Do you dream about writing a book someday? Or do you already have a book, and you hope your podcast can help you reach a wider audience?
Even if you aren’t thinking of writing your own book, there are a lot of book publishing strategies that podcasters should consider borrowing. So throughout this episode, you’ll learn useful tips from guest Jessi Beyer to help you craft new podcast episodes, outline your book based on episode insights, and learn Jessi’s “3x3x3” framework to apply to both your book and your podcast.
Jessi Beyer is an award-nominated speaker, #1 best-selling mental health author, and founder of the Aspiring Author Incubator, through which she helps entrepreneurs take their book from idea to published in less than five hours a week so they can get it into the hands of their perfect readers.
Named a 2020 “Young Entrepreneur to Watch” by IdeaMensch, she has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including Best Company, Thrive Global, and Elite Daily, and has spoken to thousands of people across the country through groups like Penn State University and Leadercast NOW.
Outside of her professional life, she is a K9 search and rescue handler and proud pet mom.
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a free AI tool called Otter. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Welcome to the Wit & Wire podcast, where we help podcast hosts climb the charts, turn a profit, and make an impact. I’m your host, Melissa Guller, and in each episode, we share simple tips and creative strategies to help you create a binge-worthy podcast that listeners love.
Hey, everyone, I’m Melissa. And today we’re talking about one of my personal favorite topics, books, a surprising number of Wit & Wire students have shared that they dream of writing a book someday, or they already have a book published that they hope can reach a wider audience thanks to their podcast. To me, this brings up so many fascinating questions. Which comes first, the podcast or the book idea? And how can you learn from your podcast and your listener feedback in order to help you write a book someday?
Because truthfully, I think podcasters are uniquely positioned to write a book. And we’re going to talk about just a few of those advantages here today. That said, I know that writing a book can feel really big and daunting, just like podcasting sometimes. So even if you aren’t thinking of writing a book, I have a feeling that today’s discussion will still help you understand why just telling yourself to sit down and do it won’t ever work. There are also a lot of book publishing strategies that we podcasters should consider borrowing. So throughout this episode, I think you’ll learn a lot of really useful tips to both create and promote your incredible content. With that in mind, today, I’m joined by guest Jessi Beyer.
Jessi is an award-nominated speaker, #1 best-selling mental health author, and founder of the Aspiring Author Incubator, through which she helps entrepreneurs take their book from idea to published in less than five hours a week so they can get it into the hands of their perfect readers.
She has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including Best Company, Thrive Global, and Elite Daily, and has spoken to thousands of people across the country through groups like Penn State University and Leadercast NOW.
So I’m one of those kids that’s been a writer kind of my whole life, you know, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed my first grade teacher because I would just have her stapled together pages and pages of paper that I could then turn into little books, and I was that kid in high school, where most of their students are asking for the minimum page count or word count for their essays. And I was asking for the maximum. So I’ve always been a writer.
At this point, I wondered what inspired Jessi to write her own book.
When I was in high school, I was really struggling with my mental health. And as I started to heal from all of that I kind of had this understanding that there’s one way to heal, there’s one type of therapy that you can go to. And that didn’t sit well for me, I went I tried it, I literally ran out of the building and never went back. And so I wanted other options. I knew there had to be something else out there.
So when I was finishing my degree in psychology, I started looking into some of these other natural and integrative therapies that were out there and was like, Oh, my gosh, there’s so much information here. This is everything I wish I had when I was feeling I want to share this with other trauma survivors, other people who are in the same position I was. So I went to my advisor, and I was like, Hey, I have this great idea. Instead of doing a literature review, can I do a book instead, which, as I’m sure you and your listeners understand that book is a lot more intensive than a 10 page lit review.
But that being said, My advisor was not a fan of the idea. So like any good budding entrepreneur, I spent the entire semester writing my book and then spent the last three hours before my lit review was due writing the lit review. So that’s basically how that all came together. But it really was just wanting to write something that would show other trauma survivors that there’s more than one way to heal. They don’t have to be pigeonholed into this one specific method of healing, and really share that information that I wish I had when I was feeling for my trauma, mental illness.
It’s funny hearing you say that phrase, “the information I wish I’d had.” Because I know for a lot of my podcasting students, that’s exactly why they chose to start their podcast too. And I’m sure it makes perfect sense because books and podcasts are both such great ways to share our own experiences, our own knowledge with a wider audience. They’re just different formats.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of those things where the information you end up sharing or the business you end up starting or the the book you end up writing is everything that you have learned, and therefore everything that you did have to go through the hard way. And you want to prevent people from having to go through those same scenarios in the way that she did.
