Talking to People About Your Business: Why and How I Wrote My Book
March 31, 2011 Leave a comment
On 3/14, Tanya Smith and Tai Goodwin interviewed me on their BlogTalk Radio show, Your First 20 Clients for a segment, How to Talk to Strangers (and Friends) About Your New Business.
This blog post is the ninth and final in a series based on that show (I transcribed it one question at a time).
Today’s question is from 47:19 to 53:15 in the hour-long audio of the show.
Tanya: So, what prompted you to write the book in the first place, Diane? Why did you decide that this was a book meant for you to put out to the world?
Diane: Well, this is kind of funny, but it was because someone told me I should write a book. (laughter)
I had a meeting with another speaker, Mark LeBlanc, who lives in the Twin Cities area. This was on July 30th of last year. And, he said, “You should write a book. In fact, you should write it next month. And get it published.”
The reason he was saying I should do this was to develop credibility as a speaker. Because, it is really funny, once you write a book, you are an “expert.” In the speaking business, especially, someone who has a book has more credibility than someone who doesn’t have a book.
So, I thought, “Well, that is a good idea . . .
Fortunately, I had started a blog in November of 2009. I was using the blog to develop presentation material, in part, and I had done some presentations based on what I had written in my blog. And, then, I was able to use, for my very short book—it’s only about 70-some pages—the material from my blog made up 75% of my book.
In the month of August—I didn’t have a lot of time because I was doing a couple of other jobs—I got up and wrote, or edited from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning, or 5:15 to 6:15 in the morning—for an hour, very early in the morning, before everything else got going for the day.
I did that in August. I finished the book for writing.
On the day after Labor Day—I kid you not—I googled “How to self-publish a book.” I didn’t know how to self-publish a book.
So, I go down the whole rabbit path.
I’ll look at this source . . . this makes sense . . .
To make a long story short—I ended up going with Createspace on Amazon.com and I had paid someone on elance.com to edit the book. And then someone else on elance.com, actually a company in India—for only 75 bucks they turned the print version into an ebook format for the Kindle, the Nook and the iPad. I’m very glad I did do that because the Kindle is outselling the print version almost 2 to 1—probably because it is also cheaper.
So, the book got published on October 30th, three months after I made the decision to write it.
Diane: That’s an advantage of self-publishing because if you go a regular publishing route, number 1, you’re going to face a lot of rejection most likely, especially if you’ve never published before. And, number 2, after you get accepted, it’s probably a year before you’d see your book come out. So, that whole process could take two years.
That’s like, “Man, I don’t want to wait two years!”
Plus, you get less money when you just have to just take the royalties from the publisher versus self-publishing.
Tai: That was one of the things that impressed me with you, Diane, when we met, was that you were able to take that leap and just jump out there and do it. So many times we kind of hold back because we think we don’t know enough or we’re not enough. You just took all the knowledge and information that you had and you jumped out there and you were able to come up with this fantastic product that can really help people in their business.
Diane: It was such a good experience for me that it made me realize that there’s probably a book in everybody’s heart and not too many books are on people’s shelves that they’ve written.
There’s probably a book in everybody’s heart
It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. I spent, probably, an hour a day over 3 months. But, I’d already written most of it on my blog—so there’s a good idea for having a blog just to develop material.
It probably cost me—I figured it out later—about $800 to self-publish, which is not that much money to self-publish a book.
Tanya, Tai: That’s pretty good. Yeah.
Tanya: And there’s a tool, Fastpencil.com You can actually import your blogs there into ready-to-go books.
Diane: What was that called?
Diane: Well, that’s interesting.
Tanya: You just pull the RSS feed from your blog right into that system and you’ll have a ready-to-go book with the chapters and everything. And, it’s very easy to edit. You can use their publishing service or you can do something else.
Diane: There were things in my blog I didn’t want in my book, so I liked being able to pick out what I wanted.
Tanya: You can do that there, too.
Tai: Tanya, as always, you’ve got all kinds of good tech stuff to share with us. You’re just so awesome.
Tanya: You, too!
Tai: Diane, I don’t think we did this . . . you have to say the title of your book for the folks that are listening.
Diane: Well, this is the same as my website. I made it really easy. Small Talk Big Results and the subtitle is Chit Chat Your Way to Success!
Tanya: I can’t wait to read it. I’m going to go get it on my Kindle, by the way.
Diane: It’s only $3.99 on Kindle. So, it’s not that much money.
Tanya: And then, I’ll buy it in print as a gift for some other people.