127 - Writing and Publishing Your First Book with Morgan Gist MacDonald

podcast | Dec 04, 2017

I can speak from experience when I say writing a book can be a huge game changer in your business.  It immediately positions you as an expert and shines a completely different light upon you.  It can seem like a daunting task, and that's why I wanted Morgan of Paper Raven Books to talk about how to break down the process and use this to leverage your business.

What's the advice you give that first person trying to figure out what to write?  Morgan likes to start by talking about their business.  A book should be a strategic part of your business.  They discuss who they serve now, and who they want to serve in the future, and focus on topics for those people.

It's also a great tool for pivoting in your business.  Morgan was a broad general editor, and she wanted to focus on book editing.  So she wrote a book on how to write a book, and now her clients are from the book industry.  Make sure you're writing for that person who you want to work within 3-5 years.  Your book should know their problem and address that problem.

If writing isn't your preferred way of communicating, what do you suggest to someone to get their thoughts into a book?    Morgan talks about mind mapping, and how it might not be the best fit for people.  What she recommends is a brain dump, a really long list of what you want to include in the book.  If you've worked with a particular client, what's the advice you've given them, what are the stories you've told them?  If you list all those things, it gives you a great place to start.

The long list lets you get those ideas on paper.  Once you can see them, now you can work with them. Copy the past the like ideas with other like ideas.  Slowly, you'll start to get groups, and if you move like groups to like groups you'll find a chapter.  As you continue this process, you'll have a huge organized list.

Do you write from the list or record as you fill in the content?  Each idea will expand into several paragraphs.  If you were to write something similar, but it will flesh out into many times and each of those will be in several paragraphs.  Once you start explaining it in words, it will slowly add on to the book itself.

What about self-publishing, vs. traditional, vs. vanity?  Morgan likes all types of publishing for different reasons.  Traditional is really great for those who already has a business and a platform. Morgan recommends if you have a list of 25,000 social media and an email list.  Now a traditional publisher can get you in the book stores, and a shot at the best-seller lists.

When you're self-publishing, you're looking at other measurements of success.  For example, you may be looking to build your list, or to get more speaking engagements, etc.  Selling books is not your #1 priorities.

Marketing the book, let's talk tips and tricks.  Your first book is an overwhelming process.  So to tell that first-time author that starting out six months prior is only going to freak them out.  Figure out your writing process, find editors, etc.  You can start marketing 30 days before you intend to launch. These days you can use things like live streaming to talk about the later stages of the book.  Give them that insider's perspectives.  Show people behind the scenes of what you're doing.

Once it's out, start pitching podcasts for interviews.

If you've published before, and you want to go for impact, then you need to start thinking earlier, like as soon as your first draft is done.  You need to line up interviews that go live as soon as your book is launched, same goes for blog posts.  When you know what you're doing with a book, you want all of your media to go live those first 2-4 weeks of when your book goes live.

If you're solo where do you begin your path for blog posts and podcasts?  You need to start making friends on social media.  The people who run the podcasts and blogs are out on social media.  That's something that comes over time.  To be organized you need to identify 10-20 bloggers and 10-20 podcasts who have an audience that you want to get in front of them.  Start leaving reviews, and comments, etc.  That way when you introduce yourself and ask for the favor, they know who you are.   Give them a heads up several months ahead of time, and let them know it's about the book launch.

Also, utilize paid promotion is key to a successful book launch.  There are so many sites that allow you to pay them your free or $0.99 book.  Utilize this for Amazon because they will help you go up the charts on Amazon.

What about the long tail marketing plan of the book launch?  One thing is when you first publish your book, publish it as a e-book, paperback, and then an audio book.  It makes you look professional.  Just plan on once a quarter, or twice a year, where you do another promotion.  It can be quite like a launch. You can be part of their Kindle Direct, every 90 days you can run a promotion.  You then tell all of your social media friends, etc.  Even set-up some third party promotions.

Two Downloads that Morgan Mentioned:

  1. How to Get Amazon to Promote Your Book for You (basic launch checklist and third-party promotional sites that are gold): http://paperravenbooks. com/secretlink
  2. 12 Steps to Write a Book that Builds Your Business & Boosts Your Platform (even if you're "not a writer"): http:// paperravenbooks.com/erin

P.S. If you haven't bought my book yet, why not?  Grab your copy at http://masterthestart

More About Morgan:  Morgan Gist MacDonald is a writing coach, editor, and founder of Paper Raven Books. Morgan and her team help authors write, edit, and publish books that create impact. Her latest book, Start Writing Your Book Today: A Step-by-Step Plan to Write Your Nonfiction Book, from First Draft to Finished Manuscript, is available in the Amazon kindle store. Morgan blogs about writing techniques and motivation at paperravenbooks.com

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