And despite all of this great experience, and maybe the desire to share with a wider audience, I know this can seem really daunting, this whole process of writing a book. So what do you think are some of the reasons why people don’t start a book or what holds them back?
Yeah, so there’s actually this statistic that’s kind of out there in the world that says that 80% of people want to write a book, they have that dream in their heart or that item on their bucket list to write a book, but less than 1% of them ever will. And so when I heard that statistic, I was like, Oh my gosh, why are so many people wanting to do this and then never ending up doing it. And I figured out it really comes down to two things. We have perfectionism and we have procrastination. Those two things oftentimes coincide. You know, they they end up being existing in The same person.
But what happens a lot of times is people, especially other entrepreneurs, or other podcasters, they have all of this knowledge in their head, so many things that they can help people with. And then the information that they get from the internet or from other podcasts about writing and publishing a book, tells them to just sit down and write it sit, you know, for an hour a day, or half an hour a day and just write it and then it’s good, and you’re done. And we can all move on. But when you’re taking something that’s often so personal, or so emotional, it’s coming from your heart and soul, and telling someone to just say, Yep, sit down, put your fingers on the keyboard, and just go for it, that doesn’t really work. That’s when you get that perfectionism and that procrastination coming up.
And so I find that those are really the two most common barriers that prevent people from actually taking their book from this idea stage, all the way to published
that sit down and write it mentality, I think applies for a lot of things, whether it’s podcasting, running an online business, writing a book, or even into the world of health and fitness. I have a feeling that, you know, a lot of people already know that that doesn’t work for them. So are there other strategies that work better?
Yes, absolutely. The biggest strategy that I would share with your listeners is to really consider more than just the content. Because when you’re telling someone to sit down and write, or sit down and start a business, or go out and work out and whatever, they probably have an idea of what they want to put in their book, you know, these lessons that they want to share, they want to have this chapter over here, and things like that. But what they’re not considering is the person who’s doing the writing, they’re not considering themselves. Every single person is built in such a unique way and has such a different personality and habit structure, that telling someone to just Yep, get up an hour earlier, hide in the closet from your kids and sit down and write for an hour. That doesn’t work for people.
And so what I really encourage aspiring authors to do is take a look at themselves. When do they work best? Maybe it’s during the lunch hour, maybe it’s in the evening? How long do they have during the day, maybe an hour is unrealistic? Maybe they only have 10 minutes a day, and they have to really focus on those 10 minutes. So what I encourage my students and my audience to do is not just look at, okay, what do I want to put in this thing? And then sit down and write that? But also, how do I want to put this thing together? Who am I? And how am I going to put myself into them.
The other thing that I’d share is that a lot of times with that goal of just sit down and write it, you hear people making these time based goals. So okay, I’m going to write for 15 minutes a day, or 30 minutes a day, or whatever that timeframe is per day. But the problem with that, and this is where that perfectionism piece starts to come in, is that you can sit down and write one sentence in an hour, because you are so focused on putting the perfect stream of words together to convey this one thought and you just start nitpicking and nitpicking at this one sentence or one paragraph. And then at the end of the day, yeah, you did write for an hour, in a sense, but you really didn’t make any progress.
So what I encourage my students to do is to set content goals instead of time goals. So writing a chapter a week, or writing 100 words a day or whatever, it doesn’t have to be anything specific, but setting some sort of content goal where you can say, Yes, I made this much measurable progress on my book, because then you can’t sit there for three hours unless you have that time in your life, which you know, most people don’t. So those are the two things I would say is really considered who you are, who is the person behind this book, and how does this person work. And then also setting those content goals instead of time goals, to beat out that perfectionism a little bit.
And maybe just to offer a few examples of these different kinds of work styles. Let’s say there are two different people and each of them wanting to write a chapter a week, what are two very different approaches that two people might take to that?
Definitely. So to give kind of an example, using myself as both examples, it makes sense, I promise, just bear with me here. For one example, I am an INFJ, on the Myers Briggs personality type. And if you’re unfamiliar with what that means, it means that I am incredibly cost driven, I have to have this mission, this existential world changing mission behind everything that I do, for I am really going to lose my motivation. So from that perspective, for me to write a chapter or for me to write a book, or really any piece of a book, I have to know why I’m writing it, I have to know why every single word that I’m writing is going to make a difference in someone else’s life.
On the other hand, I’m also an enneagram one. And those two things sometimes clash, but in general, enneagram ones are huge planners, they like to plan things out and get things done. And they’re kind of the movers and shakers in the enneagram skill. So from that perspective, it’s a lot easier for me to say, Okay, I’m going to put this hour on my calendar, it’s going to be Tuesday at 2pm or whatever time works best for me. And I’m going to sit down and write and knock out this chapter. And I’m just going to do it and I’m just going to get it done. So that right there even just using myself as an example those two different personality types, they have very different approaches to writing based on what is important to them and how they are naturally wired to get things done.
