers. The book is selling well. And I am in the upper two to three percent of Amazon book sales and the upper one percent for business books.
Was it and is it worth it? Absolutely! For almost 40 years I thought about writing a book. Very few people even attempt it and follow through. I am now one of those people. I had something to share with others and that is now happening on a very large scale. That wouldn’t have been without this book.
This endeavor might have been possible and happened, if I did everything myself. But, I doubt it. I didn’t have the knowledge, time and talent to do this all by myself. This is what I learned in writing, marketing, and releasing my first book. And I was fortunate to be directed to some talented people who made this all happen. They are:
- Illustrator – Jess Cresente
- Website designer and creator – Mark Thibodeaux
- Jim Petrucci
- Joe Winter
- Dr. Rodney Ridley
- Richard Hobbs
- Joe Farkas
- Dr. Donna Burdzinski
- Introducer – Pat Crowley who hooked me up with my Editor and Coach
- Editor – Jeff Webb
- Coach – Renia Carsillo
These people are not just my assistants in this work, they are my friends. They share in all the good that comes from this. They all played a valuable part and I am forever in their debt.
I also want to thank the many people who have supported me with their efforts. They provided comments to my posts, created their own posts, shared my book with friends and colleagues and bought and read the book. Some have written great reviews. Others will be writing their thoughts shortly. Without them the word would not have gotten out and the book would not be as successful as it is.
And the work still continues. I have completed interviews for the Lehigh and Rutgers University Alumni publications. I have done a video with Angel Anderson that will appear on YouTube. I did a radio interview with Pat Crowley and Randy Price at 1039 The Boot WWJB. And a magazine article in Design 2 Part magazine will be out at the end of March. I appreciate the efforts of the publisher, Mark Shortt.
Finally, I have started book number two. While many things are already in place, there is still a lot to do. But with the help of my many friends and my family, the load is lighter. This is what I learned in writing, marketing, and releasing my first book. The road has now been traveled and I now know the way.
You can buy my book, ‘What About the Vermin Problem?’.
Don’t delay, do it today and then contact me and let me know what you think.