As you have no doubt guessed, there’s much more to publishing a book than putting words on paper. This webpage will give you an idea of what’s involved and how Petra can help you achieve your goal. Note that, in this scenario, you’re choosing yourself, as Denise Duffield-Thomas recommends in her book Chillpreneur. You aren’t waiting for a publisher to choose you. That doesn’t preclude getting picked up by a publisher someday. It just means you’re not going to wait.
First, some assumptions:
· In our culture, being an author makes you an authority. This authority will help you grow your business, which is to help people. Helping more people than you currently have the capacity to help is the purpose of writing your book.
· Your book is not an end in itself but will lead readers to other products/services you offer. These products/services are either ready now or will be by the time your book is published.
· You have (or will create) a document, recording, or other freebie that readers can download by going to your website. Because readers will have to enter their email address to do so, this builds your email list. Your freebie will be available on your website the day your book is published.
· You have a current email list and social media following or will develop one by the time your book gets published.
· This book will be self-published under the name of your business (or imprint) in Kindle and paperback editions and will be available on Amazon.
Petra will help you identify your reader, help you plan your book, coach you through the process of writing it, edit the book, format it, and publish both Kindle and paperback versions. The freebie, products/services, current email list, and social media following mentioned above are things you need to develop on your own, but they’re important to the success of this venture.
The first step is working with Petra to imagine, in great detail, your reader. Male or female? Name? Age? Married? Single? Kids? Working? What job? What is his/her home life like? What are his/her hobbies? What problems does he/she have that your book will solve?
The entire purpose of your book is to solve this one reader’s problems. It is a love letter to one individual, and by speaking to a single reader (instead of to all of them at once), you will make every reader feel seen.
Your ideal reader profile is the foundation on which you will build your book and therefore needs to be absolutely solid. Petra’s primary job is to serve as an advocate for this one reader.
Your table of contents grows out of your ideal reader profile. It’s sometimes called an “inline” (instead of an outline) because it is in line with your ideal reader. It is the frame you build on the foundation of knowing exactly who your reader is. Every chapter addresses a problem your reader has and nothing else. This keeps you on course and prevents you from chasing shiny objects.
Petra will help you create your table of contents.
After you’ve identified your reader and created your inline, you and Petra will establish a regular meeting schedule (weekly or biweekly), and you will commit to writing one or more chapters between meetings. You will submit your chapter(s) to Petra before your meeting, so she has enough time to edit it.
When you meet, you will go over any feedback Petra has on what you’ve already written, then talk about the writing ahead.
In the following week(s) you will address any issues Petra raised in response to your previous writing and also write the next chapter(s).
You will repeat this process until the book is written.
Once you’re book is done, it’s ideal to let a few beta readers read it, because they often catch things that need to be fixed before a book is released to a wider audience. Who do you know who is enthusiastic about your subject matter and isn’t afraid to be honest when you ask for advice? Make those people your beta readers.
It’s best to limit the number of beta readers to no more than three and to give them a limited time in which to provide feedback.
After the feedback from beta readers has been incorporated, it’s safest to hire a copy editor to go through the book one last time. No matter how hard you try, you will read what you think you wrote, not what you actually wrote, so it’s best to have brand new eyes on the project at the end. Copy editing is not a service Petra provides because, by the time your book is finished, she, too, will be so familiar with it that she sees what she expects to see and not what’s actually on the page.
The book will be in pretty good shape, though. If a copy editor isn’t in your budget, enlist the aid of your friends who are grammar snobs.
Petra is not a graphic designer, but she can help you get very close on cover design. The tricky bit is calculating the width of the spine based on your page count. An hour or two of a graphic designer’s time may be required.
Petra will format and upload the Kindle version of your book first. Amazon permits you to give away books for free for limited periods, and during the first five days, it’s ideal to encourage people you trust to download the book for free in exchange for a review. Positive reviews matter.
After the Kindle book is published, Petra will publish the trade paperback version.
Once your book is published, promoting it is up to you. You’re an author, now! This qualifies you to be a speaker, a blogger, a presenter of workshops, a provider of webinars, an authority who is interviewed on podcasts, radio, TV, and so on. The more books you sell, the more people can benefit from your products/services.
Writing a book is hard work, but you have done hard things before! With Petra as a guide, writing and publishing your own book is achievable. Imagine how proud you’ll be the day you see your book on Amazon and can begin using it as a springboard to help more people.
Petra offers services at two price points, and you will need them both:
· One-on-one coaching
· Production, which includes editing, writing, research, formatting, designing, and publishing (production is usually about half the price of coaching)
Every book is different, but for every hour of coaching, count on at least three or four hours of production. If you are meeting weekly and writing a chapter per week, you can get a 12-chapter book written in 12 weeks once you’ve profiled your ideal reader and created an inline. In this scenario, you’d get charged 14 times the coaching rate (the extra two sessions are for creating your ideal reader profile and your inline) and 14 x 3 hours (42) to 14 x 4 hours (56) times the production rate.
Together, you and Petra will work out and agree to the rates for her service. This changes from author to author depending on that author’s writing skill, the complexity of the project, and how much authors are willing to do on their own. Regardless, it could be about half of what it costs to take part in author-funded publishing models such as the Author Incubator. (Feel free to click that link, apply, and see what Angela Lauria and her team offer.) Petra went through the Author Incubator program when she ghost-wrote How to Want Sex Again, and the model she uses is similar.
Other titles Petra has ushered into being include Chillpreneur, Stupid Things Papa Did When He Was Younger, and the Mixed Emotions card deck.
Typewriter photo by kerolic CC BY-NC-SA 2.0