I think that’s really helpful. I know I personally learned well by example. So I appreciate that you used kind of those two different lenses to talk us through that.
Yeah, absolutely. And if you guys are curious, the Myers Briggs test is free to take as is the enneagram test. And I have found them to be so so helpful for me not just in terms of writing a book and how I like to be an author, but also how I like to be a business owner. And I’d imagine the same would be true for being a podcaster.
Yeah, absolutely. And I have links to both of those that I will include in the show notes. And I would love to know if you are tuning in, what is your Myers Briggs type or your enneagram type, you can tag me in an Instagram story @witandwire, and I think it would be fun to compare and see if there are any trends in the results. Now, what are some of the ways that you think podcasters can use our episodes or our treasure trove of analytics to figure out exactly what to include in our future books?
As a podcaster, you already have this information, this feedback from your audience right in front of you through your podcast analytics. So let’s say that you have published, I don’t know, 50 episodes of your podcast, you can go back through your podcast analytics and say, Okay, I’m seeing a trend here that when I talk about burnout, or weightlifting, for women, or entrepreneurship, through publicity, or whatever you podcast about, that is your opportunity to say, Okay, these specific topics are the things that I need to cover in my book. Now, the strategy that I teach for formatting your book is a three by three by three structure. Basically, what that means is that you have three main concepts that people have to take away in order for them to achieve the transformation that your book is promising them. And then underneath that, there are three kind of sub points that further explain that main topic. And then three more supporting arguments under that. This can also kind of equate to 27 ish chapters, you can have 15, you can have 30, whatever, but some number of chapters there, and you can actually directly take your podcast episodes and say, Okay, these were the most important ones, these are the most popular ones. This is how I’m kind of going to plug them into this three by three by three structure. And then you’ve essentially just created the outline for your book with your podcast, analytics and past podcast episodes.
I think that’s so smart. And I want to add one thing to the analytics, which is that I sometimes get messages about certain episodes, more than others, people will email me they’ll send mediums. And even if those episodes don’t necessarily have the highest download count, I feel like sometimes you just know that a topic really lands because if they go out of their way to say how much it helped them. To me, that counts almost for like 10 times the actual analytics count.
Absolutely. And what’s really cool about that is if you have those people that are, maybe they’ve messaged you twice, two or three times, you know that they’re repeated listeners, they are amazing people to bring into your launch team to bring into your books world really early on and get some early reviews, get some early supporters, from people that are already interested in what you have to teach.
Yeah, that’s a great idea. And before we talk about some of those launch strategies, I wanted to actually go back to your three by three by three concepts, because maybe this is putting you on the spot a little bit. But I feel like you could go one level in and use a three by three strategy to create a podcast episode. Do you think that that could work?
Absolutely. To the way that I kind of look at it is that the first three layers? So your top three is kind of the what is like, what do people have to get out of this in order for it to be helpful and beneficial? And then beneath that is the why. So why are these the most important things? That’s kind of your next layer, and then that final deepest layer is your house? So how do they actually implement that in their lives?
And you can absolutely do the same with a podcast interview, you have your main topic. Okay, what are the three things they need to understand about getting publicity as an entrepreneur? What are the three things they need to understand about losing weight as a woman over 50, or whatever you talk about, and then have a few supporting arguments underneath each that either dive a bit deeper into the why or the how, and that is a fantastic structure for a podcast episode that is not only going to be easy for you to like, put together, but it’s also going to be really easy to consume, from a listeners perspective.
I often teach that the rule of three is just this kind of magic thing in the world of psychology and learning where for some reason, we like that number. I don’t know, have you heard that before too?
I have. It’s true in linguistics as well, if you think about, you’re describing something in a sentence. So I’m trying to think of an example off the top of my head, but you could say, I went to the park, had a drink, and then went and bought ice cream. But if you said I went to the park, got a drink, went and had ice cream and then went mini golfing. It doesn’t sound as good as in your brain when there’s four things or five things in a list, as opposed to when there’s just three for whatever reason Exactly. Like you said three just flows really, really nicely in the brain.
I mean, all four of those things sound great to me. [laughs]
But from a structure perspective. Yes, there is something magical about it’s the Goldilocks number two is too few and four is too many. Yep. So if you are thinking about how to structure your next either podcast interview, or even a solo episode, even thinking about those three big picture takeaways, or maybe the three sections of the interview, I think there’s a lot of ways that we can all use that number three to our advantage when we’re creating content.
