#022: My Best Advice for First-Time Authors, Part 2 [Podcast]

In this episode, I continue with my best advice for first-time authors, which I began last week. Even if you’ve never thought about writing a book or don’t think you could, this episode is for you.

Man Who Is Experiencing Writer’s Block - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/domin_domin, Image #15140691

Let me provide a quick review of the last episode to give you some context if you are just tuning in. There are at least four reasons why you should consider writing a book:

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  • Reason #1: It can add value to others. Everyone is an expert at something. You may not be aware of it. Or you have forgotten that you know what you know. But you have something that could add value to others.
  • Reason #2: It can establish you as an authority. Nothing credentials you like a book. Not even a Ph.D. Having a book makes you an authority (at least in terms of the perception).
  • Reason #3: It can advance your career. It can help you launch a brand new one. A book often goes where you can’t go. It opens doors. It starts conversations. It creates opportunities.
  • Reason #4: It can create an additional income stream. Even if the book itself doesn’t generate a lot of money, it can be used to sell back-end services and other products.

The problem is that it can be tough to get published. My premise in the last episode was that becoming a published author begins by taking five steps:

  1. Step #1: Educate yourself.
  2. Step #2: Start building your platform.
  3. Step #3: Write a killer book proposal.
  4. Step #4: Consider your publishing options.
  5. Step #5: Find a good literary agent.

I want to spend the bulk on this session, answering questions from my listeners.

Listener Questions

  1. Andy Traub asked, “What does a really good publishing deal look like?”
  2. Bernd Geropp asked, “What should I consider when choosing an agent?”
  3. Brad Blackman asked, “What is the process for getting a non-traditional book like a coffee table book published.”
  4. Debra Smouse asked, “Should you let a publisher know that you have a body of work you want to publish?”
  5. Derek Ouellette asked, “Is it more difficult to get published by U.S. publishers if you are Canadian?”
  6. Donna Nabors asked, “Under what circumstances would you recommend self-publishing?”
  7. Tor Constantino asked, “Is it worth the hassle to get an agent and go through the process of traditional publishing?”
  8. J.E. Scott asked, “What comes first: building a tribe via the methods you describe in your book or seeking marketing assistance from a professional firm?”
  9. Jason Salamun asked, “Should a first-time author begin writing his or her book as they are building a platform or wait until it’s already built?”
  10. Joanne Kraft asked, “How much travel is too much as an author?”
  11. John Richardson asked, “To get the word out on my book, should I release the book about a week before I go live on my site? Also, can POD publishers ramp up quickly if there is an initial spike in sales?”
  12. Julie Sunne asked, “How important is it to obtain an agent as a first-time author if I can meet acquisitions editors face-to-face at different conferences?” She also asked, “What type of platform is best? Social media, speaking, magazines … what?”
  13. KC asked, “What do you think about e-books? Giving them away for free, building an audience? Length, etc.?”
  14. Kimanzi Constable asked, “Is a book tour worth it as a first-time author?”
  15. Kurt Bubna asked, “How do you press on and deal with publisher rejections without getting discouraged in the process?”
  16. Michele Dickens asked, “Should I just pour out my story or try to get an outline first?”
  17. Ryan Dobbs asked, “How important are endorsements and how can they be used to build a first-time author’s platform?”

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Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a transcript of this episode here.

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