March 12, 2014 3 Comments
It was July 30, 2010 and I sat across from Mark LeBlanc, a business consultant and former National Speaker Association National president. He looked at me with his hound dog eyes and said, “You need to write a book. And you can do it next month” It wasn’t a suggestion. It was a “demandment.”
I stared back at him, thinking: I have no time. I have no money. I have no knowledge.
I had no time. I worked two part-time jobs and had three teenagers at home, one of whom I was homeschooling.
I had no money. We had a failing technology business. Later that year we would be filing for bankruptcy.
I had no knowledge. I didn’t know the first thing about self-publishing.
So with those thoughts swirling in my head, I said: “I think I can do that.”
I don’t know where those words came from, but if Mark thought I could do it, then I believed I could.
Three months later, I had self-published my first book, Small Talk Big Results: Chit Chat Your Way to Success. And now, three and half years later, have a total of 5 self-published books and one co-authored book published by McGraw Hill (Diane’s Amazon Author Page). I bring in passive income of about $1000/month from Amazon sales. And, the increased credibility has led to speaking engagements (and back-of-the-room book sales) and media interviews.
I learned that I didn’t need much time because I could use content I already created. Four of my books were originally blog posts and one was curriculum for a class. After the first book, I published my books in less than a week, including both print and ebook formats. For the last book, which I published only as a Kindle ebook, the total time was about 5 hours (and that including cutting and pasting content from my newsletters, writing an introduction and a conclusion, and formatting). For that first book, I carved out time from 5:15-6:15 AM Monday-Friday, about 20 hours total, to massage blog content and add a few chapters.
I learned that I didn’t need much money. My first book cost about $800 to self publish and that included buying a block of 10 ISBN numbers for $250, and hiring out editing, formatting for both print and ebooks, and cover design. Most of the subsequent books cost $30 or less because I did everything myself.
I learned that I didn’t need much knowledge. I still haven’t read a book on self-publishing. For the first book, I googled “how to self-publish” and learned as I went along.
If I can do it, you can do it.
You don’t need a lot of time. You don’t need a lot of money. You don’t need a lot of knowledge.
I can’t do anything about your time or money situation, but I can help with the knowledge, at least to give you an orientation to self-publishing, with a focus on ebooks.
Click here for a 2-page overview “Writing and Producing Ebooks for Speakers.” (applicable to non-professional speakers, too!)
And, then . . . Just do it!