Absolutely. And the one thing I will say before all of you perfectionist out there, and I can call you out on that, because I’m also a perfectionist. But before all of you guys are like that it has to be three perfect by three, it doesn’t my book, for example, I have three main sections. And then one section has two chapters one has five, you know, it kind of ends up balancing out. So don’t think this has to be this perfect, rigid rule. But it is a really helpful structure for you to have in mind. So I’m not just saying, Okay, take your 10 years of experience in this field and dump it all into a book because that never really worked. Well. Great point.
Well, once somebody has a book, I know that you shared the you have three specific ways to keep this three train going, that you can grow your business and your podcast with the book. So I’d love to maybe walk through them maybe have you start with what is the first one?
Definitely. So the first one is using your book as a form of lead generation, there’s kind of a couple different ways you can do this, the first of which is actually using your book as the lead magnet as the opt in. So you could give away the first three chapters of your book to kind of entice people and bring them into your world, get them excited about the book, and then send them to the books amazon page for them to purchase, you could do a bonus chapter or an alternative point of view, if you’re a fiction writer, where you can actually give away your entire book as this really high quality lead magnet.
For example, I’m sure you Melissa have downloaded so many checklists and templates and PDFs, and freebies, and all of these other things that people put out there.
And while I’m not saying that those are bad options, if you compare the quality of that to the quality of a full, complete published and maybe even best selling book, the book is going to be a much higher quality lead magnet, which means people are going to be way more excited to take you up on whatever offer you have, after they’ve read your book and you present that next offer to them.
The other way that you can use your book as a form of lead generation is using the book as the tool as kind of a traffic generating tool to point to another opt in. So by this, I mean you would have some sort of freebie inside your book that When People Download your book or buy your book from Amazon, they can then access that freebie. Unfortunately, what happens when someone does buy a book online from Amazon, or from Barnes and Noble or wherever they buy their books, you as the author, you don’t get their contact information, they’re not technically a customer of yours, they’re a customer of Amazon. So if you do want to harness some of those email addresses, from your book, have some sort of opt-in in there like a bonus training or even the audiobook version of your book.
The one thing I will say with this is that there’s a lot of people out there, especially in kind of the the hustle pruner way of writing a book that say, okay, you need a bonus chapter or a download with every single training and they encourage you to just put links everywhere in your book. I don’t particularly love that, because I don’t like reading that type of book. So what I recommend doing, if you do want to have some sort of opt in, in your actual book is have one right at the beginning and then mention it again at the end, that still gets those leads gets those emails for you. But it doesn’t overwhelm your reader with all of these links that they have to click on.
And before we move into number two, how do you know if the full book should be given away for free versus just a chapter or a section?
it really depends on how you want to use your book. So if you wrote a book purely to grow your business, and it’s kind of a tool in your toolkit, that I would say go away, or go ahead and give away the whole book. For me, my book is a book, it’s a form of revenue generation, it’s a part of the legacy that I want to leave. So I want people to view my book as something incredibly, incredibly valuable. So I only give away the first three chapters or a bonus chapter or something like that.
That makes sense. So number one was lead generation, what would be the second way that you could grow your business or your podcast with your book?
So there’s this magical thing that happens the minute you become a published author, everyone wants to talk to you. They want to have you on their podcast, they want to have you on their TV show, they want you to guess right for their blog. There isn’t I wish I knew why I wish you could say Oh, it’s because of this that the other thing, but the minute you publish a book, your expertise skyrockets, your credibility skyrockets and your ability to get more press goes up as well.
This is another way that you can kind of grow your podcast with this specifically, is that it also means you are a more credible host. So when you’re pitching other guests to have them come on your podcast, or if you’re in Facebook groups, networking with other guests, however, you personally get guests onto your podcast, you now are a bit more credible. So not only can you go out and get more press for yourself, but that inbound press, those people that are coming on your podcast can actually be a bit higher quality because you are now a higher quality host as crazy as that may sound.
No, I think that makes a lot of sense. And I think just worth noting that from the other end of the podcast seat. Pitching authors is a really great strategy because they are often really open to publicity. So just to briefly take the other perspective on this for anybody tuning in authors. I don’t know if you’ve had this experience Jessi, but like people who have books often want to talk about those books.
Yeah, I think anyone who has a book, anyone has a business. Anyone who has anything attached to their name is like, yes, let me talk about this, I will take any sort of publicity I can get. So I definitely, especially when
it’s first launching. And before we get into more about the launch strategies, I do want to close the loop on our three different strategies to build your business and your podcast or your book. So we covered lead generation, and we covered publicity. And what is the third option?
The third option is getting more clients. And this kind of ties into the other one as well. But the minute that you become an author, you are more credible, like I said, so put yourself in your clients shoes for a second, let’s say on my list, I’ll just use you as an example. You help entrepreneurs, you know, build a good podcast quality podcast and get that out into the world. So let’s say that there were two of you. And you both had about the same amount of experience, you both had about the same level of testimonials. But Melissa A had written a best selling book, and Melissa B did. Melissa B isn’t necessarily worse than Melissa A, but Melissa A is going to get way more clients because they see that book and they’re like, okay, she’s an expert, she knows what she’s talking about.
The other thing that will happen is that maybe before people decide to go full in and purchase a course or coaching program from you, they’re going to go get your book, they’re going to read your book, and through that, they’re going to get a better understanding of who you are and what you teach. That way, when they come to you. They are way more of a warm lead than they are this random cold person from a Facebook ad.
The other thing with this is that you also have the opportunity to raise your rates as well. So for example, when my book came out, my speaking fees pretty much doubled, the minute my book came out. And that’s a pretty aggressive change. I’m not saying to go and make that change right away. But you do have the opportunity to capitalize on this increased credibility and expert status, to bring more clients in through your book, but also through the fact that you have author after uni, and then also raise your rates to generate more revenue from the same clients that are already coming in to you.
I had never thought of that. So that is a great point. And I did want to go back to where you said that a book is an inexpensive way for people to really get to know you. But I love that it is still a paid wait for them to get to know you because like you said, jumping from $0 to paying for, you know, a more premium coaching package or even a course, that can be a big leap. But to just go up to paying $7, $17, $29. There’s a lot of, I think opportunity there that a book can kind of fill that gap where it’s just saying let me dip my toe in the water and trust you a little bit first.
Absolutely. And not only does it build that level of trust with this new client or customer, but it also kind of Prime’s, them for purchasing more. There’s this thing in psychology as well where when you buy something, you actually put money down, you’re more likely to do it again. And again. And again. That’s why it’s really important to get a customer and keep a customer instead of trying to get more and more and more customers. So basically, to go back to what you were saying when they buy that book, they put their credit card down, even if it’s only for seven or $10. They are now in the mindset of Okay, I am a client or customer of this person, to when they make me this next higher level offer assuming the book was a good fit. I’m much more likely from a psychological perspective to say yes to purchasing again.
I have heard about this before, because this world of psychology fascinates me. But I do think that putting the book in the place of that first small Yes, is a great idea. I think if people don’t have a book yet, even small digital downloads, or an E book, like I know we’re talking about book in the traditional, like you’re getting something published sense. But people could probably sell something that is very simple that they’ve created on their own computer, maybe as a first step.
You can also have some fun with this too, and do either a low ticket funnel or a free plus shipping funnel, but then do it with signed copies of your book. Because not only is it a great product, you know, it’s a low ticket product that brings people in exactly like we were talking about. But people like signed copies of a book, they think it’s cool, they’ll show it to their friends, they’ll leave it on their coffee tables. So not only are you getting that small purchase from that person, but you get to have fun signing a bunch of books. And it serves as kind of a business card for you because they are going to show it off to their friends and people that they think could benefit from it as well.
That’s so interesting, because I often think about how podcasting is all digital. You can’t touch it even trying to show off behind the scenes of a podcast is kind of tricky. It’s very virtual. While a book, you know, there’s pros and cons, right? Having a physical object to sell means there’s more logistics, but then people can actually see it. There’s no kind of signature on a podcast. I don’t even know what the equivalent would be. But now I’m kind of curious to find one.
Yeah, maybe it’s some audio intro. But interesting thing based on what you just said and kind of segwaying into the launch strategy here is a lot of people think okay, with this physical product with this book, I have to do this giant print run of like 5000 copies, and then I got to sell all of those copies. And that’s actually not the case because of what I call what not what I call what everyone calls, print on demand platforms, which basically means that when a book is bought a book is printed, it’s a one for one ratio. So you don’t Have to do these huge grip runs. If someone orders a signed copy of your book, you print a copy of your book, sign it and ship it. So it’s actually a lot less intensive in the world of physical products than other types of physical products or than people may think.
That is definitely good to know. And actually, it is similar for podcast March, I know I just said there’s no equivalent of a signature. But if for some reason you are interested in getting mugs, or totes or notebooks out into the world, with the branding of your business or your podcast, there are similar print on demand opportunities. Or even if you only sold five mugs, you could do that. And it’s a little bit more per item. But it’s a good way to test that strategy and maybe get things in front of your friends and your podcast listeners friends so that they can hear about your show.
And I will say as well as an avid podcast listener, if you try to sell me an item of merch that has your podcast name on it, I’m going to be all over it. So that’s a great strategy. If you’re a podcaster, regardless of if you’re an author as well.
That’s awesome. I’m like lightly toying with the idea of having merch for Wit & Wire. And so if anybody’s listening, and you’re into that idea, let me know because I’m trying to see if it’s worth it. But I’m always trying to try creative things. And that just kind of happens to be one on the forever backlog. So keep me posted.
Now let’s get into though the launch strategies, I feel like we’ve been kind of hinting at them. And I know you have a step by step launch strategy that you I’m gonna quote you that practically guarantees, you’ll hit a bestseller list, which I’m super intrigued by so maybe Can you walk us through it starting at step one?
Definitely. So step one of this process is deciding which route of publishing you want to go down, you have traditional publishing and self publishing. There’s also, I don’t want to get off on a huge tangent here. But there’s also hybrid publishers, which are often called vanity publishers. Basically, those are people that want you to pay them a bunch of money in order for them to publish your book, I do not recommend working with them. I think a lot of people in the publishing industry, you kind of see them as scammy. So that’s why you really have two main options, you have traditional publishing and self publishing, to kind of give a quick pro and con overview. With traditional publishing, you sign away all of your rights. So yeah, your name is still on the cover of your book. But it’s not actually your book, the publisher has the final say in the cover, the title, the subtitle, the content, all of those things, you may have the opportunity to get an advance, which is a sum of money up front before you actually write and publish the book.
But you also earn a smaller percentage of royalties, meaning the commission you get on each copy of your book that sold, a lot of people also think that with with traditional publishers, they do a ton of marketing and PR for you. And that’s not really the case, most of that is still gonna fall on your shoulders, the big benefit to traditional publishing is that there is no cost upfront. And you do have some support when it comes to cover design, editing and things like that. With self publishing, you have complete control over everything, you make all of the decisions, you do have to spend some money up front, but where a lot of people are like I spent five or $10,000, to self publish my book, I teach my students to do it for under 500.
So I think that’s very reasonable. And then you do also earn a higher percentage of royalty. The final pro and con thing that I’ll share is that with self publishing, your book can go live as soon as 72 hours. So it works much faster than traditional publishing, which from start to finish can take usually anywhere from two to three years. So it’s a much more intensive process. Based on that pro and cons list, you should probably be able to tell that I’m a huge fan of self publishing, I think it’s an amazing way to get your book out into the world to have control over the process to keep your rights to earn more money from your book, and really understand all aspects of the publishing systems that if you do ever go traditional, at some point, you have that base of understanding. So that was step one. Do you have any questions about step one before I go to step two?
No, I’m set, you’ve convinced me We are all self publishing. We’re very biased. And I love it. Let’s go into step two.
Awesome. So step two is uploading your book and actually publishing it through the to print on demand platforms that I recommend, which are Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon self publishing platform, and then a tool called Ingram Spark. What Kindle Direct Publishing will do is it will get your book all over Amazon. So ebook, paperback, audio book, if you want it, and then all of their different country platforms, so amazon.com amazon.co.uk, Japan, Australia, all these different countries around the world.
And then what Ingram spark will do is it will get your book into everywhere else. So Barnes noble Walmart, Target Waterstones places in Australia, basically everywhere, that’s not Amazon. So you can use those two together to self publish your book. And what most people are thinking at this point is like, Oh, my gosh, this is gonna be so techie. I’m not techie. I don’t know how to do this.
Let me tell you the truth. self publishing with Kindle Direct Publishing takes you 10 minutes. If you have all your materials prepped, and then Ingram spark takes about 20. But that’s just because you have to input your tax information before you can actually publish. So it’s a very not tech intensive process. And throughout that you have the opportunity to do your whole launch plan of having a launch team and like we mentioned your pre publication public listening tour and things like that. So that’s step two is really uploading to those two platforms and getting ready to publish.
Is there a certain amount of time you should be doing this before you want the book to go live? Or is it immediate?
It can take up to 72 hours for your book to go live. But you can’t exactly pre schedule it to say, okay, on May 1, I want it to go live. So you need to have this done probably a week before, but then don’t press Submit until about 72 hours before your launch date, just because you want to give Amazon enough time to actually get it up and get it out there. So it’s ready when you tell your readers that it’s going to be ready.
That makes sense. I only asked because in podcasting, it’s kind of similar, where if you’re ready to publish on Apple and Spotify, there’s a review process where a real human will make sure that your podcast is not spam. So they’re not checking to see if it’s, you know, high quality control or anything like that. But you do have to wait two to five business days. And I don’t know if a lot of people know that. So I was curious if it was true for books as well. But it does make sense.
Yeah, so there is that little bit of a delay. But it’s not as much of a quality review process by Amazon as it is just them taking the time to get it up on their platforms. So the only type of review that they do is checking for formatting issues, like, Hey, your page numbers are falling off the page of your book, or, hey, this image is running into the gutter or something like that. And as long as that all looks good, they’re gonna sign off on it.
Yeah, that’s a good comparison. Because with podcasting, it’s the same, they’re making sure you have cover art that you have an episode a piece of audio that’s published, it’s more of a checklist, I would say.
Definitely. Now, the third step of this launch strategy is your categories, your books, categories on Amazon. And this is where we get into the bestseller side of things. So when you’re uploading your book to KDP, and you’re going through that 10 minute process, it will ask you to choose two to three categories for your book to be in.
So you’re probably like, okay, cool, we’re gonna pick these categories, and we’re going to be good, but unfortunately, they don’t actually show you all the different categories that are available to your book in that list. So if you see that and you’re like, Man, these seem like really big categories, don’t worry about it, just pick some it honestly doesn’t matter that much. The reason that it doesn’t matter is that as soon as your book goes live, you are going to go back to Amazon, you’re going to go through all of their bestseller categories, and there are hundreds of them. And you’re going to find the categories that have the smallest number of books in them. So for example, let’s say that business, the category business has 3000 books in it. But the category of social media for entrepreneurs only has 100, you’re going to come up with a list of 10 categories that have the smallest number of books in them. And then you’re going to actually email Amazon and say, Hey, Amazon, these are the 10 categories that I want my book to be in. Amazon is going to switch your categories around, put your book in the categories that you want your book to be in. And therefore when you have all this launch traffic coming in from your launch team from organic marketing, any paid marketing that you’re doing anything like that, your book has less books to compete with in a category. So it’s much more likely to hit the top of the bestsellers list.
That’s a great tip on both fronts. First, just practically knowing how it’s done. But second, the strategy behind it, because in the podcasting world, this is a strategy I have directly copied in terms of how to help people hit the top 200 charts for their podcast. Because even if you want to choose a big parent category that you feel is the right fit. If you’re in a big huge lake, you’re not going to make a splash. But if you find that smaller, best fit category for your podcast, same thing, you have a chance to chart, which means that you can say that you’re a top 200 or a top 50 podcast. So this charting strategy that authors have long been using is something that podcasters should use to and I will put a link in the show notes just to the full list of Apple categories in case people want to take a look.
Yeah, I’m actually curious to look at that list myself. Because I know when I’m looking for podcasts, I look in business and health and wellness. It’s all these really big categories. So I’d be really curious to know what some of those smaller niche categories are, too.
Yeah. And what a lot of people don’t realize is two things. First is that some are parent categories, and some are subcategories. So business is a parent category, but careers or management are subcategories. So if you choose the parent category, you’re competing against everyone in business, and everyone in careers, and everyone in management. So for most hosts, I recommend choosing the subcategory that best fits because it’s almost definitely smaller. And then on top of that, you can choose three categories for Apple, but you can only actually chart in the first one. It’s called your primary category. So you are able to show up in a few different places. But it’s only the primary category when you publish your show that has an impact on the charts. Now I know we’ve talked a lot about authorship, of course and being a podcast host. But did anything else come to mind for you that you think podcasters can learn from the world of book publishing?
That’s a really great question and I think what people need to understand Especially as a podcast host is you’ve already done something that’s difficult. You’ve already taken your knowledge and your expertise and have broken them down into 15 to 16 minute blocks, you’ve done the hard work. So if you’re sitting here and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, I have to write a book. Now I have to go through all of this again, you don’t, you’ve already done the work. It’s literally about putting it together. And if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like writing, but you want the benefits of having a published book, transcribe your podcast episodes, start plugging them into that three by three by three structure. And again, recognize that you have already done the work that most people are not willing to do. And that’s why you are going to be one of that 1% of people that actually write a book instead of the 80% that just want to do it. So there’s a little pep talk for you, when it comes to translating your podcast episode into a book. But like I said, you’ve done the hard work. Now, it’s just about putting it together in a format for more people.
Yeah, I think that’s such a great point. And I love that you acknowledge that podcasting is hard. And I don’t say that to deter people, I think all good things that are worth doing are hard. And especially if you’re new, then it’s hard because it’s, you know, not something we can all do. And it’s hard because you’re new at it. So there’s always a learning curve. But podcasting is such an amazing way to learn about your topic as a host. And then you learn based on people’s reactions to things like I think that’s one major way that podcasting and book publishing are very different is that a book comes out all in one piece, while a podcast is almost an experiment, or a creative expression of small pieces of your knowledge in different ways. And I just think that they’re so complimentary, that one can inform the other.
Absolutely. And that’s why you as a podcast host, you kind of have an advantage over other aspiring authors, because you have the data and the research and the experimentation, like you were just saying, to back up the content that you’re going to put into your book, you don’t have to kind of take a stab in the dark or run some Instagram polls to see what people are interested in. You have the data of what people have already committed an hour of their life to so you know what to put into your book already.
And I don’t know if this question will have a good answer. But when do you think is the right time for somebody to write a book? Or is there such thing as a right time?
I don’t really think there is a right time. I know some people really establish themselves in their industry. And they’re running, you know, a six or seven figure business or they have a really popular podcast. And then they’re like, Okay, I have the knowledge, I’m ready to transform this into a book. For me, I did it the other way. I used my book to kind of launch my business, technically, yes, I had a business and I had a few sales and a few speaking gigs and things like that. But when I wrote and published my book that took me from being a nobody to someone who has had the level of success that I had in my business so far. Great point.
Now, as we wrap up, I do want to talk about some next steps if people want to learn more from you. But before we talk about that, can you just tell us a little bit more about your book?
Yes. So my book is called How to Heal. And it’s a guide of nine natural and integrative therapies that you can use to release your trauma. So I talked about what trauma is I talk about my trauma story. And then the bulk of the book is diving really deep into these nine different therapies. It’s things like equine assisted therapy, flower essence, therapy, dance movement therapy, basically things that aren’t talk therapy. What I think is really cool about my book is I include not only my personal experience, but research published studies, as well as expert interviews with therapists in these different fields. So it’s a really great blog. That’s bias. I think it’s a really great guide to trauma healing, and to you know, thinking outside the box, it does not read like a psychology textbook, it reads like me hanging out with you and having a chat about these different things. And it’s available pretty much anywhere you buy books. So Amazon, Barnes and Noble target, really wherever you want to go, you can find it.
I love that you mentioned the format, because I think as a podcast host Personally, I play with format a lot more than most hosts, I release some narrative episodes, solo interview, co host like I do all these different things. And I try long form and short form. And I just use podcasting almost as a playground to learn, especially because I’m teaching about it. But in general, I feel like there’s so much creativity to find in the formats of all of the content we’re putting out whether it’s a podcast, or a book, or really anything,
Definitely. And that really helps determine who your audience is. Well, like my audience for my book is trauma survivors and the loved ones of trauma survivors, it’s quote, civilians in a sense, if I wrote it to sound like a psychology textbook, my audience would be therapists and professionals in the field. And that would have a completely different impact than the one that I’ve had with my book. And I’m sure the same thing is true for podcasting.
Definitely, I think, in all things in all content, knowing who you’re talking to, might just be the most important thing of all and the lens with which you can make so many decisions.
But I always tell people that are looking to write a book is when in doubt, write to yourself, write what you wish you knew write to the person who was in your shoes five years ago, 10 years ago, one year ago, whatever it is, and that is going to take so much of that pressure off of you of like, who is my target audience is her name’s Sarah How old is she is I mean, yeah, that’s important from a marketing perspective, but from a writing and conveying a message perspective, right to you, and right to the person you were, when you were struggling with whatever you’re writing about.
Before we go, I would love to share your free workshop with our listeners. So you have a great workshop for entrepreneurs and aspiring authors, what people can see at witandwire.com/jessi, that’s JESSI, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Definitely. So this is like Melissa said, it’s a free workshop, it’s going to show you exactly how to take your book from idea to publish without working more than five hours a week on it. I know a lot of you guys are busy podcast hosts, busy entrepreneurs, busy parents, you have other things in your life. So I don’t want this to be something that requires 40 hours a week of you, I want to make this a really, really simple and straightforward process. So we’re going to cover some things like the biggest mistakes you’re making, as you’re trying to write your book, The perfect launch strategy, the only four marketing strategies, you’re going to need to have all these different things, as well as how you can take your book from idea to published for less than $500, like I mentioned earlier, so it’s really really value packed. I’m not the type of person that does a lot of fluff or a lot of background story or things like that. So if you’re looking for some really great information about writing, publishing and marketing your first book, this is definitely the workshop for you to check out.
Even just based on all of the value you shared. In this episode, I can only imagine how much more will be in the free workshop. So again, you can check it out at witandwire.com/jessi, or find a link in the show notes.
Thank you so much for joining us this week. At Wit & Wire we help online business owners start podcasting so they can build their authority and expand their audience and their opportunities. So if you haven’t already, you can check out our programs and services anytime at witandwire.com.
You can also come hang out with me on Instagram @witandwire and make sure you hit the Follow button in this app in case you haven’t already subscribed to the show. Thank you again for joining me, Melissa Guller, in this episode of the Wit & Wire podcast. I’ll see you next time!